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Old 01-13-2014, 05:50 PM   #61
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What do you think of this drywall job?


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After the concerns about the lack of staples, I got a copy of the Canadian Electrical Code from the library. It seems that what he did was actually legal here:



For the isolated ground, he used cable with three insulated conductors normally used for 240V circuits. Apparently it used to be accepted practice in the Canada to put green tape on the red conductors to show they were being used as ground, but this practice creates the possibility that somebody might in the future connect one the red conductor to the opposite phase in the box, particularly if the green tape falls off somehow - that would be - uh - bad. I suppose he saved some money or time by not buying three conductor cable with a green insulated ground conductor.

It seems the use of a red grounding conductor violates 4-036 (1):



There's a discussion of this issue here.
Are you sure the red is supposed to be a ground, I think I can see a bare ground in almost all of the boxes. the red wire could mean it was going to be a half switched outlet?




Last edited by diyer111; 01-13-2014 at 05:53 PM.
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Old 01-13-2014, 06:03 PM   #62
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What do you think of this drywall job?


I usually use the plastic boxes, but one problem is they don't work well with roto-tools (Dremel, Rotozip) that use a drywall bit to cut cleanly around them - you can cut right through the box if you're not careful. Of course that's a moot point in this case - looks like they took a dozen stabs at this one just getting the Rotozip started. That is a guy who definitely does not know how to use a drywall bit.

Regarding isolated ground, I think you're better off putting in a dedicated line rather than messing with ground on a circuit used for something else. If anyone uses a hairdryer or microwave or heaven only knows what, it can easily cause audible disturbance in the line.
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Old 01-13-2014, 11:00 PM   #63
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What do you think of this drywall job?


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Are you sure the red is supposed to be a ground, I think I can see a bare ground in almost all of the boxes. the red wire could mean it was going to be a half switched outlet?
Hi - that would be a very reasonable thing to assume. Because the room is used for recording, the electrician proposed installing isolated ground receptacles. He showed me how he would connect them, and definitely said the red conductor would go to the ground pin on the plug. The Ontario safety bulletin I linked to suggests this arrangement used to be a common practice (with green tape on the ground conductor) but it's now against Canadian Code.

I later realized that the Electrician had only the foggiest notion of what isolated ground was, and proposed several different wirings until finally doing something that makes absolutely no difference.

P
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Old 01-13-2014, 11:19 PM   #64
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What do you think of this drywall job?


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Regarding isolated ground, I think you're better off putting in a dedicated line rather than messing with ground on a circuit used for something else. If anyone uses a hairdryer or microwave or heaven only knows what, it can easily cause audible disturbance in the line.
Thanks, Jeff.

I agree that isolated ground is probably kind of useless for audio, even if done according to the standard used in hospitals (and I'm a physicist working in a hospital). There seem to be different interpretations of IG - what my electrician proposed is to have the receptacle boxes bonded to the normal unsheathed ground wire, and connect the ground pin of the plug to an insulated ground conductor (the red wire) that also runs back to the panel's ground bus. The receptacle used is an orange IG unit in which there is no connection between the mounting straps (and box) and the ground pin. This does isolate the chassis ground from the receptacle box, but I don't see any way that this measure alone will prevent ground loops.

If each receptacle has its own, dedicated ground conductor leading back to the panel (often called star grounding), then I could see how this might help (I'm still trying to really convince myself). However, my electrician wired all the receptacles in a parallel, daisy-chain style, as per usual practice. This does create "loops" if you have audio equipment plugged into two different outlets, and these loops can have 60Hz hum induced in them from oscillating magnetic fields associated with normal household wiring (Faraday's law of induction).

So at the end of the day, I'll get weird looking orange outlets that probably provide no audio benefit at all (I agreed when I was young and foolish and thought all licensed contractors know everything ). I did also ask him to keep all the receptacles on a single branch circuit, ideally separated from inductive loads like refrigerator etc. I have no idea if he did that... the room will also have a baseboard heater but I actually doubt these are an issue.

I'm kicking myself because I don't usually go in for electrical gimmicks like fancy cables etc. I sort of assumed he'd do something like star grounding (which is still probably overkill) but he didn't. Unlike the ailments that Monster Cables claim to cure, ground loops are very real and a big pain in the *ss in audio although they are easy to eliminate with proper setup.

P

Last edited by Proton; 01-13-2014 at 11:22 PM.
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Old 01-22-2014, 10:49 PM   #65
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What do you think of this drywall job?


I've been pretty busy lately, partly catching up on work/family stuff that piled up while I was getting my head around this situation. Partly it was spending a few consecutive nights ripping out the drywall to do it again myself with RC and other measures. Seeing it done so badly just strengthened my resolve to do it really well (I hope that will be the outcome).

The room has been gutted of the original drywall, and is now back down to studs. It was a lot of work to get it off - had to dig though mud and tape to find screws. I could have used a sledgehammer, but I wanted to minimize mess and avoid damaging framing etc. Was also working late at night so trying to keep the noise down (ironic, huh - soundproofing and all...)

Here's a more recent pic:



What's funny is that I found a *lot* of the screws completely missed the studs, and the studs themselves deviate all over from 16" spacing (they're between 14" and 17"). Thank goodness I didn't get these guys to do RC!

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Old 01-23-2014, 05:52 AM   #66
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What do you think of this drywall job?


Are those bottom plates pressure treated or at least have sill seal under them?
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:07 AM   #67
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Are those bottom plates pressure treated or at least have sill seal under them?
Thanks for catching that - the plates are not PT but they put Duchesne vapour barrier under. I think this is acceptable. See pic:
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