Strange happenings on the farm

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Hey all,
A while back i replaced two panels on a farm, one in the house and one in the barn, that were fed from the same pole-top disconnect. They had me replace the panels because of strange things that had been happening. From the sound of it, they lose one of the phase conductors every now and then. (some circuits didn't work all of a sudden while others did, such as the fridge or living room lights, and then later everything would turn back on) sometimes its just in the house or just in the barn or both. Also, the old fuse panel in the barn had blown the main fuse of one of the phase conductors feeding the panel a while back. I'm thinking there is a loose connection in the pole-top disconnect but would like to get some input from you fine folks.
If you need more info, plz ask
thanks in advance for you're responses
 

Little Bill

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Tennessee NEC:2017
Occupation
Electrician
Hey all,
A while back i replaced two panels on a farm, one in the house and one in the barn, that were fed from the same pole-top disconnect. They had me replace the panels because of strange things that had been happening. From the sound of it, they lose one of the phase conductors every now and then. (some circuits didn't work all of a sudden while others did, such as the fridge or living room lights, and then later everything would turn back on) sometimes its just in the house or just in the barn or both. Also, the old fuse panel in the barn had blown the main fuse of one of the phase conductors feeding the panel a while back. I'm thinking there is a loose connection in the pole-top disconnect but would like to get some input from you fine folks.
If you need more info, plz ask
thanks in advance for you're responses
When you say "pole-top disconnect" are you saying there is a service disconnect on a pole past the meter, and the house and barn panels are both sub panels? Is the barn panel fed from the house panel or vise-versa?
 

renosteinke

Senior Member
Location
NE Arkansas
I expect the OP's service, meter, and main disconnect are on a pole in the middle of the cluster of farm buildings, with feeders going to each building from that pole.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
I would guess that this "pole top disconnect" is owned by the POCO. Not common around here but is in some places.

I would try to load things up with some heavy loads - if there is a weak connection it should act up, if you find you lose the line ahead of customer equipment then call POCO and have them check their equipment.
 

stevebea

Senior Member
Location
Southeastern PA
I expect the OP's service, meter, and main disconnect are on a pole in the middle of the cluster of farm buildings, with feeders going to each building from that pole.
Most of the time there will also be a manual transfer switch on the pole. I see alot of this setup on the older farms around here where the load is not that high.
 
This has been sitting for a while but, my experience is that with anything on a pole top, including these, look out for corroded neutral and/or ground connections. The wind will vibrate mechanical connectors loose over time, leading to all sorts of wierd happenings. And sometimes there is very strange parts on farm wiring (at least out here).
 

ptonsparky

Senior Member
Location
NE (9.06 miles @5.9 Degrees from Winged Horses)
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
This has been sitting for a while but, my experience is that with anything on a pole top, including these, look out for corroded neutral and/or ground connections. The wind will vibrate mechanical connectors loose over time, leading to all sorts of wierd happenings. And sometimes there is very strange parts on farm wiring (at least out here).
Yup, you guys in the Western part of the State see some weird stuff. All our ducks are in a row.

Has the State assigned a new inspector to your area yet?
 
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