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Old 04-14-2009, 05:57 PM   #16
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No neutral wire...


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Originally Posted by 220/221 View Post
Probab;ly an open neutral rather than a short.

The real danger here is if you get an open neutral, the current will follow the ground path and energize anything plugged in or gooked up to a ground wire. In the garage door/wet kid case the current likely flowed thru the ground pin on the GDO, thru the metal components, thru the kid and into the wet cement driveway.

Don't use ground for a neutral.
i think you're right about the open neutral, actually. It was some years ago and as I recall the child was wet and touched the garage door. I remember it was because the ground was used in a three-way switch, but it was probably an open neutral. In any event, this was a 'no permit' pulled job done by an unqualified person.

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Old 04-15-2009, 08:41 AM   #17
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No neutral wire...


Anyone who even suggests using a ground for neutral should be banned from posting in the eletrical forum.
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Old 04-15-2009, 12:15 PM   #18
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No neutral wire...


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Anyone who even suggests using a ground for neutral should be banned from posting in the eletrical forum.
I would completely agree! I just found a nightmare in my new house, trying to figure out how everything is wired. Some idiot took a 12/3 piece of wire to feed a downstairs hallway light (ok overkill but not the issue). The light is connected with the red and the white wires while the black wire is stripped, but not connected to anything, and the ground at the light clipped off (also a 100 watt bulb in a socket rated for 60 watts). In the switch box, I find a SWITCH LOOP feeding the other fixtures in the basement and the neutral wire from the light connected to the ground wires!!! Oh and the black wire is just taped up in the box (the one not connected at the light) and the red wire is actually wrapped around the screw on the switch (where the switch loop wires are backstabbed).

NEVER use the ground as a neutral as this previous owner has done! Eventually I will post up a thread with pictures of all the wiring issues I have come across, its been a nightmare opening the boxes to see what I will find next!
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Old 04-15-2009, 05:04 PM   #19
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No neutral wire...


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its been a nightmare opening the boxes to see what I will find next!
Be careful! I was tracing a door bell wire in my basement and found some old BX cable coiled up on the top of the HVAC duct work. I started to grab it for a closer look, then thought better of it. Abut 8 inches of wire was out of the metal cable so I checked with a pen tester. Beep! Beep! Beep! Yep it was hot alright! No telling how long it had been up there, just cut off and coiled up on top of my duct work.

Here a couple of pictures. One where it is dangling down the way I found it, and another of it after I capped and taped the hot and neutral.
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No neutral wire...-357581332_uxjme-m.jpg   No neutral wire...-352775412_7ayva-m.jpg  
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Old 04-15-2009, 07:34 PM   #20
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No neutral wire...


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after I capped and taped the hot and neutral.

Still not enough, put it in a box or find the source and disconnect it there.

If it was dead, you would need to find both ends and mark it "abandoned in place" and at least nut the wires in case someone would wire into it anyways.
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Old 04-15-2009, 08:04 PM   #21
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Still not enough, put it in a box or find the source and disconnect it there.

If it was dead, you would need to find both ends and mark it "abandoned in place" and at least nut the wires in case someone would wire into it anyways.
Actually, I did just that. I put a circuit finder on the exposed wire and found the breaker the wire was attached to, then I turned it off and put the wire (capped) in a box. I had to reroute the BX from where it was over to an open spot for the box. After I got it in a box, I checked the rest of the house and apparently this breaker is just for this one wire. Nothing else in the house is affected when I turn that breaker off. The best I can figure the BX used to go upstairs to the kitchen, but must have been abandoned when it was rewired by a previous owner.

So, in the last couple of months I have connected two light fixtures to it for the basement and will probably run a line over to the wall for a receptacle.
Attached Thumbnails
No neutral wire...-357581385_gn72h-m.jpg   No neutral wire...-504836035_dvvwr-m.jpg   No neutral wire...-504836120_kl6z6-m.jpg  

Last edited by Bigplanz; 04-15-2009 at 08:08 PM.
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Old 04-15-2009, 08:29 PM   #22
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No neutral wire...


Is that porcelain fixture GFI protected?
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Old 04-15-2009, 08:53 PM   #23
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Is that porcelain fixture GFI protected?
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Old 04-15-2009, 08:56 PM   #24
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Is that porcelain fixture GFI protected?
Under the 2005 NEC in effect here, lighting circuits in basements do not have to be protected by a GFCI. Under the current code, I would have to have GFCI for all circuits in an unfinished basement, as well as for the dedicated outlet I have just for my freezer.
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Old 04-15-2009, 09:01 PM   #25
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No neutral wire...


I suppose he means the outlet on the fixture
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Old 04-15-2009, 09:08 PM   #26
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No neutral wire...


According to this Kentucky accepted NEC 2008 8/2008

http://www.childoutletsafety.org/fil...doptionMap.pdf

I think GFCI in a basement is a good thing - outlets
I wasn't aware they expanded it to lights in 2008?
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Old 04-15-2009, 09:09 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by rgsgww View Post
I suppose he means the outlet on the fixture
I was told that an outlet 'not readily accessible' in an unfinished basement also did not have to be GFCI protected under the 2005 NEC. The height of the light is 7 feet+ above the floor, thus meeting the 'not readily accessible' test. However, under 2008, it would require protection, if for no other reason than it has a built in outlet.

Edit to add: Kentucky did adopt the 2008 NEC, however, Louisville is a 'home rule' city and can adopt whichever code (or variants thereof) as they see fit. As of today, Louisville still enforces the 2005 code.

I don't 'think' 2008 extended coverage to strictly lighting circuits, but I could be mistaken about that. In any event, 2008 dropped the 'not readily accessible' exemption, so the outlet in the light fixture would mandate GFCI protection I believe.

Last edited by Bigplanz; 04-15-2009 at 09:12 PM. Reason: Add info
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Old 04-15-2009, 09:16 PM   #28
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No neutral wire...


Quote:
Originally Posted by rgsgww View Post
I suppose he means the outlet on the fixture
No, I mean the receptacle on the fixture.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigplanz View Post
Under the current code, I would have to have GFCI for all circuits in an unfinished basement,
What code is that?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigplanz View Post
I was told that an outlet 'not readily accessible' in an unfinished basement also did not have to be GFCI protected under the 2005 NEC. The height of the light is 7 feet+ above the floor, thus meeting the 'not readily accessible' test.
You were told? By whom?
I think the NEC in your case is the last word on this. Go look up the definition of "Accessible, Readily".
I would consider 7' off the floor quite readily accessible.
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Old 04-15-2009, 09:43 PM   #29
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No neutral wire...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigplanz
Under the current code, I would have to have GFCI for all circuits in an unfinished basement,

What code is that?

I meant to say under the current NEC (2008). I am given to understand that all circuits in a basement have to be GFCI protected under the 2008 NEC.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigplanz
I was told that an outlet 'not readily accessible' in an unfinished basement also did not have to be GFCI protected under the 2005 NEC. The height of the light is 7 feet+ above the floor, thus meeting the 'not readily accessible' test.

You were told? By whom?

I was told this by a Master Electrician and by one of the inspectors who work in my office. Under the NEC the 'authority having jurisdiction' has considerable leeway to determine what terms mean.

I think the NEC in your case is the last word on this. Go look up the definition of "Accessible, Readily".
I would consider 7' off the floor quite readily accessible.

I consider it 'readily accessible' too, since I am over 6 feet tall. I also agree that this fixture doesn't meet that definition, in my opinion. If Louisville adopts the 2008 all of these fixtures will require GFCI protection, except, possibly, strictly lighting circuits. i still am unclear if strictly lighting circuits in unfinished basements require GFCI under the 2008 NEC.
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Old 04-16-2009, 06:38 AM   #30
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I meant to say under the current NEC (2008). I am given to understand that all circuits in a basement have to be GFCI protected under the 2008 NEC.
There was never the intent to GFI protect anything but receptacles in unfinished basements.

Here is the exact 2008 NEC text. Not something someone it telling you:

(A) Dwelling Units. All 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles installed in the locations specified in (1) through (8) shall have ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel.

(5) Unfinished basements for purposes of this section, unfinished basements are defined as portions or areas of the basement not intended as habitable rooms and limited to storage areas, work areas, and the like
Exception to (5): A receptacle supplying only a permanently installed fire alarm or burglar alarm system shall not be required to have ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection.



For 2008 the exceptions for receptacles that are not readily accessible and for receptacles behind large appliances were removed.

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