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Thread: TriPlex Bare Wire as a Neutral

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  1. #1
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    TriPlex Bare Wire as a Neutral


    We have replaced the overhead feed from the house to the garage using # 6 Triplex. This is a multi branch circuit feed. The inspector is not allowing the bare wire to be used as a neutral. He is requiring it be replaced with Quadlex. We have done this many times with out objection from inspectors. Is there any code that states this installation is acceptable? Or does the code state that this installation is not acceptable?

  2. #2
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    If you are using the bare for your neutral what are you using for you equipment grounding conductor?
    Curt Swartz
    Electrical Contractor

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by curt swartz View Post
    If you are using the bare for your neutral what are you using for you equipment grounding conductor?
    Isn't that the million dollar question.
    "Electricity is actually made up of extremely tiny particles called electrons, that you cannot see with the naked eye unless you have been drinking."

  4. #4
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    We are rewiring a detached garage, The garage has an over head feed without any ground, We have always installed a ground rod to provide a ground to the garage. We have a new inspector that will not allow it and is accepting GFCI protection in the garage. Is there any code that does or does not allow for grounding a existing detached garage with a ground rod?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigduvid View Post
    We have always installed a ground rod to provide a ground to the garage. Is there any code that does or does not allow for grounding a existing detached garage with a ground rod?
    Ground rods are for lightning protection and such, you need a way to facilitate the operation of an over current protection device.
    "Electricity is actually made up of extremely tiny particles called electrons, that you cannot see with the naked eye unless you have been drinking."

  6. #6
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    Hurk27
    The wires are coming out on the exterior of a 1920's house. One is a hot tapped off K&T wiring and the other is a leg from a switch and the third is a neutral.


    stickboy1375
    Are ground rods from the system ground used for lightning protection?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigduvid View Post
    We are rewiring a detached garage, The garage has an over head feed without any ground, We have always installed a ground rod to provide a ground to the garage. We have a new inspector that will not allow it and is accepting GFCI protection in the garage. Is there any code that does or does not allow for grounding a existing detached garage with a ground rod?
    Allowing a ground rod???? For what???? not for a fault path I hope?

    A separate structure if fed by a feeder has to have a ground rod anyways, and a GEC, before 2008 a 3-wire feeder was allowed but with requirements, that there were no other conductive paths between the buildings, if he is treating this as a repair then it needs to be treated as it was installed from the items that did meet code, no where in the NEC did it allow a bare neutral for feeders or branch circuit conductors, the only allowance was for ahead of the main service disconnect only, not after.
    Wayne A. From: N.W.Indiana
    Be Fair, Be Safe
    Just don't be fairly safe

  8. #8
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    I would say since you are "rewiring this garage" it has to meet the latest NEC, and the latest NEC does not allow a 3-wire feeder to a outbuilding (250.32) and or a bare neutral 200.

    Unless you have a separate set of lugs in the meter or a tape box on the load side of the meter you cant use 230.40 exception 3 to used service conductors to the garage either.

    And you have never been allowed to use a ground rod as a fault current path, it just wont do it, older codes allowed you to use a 3-wire feeder but you have yo bond the grounding to the neutral in the garage for a fault path, but if you meant you were using a ground rod only to the receptacle EGC's and there was not bond to the neutral like a main bonding jumper installed, you have created a dangerous garage as if there is ever a fault all it will do is cause 120 volts to be on all the grounding of the garage and someone can be killed. a ground rod can never have a low enough impedance path that would open a breaker and it is not design to do this.
    Wayne A. From: N.W.Indiana
    Be Fair, Be Safe
    Just don't be fairly safe

  9. #9
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    Well your in a pickle as triplex is not an listed NEC wiring method, so he can fail you on just that, and 200 in the NEC does not allow a bare neutral if it is a feeder or branch circuit and the fact that you can not use the neutral for grounding even to an out building (250.32), but if this is a service entrance conductors then 230.22 exception would allow it, so is this drop coming from a breaker in the house panel or does it com from a separate set of lugs in the meter, if the latter they are still service entrance conductors and 230.22 exception will allow not only a 3-wire but also a bare neutral over head, for this allowance see 230.40 exception #3
    Wayne A. From: N.W.Indiana
    Be Fair, Be Safe
    Just don't be fairly safe

  10. #10
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    Heres the code loop

    Messenger supported wiring


    396.2(4),396.10(A),TBL 396.10(A),338.10(B)(4)(b),225 Part I, 225.4 exception.

    So where is the bare "specifically permitted" to be allowed to be used as a groundeed conductor?

    230.41 exceptions (1thru 5) for services are the only sections I am aware of. Anyone have any others ?



    Quote Originally Posted by bigduvid View Post
    We have replaced the overhead feed from the house to the garage using # 6 Triplex. This is a multi branch circuit feed. The inspector is not allowing the bare wire to be used as a neutral. He is requiring it be replaced with Quadlex. We have done this many times with out objection from inspectors. Is there any code that states this installation is acceptable? Or does the code state that this installation is not acceptable?

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