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Old 07-17-2012, 09:04 PM   #1
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Unattached Neutrals?


My wife and I recently had a home inspection done at a property we wanted to buy. In the 200amp box several of the 220 line neutrals were just folded up in the box and not attached to the Neutral or ground bar? The house inspector said this was a bad thing, I was an electrician for years and never saw this that I can remember. My dad was my teacher and master electrician and he is gone 20 yrs now so I can't ask him. So my question is, why would someone leave those neutrals unattached? Is it right, safe or normal.

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Old 07-17-2012, 09:17 PM   #2
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Unattached Neutrals?


How do you know they are "220" circuits?

In the US a so-called "220" circuit does not need a neutral connection.

So, maybe they are from old circuits that have been abandoned? Maybe some electric heat circuits that are disconnected?

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Old 07-17-2012, 09:23 PM   #3
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Unattached Neutrals?


Perhaps someone ran xx-3 cables an used the two hots for a straight 240 volt circuit instead of running xx-2 cable and re-identifying the white as a hot.
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:34 PM   #4
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Unattached Neutrals?


Unless we know what those circuits are for we can't tell you if the neutrals folded is a bad thing. Some circuits only require 240 volts so the white wire is extra.
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:35 PM   #5
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Unattached Neutrals?


Wow fast reply. The circuits go to the Electric furnace and then head to the heat pump. There is 3/6 with a ground. The Red and Black are attached to breakers in the furnace line in terminals. The white wire is attached in the furnace but not in the panel. It is actually 240 single phase. Hope that answers your inquiry. Your help and banter is invaluable to solve this issue.
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:38 PM   #6
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Unattached Neutrals?


Both of those should be straight 240 and no neutral is needed. Someone could have run xx-2 instead.

There is no safety issue or code issue either.
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:42 PM   #7
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Unattached Neutrals?


Thank you very much Jim. Just never saw it like that. My generator and other 240v circuits all have all the lines hooked up. I appreciate your help. Needed to make some sense out of this.
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Old 07-18-2012, 06:56 AM   #8
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Unattached Neutrals?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc832 View Post
My generator and other 240v circuits all have all the lines hooked up. I appreciate your help.
Your generator feed and some appliances are 120/240v, not just straight 240v. There IS a difference.
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Old 07-18-2012, 06:59 AM   #9
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Unattached Neutrals?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
Perhaps someone ran xx-3 cables an used the two hots for a straight 240 volt circuit instead of running xx-2 cable and re-identifying the white as a hot.
THIS.

Some people like to waste money and run XX/3 because they think they HAVE to use black and red. They are unaware that using the white for a hot is typical and accepted.
This is unfortunate for the original installer since you said it was large 6.3 cable.
The ONLY up side is that years later if you replace the appliance with something that is 120/240v and requires a neutral it is there.

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