# Thread: Service Neutral Grounded Conductor Ampacity?

1. Junior Member
Join Date
Apr 2015
Location
Las Vegas NV
Posts
15
Originally Posted by GoldDigger
It looks like you are falling into a common misconception. A 200A service is not 100A on each leg. It is 200A on each leg. 200A at 240V.

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
That is exactly what I was thinking. Does that mean if I'm provided a 200 amp service into a 200 amp panel at 240 volts that I can actually drawl 400 amps if all my loads were 120 volt hot to neutral?

2. Originally Posted by hitehm
That is exactly what I was thinking. Does that mean if I'm provided a 200 amp service into a 200 amp panel at 240 volts that I can actually drawl 400 amps if all my loads were 120 volt hot to neutral?
No. That also leads to misconceptions. You can draw up to 200A of 120V loads on one line and up to 200A of 120V loads on the other.

3. Junior Member
Join Date
Apr 2015
Location
Las Vegas NV
Posts
15
Originally Posted by Smart \$
No. That also leads to misconceptions. You can draw up to 200A of 120V loads on one line and up to 200A of 120V loads on the other.
I think I'm getting this now. When all the hot to neutral loads are balanced, they actually become pairs of line to line loads each with 2 equal (in theory) loads in series across the entire 240 volts which gives a voltage "drop" across each of 120V.

example: One 6 ohm load across the 120 volts of line A will pull 20 amps but when paired with another 6 ohm load on line B they become 12 ohms total across 240 volts drawing the same 20 amps. Either way, the main breaker will trip when the panel collectively pulls over 200 amps.

I think I'm getting this. For clarity, does this mean the max unbalanced load is 200 amps in a 200 amp panel? One phase using the entire available current and pushing it all through the neutral wire?

4. Moderator
Join Date
Dec 2012
Location
Placerville, CA, USA
Posts
18,176
Yes, I think you've got it!

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

5. 200 amps * 70% = 140 amps
Right or wrong looks like the question writer was thinking of this:

220.61 Feeder or Service Neutral Load.(A) Basic Calculation. The feeder or service neutral load
shall be the maximum unbalance of the load determined by
maximum net calculated load between the neutral conduc-
tor and any one ungrounded conductor.
Exception: For 3-wire, 2-phase or 5-wire, 2-phase sys-
tems, the maximum unbalanced load shall be the maximum
net calculated load between the neutral conductor and any
one ungrounded conductor multiplied by 140 percent.
(B) Permitted Reductions. A service or feeder supplying
demand factor of 70 percent applied to the amount in
220.61(B)(1) or portion of the amount in 220.61(B)(2) de-
termined by the basic calculation:

6. Moderator
Join Date
Dec 2012
Location
Placerville, CA, USA
Posts
18,176
Originally Posted by infinity
200 amps * 70% = 140 amps
Right or wrong looks like the question writer was thinking of this:
But what are the "following loads"?
The test question does not describe anything about the loads on the service.

7. Originally Posted by GoldDigger
But what are the "following loads"?
The test question does not describe anything about the loads on the service.
They might not be applicable to the question but who knows what the writer was thinking. I was merely pointing out that the answer given of 140 amps can be derived from using the 70% rule in 220.61(B). If that was the writer's intent then more info should be given. As a test question I would have chosen 140 amps as the answer.

8. Originally Posted by Smart \$
No. That also leads to misconceptions. You can draw up to 200A of 120V loads on one line and up to 200A of 120V loads on the other.
On a 120/240 single phase supply that means the neutral is going to be balanced and carry near zero current at that kind of loading. For 208/120 wye only utilizing two ungrounded plus the neutral conductors - the neutral will be carrying approximately 200 amps in that situation.

Originally Posted by hitehm
I think I'm getting this now. When all the hot to neutral loads are balanced, they actually become pairs of line to line loads each with 2 equal (in theory) loads in series across the entire 240 volts which gives a voltage "drop" across each of 120V.

example: One 6 ohm load across the 120 volts of line A will pull 20 amps but when paired with another 6 ohm load on line B they become 12 ohms total across 240 volts drawing the same 20 amps. Either way, the main breaker will trip when the panel collectively pulls over 200 amps.

I think I'm getting this. For clarity, does this mean the max unbalanced load is 200 amps in a 200 amp panel? One phase using the entire available current and pushing it all through the neutral wire?
Yes, but keep in mind the three phase why scenario I mentioned using only two phases and a neutral - that neutral will carry approximately same current as the ungrounded conductors because of the 120 degree phase angle.

Originally Posted by infinity
200 amps * 70% = 140 amps
Right or wrong looks like the question writer was thinking of this:
But the conditions that follow don't ordinarily apply to a single family dwelling or other small single phase services.

Question as written can't be answered, it must include more details of the installation, including service entrance conductor size and type, as the absolute minimum neutral conductor will be no smaller then the smallest allowed grounding electrode conductor in all cases.

9. Originally Posted by kwired
But the conditions that follow don't ordinarily apply to a single family dwelling or other small single phase services.

Question as written can't be answered, it must include more details of the installation, including service entrance conductor size and type, as the absolute minimum neutral conductor will be no smaller then the smallest allowed grounding electrode conductor in all cases.
Why couldn't 1) possibly apply?

(B) Permitted Reductions. A service or feeder supplyingthe following loads shall be permitted to have an additionaldemand factor of 70 percent applied to the amount in220.61(B)(1) or portion of the amount in 220.61(B)(2) determinedby the basic calculation:
(1) A feeder or service supplying household electricranges, wall-mounted ovens, counter-mounted cookingunits, and electric dryers, where the maximum unbalancedload has been determined in accordance withTable 220.55 for ranges and Table 220.54 for dryers

10. Senior Member
Join Date
Feb 2003
Location
Pennsylvania
Posts
2,078
Originally Posted by infinity
200 amps * 70% = 140 amps
Right or wrong looks like the question writer was thinking of this:
I agree the question is most likely directed at that section of the code

But with out the load calculations you could not apply the 70% reduction to a 200 amp service

“or portion of the amount in 220.61(B)(2) determined by the basic calculation:

(2) That portion of the unbalanced load in excess of 200 amperes where the feeder or service is supplied from a 3-wire dc or single-phase ac system; or a 4-wire, 3-phase, 3-wire, 2-phase system; or a 5-wire, 2-phase system”
Last edited by david; 10-13-17 at 10:44 AM.

#### Posting Permissions

• You may not post new threads
• You may not post replies
• You may not post attachments
• You may not edit your posts
•