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-   -   Main Neutral is Breaker Panel Question (http://www.diychatroom.com/f18/main-neutral-breaker-panel-question-150152/)

Fisher252 07-13-2012 04:34 PM

Main Neutral in Breaker Panel Question
 
The main neutral wire coming into the breaker panel reads 5 Amps even when the main breaker is off. What could be causeing this?

jbfan 07-13-2012 04:39 PM

5 amps or 5 volts?

Fisher252 07-13-2012 04:45 PM

Amps ..

Daniel Holzman 07-13-2012 04:46 PM

Exactly how are you measuring the 5 amps?

Fisher252 07-13-2012 04:52 PM

clamp on amp meter

jbfan 07-13-2012 05:00 PM

If you have current, then you have voltage.

Check each leg of the main breaker.

You could have a bad main.

Fisher252 07-13-2012 05:43 PM

I flipped all of the breakers to off and still the 5 Amps...

jbfan 07-13-2012 05:47 PM

Did you check the main for amperage?
Is your meter turning?
With the main breaker off, did you measure any voltage?

Stubbie 07-13-2012 05:56 PM

Clamp your water pipe bonding wire or any of your grounding electrode conductors in the panel (be careful) .. do you show 5 amps total between them or any one of them?

Yoyizit 07-13-2012 07:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fisher252 (Post 965015)
The main neutral wire coming into the breaker panel reads 5 Amps even when the main breaker is off. What could be causeing this?

PM me for a method to trace this down.

Missouri Bound 07-13-2012 07:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fisher252 (Post 965015)
The main neutral wire coming into the breaker panel reads 5 Amps even when the main breaker is off. What could be causeing this?

Test your ammeter on a known value. Amps is a measurement of current and it's not there unless voltage is present. Check the voltage at the mains. 5 volts with a digital meter wouln't be odd. Check for voltage with a wiggy or the like.

andrew79 07-13-2012 08:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Yoyizit (Post 965094)
Assuming the resistance of a chunk of earth is 25 ohms, one way to do this would be to have the PoCo transformer center tap and the ground connection at your house be at a potential difference of 5A x 25 ohms = 125v.

If you go with 5 ohms for the resistance of the volume of earth then it's 5A x 5 ohms = 25v.

Sandy soil has high resistivity and clay has low, and moisture will lower the resistivity. Which do you have?

this guy makes me giggle all the time. Also makes me not regret saying no to drugs.

Missouri Bound 07-13-2012 08:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by andrew79 (Post 965128)
this guy makes me giggle all the time. Also makes me not regret saying no to drugs.


...and makes me wish I had.:laughing:

mpoulton 07-15-2012 03:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fisher252 (Post 965015)
The main neutral wire coming into the breaker panel reads 5 Amps even when the main breaker is off. What could be causeing this?

May be a neighbor with a bad neutral connection, returning neutral current through your water or gas pipes. Check current on the water bonding conductor - I bet it's the same as the neutral current with the main off. Definitely notify the power company.

Yoyizit 07-15-2012 09:03 AM

If there is only 5vac driving this current through the ground due to a neighborhood neutral imbalance , it's not so bad.
If it's a few hundred volts through high ground resistance, that is dangerous.


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