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whybminor 01-08-2007 09:39 PM

Tapping a SE conductor
Helping the same friend who had the c-h breaker fail open, we're trying to install a water pump and pressure tank (city water pressure is erratic). They have a main disconnect (two 100 A breakers) in a rain-tight next to the meter downstairs near where the water line comes in. Neutral and ground are bonded here. The disconnect then feeds 4 wires upstairs (AWG 4, ground is #6)) to a panel in the main house level. This is tropics (Puerto Rico) so house is all concrete and adding circuits is not simple.

I plan to tap into the 4 wires in the disconnect box after they leave the main disconnect circuit breakers and feed a small subpanel on the other side of the concrete column. I'd strip some insulation off all 4 wires (not cut them) and use split-bolts to attach feeders (again AWG 4 and 6) to the subpanel. The subpanel will have a 20 A breaker with 12-3+g THWN in RNC conduit to the pump. I'll stick an outlet immediately beneath the subpanel since they could use one there, probably on the same circuit since the pump is only 6 A (1/2 HP). No neutral ground bond of course in the subpanel .

Anybody see any problems or an easier way to do this? The only thing I can find in my pocket NEC is 230.46 which seems to me the say it's ok (not that there's any inspection or even effort to follow code here).

Comments and warnings will be much appreciated.


Phil S.

Speedy Petey 01-09-2007 06:11 AM

Why not simply replace the disconnect with a small feed through panel? That will probably wind up being no more work than your plan and be much cleaner/easier to work with.

No offense, but your plan sounds like a real hack job, keeping in line with much of what I have seen from down there as you said.
I would not go that route.

whybminor 01-10-2007 07:35 AM

Speedy -- I agree completely. Unfortunately the meter/disconnect is located downstairs and the panel upstairs and both are flush-mounted in poured reinforced concrete! To help visualize this (and it sounds like you've been here), the main one-floor living area is up on columns. The downstairs is mainly open patio space with the meter/disconnect located on the outside (weather side) of one of the columns. The main panel is in the master bedroom wall 10 ft directly above the disconnect. Of course all conduit was embedded in the pours.

Hack job is indeed the right term, but so far I've just drilled a hole through the column into the KO in the back of the diconnect box and an additional one I need to route the AWG 12 to the pump location. So any suggestions would be great.


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