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Old 02-02-2010, 10:36 PM   #16
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I'm going CRAZY!! (LP)


Wow. This project got a lot bigger than I had thought. Well, it's all wrapped up and put to bed. Thank you to EVERYONE for your generous time and helpful ideas. And thanks for being kind to a noob!

RANDOM THOUGHTS
(In bullet point format, because it's Tuesday, and it's late, and I'm on call.)

-Drywall looks great when it has been hung, mudded, taped, sanded, primed and sealed. Drywall that has all that stuff done to it with a big hole where you had to go in to straighten up an electrical snafu is...not so great looking.

-14G wire through your thumb is an exquisite kind of pain that cannot be described; it must be experienced to be appreciated.

-"I'll just reconnect that wire nut, and since I'm only going to touch one lead, I don't need to trip the circuit breaker" is quite possibly the dumbest thing I have ever said to myself.

-Children DO listen to you. I have proof: My five year old daughter says naughty words with exactly the same inflection and volume that I use. (To her credit, she uses them in context, too!)

-There's usually a good reason for things being the way they are. As examples, I offer these: There's a good reason I'm not an electrician - I like living. And there's a good reason electricians make a decent wage - They earn it.

-A good multimeter is an essential piece of equipment. A non-contact voltage detector is NOT a good substitute for proper diagnostic tools.

-A snide grin and asking "Back again?" is NOT a proper way for a smart-aleck Home Depot employee to greet a valued customer. Especially one who buys so many, many....many supplies. (Smart a$$ little jerk...I oughtta...)

-There is no better feeling in the world than finishing a job yourself, and having it turn out right. Even if it did take me much longer than a pro. And cost more. And result in injuries. And...well, you get the idea.

Thanks again to everyone who helped out!
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Old 02-03-2010, 09:18 AM   #17
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So what ended up being the problem?
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Old 02-03-2010, 10:52 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by secutanudu View Post
So what ended up being the problem?
...yeah, you're not getting off that easy!
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Old 02-03-2010, 10:59 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by secutanudu View Post
So what ended up being the problem?
Ditto.... Share the knowledge.

I'm surprised you were able to find any clerks in HD in the first place, let alone the same guy twice. And yeah, how rude. But kinda funny too.
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Old 02-03-2010, 11:40 AM   #20
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I'm going CRAZY!! (LP)


rpfeinman319 (Poster #16) Right. That's a good feeling when someone says to me "Oh. You can hang a chandelier or a ceiling fan in Five Minutes". Or, you can trace a "Short" or find a "Fault" in a power line, in 5 Minutes. Why are you charging so much?! Here's the answer. No one can install a Ceiling fan or find an electrical "Short" in Five Minutes. And if they do. They deserve the pay for their experience. (Expertise)!

Last edited by spark plug; 02-03-2010 at 11:42 AM. Reason: Miscellaneous (small) errors affecting accuracy!
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Old 02-03-2010, 03:31 PM   #21
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The problem was an open neutral. I went back to where I spliced into the circuit, and sure enough, the white lead had come out of the wire nut.

Checking the voltage drop across hot/ground AND hot/neutral was the key.

My non-contact tester was telling me the circuit was hot. And, technically it was. I was still getting the correct voltage across hot/ground. But until I checked the voltage across hot/neutral, I couldn't see where the problem was.

Trouble is, with a slapstick DIY job like this, I don't know that I would have approached it any differently: My circuit was fine (I thought), the wiring was correct (and it was), so where could the problem be? I was really pulling my hair out. Should have gone back to basics, checked EVERYTHING, and I certainly will in the future at the first hint of trouble.

I gained a new respect for electrcity...and for doing things the right way. If I had taken the time to do things right before I buried the junction box behind some drywall, I wouldn't be staring at the HUGE hole in my basement wall. Lesson learned.

Thanks again to everybody who gave advice! I'm amazed that you all could diagnose this thing sight unseen!

I'll stick to giving anesthesia as my area of expertise.

Thanks again,

Will
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Old 02-03-2010, 04:11 PM   #22
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Quote:
I buried the junction box behind some drywall
I think this may be a violation of code. It may also be a bad idea. Perhaps you should remedy this, rather than reburying it.
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Old 02-03-2010, 04:14 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by oberkc View Post
I think this may be a violation of code. It may also be a bad idea. Perhaps you should remedy this, rather than reburying it.
It absolutely is. All J-Boxes need to be accessible.
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Old 02-04-2010, 08:40 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpfeinman319 View Post
-A snide grin and asking "Back again?" is NOT a proper way for a smart-aleck Home Depot employee to greet a valued customer. Especially one who buys so many, many....many supplies. (Smart a$$ little jerk...I oughtta...)
... speak with his supervisor?
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