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Old January 20, 2017   #16
amideutch
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The NEC was totally out the window when they installed that mess.

Ami
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Old January 20, 2017   #17
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The NEC was totally out the window when they installed that mess.

Ami
Not really, this is after they started tearing stuff out.
The armored MC cable is over used though because it is cheap and no one can run/bend conduit anymore.
Plus with all of the fancy electronics and data communication lines they have these days the ceilings are getting way full of stuff.
Plus run run run nobody has time to do a good looking job.
It really is sad.
If an OSHA inspector came on that site he would run off.
Worth
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Old January 20, 2017   #18
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They seem to be really lax on low voltage stuff. But really, architects, have you never heard of cable trays??
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Old January 21, 2017   #19
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They seem to be really lax on low voltage stuff. But really, architects, have you never heard of cable trays??
As said all of the stuff was above a hard ceiling, hotels seem to be famous for putting wire above a hard deck.
Even more shocking is the fact that this spa was built/remodeled in 2006 and already being torn out and remodeled.
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Old January 21, 2017   #20
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Alright on with the show/class so to speak.
If at any time I am wrong and there is an expert here reading feel free to interrupt and set me and us straight please.
I am at a wee bit of a loss as of where to start.

We will start with a common misuse of a word that drives me nuts.
That is the term the wire must have a short in it.
This is used most often when something doesn't work.
No that is called an open circuit not a short.
A short is when the wire touches each other or ground before it gets to the load.
We will hope this trips a breaker or burns out a fuse before the wire starts glowing red and burns the house down.

Next, the misconception that if you touch the white neutral wire you wont get shocked.
Hog wash, been there done that.
Next rule of thumb.
Electricity follows the path of least resistance.
If you become that path you are going to get hit big time.
Or you just might become part of the load.

I have mentioned load two times now so what is a load?
A load is anything be it appliance or light fixture and even you that uses up the currant in the supply.

Lets look at it this way.
You can carry so much weight/load but instead of pounds we will call it amperage/amps.
The below is just an example not what this stuff draws.
The toaster oven lets say draws 5 amps the blender draws 5 amps the refrigerator draws 10 amps.
You now have 20 amps/pounds to carry.
And you can only carry 15 pounds/amps.
Something hast to give.
With you it is your legs breaking.
With the breaker it is the breaker tripping.
But before this happens your legs will get tired or your wire will start to warm up.
The warmer that wire gets the less currant it will draw.
This is why we need bigger wire or bigger legs to carry the so called load before the breaker trips.
Think of it as you having enough muscle to lift something but your bones break trying to lift it.
Muscle being wire and bones being the breaker.
Now lets compare wire length to leg/person length.
A short person with big legs can handle more load than the tall skinny person.
The same goes for wire.
That length is called resistance, resistance equals load.
So the short person uses up less load capacity than the tall skinny person before they even start to pick up the load.
This is a crazy way to look at it and I just made it up as I was writing but I like it.


Next those wires going down the street.
You will more than likely see two of the on the pole they from what I have read can carry from arounf 7,000 to 14,000 volts.
What ever it is it makes no difference.
The big can on the pole of square box on the ground is called a transformer.
This thing has a tone of wire in it coming from those big wires on the pole running down the street.
From those wires to the transformer are fuses.
Inside that transformer are wires coming from your house.
Inside that contraption are both the pole wires and your house wires wound with each other but not touching.
This is due to there being a thin insulation on each set of wires.
What happens is the electricity from the pole wire induces itself onto the house wires.
This is called induced electricity.
By way of calculations of wire sizes and length you can have a load which would be the transformer.
That energy is wasted by the power company not you by way of heat.
By calculating wire size and length you can drop the voltage from 7,000 volts to 120 volts on each one of those wires coming to your house.
Wire I remind you that never touches the main wires on the pole just real close.

Now grounding.
If you go to the first pole from your house you will see a bare wire.
You will see two insulated wires.
The bare wire is insulated at the first wood pole to your house.
It is also insulated from the steel pipe with a cap on it coming up from your house.
The cap on that steel pipe/conduit is called a weather head.
This is the weight bearing tension line that holds the other two wires.
There is now three insulated wires coming from the weather head.
One each going to those two 120 VAC lines and one connected to the tension line.
This last one connects to ground at your house inside the main breaker or sometimes the only breaker panel.

Stop Safety tip.

DO NOT take for granted that any part of the breaker panel main disconnect or that pipe/conduit is safe to touch or grab hold of.
It should be but doesn't have to be.
If for some reason one of this hot wires is just touching but not enough to cause a fault you can get hit big time.
This is not meant to scare you but just a fact.
If you ever touch any of this stuff do it with the back of your hand so you wont get locked on to it.
It shouldn't happen but by dam it can and I have experienced it in person.

Now where on earth do we get 240 VAC and 120 VAC.
In the old breaker panels they had the ground and the neutral buss all the same.
You get 120 by way of neutral being connected to that ground neutral buss and the hot connected to the breaker or fuse.
Now this breakers.
If you look at them every other one is connected to one of the two wires coming in.
If you connect one of each of the wires from you load to one of each of these breakers in line you get 240.
The ground wire goes to ground.
If you meter each wire to ground you get 120 if you meter hot to hot you get 240.

So you electric stove has not only 240 to run the burners but 120 to run the light.
The old one had a ground doing both.
The new ones have a dedicated lind just for the 120 and one for ground.
Confusing but it really isn't.
This is why the new 240 plugs have 4 prongs not three but they both end up at the same place anyway.

I am going to stop here and post this so I dont lose it.


Worth












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Old January 21, 2017   #21
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Default How is our house wired?

How is our house wired?
This is probably the most confusing question any homeowner can ask.
Mostly because I don't have much faith in residential wiring.
It is a crap shoot as to if you get good electricians or not.
Then there is the home owner that goes in and makes it worse.
Not all but some.
There are grades of wall outlets and switches.
Don't go to some place and buy cheap outlets fixtures or switches.
You will pay for what you get and more than likely the builder did just that buy the cheapest crap money can buy and ((((NOT)))) pass on the saving to you.

Next electrical tape.
As far as I am concerned there are two grades and dont cheap out on it.
3M Super 33+ and 3M Super 88+.
88+ being the best.
The other cheap stuff I call crap wrap.
Avoid or just dont use tape alone to make any splice.
That is not what it is for.
Wire nuts to make splice.
Yellow for 12 gauge.
What is a gauge?
It is the size of the wire, the smaller the number the bigger the wire.

Split bolt kerney.
This is the critter the connects the ground wire to the ground rod that is driven into the ground.
Check it at least annually to see it is connected and check it for continuity.
Here is what one looks like.
The ground wire and the rod go in the same hole and it is tightened down.

Next how to check for voltage.
I am going to stop right here and tell everyone if they have no way to check for voltage then just don't mess with it at all.
If you do you will end up killing yourself.
I dont even mess with it unless I have a meter.
DO NOT assume it is off because something you plug into a socket doesn't work but works some place else.
DO NOT use this sort of thing as a way to check voltage period.
Get a meter or a what they call a Wiggy volt testing pen or some sort of voltage tester.
I use a meter because I have to check far more things than voltage due to my trade.
But a good meter is the best way to go.
DO NOT assume the thing works what ever it is.
They can and have fooled a few people.
Test it first on a live outlet or something.
Even then before you touch the wire just tap it with you finger before you grab it.
You cant be too safe.
Don't mean to scare anyone but it is a matter of life and death.

DO NOT assume the juice is off in a lamo because the switch is off.
Unplug it before you mess with it.
Some idiot may have wired the outlet up wrong.
If they did this then hot is still there where the bulb screws in.
That switch is supposed to turn off the hot.
That is why we now have what they call those pesky polarized plugs.
The wide plug is supposed to be neutral the narrow hot.
In the old days they were both the same size.
In other words dont put you finger in a light socket no matter what.
Worth
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Old January 21, 2017   #22
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Yes I know everyone is itching to get to work and change out or fix something but I have to cover all of this first.
In my lifetime I have been made a fool of by assuming things and it isn't going to happen here.
If you already know this stuff then you will just have to wait till you get to something you dont know.
But you will have to wait because I am not a book where you can jump ahead and look.
I have to start from the beginning.
I will not go into any great detail about electricity and how it works because it is confusing and not the reason for the thread.
But later I will like any good text book it gets more complicated at the end.
Worth
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Old January 21, 2017   #23
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Default Basic Tools

Here is a list of basic tools you will need to get started.
A set of screw drivers Phillips and flat head.
I personally hate the multi tip screw drivers but some people like them.
Toss the so called Leatherman tool.
They will get you into trouble big time with electrical work.
Hate the things.
I sent a guy home one time and told him not to come back until he had the right tools.
I told him if he had the money to drink at the bar every night he could darn well afford the right tools.
Jackass I am but I got sick of seeing him get shocked.

Wire strippers not a knife to strip wire.
Wire cutter AKA dikes AKA diagonal pliers.
Lineman pliers are nice too.
Needle nose pliers are nice to reach in and grab wire in tight places.
Good pair of good fitting leather gloves, those outlets and switches can have sharp things on them.
Me, my hands are tough but I have a pair.
Channel locks just because the are handy.
Hammer for when you want to beat the devil out of something.
You dont need all of this stuff but it should be a basic set of tools for any home.

Worth
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Old January 21, 2017   #24
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Default It doesn't work:(

It doesn't work.
This happens all of the time and is usually because the builder put in the cheapest grade switch or outlet in your home like I said before.
These are called utility or home owner grade receptacles and switches.
When you replace them use spec or commercial grade replacements.
They are more costly but by far a better choice.

Here are some things to consider.
You have to jiggle the plug to get the lamp or whatever to work.
Check the receptacle with another device.
If it is just that one device them it is what I call an intermittent open circuit with your appliance AKA device.
Why should you be concerned.
You have a poor connection and regardless of what the problem is it needs to be fixed.
These problem children can cause a fire due to sparks or the poor connection heating up.
This is also why this stuff is put in an electrical box.
Remember those weak legs we talked about.

Worth
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Old January 21, 2017   #25
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Toss the so called Leatherman tool.
Do you mean "Leatherman" as 'multi-tool,' or are you talking specifically about the brand name Leatherman? I have had a lot of super-cheap and crappy multi tools. I do have one now that I like a lot. Schrade is the brand. My dad was a maintenance man for the University of Florida twenty years ago. They gave them out as Christmas gifts, and he gave me his.

Needle-nose pliers are a "you get what you pay for" type of item. The cheap ones will bend in an afternoon. The best I've ever had have been Craftsman, but as we talked about on another thread, that brand has now been sold to Stanley.

Channel-locks are more of a plumbing tool, but I agree they are absolutely required in any tool box. I use mine a lot. I wish someone had taught me as a kid how to use them to hook up a washing machine. The hoses always leak unless they get tightened with channel locks.
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Old January 21, 2017   #26
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I think the problem with a multi-tool is that they are all-metal. At least the ones that I've seen.

One other tool I'd recommend is a non-contact (capacitive) voltage sensor. It will tell you directly if something in the box is hot with AC. Good one is about $10.
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Old January 21, 2017   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole_Robbie View Post
Do you mean "Leatherman" as 'multi-tool,' or are you talking specifically about the brand name Leatherman? I have had a lot of super-cheap and crappy multi tools. I do have one now that I like a lot. Schrade is the brand. My dad was a maintenance man for the University of Florida twenty years ago. They gave them out as Christmas gifts, and he gave me his.

Needle-nose pliers are a "you get what you pay for" type of item. The cheap ones will bend in an afternoon. The best I've ever had have been Craftsman, but as we talked about on another thread, that brand has now been sold to Stanley.

Channel-locks are more of a plumbing tool, but I agree they are absolutely required in any tool box. I use mine a lot. I wish someone had taught me as a kid how to use them to hook up a washing machine. The hoses always leak unless they get tightened with channel locks.
My friend in Nebraska was flooring and carpet contractor who started in the business working for his father in the sixties. Years ago he showed me Leatherman multi tool he kept in his pocket at all times! He said it was the real Leatherman and told me don't buy the cheap knockoff! Seems like he paid hundred or so for it and I'm sure he still has it! He said it saved him so much time in unnecessary trips to get tools. jimbo
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Old January 21, 2017   #28
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Default How to change it out.

How to change it out.

First we must find out what the problem is and this is were the meter comes in handy.
It could be one of several problems.
First check the breaker and see if it is off or tripped some go the half way and show tripped and others just flip completely off when tripped.
Find out why it is tripped.
Does it keep tripping?
If it is not tripped find other receptacles on the same circuit and see if they work.
How do I find other receptacles?
You can do this many ways.

For right now lets just say you know what breaker it is and you know or think the receptacle or switch is bad.
Go to the store and get a new one if it is bad.
Now turn the breaker off and take the wall plate off.

Now without touching any of the wires pull that thing out so you can put your meter on it and check between hot Black and white neutral.
No volts good got to work no stop.
Now check both white and hot to ground no volts now you can go to work no stop.
Make sure the wires are not touching anything the cat or pets and kids aren't around and turn the breaker back on.'
Now go back and repeat.
You should have 110-120 from black hot to white and black hot to ground.
If not check that white to ground if it shows 110-120 then the idiots used white for hot.
Been there seen it.
DO NOT assume anything.
What is it is red or blue?
Black red and blue are all used for the hot white is always for neutral and Green or bare copper is always ground.
Normally black red and blue are in a three phase panel.
The code for this is on one of each side wired Black Red Blue over and over.
Don't worry about it you shouldn't find it in your house but if you do consider the red and blue hot also.
Now where were we?
You now know your receptacle or switch is bad.
Look at the instructions that came with it and wire it up.
Follow theses instructions.
Stab in VS under the screw.
I prefer under the screw it is harder to do but in my opinion a better connection if done right.
If not done right stab in is better.
How to do it right.
Strip the wire and make a bend in it with your pliers and get it under the screw.
Make sure it is under it good and pointing so when you tighten it up it get tighter.
In other words the bend should go clockwise with the end to the right.
Practice with some scrap wire.
I have two hot wires what to do?
That is where the second screw comes in and where the outlet wire goes.
How do I know which is out and in?
Your going to have to take a pictuer and hope they did it right the first time.
Why is it important?
It isn't unless it is a GFCI and you want the rest to be protected on the circuit.
Look at the instructions.
Don't feel stupid looking at instructions I have seen plenty of journeyman look at instructions the good ones always do.
The idiots dont.
How to check if you dont know?
Get that meter out turn the breaker on and check with the wires undone follow safety precautions.
See why you need that meter?
Get everything wired up and back in order.
I like to use a flat head for finale tightening because they get things tighter.
Make sure you use the right size.
Don't forget to turn the breaker back off.
After it is all back now check the receptacle or switch it should work.
If it does congratulations you have now saved a ton of money and a job well done.
But what about all those darn tools I just bought?
With the money you spend to call out a good reputable electrician you have bought the tools.
Why do the good ones cost so much?
Insurance licensing good wages good people hopefully and bonding.
The fly by night guys charge less and you never know what you will get.


Worth
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Old January 21, 2017   #29
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Guys the problem with that leatherman or what ever it is called it is a poor excuse for any tool in my opinion.
NOT the tool to have working with electricity no insulation.
Handy to have around and carry but not a good tool on the job site.
The guy I mentioned countless times stabbed that thing on the hot wire lug and got the hell shocked out of him.
Oh I forgot again!
Well you wont forget this time go home and come back with the right tools tomorrow.
Cole every electrician carries channel locks.
If he doesn't have them then he isn't an electrician.
They are a requirement in the tool bag of every union electrician from apprentice on up.

Worth
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Old January 21, 2017   #30
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Is the plastic on pliers supposed to keep you from getting shocked? I thought it was just there for grip. I remember as a kid having a lawn mower that wouldn't die unless the spark plug wire was removed. I picked up a pair of pliers to do it, thinking the insulation would protect me...and shocked myself quite effectively.
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