non insulated nutral wire in sub panels

Rhode Island electrical inspector is saying that a SEU cable that was existing can not be run in a sub panel. The use of this SEU cable is used for the electric range. He said all neutral wires have to be insulated. This all started after I installed a service rated transfer switch. I know anything after the switch is conceded a sub panel. I separated all neutrals and grounds in all the panels. Then he said to me he would except removing the SEU cable put it in a plastic box with a plastic cover. Connect a piece of 6/3 romex using the white of the 6/3 connect that to the neutral of the SEU connect the other two black / red to SEU then run the 6/3 romex to the panel. Cutting off the bare ground at both ends. I said to him if this is the case then I will just white tape it or use white heat shrink. Heat shrink is rated for 300 volt. His reply was NO not expectable.
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
IMO his fix is a cheaper band-aid, your idea being the cheapest. He could make you run a new cable so maybe his idea isn't so bad.

Welcome to the Forum. :)
 

dhalleron

Senior Member
Location
Louisville, KY
I don't think it is correct either way. This range neutral will also be used to ground the range because there was not a separate neutral and ground as I understand it.

Once the frame of the range is connected to this neutral, then if the range touches an existing gas pipe, refrigerator or any other grounded item, then your neutral is no longer floating in the sub panel as it should be. It would be just like tying the neutrals and grounds together in the sub panel as they are in the main panel. That defeats the purpose of separating neutrals and grounds in a sub panel.

I ran into something similar in an old house that used a bare neutral in a piece of bx on a multiwire branch circuit. It had a black, red and a bare. I haven?t seen that kind of bx often.

I think the correct way would be to replace the range circuit with a 4 wire circuit and change the cord and plug out to modern 4 wire.
 

eprice

Senior Member
Location
Utah
Rhode Island electrical inspector is saying that a SEU cable that was existing can not be run in a sub panel. The use of this SEU cable is used for the electric range. He said all neutral wires have to be insulated. This all started after I installed a service rated transfer switch. I know anything after the switch is conceded a sub panel. I separated all neutrals and grounds in all the panels. Then he said to me he would except removing the SEU cable put it in a plastic box with a plastic cover. Connect a piece of 6/3 romex using the white of the 6/3 connect that to the neutral of the SEU connect the other two black / red to SEU then run the 6/3 romex to the panel. Cutting off the bare ground at both ends. I said to him if this is the case then I will just white tape it or use white heat shrink. Heat shrink is rated for 300 volt. His reply was NO not expectable.
IMO, the inspector is correct in calling this out as a problem. 250.140 Exception 2 and 250.142(B) Exception 1 allowed the existing run because it originated in the service equipment. As soon as you installed the service rated transfer switch, the existing panel was no longer the service equipment and 250.140 Exception 2 no longer applies.

I don't see how the inspectors suggestion solves the problem.
 

GoldDigger

Moderator
Staff member
I don't see how the inspectors suggestion solves the problem.
It only solves the part of the problem that involves the "neutral" being uninsulated. You are correct that it does nothing to resolve the problem that there is now a requirement to run separate neutral and EGC to the range. The exemption that allowed the existing use to remain has been eliminated, as eprice stated.
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
The exception, using a 3-wire circuit for an existing installation, isn't really much different electrically than the inspector's solution. It moves the uninsulated neutral out of the subpanel, where it may inadvertently contact the metal enclosure, and replaces it with an insulated one.
 

eprice

Senior Member
Location
Utah
The exception, using a 3-wire circuit for an existing installation, isn't really much different electrically than the inspector's solution. It moves the uninsulated neutral out of the subpanel, where it may inadvertently contact the metal enclosure, and replaces it with an insulated one.
This makes sense to me. This would be a reason why the inspector's solution would be a better solution than just phase taping the SEU neutral with white tape.
 

GoldDigger

Moderator
Staff member
Just a note, members here have stated that some jurisdictions allow taping or other forms of insulation methods such as heat shrink in this application.
Phase taping is usually thought of a a means of marking. If you want to use tape as insulation, the coverage needs to be more complete and thicker than it would be for marking only. (Hence different inspectors or AHJs could easily set different standards.) Heat shrink is perceived as more durable, I think.
 

jumper

Senior Member
Phase taping is usually thought of a a means of marking. If you want to use tape as insulation, the coverage needs to be more complete and thicker than it would be for marking only. (Hence different inspectors or AHJs could easily set different standards.) Heat shrink is perceived as more durable, I think.
I agree and note that I never used the word phase.

The most applicable section I could find was 110.14(B) which has this:

All splices and joints and the free ends of conductors
shall be covered with an insulation equivalent to that of
the conductors or with an insulating device identified for
the purpose.
 

mwm1752

Senior Member
Location
Aspen, Colo
NEC 2011 Exhibit 250.55 seems to clarify the issue. Certainly puts the perspective of the job from simple to complicated if the se cable is fed from a feeder panel.
 

Little Bill

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Tennessee NEC:2017
Occupation
Electrician
Just a note, members here have stated that some jurisdictions allow taping or other forms of insulation methods such as heat shrink in this application.
:thumbsup:
Also, just because tape is a different color than black doesn't mean it's only use is phase marking. Some have insulating properties.
 

GoldDigger

Moderator
Staff member
:thumbsup:
Also, just because tape is a different color than black doesn't mean it's only use is phase marking. Some have insulating properties.
And if they do, the manufacturer will have instructions for using them for insulating purposes. Those instructions do not have to be followed if just using them for marking. :)
 
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