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Old 06-04-2013, 06:57 AM   #46
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Pendant and Can install; ran into problem need help


Unsafe no, problemactic depends on how many appliances you plug in and use

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Old 06-04-2013, 10:22 AM   #47
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Pendant and Can install; ran into problem need help


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Unsafe no, problemactic depends on how many appliances you plug in and use
We have a coffee maker, sometimes a george forman grill, and a toaster that gets used a few times a month. None will get used at the same time because with the cabinet layout, they are all using the same receptacle lol.

So if I was to positively locate that cable, I can remove it without any ill effects? Sorry, just looking for confirmation.
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Old 06-04-2013, 10:45 AM   #48
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Pendant and Can install; ran into problem need help


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We have a coffee maker, sometimes a george forman grill, and a toaster that gets used a few times a month. None will get used at the same time because with the cabinet layout, they are all using the same receptacle lol.

So if I was to positively locate that cable, I can remove it without any ill effects? Sorry, just looking for confirmation.
Yes, you can and should disconnect the other end.
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Old 06-04-2013, 12:45 PM   #49
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Pendant and Can install; ran into problem need help


I am going to suggest a possibility.

Your kitchen countertop receptacles may have originally been split. For example, all the upper outlets on one circuit, all the lower outlets on a different circuit. The bridges of all the duplex receptacles would be removed. This means say you plug a toaster and coffee maker into the same duplex, they will actually be on different branch circuits.

Now, if someone at some point replaced any one or more of those duplex receptacles, and forgot to remove the bridge, all those split receptacles will now be on the same circuit, powered by one breaker, and would provide voltage along the cable you disconnected that should not be live.

This is the one scenereo I can think of that would cause all the conditions and symptoms you describe.

If this is the case, you will find the cable you disconnected going to half of one of the kitchen duplexes, and the cable from the current breaker that powers the kitchen duplexes to the other half.

If this is the case, you will be better off trying to restore the situation so you again have 2 branch circuits in the kitchen rather than removing the cable all together and having one circuit that is could be potentially feeding much of the circuit through the bridge of a duplex

Last edited by FixitDragon; 06-04-2013 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 06-04-2013, 12:58 PM   #50
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Pendant and Can install; ran into problem need help


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I am going to suggest a possibility.

Your kitchen countertop receptacles may have originally been split. For example, all the upper outlets on one circuit, all the lower outlets on a different circuit. The bridges of all the duplex receptacles would be removed. This means say you plug a toaster and coffee maker into the same duplex, they will actually be on different branch circuits.

Now, if someone at some point replaced any one or more of those duplex receptacles, and forgot to remove the bridge, all those split receptacles will now be on the same circuit, powered by one breaker, and would provide voltage along the cable you disconnected that should not be live.

This is the one scenereo I can think of that would cause all the conditions and symptoms you describe.
That may very well be true. The house is a recent flip and I'm pretty sure the GFCI receptacles above the counter (3) were put in shortly before we purchased the home.

I do know that there were 4 separate switched receptacles throughout the house that had the bridge between top and bottom still intact. Every bedroom has a switched outlet but none of them worked when we moved in .

So if the above scenario is true, I could cut the bridges, and see if the cable loses power. If the cable doesn't lose power, I have to replace receptacles though. Or the other option still, is to just remove the cable, yea?
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Old 06-04-2013, 01:08 PM   #51
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Pendant and Can install; ran into problem need help


I did not realize you have GFI receptacles for the counters. GFI receptacles don't have a removeable bridge! So if these were originally split duplexes and recently replaced with GFI that would cause these symptoms.


Curious, did you ever try turning on the 20A breaker while it was connected to see if it did anything?

Yea, you could find the other end of the cable and remove it entirely, but whom ever did this to the house did you a diservice because you now have one counter top circuit, not two. At this point I am curious as to where that cable is attached making it live

Last edited by FixitDragon; 06-04-2013 at 01:16 PM.
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Old 06-04-2013, 01:21 PM   #52
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Pendant and Can install; ran into problem need help


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I did not realize you have GFI receptacles for the counters. GFI receptacles don't have a removeable bridge! So if these were originally split duplexes and recently replaced with GFI that would cause these symptoms.


Curious, did you ever try turning on the 20A breaker while it was connected to see if it did anything?

Yea, you could find the other end of the cable and remove it entirely, but whom ever did this to the house did you a diservice because you now have one counter top circuit, not two.
When we moved into the house, every breaker was energized. I began turning them off and walking around the house to find out which breaker did what, because nothing was labeled in the panel. In the process of finding and labeling the circuits, I noticed that nothing happened when I turned off the 20 amp breaker... So I left it off. I also left off the 220 for the dryer since we are using gas.

So naturally - or more accurately due to my inexperience - when I had to run a 20 amp circuit for the microwave that we installed after we moved in, it made sense to me to use the breaker that was clearly not being used.

The kitchen isn't too large, and the counter-space is actually fairly minimal. We do have an island, but there's no power currently on the island. There are only 3 outlets above the counter, all 3 have GFCI receptacles, but I don't think ANY of them have any wiring on the load end, because tripping each receptacle only results in that specific receptacle going dead; everything else works.

The disposal under the sink appears to be on it's own circuit, best I can tell. That breaker doesn't appear to affect any other outlets or switches in the house. For all I know, however, that is normal.

Oh and as alluded to in a prior post, we don't actually use a lot of small appliances. The coffee maker gets the most use and the foreman grill is a very distant second. I guess what I'm trying to say/ask, is since there are only 3 outlets, and minimal small appliance use, is there any harm leaving them all on one circuit?
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Old 06-04-2013, 02:10 PM   #53
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Pendant and Can install; ran into problem need help


Interesting

Since the cable you removed from the 20A breaker is still live and being fed by the kitchen breaker, the 20A breaker must be on the same leg of 120V as the kitchen breaker. If it was on the opposite leg having the 20A breaker on would create a dead short across the two poles which would cause a breaker to trip. That is why I asked if it was ever on.

The disposal is supposed to be on it's own circuit. Is it hardwired or plugged in? If plugged in is it duplex? Do you have a dishwasher? If so where is it connected? Most common set-up is a multiwire branch circuit feeding the under sink duplex, and spliting the duplex so the disposal is on one plug and dishwasher on the other, each on their own circuit.

Are the fridge and stove on the same breaker as the countertop outlets or a different one? What about the dinning room outlets, are any of them also on that same breaker?

Sorry, just trying picture this

And yes, you could get away with one circuit for your use it is safe, and it would not likely even be picked up on inspection if you were to sell. It could be an inconvenience to someone like me who cooks and bakes a lot, entertains, and often has a lot of things going in the kitchen at the same time. I found out the hard way my fridge, stove, microwave, and outlet my toaster oven plugs into are all one circuit.

Last edited by FixitDragon; 06-04-2013 at 02:52 PM.
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Old 06-04-2013, 02:15 PM   #54
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Pendant and Can install; ran into problem need help


Here is something else I noticed from the picture of your breaker box. You have several of those double breakers, where you get two breakers in one body taking up one space. A couple of those have a red on one part and black on the other part. If these red and black are part of the same cable it is an issue because it means both halfs of a multiwire branch circuit are being fed from the same leg, which is a no no and would need to be corrected. If they are from different cables it is ok, I just can't tell from the picture.
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Old 06-04-2013, 04:17 PM   #55
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Pendant and Can install; ran into problem need help


Quote:
Originally Posted by FixitDragon View Post
Interesting

Since the cable you removed from the 20A breaker is still live and being fed by the kitchen breaker, the 20A breaker must be on the same leg of 120V as the kitchen breaker. If it was on the opposite leg having the 20A breaker on would create a dead short across the two poles which would cause a breaker to trip. That is why I asked if it was ever on.

The disposal is supposed to be on it's own circuit. Is it hardwired or plugged in? If plugged in is it duplex? Do you have a dishwasher? If so where is it connected? Most common set-up is a multiwire branch circuit feeding the under sink duplex, and spliting the duplex so the disposal is on one plug and dishwasher on the other, each on their own circuit.

Are the fridge and stove on the same breaker as the countertop outlets or a different one? What about the dinning room outlets, are any of them also on that same breaker?

Sorry, just trying picture this

And yes, you could get away with one circuit for your use it is safe, and it would not likely even be picked up on inspection if you were to sell. It could be an inconvenience to someone like me who cooks and bakes a lot, entertains, and often has a lot of things going in the kitchen at the same time. I found out the hard way my fridge, stove, microwave, and outlet my toaster oven plugs into are all one circuit.
Ok I traced, and removed the cable. I don't exactly know why they decided to connect it the way they did, but the kitchen was remodeled during the flip and the layout was changed quite a bit from the original layout so maybe there were two circuits and they decided that instead of removing the wire they'll just connect it to something... I don't know. Sorry for the run-on sentence. The "IN" from the panel for the kitchen circuit starts behind the fridge; on that circuit is the fridge, the three counter top receptacles, the stove, and a two other receptacles that will never get used due to their inconvenient location.

The disposal is on it's own circuit. It is connected to a switched duplex receptacle.

The dishwasher is also on its own circuit/breaker. I haven't opened the receptacles but the best I can tell is that the dishwasher isn't connected to the receptacle that the disposal is plugged into.

Every outlet in the kitchen is on the same circuit aside from the microwave, the dishwasher, and the disposal. The porch light outside of the back of the dining room is also on a separate circuit, and the kitchen/dining room lights are also on a separate circuit.

I'm not sure how we've been getting by so far, but I think we might be good? Before I learned that the microwave needed its own circuit, we were running it daily off the light circuit (15a) and didn't ever throw a breaker. My wife gets a lot of things going in the kitchen but never really at once; ice cream maker, grill sometimes, but those usually don't ever occur at the same time of day. Our stove is gas, so I think it doesn't pull much current?


I have a new question now... The old box that the cable was running to is all jacked up. I cut it out and am putting in a new old work box but I have to extend the grounds. So I got my crimps, and some spare 12ga ground, and noticed that the existing ground is SMALL. like, i'm tempted to say it's even smaller than 14ga. The wire is 12ga though... is that normal?? How should I proceed from here... It seems foolish to crimp 12ga ground to something much smaller.

Yea, i just double checked by comparing it to 14ga romex... It is definitely smaller than 14. I don't own anything smaller than 14 lol... should I just use 14, or is 12 more appropriate?

Last edited by bobgodd; 06-04-2013 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 06-04-2013, 04:36 PM   #56
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Pendant and Can install; ran into problem need help


What all is comming into the junction box you are replacing? Each cable comming in to the junction box should have a ground and they should all be the same size. The only time I have seen anything other that 12 or 14 AWG was on a fixture. Some light fixtures use 16 or 18 awg, and the ground is the same, but only the wires directly attached to the fixture. I have never seen a cable with a smaller ground than conductors.

Can you take a picture?

Edit: I have just been reading it did exist in cable used in older homes. The ground is a safety and not normally carrying current. Just be sure you have a good connection.

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Old 06-04-2013, 04:48 PM   #57
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Pendant and Can install; ran into problem need help


Here it is. It's coming from within the jacket. The conductors are 12, and I'm holding a piece of 14-2 romex next to it for reference.
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Old 06-04-2013, 04:49 PM   #58
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So now the question is, I have to extend it before I put it in the new box, or else I won't be able to reach it. Should I use 14 or 12?
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Old 06-04-2013, 04:55 PM   #59
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Either, it won't make a difference if you use 12 or 14 to extend the 6" when the rest of the run back to the panel is smaller. The ground is for safety, does not carry current during normal use so it doesn't get hot. Just make sure you have good connections.

I learn something every day, had never heard of romex with the small ground before, but googling it I discovered it was used in older construction before the code was changed.
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Old 06-04-2013, 04:58 PM   #60
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Sweet. I learn something every time I view this site. Thank you for all the help, and to everyone else who has helped along the way!

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