Maybe a reader or two can email this guy with advice.
----- Original Message ----- From: "TomVote" <TomVote@Hotmail.com> Newsgroups: alt.engineering.electrical Sent: Sunday, September 15, 2002 11:29 AM Subject: Melted Wire Nuts
> This group seems to have a good sense of humor and tolerance for novices. I appreciate that.
> Have a problem with a cira 1970's 120v line (12-2g) running underground (40' tops) to a swimming pool pump. Had to replace the pump and decided to wire the outside switchbox to the pump with 12 guage instead of the 14 that was on it. Pump is 1hp 15 amp. Replacing the light switch (15a) that was in the box with a GFCI was a disaster, kept tripping the GFI, sometimes immediate and sometimes after the pump ran a few minutes. Decided to go without the GFI till I can get an electrican out to do everything right.
> So a pair of 12 guage being tough for an amateur (and weakling) like me to handle, I used large (red) wire nuts to make the direct connection in the box. Even went so far as to throw one on the groud wires to be sure they stayed connected. Shoved everything in the box and covered it with a metal blank face plate. Box is covered properly for outdoor use BTW, but I didn't check how I shoved the connectors in, sloppy.
> Pump ran for three or four days, then stopped. When I took the cover off the box, the wires were burned and the wire nuts were melted. Appears (can't be sure) that the ground came near, or in contact with the hot.
> Now the questions. The 20 amp circuit breaker never tripped. Shouldn't it have, with enough current flowing to generate the heat to melt the wire nuts? Redid it yesterday with medium (yellow) wire nuts, which I originally ignored because they looked to small. Packages for both large and medium list two 12 guage as acceptable. Any difference between using large or medium in this type of application?
> Thanks for any insights you can provide.
[This message has been edited by Bjarney (edited 09-15-2002).]
Everybody knows that red wirenuts are hot already and are about to melt right out of the box, thats why they're red. Now a blue wirenut runs much cooler and matches the color of the pool water. That would have been obvious to me.
[This message has been edited by arseegee (edited 09-15-2002).]
Re: D-I-Yer asking on advice on Usenet#14137 09/15/0204:49 PM09/15/0204:49 PM
I'll keep the sarcasim and humor to myself, hard as it may be: IF the "hot" touched the ground, the circuit breaker should have tripped. Perhaps the "connections" within the wire nuts were not made correctly, and arcing occurred, causing excessive heat, melting or burning the "splices"????
Do yourself, your family, and any friends that you invite to your home a faver; CALL A Professional!!!
Enough said John
Re: D-I-Yer asking on advice on Usenet#14138 09/20/0211:32 AM09/20/0211:32 AM
Tom: I agree with John in the strongest possible terms here. Electric current and water are potentially a very lethal combination. Speaking strictly out of concern for you and your visitors, PLEASE, PLEASE turn this job over to a licensed professional, and preferably someone who has a considerable amount of experience in this particular phase of electrical work. Your life and the lives of your friends are certainly worth it.
Re: D-I-Yer asking on advice on Usenet#14139 09/21/0207:04 AM09/21/0207:04 AM
Thats just the left over factory smoke coming out of the motor, and the wirenuts . the wirenuts melt to form a protective seal around the joint. bzt....ZZZZZZZT....*poof*. seriously, kill the power, call an electrician.
I did not get as think so badly as you shocked I did.
Re: D-I-Yer asking on advice on Usenet#14140 09/21/0209:54 AM09/21/0209:54 AM
You should have shut off the power and call a Pro when you couldn't get the GFCI to quit tripping. That was your first clew, the second is Reds are too big to secure 2, 12 gauge wires, you should have used yellows from the start. If the wire nuts were put on correctly the ground shouldn't have been able to contact the hot at the wire nut.
It is time to spend a little money and be SAFE!! Call in a good pro that is experienced with pool wiring.
Re: D-I-Yer asking on advice on Usenet#14141 09/22/0203:00 AM09/22/0203:00 AM
You bring up a good point about pretwisting. My handbook shows an illustration of 2 wires not twisted to be connected to a wirenut. I was always taught the connection has to be mechanically secure and the wirenut was just to maintain, not make the connection (in other words, twist them together). Anyone want to elaborate on 110.14 (B)
Re: D-I-Yer asking on advice on Usenet#14143 09/23/0207:55 PM09/23/0207:55 PM