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Old 07-05-2009, 04:17 PM   #1
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dead branch off 2 breakers to sub-panel


In the course of adding some flooring and new insulation to the attic space of our 1908 home, I did enough reading to know that the knob & tube covered by 12" of insulation would NOT be a good idea. I decided to take it upon myself to replace the K&T with romex for the lights and outlets upstairs. I traced the power supply (14-3 branched off 2 15A breakers) from the basement to a sub-panel (via the attic) in the closet of one of the rooms upstairs that was previously used to house the K&T. I replaced the trunk of the K&T from the subpanel to the lights and outlets upstairs. I have enerything hooked back up, but the branch off the black wire of the incoming 14-3 is not working. However, there is power to that trunk (I shocked myself while installing a ceiling fan that does not work. When I plug in a wiring indicator to a GFCI in the bathroom on that trunk, it reads that the hot & ground are reversed. However, nothing works when plugged into it. I am totally stumped.

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Old 07-05-2009, 05:30 PM   #2
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dead branch off 2 breakers to sub-panel


Well the first step would be to take off the GFI and see if the ground and hot are reversed, and if not there keep going back to what you changed to find out where that problem is comeing from.

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Old 07-05-2009, 06:09 PM   #3
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dead branch off 2 breakers to sub-panel


There's a possibility that you failed to connect the (Common) NEUTRAL at some point. The reason you were SHOCKED by a non-working outlet box, is, that, even though you have no Voltage Hot to Neutral, but there is voltage hot to Ground. Solving Electrical problems takes good old-fashioned, step by step detective work. There are no shortcuts and assumptions will not help!Don't Drink and Drive!!!
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Old 07-05-2009, 09:03 PM   #4
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dead branch off 2 breakers to sub-panel


spark plug, when you say common ground, could you elaborate? The 14-3 incoming wire obviously only has one ground. There are 2 branches from the 14-3 (5 wires total). Which of the two 15A breakers do I tie the neutral to?
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Old 07-05-2009, 10:06 PM   #5
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dead branch off 2 breakers to sub-panel


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Originally Posted by BrianA View Post
spark plug, when you say common ground, could you elaborate? The 14-3 incoming wire obviously only has one ground. There are 2 branches from the 14-3 (5 wires total). Which of the two 15A breakers do I tie the neutral to?
I believe I said "Common Wire" for the NEUTRAL. Let's try sorting things out.
There is a difference between NEUTRAL and GROUND. I believe what I said was, in answer to your question "why you were shocked even though the light or fan didn't work". That you [probably] failed to tie in the NEUTRAL/Common, at some point. But you had Current from HOT to GROUND.
The NEUTRAL wire is not connected to ANY breaker. It is connected to the NEUTRAL terminal in the panel. (The numerous screws on both sides of the panel, where all the WHITE/NEUTRAL wires are connected. Following that. In each JUNCTION BOX above a LIGHT or CEILING FAN you connect the Black wire of the appliance (or light) to ANY one of the BLACK wires. And the WHITE to the WHITE/Neutral/Common that is running IN or THROUGH THE BOX. In addition, the BARE (copper) Wire must be connected to the base of the box. There's a special (Green colored) Screw provided!
Hope this clears things up!!!The devil is in the Details! In spite of everything. Don't Drink and Drive!!!
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