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You ever get one of these calls? #48844 02/21/05 07:44 PM
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 141
E
elecbob Offline OP
Member
Hi Bob,

When you have some time (and there's no hurry), would you be able to come over and look at something for us? We have something going on with a series of outlets in the basement. If you plug a digital clock into any of these (I'm assuming they're all on the same circuit), the clock will run fast, picking up about 10 or 15 extra minutes each day. The same clock runs just fine on all other outlets in the house. So something is definitely off.

No hurry, but next time you have a chance to swing by, I'd love to have you take a look at it.

Thanks,
Sarah

I told her I would be there in a couple days. In the meantime, stay out of the basement because her aging process would be accelerated.

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Re: You ever get one of these calls? #48845 02/21/05 08:13 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,429
L
LK Offline
Member
Good post, wiring in basements, I had to laugh, while reading your post, about 20% of our service calls, are for finished basement wiring, and we learn something new on every job, you would not think there are that many ways to mess up a wiring job, until you get a basement wiring problem, most of these jobs were done by homeowners or Midnight Letric Co.
We have found everything from J boxes buried
block walls, to J boxes hidden in finished ceilings, and sometimes no J boxes at all, some of our best finds were zip cord behind finished walls, 14-3 feeding 12-2 protected with 30Amp breaker, and many other interesting wiring methods.
Be cautious when working on these basement jobs.

Re: You ever get one of these calls? #48846 02/21/05 08:33 PM
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 886
H
hbiss Offline
Member
Yeah, but no matter how they messed it up what would make a digital (or any other) clock run fast?

-Hal

Re: You ever get one of these calls? #48847 02/21/05 09:23 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member
Ah, yes, the "fast" clock...most clocks pace themselves on the frequency of the electrical service. A transient spike can be "seen" as another cycle. When there is something regularily throwing such transients on the line, the clock runs fast.
With that degree of "fast time," I'd look for something electronic.....like a furnace igniter.

Re: You ever get one of these calls? #48848 02/21/05 09:54 PM
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 886
H
hbiss Offline
Member
Hmmm, yes I was thinking along the same lines but was thinking of a noisy fluorescent. Something like that should wipe out AM radio reception for quite a distance so first thing I would do is walk around with an AM radio and look for noise. Also try plugging the radio into the same receptacle as the clock.

-Hal

Re: You ever get one of these calls? #48849 02/21/05 11:15 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 914
E
Electric Eagle Offline
Member
Is there any chance the outlet is switched and the HO doesn't know? Digital clocks with a battery back up will run fast when the battery back up is used.

HO plugs in clock, turns around hits the switch and leaves the room. THey come back a day later, turn on the light (and the outlet) and the clock is 15 minutes fast.

Re: You ever get one of these calls? #48850 02/21/05 11:20 PM
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 141
E
elecbob Offline OP
Member
Some time ago another customer called me complaining that electricity was coming through her kitchen window and shocking her. After a consider amont of sleuthing I discovered hat there was 56 volts between the stainless sink and the sink faucet. The culprit was ivy. Ivy had grown up the power pole and was a fraction of an inch from the 14,700 volt primary. The water service pipe was picking up the voltage from the ivy roots and giving the customer a little excitement in her life. Even though the interior piping systems were grounded properly, the problem didn't go away until the utility cut back the ivy on the pole.

Re: You ever get one of these calls? #48851 02/22/05 12:50 AM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
E
e57 Offline
Member
I'm with Electric Eagle on the clock, doubtfull the clock has any recongnizable spices or transiant that are even remotely detectable through a transformer and rectifier circuit. But I have noticed the fast clock syndrom with my own battery back up clock.

As for just general service call mayhem, I used to do 5-6 calls a day for a 24hr service company. (NEVER AGAIN!) And I have seen some real whackos that stick in memory. There could be a whole seperate forum just for that.

The switched outlet is a winner with new home owners, even more funny when they have lived there for years, and never noticed before.

GFI's were so sickening that I would walk the customer through it over the phone as the call didn't cover the gas to get there.

But every once in a while you can get some real good ones. Here are some more memorable ones...

Father and son installing cable TV, and drill trough the sub-feed, of an FPE main. Go figure it doesn't trip, it blows out half of San Jose! Well a major portion of it... (Blows thier tranny in thier neighborhood, re-connect over-loads the next, drops it too.)

Office handy man adds some outlets to 480/277 panel, melts several computers. Says "the other ones work fine."

Maintenance guy for Candy Factory changes out motor controller. Assembly line conveyer belt running backwards, and no one knows how to shut it off. (Afraid to shut off other equipment)It takes all of the finished candy on the belt and feeds it all back to wrapping machine. Wrapping machine still going, feeds candy into massive pile on the floor. I get there and hit "stop" button that no one is supposed/ordered to touch. Change 2 wires - done, and it takes 3 monthes to get paid because I pissed of teen age manager with comment about Willie Wonka's.

I hate Service calls! You're better off not answering the phone sometimes.


Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
Re: You ever get one of these calls? #48852 02/22/05 04:12 AM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,337
Trumpy Offline
Member
e57,
Quote
Father and son installing cable TV, and drill trough the sub-feed, of an FPE main. Go figure it doesn't trip, it blows out half of San Jose! Well a major portion of it... (Blows thier tranny in thier neighborhood, re-connect over-loads the next, drops it too.)
Since when does a single house fault drop a whole HV system, or part of it?
I earn my money doing Faults call-outs after the standard working hours (5am-3pm here).

Re: You ever get one of these calls? #48853 02/22/05 10:36 PM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,233
H
harold endean Offline
Member
Hey, you guys laugh! Well it happened to me. I installed a receptacle in a closed wall construction. got all done and plugged in the clock. It ran REAL FAST. OH by the way (sheepishly) The panel was an unmarked delta leg panel and I hooked up the phase leg to the receptacle to the high leg in the panel by mistake. I was a 3 year apprentice and I didn't know what a delta leg was. [Linked Image]

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