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  1. #1
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
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    Default AC breaker installation

    This may be a dumb question, one of many, but don't these neutral wires have to connect to terminal?

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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    They really should connect to each other.

    They used 8-3 w/g NM cable which has a black, red, and a white, along with the ground. That is a 240 volt only circuit (probably to an ac condenser unit) which does not use the neutral.

    They could have used 8-2 w/g NM cable with a black and a red (needs to be special ordered, otherwise 8-2 will have a black and a white, and we all know what problems that leads to in using the white as a hot conductor).

    They have four basic choices: 1) cut the white wires back to the nub within the outer sheath so the white conductor can no longer be accessed - sounds like the best idea but it really is the worst of the three, because it is not really allowed that way; 2) tie those two whites together and wire nut and abandon the other ends of the white conductors at the ends of the NM cable, tied back out of the way so they cannot accidentally touch anything later; 3) tie all the ends of those whites as described in 2) - at each end of each piece of NM cable; 4) connect the ends of the white conductors - all of the ends at all ends of the NM cable, to ground.

    The best and most correct choice is 4). Tie the white wire to ground to it cannot become a problem later on.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  3. #3
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Thanks Jerry.


  4. #4
    Shannon Guinn's Avatar
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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew stouffer View Post
    This may be a dumb question, one of many, but don't these neutral wires have to connect to terminal?

    By the way, I didn't notice the box was bonded, or for that matter, any ground wire at all. Maybe it was removed, but I'm with Jerry, the whites should have at least been tapped together.


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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Shannon,

    Here is the equipment grounding terminal.

    Replace it with a four terminal bar (for use with the larger size of the white conductors) and use it to ground both grounds and both whites.

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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    4) connect the ends of the white conductors - all of the ends at all ends of the NM cable, to ground.
    Jerry, am I missing something basic here? Isn't this tieing neutral to ground at a sub panel?


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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    Jerry, am I missing something basic here? Isn't this tieing neutral to ground at a sub panel?
    Vern,

    First, there is no sub in there which has a panel in it ("sub panel", get it? ), secondly, if you had a submarine panel in there, wouldn't the neutral be isolated from ground? (It would be supposed to be isolated from ground in any panel which is "not-service-equipment".)

    Let's stop using non-existent terms such as 'sub panel' and use terms as "service equipment" (where the main disconnect is) and "panel" (where the service equipment is not). I know there is a condition many of you run across which complicates that simpleness, and that is when the "panel" is "in and part of" the "service equipment" - but that is also simple - that is still "service equipment". And, as always, the neutral is bonded to ground at "the service equipment" and NOT bonded to ground at "panels" which are "not service equipment".

    Thus, to try to simplify your question, I will change the terminology.

    *Isn't this tieing neutral to ground at a panel which is not service equipment?*

    Nope.

    See how simple that was. The neutral would be isolated from ground at that panel which is not service equipment.

    Thus, to prevent accidental use of those loose neutral conductor ends, they should be connected into the ground terminal bar, grounding them - and this should be done at all loose ends. Now, if those conductors are somehow accidentally energized, well, they are "grounded" and there will be a "ground fault" which will trip the breaker.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  8. #8
    Shannon Guinn's Avatar
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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Shannon,

    Here is the equipment grounding terminal.

    Replace it with a four terminal bar (for use with the larger size of the white conductors) and use it to ground both grounds and both whites.

    Thanks Jerry. For some reason my computer brought up the thumbnail as original size from the OP, but yours worked fine.


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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    First, there is no sub in there which has a panel in it ("sub panel", get it? ),
    Google the term "sub panel" brings up 3,370,000 hits. The English language is very dynamic. Terms and words are continually changing. Just look up the definition of "waxing" as in "waxing moon" it was originally weaxen - disk shape that is growing larger, or the word "impotent" now pronounced "impetent" a mix of impotent and impenitent. The point is that everyone knows what is meant by the "sub panel" description.

    It has always been my understanding that the neutral and the safety ground should be tied together at only one point at the service entrance, and never the two shall meet again. If they are tied together there is a parallel current path.



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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Thus, to prevent accidental use of those loose neutral conductor ends, they should be connected into the ground terminal bar, grounding them - and this should be done at all loose ends. Now, if those conductors are somehow accidentally energized, well, they are "grounded" and there will be a "ground fault" which will trip the breaker.
    So the most likely use of the white wires will be at the other end, where someone will assume they are neutrals, but they are now tied to the safety ground. If used as neutral I don't think it will trip a breaker?


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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    [quote=Vern Heiler;53896]Google the term "sub panel" brings up 3,370,000 hits.[/quote]

    Google the term "panel" brings up 384,000,000 hits.

    That's 100 times more hits.

    So ... what's your point? That "panel" should be used because it has more Google hits?

    The number of Google hits is not relevant, the proper use of the proper term is, and the proper use of the proper term reduces mis-understanding and increases understanding.

    Isn't that what we should be trying for ... less mis-understanding and more understanding?

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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Thus, to prevent accidental use of those loose neutral conductor ends, they should be connected into the ground terminal bar, grounding them - and this should be done at all loose ends. Now, if those conductors are somehow accidentally energized, well, they are "grounded" and there will be a "ground fault" which will trip the breaker.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    So the most likely use of the white wires will be at the other end, where someone will assume they are neutrals, but they are now tied to the safety ground. If used as neutral I don't think it will trip a breaker?
    Somehow you went from my "accidentally energized" to your "most likely use of" ... ???

    If "accidentally energized", as I stated, with the neutrals tied to ground, the breaker WILL trip, as there WILL BE a ground fault.

    To protect against stupidity - rather than accidentally energizing (such as the insulation wearing through, a cut or some other *UNINTENTIONAL* happening - to protect against stupidity is a losing battle.

    One *can never* do enough to protect against stupidity ... not even if you were to cut the white conductors off at the nub and back into the outer jacket ... some jacka$$ will find a way to screw it up.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  13. #13
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    How to Install a Subpanel in Your Home


    Darn. They are all over the place


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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Google the phrase "tooth fairy" and you get 3,610,000 hits. Therefore, the Tooth Fairy exists. (I'm assuming that any small children who might visit this board don't understand sarcasm, and can't read between parentheses.)


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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Ted,

    Good thing he is just "the Internet Electrician".

    Wonder how he would install a *real* "panel" and "service equipment" ...

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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    OK, so just how many of you out there would write up this panel if you saw the white wire tied to ground? Be honest!


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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Come on! Don't worry about Jerry's insecurity, we can all club in and get him some profesional help.


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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    Google the phrase "tooth fairy" and you get 3,610,000 hits. Therefore, the Tooth Fairy exists. )
    .
    You trying to say there is No Tooth fairy ?
    .
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  19. #19
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Glad that on most of my inspections there is just your typical panel with the main breaker and circuit breakers and maybe a few disconnects at the particular services such as water heater and HVAC and AC condenser or heat pump.

    Man I would get the lingo all messed up.


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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Google the phrase "tooth fairy" and you get 3,610,000 hits. Therefore, the Tooth Fairy exists. (I'm assuming that any small children who might visit this board don't understand sarcasm, and can't read between parentheses.)
    OK "Tinker Bell", Redwood Kardon, Douglas Hansen & Michael Casey, authors of "Code Check Electrical" and every master electrician I have ever worked with, have no trouble with the term "Sub panel". The only one I know of that has a problem is Emperor Jerry. I am sorry to tell you that your Emperor has no clothes on.

    The pictured panel at the beginning of this thread could very well be supplied by a sub panel (underlining is mine ), and tying the neutral to ground would be felt back to that sub panel, where I don't believe anyone would say neutral should be tied to ground.

    You can all add me to your Buddy list now........


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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    The pictured panel at the beginning of this thread could very well be supplied by a sub panel (underlining is mine ),


    Being as there is *no such thing as* - quoting you "a sub panel (underlining is mine )", then it simply *could not have been supplied by such.

    However, I do see your confusion and maybe, just maybe, I can help ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    The pictured panel at the beginning of this thread


    Repeat after me:

    That is not a "panel", it is a "disconnect" ... let's do that again:

    That is not a "panel", it is a "disconnect" ... repeat again ...

    and tying the neutral to ground would be felt back to that sub panel, where I don't believe anyone would say neutral should be tied to ground.
    Vern, just curious what part of "grounding them - and this should be done at all loose ends" you don't understand.

    (underline that part in the quote below)
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Vern,

    Thus, to prevent accidental use of those loose neutral conductor ends, they should be connected into the ground terminal bar, grounding them - and this should be done at all loose ends. Now, if those conductors are somehow accidentally energized, well, they are "grounded" and there will be a "ground fault" which will trip the breaker.


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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Jerry,
    Why do you have such a hard time with a term everyone else understands?

    If the white wire we see in the picture is coming from another place (of course it is) and that other place has ground and neutral isolated, (as in a sub panel), when the two are tied together as you have suggested, then the ground and neutral are no longer isolated at that other place.


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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    Jerry,
    Why do you have such a hard time with a term everyone else understands?

    If the white wire we see in the picture is coming from another place (of course it is) and that other place has ground and neutral isolated, (as in a sub panel), when the two are tied together as you have suggested, then the ground and neutral are no longer isolated at that other place.
    Vern,

    Why do you have such a hard time understand that YOU TIE THE FRIGGIN' ENDS TO GROUND, thus, it cannot be tied to 'neutral' anywhere, the ends are TIED TO GROUND.

    I repeat, THE ENDS ARE TIED TO GROUND.

    What do you NOT understand about that?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Jerry, you must have a much better picture than I do. The one I see at the beginning of the thread does not show the other end of the wires.

    I must admit that I have made the assumption that the other end of the source wires are in some type of panel. I also assume they are not floating in air.

    If I found a panel (not the one pictured) with the white wire tied to the ground wire I would write it up if it was not a service panel (ref. fig. 39 Code Check Electrical). Again we (oops I) don't know what type of panel the wires are attached to.

    If grounding wires is what is needed to have a safe condition, we should ground all the wires. The house may be kind of dark, but safe!



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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    I have taken my wife garage saleing this morning and then to the Macey’s white sale. She tells me we saved a lot of money. You have now idea how expensive it is to save money! So now I am going for an evening sail where I can save my sanity.

    I leave all of you to tie any loose, abandon or otherwise unused neutrals to ground where ever you find them. Let me know how it turns out at the next pre-sales inspection.

    I will continue to recommend the isolation of neutral and ground at all but the main service panel. I will refer to downstream panels as “sub-panels” and expect no detrimental harm or lack of communications will result.

    I will not recommend tying white wires I find, that can be assumed to be neutrals, to ground anymore than I would recommend tying an unused neutral buss to ground, with exception of in the main service panel.

    Ya’ll have a great one! I know I will.

    Note to self: (pick-up beer and ice on the way to boat)



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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    If I found a panel (not the one pictured) with the white wire tied to the ground wire I would write it up if it was not a service panel (ref. fig. 39 Code Check Electrical). Again we (oops I) don't know what type of panel the wires are attached to.


    "If I found a panel (not the one pictured) with the white wire tied to the ground wire"

    If not a "service equipment" panel, i.e., just a regular distribution panel not part of the "service equipment", it would depend on the white wires before you do that. I am presuming you mean 'that is a bad thing to do' when you say you would 'write them up'.

    The white wires 'could be' "abandoned", thus, in writing it up, you would call for the electrician to 'verify this circuit has been abandoned', and, if that were the case, then there would not be a problem with it ... because the white wires were not in use, they were "abandoned".

    If grounding wires is what is needed to have a safe condition, we should ground all the wires. The house may be kind of dark, but safe!
    You jumped off the deep end there.

    No where in the above have I or anyone said anything about grounding "all the wires", only those which are not being used.

    Grounding all unused wires makes them useless, and, if (I am repeating this from my other posts because it seems you keep missing this part) ... IF ... those grounded conductor become ACCIDENTALLY energized ... yes .. ACCIDENTALLY ... energized, then being grounded at all ends (remember, we are talking about "abandoned" wires here) will cause a ground fault and trip the breaker of the circuit ACCIDENTALLY energizing them.

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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Jerry,

    If you attach the unused neutral wires (white) to a ground connector in the panel are you required to label them or color code them with green tape for identification?


  28. #28
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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    I think grounding all of the white wires, Jerry's option #4, is the best option. But, one could always try attaching a tag to the white wire that says: DO NOT USE! This will work because everyone reads, and abides, by the instructions.


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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    Jerry,

    If you attach the unused neutral wires (white) to a ground connector in the panel are you required to label them or color code them with green tape for identification?

    Ken,

    Good question.

    Being as they are not intended to be used for, nor are they being used for, equipment grounds, probably not 'required' to re-identify them with green phase tape.

    Would it be a good idea to do so? Yes, a very good idea.

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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Jerry, a little "Bush league" don't you think? Pounding your agenda while ignoring the real question.

    If the white wire we see in the picture is coming from another place (of course it is) and that other place has ground and neutral isolated, (as in a sub panel), when the two are tied together as you have suggested, then the ground and neutral are no longer isolated at that other place.


    After all what are you tring to accomplish? A properly installed neutral circuit is very capable of tripping a circuit breaker. It is the grounded wire and it is the normal current path back to the source, the center tap at the xformer.

    Tying neutrals to the safety ground, nilley willie, only compromises the integrety of the neutral cercuit. Much better to insure all neutral wires are properly and correctly installed .



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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    After all what are you tring to accomplish? A properly installed neutral circuit is very capable of tripping a circuit breaker. It is the grounded wire and it is the normal current path back to the source, the center tap at the xformer.

    Tying neutrals to the safety ground, nilley willie, only compromises the integrety of the neutral cercuit. Much better to insure all neutral wires are properly and correctly installed .
    Vern,

    You apparently still have no idea or concept of what we are discussing.

    Not sure if that is because you cannot read, or if it is because you are so bent on trying to stand your ground, but whatever the reason, you still apparently have no concept of what we are discussing.

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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Well let's read it together...

    This may be a dumb question, one of many, but don't these neutral wires have to connect to terminal?
    Answer is no. But you state...

    The best and most correct choice is 4). Tie the white wire to ground to it cannot become a problem later on.
    But neutral to ground can be a problem later on.

    And I ask....

    Isn't this tieing neutral to ground at a sub panel?08-15-2008 08:28 AM
    Where you go of on a tangent about terminology and side step the question...

    Thus, to try to simplify your question, I will change the terminology.

    *Isn't this tieing neutral to ground at a panel which is not service equipment?*

    Nope.
    Then go on to state that the reason to tie to ground is to provide a means of tripping a circuit breaker. (This is were I thought it just to obvious and didn't bring up the fact that neutral wires by there nature are capable of tripping a circuit breaker.)


    A little more banter about the use of the term "sub-panel" and a little from the gallery followed by question of what could happen. Your version has the wire rub through to a hot buss or wire, or that someone intensionally ties the white wire (known by most to be the color of the neutral) to hot.
    My verson has someone find the white wire, think it is neutral (I don't know why?) and use it as a neutral.

    After seeing the thread has large following I ask for the gallery to give input..
    OK, so just how many of you out there would write up this panel if you saw the white wire tied to ground? Be honest!
    Little response... they don't have a problem with offending my sensitivity so it must be yours.

    A little more about the term "sub-panel" which I am sure that by now you know what I mean. Followed by a more detailed discription of my concern.
    If the white wire we see in the picture is coming from another place (of course it is) and that other place has ground and neutral isolated, (as in a sub panel), when the two are tied together as you have suggested, then the ground and neutral are no longer isolated at that other place.
    This along with the inherent ability of a neutral to trip a circuit breaker, invalidating your reason to tie them to ground, you have failed to address.


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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    Well let's read it together...
    Yes, let us read this together.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    They have four basic choices:

    4) connect the ends of the white conductors - all of the ends at all ends of the NM cable, to ground.
    Okay, *what* do you not understand about that?

    Next, explain *what* could go wrong with that.

    Remember "connect the ends of the white conductors - all of the ends at all ends of the NM cable, to ground" ... *ALL* of the ends of the white conductors are connected to ground ... *not neutral* ... *to ground*.

    Go for it.

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  34. #34
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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Man

    Three days of continuing ed and work a couple of pre drywall inspections on Sunday and see the kind of good communication I miss.


  35. #35
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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    They really should connect to each other.

    I agree

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    They have four basic choices: 1) cut the white wires back to the nub within the outer sheath so the white conductor can no longer be accessed - sounds like the best idea but it really is the worst of the three, because it is not really allowed that way; 2) tie those two whites together and wire nut and abandon the other ends of the white conductors at the ends of the NM cable, tied back out of the way so they cannot accidentally touch anything later; 3) tie all the ends of those whites as described in 2) - at each end of each piece of NM cable; 4) connect the ends of the white conductors - all of the ends at all ends of the NM cable, to ground.

    The best and most correct choice is 4). Tie the white wire to ground to it cannot become a problem later on.

    What about door #5? Tie the whites together at each splice in the circuit. Wire nut and tie back the white on the end of the run at the missing load. At the line end of the run, land the white on the terminal bar with the other whites in the panel. This would still provide a continuous low resistance path back to ground if that white wire became accidentally energized, while avoiding the issue that Vern mentions in the next quote.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    OK, so just how many of you out there would write up this panel if you saw the white wire tied to ground? Be honest!

    If I pulled the cover on that disconnect and found the whites and grounds bonded together and to the box, I'd certainly be scratching my head ... and I would write about what I found in my report. Dunno if I'd call it wrong though. That would depend upon if I traced the circuit in both directions from the disconnect and I could figure out what was going on with the white wire. Tracing circuits would have me going beyond the scope of work for a normal home inspection that is outlined in my contract with the client.


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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    If I do not use the neutral I either cap the wires like what was done , or cut them off ... I would not install them on the ground bar unless I marked them with green tape...



    Dave


  37. #37
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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Being white does not make a wire "the neutral wire". If the wire is connected to nothing at either end then it is abandoned or unused or superfluous or wasteful but it should not be referred to as a neutral wire simply because it is white. It has to perform or be intended to perform the function of neutral to be called a neutral wire. In this disconnect there is no neutral wire and none is needed in that each of the "hot" conductors performs the function of neutral for the opposite conductor. Stop calling these white wires "Neutral"and the misunderstandings may disappear.
    I cast my vote for not using the term sub panel.


  38. #38
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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Jezzz...I'm exhausted just reading this ...


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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Leigh,
    If the wire is connected to nothing at either end
    , kind of the key point I was making. I, Jerry, you, or anyone not having followed the (white) wire to its origin, does not know. Being that white wires have a habit of being connected to neutral, I don't think it a good idea to tie them to ground at random locations.

    Thanks to all who give there view, I thought I was going to be up here till the finish line!

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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    4) connect the ends of the white conductors - all of the ends at all ends of the NM cable, to ground.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    Leigh, , kind of the key point I was making. I, Jerry, you, or anyone not having followed the (white) wire to its origin, does not know.
    Vern,

    Just what is it about my post, and quotes of it since then, that you DO NOT UNDERSTAND?

    Here is it again, maybe you can follow it this time?

    connect the ends of the white conductors -
    all
    of the ends at
    all
    ends of the NM cable

    If you were to do that, you would KNOW where the other ends were connected, would you not?

    Just trying to figure out what it is that you are not getting.

    Or are you simply just ignoring what others post because it does not align with what you posted afterward?

    Yeah, that's probably it - pay no attention to what anyone else is saying, simply keep repeating your mantra over and over and over and over and ... thinking that if you repeat it enough it might make you sound like you understood what was being discussed.

    *ALL*

    *ENDS*

    of

    *ALL*

    *ENDS*

    Got it?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    I guess Jerry if you said tag or tape the wire to be ground Vern would understand and wouldn't be riding your short strings. I understand what you are saying but if you open a panel and seen neutrals to ground that you would think it's wrong unless you trace it down. And even if you did trace it down and its right you would write it up because the wires aren't marked. Need to identify and mark' tag the wires and argument is over.

    Mike Schulz License 393
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  42. #42
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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    My last post on this thread, I promise!

    I have not been out to bust Jerry’s rice bowl, and have understood, from very early what Jerry recommended as a fix to abandon/unused (white) wires. Yes I understand that if both ends of all wires are tied to ground they will be ground, regardless of there color.

    My concerns were based on the logic behind the recommendation that was to be given to the customer, and possible consequences of carrying out the recommended fix.

    • “Abandon/unused wires are a hazard and must be tied to ground”. I find ceiling fans wired with an unused light circuit tied back in the ceiling box all the time. These wires are very likely to be energized accidentally by turning on the switch. I don’t see a problem here, why would I see a problem with the white wires in question.

    • Tying all of the wires (both ends) to ground requires finding both ends, and if one of the ends is already tied to the neutral buss, it must be re-routed to the ground buss. This may require additional pig tails in the panel as the wire may not be long enough or the ground buss may be full. Do this multiple times and it starts to look like a CF.

    • Tying the white wire in question to the neutral circuit at its other end makes it a good path to ground. That is what we were trying to accomplish isn’t it?

    • Most HI’s will write something about unusual wiring found in a panel. Most will not spend the time to trace the wires to there ends. This fix is not what I see as usual. Someone is going to question it in the future.

    Failing this I feel Jerry and I must agree to disagree, and I hope leave this thread as friends.

    Jerry I hope Fay is kind to you and your family. Good luck.


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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    Yes I understand that if both ends of all wires are tied to ground they will be ground, regardless of there color.
    Then you stated:

    “Abandon/unused wires are a hazard and must be tied to ground”. I find ceiling fans wired with an unused light circuit tied back in the ceiling box all the time. These wires are very likely to be energized accidentally by turning on the switch.
    Huh?

    If the other end of that wire was tied to ground, how could it "be energized accidentally by turning on the switch"?

    Tying all of the wires (both ends) to ground requires finding both ends,
    That IS the idea.

    and if one of the ends is already tied to the neutral buss, it must be re-routed to the ground buss. This may require additional pig tails in the panel as the wire may not be long enough or the ground buss may be full. Do this multiple times and it starts to look like a CF.
    You mean ... as opposed to all those same wire nuts being used to cap off the abandoned wires?

    Not even considering that you will most likely *not* need any wire nuts to accomplish that. That 'most' neutral and ground terminal are close enough that the wires will reach either.

    Be that as it may ...

    So, the difference between those wire nuts and any wire nuts needed to connect the neutral to ground is ... ????

    Tying the white wire in question to the neutral circuit at its other end makes it a good path to ground.
    No, it does not.

    That is what we were trying to accomplish isn’t it?
    Yes it is.

    Most HI’s will write something about unusual wiring found in a panel. Most will not spend the time to trace the wires to there ends. This fix is not what I see as usual. Someone is going to question it in the future.
    Which is why it was such a good and appropriate suggestion/comment to re-identify the white to green with phase tape, thus indicating it is "grounded to ground" and "not a neutral".

    Having "loose wires hanging in the panel", wire nutted or not, is not a good choice either.

    Looks like Fay will be reaching as as only a Tropical Storm, and the latest tracks place it south of us, meaning we will be on the weak side of it.

    Other inspectors in Naples and Southwest Florida went through it already, hopefully they are all fine.

    Other inspectors will be in its path and on the strong side of the storm, hopefully they too will be fine.

    It looks like Fay is just going to be a nuisance with its winds (nothing major), probably will cause some flooding, but ... the rain (overall) is definitely needed as we have been in drought for a while and the water levels are all still way below normal - just hope the low-lying areas are not flooded too much.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  44. #44
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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Just my 2 cents worth



    "Most HI’s will write something about unusual wiring found in a panel. Most will not spend the time to trace the wires to there ends."

    No, you are absolutely correct. Why would they and why should they. This is a clear cut case beyond any doubt that "It is not our job and should not be"

    Never mind safety issues. Just taking that one step way beyond a home inspection and you better treat the rest of your inspection the same way.

    I repeat as I have stated several times in the past. "SOP's are in place for a reason. One reason is to give clients an idea of what to expect. Push it that far beyond the limit and now the SOP's are not protecting you and that is the second reason they are in place."

    It is nice to know the whys at what for's but to incorporate them into a home inspection is really not a good thing for you. It is up to the client to follow thru with an electrician. The electrician does (or does not) do it correctly it is on your client and the electrician.

    To actually suggest to a client on how the repair should be made is just simply wrong for the safety of your client. The schmo (nice client) might just go ahead and do it himself. You giving him the fix and he screws up and burns the place down or worse, frying himself, goes on your shoulders.

    I tell my clients all the time when they ask "How would you make that repair" I politely tell them that I know but I am not telling them (when it has to do with safety of any kind) It should be done by a qualified licensed professional electrician.


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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Honest,, last post

    Quote:

    “Abandon/unused wires are a hazard and must be tied to ground”.
    This I thought was your view, not mine. I was a little sloppy in the way I presented it. Sorry for the confusion.

    I have never suggested tying the unused wires to ground.


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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    “Abandon/unused wires are a hazard and must be tied to ground”. I find ceiling fans wired with an unused light circuit tied back in the ceiling box all the time. These wires are very likely to be energized accidentally by turning on the switch.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Huh?

    If the other end of that wire was tied to ground, how could it "be energized accidentally by turning on the switch"?
    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    “Abandon/unused wires are a hazard and must be tied to ground”.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    Honest,, last post
    Yeah, right.

    This I thought was your view, not mine. I was a little sloppy in the way I presented it. Sorry for the confusion.
    If you are going to quote it (your own quote) and my response, at least quote it correctly.

    It was not "“Abandon/unused wires are a hazard and must be tied to ground”."

    It was “Abandon/unused wires are a hazard and must be tied to ground”. I find ceiling fans wired with an unused light circuit tied back in the ceiling box all the time. These wires are very likely to be energized accidentally by turning on the switch.[/quote]

    To which I replied, and still reply, because you just are not "getting it" (i.e., understanding what is being written) "If the other end of that wire was tied to ground, how could it "be energized accidentally by turning on the switch"?".

    I'll try to do this s-l-o-w-l-y so you can follow it :

    Y-o-u t-a-k-e *BOTH ENDS* of the conductor and tie them to ground.

    Got that part? *BOTH* *ENDS* *OF* *THE SAME* conductor ... and connect them to ground.

    Yeah, *BOTH ENDS*.

    Okay, now, explain this part of what you said: "These wires are very likely to be energized accidentally by turning on the switch."

    I'm not following you there. *WITH BOTH ENDS* of the same conductor connected to ground ... ??? (you lose me with your next part) ??? ... how can that conductor be accidentally energized when a switch is turned on?

    I need some help here Vern, I don't seem to be able to wrap my head around how a conductor, which has both ends grounded and not connected to a switch, can be energized by turning that switch 'On'.

    And, *if*, somehow, that conductor was energized by turning that switch on, with that conductor grounded on both ends, how could that be unsafe? As soon as you turn the switch 'On' you create a ground-fault straight to ground, tripping the breaker (unless, of course, it is an FPE breaker), and, once the breaker trips, the power is gone, the circuit is de-energized, and all is safe (for now - no power).

    You've really got me confused and a bit scared here Vern, I mean, if that can happen, then anytime I turn a switch on I have the possibility of energizing any ground conductor? Holy $hit!

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Ted,
    If you follow the SOP then you are a perfect candidate for a AHJ.
    I believe most do more then the SOP or they are no different then the minimum standards that code applies.

    So I guess you perform minimum inspections for your clients.....

    Mike Schulz License 393
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  48. #48
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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schulz View Post
    Ted,
    If you follow the SOP then you are a perfect candidate for a AHJ.
    I believe most do more then the SOP or they are no different then the minimum standards that code applies

    So I guess you perform minimum inspections for your clients.....
    Come on Mr Mike

    If you think about it. What is there really more to do on a home inspection than the standards of practise.

    The minimum, the over the minimum? What. Do you turn one more screw? Do you spend an extra minute looking inside an electric panel?

    Seriously, I hear the minimum all the time. What is the minimum? Inspecting everything in the home anyway? How can you do less than the minimum if you are inspecting everything? How can you do more than the minimum if you are inspecting everything?

    What I was talking about was tracing wires. Digging a 6 foot deep hole to find the ground connection. Ripping open the tape and mastic on a condenser coil cabinet to see if it is dirty.

    The minimum? The minimum is inspecting everything. For those of you that think you are exceeding the SOP's by inspecting what you are suppose to anyway are seriously delusional. What are you inspecting to? The code? If you are inspecting to the code how can you be exceeding the standards since the standards are base on the code? If there is nothing wrong code wise than how can you write it up. If you are doing something to someones home that you should not be doing and calling it exceeding the standards then that is delusional.

    If you write something up in a home that is code and you know that the particular code has not been adopted by that city and not telling your client that it has not been adopted and having them fight with someone over something that is not code and them thinking someone definitely has to fix it is delusional. I write up sediment traps all the time but also tell my clients that it has not been adopted by the city/state. If I did not tell them it was not adopted and they were trying to fight to get it fixed and the city inspector said they have not adopted it I would be delusional and looking pretty foolish. Did I exceed the standards by trying to keep my client from getting a headache and me not looking foolish, hmmm, have to think about that.

    Anyways!!!!!!!!!!!!! Exceeding the standards usually means you are going to an extreme and exceeding what you should be doing in ones home that is not your home or your clients.

    I will repeat, and anyone can argue the point all they want but it is absolutely true. The SOP's are there to protect your client and also there to protect you. If you are doing your job, you are not exceeding the SOP's. You are suppose to inspect everything in the home anyway.



    Had to try that. I had my settings wrong to use them


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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    How can you do less than the minimum if you are inspecting everything? How can you do more than the minimum if you are inspecting everything?
    I walk roofs, that is above the SOP
    I use a tester for outlets, that is above the SOP
    I check for tempered glass, that is above the SOP
    I check for proper type of flashing on on decks that use ACQ, that is above the SOP

    The list goes on and on. We all go above the SOP. And if I saw two wires capped off in a panel I would check where they went

    If you are inspecting to the code how can you be exceeding the standards since the standards are base on the code?
    I inspect to better building practices, yes code plays in but if the code or the builder allows stupid stuff I will point it out. Example: The deck flashing I was speaking of. Code allows galvanize roll metal flashing on decks because it doesn't specify the material. The builder stands by that. I point it out because it will rust in a short period of time when it is in contact with the ACQ lumber. I did a one year warranty inspection in 06. The buyer was removing the deck to install a larger one. The metal was rusted. So I did my own experiment and documented it. Laid a piece of deck plank flat and placed a new piece of galvanize metal on it. Placed another on top of it. After 1 month the metal was rusted.

    Another example: Vinyl siding installed around windows. I pull the panel below the window to see if corner flashings are installed on the windows and lapped over the panel under it and on top of the nailing strip. Code doesn't address the installation of the vinyl siding. Builder thinks the siding guys are always right. Because of my persistent and speaking with reps from centex and pulte they have now installed these flashings for about 2 years now. I still find many homes without them because the trades don't keep up with there own profession.

    So yes I go above SOP and above code if necessary if needed.

    Mike Schulz License 393
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  50. #50
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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Sorry. I guess I would have had to read your standards

    I walk roofs, that is above the SOP
    I use a tester for outlets, that is above the SOP
    I check for tempered glass, that is above the SOP
    I check for proper type of flashing on on decks that use ACQ, that is above the SOP

    Pretty weak standards. I guess I over spoke. I inspect everything in the home. No, I don't pull siding panels and such. Flashing's should be inspected. I guess the list would be to long as to what I inspect.

    I guess simply said. I inspect the home. As it is. It has been so long since I looked at the Texas standards I am not sure if I exceed the standards but I am sure I do. Just nothing invasive.

    What it sounds like to me is you are inspecting to the standards I use with a few exceptions.

    My definition of standards is if the home is put together the way it should be for the type of structure it is and the materials it has. As I said, I inspect the home. The entire home without being invasive.
    As far as the roof walking and all that , well, of course as long as I believe I am driving home at the end of the day and not being driven by a noisy vehicle with flashing lights.

    I never really understood why anyone truly follows standards because the home I inspected gets inspected thoroughly (without being invasive) hat is my standard.

    I will stand behind the minimum standard thing as being there to protect the clients and you. But as far as what you are inspecting it would be determined by the home you are inspecting. Type of structure and materials used.

    As far as window flashing, well, if I do not see visible concerns of moisture or tell tale signs that there was a repair I do not pull my moisture meter out and check every window. As far as te flashing test, that is all well and good but if it is the standard to what is called for you can only tell your client such but to let them believe that because you don't like it that it has to be changed by the builder, that is another story.

    I had a mild argument with a builder on 4 homes I just did pre drywall inspections on. The master suite (in each home) has a huge supply duct that goes to a junction and 4 supply vents for the master suite come off of it. I am certainly not an HVAC man but for anyone to think that those for supply ducts are pumping into that area and all the return air is suppose to be sucked out from under the door that is about (what will be) 1/2 slot is ridiculous. The HVAC company should have accounted for this and had a return in the suite for proper air circulation. As it stands now I am absolutely sure that you will see the windows bulging pressurising the room. The HVAC man told the builder that he understands it needs a return but his policy and contract with the builder is for one return on each floor. (the return for the first floor is in the second floor ceiling) Extra returns are an extra cost and if they wanted more than they have to pay for it. The builder agreed with these folks to add a couple of jumper ducts for proper air flow. The HVAC company did not put traps on the condensation drain lines as well.

    I guess that is going beyond the standards but I really don't think so. It was not right and should have been as the AC man said "he understands it needs a return"

    That is my idea of going over the standards


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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Vern Heiler
    Honest,, last post


    Yeah, right.
    Why did ya have to go and do that Jerry? Does this look like someone who will turn down a challenge?

    The Charlotte home sales market has slowed in the last two weeks. I have been hesitant to say in past threads that we were still doing pretty well for fear of jinksing it. Some good comes of all things though, and yesterdays sail was very enjoyable.

    • Now to the challenge.
    • The thread started with you, not me, suggesting that unused or abandon wires were dangerous and should be tied to ground, and I understand just how safe (all) wires at (all) end tied to ground are. Really!
    • I questioned the need or the wisdom of suggesting that the white wires in question were dangerous and needed to be grounded at any or all ends.
    • I pointed out that if the white wires were confirmend to be neutral wires (tied to the neutral circuit as most often seen), they would be capable of tripping a circuit breaker. You said NO. Here comes the counter challenge: Take your lamp cord (the two wire type), cut it off and wire nut the bare ends together. Now plug it in. When the spots disappear from your eyes and you have reset the breaker, come back and explane to me what happened!
    • I was accused of just repeating myself in the hopes of forceing my view. I tried another route where I pointed out that many homes have abandon or unused wires tied back in the ceiling light for future installation of a ceiling fan. This is an unused wire (just like the white wires in question) that not only might become "ACCIDENTALLY energized" but most certanly will be energised by anyone who turns on the switch. Again I state that this is not a problem to me, why would I have a problem with the white wires in question which will most likely not be energised in the first place. (Please don't forget that I believe the circuit breaker will trip if it does happen) Hows the experment going?
    • Several have joined in expressing there view on the subject. I'm not sure but I think most would not re-wire the house as you suggested?
    • The panel pictured, (you said it is a disconnect) and must have mystical powers because I can't see what it supplies, would not make my report other than to identify and confirm its existance. I would not have a problem with someone suggesting that the two white wires be tied together, but don't think it necessary.
    Ball is in your court.

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  52. #52
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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    I wouldn't worry about it ... he simply capped off a wire that wasn't being used.

    The device pictured is NOT a panel of any sort, nor is it suitable for use as service equipment. It is simply a HVAC disconnect. What looks like a breaker is simply a switch.

    Most air conditioners have no need for a neutral. Why did the guy run one? Perhaps he goofed - or perhaps he had already encountered an idiot HI who objected to the re-identifying of white wires as 'hots.'

    The ground wires are present, and terminated on the little block in the front of the unit ... as they should be.


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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Quote Originally Posted by John Steinke View Post
    The device pictured is NOT a panel of any sort, nor is it suitable for use as service equipment. It is simply a HVAC disconnect. What looks like a breaker is simply a switch.
    With that I concur. Usually I do not get to agree with John much at all.

    Most air conditioners have no need for a neutral. Why did the guy run one? Perhaps he goofed -
    Dang! Twice I am concurring with John, and in the same post too? Are the planets in alignment?

    or perhaps he had already encountered an idiot HI who objected to the re-identifying of white wires as 'hots.'
    Nope, the planets are not in alignment ... It is possible that that HVAC person ran into a *SMART* HI who pointed out *THE CODE* to him, and he overruled is *IDIOT ELECTRICIAN* who keeps saying it is not a problem.

    Dang, John, you were batting 1000 there ... then you struck out on that last swing.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post

    They could have used 8-2 w/g NM cable with a black and a red (needs to be special ordered, otherwise 8-2 will have a black and a white, and we all know what problems that leads to in using the white as a hot conductor).
    Wouldn't the issue really be that there are unqualified people working on things they have no business messing with? The electrons have no idea what color insulation the wire has.

    Switch loops have been wired for years using this arrangement and continue to function. Again the problem is when an uneducated person fails to realize what they are looking at.

    The Code change is just another example of dumbing things down instead of raising the standards and educational levels.


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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Nope, the planets are not in alignment ... It is possible that that HVAC person ran into a *SMART* HI who pointed out *THE CODE* to him, and he overruled is *IDIOT ELECTRICIAN* who keeps saying it is not a problem.

    Dang, John, you were batting 1000 there ... then you struck out on that last swing.
    The Code clearly allows the re-identification of conductors in a cable assembly. Since the Code is so clearly focused on life safety why would this still be allowed if it was causing so many problems?

    How would safety be enhanced by wasting materials just to get a factory color instead of field re-identification? Why would an unused conductor need to be terminated?

    Wait, just figured it out. So that someone that had no business working with this didn't do anything stupid.


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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Quote Originally Posted by Leigh Goodman View Post
    Being white does not make a wire "the neutral wire". If the wire is connected to nothing at either end then it is abandoned or unused or superfluous or wasteful but it should not be referred to as a neutral wire simply because it is white. It has to perform or be intended to perform the function of neutral to be called a neutral wire. In this disconnect there is no neutral wire and none is needed in that each of the "hot" conductors performs the function of neutral for the opposite conductor. Stop calling these white wires "Neutral"and the misunderstandings may disappear.
    I cast my vote for not using the term sub panel.

    First off a white wire is a NEUTRAL WIRE , PERIOD !!!!!! It is not to be used for anything else !!!!! If it is used as a ground you have to strip the coating off or mark it with green marking tape.... If it is used as a power wire it has to be marked . If it is a traveler in a lighting circuit it has to be marked......

    There are two colors that can not used for anything else

    white for neutral and
    green for ground ..........

    and thats per the NFPA electrical code.....The white or light grey being used only as a neutral happened about three code changes ago.....

    dave


  57. #57
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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Maybe from now on the white will always, and automatically, be neutral, but I doubt it. We will encounter many wires in our inspections that were installed four code changes ago, are white, and are or are not marked with tape or permanent color. Some of these will be ungrounded, current carrying conductors. If inspectors take this absolute statement ("white wire is neutral wire, period") to heart there will be more mistaken reporting on the subject and much derision of the inspector who appears to not understand neutral.

    Take for example the disconnect originally cited in this discussion. I cannot see the termination at the panel nor the termination at the equipment served but I am 99% sure that the white wires are not being used as neutral. With a couple of minutes of investigation I could be 100% sure it is or is not being used as a neutral conductor.

    How would an inspector report this? "White wire is NEUTRAL,PERIOD. The white wires at the a/c disconnect are not being utilized as neutral. Have electrician remedy."

    If white is used as a traveler in a lighting circuit, then what color is used for neutral in that circuit?


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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    The Code clearly allows the re-identification of conductors in a cable assembly. Since the Code is so clearly focused on life safety why would this still be allowed if it was causing so many problems?
    Jim,

    Correct - the code CLEARLY ALLOWS for the re-identification of conductors. Whether in a cable assembly or not.

    However, the code also clearly divides that re-identification into to categories:

    1) The re-identification of colors other than white or green as white and green are specifically 'non-ungrounded' (i.e., not allowed to be used for 'hot') conductors.

    2) The re-identification of colors used for ungrounded conductors.

    Therein lies the difference in safely re-identifying the conductors.

    The conductors in 1) are permitted to be re-identified only if done "permanently", "at all terminations", and "where ever visible and accessible".

    The conductors in 2) are permitted to be re-identified ... basically at will, by whatever means is available, and that method does not require the re-identification to be permanent.

    This is *WITHOUT REGARD TO* whether or not there are skilled workers working on those conductors.

    Your statements seem top reflect that only unskilled and unknowing workers are subject to electrical shock or electrocution due to errors. That statement would imply that only people working on residential projects make errors and are shocked or electrocuted.

    News Flash! In case you were not aware of it, the average Joe Homeowner you are referring to is not allowed in an industrial setting, let alone work on industrial equipment. Those same re-identification rules apply to (using your implication here) 'all those jerks who don't know any better working on industrial equipment in that industrial setting' ... er ... that does not make a lot of sense, does it? Are you one of 'those jerks'?

    Those guys are trained and skilled, and, yes, they make errors too. Whatever can be done reasonably to reduce errors and thereby reduce electrical accidents is done on a reasonably minimum basis - that is what code is: minimum, established on a reasonable basis.

    Leaving us back at: Gee, guess what is in the code? Yeppers, you guessed it: The above stated re-identification of conductors based on what color the insulation is.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  59. #59
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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Belisle View Post
    First off a white wire is a NEUTRAL WIRE , PERIOD !!!!!! It is not to be used for anything else !!!!!
    Dave,

    Totally incorrect.

    A white wire is a "GROUNDED CONDUCTOR".

    It may or may not be a "NEUTRAL".


    If it is used as a ground you have to strip the coating off or mark it with green marking tape.... If it is used as a power wire it has to be marked . If it is a traveler in a lighting circuit it has to be marked......
    That is only partially correct.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  60. #60
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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    As a litigation specialist I see that you have learned to twist words to suit your own purposes. The Code needs to be enforced and interpreted as the words were written, not as you see the intent.

    What I said was a properly trained individual would recognize that a white wire used on a 240 volt circuit was a hot wire. I doubt that too many electricians would not know that an air conditioner or water heater did not have nor need a neutral. I do not mean someone that just does electrical work. There is quite a difference between pulling wires and knowing what you are working on and the dangers and implications of working in the electrical field.

    You , JP, stated "1) The re-identification of colors other than white or green as white and green are specifically 'non-ungrounded' (i.e., not allowed to be used for 'hot') conductors.

    However, reading what is really written in 200.7 (C), 2002 ed. states.

    (C) Circuits of 50 volts or more. the use of insualtion that is white or gray or that has three continous white stripes for a grounded conductor for circuits of 50 volts or more shall be permitted only in (1) through (3).

    (1) If part of a cable assembly and where the insulation is permanently reidentified to indicate its use as an ungrounded conductor, by painting or other effective means at its termination, and at each location where the conductor is visible and accessible.

    2) Clearly allows the use of the white conductor as a hot feed to a single pole switch, or in 3 way and 4 way switch loops provided the same reidentification is provided.

    I realize that this does not support your logic but this is what is allowed and is the only thing that can be enforced. It does not matter what your personal spin is on this.

    Due to the influx of lesser trained workers the Code is adapting and trying to make things more idiot proof. Meanwhile the world is making better idiots.

    As far as calling me a jerk, I think that since you do not know my qualifications nor experience, nor of others on this board, you are making assumptions that should not be made.

    You seem to feel threatened when others with abilities and knowledge disagree with you. News flash for you, the Code is a complex document and requires that when read all pre-concieved notions are left at the door so that the real meaning comes through. A lot of "knowledge" that has been learned may have no real backing and is a result of hearsay or misinterpretation.


  61. #61
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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Quote Originally Posted by Leigh Goodman View Post
    are white, and are or are not marked with tape or permanent color.
    Leigh,

    Crimeny, man, that is what I have been pointing out here for years - there is no "or" and not "tape" for that use.

    The code states "permanently re-identified" and tape is not "permanent".

    Tape can be used to re-identify a black wire to a white wire - no problemo. That does not require a permanent re-identification.

    Also, for clarification:

    Maybe from now on the white will always, and automatically, be neutral, but I doubt it. We will encounter many wires in our inspections that were installed four code changes ago,
    In 1935, the "identified" conductor (i.e., the 'grounded' conductor) was required to be permanently and continuously identified ... which typically was a molded in ridge or ridges in the insulation.

    In 1937, that identification was changed to: (note, this is referring to the 'grounded' conductor)

    From the 1937.
    - 2006. Identified Conductor in Identified Circuits Only. Conductors having white or natural-gray covering shall not be used other than as conductors for which identification is required by this section except under the following conditions:
    - - a. Identified conductors, rendered permanently un-identified by painting or other effective means at each outlet where the conductors are visible and accessible, may be used as unidentified conductors.
    - - - The forgoing permits the use of two-wire cable having one black and one white conductor on 2-wire circuits tapped from the outside legs of a 3-wire system or any two conductors of multiwire system if the identified conductor of the two-wire cable is rendered permanently unidentified at terminals.
    - - b. Cable containing an identified conductor may be used for single-pole switch loops if the connections are so made that the unidentified conductor is the return conductor from the switch to the outlet.
    - - - This exception makes it unnecessary to paint the terminal of the identified conductor at the switch outlet.

    The two above smaller text notes would, I presume, have been treated as a FPN in today's NEC, as explanatory information, but not enforceable - just explaining what was intended in a simple language manner.

    You will note that, all the way back to 1937, the NEC picked up white as the grounded conductor, and, using it for anything other than the grounded conductor meant just what it means today "rendered permanently un-identified by painting or other effective means".

    In reviewing back to the 1935 NEC and before (I started at 1905 and went forward 1935, not finding reference to color, skipped up to 1959, finding it, then working back to where it was/was not to find out when it came into being - that would be 'it was' in 1937 / 'was not' in 1935) I noticed that the original "identification" was simply that - any continuous means used to 'identify" one conductor from another was acceptable. Take a look at lamp cord today, you will see that same 'identification' means: i.e., one side has ridges/the other does not, or, one side has writing/the other does not.

    Thus, "by painting" would, to me, indicate that was the method to be used for white color, and the "other effective means" was the method to be used for those other means of identification such as those ridges, etc.

    If the "identified" conductor was "identified" by ridges, the "other effective means" would be 'remove the ridges', which would cause it to be "rendered permanently un-identified".

    The b. exception above in 1937 has been removed, those now (and for quite some time) have required permanent re-identification.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  62. #62
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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Jerry,
    I did not say that this is the way it should be ( i.e. marked or not marked with tape or paint or a hand written note). I said this is what we will encounter by which I meant " be careful about saying a white wire is always a neutral conductor.
    I find wires all the time that have not been correctly re-identified. I imagine that you do also.
    O.k., I said four codes ago because some one said it was changed three codes ago and I went back in time one step and of course was called out because it was actually more like 44 codes ago. I can see how my statement was inaccurate. So here is my amended statement: We will encounter wires in our inspection that were installed today, tomorrow, next week and next year which are not re-identified or are re- identified improperly. Some of these white wires will prove to be ungrounded , current carrying conductors...

    I have used permanent marking to re-identify white insulation for more than a decade. I have never(that's right- never!) seen any other white wire re-identified with anything but black tape. I am not saying this is right. I am saying this is what I have encountered and will probably continue to encounter.

    Kentucky inspectors are prohibited from saying that any condition does or does not satisfy code.


  63. #63
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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Leigh,

    Crimeny, man, that is what I have been pointing out here for years - there is no "or" and not "tape" for that use.

    The code states "permanently re-identified" and tape is not "permanent". If you read 200.7(C) it states by painting or other effective means. I have not seen tape fall off all that readily. If you need to remove the tape due to repurposing the wire the tape has done its job.

    Tape can be used to re-identify a black wire to a white wire - no problemo. That does not require a permanent re-identification.

    Article 200.6 requires conductors smaller than #6 are required to have the proper color insulation for their function along their entire length. Conductors larger than #6 can use a variety of methods including tape at terminations.

    Read 310.12(C) which states "Conductors shall be finished to be clearly distinguishable from grounded and grounding conductors.



    Also, for clarification:



    In 1935, the "identified" conductor (i.e., the 'grounded' conductor) was required to be permanently and continuously identified ... which typically was a molded in ridge or ridges in the insulation.

    In 1937, that identification was changed to: (note, this is referring to the 'grounded' conductor)

    From the 1937.
    - 2006. Identified Conductor in Identified Circuits Only. Conductors having white or natural-gray covering shall not be used other than as conductors for which identification is required by this section except under the following conditions:
    - - a. Identified conductors, rendered permanently un-identified by painting or other effective means at each outlet where the conductors are visible and accessible, may be used as unidentified conductors.
    - - - The forgoing permits the use of two-wire cable having one black and one white conductor on 2-wire circuits tapped from the outside legs of a 3-wire system or any two conductors of multiwire system if the identified conductor of the two-wire cable is rendered permanently unidentified at terminals.
    - - b. Cable containing an identified conductor may be used for single-pole switch loops if the connections are so made that the unidentified conductor is the return conductor from the switch to the outlet.
    - - - This exception makes it unnecessary to paint the terminal of the identified conductor at the switch outlet.

    The two above smaller text notes would, I presume, have been treated as a FPN in today's NEC, as explanatory information, but not enforceable - just explaining what was intended in a simple language manner.

    You will note that, all the way back to 1937, the NEC picked up white as the grounded conductor, and, using it for anything other than the grounded conductor meant just what it means today "rendered permanently un-identified by painting or other effective means".

    In reviewing back to the 1935 NEC and before (I started at 1905 and went forward 1935, not finding reference to color, skipped up to 1959, finding it, then working back to where it was/was not to find out when it came into being - that would be 'it was' in 1937 / 'was not' in 1935) I noticed that the original "identification" was simply that - any continuous means used to 'identify" one conductor from another was acceptable. Take a look at lamp cord today, you will see that same 'identification' means: i.e., one side has ridges/the other does not, or, one side has writing/the other does not.

    Thus, "by painting" would, to me, indicate that was the method to be used for white color, and the "other effective means" was the method to be used for those other means of identification such as those ridges, etc.

    If the "identified" conductor was "identified" by ridges, the "other effective means" would be 'remove the ridges', which would cause it to be "rendered permanently un-identified".

    The b. exception above in 1937 has been removed, those now (and for quite some time) have required permanent re-identification.
    I have inserted my comments in blue type. I also used one of your quotes and it was italicized.

    Again truncating the wording changes the meaning.

    Last edited by Jim Port; 08-25-2008 at 11:04 AM. Reason: added ref to 200.6

  64. #64
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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Regional argot may have caused me to mis-interpret a previous statement by Dave Belisle about using the white wire as a traveler in a lighting circuit. Here, we refer to the black and red wires that travel between three way switches as the "travelers". When the black and white are used to carry current from fixture to single pole switch and back we refer to it as a "switch leg" and I see it here referenced as a "switch loop". So if it was a switch loop that Dave was referring to when he said traveler, then I understand which wire is used to establish neutral.


  65. #65
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    Default Re: AC breaker installation

    Quote Originally Posted by Leigh Goodman View Post
    I did not say that this is the way it should be ( i.e. marked or not marked with tape or paint or a hand written note). I said this is what we will encounter by which I meant " be careful about saying a white wire is always a neutral conductor.
    My apologies.

    I find wires all the time that have not been correctly re-identified. I imagine that you do also.
    I doubt you have ever found any "permanently" re-identified "properly".


    O.k., I said four codes ago because some one said it was changed three codes ago and I went back in time one step and of course was called out because it was actually more like 44 codes ago. I can see how my statement was inaccurate. So here is my amended statement: We will encounter wires in our inspection that were installed today, tomorrow, next week and next year which are not re-identified or are re- identified improperly. Some of these white wires will prove to be ungrounded , current carrying conductors...
    I was simply pointing out - *to all* - that "white" = "grounded conductor" = "permanently re-identified" goes back way before the beginning of time ... okay, it only goes back to 1937.

    Kentucky inspectors are prohibited from saying that any condition does or does not satisfy code.
    Been through this with Erby ... no you are not. You are just prohibited from doing so on your initial inspection.

    So, drive up and park, do you initial inspection "Yep, this is the house with that address on that street.", then go up and do 'your follow-up inspection' - in which case you can now say the "code" word.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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