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Thread: Panel supply cable

  1. #1
    Engineering Technician The old college try's Avatar
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    Default Panel supply cable

    I'm getting ready to replace my panel in the near future and I have a few things I'm still trying to figure out. From the picture can anyone tell me if it's ok to have the supply cable sweep down like it currently does into the panel, or will it need to be protected in conduit or something? Same thing for the large cable (#6?) that runs down beside the panel and enters through the bottom. Any concerns?
    Last edited by The old college try; 06-16-2010 at 05:48 PM.

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    I am not sure about these days, but back in the "old days" if a wire could be damaged it had to be enclosed/protected somehow. That wiring job looks like "Topsy", it just grew and kept growing whenever a new wire was needed.

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    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    I wouldn't feel real comfortable changing that water filter there either.

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    Engineering Technician The old college try's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    I am not sure about these days, but back in the "old days" if a wire could be damaged it had to be enclosed/protected somehow. That wiring job looks like "Topsy", it just grew and kept growing whenever a new wire was needed.
    Yeah, it's an 80 year old house, so it seems that every previous owner jacked things up more and more and time went on. I've had to fix alot of problems over the last 5 years.

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    Engineering Technician The old college try's Avatar
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    Well, I made a new discovery. I went out to look at the meter to see what size of conduit the cable is enclosed in. To my surprise, the cable down to the meter is in conduit, however the cable leading down from the meter along the exterior wall is not protected in conduit. It's exactly as seen in the picture, except one of the previous owners decided to paint over it. It just enters the house through a hole that's loaded with caulk. I guess I never really noticed since it's painted. Great.. there's another cost. Was this to code at some point?
    Last edited by The old college try; 06-10-2010 at 05:43 PM.

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    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cacher_chick View Post
    I wouldn't feel real comfortable changing that water filter there either.
    WHY????
    Will the mean electricity jump out of the closed panel and sealed wiring, and grab you while you are all soaking wet from chaning a simple water filter?
    Answers based on the 2008 & 2011 NEC. If you're on the '14 already I feel sorry for you.

  7. #7
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The old college try View Post
    Well, I made a new discovery. I went out to look at the meter to see what size of conduit the cable is enclosed in. To my surprise, the cable down to the meter is in conduit, however the cable leading down from the meter along the exterior wall is not protected in conduit. It's exactly as seen in the picture, except one of the previous owners decided to paint over it. It just enters the house through a hole that's loaded with caulk. I guess I never really noticed since it's painted. Great.. there's another cost. Was this to code at some point?
    Absolutely yes. In most areas this is perfectly FINE.

    If it is conduit on the top side is it a mast that goes through the roof?
    Answers based on the 2008 & 2011 NEC. If you're on the '14 already I feel sorry for you.

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    Engineering Technician The old college try's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
    Absolutely yes. In most areas this is perfectly FINE.
    So, can I just leave it as is? Also if it's exposed on the outside where it can get hit by weed wackers and stuff, is it really that bad to have exposed in the house, or should I still try to enclose it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
    If it is conduit on the top side is it a mast that goes through the roof?
    Yes. The conduit runs up through the soffit to a mast about 2 feet above the roof where it then goes to the pole.

  9. #9
    Nuclear Engineer nukeman's Avatar
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    Exposed SE cable is really common around here. On my house, it is exposed after the mast (mast to meter and meter to panel).

  10. #10
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The old college try View Post
    So, can I just leave it as is? Also if it's exposed on the outside where it can get hit by weed wackers and stuff, is it really that bad to have exposed in the house, or should I still try to enclose it?
    If it is truly subject to physical damage it should be covered or sleeved. 90% of the time it is left exposed around here.



    Quote Originally Posted by The old college try View Post
    Yes. The conduit runs up through the soffit to a mast about 2 feet above the roof where it then goes to the pole.
    This is a mast service. Then the metal conduit is not to protect the wire, it is for structural support of the overhead drop.
    Answers based on the 2008 & 2011 NEC. If you're on the '14 already I feel sorry for you.

  11. #11
    Engineering Technician The old college try's Avatar
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    Ok, well considering all that, do you suggest that I do anything with the cable, or just leave as is and run to the new panel?

  12. #12
    DIY Member bsperr's Avatar
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    You may want to check with your electrical inspector on how farthey'll allow you to run your service conductor into the home without over-current protection. You may have to install a disconnect outside if you don't already have one.
    Last edited by bsperr; 06-11-2010 at 01:03 PM.

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    Engineering Technician The old college try's Avatar
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    ng
    Quote Originally Posted by bsperr View Post
    You may want to check with your electrical inspector on how farthey'll allow you to run your service conductor into the home without over-current protection. You may have to install a disconnect outside if you don't already have one.
    Hmm. I suppose I'll have to make a list of questions for him. The panel is really only 3 feet from where it enters my house. Is that really a long distance compared to what would be 'typically' acceptable? If I end up running a new cable from the meter to go in through the top of the panel, would it be better to make the horizontal run along the inside or outside of the house. Secondly, is there an advantage to going with 2/0 copper over 4/0 aluminum? The price difference really isn't much for the 10 feet that I'll need... maybe $15 at most.

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    DIY Member bsperr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The old college try View Post
    ng

    Hmm. I suppose I'll have to make a list of questions for him. The panel is really only 3 feet from where it enters my house. Is that really a long distance compared to what would be 'typically' acceptable? If I end up running a new cable from the meter to go in through the top of the panel, would it be better to make the horizontal run along the inside or outside of the house. Secondly, is there an advantage to going with 2/0 copper over 4/0 aluminum? The price difference really isn't much for the 10 feet that I'll need... maybe $15 at most.
    Hopefully your inspector will let you go three feet without overcurrent protection, but I think you should check just to be sure. My inspector interprets the "nearest the point of entry" language in the NEC to mean immediately, so we have to have a disconnect unless the meter pan and breaker panel are back-to-back, so that the service conductors are just in one stud bay. I used 4/0 AL SER for my service upgrade. I think that copper would be easier to work with, but the AL wasn't that bad

  15. #15
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The old college try View Post
    The panel is really only 3 feet from where it enters my house. Is that really a long distance compared to what would be 'typically' acceptable?
    Not at all. Typically 5'-6' is the range of distance for this.
    Only about 10% of places require an outside disconnect, and this is typically in the southwest.
    It's worth asking I guess, but if there is not one now chances are you do not need to install one.
    Answers based on the 2008 & 2011 NEC. If you're on the '14 already I feel sorry for you.

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