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Master Electrician - Ontario
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know, the title sounds interesting, but not so much LOL

I have contamination on a 1200 amp 600 volt service entrance...

Water leaking from the XFmr into the service entrance. Looks like someone tried the spray foam option with a failure.

I would say the white goo is calcium from the concrete, but it is concentrated only in the corner and around the copper ground conductor.

It is also directly below the conduit entry, so I was wondering it it was some wire lube that has been washing down the conduit over the years, but if that is the case, it should not be eating the copper wire and buss. It has the consistency of oatmeal, so it is wet and lumpy and does not seem to be a by product of the sprayfoam.

I want to be able to neutralize this before we make any repairs.

Anybody have any thoughts?

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John
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm not saying it is, but how did you come to that assumption?
The foam to me seems to be separate from this and I did not se the white goo inside or seeping from the foam. But you are right, it could be related, seems like a lot more white goo then spray foam though...

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John
 

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It looks like there is significant corrosion on that enclosure where the white stuff seems to be dripping down. It almost looks like the spray foam didn't work and someone tried something else that may be more corrosive than the spray foam?

What does that bare copper conductor go to? Pass through the bottom to a ground rod or building steel or ????
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
It looks like there is significant corrosion on that enclosure where the white stuff seems to be dripping down. It almost looks like the spray foam didn't work and someone tried something else that may be more corrosive than the spray foam?

What does that bare copper conductor go to? Pass through the bottom to a ground rod or building steel or ????
I think it is supposed to go to the copper buss in the bottom of the cabinet that you can see on the other side, but the way it is now, the cable is just floating there and the buss or whatever connector / lug does not seem long enough to connect it.
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John
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Maybe try some sealant at the vault end. I’ve seen this advertised but never tried it myself:

Yes, I am familiar with this protect and already have talked to the utility about sealing their end of the vault.

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John
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
This is called efflorescence. Basically it is crystalized salt, I see it often in dirt basements around here.

The water absorbed salts from the soil/concrete, leaked inside the enclosure and evaporated, leaving the minerals behind.
You can usually just wash it off with water. Make sure you soak up all the excess water used to wash it off, or it may just appear again.
I was thinking that at first, but the consistency of oatmeal with no feeling of "crystals" at all leads me to think something different.

I was considering using some baking soda, like you do on batteries to see if it makes a difference. If this is the case, I am not sure where the salt is coming from; the vault has a gravel pit and it appears to be coming from the conduit.

Cheers

John
 

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If I had to guess I would say;
Conduit leaked causing the rust and basic corrasion.
Someone spray foamed it to try and fix.
Someone else tried to fix it when spray foam failed and the conduit was full of water due to foam.
Whatever they used the second time just mixed with water and flowed into enclosure as "oatmeal".
 
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