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Those service calls that..... #194009 05/04/10 10:45 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,389
sparky Offline OP
just make you shake your head......

The call> deli workers getting bit off meat slicer

initial findings> energized grounding conductor, but not tripping breaker....

the RX> simply unplugging one of the 'suicide adapters' which someone had plugged into a receptacle outlet in the dark, and missed. One prong was in the hot, the other lightly touching the metal receptacle cover
(TP anyone ?)


Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Re: Those service calls that..... [Re: sparky] #194011 05/04/10 11:34 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,496
gfretwell Offline
Did you check the EGC impedance? (Sure test, Ecos or similar tester)
I see the reason why this happened, objectionable current on the grounding conductors but it also points to a high resistance ground path.

Greg Fretwell
Re: Those service calls that..... [Re: gfretwell] #194012 05/04/10 11:53 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,389
sparky Offline OP
60's cloth/tar wire, with boston backwrap Greg, egc impedance is a given....~S~

Re: Those service calls that..... [Re: sparky] #194015 05/05/10 01:02 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,496
gfretwell Offline
We have already established this will not provide user safety, are you even confident that it will clear a fault?

Greg Fretwell
Re: Those service calls that..... [Re: gfretwell] #194023 05/05/10 08:07 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,389
sparky Offline OP
i think the term your looking for is existing Greg.

1/2 my biz comes from existing wiring not cuttin' the mustard

lotta field stories due to that

got one for us?


Re: Those service calls that..... [Re: sparky] #194030 05/05/10 02:34 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,181
HotLine1 Offline
Service call way back...dead short, 20 amp, 120 circuit, resi.

Long to quick version..after 45 min of checking & tracing, found a receptacle that was on wall with bed against wall, sideways.

Turns out the kid was counting coins, dropped a quarter which magically crossed the hot/neut of a lamp cord cap that was not fully inserted.

Lucky...the bed did not ignite from the arc, and the repeated "on" the HO did before he called for help!

That's 25 cents turning into $125.00!!

Re: Those service calls that..... [Re: HotLine1] #194033 05/05/10 03:17 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,496
gfretwell Offline
Back in my IBM days I was in a computer room with a raised floor. The customer was complaining that they had a machine people were getting shocked on. I figured out it was served by a surface raceway coming up the wall to a 5-15 that had obvious damage and checked the receptacle. Yup, 120v on the EGC compared to the bonded floor grid. It was a bolted fault in the raceway. The resistance of the EGC was high enough that it did not operate the OC device. You could cook a hot dog on the box under the floor that had the bad connection tho (loose EMT locknut, no green wire ground).
If we had been happy just repairing the bolted fault we would have only fixed half the problem.

Greg Fretwell
Re: Those service calls that..... [Re: gfretwell] #194038 05/05/10 08:36 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,389
sparky Offline OP
the call>
"waterfall coming out of main panel"

initial findings>

lb under panel via UG service taking on water from recent storm

the rx>
driled hole in bottom of lb, and plugged incoming pipe with spray foam sealer


Re: Those service calls that..... [Re: sparky] #194043 05/06/10 05:33 AM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 124
poorboy Offline
Customer: "When I unplugged my clothes dryer to move it the plug sparked and all my lights went out"

Finding: The "service" was some surface mount porcelain fuse holders on the porch (yes, outdoors but with a roof over it). The neutral was fused and that fuse was blown.

The dryer had (like they all used to) its neutral bonded directly to the frame of the machine. Some well-intentioned person had attached a ground wire from the frame of the dryer to the cold water pipe feeding the adjacent washer.

This gave the electrical system a path to ground as long as the dryer was plugged in.

Of course, when we first got there my boss (I was a helper at the time) was sure they had to be wrong and was he ever surprised when he pulled the 30 Amp plug out and it drew an arc and the lights went out!

They had a new 100 Amp service within a week.

Re: Those service calls that..... [Re: poorboy] #194058 05/06/10 10:26 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,721
Scott35 Offline
Broom Pusher and
My favorite would have to be the infamous "Every third Computer is fried" issue, where a Commercial Building's Service is derived from a 240/120V 3 Phase 4 Wire Delta system.

One particularly odd head-scratcher was back in 1989, on a new "Ground-Up" project (multi unit Commercial Warehouse complex).
Services were 208Y/120V 3 Phase 4 Wire, ranging from 800 Amps to 1200 Amps.
Gear consisted of UGPS, Main Disconnect section, with Three or Four Meter Sections attached.

Went to shoot trouble per a Tenant's complaint of very dim Fluorescent lights, and some equipment's power supplies losing smoke.

Issue was Open Common Grounded Conductor (aka "Neutral").

After close to an hour of searching, the problem was not poor make-up in J Boxes or at Outlets - it was at the Meter Sections!

Culprite: "someone" forgot to tighten the Bolts for the Bus Jumpers between the Main Section and the first Meter Section.
That "someone" happened to be the guy I was working for at that time.

Found out later that He was a major Pot Head, who also decided to start using Methamphetamine.
This, along with keeping His Head inside of His own A$$, may have been the reason for not tightening those Bolts!


Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!
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