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Old 08-18-2008, 07:40 PM   #16
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Cable issue or wiring issue?


Well, cable guy just left after replacing the outside cable and ran a new line straight thru the wall. He was laughing at me about the 120v thru the coaxi cable and said that it's got to be the wiring.
So I just checked with the MM and it's still reading 120V, I cycled thru the breaker and killed the circuit that all of the components are running on and plugged an extension cord into the furthest circuit away. Took another reading and it shows 120V again.. Tried this with every circuit in the house and it shows the same.
I'm tempted to go ask my neighbor to plug in the extension cord to her outlet and then test it with her power.. What do you think?

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Old 08-18-2008, 07:53 PM   #17
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Cable issue or wiring issue?


Haha, who's going to be laughing when its determined that its the cable company's problem?

I would do like has been mentioned and simply disconnect the cable line where it connects on the outside of the house. Check with the MM from house electrical ground to coax ground on both the cable entering the house, and the cable going up to the pole.

If you get 0 volts on the cable entering the house, and 120 volts on the cable going up to the pole, then you know for sure its the cable company's problem.

Just because they ran a new cable, doesn't mean they sheared the jacket on the cable somewhere along the line in the process. Also might want to check and see if its the ground barrel on the outside of the house that has the 120 volts on it. Disconnect both cables from the barrel and check electrical ground to just the barrel (no cables attached).
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Old 08-18-2008, 08:00 PM   #18
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Cable issue or wiring issue?


I don't know if the means anything, but I just ran a extension cord from my very generous neighbors apartment and did the ground to coaxi test again. The voltage only read 25v.

Does this confirm anything?
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Old 08-18-2008, 08:20 PM   #19
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Cable issue or wiring issue?


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I'm tempted to go ask my neighbor to plug in the extension cord to her outlet and then test it with her power.. What do you think?
Give it try. Disconnect your cable outside first, like suggested before. That will isolate the inside cable from the outside. Did you turn all of your breakers off and ever get to zero volts ?? (not one at a time...but all of them off). I know this may sound silly, but obviously this isn't being a quick diagnosis.
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Old 08-18-2008, 09:03 PM   #20
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Give it try. Disconnect your cable outside first, like suggested before. That will isolate the inside cable from the outside. Did you turn all of your breakers off and ever get to zero volts ?? (not one at a time...but all of them off). I know this may sound silly, but obviously this isn't being a quick diagnosis.

Ok, so basically what the cable guy did was ran the cable from the pole straight thru the wall into the house, so the existing cable that was put here when the house was built is not even a factor anymore. What I have now is the black coaxi from the outside running straight thru the wall and into a splitter that goes to the cable box and one to the internet. So when you say unhook the outside cable, then I can just unhook the black wire that is hanging thru the wall behind the tv?
Does it mean anything that when I tested the coaxi ground with my neighbors power that it came up 25v instead of the 120v that I'm getting outta my outlets?
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Old 08-18-2008, 09:12 PM   #21
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Cable issue or wiring issue?


Yes, disconnect the new cable at the splitter and check that. As for the 25 volts to your neighbors ground, could mean something, but what you are really worried about is the difference in potential to the ground in your place. You won't be plugging your grounded equipment into your's neighbors power.
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Old 08-18-2008, 09:34 PM   #22
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I'm actually throwing this question out there to the other electricians looking into this problem for Duchey. If this house had a main service disconnect, say outside, and a separate branch circuit panelboard, that had a neutral to case connection...do you think this might be a cause??
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Old 08-18-2008, 09:53 PM   #23
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I'm actually throwing this question out there to the other electricians looking into this problem for Duchey. If this house had a main service disconnect, say outside, and a separate branch circuit panelboard, that had a neutral to case connection...do you think this might be a cause??
It really could be alot of different reasons, he needs to forget about the CATV and start looking into the electrical, start by hiring a competent electrician. You need to first off, find where the current is coming from, so I would turn breakers off one by one till the current went away, they tear that circuit apart till I found the problem.
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Old 08-19-2008, 12:06 AM   #24
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Cable issue or wiring issue?


How about a bootleg ground? This means that the outlets ground is connected to the outlets neutral wire. it will still show on a plug in tester that it is wired correct.

Last edited by Pudge565; 08-19-2008 at 12:10 AM.
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Old 08-19-2008, 05:44 AM   #25
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How about a bootleg ground? This means that the outlets ground is connected to the outlets neutral wire. it will still show on a plug in tester that it is wired correct.

I was curious about the idea also. like I said above, find what circuit is causing the current and dissemble that circuit.
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Old 08-19-2008, 09:08 AM   #26
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How about a bootleg ground? This means that the outlets ground is connected to the outlets neutral wire. it will still show on a plug in tester that it is wired correct.
Normally the difference in potential between the ground and neutral and between the electric ground and the grounded coax shield is 0 volts. And open neutral can change that. A short between a "hot" and the grounded coax shield should trip a circuit breaker or blow a fuse.

I would do as Chris suggested and get the 120V reading on the meter, then turn off one circuit at a time until the 120V reading drops to 0 or to a phantom voltage. Then investigate for a problem on that circuit.

If you are renting, the landlord should provide a competent electrician before his insurance company is forced to pay for a wrongful death lawsuit. You may want to mention that to him.
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Old 08-19-2008, 09:54 AM   #27
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Normally the difference in potential between the ground and neutral and between the electric ground and the grounded coax shield is 0 volts. And open neutral can change that. A short between a "hot" and the grounded coax shield should trip a circuit breaker or blow a fuse.

I would do as Chris suggested and get the 120V reading on the meter, then turn off one circuit at a time until the 120V reading drops to 0 or to a phantom voltage. Then investigate for a problem on that circuit.

If you are renting, the landlord should provide a competent electrician before his insurance company is forced to pay for a wrongful death lawsuit. You may want to mention that to him.
Good point. I called the LL and told him to get out here with an electrician and find out what the problem is. I'm not an electrican and I shouldnt be stuck between the LL and cable company troubleshooting this mess. He said he'd send someone out today or tomorrow. Only problem is, he's sent out two guys in the past two weeks and each time they've told me it's the coaxi, so I'm getting a little worried that "his guy's" may not be as competent as he thinks.
Thanks for all the help so far. I'll be sure to update you all when (IF!) they figure out whats going on.
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Old 08-19-2008, 03:58 PM   #28
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Cable issue or wiring issue?


First, put new batteries in your meter and test it on a known live source.



Turn off ALL of your power and see if the issue goes away.

If it does not, the 120V is coming from an outside source.

If it DOES go away, turn the circuits on and off one at a time and check voltage.

If the voltage reurns on one circuit, you have begun to isolate the problem.

If the voltage returns when ANY of the breakers are turned on, you have isolated the problem to the service.
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Old 08-19-2008, 06:31 PM   #29
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If I was in this situation I would do nothing except demand the landlord have the problem fixed. Why should an untrained renter perform serious electrical trouble shooting? And put his life on the line?
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Old 08-19-2008, 07:07 PM   #30
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If I was in this situation I would do nothing except demand the landlord have the problem fixed. Why should an untrained renter perform serious electrical trouble shooting? And put his life on the line?
Cant agree with you more, but I'm still going to kill all the power and do the test cuz I'm a curious bastard.

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