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250.32(B) curiousity

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    250.32(B) curiousity

    While waiting for PSE, I got asked about about an existing case. Outbuilding fed with 3 #6's but no fourth wire. Further, it appears the neutral bus is locally grounded...

    Now https://iaeimagazine.org/magazine/20...-requirements/ does what I think is a credible job of showing why that's not allowed.

    But I got to wondering about alternative solutions. I invite you to tell me how crazy/wrong I am with these.[LIST=1][*]If he has only 240VAC tools and lighting, use the three #6 for L1, L1, and ground. (i.e: Is a neutral required if not needed?)[*]He could buy a 240:120-0-120 transformer, declare the CT to be the neutral, ground it to the local & ground to main wires. That could handle hand tools.[*]Some 240V tools have a 120V control system/DRO, and would have to run off the transformer. Big loads, big transformer, big buck$[*]When you call the PoCo with the words "open neutral" {....Never heard of HIM..} they may show up with a large autotransformer with a centertap; they install it at your meter until they can fix your damaged feed. Suppose Joe Bridgeport did the same; it would only need to be sized for his 120V loads.[/LIST][LIST][*]So are there reasons each of the above won't work? Will any of them be allowed under the Code?[/LIST]Let the stoning begin!
    Last edited by Open Neutral; 09-11-19, 08:57 PM.

    #2
    How large is the circuit feeding this outbuilding?

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      #3
      If the outbuilding subpanel is rated 120/240, would you be allowed to install the line conductors but not the neutral? My gut says no, but IDK.

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        #4
        Assume we change the subpanel as required.

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          #5
          The only place the neutral/grounded conductor is required is at the service entrance. If loads don't require a neutral, then you're not required to run a neutral.
          [COLOR=navy]If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time![/COLOR]

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            #6
            At present, it's 60A. But I'm more interested in my left field ideas than the cold hard reality....

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              #7
              What about just leaving it alone. As long as there are no other metallic paths between the buildings and it was installed before the code change it is legal and safe.
              If Billy Idol is on your playlist go reevaluate your life.

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                #8
                Originally posted by Open Neutral View Post
                At present, it's 60A. But I'm more interested in my left field ideas than the cold hard reality....
                The way I understand you, it will work. It may not be the most efficient or cost effective method of doing it and I don't know if you can find a 240V only subpanel. You can always remove the neutral bus but then you have modification issues to deal with. Might do some informative labeling.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by oldsparky52 View Post

                  The way I understand you, it will work. It may not be the most efficient or cost effective method of doing it and I don't know if you can find a 240V only subpanel. You can always remove the neutral bus but then you have modification issues to deal with. Might do some informative labeling.
                  You don't have to remove the buss, you just don't hook anything up to it.
                  If Billy Idol is on your playlist go reevaluate your life.

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                    #10
                    And my other wacky ideas???

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                      #11
                      What you have proposed (#2, separate small xfmr for loads that need 120V) is done all the time with 3 phase 3 wire delta services. It becomes a local SDS (separately derived system). I don't see an issue with it.
                      __________________________________________________ ____________________________
                      Many people are shocked when they discover I am not a good electrician...

                      I'm in California, ergo I am still stuck on the 2014 NEC... We'll get around to the 2017 code in around 2021.

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                        #12
                        The old 250.32 B allowed us to run a 3 wire ,MBJ @ outbuildings w/GEC's

                        Which is basically what the POCO's do

                        Then they decided that there were too many 'return paths' , pipe, telecon, h20, etc

                        So they changed 250.32(B) to a 4 wire w/GEC's (remote OCPD's need only apply)

                        Keep in mind that we could (legally to code) install a dozen SDS's within a structure ,all w/MBJ's & GEC's

                        so yeah, let the stoning begin.....

                        ~RJ~

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by ActionDave View Post
                          What about just leaving it alone. As long as there are no other metallic paths between the buildings and it was installed before the code change it is legal and safe.


                          Roger
                          Moderator

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                            #14
                            So the transformer creates a SDS solving the neutral dilemma.

                            Will the autotransformer do so as well?



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                              #15
                              Originally posted by ActionDave View Post
                              What about just leaving it alone. As long as there are no other metallic paths between the buildings and it was installed before the code change it is legal and safe.
                              I think he must have a true EGC that is green or bare and is sized per 250.122, if so does that change your reply any? Some cases the conductor size may still be sufficient and if so then I agree with you other than technically it can not be green or re-identified unless it os 4 AWG or larger.
                              I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

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