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Old 06-13-2014, 04:45 PM   #1
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More Fun at the Metal Building

Preface : wood framed building with metal siding and roof. Main panel and meter are mounted an as of mid morning GEC is attached to ground rod.

We had a building extension cord run from the house on site, out to the building and from there we had other extension cords plugged in. The big cord is the kind that you can change the ends on it.

We ran an extension cord to the new building's panel and pigtailed from the neutral bar to the neutral slot on extension cord and then pigtailed two light circuit hot wires to the hot slot of extension cord. No problem. We have lights.

Only problem, someone wired the male end of the big extension wrong. They flip flopped ht and neutral and cut the ground wire. It caused several shocks and weird voltage readings.

On the receptacle end of the big cord coming from the house you read 65 volts hot to ground and 55 volts neutral to ground. Or vice versa I can't remember. But I dont know how since the ground wire was cut off at the male end.

Now at the new panel where we are pigtailed to the extension cord to run light circuits... If you remove the pigtails and check voltage from extension cord from extension cord to panel you get 120 volts from neutral side to panel and 0 from hot side. Makes sense because the first extension cord running from the house is wired wrong.

Now hooked up your pigtails again and you read 60-70 volts from the panel to the concrete. You read the same from the door hinge to the slab because the panel and meter and siding and door hinges are touching each other.

I found this out when I touched the panel with one hand and the slab with the other and it tingled my hand. Scary. My boss was installing the meter and GEC and said he got a bad shock and he said it was when he grabbed the GEC and then his arm touched the panel.

One last thing. I'm almost positive I touched the panel earlier in the morning and didn't feel anything. I'm puzzles as to why it didn't have full line voltage on it and pop us even if we touched it with just one hand.

Weird for sure. It all straightened out after I rewired the original cord running from the house.

Any ideas?


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Old 06-13-2014, 04:54 PM   #2
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Run a proper panel feed.
gfci protect everything.
watch workers just don't do vamped repairs.
decommission faulty chords.

do any osha safety?

People get killed.
It happens.


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mpoulton (06-15-2014)
Old 06-13-2014, 08:39 PM   #3
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Seriously? Hire someone with electrical knowledge.
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Old 06-15-2014, 02:34 PM   #4
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I don't mean to be rude or dismissive, but the problem here is obvious to anyone who is qualified to be doing this work. With hot an neutral reversed, no bonding path, and a neutral-ground bond at the panel, you have electrified all of the "grounded" parts of the building. It's an extremely dangerous situation. This needs to be shut down and disassembled (cut the plug off) until a qualified person and redo it.
I am a lawyer, but not your lawyer. And who cares anyways? We're here to talk construction. This is DIY advice, not legal advice.
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Old 06-16-2014, 07:21 PM   #5
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oh boy....
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