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Need help with running a 4 wire range line..... archaeologist welcome ;)

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As you may have guessed I am trying to run this line into a 4 throw 60-80's split bus panel.

Have a few questions, for one the breaker I would be running to is the second from the top left side, it is already empty and was previously used for an electric range, just bought the house so not sure when.

A bit skittish about working on an always hot bus, but that is not my primary concern.

As you can tell from the pictures there seems to be another major line coming in from the bottom tapped into the mains (lines coming from the actual electrical les outside) on top. This concerns me because I cannot follow this line without some wall demo to see where this is going to, obviously it is hot because it is connected with the mains, but it has no breaker.

There are two subpanels, one for the water heater and another for the garage and breezeway. I am hoping it is powering one of those, a line like that with no kind of breaker seems a bit dangerous.

Anyways, as you can also see the massive neutral strand at the bottom is touching the grounding wire, is this a problem, would that make it choose the ground instead of the neutral for return?

And speaking of the ground, I went outside, found the ground rod going into the ground and there is nothing attached, this leads me to believe that the ground coming out of the breaker box may not even be attached to anything for proper emergency grounding.

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