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KempDobro 04-05-2010 10:34 PM

Service Entrance Question
So my boss has a ranch house that has increased in size over the years. My question is about the way the power company ran power from the transformer to the meter pole. There is a total of 6 wires running from the transformer to the meter pole. 2 for one leg, 2 for another, and 2 for the neutral. I'm not sure of the gauge but my guess is 8AWG. Is this a legal run or was the power company too lazy to run them correctly, so they just added on to the existing wires to make a heavier gauge? I have serious doubts about this setup, what is one run were to weakin and burn up? Then all the power must flow through the singal remaining wire which could then burn up as well. Any input would be great.

andrew79 04-05-2010 11:02 PM

parallel runs...we use them all the time in a commercial setting. i doubt the wires are number 8's though i'd be interested in finding out for sure. I don't know if the same rules apply for residential dwellings and parallel runs though.

brric 04-06-2010 06:52 AM

Power companies are not governed by the NEC.

KempDobro 04-06-2010 02:45 PM

I know NEC doesnt over see power companies doings, but there has got to be someone who keeps an eye on their methods and practice. Any Ideas?

brric 04-06-2010 02:51 PM

Why do you think there is something inherently wrong with the installation? As stated above it's done all the time for higher amperage installations. What if they were larger single conductors and one was lost ? There would still be a problem. What is your concern?

KempDobro 04-06-2010 02:58 PM

well one set of wires is obviously much older than the other, it shows. Meaning the older one is more fatigued. What if it reaches the point where it doesn't work anymore? the remaining smaller wire is then required to carry a much heavier load. He has a very large house and two very large barns, each 200 amp setups all dependant on this parrallel run. Not to mention the two large water well pumps up the hill.

brric 04-06-2010 03:02 PM

Post some photos.

andrew79 04-06-2010 04:20 PM

most likely there was a 200A service and a second was added later on...hence the two seperate runs and the age difference in the utility side brric says there's nothing to worry about.

chris0914 04-06-2010 04:30 PM

just to add most probaly already know but they can also get away with such small wires because they are free air conductors which hold higher amp vaule as stated in the nec

andrew79 04-06-2010 05:18 PM

number 8's still are nowhere near big enough to take on 200A(parallel run)....depending on distance to service from pole and not having my code book infront of me i'd wager at roughly a #2 needed for a 200A feed free air. with a set of 2/0 copper joined to them at the mast head(parallel copper run as well). I have a feeling that might be wrong....i'm sure someone will set me straight though :laughing:.

KempDobro 04-06-2010 10:36 PM

ok. well it will a week or two before i can get the gauge, i'm currently away. I'm pretty interested in knowing the exact gauge of the parallel runs too because the overhead wires run from the meter to the barns are 8 gauge aluminum. Those spand about a hundred feet each.

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