CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY, IT'S FREE!
Go Back   Electrician Talk - Professional Electrical Contractors Forum > Electrical Trade Topics > NEC Code Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 11-27-2010, 10:06 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Montreal Canada
Posts: 170
Rewards Points: 150
Default tap conductor vs service conductor

I just read the article about service conductors, feeders and branch circuits.

I'm guessing it's the tap conductor thing I'm having more problems with


Last edited by guitarboyled; 11-27-2010 at 10:19 AM.
guitarboyled is offline   Reply With Quote
Join Contractor Talk

Join the #1 Electrician Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

ElectricianTalk.com - Are you a Professional Electrical Contractor? If so we invite you to join our community and see what it has to offer. Our site is specifically designed for you and it's the leading place for electricians to meet online. No homeowners asking DIY questions. Just fellow tradesmen who enjoy talking about their business, their trade, and anything else that comes up. No matter what your specialty is you'll find that ElectricianTalk.com is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally free!

Join ElectricianTalk.com - Click Here JOIN FOR FREE


Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. ElectricianTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!

Old 11-27-2010, 10:27 AM   #2
Moderator

 
Dennis Alwon's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Posts: 15,762
Rewards Points: 3,072
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarboyled View Post
I just read the article about service conductors, feeders and branch circuits.

I'm guessing it's the tap conductor thing I'm having more problems with
And your question is??????





Last edited by Dennis Alwon; 11-27-2010 at 10:30 AM.
Dennis Alwon is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2010, 10:39 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Mike in Canada's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 649
Rewards Points: 500
Default

Service conductors are the supply to a service. Taps come out of a service to power other things.
Mike in Canada is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2010, 10:52 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Montreal Canada
Posts: 170
Rewards Points: 150
Default

I read the definition but I guess it's hard for me to visualise what a tap conductor is.

"Basically a conductor is considered a tap conductor where it has overcurrent protection higher than its rated ampacity."

Does this mean for instance the rated ampacity of 14 AWG is 20 amps but if the conductor is protected by a 30 amp fuse or breaker it becomes a tap conductor?

Last edited by guitarboyled; 11-27-2010 at 11:04 AM.
guitarboyled is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2010, 11:04 AM   #5
Moderator

 
Dennis Alwon's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Posts: 15,762
Rewards Points: 3,072
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarboyled View Post
I read the definition but I guess it's hard for me to visualise what a tap conductor is.

"Basically a conductor is considered a tap conductor where it has overcurrent protection higher than its rated ampacity."

Does this mean for instance the rated ampacity of 14 AWG is 20 amps but if theconductor is protected by a 30 amp fuse or breaker it becomes a tap conductor?
No, not at all. Take a feeder that is run from a panel to a trough and from there smaller ampacity conductors are spliced or tapped onto the larger feeder. These smaller conductors are not fused at their given ampacity but are protected by the larger feeder conductor. These wires must meet certain conditions, as mention in the graphs above, to be allowed to be protected at the larger ampacity.
Dennis Alwon is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2010, 11:24 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Mike in Canada's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 649
Rewards Points: 500
Default

The CEC and NEC have somewhat different definitions.

What you read is not an unreasonable description, from a CEC point of view.

Say you have a disconnect feeding a trough. The disconnect is a 200A unit, fused at 200A, feeding a 200A trough. The wire from the disconnect to the trough's distribution blocks is 250kcmil, as is appropriate. Now, from the distribution blocks you are feeding half a dozen 60A disconnects fused at 50A, and powering motors. The wire from the distribution block to these 60A disconnects is #6, as is appropriate for the 50A load. The upstream disconnect on these conductors is the 200A disconnect. You have, in that respect, #6 wire protected by a 200A fuse, which is ridiculous. This situation - a conductor protected by a fuse of a higher rating than the conductor - is what makes it a tapped conductor. In practice it isn't protected by the 200A disconnect, but rather by the 50A fuse in the disconnect that it is powering. This is a somewhat dodgy way to do business, because if the tapped conductor shorts out along its length then its over-current protection won't work. This is why tapped conductors are treated specially in 28-110(2) which limits their length and application. The alternative would be to wire up all of your 60A disconnects with 250kcmil conductor. Nope - not gonna do it. The conductor wouldn't even fit in the lugs.

Take a look at the extra info on 28-100 in appendix B of the CEC. There is a diagram there that should be memorized by every Canadian sparky.
Mike in Canada is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2010, 11:27 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Mike in Canada's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 649
Rewards Points: 500
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarboyled View Post
Does this mean for instance the rated ampacity of 14 AWG is 20 amps but if the conductor is protected by a 30 amp fuse or breaker it becomes a tap conductor?
Not in all cases, no. The actual conductor wiring in many devices is smaller than it 'should' be for the amperage it carries, but it's not considered a tap conductor. Calling something a tap conductor implies that there are multiple taps coming from one source.
Mike in Canada is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2010, 03:38 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Montreal Canada
Posts: 170
Rewards Points: 150
Default

If I understand correctly in the following wiring diagram the red wires are tap conductors since a #6AWG wire should be protected by a 60 Amp fuse and not a 200 Amp fuse.

guitarboyled is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2010, 03:44 PM   #9
Moderator

 
Dennis Alwon's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Posts: 15,762
Rewards Points: 3,072
Default

That is correct.
Dennis Alwon is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2010, 03:59 PM   #10
Dr Evil
 
Shockdoc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Long Island,NY & Poconos
Posts: 14,813
Rewards Points: 66
Default

Taps systems are commonly found in laundromats , I've ressurected old 6/3 kitchen feeds to cover both cooktop and wall ovens.
Shockdoc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2010, 04:30 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Montreal Canada
Posts: 170
Rewards Points: 150
Default

The illustration above (provided by Dennis) states the 3 following rules:

1) The tap conductor should have a maximum of 25 ft long
2) The tap conductor should have an ampacity of no less than 1/3 the rating of the protective device
3) The tap conductor should terminate in a single circuit breaker (disconnect safety switch) or set of fuses rated no more than the conductor

The second rule seems to imply that in the example I illustrated:

200 amp x 1/3 = 66.6 Amp

If I understand the NEC, copper wire ampacity with 60/75/90C for #6 AWG is 55/65/75A

Therefore #6 wire wouldn’t be fully adequate for such an installation???

Last edited by guitarboyled; 11-27-2010 at 05:22 PM.
guitarboyled is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2010, 05:03 PM   #12
Moderator

 
Dennis Alwon's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Posts: 15,762
Rewards Points: 3,072
Default

#6 would be fine if the calculated load is 55 amps or less or if you use 75C or 90C conductors. At 75C it is rated 65 amps so why would that not work.

The NEc allows you to use the next higher size breaker if the wire ampacity
does not correspond to a standard size breaker and the load is not larger than the ampacity of the wire.
Dennis Alwon is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2010, 05:13 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Mike in Canada's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 649
Rewards Points: 500
Default

The CEC allows for two situations for a tap. The first is different from the NEC. It allows up to 3m (about 10 feet) of conductor of any size as long as it's protected at the downstream end by a single set of fuses of a size appropriate to the conductor, and run entirely in metal. The other situation is virtually identical to the NEC: up to 7.5m (roughly 25 feet) if it's 'suitably protected' and no less than 1/3 the ampacity of the feeder (still terminating in one set of fuses).
Mike in Canada is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2010, 05:38 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Montreal Canada
Posts: 170
Rewards Points: 150
Default

What’s this 60/75/90c rating by the way? Are these different types of wires? Are we talking about the heat generated by the electricity passing through the wire?

When I go to the store can I purchase 2/14 rated for 60c and 2/14 rated for 75c and 2/14 rated for 90c?

By the way, thanks to everyone helping me out. I really really appreciate this.
guitarboyled is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2010, 05:48 PM   #15
Moderator

 
Dennis Alwon's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Posts: 15,762
Rewards Points: 3,072
Default

I cannot answer for CEC but the NECstates that NM cable is rated 60C. The wire in NM is rated 90C which means it is a higher temp insulation and thus the conductor may be used at a higher ampacity.

In all cases we are always limited by the weakest link. For instance if you use 90C wire and terminate at a breaker then the circuit is really only as good as 75C since almost all breakers today are rated 75C. You can use the 90C for derating but you generally can't protect the wire with OCPD at the higher ampacity.

!2 thhn is rated 90C so it is good for 30 amps. Say we have to derate our conduit because of many wires and we must derate at 70%. 30amps x 70% is still 21 amps so you can still use a 20 amp breaker to protect this wire.
Dennis Alwon is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2010, 09:35 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: ct
Posts: 131
Rewards Points: 75
Default

Excellent job to help this electrician.
wayne g is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2014, 09:09 PM   #17
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Canada
Posts: 1
Rewards Points: 10
Default This may clear up the tap conductor confusion

A Tap conductor is defined in 240.2 as a conductor, other than a
service conductor, that has overcurrent protection ahead of its
point of supply that exceeds the value permitted for similar
conductors that are protected as described in 240.4. Tap
conductors are permitted provided they adhere to the requirements
of 240.21(A)-(G). In addition, 240.21 prohibits tap conductors
from supplying other conductors, except through an overcurrent
protective device meeting the requirements of 240.4. This means
you cant tap a tap.
One common misconception about tap conductors is that
overcurrent protection is not required. However, it should be
noted that in most instances, overcurrent protection is required at
the termination point of the tap conductor by either 240.21(A)-
(G), transformer protection requirements per 450.3, or panelboard
protection requirements per 408.16. In addition, the use of tap
conductors should be limited where possible since tap conductors
have limited short-circuit protection. In fact, besides meeting the
requirements of 240.21, a short-circuit protection analysis of the
tap conductor should also be done per NEC 110.10. The primary
applications of interest to most include feeder taps per 240.21(B)
and transformer taps per 240.21(C). This issue will focus on
feeder taps, the next issue will focus on transformer taps.

Mikewa is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Service conductor sizing Adam12 Services and Service Equipment 6 06-03-2010 11:48 PM
Service Entrance Conductor Marking czars NEC Code Forum 3 01-19-2010 09:39 PM
single grounding conductor from two service duplex roy NEC Code Forum 2 11-27-2009 09:45 AM
grounding electrode conductor and grounded conductor nolabama Services and Service Equipment 6 01-12-2009 02:51 AM
Service conductor derating george nicholson Services and Service Equipment 2 04-22-2008 02:39 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:04 AM.


Copyright 2006-2014 Escalate Media LP. All Rights Reserved
Our Pro Sites Network
ContractorTalk.com | DrywallTalk.com | HVACSite.com | PaintTalk.com | PlumbingZone.com | RoofingTalk.com