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Old 07-19-2012, 04:05 PM   #16
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my hvac ducts are showing 120 volts!


So I could safely go swimming in a school of Great White Sharks just because actuary tables say I have a 1 in 11.5 milliion chance of being attacked?



You can argue risk and benefits all you want, but that won't change the fact that it is not a good idea to provide WEB BASED ADVICE on troubleshooting something this potentially dangerous.

In order to find something like this, you're almost going to be required to work with live voltage that has somehow found a ground. That's difficult for a experienced electrician/tech to track down, and it's orders of magnitude MORE difficult for a DIYer.

I stand by my comment: ChrisJones, call an electrian on this one. This is out of the depths of a DIYer.

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Old 07-19-2012, 06:47 PM   #17
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my hvac ducts are showing 120 volts!


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Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
Run a 7-1/2 w bulb from the duct to ground.
If the bulb doesn't light it's a phantom voltage or a very flimsy connection.

If it does light, have an assistant watch the bulb while you push, pull and bang on the duct to try to find a place that makes the bulb flicker.

Depending on your results there are more options, here.
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Old 07-19-2012, 08:25 PM   #18
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my hvac ducts are showing 120 volts!


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You forgot likelihoods.
The chance of dying from electricity for a non-electrician is about 600/100,000,000, per year.
This times $10,000 = $0.06, way cheaper than an electrician.

Driving a vehicle is 50x more dangerous than messing with electricity, per year.

Hardly anyone outside of actuaries seems to understand risk.
Yet, anytime you walk from your house to your car in a thunderstorm you are making a risk/cost/benefit calculation, even if you don't know it.

YOU ARE MISSING THE POINT....SOMEBODY STILL DIES!. Guess you don't care about that fact...and the actuaries seem to forget that as well.
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Old 07-19-2012, 10:27 PM   #19
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my hvac ducts are showing 120 volts!


If you have found the breaker that de energizes the ductwork when turned off leave it off until you can find the source of the wire to duct connection. Use a good flashlight to peer into all nooks and crannies providing the basement is not finished. Find out what the breaker feeds and replace the wiring involved. Chances are you will find the worn spot in the wire when you pull it out. If you don't feel comfortable doing it then definitely call a pro.
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:18 PM   #20
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my hvac ducts are showing 120 volts!


Call an electrician now!!!!!

10 years ago we lost a guy ( 6 feet under) who only brushed up against a bare wire in an attic.
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:34 PM   #21
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my hvac ducts are showing 120 volts!


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I have isolated the breaker, but can't find any wires touching the charged duct. It is isolated from the main unit by a baffle, no grounding strap. Main unit housing not energized.

There is a lot of good advice here, but also some which is not suited for the inexperienced. Be careful. 120V can and will kill you if you aren't careful. It's great that you ask for advice here and it's all well meaning. But if it's a situation which puts your life in danger the advice is worthless. Just be careful. Did I say be careful? Years ago I got a 120v shock...doesn't seem so bad eh?. But I was on top of a 12 foot ladder and managed to get "locked on" so I couldn't release. 7 days in the hospital, I now have a metal plate in my knee because of the fall. I know this isn't your situation, but electricity is hazardous in many ways. Did I say be careful?
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Old 07-20-2012, 03:02 PM   #22
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my hvac ducts are showing 120 volts!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
You forgot likelihoods.
The chance of dying from electricity for a non-electrician is about 600/100,000,000, per year.
This times $10,000 = $0.06, way cheaper than an electrician.

Driving a vehicle is 50x more dangerous than messing with electricity, per year.

Hardly anyone outside of actuaries seems to understand risk.
The likelihood is that most non-electricians will not try to work on electrical problems.That is why it is such a small number. If you don't enter the water your chance of drowning drops exponentially.
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Old 07-20-2012, 04:29 PM   #23
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my hvac ducts are showing 120 volts!


Hmmm... the person hasn't posted again in four days now... I wonder if he tried to pursue it himself...
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Old 07-20-2012, 05:46 PM   #24
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my hvac ducts are showing 120 volts!


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Hmmm... the person hasn't posted again in four days now... I wonder if he tried to pursue it himself...
Or his number came up. . .kind of like winning a "reverse lottery".

BTW, this from the book "struck by lightning": Your odds of getting killed while driving out to buy a lottery ticket are more than your odds of winning that lottery.
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Old 07-20-2012, 07:20 PM   #25
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my hvac ducts are showing 120 volts!


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Or his number came up. . .kind of like winning a "reverse lottery".

BTW, this from the book "struck by lightning": Your odds of getting killed while driving out to buy a lottery ticket are more than your odds of winning that lottery.
If his number came up I sure hope he was in his car going to buy a lottery ticket and not trying to trace his electrical issue.
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Old 07-21-2012, 09:29 AM   #26
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my hvac ducts are showing 120 volts!


He sounded like he knew what he was doing. Hope so. I have faith that he did. get back to us and let ud know will ya....mind you I've known some electricians I wouldn't have trusted to troubleshoot this one..

From, long time trouble shooter, Boiler/HVAC specialist...If you are not sure..BAIL..and let a pro do it
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Old 07-21-2012, 09:56 AM   #27
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my hvac ducts are showing 120 volts!


what i am wondering . how did he find out the the ducts were charged ?
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Old 07-21-2012, 05:58 PM   #28
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my hvac ducts are showing 120 volts!


I'm a DIY and have worked on a lot of 120 volt lines. Sometimes live lines. But gee, I would either not DIY or I would kill the power first! And make sure it was dead... Ro make sure I was not!

But can't he use a "Fox and Hound" to trace what wire is shorting? Connect the fox the the vents, find and trace the wire with the hound.

The signal from the Fox gives you something to trace in place of a live line.

You can buy them off ebay. Also when you find the suspect wire, if you wiggle and juggle it and loose the signal, you know you are in the right area of the short. Or you can simply replace to full run.

I to hope the guy is OK.

I have found that I have a short issue more then once by going Ouch! Aspecily with old lamps and fans.

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