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Joined: Oct 2000
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Hey there,

German installation again, 30 Year old box with newer additions, 3400W running on this one.

Actually you can close the cover, but as i did after shooting the pic, one of the wires got cut by a terminal of the old porcelain block in the back... BANG.

- Gn/Ye conductor used as phase (!!!!)
- Red conductor (old GND) used as corresponding wire for a 2-point light switching.
- these #%@€*s built a ground fault, and instead of searching for it, they simply cut the GND wire to get the master GFCI back on. Imagine that!
- fitted 2 cables into one fitting -> lowering the IP class
- Ran into the u-boats from both sides
- violation of my personal point of view: totally bodge. If i had a company and one of my workers did that (the cut gnd thing), i'd kick him out


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Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 840
Thanks for the pic Andy. Some things never change, no matter where you are!

Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 152
Are those Wago's, or some other type of connector?

Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 269
Looks like they may have a set screw.

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
It looks like another wire cut as well -- Blue emerging from the connector top right. Or was that blue wire the one that was being used for ground?

The connectors look as though they may be the set-screw type. The type we use in the U.K. are slightly different with two screws, supplied in strips so that you can cut the plastic between them to get a block of one, two, or however many are needed. They're colloquially called "chocolate blocks," as they were dark brown/black originally. Most are a clear plastic nowqadays, but I've never seen any in the bright color of these German types!

Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 289
These are no wagos, these were the standard connectors before the wagos came. They do just have one hole and one screw.

thats a wago:

the blue wire was cut during some change, of course it should have been removed completely.
thats actually the terminal where the phase runs on green-yellow.

we do have choc blocks too of course, but these are not used in junction boxes.

[This message has been edited by :andy: (edited 01-07-2004).]

Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,497
- Red conductor (old GND) used as corresponding wire for a 2-point light switching.
Actually no violation. VDE was much less strict on the use of red wire than it is now with yellow-green. Old 3-way switching systems often used the red and grey wires of NYIF as travelers (Korrespondierende). 4 wire 3ph wiring used red as a phase color.
Those setscrew connectors are used along with choc blocks and often regarded as the worst crap ever made. They're called "single box clamp" (Einzeldosenklemme) and it's pretty challenging to wire hem in such a manner you don't have hot wires poking out on one end. If you try to too many wires into them some will invariably fall out. I only use them in emergencies when a box is really too tight and I can't replace it. Most electricians here still use choc blocks.
We had that type of junction boxes in the basement and upon rewiring I just removed the terminal block (bakelite in that case) and thereby converted it to a modern box. I wasn't really keen on using 50-year-old terminal blocks with open screws. Choc blocks offer some level of protection, even with the box cover off. This style of j-box was pretty common for basement wiring from I guess the 1950ies to the late 60ies, then most of the brown/black stuff was replaced by light grey. Originally they were used with heavy metal sheathed cloth wire (2 or three rubbber and cloth covered conductors, a thick layer of cloth, a layer of sheet metal and a final layer of asphalted cloth, about the thickness of a water pipe, when I first saw it I thought it was 16mm conduit). Usually brittle as hell, can't work with that stuff unless you wrap all wire outside the sheath with electric tape. I believe it was called Ku(h?)lo cable.
The cut blue wire is absolutely ugly, all he'd have needed to do would have been opening the screw and pulling the wire out.
BTW, what color is the wire next to the cut blue one? Yellow?
And black and grey wires under one screw don't look too good either.

Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 289
the grey ones are the neutrals from the old light switching cables.
the wire next to the cut blue is gn/ye.

i think i can tell you why they didnt open the screw on this one: because they cut it hot, and didnt want no sparking in the connector.

As said, Choc blocks are -never-used in j-boxes here.
how do you use them for i.e. 3 wires? all 3 at one side, and double fixed? or 2 at one side, 1 at the other?

Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,497
Most electricians I've seen working used both ways.

Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 152
Thanks Andy. I knew I had seen them somewhere before, but couldn't remember what they looked like.

What is the screw with the wire wrapped around it at 9 o'clock position? Is it grounding buss made into the box?

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