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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I've been licensed since 2005 and I work in exclusively Commercial / Industrial projects through a Contractor. I have never changed an overhead mast before, and have decided to undertake this favour for a Family friend who's mast was damaged from a recent Ice Storm we had here in Toronto.

I noticed that the existing mast only carries two current carrying conductors, and a ground wire. I would have assumed that from the utility transformer (120/240V) that it would have brought across two split-phase (single phase) 120V lines, a neutral, and a #6 AWG ground wire.

I am now faced with the challenge of understanding how/where this residential service can achieve 120/240V with only two insulated conductors, and how to go about the replacement of this old Mast with only that harbours a Black, a Red, a White, and a #6AWG ground conductor.

Can anyone please shed some light for me?
 

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Estwing magic
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Hey guys, I've been licensed since 2005 and I work in exclusively Commercial / Industrial projects through a Contractor. I have never changed an overhead mast before, and have decided to undertake this favour for a Family friend who's mast was damaged from a recent Ice Storm we had here in Toronto.

I noticed that the existing mast only carries two current carrying conductors, and a ground wire. I would have assumed that from the utility transformer (120/240V) that it would have brought across two split-phase (single phase) 120V lines, a neutral, and a #6 AWG ground wire.

I am now faced with the challenge of understanding how/where this residential service can achieve 120/240V with only two insulated conductors, and how to go about the replacement of this old Mast with only that harbours a Black, a Red, a White, and a #6AWG ground conductor.



Can anyone please shed some light for me?
The bare conductor is your neutral. The utility does not provide a ground. Your ground will likely be coming from a plate, a rod or connection to the municipal water system.
 

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You have any friends that do residential you can ask for local coded and tips?

How old is your friends panel?
 

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I would expect to see 2 insulated and 1 non insulated coming in for feed but not through the riser. Sounds like someone needed some wire and the POCO guy was friendly :whistling2::whistling2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm just skimming through the code book, and I notice particular specs on the type of cable allowed to be run up the service mast, of the list provided (6-302) I don't see RW90 insulated cable, I suppose this means I have to stick to insulation types listed under that sub rule.

And yes, to answer to your question, the existing service does run a bare neutral through the mast.
 

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I still run across bare neutral run in underground 100 amp service on older houses from lets say around 1965 .
 

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ShaneDugas said:
I would expect to see 2 insulated and 1 non insulated coming in for feed but not through the riser. Sounds like someone needed some wire and the POCO guy was friendly :whistling2::whistling2:
rrolleston said:
I have never seen this method used before. Was this a temp setup?
It is completely legal in the CEC to use a bare neutral but only for services. You can use copper or aluminum. AL is only permitted in aluminum or nonmetallic raceways.
 

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Do you have access to insulated gloves and leather protectors at work? These are a must to do this job safely. Also use a fiberglass ladder. Turn the main breaker off in the panel so there is no load on the triplex when you cut it ahead of the old splices. After removing the old mast and meter base, make sure the conductors going from the load side of the meter base to the panel are sized properly and in good condition. If the load side conductors can be easily replaced, go ahead and do it while you are in there. Once you have installed the new mast and meter base, it's time to make your new splices up with your hot gloves. I use set screw butt splices made by Thomas and Betts, available at Lowes or Home Depot. Get them good and tight and wrap them with plenty of super 88. Don't forget to use penetrox if using aluminum conductors. All material to do this job is available at your local Lowes/home depot, including the new meter base and anything you might need to properly ground the service (ground rods, clamps). It's funny how many "friends of the family" I seem to have come out of the woodwork after a big storm for projects like these...good luck to you!
 

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The utility must do the disconnect and reconnect, and they will only reconnect after it has passed inspection.

I know you want to help your friends... but if you get caught....
 

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In a sane and ideal world the poco would give 2 insulated hots, an insulated neutral and a bare ground. In reality their bare messenger doubles as both. So its only 3 wires.

You could use SER cable or if its not locally allowed conduit with XHHW.
 

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daks said:
The utility must do the disconnect and reconnect, and they will only reconnect after it has passed inspection.

I know you want to help your friends... but if you get caught....
I can't imagine having to go through all that till I can turn power back on again.
 

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Estwing magic
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I can't imagine having to go through all that till I can turn power back on again.
Most utilities around here will do the disconnect in the morning and come back to do the reconnect in the afternoon. They do their own visual inspection and reconnect as long as a permit has been pulled. If it's a simple panel change out, they sometimes pull the meter but provide a meter jumper so power can be restored to the building ASAP.

Those areas that require an electrical inspection prior to reconnect are a real PITA. It's the middle of winter, there's a house cooling down and you're standing around, scratching your @ss and waiting on people. Not good.
 
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