DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > Electrical and Wiring > Can anyone explain to me the thing squared in red




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Old 11-03-2012, 04:16 AM  
speedy petey
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The cable strain relief has pulled out from your wall due to horizontal wind force deflecting your Service Entrance cable.
Apparently the strain relief bolt stripped and the nut and washer fell down inside your attic.
That is a lag insulator. There was no nut and washer. That was screwed into the corner post of the house. It's pretty easy to see.



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If this is not fixed your SE cable will have a short life. Copper cannot stand much tension
so the steel messenger cable that fastens to this anchor
carries the bulk of the tensile force.
The drop is super light fro what I can see and is not damaging the SE cable, but yes,this should be fixed as soon as possible.




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Now it kind of looks like the messenger cable is also the neutral conductor.
The messenger is always the neutral.



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And look at the differences in cable ODs between what goes into the house and what comes from the utility pole. The pole wires must be 1/3rd the diameter of the larger cables on the left. I'd guess the nominal 240 volts must drop quite a bit when all the 240v house appliances are on.
The drop from the street is typically much smaller than the service entrance. POCO's fly by their own rules and run what they see fit. Many times after a service upgrade they simply leave the existing drop. Unless of course the actual load has increased substantially.
I'm not sure what the 240v appliances have to do with it.


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Old 11-03-2012, 12:37 PM  
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That is a lag insulator. There was no nut and washer. That was screwed into the corner post of the house. It's pretty easy to see.
>the end looked square to me so I assumed it was a bolt. So now I guess I'd replace the lag screw with a bolt, then a coupler, then a threaded rod to be cut to length as needed, then a fender washer and nut

The drop is super light fro what I can see and is not damaging the SE cable, but yes,this should be fixed as soon as possible.
>Yet the wind force on this skinny cable was enough to pull out the lag screw.


The messenger is always the neutral.
>Is the neutral always the messenger? They don't use separate, steel messenger cables? So the (aluminum?) neutral is sized for both fault current ampacity and mechanical strength?

The drop from the street is typically much smaller than the service entrance. POCO's fly by their own rules and run what they see fit. Many times after a service upgrade they simply leave the existing drop. Unless of course the actual load has increased substantially.
I'm not sure what the 240v appliances have to do with it.
>Skinny drop = small CMs = high resistance = lower voltage available at the load center when all your appliances are on.
At my load center, a 20A, 240v load drops my voltage by 0.4v so a 200A, 240v load should drop my nominal 240v by ~4v, and then you've got the branch circuit drops.

Thanks for your info. This is not easily found on the Web.


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Old 11-03-2012, 12:49 PM  
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Old 11-03-2012, 05:26 PM  
speedy petey
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So now I guess I'd replace the lag screw with a bolt, then a coupler, then a threaded rod to be cut to length as needed, then a fender washer and nut
And since this is almost certainly on a finished interior wall HOW do you propose to do this??? Cut the wall open I assume?
A lag insulator is MORE than strong enough for this drop.


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Yet the wind force on this skinny cable was enough to pull out the lag screw.
HARDLY!
That happened because something either fell on the line, or fell on a line down the way, tensioning the wires, pulling the drop out. Or the pole itself broke.
Wind alone DID NOT do that. Never in a million years.


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Is the neutral always the messenger? They don't use separate, steel messenger cables? So the (aluminum?) neutral is sized for both fault current ampacity and mechanical strength?
Yes. No. Yes.
It's not just AL. It is an ACSR messenger. It is an AL conductor with a hardened steel single strand in the center. It is incredibly strong, and super hard to cut through.


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>Skinny drop = small CMs = high resistance = lower voltage available at the load center when all your appliances are on.
At my load center, a 20A, 240v load drops my voltage by 0.4v so a 200A, 240v load should drop my nominal 240v by ~4v, and then you've got the branch circuit drops.
240v loads cause MUCH less VD than 120V loads. 1/4 if I am not mistaken. That was my point.
Again, it is the POCO's prerogative to replace the drop. It is NOT mandatory.
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Old 11-03-2012, 06:10 PM  
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Cut the wall open I assume?
>If you have to, then use a drywall hot patch to fix the hole.

A lag insulator is MORE than strong enough for this drop.
>It wasn't this time.

HARDLY!
That happened because something either fell on the line, or fell on a line down the way, tensioning the wires, pulling the drop out. Or the pole itself broke.
Wind alone DID NOT do that. Never in a million years.
>I stand corrected, maybe. My first search for wind force on cables came up with one hit that I couldn't open. I'll be back on this one.

http://archive.ericsson.net/service/internet/picov/get?DocNo=23/28701-FGC101683&Lang=EN
Pg 18, 2000 newtons = 450 lbs. for a 90 meter span.
For a 9 meter span it's maybe 45 lbs.
I say you be right!

Yes. No. Yes.
It's not just AL. It is an ACSR messenger. It is an AL conductor with a hardened steel single strand in the center. It is incredibly strong, and super hard to cut through.
>Thanks, I've seen that conductor mentioned elsewhere.

240v loads cause MUCH less VD than 120V loads. 1/4 if I am not mistaken. That was my point.
>Only for equal wattage. Most 240v appliances are higher wattage.

Again, it is the POCO's prerogative to replace the drop. It is NOT mandatory.
>So if the HO asks for 200A service, he gets it, but PoCo is not compelled to provide that service to the house.
I guess the electrician could run a test and say what max service the homeowner could benefit from, if PoCo doesn't cooperate.

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Old 11-04-2012, 05:46 AM  
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>It wasn't this time.
Yeah, because a 20,000lb branch probably fell across the line.
I've seen it MANY times, and I'd much rather have the insulator pull out like that that have the whole corner of the house pulled down (which I have also seen).



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>Only for equal wattage. Most 240v appliances are higher wattage.
The wattage has NOTHING to do with it. 240V has 1/4 the voltage drop of 120V.



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>So if the HO asks for 200A service, he gets it, but PoCo is not compelled to provide that service to the house.
I guess the electrician could run a test and say what max service the homeowner could benefit from, if PoCo doesn't cooperate.
They ARE providing that service to the house. What is your limiting factor for this? Are you aware of the amperage ratings for conductors in free air? Are you aware that POCO's DO NOT have to follow the NEC?
What POSSIBLE test would/could an electrician run to see what a homeowner could benefit from?????? Connect up a 48,000 watt heater?
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:08 AM  
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A 500 cu. ft. tree branch?

This thread is getting less productive!!!!!!!!!

Here's an idea that PoCo may not like if they are paying for it!!!!!!!!

At the pole, a pull-out connector for each hot lead and one high force pull-out connector for the messenger. The HO's strain relief pull-out force must be higher than PoCo's connectors but not so high that chunks of the house follow the cable down.

That way if a very heavy branch lands on the wire it will be unpowered as it falls to the ground.

With all due respect I have a book recommendation for you. . .
http://www.amazon.com/On-Being-Certain-Believing-Right/dp/B008SLU5Z8

". . .certainty is a mental sensation, rather than evidence of fact."

Yeah, you could rent & connect a constant current, constant power or constant resistance load. These first two would need electronics of some kind.

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Old 11-04-2012, 10:46 AM  
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I am not the electrician. But here is the results

we call national grid few times and finally they came over. (Thanks for their hard work also, I talked to them and they work 16 hour per day).

So, first, they inspect the cable (meter). And they screw back the Lap insulator or neutral conductor (I am not sure but they screwed it back to the house).

And them inspect the cable from the Pole to my house. From few electrical sparks and they able to fixed it. Guess something from the Pole itself.

Since I don't know anything. But I would like at least provide what they did there and learn more.

Again, thanks for all the follow up and information you guys provided. I learn a lot there

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Old 11-04-2012, 03:45 PM  
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You have to fix the hole in your house.

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Old 11-04-2012, 04:45 PM  
speedy petey
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With all due respect I have a book recommendation for you. . .
http://www.amazon.com/On-Being-Certain-Believing-Right/dp/B008SLU5Z8

". . .certainty is a mental sensation, rather than evidence of fact."
So you are suggesting I am only correct in my head, but I believe I am right which is why I keep saying it??? You cannot be serious.

What is your area of expertise? Is it electrical contracting? Have you been at it for over 25 years?
When you can answer yes to the second two questions let me know. Until then I will stick to KNOWING I am right on this one. You can have your armchair contracting.

In fact, looking back on all the posts, there may be a book for you out there called "Continually Trying To Prove Folks Wrong: An Effort In Futility". Hell, you may even be the author.


And NO, no normal electrician, or any other kind of electrician, is going to rent a 50kW load to load test a 200A service. Not in the real world at least.


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