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Electrical Wiring in the Home/aerial wiring - replacing a single bare wire

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Question
The main panel (150 amps) has a 50-amp circuit with a cable with two insulated black wires and one uninsulated wire, all encased in gray plastic(?), which runs through the house and then out and up a corner wall.  There the circuit connects to three separate wires which run to our barn (each wire separately, 9 or so inches apart) where there is a subpanel.  Halfway there, the wires are also connected to the well house which has an older fuse box (240 v., I think), which powers the well's water pump.  In the first span, the bare wire has snapped.  I am looking to repair the circuit, but am having problems understanding exactly what I need.  I thought I could just replace the wire that snapped, but no one in my area has anything like it.  Reading other posts, I assume the best answer is to replace the three wires with one 3 conductor cable with ground.  But, how do I connect that to the 2-conductor-with-ground cable coming through the house?  If I do use a new 3+1 cable, how does the bare wire get connected at each building?

Answer
Bruce,

Keep it simple and just fix whats broken. If you try to replace the entire cable you'll be dealing wih even more connections and what for ? Deal with the one wire and at the most your redoing two connections. If you can rejoin the two ends that split its even simpler but you would have to have enough slack in the line to do that and be able to keep enough constant tension on both lines long enough to make the repair which is easier said than done. You might be better off just running a new wire from point to point. Purchasing 1 wire which is all you need will be cheaper and less hassle than running a new 3 wire cable. Assuming the existing cables are in decent condition thats the route I would advise you to take. HD or lowes should have #8 or #6 THHN stranded "building wire". You said it was a 50 amp line so it should one of those two sizes.

Bob
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PASCACK VALLEY ELECTRIC Bob Mossman

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Licensed Master Electrician (32 years) 6165B Contractor in Closter New Jersey with 40 years total experience in Residential - Commercial - Industrial work. Emergency Service - General trouble shooting and repair work - ONAN & GENERAC generator installation - Paddle fans - Kitchen & Bath exhaust fans - AC lines - Smoke detectors - Telephone lines - Cable TV lines - Computer network cabling - Exterior lighting - Recessed lighting - Security lighting - (200 - 150 - 100 amp service up grades) - Electric Heat - New circuits - New appliance hook ups - and more ! FREE ESTIMATES 201-358-1552 Fully Insured

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Licensed contractor in Closter New Jersey.

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"The Frank Williams School of Electrical Construction". My dear old boss is 100 ! and still going God Bless him. I started working for "Tenafly Electric" right out of high school at 19. He was tough but I learned more working for him in 8 and half years than most guys. We did mostly industrial work while doing some commercial and residential so I was fortunate to be exposed to all 3 areas of electrical construction. The guys I worked with were all good guys and I stay in touch with some of them still. Most of us went into our own buisness's which says something about the caliber of the guys I worked with. We had some interesting clients : Wella Corp. of shampoo fame, Farah Fawcett etc, I didn't buy shampoo for 10 years. It was a great place to work. Pan Am the former airline just before they went under, another great place to work, nice clean environment. C&C Metals, the largest button manufacturer in the US at that time, a not so clean environment but a very interesting place to work, lots of machine's cranking out buttons of all kinds but you had to be on your toes, it was a potentially dangerous place to be . All kinds of action going on around you.

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