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ScubaRaven 06-07-2006 02:13 PM

Ground Wire Problem
Hi all... I'm having a majore problem with a wire I moved to put in a new door. Anyway, It's a 14-gauge 2-wire with ground. When I connect the hot and the neutral, I get power but when the ground is connected, the breaker trips. Also, when I test an outlet on this circuit when it is on (without the ground) I get a "hot/neutral reversed" indicator. I tried switching the wires to see if this would remedy the problem but same indicator when I test it. Any ideas? Rich Valentine

KUIPORNG 06-07-2006 02:27 PM

I am not a electrician, but I did have some DIY circuit experience, as since your case is so interesting, I would think would it be possible that your NEUTRAL LINE and the GROUND LINE are short circuit somewhere, if you don't connect the ground line, the short circuit situation does not show up. but once you connect the ground line, current will go to the ground instead of going to your device then neutral...

well I may be wrong, you then need to wait for an experience electrician to reply....

Speedy Petey 06-07-2006 02:48 PM

So you moved this wire?
I assume you had to install two boxes to extend it?
Have you checked ALL your splices?

If it worked before, and it does this now, obviously there is a short somewhere.
This may be a switch loop. In this case the white is NOT a neutral so if it is touching a ground somewhere it will short out.
You cannot have a neutral to ground short. They are both grounded. They should NOT touch anywhere other than in the main panel though.

ScubaRaven 06-07-2006 02:53 PM

Yes, two new boxes. I did check all my splices but everything looked secure.Also, when the white and black are connected, I am getting current through the ground when checked with my mulimeter. (when checked at both ends that are not connected). So it sounds like my neutral wire is either damaged somewhere down the line or not connected?

Speedy Petey 06-07-2006 03:01 PM

Current or voltage? I assume you mean voltage.

If you have voltage on a ground wire you DO have a short or miswire somewhere. I seriously doubt it is inside a cable. It almost certainly is in a box somewhere. Or possibly a staple driven in to far. Maybe a nail?

ScubaRaven 06-07-2006 03:07 PM

I'm going to go back and rework the entire thing and see if I can find the problem.... I removed the drywall about 5 feet further down the line to see if I could find any problems that I may have caused by pulling the cable but nothing so hopefully you're right and I'll find my mistake. Thanks for your help!

ScubaRaven 06-07-2006 03:58 PM

After practically tearing my entire wall down, I atleast found the direction of the short. It's actually in a section of the wall far from were I was working which has me wondering if the previous owners intentionally removed the ground and I just missed it when I relocated the wires. I'm guessing there's no way to actually locate a short without tearing up the walls? Hopefully it will atleast be in the same room...

jbfan 06-07-2006 04:09 PM

Instead of tearing out the walls, find the box that feeds that direction. Disconnect the wires going in the direction of the suppected short, and retest. This will isolate the short in a box or in the wall.

ScubaRaven 06-07-2006 04:14 PM

the cable actually shoots up to the attic and then somewhere else... guess I'm gonna get dirty.... I'm pretty sure it's just looped over in the attic and comes back in the same room but hard to get to being that my attic is so small... (I hate fiberglass) lol....

jbfan 06-07-2006 04:16 PM

Before you climb into the attic, if the breaker trips, then you have other devices that are not working. That is where I would start.

ScubaRaven 06-08-2006 12:36 PM

I did run a temporary cable from the good power supply, to the nearest device (in my case an electrical outlet) and everything works fine so the short is definately somewhere in the cable in between. (hence climbing through the attic). I thought about replace just part of the cable before pulling the entire cable which is partially in an undamaged wall but after a close look at the cable in the attic, I cannot find any damaged areas so at this point, I'm thinking the best thing is to just replace the entire cable.

ScubaRaven 06-08-2006 02:32 PM

Well, fought through all the fiberglass and heat and got the new cable ran. I'm soooooo happy to say that everything is working perfectly now! Thank everyone for their help! Now can you guys help me with the waterline I busted while running the new cable? lol!!! Totally kidding! Thanks again guys!Richard

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