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Old 08-13-2012, 10:35 PM   #16
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Need Help Understanding Neutal / Ground


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Agreed .. 5 people died on Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri this year due to faulty electrical wiring. One case wasn't the fault of the dock owner but faulty wiring on a boat that was docked to his and using his power.

It's not uncommon to have an external source causing the problem. His problem may not be from his wiring. He says he has all power off and still has the spark when connecting a ground wire to his receptacle and touching the metal ladder. I wish he would stop experimenting.....
The Ozarks was one case I was referencing...

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Old 08-13-2012, 10:38 PM   #17
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The Ozarks was one case I was referencing...
I'm searching to see if I can find out the cause ... on the other incidents.
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Old 08-13-2012, 10:39 PM   #18
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EDIT .. Sorry for the redundancy I see it has already been brought up
I think the redundancy is fantastic with this thread!!!
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Old 08-13-2012, 10:42 PM   #19
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Need Help Understanding Neutal / Ground


As you can probably tell, I'm not a qualified, experienced electrician... but I'm also not a complete idiot. I understand there are terrible dangers in wiring, so I try to do everything carefully and test it as I go along. Clearly, there is something wrong here and I'd really appreciate help trying to figure it out. I have a feeling that if you knew me personally, you would be absolutely comfortable with giving me instructions on how to do it myself.

If a licensed electrician came and installed the wires himself and found that there was voltage on the ground wire, how would he proceed? Should I disconnect the neutral coming in from the service to see if the voltage goes away?
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Old 08-13-2012, 10:45 PM   #20
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Need Help Understanding Neutal / Ground


At this point, I would call the POCO. If you turn off the main, you should have 0V on the neutral/ground. If your meter is correct, there could be something wrong on their end. Either way, it needs to be addressed.
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Old 08-13-2012, 10:46 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by gookinp07 View Post
As you can probably tell, I'm not a qualified, experienced electrician... but I'm also not a complete idiot. I understand there are terrible dangers in wiring, so I try to do everything carefully and test it as I go along. Clearly, there is something wrong here and I'd really appreciate help trying to figure it out. I have a feeling that if you knew me personally, you would be absolutely comfortable with giving me instructions on how to do it myself.

If a licensed electrician came and installed the wires himself and found that there was voltage on the ground wire, how would he proceed? Should I disconnect the neutral coming in from the service to see if the voltage goes away?
Didnt you install this without GFCI protection because you couldn't afford it at the time? I know you mean well, but i just dont get it either...
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Old 08-13-2012, 10:47 PM   #22
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I know this is off subject but here is a link to one incidents cause ... not good detail but an example of non-code compliance....

http://www.komu.com/news/update-offi...electrocution/
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Old 08-13-2012, 11:01 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gookinp07 View Post
As you can probably tell, I'm not a qualified, experienced electrician... but I'm also not a complete idiot. I understand there are terrible dangers in wiring, so I try to do everything carefully and test it as I go along. Clearly, there is something wrong here and I'd really appreciate help trying to figure it out. I have a feeling that if you knew me personally, you would be absolutely comfortable with giving me instructions on how to do it myself.

If a licensed electrician came and installed the wires himself and found that there was voltage on the ground wire, how would he proceed? Should I disconnect the neutral coming in from the service to see if the voltage goes away?
As K Buz mentioned have the power company come out and check their end. Heres the problem that makes it dangerous ... if it is voltage or current from another source you cannot remove it and will being fooling around with live energized metal from where ever the source originates. Killing your power will not help.

How is the power brought to the homes ... overhead or underground? Do you have any other metallic paths out to the pier like coax cable phone etc...
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Old 08-13-2012, 11:04 PM   #24
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Didnt you install this without GFCI protection because you couldn't afford it at the time? I know you mean well, but i just dont get it either...
You're right, I began installing it on Saturday and mostly finished on Sunday. It is now Monday. I'm going to buy a GFCI on Thursday. I turned the breaker on to test the winch's operation at the end of the Sunday. It operated correctly. I planned to shut the breaker off and wait for the purchase of a GFCI. However, as I was lifting the ladder to put it away, I saw small sparks between the cable spooled off of the winch and the ladder. As a side note, I wasn't in the water working on electricity, I was finishing up bolting some davits that I made onto two pilings I put in.

Before I install the GFCI, I'm also going to cut the cable and put extremely strong rope in the cable before it branches into the water. If everything goes to plan, even if the GFCI fails, the rope will break the circuit before the cable carries the current into the water.
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Old 08-13-2012, 11:10 PM   #25
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As K Buz mentioned have the power company come out and check their end. Heres the problem that makes it dangerous ... if it is voltage or current from another source you cannot remove it and will being fooling around with live energized metal from where ever the source originates. Killing your power will not help.

How is the power brought to the homes ... overhead or underground? Do you have any other metallic paths out to the pier like coax cable phone etc...
The power is brought to the home from overhead. There is a 110v line going to a light on a pole next to the pier. The light is operational. Other than that, there was a VHF antenna cable buried underground, but it was severed a couple decades ago. I have no idea if it's still there, but it definitely isn't operational.
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Old 08-13-2012, 11:13 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by gookinp07 View Post
You're right, I began installing it on Saturday and mostly finished on Sunday. It is now Monday. I'm going to buy a GFCI on Thursday. I turned the breaker on to test the winch's operation at the end of the Sunday. It operated correctly. I planned to shut the breaker off and wait for the purchase of a GFCI. However, as I was lifting the ladder to put it away, I saw small sparks between the cable spooled off of the winch and the ladder. As a side note, I wasn't in the water working on electricity, I was finishing up bolting some davits that I made onto two pilings I put in.

Before I install the GFCI, I'm also going to cut the cable and put extremely strong rope in the cable before it branches into the water. If everything goes to plan, even if the GFCI fails, the rope will break the circuit before the cable carries the current into the water.
That's not making any sense the gfci will/may trip if the problem is with your wiring ... if not ... then it won't help anything. An electrician will disconnect the egc at the panel to see if the voltage goes away. He may see a spark at the panel neutral bar.
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Old 08-13-2012, 11:18 PM   #27
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At this point, I would call the POCO. If you turn off the main, you should have 0V on the neutral/ground. If your meter is correct, there could be something wrong on their end. Either way, it needs to be addressed.
Thanks for the all the info, k_buz. I'll call them up tomorrow and see if I can arrange a meeting.

Thanks,
Patrick
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Old 08-13-2012, 11:23 PM   #28
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That's not making any sense the gfci will/may trip if the problem is with your wiring ... if not ... then it won't help anything. An electrician will disconnect the egc at the panel to see if the voltage goes away. He may see a spark at the panel neutral bar.
I'm just keeping in mind an episode of MythBusters I saw a long time ago. They wanted to test if a hairdryer dropped into a bathtub could kill someone. At first, they dropped it into the tub while plugged into a GFCI. The GFCI didn't pop and the hairdryer was pumping water out of it. I just figured even with todays quality control standards, a bad part might come through the assembly line and ruin your day. Putting a section of rope in place of a short section of cable is just a little extra assurance for me.
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Old 08-13-2012, 11:25 PM   #29
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See my post in you're other thread!
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Old 08-13-2012, 11:25 PM   #30
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I'm just keeping in mind an episode of MythBusters I saw a long time ago. They wanted to test if a hairdryer dropped into a bathtub could kill someone. At first, they dropped it into the tub while plugged into a GFCI. The GFCI didn't pop and the hairdryer was pumping water out of it. I just figured even with todays quality control standards, a bad part might come through the assembly line and ruin your day. Putting a section of rope in place of a short section of cable is just a little extra assurance for me.
Do you understand how and why the hair dryer did not trip the GFCI?

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