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SEC Problems


sepefrio
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First, there are more than enough problems here to fill a small book and I'm not asking to list them all. I, being the curious type, and just trying to figure some of it out.

I found whats appears to be two live SEC's. One overhead that has multiple problems and one that runs through the attic. Like I said, both are live. The exterior one goes to the meter and the attic one drop into the wall just above the panel (the panel and meter are back to back). The lines going to the panel are also a smaller than the two SEC lines.

I noted everything I found, including extreme electrical and fire hazard, and did the qualified and licensed electrician bit as well as recommended contacting the local power company.

This is a 1967 home.

My curiosity is, where the second SEC disappears into the wall mid house, is also the location of the 220 outlet for the stove. There is also an addition to the back of the house, so maybe there use to be a panel back there, but if that's so, why would the line still be live? I can understand a lazy Electrician not removing the line, but not killing it?

I asked the client to keep me informed as to what the electrician says about the whole thing. But I am just curious if anyone might have a decent explanation/guess here.

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I guess my explanation is just as confused as I am. My question is about the setup as a whole. I found what appears to be two SEC cables. One that runs through the attic and the other is an external. To be more exact, and I know the picture in the attic isn't the best but if you look at the SEC on the exterior, the portion running from the peak to the meter, then compare it with the line I found in the attic, they are the same type (but not the actual same line). My question is, why would they use the same type of line in the attic? My guess was a sub panel or the one in the attic was from a previous (now removed) panel. There is no sub panel or any indications of previous panels. Both lines are hot, but I only saw one going into the panel. I think there is something very funky going on inside of the wall. Just trying to guess what it may be.

Again a correct answer is not really needed as I noted all of the individual problems, and we're not suppose to trace down every line in the house. Its just my curious nature. The only guess I can make that makes sense, is the line in the attic, was left over material and may be spliced somewhere inside the wall or maybe at the meter and maybe bypassing the panel itself?

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I guess my explanation is just as confused as I am. My question is about the setup as a whole. I found what appears to be two SEC cables.

OK. There are two cables.

One that runs through the attic and the other is an external. To be more exact, and I know the picture in the attic isn't the best but if you look at the SEC on the exterior, the portion running from the peak to the meter, then compare it with the line I found in the attic, they are the same type (but not the actual same line).

I am thorougly confused. All I've got so far is that there are two cables. Let's call them A & B. Where does cable A start and end? Where does cable B start & end?

My question is, why would they use the same type of line in the attic?

I don't understand why this would be odd. We see SE cables in attics all the time. Why wouldn't they use it?

My guess was a sub panel or the one in the attic was from a previous (now removed) panel. There is no sub panel or any indications of previous panels. Both lines are hot, but I only saw one going into the panel.

How do you know both are hot? (Don't say a volt stick.)

I think there is something very funky going on inside of the wall. Just trying to guess what it may be.

Inside of the wall where? What sort of thing?

Again a correct answer is not really needed as I noted all of the individual problems, and we're not suppose to trace down every line in the house. Its just my curious nature. The only guess I can make that makes sense, is the line in the attic, was left over material and may be spliced somewhere inside the wall or maybe at the meter and maybe bypassing the panel itself?

Can you see either end of this line?

Maybe I'm just tired, but your explanations in this thread are very confusing.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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A-From power pole to the house to the meter, like a normal SEC, this is the one that is cut.

B-I only see part of it, neither the beginning or the end and not in the panel. It first appears coming up through the wall directly above the panel in the attic.

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Then it dives back into another wall roughly center of the house near the kitchen stove.

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I think it's odd because of the size. Like I said it looked exactly like, same size and all, as the SEC on the exterior of the house.

Um, busted. Since I could not find the beginning or end I could not test there and it was just too dang hot to hang out to long in that attic. My thermometer registered 132 degrees. So yes I used a volt stick and left.

I think inside the wall where the panel is. I am guessing this only because of so many little things, not one conclusive thing. The meter, that has a broken lock, is back to back roughly with the panel inside. This second SEC type/size cable appears to lead to the same area yet I don't see anything of that size in the panel.

It hard to describe what I'm thinking since I don't have an exact, this is how it is, is it wrong. I'm guessing or assuming on a lot. As such I know I can't get an actual for fact answer. Was just hoping for some good guesses. The power company is suppose to be there tomorrow for their look see, then depending what they do, the electrician. I guess the best thing is to just wait and see what they say/find.

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First of all that place is a fire waiting to happen, but you have that covered.

Then so far as the weird running of cables in old homes...

Some areas at one time had two electric meters. One for the hot water heater and another meter for everything else. Then these were converted to just one electric meter.

Then with home additions, there might be a subpanel "in the way" and this is removed for the addition, but some wiring may stay.

And things may be moved around in a house for remodeling, but existing wiring may stay.

Then sometimes homeowners like to convert old large wires to regular outlet use. Maybe they had an electric range which was moved (new wire ran), then they switch the old large wire for that range over to regular outlet use.

Or maybe they leave old wiring in which goes to nothing and leave it connected.

So no telling what you will find! It gets REAL interesting when you tear out the walls in a home built in the 1930's which had a couple of additions and lots of do-it-yourself electrical work!

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