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  #21  
Old March 19th, 2017, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by sparkman View Post
That was a pretty common way of wiring split kitchen outlets and was allowed by code. The expectation was that only the unbalanced load was carried on the neutral. It is still allowed by code in many jurisdictions.

Cheers
Al
I am sure it was up to code at the time and for all I know may be still. Nevertheless, in the kitchen with one leg supplying the dishwasher and another to 20A outlets that could potentially have a coffee maker and/or toaster oven, that neutral could be carrying 30+ amps of continuous load. Both of us know that a 12AWG wire could probably handle that without catastrophic failure, it still is not the way I would want it wired. It would also have to be the perfect storm of brewing coffee, making toast and the dishwasher on the drying cycle befour the neutrals limitation would be a factor. At a minimum there could be substantial voltage drop to all of the appliances.
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  #22  
Old March 19th, 2017, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by racerfern View Post
It would be interesting to see fire department data for that neighborhood since it was built.
AFAIK, no problems, there. This was 'homeowner repair" either contracted out to the incompetent or made by the previous homeowner himself, who owns a repair shop and should know better.

He had a penchant for hiring idiots. The brick patio with an underlayment of mulch. The sprinkler system with the valves buried without benefit of boxes. The HVAC system with one enormous plenum fabricated out of Insulboard and fed into what looked like a herd of Snuffleupagi babies nursing from their mother....

Finally, I think I have fixed nearly all of his "improvements."
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  #23  
Old March 19th, 2017, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rprade View Post
I am sure it was up to code at the time and for all I know may be still. Nevertheless, in the kitchen with one leg supplying the dishwasher and another to 20A outlets that could potentially have a coffee maker and/or toaster oven, that neutral could be carrying 30+ amps of continuous load. Both of us know that a 12AWG wire could probably handle that without catastrophic failure, it still is not the way I would want it wired. It would also have to be the perfect storm of brewing coffee, making toast and the dishwasher on the drying cycle befour the neutrals limitation would be a factor. At a minimum there could be substantial voltage drop to all of the appliances.
Hi Randy, because the two legs are out of phase, the current flows will be out of phase as well. Assuming purely resistive loads, the current in the neutral for the two phases will cancel out. So if you had a coffee maker drawing 10A on one phase and a toaster drawing 6A on the other, the current on the neutral would be 4A, not 16A. Most loads won't be purely resistive so the currents won't be perfectly out of phase, but most of it will be cancelled out.

Cheers
Al
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  #24  
Old March 19th, 2017, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparkman View Post
Hi Randy, because the two legs are out of phase, the current flows will be out of phase as well. Assuming purely resistive loads, the current in the neutral for the two phases will cancel out. So if you had a coffee maker drawing 10A on one phase and a toaster drawing 6A on the other, the current on the neutral would be 4A, not 16A. Most loads won't be purely resistive so the currents won't be perfectly out of phase, but most of it will be cancelled out.

Cheers
Al
I didnt think that through, but you are correct. They are wired to different phases - as long as someone doesn't screw up the connections in the breaker panel. I still don't like it.
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  #25  
Old March 19th, 2017, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by rprade View Post
I didnt think that through, but you are correct. They are wired to different phases - as long as someone doesn't screw up the connections in the breaker panel. I still don't like it.
Most of the ones I have seen (including in my own houses) used double breakers so that guaranteed that both phases were used.

Cheers
Al
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  #26  
Old March 19th, 2017, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by sparkman View Post
Most of the ones I have seen (including in my own houses) used double breakers so that guaranteed that both phases were used.

Cheers
Al
Mine doesn't, but both runs did use adjoining pairs of breakers. That still could allow some stupid head to connect the two wires to breakers on the same phase
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