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Old 04-24-2012, 09:04 AM   #16
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utility neutral/neutral current question


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Originally Posted by joed View Post
In his other thread he said if he turns everything off the current goes to zero, so I think the problem is his.
Yes, I see that. Long threads and now two

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Old 04-24-2012, 09:12 AM   #17
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utility neutral/neutral current question


If this were my house, I'd disconnect the water pipe GEC holding the wire with an insulated pliers. I'd would then check the currents on the neutral and remaining GEC. I'd then turn off all 240 volt breaker and load up the 120 volt circuits and check for imbalance between the two legs.
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:23 AM   #18
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utility neutral/neutral current question


To the OP: My guess is you have more squirrel damage to the neutral wire of your service drop. You probably have lights the dim and brighten also. Contact your utility immediately and have this checked out.

The squirrel problem is so bad in our area, the utility has started replacing overhead drops with Triplex that incorporates a copper bare neutral. Squirrels don't bother the copper.
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:30 AM   #19
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utility neutral/neutral current question


thanks all of you for your help. you have educated me and warned me of a problem i didnt even know i had.

i will post back when i get an answer from the utility

to answer the question about shutting the power off, the amount of current running through the plumbing ground and neutral drops to 0.3 amps (not zero as i originally posted yesterday)

wierd stuff going on
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:16 AM   #20
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utility neutral/neutral current question


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Originally Posted by a7ecorsair View Post
If this were my house, I'd disconnect the water pipe GEC holding the wire with an insulated pliers. I'd would then check the currents on the neutral and remaining GEC. I'd then turn off all 240 volt breaker and load up the 120 volt circuits and check for imbalance between the two legs.
Turn off the main breaker before disconnecting a grounding electrode conductor. But still use insulating pliers and gloves.

Also worth trying, connect a 100 watt incandescent lamp between the disconnected end of the GEC and the water pipe. If the light comes on at all when you vary the load (turn different 120 volt appliances on and off upstairs) then you have a problem with the neutral back to the utility pole.
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Old 04-24-2012, 06:30 PM   #21
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utility neutral/neutral current question


How do you measure this?
Clamp meter?
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:36 PM   #22
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utility neutral/neutral current question


Yes clamp each conductor one at a time
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:44 PM   #23
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utility neutral/neutral current question


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Yes clamp each conductor one at a time
Thank you
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:30 PM   #24
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utility neutral/neutral current question


I cant believe how fast they responded. and I sent the request via email. Same day is impressive but the guy said voltage neutral issues get addressed quickly.

I attached the service ticket but in short there was:

voltage - 122/121/243
Amps - 17, 11, 5 which means of course 1-2 amps are running to ground

He said around here the copper plumbing grounds are so good it is not uncommon for some current to take that path, not necessarily to my transformer but a nearby one or even the substation (which isnt really close by my definition but what do I know). There is a transformer right in the path of all the water mains.

Anyway, im inclined to say "ok fine" but most of you know far more than I

They also said that throughout the metro area they allow a service upgrade up to 200 amps on this triplex overhead 2AWG aluminim service wire due to the fact that it is in open air.
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:43 PM   #25
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utility neutral/neutral current question


Thanks for the follow-up.

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