Velocity Reviews > Electrical problem

# Electrical problem

Norm
Guest
Posts: n/a

 01-31-2004

"CooTer" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:bvfinv\$rn4od\$(E-Mail Removed)-berlin.de...
> I have some questions for any electricians that may be lurking about...
> I was using a small 3gal compressor (rated 15A) in my house when I lost
> blah, blah, blah

I'd bet there is a GFIC breaker up stream on the same circuit.

Same thing happened to me. Outlet went dead in garage. GFI was tripped in
upstairs guest bath.

Mellowed
Guest
Posts: n/a

 01-31-2004

I think that you should get an Electrician to sort this one out. You
should only have 240VAC coming from the street. The Neutral wire when
compared to either hot line of the 240V should read 120V. The house
voltage is split at the junction box so that some circuits are using one
side of the 240V and other circuits are using the other side. For
example, maybe the lights are using one phase and the wall outlets are
using the other phase. Every other Circuit Breaker is using the opposite
phase.

Ideally you should have Zero Volts from the white wire to ground. Any
voltage between the two is a 'ground loop' as the neutral (white) wire
should be grounded. Any voltage between the two is caused by current
and should only be in the magnitude of a few volts at most.

I'm not comfortable with how I expressed the above statement. The
bottom line is that you should get an Electrician to sort it out.

"CooTer" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:bvfinv\$rn4od\$(E-Mail Removed)-berlin.de...
: I have some questions for any electricians that may be lurking
: I was using a small 3gal compressor (rated 15A) in my house when I
lost
: power to 4 outlets. I immediately thoughtt it was a breaker so I
checked,
: none tripped. I turned each one off and on again and power was still
not
: restored. I pulled the outlet from the wall where I had the compressor
: plugged in and all the wiring still appears new, tough, like it was
just
: installed (house is a mere 7 years old) in other words, nothing was
burnt or
: melted within the wall of the said outlet nor did I smell anything
nearby or
: at the breaker panel. I got a multimeter and took some measurements:
:
: Incoming is 440VAC from outside to panel rated 200amps
: 12.5 ohms between the black & white wires, no voltage.
: 125 VAC from the white wire to ground, 60 Hz
: 124.5 VAC from the black wire to ground, 60 Hz
:
: So the power is there on both wires but not connected between the two.
: What could the problem be? A friend suggested a faulty breaker but
would
: there still be voltage on both wires to ground?
: And info appreciated.
: Thanks.
:
:

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Willard
Guest
Posts: n/a

 01-31-2004
"CooTer" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message news:<bvfinv\$rn4od\$(E-Mail Removed)-berlin.de>...
> I have some questions for any electricians that may be lurking about...
> I was using a small 3gal compressor (rated 15A) in my house when I lost
> power to 4 outlets. I immediately thoughtt it was a breaker so I checked,
> none tripped. I turned each one off and on again and power was still not
> restored. I pulled the outlet from the wall where I had the compressor
> plugged in and all the wiring still appears new, tough, like it was just
> installed (house is a mere 7 years old) in other words, nothing was burnt or
> melted within the wall of the said outlet nor did I smell anything nearby or
> at the breaker panel. I got a multimeter and took some measurements:
>
> Incoming is 440VAC from outside to panel rated 200amps
> 12.5 ohms between the black & white wires, no voltage.
> 125 VAC from the white wire to ground, 60 Hz
> 124.5 VAC from the black wire to ground, 60 Hz
>
> So the power is there on both wires but not connected between the two.
> What could the problem be? A friend suggested a faulty breaker but would
> there still be voltage on both wires to ground?
> And info appreciated.
> Thanks.

For a standard "house panel" there should be "no voltage measured
anywhere over 240 volts", regardless of open circuits, shortcircuits
or grounding on any of the loadside or lineside wires.. The problem
obviously is in the line side feeder connection, grounding or utility
transformer.. From your measurements I suspect an unothodox connection
from a 440v system to your 240/120v "house panel" possibly involving
the ground circuit as a current carrying lead.. I would definitely
panel"..

Westlaker
Guest
Posts: n/a

 02-01-2004

"Willard" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) om...
> "CooTer" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message

news:<bvfinv\$rn4od\$(E-Mail Removed)-berlin.de>...
> > I have some questions for any electricians that may be lurking about...
> > I was using a small 3gal compressor (rated 15A) in my house when I lost
> > power to 4 outlets. I immediately thoughtt it was a breaker so I

checked,
> > none tripped. I turned each one off and on again and power was still not
> > restored. I pulled the outlet from the wall where I had the compressor
> > plugged in and all the wiring still appears new, tough, like it was just
> > installed (house is a mere 7 years old) in other words, nothing was

burnt or
> > melted within the wall of the said outlet nor did I smell anything

nearby or
> > at the breaker panel. I got a multimeter and took some measurements:
> >
> > Incoming is 440VAC from outside to panel rated 200amps
> > 12.5 ohms between the black & white wires, no voltage.
> > 125 VAC from the white wire to ground, 60 Hz
> > 124.5 VAC from the black wire to ground, 60 Hz
> >
> > So the power is there on both wires but not connected between the two.
> > What could the problem be? A friend suggested a faulty breaker but would
> > there still be voltage on both wires to ground?
> > And info appreciated.
> > Thanks.

>
> For a standard "house panel" there should be "no voltage measured
> anywhere over 240 volts", regardless of open circuits, shortcircuits
> or grounding on any of the loadside or lineside wires.. The problem
> obviously is in the line side feeder connection, grounding or utility
> transformer.. From your measurements I suspect an unothodox connection
> from a 440v system to your 240/120v "house panel" possibly involving
> the ground circuit as a current carrying lead.. I would definitely
> panel"..

If your in North America, You should have three #2 or heavier wires at the
Ideally they will be coloured Red Black & White,..This is referred to as
120/240 3 wire
Red & Black are both Hot and should read 240v between them.
The White is the neutral, and is grounded. Between the White and either the
Red or Black
At no time should you get a voltage between the White and ground. If you do,
it indicates that
the neutral is open somewhere. The most common cause of this is a burnt
connection in a box
somewhere in the wall, caused by a loose connection...
This was common when they used Aluminum wiring some time ago.
It can still happen today however, so you will have to open up all the boxes
one by one and
visually look for the bad connection...Good luck...

Bill
Guest
Posts: n/a

 02-01-2004
Coo Ter wrote:

>12.5 ohms between the black & white wires, no voltage.
>125 VAC from the white wire to ground, 60 Hz
>124.5 VAC from the black wire to ground, 60 Hz
>
>So the power is there on both wires but not connected between the two.
>What could the problem be? A friend suggested a faulty breaker but would
>there still be voltage on both wires to ground?
>And info appreciated.
>Thanks.

Hi,

You have on open neutral upstream of the affected outlets. The reason you
measure 120v on the white wire is that a load is present(light bulb, battery
charger or the like). If you plug in an outlet tester it will most likely say
that the ground and neutral are reversed, a comman fault of these type testers
with open neutral problems.

An open neutral could be caused by a defective GFI, as well as a loose
connection. Worst case might be a nail in the Romex inside a wall.

=

Bill
MrHandiman.com
North Myrtle Beach,SC

CooTer
Guest
Posts: n/a

 02-01-2004
I found part of the problem. the 1st outlet on this circuit where the main
feed comes to the outlet and feeds the rest of the circuit I found the
*black* wire musta got hot and burnt to ground where it took a chunk out of
the ground wire and burnt the end of the black wire in two. Naturally, I cut
the bad parts of the ground and black wire off and re connected with the
same problem. Turns out, the wiring from the 1st outlet to the last is fine.
I jerry rigged an extension cord (dangerous I know but without proper
testing equipment, the hillbilly way is best!) and stuck the wires that feed
the rest of the circuit into the plug in end of the cord, plugged the other
end of the cord into a working outlet and wah lah, it works. Now, I'm left
with the problem from the main feed wire feeding this circuit back to the
box. I got the multimeter and took some more measurements:

Black wire to ground = 125VAC
White wire to ground = 0VAC
Black wire to white wire = 0VAC

Black wire to white wire resistance = open (tested with breaker on and off)
Black wire to ground resistance (tested with breaker on and off) =
open-breaker off/jumpy-breaker on
White wire to ground resistance (tested with breaker on and off) = open

I have an electrician coming tomorrow to check into it. Hopefully the wire
is good and something happened in the box.

In response to those who are wondering about the 440V incoming, I have two
boxes in the garage. one is a box, same size as the next with a label that
says "440VAC Disconnect main prior to servicing" and it has 2 breakers, a
main and one slightly smaller looking one. Right beside it is the one for
the house with all the lighting, etc on it and looks like one 3" pipe
connecting the 2 panels. I know the previous homeowner ran some pretty hefty
equipment in the garage but I have no idea what. I know that I do not have
any such equipment that operates at that voltage. The previous owner had
this house built and I assume he musta went thru hell to get such voltage
into this house.

CooTer wrote:
> I have some questions for any electricians that may be lurking
> I was using a small 3gal compressor (rated 15A) in my house when I
> lost power to 4 outlets. I immediately thoughtt it was a breaker so I
> checked, none tripped. I turned each one off and on again and power
> was still not restored. I pulled the outlet from the wall where I had
> the compressor plugged in and all the wiring still appears new,
> tough, like it was just installed (house is a mere 7 years old) in
> other words, nothing was burnt or melted within the wall of the said
> outlet nor did I smell anything nearby or at the breaker panel. I got
> a multimeter and took some measurements:
>
> Incoming is 440VAC from outside to panel rated 200amps
> 12.5 ohms between the black & white wires, no voltage.
> 125 VAC from the white wire to ground, 60 Hz
> 124.5 VAC from the black wire to ground, 60 Hz
>
> So the power is there on both wires but not connected between the two.
> What could the problem be? A friend suggested a faulty breaker but
> would there still be voltage on both wires to ground?
> And info appreciated.
> Thanks.

docmill
Guest
Posts: n/a

 02-01-2004
Now your neutral is open. But I bet that compressor ran to beat Hell,
before things went to ****.

"CooTer" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in
news:bvhtg0\$suk2i\$(E-Mail Removed)-berlin.de:

> I found part of the problem. the 1st outlet on this circuit where the
> main feed comes to the outlet and feeds the rest of the circuit I
> found the *black* wire musta got hot and burnt to ground where it took
> a chunk out of the ground wire and burnt the end of the black wire in
> two. Naturally, I cut the bad parts of the ground and black wire off
> and re connected with the same problem. Turns out, the wiring from the
> 1st outlet to the last is fine. I jerry rigged an extension cord
> (dangerous I know but without proper testing equipment, the hillbilly
> way is best!) and stuck the wires that feed the rest of the circuit
> into the plug in end of the cord, plugged the other end of the cord
> into a working outlet and wah lah, it works. Now, I'm left with the
> problem from the main feed wire feeding this circuit back to the box.
> I got the multimeter and took some more measurements:
>
> Black wire to ground = 125VAC
> White wire to ground = 0VAC
> Black wire to white wire = 0VAC
>
> Black wire to white wire resistance = open (tested with breaker on and
> off) Black wire to ground resistance (tested with breaker on and off)
> = open-breaker off/jumpy-breaker on
> White wire to ground resistance (tested with breaker on and off) =
> open
>
> I have an electrician coming tomorrow to check into it. Hopefully the
> wire is good and something happened in the box.
>
> In response to those who are wondering about the 440V incoming, I have
> two boxes in the garage. one is a box, same size as the next with a
> label that says "440VAC Disconnect main prior to servicing" and it has
> 2 breakers, a main and one slightly smaller looking one. Right beside
> it is the one for the house with all the lighting, etc on it and looks
> like one 3" pipe connecting the 2 panels. I know the previous
> homeowner ran some pretty hefty equipment in the garage but I have no
> idea what. I know that I do not have any such equipment that operates
> at that voltage. The previous owner had this house built and I assume
> he musta went thru hell to get such voltage into this house.
>
>
> CooTer wrote:
>> I have some questions for any electricians that may be lurking
>> I was using a small 3gal compressor (rated 15A) in my house when I
>> lost power to 4 outlets. I immediately thoughtt it was a breaker so I
>> checked, none tripped. I turned each one off and on again and power
>> was still not restored. I pulled the outlet from the wall where I had
>> the compressor plugged in and all the wiring still appears new,
>> tough, like it was just installed (house is a mere 7 years old) in
>> other words, nothing was burnt or melted within the wall of the said
>> outlet nor did I smell anything nearby or at the breaker panel. I got
>> a multimeter and took some measurements:
>>
>> Incoming is 440VAC from outside to panel rated 200amps
>> 12.5 ohms between the black & white wires, no voltage.
>> 125 VAC from the white wire to ground, 60 Hz
>> 124.5 VAC from the black wire to ground, 60 Hz
>>
>> So the power is there on both wires but not connected between the
>> two. What could the problem be? A friend suggested a faulty breaker
>> but would there still be voltage on both wires to ground?
>> And info appreciated.
>> Thanks.

>
>
>

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CooTer
Guest
Posts: n/a

 02-01-2004
Its runtime wasn't more than 5 minutes, plugged it in and it pumped the tank
up about ¾'s of the way b4 i lost power. keep in mind its only a 3 gal.
tank.

docmill wrote:
> Now your neutral is open. But I bet that compressor ran to beat Hell,
> before things went to ****.

docmill
Guest
Posts: n/a

 02-01-2004
I'm not laughing or making fun, I have dealt with what you have. I have 9
breaker boxes in my house and 2 outlets in the shop that are wired as you
describe, only they have 120 on both hot an neutral to grnd, and 220 to
each other, a 30 amp breaker. So if you are on a 15 amp circut, then one
of the outlets is awry. Or your neutral is hotwired in the box.
Seen this happen before, but after all the equip. blew up, the guy said he
checked the outlet with his shaver. He said it ran really fast. Well we
put speakers on the roof and carried on. To bad about the band.

"CooTer" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in
news:bvhvdm\$slefj\$(E-Mail Removed)-berlin.de:

> Its runtime wasn't more than 5 minutes, plugged it in and it pumped
> the tank up about ¾'s of the way b4 i lost power. keep in mind its
> only a 3 gal. tank.
>
> docmill wrote:
>> Now your neutral is open. But I bet that compressor ran to beat
>> Hell, before things went to ****.

>
>
>

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CooTer
Guest
Posts: n/a

 02-01-2004
I understand, I wasn't trying to sound angry or anything just wanted to
explain as best as possible what I did to cause this mess and what I've done
to troubleshoot it. Also wanted to thank you for your info on this matter,
its had me bonkers since it happened last night. wouldn't be so important if
my security system didn't run on this circuit. I'll see what the electrician
says tomorrow, thankfully its someone who works where I work so its gonna be
a freebie . Thanks again.

docmill wrote:
> I'm not laughing or making fun, I have dealt with what you have. I
> have 9 breaker boxes in my house and 2 outlets in the shop that are
> wired as you describe, only they have 120 on both hot an neutral to
> grnd, and 220 to each other, a 30 amp breaker. So if you are on a 15
> amp circut, then one of the outlets is awry. Or your neutral is
> hotwired in the box.
> Seen this happen before, but after all the equip. blew up, the guy
> said he checked the outlet with his shaver. He said it ran really
> fast. Well we put speakers on the roof and carried on. To bad about
> the band.
>
>
>
>
> "CooTer" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in
> news:bvhvdm\$slefj\$(E-Mail Removed)-berlin.de:
>
>> Its runtime wasn't more than 5 minutes, plugged it in and it pumped
>> the tank up about ¾'s of the way b4 i lost power. keep in mind its
>> only a 3 gal. tank.
>>
>> docmill wrote:
>>> Now your neutral is open. But I bet that compressor ran to beat
>>> Hell, before things went to ****.

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