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#49456 - 03/07/05 01:55 PM Bad Grounding
SnakeBite Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 8
Loc: Easthampton,Ma,USA
Here is something I've never seen before. New vinyl siding was put on a standard residential home 120v/60a. Over the course of 7 months the new siding started to warp or melt. This is happening only on the side where the power comes in. This seems to be isolated only to the vinyl siding only, not other materials like the window caulking or vinyl window trim. This warping or melting seems to be happening in a diagonal direction. The AHJ says it is caused by a bad ground. The house did have a bad ground to the water pipe. In my experience I cannot figure out how a bad ground could have caused this and will have to disagree with the AHJ. What do you think?

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#49457 - 03/07/05 06:36 PM Re: Bad Grounding
CRW Offline

Registered: 02/11/01
Posts: 160
Loc: Bethlehem, PA USA
I don't get some of the details here. What is the 120v/60a? The service? What kind of service is there to the house? Is the new siding installed over existing metallic siding? Or just over wood? Is there any grounding electrode besides the water pipe? How did the AHJ get involved, was it assumed to be an electrical problem? Did he explain anything else as to how a bad ground could cause this? Never heard of anything like that....

#49458 - 03/11/05 04:36 PM Re: Bad Grounding
tsolanto Offline

Registered: 09/03/02
Posts: 131
Loc: Long Island NY
Run---People may very well be in danger here. Sounds like and ground fault to the underlaid aluminum siding I saw it happen once, well sort of, I saw the service get clipped by a sawzall and it energized the aluminum and sizzeled (need spell check) down the siding, a quick thinking or dumb carpenter pulled the service away and saved the day and almost killed himself.

#49459 - 03/11/05 05:02 PM Re: Bad Grounding
Dnkldorf Offline

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 1091
Loc: nowhere usa
you got to come back and let us know about this one.

I gotta believe the AHJ is just joking about the bad ground, or smoking something really good.

How is a bad ground causing the siding to melt?

I melted part of mine once, then I moved the BBQ grill.

Let us know what you find.......


#49460 - 03/12/05 01:50 PM Re: Bad Grounding
Roger Offline

Registered: 05/18/02
Posts: 1779
Loc: N.C.
This post was moved into this thread for SnakeBite from another thread.

New Member posted 03-12-2005 04:31 PM
I'm new to this forum and do not know how to reply to you guys when I get a response. So I'll try to explain my problem again. New vinyl siding was put up in July/04. The siding was put on over first layer original wood, second layer asphalt siding put on in the 60s. Then the siding guys came and put up isulation, one side of it white the other side foil. Foil side out. Then the vinyl siding. About 3 months after the vinyl siding was put up I noticed a ripple effect happening to the vinyl siding. It was not bad at this time. The contractor was called and said he would take care of everything in the spring. Since then the warping or melting effect has gotten worse. The warping seems to be going in a diagonal direction and is only happening on the side of the house where the power comes in from the pole, no place else. There are vinyl shutters that are also warping. The contractor was called again three weeks ago, he came down and said he was not responsible for the damage, claiming it was an electrical problem. He called the electrical inspector who said it was a bad ground, the inspector never went inside the house. But he did do a voltage test with a hand held meter and found no problems. There was a bad ground to the water pipe. It was rusty and corroded. A new clamp was put on. The power company was called and checked every thing on their side, no problems there, they also did a load test on the house (?) and also a voltage test with a hand held meter and said everything was fine. I have had two electricians come, one master and one journeyman from two different places. They tell me they have never seen anything like it and find it hard how a nonconductive material could melt or warp from electricity like that. Nothing else but the vinyl siding is effected like the window caulking or vinyl window trim. The insulation shows no sign of melting or burning, the wood and original asphalt siding are fine also. Like I said the shutters are also warping, but underneath them it is not. The warping effect is happening in a diagonal direction. The warping goes up to the shutter, the siding is warped. The shutter is warped, but not under the shutter. The warping does not effect under the shutter, then the warping continues up the house . There have been no elecrical problens to the in side of the house. This is the best I can explain things. I thank all who have responded and thank in advance anyone else.

#49461 - 03/12/05 02:30 PM Re: Bad Grounding
capt al Offline

Registered: 06/20/04
Posts: 203
Loc: Norton, Ma USA
Snakebite, Is this happening on the South side of the house?

#49462 - 03/12/05 02:39 PM Re: Bad Grounding
Lostazhell Offline

Registered: 02/21/04
Posts: 1248
Loc: Bakersfield, CA (Originally Or...
This is a strange one.... Did you try waving a hotstick (the little pocket EMF sensor that looks like a fat pen)around the areas where the siding was melting to see if there was any type of voltage present? Possibly a nicked or pinched wire under the siding that might be heating up the foil under the siding?

#49463 - 03/12/05 03:21 PM Re: Bad Grounding
nesparky Offline

Registered: 06/21/01
Posts: 650
Loc: omaha,ne
I would suggest that you have the electricians do a stray voltage check on the siding. They may or may not be able to read a voltage on the siding.
The cause may be a nicked wire under the siding as was sugessted above or a nail or scrwe that hit a circuit when it was installed. If the voltage check is negative then I would be talking to the sider about replacing the siding and giving him the electrical bill(s).
There can be other causes but IMHO the most lickly is bad siding.

#49464 - 03/12/05 04:15 PM Re: Bad Grounding
hbiss Offline

Registered: 12/16/03
Posts: 893
Loc: Hawthorne, NY USA
Can't be electrical. If the siding under the shutter is not affected but the shutter is that is a clear indication that this is some kind of external heating. Even the diagonal pattern suggests it as does the fact that there is no evidence of heating under the siding. I don't even believe that this is because of improperly applied siding which will buckle because of being nailed too tight. It's obvious when you see it.

Need some more info here- what part of the country is this located and what have the temperatures been like. Is this the South side and is it unobstructed to sunlight? What is surrounding this side of the house?

I am leaning towards this being caused by reflected sunlight possibly from some concave or other surface that would concentrate it and focus it on the siding. The diagional pattern suggests the tracking of the sun in the sky over a period of time.


#49465 - 03/12/05 05:21 PM Re: Bad Grounding
Roger Offline

Registered: 05/18/02
Posts: 1779
Loc: N.C.
Once again.

New Member posted 03-12-2005 06:26 PM
Yes, a voltage test was done, with a hand held tester. It looked like a large pen. This was done by the electrical inspector and the electrical company, no voltage was found. The siding was put on in July and I first noticed the melting or warping in October. It was very slight. Here in the northeast it is considerably cooler in October. The siding that is effected is not in the direct sunlight, the sun hits that side of the house around 3pm, and what I did notice is that the warping or melting seems to be in the way the sun hits that side of the house. The sun hits the house in a diagonal direction, the tracks of the sun seen to be in the same direction, I think I had a hard time noticing the warping at first because at first it looked like the shadow of the sun, the way the sun hits the house. I had an insurance adjuster and a siding guy, electric company, and two electricians tell me they have never seen anything like this but do not believe this is electrical. The siding guy said it could be a manufacturer's defect called oil canning (?). The bottom line though is if the AJH says it's electrical, and the contractor who put the siding up says it's electrical, I have to prove to him and the contractor that it is not elecrical. I hope this info will help out some more. Thank you.

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