What is FOUR wire Triplex for?

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On 01/13/2013 07:14 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

3+1 wires sounds to me like three phase service which would be common for a large industrial service. but as others have said the bare would in fact be a neutral/ground conductor and would in fact be connected.
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wrote:

I've only lived here for about 12 years. The building that cable feeds was once a clothing store in the 50's. then a JC Penneys, (in the 1960s - 80s) then it was supposed to be a become a bar/restaurant, (early 2000s) with a dance hall, but after some renovation, the owner moved, and the place was never opened. Now it's unoccupied. The building is likely close to 100 years old. The entire downtown consists of building of that age, except for a few newer ones. My guess is that the wires may have been 3 phase, but I really dont know why a clothing store or Penneys would need 3 phase. But I'm wondering if that cable was added in the early 2000's when that bar/restarant was supposed to open. I could see the need for 3 phase for walk in coolers and other industrial food preparation equipment. It's hard to tell the age of that cable, but it's older looking, but not cracked or bad looking. I'd take a wild guess that the power company installed it for future upgrade to 3 phase for that bar/rest. Just a guess!!!!
Prior to that 1950s clothing store, I'm not sure what the building was used for, and so far no one else in town seems to remember, except that maybe it was a clothing store going way back to when it was built. It's a large 3 story building for a small town, but would be small for a big city. Typical turn of the century store front with large glass windows. It's supposed to be in pretty good shape for its age, but the guy just leaves it vacant and dont try to sell it. Apparently he must think it's going to be a "gold mine" in later years. Who knows????
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On Jan 14, 2:44 pm, snipped-for-privacy@home.com wrote:

The power demands of a typical JC penny are going to be greater than the power needs of a bar/restaurant. For one thing, a large dept store has large HVAC needs. Any dept store I've been in would blow away a bar/rest from that standpoint alone. Also, the JC Penny type stores typically have escalators, elevators, etc.
 It's hard to tell the age of that cable,

Seems rather unlikely. How could anyone predict decades ago what might or might not go into a building at some point in the future? IF anything it would appear that it was a 3 phase service that was backed down to 240V.
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On Mon, 14 Jan 2013 13:14:33 -0800 (PST), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

In that case, then it may have been 3 phase in the past adn was backed down to single phase since then.

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On Sun, 13 Jan 2013 05:57:42 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@home.com wrote:

That says "3 phase". Three hots and a neutral. You can verify it by looking at the transformers. If you see 2, one perhaps bigger than the other, it is 3 phase center tapped delta. (AKA red leg or wild leg)
http://gfretwell.com/electrical/red%20leg%20transformers.jpg
If you see 3 equally sized transformers it is usually 3p wye
http://gfretwell.com/electrical/3%20p%20wye-wye.jpg
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On Jan 13, 10:01 am, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Did you read the part where he says the "neutral" is not connected to anything? Sounds like a support wire to me.

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On Sun, 13 Jan 2013 07:20:23 -0800 (PST), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

The bare wire on the pole is the neutral.

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On Jan 13, 10:55 am, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

But again, he says the neutral wire in the service cable that he is talking about is not connected. It can't be a neutral if it's not connected.
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On 1/13/2013 9:20 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote: ...

Iff'en it "is not connected to anything" how can it support anything?
I'd not think that would be how OP would have written the description if it were the support cable he was speaking of.
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I would assume by "not connected to anything", he means it is not electrically connected to anything. He doesn't say anything about whether it's physically connected to the building, pole, etc

From what he wrote, a lot isn't clear. Hopefully he will clarify it.
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On 1/13/2013 10:05 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote: ...

Well, if it were physically connected to the structure/pole, w/o it being electrically connected it would be pretty clear it wasn't an electrical conductor wouldn't it? And, then it would be even more unlikely to be said it was "unconnected".
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On 1/13/2013 10:59 AM, dpb wrote:

The original post mentions describes the "four wire triplex" with one wire unconnected. "trader" introduced the idea of it being the "neutral"
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No, I didn't introduce the idea that it was the neutral. The OP stated that in the first sentence:
"A large store downtown has a heavy FOUR wire triplex feeding the building. 3 wires are black insulated, the other is the bare neutral. "
Then he says:
"The thing that caught my attention to it, is that the 4th wire is not connected to anything. "
So he's saying he has 3 black insulated, the other is the bare neutral. The 4th wire is not connected to anything. I took that 4th wire to be the bare neutral. But it's not clear what exactly he means by the 4th wire. If it's one of the 3 blacks, I would think he would just say one of the blacks is not connected.
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On 1/13/2013 10:20 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

The version on the newsserver I use does not mention anything about the "neutral" being unconnected.

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The confusion is that he first says there are 3 black wires and a bare neutral. Then he says the "4th wire" is not connected to anything. Since he was talking about 3+1 and then says "the 4th wire", I took that 4th wire to be the bare neutral. It's not clear what the 4th wire is. If the 4th wire is one of the other three, then I would think he would have said:
There are 3 blacks, one of them is unconnected and there is a bare neutral. That is the way the rest of you seem to be interpreting it. Hopefully he'll clarify.
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On Sun, 13 Jan 2013 08:27:47 -0800 (PST), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

That is why I said "look at the transformers"
The topic is called "what is FOUR wire Triplex for? and the answer is "3 phase" I bet if he posts a picture, you are going to see that bare wire connected to the strand on the pole and one might believe that is not connected to anything but that is the neutral.
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On Jan 13, 11:58 am, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

around pittsburgh many aerial drops use a bare wire not connected to anything but the pole and building mechanically... no electric connections....
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wrote:

They have a messenger on service conductors that is not bonded?
They must have a different spin on wiring services there. The NESC even requires bonding messengers on low voltage.
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On 1/13/2013 12:07 PM, bob haller wrote:

bare wires than can become energized for any reason even if unused.
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On Jan 13, 11:58 am, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Yes, I agree, IF they are all in fact connected. But that sure isn't what he's saying. And as I've said, from the confusing post, it's not clear exactly what the 4th allegedly unconnected wire is, ie the bare or one of the conductors.
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