Replacing Corroded Main Lug

aw1338

New User
Location
Connecticut
Occupation
Realtor
Hi all,

Seeking some advice here as I am purchasing a home where the inspection turned up a corrosion on the main lug. I've been speaking to a few electricians, one of which has stated that he believes it will not be possible to replace just the lug and that he will need to replace the whole panel. The panel itself is quite new, about 5 years old, and I am wondering if he is trying to upsell me on this or if it isn't possible just to replace this lug as he started using some scare tactics that seemed a bit salesy. Furthermore, anybody have any ideas on how this one lug became corroded? I am also hoping to source the root of the corrosion to avoid any future issues.

Here is a photo of the issue at hand
https://ibb.co/128nkxw

Thanks in advance for your help.
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
IMO, the electrician is correct. That panel needs replacing. Looks like a lot of stress on the lug by the conductors. Hard to tell but obviously something was not tightened
 

tom baker

First Chief Moderator
Staff member
the lug on the right shows signs of overheating
Since this is the center lug its likely the neutral. Where is the white tape? Ask your HI about that. Pretty basic for that to be missed.
 

SSDriver

Member
Location
California
Definitely replace. Wire is at a sharp bend, probably much tighter than the required bending space and putting a ton of pressure on that lug. Wires are really short and most likely need replacing.

Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk
 

sw_ross

Senior Member
Location
NoDak
I'm working on a Reno project that has an ITE panel that has the lug configuration like the picture.

ITE panels are pretty common in my area but this is the first one I've come across with that lug configuration.
 

LarryFine

Master Electrician Electric Contractor Richmond VA
Location
Henrico County, VA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
Looking again, the pic could be upside-down. The two-pole main breaker is the type made with four breaker bodies.

It looks like the damage on the right side lug in the pic goes all the way to the breaker, and could have started there.
 

hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
Location
Hawthorne, New York NEC: 2014
Occupation
EC
Looking again, the pic could be upside-down. The two-pole main breaker is the type made with four breaker bodies.
Ahh, right! That corrosion looks like from moisture running down inside the SE. Couldn't figure out how it ran uphill, that would explain it.

Yeah, replace the panel and whatever needs to be replaced to do it.

-Hal
 

synchro

Senior Member
Location
Chicago, IL
Occupation
EE
Looking again, the pic could be upside-down. The two-pole main breaker is the type made with four breaker bodies.

It looks like the damage on the right side lug in the pic goes all the way to the breaker, and could have started there.
I was also thinking the pic could be upside down because the center neutral wire would then be the lowest in the conduit opening and maybe have moisture running along it. This would then promote corrosion of the center lug.

-Looks like Hal beat me to it on this.
 

Beaches EE

Senior Member
Location
NE Florida
Occupation
Electrical Engineer / Facilities Manager
The distance from the SE connector to the lugs is very short and the bend radius is stressing the conductors and lugs. In addition to the oxidation on the neutral, one of the hots looks to be overheated. The panel DOES appear to be more than 5 years old. It seems that a complete service change is in order.
 

norcal

Senior Member
That panel is a 1970's single phase ITE, the design was phased out in the late 70's, notice those 2 copper wires at the bottom of the damaged lug? They go to the neutral bar at the bottom of the panel. Replacement is the only option.
 

goldstar

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
I just had the same situation about 3 weeks ago. I had installed a Sq D, 150A Homeline panel back in 1993. I had used duct seal to further seal the w/p SEU connector at the top of the meter pan. Over the years that duct seal dried up and water got into the MB panel via the meter pan.

That said, I purchased another 150 MB panel, pulled the meter, removed the main breaker and top ground bar, installed the new ones and re-powered. About 2 hours worth of work. If you are able to get the same main breaker and ground bar I would change it out that way. If not, you'll have to change out the entire panel as others have suggested. Also, if any of the branch circuit breakers show rust or corrosion you're probably better off changing out the whole panel and breakers anyway.
 
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