Home>Discussions>ELECTRICAL & LIGHTING>Is the entrance cable undersized? (distribution panel)
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Blue RidgeParkway
Re: Is the entrance cable undersized? (distribution panel)
andrew386 wrote:

Thank you all. I will try to get an electrician scheduled after the holiday. By the way, I live in NJ.

then according to NJ's site you're on 2005 just like us with them deleting the requirement for the arc faults and not the 2008 which changed up all the rules on panel boards dont make the mistake like we did following the wrong rules advise from the internet (expensive) make sure yourself that you are 2005 NJ rules.

so you do have that rule on the number of switches for disconnect or accessibility i mentioned and still have rules for light and appliance panelboards defined. cuz otherwise you should have been able to find someone to get on-site 24/7 to give you access to that disconnect in that locked room in a reasonable amount of time, thats what we were told regards multi occupancy locking the equipment room with the main disconnects, that continuous building management supervision ment on-site 24/7 and never being able to leave for vacation or be away for more than an hour or we either couldn't lock the door or had to have main on the load side of the apartment feeders. mabe NJ decides it different. for some reason we also had the option of unlocking door but locking the panel with a padlock but that defeated the purpose of wanting the door to the room locked in the first place (keeping tenants from storing stuff in there blocking the areas needed to be kept clear and tampering with temperature settings on equipment and preventing vandals or theft damage) so we made main disconnect and breakers on the panels for the apartments on the load sides to but it had to be smaller main circuit breaker on the apartment panel then the breakers at the entering service to the feeders.

you know you could have no special feeder disconnect in this eqipment room just so you know, mabe just main lugs and you are feeding another panel for another area or condo and missing the main circuit breaker and disconnect & a back feed kit on your own panel which used to back fed or sub fed another panel with its own main and somebody messed with your panel and didnt replace it that could explain the doulbe wires on the main lugs not right or safe but mabe why. is electric included in the condo fees? thats the way the former owners had done it here before we bought the place.

by the way i see a number of areas on the top back with lock nuts and stuff but can't see where the varnished cloth feeders come in but that seems to me you have metal conduit coming in with those feeders that is your bonding so all that stuff about not having a bare or insulated main grounding wire is prolly just a bunch of drama. your electrician can check out that for you easy.

i sure hope you come back and report your results when you get an electrician inspect to know what HE says.

Re: Is the entrance cable undersized? (distribution panel)

I have been in the electrical field since 1976. That is by far the most violations I have ever seen in one panel. That is Fire waiting to happen It looks like it is feed with two number 12 wires.. and paralled on top of it. I would suggest before you settle on this house you have a Liscensed Electrical contractor look it over. I do not think a un licsensed moon lighting electrician would even do that bad of a job. Definatly a handyman special Good luck

andrew386
Re: Is the entrance cable undersized? (distribution panel)

Hi everyone. I just wanted to post a quick update on the distribution panel situation. I went back to the property with the electrician today and it turned out that the issue is even worse that expected: Apparently, there are multiple junction boxes b/w the main double-60A breaker (which is behind a locked door) and the sub-panel in the unit. One of the mystery junction boxes may even be buried in the wall. The cable at the main breaker is ok (nice, new fat conductor). While the power was on at the main panel this time, there was a short circuit tripping the main breaker (even with the sub-panel disconnected).

The permit was never closed / inspection not performed ...

So now we're waiting on some much needed explanations from the seller ...

bsum1
Re: Is the entrance cable undersized? (distribution panel)

Looking at the picture things look nice and neat and not being an expert in electrical I did notice the 2 sets of wires for feeding the panel which I thought was strange. This was a red flag for me.
There is some great advice from most folks here to say there's a problem. Aside from getting an electrician I really like the idea of checking for permits. If there aren't permits or haven't been inspected tells a lot and makes you wonder what other things that aren't done properly.

Glad you had someone knowledgable to check it out and find out now before buying the place.

canuk
Re: Is the entrance cable undersized? (distribution panel)

andrew ... good thing you had found this out now.:)

Blue RidgeParkway
Re: Is the entrance cable undersized? (distribution panel)
andrew386 wrote:

Hi everyone. I just wanted to post a quick update on the distribution panel situation. I went back to the property with the electrician today and it turned out that the issue is even worse that expected: Apparently, there are multiple junction boxes b/w the main double-60A breaker (which is behind a locked door) and the sub-panel in the unit. One of the mystery junction boxes may even be buried in the wall. The cable at the main breaker is ok (nice, new fat conductor). While the power was on at the main panel this time, there was a short circuit tripping the main breaker (even with the sub-panel disconnected).

The permit was never closed / inspection not performed ...

So now we're waiting on some much needed explanations from the seller ...

scary news. you got to know that would be an insurance nightmare. so how was this even disconnected? you know when I tried to follow those white wires under the yello nut that were retaped black it looked like one of them was into the fat wire on the 240 circuit but couldnt be sure. get a report from your electrician in writing you may need it to get your money back and make the seller reimburse you for your inspection costs cuz he had to have lied on disclosures to buyers that his realtor got. if i were you i'd wrap things up get your expenses back an look elsewhere to buy.

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