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Old 08-25-2005, 02:26 PM   #1
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Wow, I have got an electrical nightmare. My house is about 50 years old. It has had the wiring modified at least 3 times somewhere in the 70's & 80's and in 2000 (so some rooms are code, and some are hazards). At some point it was upgraded to a circuit breaker configuration. Well I had satellite TV installed a month ago, and that is where it got weird. The installation is in 4 rooms, spanning the 5 decades of electrical modifications. When I touched the metal housing on the reciever box, and another powered appliance, I got a "mild" shock. I assumed it was due to something with the satellite install. The techs came out, found the system was not grounded and ran a ground to my plumbing. The shock seemed to go away. But then one of my recievers in the other room died. When they sent me a new one and I tried to install it, the thing gavce me a very violent shock (10x more powerful than the previos issue) which tripped the circuit breaker and totally FRIED the new reciever (like smoke pouring out!). That same day, the remaining 3 recievers stopped working! I am guessing there is some major problem with my house wiring, which is brought to light by the fact that all 4 wiring systems are interconnected by the coaxial line. I bought one of those light up GB testers at Lowes today to at least find out tonight if things are reversed or anything.
So, that being said:
Is there any DIY way to make my wiring safe?
If it is beyond my skill level, will an electrician be able to fix things without gutting my wiring and costing me thousands of $$$?

TIA for any advice,
Will

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Old 08-25-2005, 10:27 PM   #2
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The first thing you need to is unplug whatever is still working and call an electrician. By running the ground to the piumbing, they may have created a sftey problem instead of helping. It sounds like maybe your netural has become hot and you 240 volts being applied to the outlets the receivers are plugged into. Once you let out the magic smoke, it can not be out back in. I would call someone first thing when you wake up!!!!

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Old 08-26-2005, 12:22 AM   #3
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Hope you called someone, like an electrician I mean, this is not a diy thing. I'd be tempted strongly to turn off the main breaker until help arrived. I'm a carpenter and do a lot of remodeling and run into a lot of stuff, but this sounds bad.
Take care, good luck.
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Old 08-26-2005, 08:00 AM   #4
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Well I have found one key piece to the puzzle: the room where the Boxes fried was "reverse wired" (I verified it with a tester I bought at Lowes). So I am guessing that is the main problem. I fixed that last night. But now I am having trouble trying to get an electrician to even call me back about the lack of grounding issues...
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Old 08-26-2005, 11:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WalksInDarkness
Well I have found one key piece to the puzzle: the room where the Boxes fried was "reverse wired" (I verified it with a tester I bought at Lowes). So I am guessing that is the main problem. I fixed that last night. But now I am having trouble trying to get an electrician to even call me back about the lack of grounding issues...
I'm not an expert but I am an an apprentice electrician and what i ran into today might be part of your problem. 50's house in conduit and metal boxes with some added outlets etc. in romex pulled from the metal boxes. The old stuff was grounded through the conduit. The new romex stuff was not grounded but the ground wire was loose in the metal boxes. We connected the romex ground to the metal box with either a ground clip or tapping a ground screw. We also had to put the proper romex to metal box connectors on which required a little hole in the wall. I agree with the other guys that you need a licensed electrician but sounds like you like to do a little trouble shooting which might save a little time with the electrician.
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