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Old 05-07-2017, 08:08 PM   #1
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Default Troubleshoot

Today I did a short troubleshoot which led to a scheduled 200A upgrade...

The existing 100A service is old... it has a 60' service drop ! (Vertical and horizontal)

The service cable is extremely damaged and lost 1 phase.

The strange thing or maybe not is when they turn the stove on which is only getting 120V it powers up the second phase and the rest of the house turns on.... the stove is backfeeding the panel on the lost phase...

Sounds funny but can this actually be normal ?


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Old 05-07-2017, 08:21 PM   #2
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Yes, that's common. However it still means the whole thing is fed from the same leg, so on any MWBCs the neutral is overloaded.

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Old 05-07-2017, 08:28 PM   #3
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Yes, that's common. However it still means the whole thing is fed from the same leg, so on any MWBCs the neutral is overloaded.

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This is true, but also remember that you are limited to whatever 240V item is turned on. How much current will actually flow thru that one burner on the stove?
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Old 05-07-2017, 08:32 PM   #4
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This is true, but also remember that you are limited to whatever 240V item is turned on. How much current will actually flow thru that one burner on the stove?


The burners aren't even turning on , no heat at all


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Old 05-07-2017, 08:40 PM   #5
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The burners aren't even turning on , no heat at all


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The burner is on, but it's not getting hot because very little current is flowing and at half the voltage.

If you were to turn more items on in the house on that dead leg, you may start to feel a little bit of heat from the burner
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Old 05-07-2017, 08:58 PM   #6
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This is part of the service where it rises up , it makes me cringe to have to do this , but do I have other options


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Old 05-07-2017, 09:05 PM   #7
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The same thing should happen with other 240V items such as the dryer and (if wired for it) baseboard heaters.
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Old 05-07-2017, 09:20 PM   #8
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Too bad there aren't more UG services where you're at, that takes a lot of the ugliness out of it.

We're all pipe and wire over here, no SE cable to speak of. Getting a mast bent around that eve and up that pitched roof would look like crap no matter how good you are at bending pipe.

I'm just glad it's you and not me!
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Old 05-07-2017, 09:22 PM   #9
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Sounds funny but can this actually be normal ?


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very common

stove burner is now resister in series with other loads, if you draw it, you will realize it's obvious
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Old 05-07-2017, 09:22 PM   #10
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Too bad there aren't more UG services where you're at
Even though the neighborhood doesn't have the electric underground, you can run it underground yourself to the pole. It's what a lot of the nicer new houses do. If the pole is on the other side of the street, you have to have a pole set on your side, but it's a much shorter pole.

The problem is that it is expensive so the customer usually opts for overhead.
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Old 05-08-2017, 12:20 AM   #11
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Just had a customer call and told me what they were seeing, I had them turn off every two pole breaker until I got there. I knew it was a dropped hot just by the symptoms. I see it a lot more of it with old 60 amp fused services.
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Old 05-08-2017, 09:41 AM   #12
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I would try to take that service underground also. Even if you have to bore it in. Probably add a grand or so and normally is an easy sell.
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Old 05-08-2017, 09:48 AM   #13
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I would try to take that service underground also. Even if you have to bore it in. Probably add a grand or so and normally is an easy sell.
A grand sounds light.

Overhead services are provided by the power company, they install the overhead lateral. Underground services are almost always the responsibility of the homeowner, they have to provide and install everything including the trench, the conduit, the cables, and usually conduit 10' up the pole plus enough cable to go all the way up the pole.

The last 2 underground services I did were about $1,500 more than if it were overhead and that's with the homeowner doing all the trench work including backfill. That made a huge mess of their front lawn.
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Old 05-08-2017, 09:58 AM   #14
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Quote:
Today I did a short troubleshoot which led to a scheduled 200A upgrade...
That's the name of the game, cha ching.
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Old 05-08-2017, 11:12 AM   #15
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A grand sounds light.

Overhead services are provided by the power company, they install the overhead lateral. Underground services are almost always the responsibility of the homeowner, they have to provide and install everything including the trench, the conduit, the cables, and usually conduit 10' up the pole plus enough cable to go all the way up the pole.

The last 2 underground services I did were about $1,500 more than if it were overhead and that's with the homeowner doing all the trench work including backfill. That made a huge mess of their front lawn.
Offhand I would say this is dependent on the poco, we have had many that will provide the wire in a speced conduit install for a rsidential service only
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Old 05-08-2017, 11:57 AM   #16
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Offhand I would say this is dependent on the poco, we have had many that will provide the wire in a speced conduit install for a rsidential service only
True.

When my parents built their house my father really lucked out in that the PoCo was willing to install the underground cable and even set a pole on his side of the street. All he had to do was dig the trench and pipe a sleeve up to the meter and another one 10' up the pole.

But in my experience this doesn't happen often. This was for a new house that was going to be too far from the road for an overhead line to reach. In the case of a service upgrade on an existing house, I've never seen the PoCo foot the bill to switch from overhead to underground.
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Old 05-08-2017, 12:03 PM   #17
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True.

When my parents built their house my father really lucked out in that the PoCo was willing to install the underground cable and even set a pole on his side of the street. All he had to do was dig the trench and pipe a sleeve up to the meter and another one 10' up the pole.

But in my experience this doesn't happen often.
Setting a pole is something that does not come for free from ay of the pocos that come to miind, this normally has a $500 too $750 price tag depending. Your father did luck out. We just had a job that the poco insisted that the conduit riser on the pole was rigid and that was unexpected and costly for the number of poles involved on the site. They do call the shots, much topping from the bottom if you will.
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Old 05-08-2017, 02:10 PM   #18
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A grand sounds light.



Overhead services are provided by the power company, they install the overhead lateral. Underground services are almost always the responsibility of the homeowner, they have to provide and install everything including the trench, the conduit, the cables, and usually conduit 10' up the pole plus enough cable to go all the way up the pole.



The last 2 underground services I did were about $1,500 more than if it were overhead and that's with the homeowner doing all the trench work including backfill. That made a huge mess of their front lawn.


I agree ... sounds very tight.... this is an emergency situation as they run a business from the home... I seriously don't want my name on that ugliness but I don't think I have many options given the situation


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Old 05-08-2017, 05:43 PM   #19
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I was just on a troubleshoot last week where one leg was lost underground coming from the transformer. I called the power company and they brought out a device called a Power Back
This device is a portable transformer that creates 120/240V from a single 120V leg. I had never seen this before but it worked well and supplied 20 Kva or 200 amps while the underground feed was replaced.
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Old 05-09-2017, 05:02 PM   #20
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This is part of the service where it rises up , it makes me cringe to have to do this , but do I have other options


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If you can't handle heights you are in the wrong trade.


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