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Old 12-29-2012, 11:26 AM   #1
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Ungrounded Residential Service?


I'm currently living in a remote part of Indonesia. The service is 220 volt single phase. There are 2 wires coming from the utility's transformer to our meter; a hot conductor and a neutral conductor.

After the meter, the hot conductor is fed through a 50A circuit breaker. This is the only disconnecting means. It is then fed directly to the circuit breaker panel. The neutral is fed directly to the neutral bus bar in the circuit breaker panel. The neutral bus bar is not bonded to the equipment grounding bus bar and there is presently no grounding electrode installed anywhere in the system.

If I were to install a grounding electrode and ground the neutral conductor at the panel, should I be worried that the utility may NOT have grounded the neutral conductor at the transformer? I will also bond the neutral and equipment grounding bus bars together.

Is it even possible that a single phase 220 volt service could be setup without the neutral being grounded at the transformer, intentionally or otherwise?

I've already had a technician from the utility come in and have a look, and he doesn't understand what I'm asking. He told me I should be fine if I just run some #14 wire from the equipment grounding bus bar straight into the ground (without a ground rod). I smiled, sent him on his way and turned to this forum.


Last edited by dangerzone; 12-29-2012 at 11:57 AM. Reason: Missing Info
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:43 AM   #2
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Ungrounded Residential Service?


A ground rod is only for lightning protection It has nothing to do with your personal protection. That is accomplished by the neutral ground bond.

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Old 12-29-2012, 12:44 PM   #3
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The earth plays no role in a properly operating electrical system.
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:39 PM   #4
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Ungrounded Residential Service?


i don't know about indonesa but in alabama we need two hot wires and a neutral to get 240 volts. am i missing something?
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:40 PM   #5
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i don't know about indonesa but in alabama we need two hot wires and a neutral to get 240 volts. am i missing something?
Yes, you are.
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Old 12-29-2012, 06:52 PM   #6
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Ungrounded Residential Service?


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Originally Posted by buddy builder View Post
i don't know about indonesa but in alabama we need two hot wires and a neutral to get 240 volts. am i missing something?
240 is the normal voltage in Indonesia. There is no 120. There are only two wires coming in from the service. One is grounded, the other is hot; 240 to neutral/ground.

Rob
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:13 PM   #7
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Ungrounded Residential Service?


Quote:
Originally Posted by dangerzone View Post
(snip)

After the meter, the hot conductor is fed through a 50A circuit breaker. This is the only disconnecting means. It is then fed directly to the circuit breaker panel. The neutral is fed directly to the neutral bus bar in the circuit breaker panel. The neutral bus bar is not bonded to the equipment grounding bus bar and there is presently no grounding electrode installed anywhere in the system.

If I were to install a grounding electrode and ground the neutral conductor at the panel, should I be worried that the utility may NOT have grounded the neutral conductor at the transformer? I will also bond the neutral and equipment grounding bus bars together.

Is it even possible that a single phase 220 volt service could be setup without the neutral being grounded at the transformer, intentionally or otherwise?
If you wish to you could drive two 8' ground rods at least 6 feet apart and use clamps to connect them to a #6 copper wire that is run to a grounding bus bar in the panel or box where the main disconnect is. Bond the neutral and ground there. (Present day U.S. standard)

In the U.S. the combination neutral/ground/messenger wire accompanies the hot wires. If for some reason it was not grounded at the transformer you would not know that either.

It is possible that the basic 220 volt service is from a system that has two hot lines with 440 volts between them but each home gets only one hot and neutral for the 220 volts.

Long long time ago, a typical U.S. home had just 2 conductors coming in from the service. One was grounded, the other hot, to provide 120 volts only.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 12-29-2012 at 09:20 PM.
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:55 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by buddy builder View Post
i don't know about indonesa but in alabama we need two hot wires and a neutral to get 240 volts. am i missing something?
Yeah missing something right there even a former bama'er will know this answer and with North Americian system the two hot on single phase on resdentail side is 240 volt but over here in France where I am living now the 240 volt we have here is Hot and Netural so the OP in Indonesa will have 240 volts over there but the way the OP describing of adding a grounding conductor that only done on netural side only if they do not have RCD ( GFCI ) device(s).

The other thing will open your eyes., the colour codes of conductors are not the same as you expected they will varies a bit depending on which area you are in other area.

Merci,
Marc
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:25 AM   #9
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The neutral gets its name because it is supposed to measure zero volts relative to the grounding system. It is also called "the grounded conductor" although it is supposed to be bonded to the grounding system only in approved locations.

If a system were to be designed so that neither of only two conductors from the pole transformer to the house were grounded, then neither would be properly called "the neutral." Also, neither would consistently measure zero volts to ground.

There are certain electronic circuits notably involving small numbers of milliamperes such as from microphones, where neither of the two leads is grounded and the term for such circuits is "balanced circuits" and where whenever one lead measures X volts to ground, the other measures minus X volts.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 12-30-2012 at 08:30 AM.
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:27 PM   #10
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Ungrounded Residential Service?


I am not an electrician but just curious if the op may have two "hots" coming in and no neutral?
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:56 PM   #11
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I am not an electrician but just curious if the op may have two "hots" coming in and no neutral?
As was described above, the system in many parts of the world uses one hot only, with 220V between hot and neutral/ground. It is not split phase like in the US.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:35 PM   #12
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Ungrounded Residential Service?


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Originally Posted by buddy builder View Post
i don't know about indonesa but in alabama we need two hot wires and a neutral to get 240 volts. am i missing something?

I thought most of the USA was 220v ? not 240v ?
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:53 PM   #13
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Ungrounded Residential Service?


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I thought most of the USA was 220v ? not 240v ?
The US residential is split phase 240VAC. So at the home it's 120/240 VAC.
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:34 PM   #14
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Why is the term 220v thrown about so often ?
Are there some area's that are 110 & 220 ?
Whilst other area's are 120 & 240 ?

Or is 220v just an urban myth ?
Must call mythbusters !
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:13 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmxtothemax View Post
Why is the term 220v thrown about so often ?
Are there some area's that are 110 & 220 ?
Whilst other area's are 120 & 240 ?

Or is 220v just an urban myth ?
Must call mythbusters !
In the early days of residential AC electrical distribution in the USA, the standard was 110V. Service consisted of one hot and neutral, usually 20A. Later they added another leg, to make a split phase 220V service that could handle far more load (usually a 30A to 60A service). The distribution voltage was sporadically and slowly raised from 110/220 to 115/230, and later to 120/240. It's the same systems and equipment, but the specification has been 120/240 now for decades. Old-school electricians (who don't keep up) often still call it "110" or "220", and DIY'ers who learned from them or read old books say it too. But anyone actually receiving 110/220V at their service is at or below the minimum standards-compliant utility voltage. That's 8.3% below the nominal voltage.

It's also worth noting that load voltages are sometime specified lower than the nominal supply voltage. This is especially true for motors (because of the inverse voltage/current relationship). A motor intended for a 240V system will often be specified for 230V. 120V loads are sometimes specified for 117 or 115V.

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