dslreports logo
site
 
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery
spc

spacer




how-to block ads


Search Topic:
uniqs
3102
share rss forum feed


54067323

join:2012-09-25
Tuscaloosa, AL
reply to John Galt

Re: Circuit Short

said by John Galt:

Every Sparky worth their salt has a 'ringer'...

What, like a bell and a battery that stops "ringing" once the short is opened.

Now we are going real practical.


John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:8
said by 54067323:

Now we are going real practical.

"Old school", dood.


54067323

join:2012-09-25
Tuscaloosa, AL
said by John Galt:

said by 54067323:

Now we are going real practical.

"Old school", dood.

But I couldn't get a bell at Ace, so I used a Sonalert and a nine volt battery, is that a sin?


John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:8
said by 54067323:

But I couldn't get a bell at Ace, so I used a Sonalert and a nine volt battery, is that sin?

No, in fact the two-tone doorbell chine types are great. Less annoying.


sk1939
Premium
join:2010-10-23
Mclean, VA
kudos:10
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
·Verizon FiOS
reply to TheTechGuru
said by TheTechGuru:

Sounds like a warn out breaker to me. When they get old they trip under very little load then eventually won't stay on at all.

70's you say? I say time for a complete new SquareD or GE panel.

The breaker on it's own is fine. Connecting the circuit to it causes it to trip. The current panel is a SquareD QO panel, but it is old.


sk1939
Premium
join:2010-10-23
Mclean, VA
kudos:10
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
·Verizon FiOS
reply to 54067323
said by 54067323:

said by sk1939:

Low ohm reading, but the outlets are inaccessible and will be for a couple days probably.

There is no where else you can split it?

Not between the breaker and outlet 4.


54067323

join:2012-09-25
Tuscaloosa, AL
said by sk1939:

Not between the breaker and outlet 4.

Then open it there, hell it branches out to two from there so why not?


sk1939
Premium
join:2010-10-23
Mclean, VA
kudos:10
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
·Verizon FiOS
said by 54067323:

said by sk1939:

Not between the breaker and outlet 4.

Then open it there, hell it branches out to two from there so why not?

I already know the short is between those two points, the problem is where between those two points. There is about 125 feet of romex between those two points.


StillLearn
Premium
join:2002-03-21
Streamwood, IL
Reviews:
·AT&T Midwest
reply to sk1939
Click for full size
Kluge test setup
For better or worse, here is an attempt at describe putting a current limiting load in series with the breaker output for careful temporary testing. Then read millivolts at outlets.

Be sure to cover conductors with electrical tape before turning the breaker on.


Raphion

join:2000-10-14
Samsara
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to sk1939
said by sk1939:

said by 54067323:

said by sk1939:

Not between the breaker and outlet 4.

Then open it there, hell it branches out to two from there so why not?

I already know the short is between those two points, the problem is where between those two points. There is about 125 feet of romex between those two points.

The distance is irrelevant. If you haven't driven a nail or screw into the romex, the short is going to be at a junction box, outlet, or switch box. Well, unless someone put a splice in the wall and covered it up, a big nonono.


sk1939
Premium
join:2010-10-23
Mclean, VA
kudos:10
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
·Verizon FiOS
said by Raphion:

The distance is irrelevant. If you haven't driven a nail or screw into the romex, the short is going to be at a junction box, outlet, or switch box. Well, unless someone put a splice in the wall and covered it up, a big nonono.

Given some of the creative wiring, that is a possibility (buried splice). The light at the end of the run for example, is 14 gauge romex that goes through the wall, outside, up 16 feet, and pigtailed to the floodlight in the back without a box. I would fix it, but it's on the very edge of the roof, about 25 feet off the ground, and I'm terrified of heights.


John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:8
reply to Raphion
said by Raphion:

The distance is irrelevant. If you haven't driven a nail or screw into the romex, the short is going to be at a junction box, outlet, or switch box. Well, unless someone put a splice in the wall and covered it up, a big nonono.

House settling can push a nail or staple in the cable, or otherwise pinch the cable to cause a short.


nunya
LXI 483
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
reply to sk1939
Do you have a sump pump?


sk1939
Premium
join:2010-10-23
Mclean, VA
kudos:10
said by nunya:

Do you have a sump pump?

I do not, although I could use one.


leibold
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-09
Sunnyvale, CA
kudos:10
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET
reply to John Galt
Rodents chewing on cable is another option that sometimes causes short circuits.

From what I read so far, it sounds sk1939 See Profile will have to move some boxes in the near future. Hopefully that is all it will take, sometimes these things require holes in walls or ceilings.
--
Got some spare cpu cycles ? Join Team Helix or Team Starfire!


sk1939
Premium
join:2010-10-23
Mclean, VA
kudos:10
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
·Verizon FiOS

1 edit
said by leibold:

Rodents chewing on cable is another option that sometimes causes short circuits.

From what I read so far, it sounds sk1939 See Profile will have to move some boxes in the near future. Hopefully that is all it will take, sometimes these things require holes in walls or ceilings.

At least whoever "finished" the basement was cheap and didn't use insulation in any great amount (one thin bat at best) if at all, so there should be nothing behind the paneling. The problem lies in getting the paneling off should it come to that. The other problem is getting to the only lightbulb (forgot about it) on the circuit. It's in the closet and is the bakelite version of this:



Edit: I also found a 250V 15A outlet that dosen't seem to be fed by anything (I have no double pole 15A breakers). I have not tested it to see if it's live, or to see what the voltage is, but it's still strange regardless.

JoelC707
Premium
join:2002-07-09
Lanett, AL
kudos:5
Regarding that mysterious 240V outlet. They may have simply fed it with a double pole 20A breaker, got any of those in the panel you haven't identified their purpose yet? Or worse yet, two 15A single pole breakers that aren't tied together and haven't been identified? Of course it could just be abandoned and dead.


sk1939
Premium
join:2010-10-23
Mclean, VA
kudos:10
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
·Verizon FiOS

1 edit
said by JoelC707:

Regarding that mysterious 240V outlet. They may have simply fed it with a double pole 20A breaker, got any of those in the panel you haven't identified their purpose yet? Or worse yet, two 15A single pole breakers that aren't tied together and haven't been identified? Of course it could just be abandoned and dead.

Nope. There are only 18 spaces in this panel, 8 of which are taken by 240V double pole breakers. The rest are under the 50A "Lighting Main" breaker (it is a split-bus panel). There was a 30A breaker for a long-gone clothes dryer, but it was in the wrong spot (under the lighting main) and has been replaced with 2 20A breakers that feed the outlet next to the box (other dosen't go anywhere).

The rest are known circuits (as known as can be with a 50 year old house). I'm assuming it's abandoned and dead, but I can't find the wire from the box that would have fed it in the first place, unless someone got cute and it's just a standard 120V grounded outlet with the wrong plug.

Edit: This house is great electrical fun. Three breakers (2 20A 1 15A) feed (literally!) a total of 6 outlets, all in the same room and roughly 15 feet between the first and last. However, two of the other breakers (both 15A) turns off most of my upstairs (living room, dining room, foyer, bedroom/office and workshop light, 1/2 bath, hall lights, smoke detectors, main bath lights, both remaining bedrooms).


Raphion

join:2000-10-14
Samsara
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to John Galt
said by John Galt:

said by Raphion:

The distance is irrelevant. If you haven't driven a nail or screw into the romex, the short is going to be at a junction box, outlet, or switch box. Well, unless someone put a splice in the wall and covered it up, a big nonono.

House settling can push a nail or staple in the cable, or otherwise pinch the cable to cause a short.

That's an interesting possibility. I hadn't thought of that. Still, the first place to look is in the boxes. Then if it's not there, check the in wall runs individually, since they're now nicely isolated.

No need to worry about problems inside the walls, when we haven't even checked the connections to the outlets yet. That's just jumping to worst case conclusions, like a hypochondriac with a little twinge of pain in his chest thinking he's having a heart attack.


John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:8
said by Raphion:

That's just jumping to worst case conclusions, like a hypochondriac with a little twinge of pain in his chest thinking he's having a heart attack.

Actually, it's the experience gained from wiring thousands of houses and spending ~10 years doing electrical service work and figuring out things like this.

Perhaps you and the OP can get those boxes opened up, eh?
--
Many believe, but few will question...I decline to be blind.



whizkid3
Premium,MVM
join:2002-02-21
Queens, NY
kudos:9
reply to sk1939
said by sk1939:

Go down, reset the breaker, and the lighting main trips and everything goes dark.

This of course, would indicate a short circuit. However, things are not always what they seem to be.

said by sk1939:

The problem with this circuit is that it literally runs the length of the house and makes various stops along the way...

From this description and your sketch of the circuit, to me it screams 'overloaded'.

I have seen a number of times in homes, where over-loaded circuits unfortunately, do not trip the breaker. Instead, the result is burned insulation and a resulting short-circuit. Sorry I can't add more; the only way to solve it will be with careful trouble-shooting.