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Corrosion On Grounded Conductors In Service Panel?


dtontarski
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I've never seen grounded conductors in this condition before. What may have caused this?

It was caused by loose connections. If it were corrosion caused by something in the environment, the other conductors in the panel would be likewise affected, particularly the bare grounding wires.

The electrician sticks all of the neutrals in the terminal bar, is about to tighten them down, and then gets distracted by something. Next thing you know, he's forgotten about them. Oftentimes, the circuits will work just fine for years before someone notices there's a problem.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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I've never seen grounded conductors in this condition before. What may have caused this?

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Is that not a panel (not service panel)?

Also the burnt conductors are neutrals, not grounds.

Just pointing this out so that it won't end up in your report the wrong way.

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Hey Scott,

In the electrical industry, Neutrals, as most people call them, are referred to as Grounded Conductors. They are conductors but they are grounded at the transformer and the panel. Dave stated it correctly.

That is true, but this is not the service equipment. It is a panel or sub panel and the neutrals are floating and not grounded in the panel.

I was just trying to point this out for those that might not know the difference between a grounding conductor and a neutral conductor.

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Hi Scott,

Respectfully, it doesn't make a difference where they are; they are still referred to as "grounded" conductors (what you call neutrals) as opposed to equipment-grounding conductors (what you call grounds).

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Hi Scott,

Respectfully, it doesn't make a difference where they are; they are still referred to as "grounded" conductors (what you call neutrals) as opposed to equipment-grounding conductors (what you call grounds).

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

I agree that they are "grounded" conductors. But a neutral conductor and a grounding conductor do not perform the same function.

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Hi,

Nobody has said that they do. The IP's initial question wasn't about grounding; it was specifically, "I've never seen grounded conductors in this condition before. What may have caused this?"

He used the correct technical term to describe those conductors, as he should have. We all know (or should know) what folks mean when they use the colloquial term "neutrals" to refer to grounded conductors or "grounds" to refer to equipment-grounding conductors but I don't think we should encourage folks to use colloquialisms when there is a correct technical term.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

(Joshua Chamberlain, where are you when I need you?)

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Hi,

Nobody has said that they do. The IP's initial question wasn't about grounding; it was specifically, "I've never seen grounded conductors in this condition before. What may have caused this?"

He used the correct technical term to describe those conductors, as he should have. We all know (or should know) what folks mean when they use the colloquial term "neutrals" to refer to grounded conductors or "grounds" to refer to equipment-grounding conductors but I don't think we should encourage folks to use colloquialisms when there is a correct technical term.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Okay..

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I agree that they are "grounded" conductors. But a neutral conductor and a grounding conductor do not perform the same function.

In the NEC, the thing we call a neutral conductor is actually called a grounded conductor. In the parlance of the NEC, a romex cable contains three wires: an ungrounded conductor, a grounded conductor, and a grounding conductor.

In his original post, Dave was using the correct school term for the white wires.

It's one of my beefs with the NEC. They use the word ground and its derivations to mean too many different things and it leads to confusion.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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I think I understand what Scott was getting at. The grounded conductors being in a sub panel doesn't make any difference. Yes, they are isolated from the grounding conductors in that panel but they are bonded to the terminal bar which in turn is bonded to the feeder cable that goes back to the main panel where it is bonded to the Neutral bus which is also grounded. So, in relation to the grounded conductors, just think of the sub panel as a glorified junction box where the Neutrals happen to have a splice. The current they are carrying doesn't go anywhere in that enclosure except along the terminal bar to the feeder Neutral and back to the main panel, no different then if it just went straight back or maybe through a junction box or two along the way.

It's one of my beefs with the NEC. They use the word ground and its derivations to mean too many different things and it leads to confusion.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Agreed.

It's kinda like the snobby boat people that get mad at you if you should, god forbid, call their lines "a rope"... I think it makes them feel more special to have their very own lingo. But it's fun to mess with the boat captains over it, after the dive is over of course, otherwise you surface to find the boat has moved upstream 300 yards.

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