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Old 12-04-2011, 07:23 PM   #1
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Rusty neutral crimp connection what happend? Long


Hello

In one of the rooms in my 40 year old house I had a neutral burn up on me. The hots and grounds are ok but since I dont not have enough of a neutral to work with I will be cutting drywall to fix this. The neutral had a rusty steel crimp connector on it and I would like to know if that could have been a cause or the burn up? A friend of mine has been an electrician for the last 12 years and he came by to look at it. Says that he has seen this many many times in older homes etc. 14 gauge wire btw. 14/2

Said that the best solution is to cut back to good wire and re connect. Since this is an older home the hot from this room feeds 2 other (just lights and a tv) To be through he removed the load panel cover and put his meter on the 15 amp circuit and with everything in all the rooms on it was pulling right at 4 amps total. The breaker is a square D 15 amp slim. He also checked the neutral on the buss bars and all of the rest of the wires and saw no burning.

In short ( I know this is long) I would like to know if possible what caused that neutral wire to burn the way it did. Is it due to being 40 year old wire?

Thanks in advance.

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Old 12-04-2011, 07:32 PM   #2
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Rusty neutral crimp connection what happend? Long


Overloads and lose connections can burn a neutral. Sharing a neutral can also be a problem if the shared circuit are NOT out of phase.

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Old 12-04-2011, 07:33 PM   #3
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Rusty neutral crimp connection what happend? Long


It sounds like the connection could have built up resistance which would cause heat to built up. The connection could have been loose or you could have an improperly wired multi-wire branch circuit and the neutral was seeing 2x the current it should have.
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Old 12-04-2011, 07:51 PM   #4
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Rusty neutral crimp connection what happend? Long


I'm not a metal (rust/corrosion) expert, but I do know that a loose or poor electrical connection will cause heat.

So possible the rust from the crimp connector caused the connector to weaken and place less pressure on the connection. Or the rust caused the copper wires (copper right?) to corrode??? (For metal expert!)

And another possibility is that it has always been a poor connection and you just now placed a large load on it which "tested" the connection? (And it failed.)

What room was this in? Where is the source of the moisture?

The reason I ask is perhaps there are other connections like this?
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Old 12-04-2011, 09:14 PM   #5
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Rusty neutral crimp connection what happend? Long


Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy_Bob View Post
I'm not a metal (rust/corrosion) expert, but I do know that a loose or poor electrical connection will cause heat.

So possible the rust from the crimp connector caused the connector to weaken and place less pressure on the connection. Or the rust caused the copper wires (copper right?) to corrode??? (For metal expert!) Copper is correct

And another possibility is that it has always been a poor connection and you just now placed a large load on it which "tested" the connection? (And it failed.) Possible?

What room was this in? Where is the source of the moisture? In bedroom one of three. They are hooked up together. This one of the first in the chain so it is directly connected to the panel. No idea where the moisture came from to be honest. The only roof leak we had was when we bought that place 12 years ago and that was a room over. Also noticed the same in my bedroom (3rd in the chain)

The reason I ask is perhaps there are other connections like this?
Not in the bedrooms because I went through ALL of them, found one in my bedroom, cut it out, stripped back to good copper & put in a wire nut. So far just the two have been found. Over the course of the week I am going to go through every single electrical outlet in the house including lights and fixtures.
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Old 12-04-2011, 09:15 PM   #6
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Rusty neutral crimp connection what happend? Long


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
It sounds like the connection could have built up resistance which would cause heat to built up. The connection could have been loose or you could have an improperly wired multi-wire branch circuit and the neutral was seeing 2x the current it should have.
Is there a way to see that with an amp meter at the panel? I know you can put a clamp on meter to the hot side but to the neutral side?

Thanks


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Old 12-04-2011, 09:22 PM   #7
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Rusty neutral crimp connection what happend? Long


If the crimp caused the failure then it was a poor connection. Whenever I use crimp sleeves on my grounds, I put all the wires in there, crimp, then twist them aol up. This way there is good solid copper on copper connections with the crimp sleeve just there to make sure it doesn't come undone

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