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Burning out of return(white) side of 120volt rec #219879
01/04/19 12:42 AM
01/04/19 12:42 AM
C
crselectric  Offline OP
Member
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 147
albany, ca
I’ve come across a few circuits in Berkeley that have been failing on the return side of 120 volt receptacles? Arcing enough to melt the face of device, in a recent kitchen remodel 2006? All inspected but failing where 1500 watt appliance have been used not old appliances? I believe all were 20amp leviton devices, all new Romex circuits? Possibly just poor workmanship? No loose connections that I’ve found?

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Re: Burning out of return(white) side of 120volt rec [Re: crselectric] #219880
01/04/19 12:59 AM
01/04/19 12:59 AM
C
crselectric  Offline OP
Member
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 147
albany, ca
Was there a bad run of devices in the early 2000s?

Re: Burning out of return(white) side of 120volt rec [Re: crselectric] #219888
01/06/19 05:22 PM
01/06/19 05:22 PM
HotLine1  Offline

Member
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,090
Brick, NJ USA
I would lean toward the quality of the terminations (workmanship/talent)

You don't mention if the terminations are on the screw terminals, if it's #12 or #14 NM, or if the devices were 'backstabbed'

We come upon a few burnout receptacles, and IMHO, termination quality is an issue.

I am not aware of any device issues in the early 2000s.

As to your comment on the job being 'inspected', I am not aware of any inspector that has the time, or the authority to remove a device to check terminations. Perhaps there may be some, but none that I know.


John
Re: Burning out of return(white) side of 120volt rec [Re: crselectric] #219900
01/09/19 01:27 AM
01/09/19 01:27 AM
G
gfretwell  Offline

Member
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,362
Estero,Fl,usa
Are you sure you aren't sharing a neutral on the same ungrounded side of the panel (Miswired multiwire circuit)?

John, I believe an inspector has the "authority" to inspect pretty much everything, time becomes the issue. When I was working travel was my biggest time burner so I looked a a lot of things that surprised people. I was not going to drive 2 hours to look out the window of my truck wink
I have had them pull a device if I saw something funky and if I found something wrong we were going to look at some more. I really had no time constraints tho. It was why I liked my state job and why I never looked for a muni job. I was doing 1, maybe 2 a day. Ten a month was busy for me.


Greg Fretwell
Re: Burning out of return(white) side of 120volt rec [Re: crselectric] #219901
01/09/19 09:15 AM
01/09/19 09:15 AM
G
ghost307  Offline
Member
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 977
Chicago Illinois USA
When I do an inspection I start with the thing that's hardest to do in the toughest place to get to.
If they did that right there's a very good chance they did everything else right and my day will be an easy one.
If they screwed it up I know that I'm going to find lots of shortcuts and workarounds in things that are easier.


Ghost307
Re: Burning out of return(white) side of 120volt rec [Re: HotLine1] #219972
02/25/19 03:33 PM
02/25/19 03:33 PM
C
crselectric  Offline OP
Member
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 147
albany, ca
Yes the remodeling contractor did both back stab and screw termination, did not pigtail off, but that goes back to following older installs, the customer said the plug got hot and was arcing at receptacle, Dyson fan heater, 1500 watts

Re: Burning out of return(white) side of 120volt rec [Re: crselectric] #219973
02/26/19 01:29 PM
02/26/19 01:29 PM
HotLine1  Offline

Member
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,090
Brick, NJ USA
Yes, a 1500 watt electric heater will find a termination issue. Might take a while, but.....
In an older install, load over time equation, device loses the battle.


John
Re: Burning out of return(white) side of 120volt rec [Re: crselectric] #220011
03/29/19 09:26 PM
03/29/19 09:26 PM
B
BigB  Offline
Member
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 742
Tucson, AZ USA
The neutral side doesn't get tightened as much as the hot side because most installers are right handed?

Re: Burning out of return(white) side of 120volt rec [Re: crselectric] #220014
04/03/19 12:40 PM
04/03/19 12:40 PM
T
Texas_Ranger  Offline
Member
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,451
Vienna, Austria
Oddly enough, 15 years ago an electrician I was working under told me just the same thing, except about junction boxes in 1-ph 2w circuits - it's usually the neutral that burns. I can't say much about that since thankfully I haven't encountered too many loose connections. This was in Europe (Schuko territory, i.e. no polarisation) so left vs. right hand couldn't be an issue. Besides, junction boxes use loose connectors, so no correlation either.

Re: Burning out of return(white) side of 120volt rec [Re: crselectric] #220016
04/04/19 09:50 AM
04/04/19 09:50 AM
G
ghost307  Offline
Member
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 977
Chicago Illinois USA
The biggest problem that I come across with overloaded neutrals results from messing up the phases.
If the original installer used a shared neutral it will only carry the maximum load from a single circuit; but if the neutral serves more than 1 phase the neutral can be tasked with carrying twice (or even triple) of the current on a single circuit.

In a home 120/240V:
Shared neutral circuit connected to Black and Red incoming lines.
During renovation the Red ends up being fed from the Black incoming line.
Shared neutral is now being expected to carry twice as much current as intended.
Neither of the hot conductors is overloaded so the circuit breakers never trip.
Neutral carrying twice the rated current overheats, causes fire, house burns down, bad day for everyone involved.

BTW - This has happened enough times (including fatalities) that there is a movement in the NEC to prohibit shared neutrals entirely.


Ghost307
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