Spliced Neutral In Apartment - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 02-11-2013, 02:34 PM   #1
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spliced neutral in apartment

getting ready to sign a contract on an apartment in a prewar 8 unit building in the bronx. inspection revealed that it appears the neutral coming into our box in the apartment is spliced and shared with the apartment above us.

inspector was quite concerned, but could not provide specifics about electrical code. trying to figure out now if this is up to code/legal, how big a problem this is, a rough rough estimate of how much it might cost to fix, and whether or not it appears to be a problem that the coop is going to have to take care of as opposed to the individual unit owners.

trying to not impede sale/making a stink with the buyer/coop board before we are approved and getting an electrician in there, but we will definitely do that at a later time, knowing that we may end up paying for some or all of the cost of repairing this.

opinions on the matter would be very appreciated.
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:40 PM   #2
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Unsplice. Twiddle thumbs and whistle.


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Old 02-11-2013, 02:42 PM   #3
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if the building was not willing to work with us, to fix it, that would be an option, but not exactly how you want to treat your neighbors who might not even have any clue about the situation.
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:49 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by mikegp View Post
Unsplice. Twiddle thumbs and whistle.

Not a good idea. You might cause 240 volts to be aapplied to his 120 volt circuits and minimally the neighbor will be in the dark.
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:27 PM   #5
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I don't know why their neutral is even in your panel. All conductors of the circuit need to originate in the same panel.
Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:31 PM   #6
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That is a wierd setup I see three blue (HOT) and one white (NEUTRAL) wires coming into that panel and two blue and one white leaving the panel.
With Electricity there is the right way to do it and the dead way. Just because it works does not make it safe.
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:21 PM   #7
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Three blue and one white ...

Is this a 3 phase 120/208 volt system? Where your apartment is the last apartment for one of the phases and the other two go on to another apartment?

Measure the voltage between the blue wires.

In most large cities only a licensed electrician may work on multifamily and commercial buildings. Among other things this cuts down on the chance of your adversely affecting your neighbor's power.

That looks like a 60 amp x 240 (or 208) volt panel. I believe that current codes require a 100 amp service for each individual apartment unit but your service may be grandfathered.

Check the declaration and bylaws to see who is responsible for what wiring. In some cases any component that serves more than one unit is common area responsibility in which case the neutral and the entire length of the two blue wires that serve another apartment are a common responsibility.

Also in most states the seller of a condominium or coop unit must give the declaration and bylaws and rules to the buyer. The contract would not be binding on the buyer until he has received such documents and had a chance to examine them and had a chance to inspect and get financing, which could result in the buyer's backing out perhaps weeks after the contract was signed.
The good conscientious technician or serviceperson will carry extra oils and lubricants in case the new pump did not come with oil or the oil was accidentally spilled, so the service call can be completed without an extra visit.

Last edited by AllanJ; 02-11-2013 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 02-12-2013, 05:27 PM   #8
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This is typical in older apartments like this. You can see that you have A and B phase while your neighbor has C phase as well as your A phase (the blue wire that is spliced). The phase letters are for description purposes only, BTW.

The only problem you would have is if you pay your own electric. In the configuration that you have, the electric should be paid for by the building. You are not setup to be metered individually since you are sharing a phase with your neighbor.


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