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Old 11-18-2009, 01:54 PM   #16
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In most panels, breaker numbers 18 and 20 would be on different legs and would have 240V between them. While it is possible you have a multiwire circuit, I doubt it.

In older homes, the "electrician" would sometimes use a neutral from any convenient location to power the lights on a 3way circuit... and usually not from the same circuit. My guess is this is what you are encountering.

BTW: what are you using to determine the wires are hot? If it is an inductive or proximity tester, it is pretty much useless on old wiring.

As for the glowing lights with the breaker off... it relates back to the randomly tapped neutral.

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Old 11-18-2009, 07:51 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HouseHelper View Post
In most panels, breaker numbers 18 and 20 would be on different legs and would have 240V between them. While it is possible you have a multiwire circuit, I doubt it.

In older homes, the "electrician" would sometimes use a neutral from any convenient location to power the lights on a 3way circuit... and usually not from the same circuit. My guess is this is what you are encountering.

BTW: what are you using to determine the wires are hot? If it is an inductive or proximity tester, it is pretty much useless on old wiring.

As for the glowing lights with the breaker off... it relates back to the randomly tapped neutral.
Not only the "proximity tester", But the older "Diode" testers (not the ones that work with LED) would pick up on a Neutral, due to the fact that they consume so little power. The best bet would be to test with a pigtail socket and lightbulb. Eliminate confusion Through Education;Don't Drink and Drive, Ever!!!

Last edited by spark plug; 11-18-2009 at 07:53 PM. Reason: Missing word ("They") to enhance clarity.
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Old 11-19-2009, 09:26 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by HouseHelper View Post
BTW: what are you using to determine the wires are hot? If it is an inductive or proximity tester, it is pretty much useless on old wiring.

As for the glowing lights with the breaker off... it relates back to the randomly tapped neutral.
my little chirper is telling me that both are hot - also the shock I got while stripping the white wire and touching the metal box.
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Old 11-19-2009, 09:51 AM   #19
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my little chirper is telling me that both are hot - also the shock I got while stripping the white wire and touching the metal box.
Run that little chirper through your hair... you'll find it to be "hot" also.

Get a real tester the checks for voltage between the hot and neutral and do not rely on the proximity tester.

The shock you are getting is from a neutral that is still in use from another circuit and you have broken the connection back to the panel.

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