Shock Problems, From Subpanel - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum


Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-14-2009, 12:44 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 4
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Shock problems, from subpanel


SO I changed my homes service from an old 60amp to a new 200 amp service, from this panel, a 2 wire service goes to an old barn. One hot, One Neutral. goes from breaker and neutral in house panel up side of house and hooks on the 2 outside wires that run overhead to the barn.

Not knowing which one was which outside when I hooked them up. I took a chance and everything is fine.

I thought if I put the hot on the wire going to the barns ground, the breaker should trip. Right?

From the barns panel, everthing is fine. I think.

I have a circuit that goes to a switch and a gfi outlet. The other day I was running a submersible pump, got shocked when I touched the metal on the pump, thought it was the pump.

Then yesterday I got a tingle when I touched the metal box that the pump was plugged into. Checked it today, couldn't reproduce the tingle.

Later today, I plug a different pump in, and got a shock when I touched any metal part on the pump.

The GFI never tripped. I thought may be a bad ground in the metal box, or could I have crossed wires up when I ran the new wire to the barn feed? Thanks

Advertisement


Last edited by WesternNY; 06-14-2009 at 12:50 PM. Reason: typo
WesternNY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2009, 01:15 PM   #2
DIY'r
 
ScottR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Hicksville, NY (Yes, it's an actual town).
Posts: 520
Rewards Points: 500
Default

Shock problems, from subpanel


Quote:
Originally Posted by WesternNY View Post
or could I have crossed wires up when I ran the new wire to the barn feed? Thanks
Sounds like that's what happened -- hot and neutral are reversed. Maybe your neutral is bonded to the ground at your sub panel, but you have no fault path back to earth or the main panel.

You can get a receptacle tester @ most home centers/hardware stores for about $5 that would tell you for certain. It's a good tool to have around anyway.

Advertisement

ScottR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2009, 01:31 PM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 3,510
Rewards Points: 2,008
Default

Shock problems, from subpanel


Quote:
Originally Posted by WesternNY View Post
SO I changed my homes service from an old 60amp to a new 200 amp service, from this panel, a 2 wire service goes to an old barn. One hot, One Neutral. goes from breaker and neutral in house panel up side of house and hooks on the 2 outside wires that run overhead to the barn.

You have no ground and this quite dangerous.

Not knowing which one was which outside when I hooked them up. I took a chance and everything is fine.

No its not. All your receptacles are not correctly polarized. Lamp socket shell are now hot , possibly.

I thought if I put the hot on the wire going to the barns ground, the breaker should trip. Right?

What ground? Two wires indicates you have no ground. If you have a ground rod out there it must be connected to the main service bonding grid (rod and water line) at the main panel and outside service. The ground (EGC) is what carries the fault current and trips the breaker.

From the barns panel, everthing is fine. I think.

The panel is non-compliant if it does not have a 3 or 4 wire feeder. If you are on the 2005 or earlier code cycle 3 wires are sufficient. But I would never pull a 3 wire feeder period.

I have a circuit that goes to a switch and a gfi outlet. The other day I was running a submersible pump, got shocked when I touched the metal on the pump, thought it was the pump.

You have no "Low Impedance" path for ground faults to go to. You are taking unnecessary and potential lethal dose of electricity if you do not correct this setup, bungled job.

Then yesterday I got a tingle when I touched the metal box that the pump was plugged into. Checked it today, couldn't reproduce the tingle.

Do not try to reproduce the tingle. It may be your last.

Later today, I plug a different pump in, and got a shock when I touched any metal part on the pump.

No, grounding system. Thats your problem.

The GFI never tripped. I thought may be a bad ground in the metal box, or could I have crossed wires up when I ran the new wire to the barn feed? Thanks
GFCI's work without a ground present. Thats why you see no issues with your GFCI receptacle.

For the time being feed the GFCI first. This will protect you until you can get this corrected.
J. V. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2009, 01:39 PM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,294
Rewards Points: 1,000
Default

Shock problems, from subpanel


Quote:
I thought if I put the hot on the wire going to the barns ground, the breaker should trip. Right?
I thought I would be a retired rock star at age 30.

We were both wrong.

Your polarity is reversed but simply swithing it won't fix all your problems, it will just make the symptoms go away. You also probably have a bootlegged ground somewhere.

You need to get a voltage tester, take some things apart and look into the barn wiring.
220/221 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2009, 02:22 PM   #5
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 4
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Shock problems, from subpanel


Thanks for the replies. I have just a little experience with electrical work.

The 2 wires to the barn is they way it has been for 20+ years may be more. I only replaced the cable from the breaker to the outside wires, as the old one, the sheath was worn off and bare wires exposed. Like I said I could have put the hot wire on the neutral wire that goes to the barn.

I check the barns panel. The bus bars are hot. I checked 2 receptacles, hot with tester in the hot side of outlet and one on neutral side, also ok when on hot side of receptacle and one in the ground. When tester is on ground and neutral, nothing.

I know the wire overhead from house to barn needs to be replaced, just dont have the time or money at this point.
WesternNY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2009, 02:29 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,294
Rewards Points: 1,000
Default

Shock problems, from subpanel


Quote:
I know the wire overhead from house to barn needs to be replaced, just dont have the time or money at this point.
Well........keep you kids out of the barn because a funeral will be very expensive.


If polarity is right, you have an open neutral and a bootlegged ground somewhere.
220/221 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2009, 02:33 PM   #7
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 4
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Shock problems, from subpanel


Quote:
Originally Posted by 220/221 View Post
Well........keep you kids out of the barn because a funeral will be very expensive.


If polarity is right, you have an open neutral and a bootlegged ground somewhere.

Well, the power is tuned off to the barn from the house panel.

Would you be as so kind to define an open neutral and a botlegged ground?

The barn panel has a wire going to a pipe driven in the ground, it is not up to code.
WesternNY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2009, 03:43 PM   #8
DIYer
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Virginia
Posts: 910
Rewards Points: 500
Default

Shock problems, from subpanel


Quote:
Originally Posted by WesternNY View Post
Not knowing which one was which outside when I hooked them up. I took a chance and everything is fine.
No, no, no.

Just because something works doesn't mean it's right. There's at least a dozen ways that electrical can be very wrong and unsafe and still work.

Never just guess and see if it works.
Gigs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2009, 03:56 PM   #9
DIYer
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Virginia
Posts: 910
Rewards Points: 500
Default

Shock problems, from subpanel


Quote:
Originally Posted by WesternNY View Post
Well, the power is tuned off to the barn from the house panel.

Would you be as so kind to define an open neutral and a botlegged ground?

The barn panel has a wire going to a pipe driven in the ground, it is not up to code.
The ground rod won't trip the breaker because it's way too high resistance. It's basically only there for lightning and static protection, it doesn't serve any purpose otherwise.

So you have a two wire 120v circuit going out, no ground... Or do you have 220v going out there, no ground no neutral?

Either way, this is all a really bad idea. You need 4 wires to do this right, and 3 wires to even do it anywhere near safely.
Gigs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2009, 05:42 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,294
Rewards Points: 1,000
Default

Shock problems, from subpanel


To explain it simply, the power comes to the barn on the hot and goes back on the neutral.

If the power is getting to the barn but not back to the source on the neutral, the electrons will take whatever path to ground that is available.



<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<...hot
b
a
r
n
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>( open )>>>>>>>>>>neutral
v
v
v
v
ground

A bootlegged ground is where the ground gets attached to the neutral in a recep, switch, panel or who knows where. It can be intentional or accidental.

Open neutral plus bootlegged ground equals current flowing thru metal parts that.
220/221 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2009, 07:34 PM   #11
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 4
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Shock problems, from subpanel


Ok Thanks GUYS!

So to fix this, I should run 2 hots, a neutral, and a ground from my house panel, up and overhead, to the barn and down to a panel in the barn?

What size wire would you use, I think 50 amp is enough. Should I buy a new panel for the barn? Do I run 2 grounding rods for the barn too?

Thanks again
WesternNY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2009, 07:53 PM   #12
Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Brooklyn, New York (NYC)
Posts: 1,124
Rewards Points: 500
Default

Shock problems, from subpanel


IMHO you [probably] reversed the connection on the GFCI receptacle! i.e. Line/Load, in addition to possibly having reversed the Hot/Neutral wires on the pull to the barn. The GFCI recept. should have tripped when you got shocked by touching the motor frame. Because you produced leakage current. But when you reverse the line/load terminals the outlet will work but will not provide protection, unless it's one of the later "lockout" versions!!!(smbol of confusion!) Don't Drink and Drive!!!
spark plug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2009, 10:08 PM   #13
DIYer
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Virginia
Posts: 910
Rewards Points: 500
Default

Shock problems, from subpanel


Quote:
Ok Thanks GUYS!

So to fix this, I should run 2 hots, a neutral, and a ground from my house panel, up and overhead, to the barn and down to a panel in the barn?
Yes

Quote:
What size wire would you use, I think 50 amp is enough. Should I buy a new panel for the barn? Do I run 2 grounding rods for the barn too?
How far is it? If it's like 100 feet then 6 gauge copper or 4 gauge aluminum SER cable should be OK.

We don't know what your existing panel looks like.

Two ground rods >6 feet apart is best.

Last edited by Gigs; 06-15-2009 at 08:53 AM.
Gigs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2009, 03:18 AM   #14
" Euro " electrician
 
frenchelectrican's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: WI & France { in France for now }
Posts: 5,369
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Shock problems, from subpanel


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gigs View Post

How far is it? If it's like 100 feet then 6 gauge copper or 4 gauge aluminum SE cable should be OK.

We don't know what your existing panel looks like.

Two ground rods >6 feet apart is best.
Gigs ., Just give you a head up the SE is 3 conductor cable while SER is 4 conductor cable that is a crictal part you have to be carefull that all.

Now to OP

The distance between the house and barn if under 100 feet { 30Metre } then Gigs's suggest of conductor size is correct however becarefull if you going overhead or underground route there is three or more diffrent type you can use

For overhead use the quadplex overhead conductors.

For underground Direct burial use the URD quadplex or Mobile home feeder cable

For underground conduit use ., use the THHN/THWN conductors { they are dual rated }

Yeah for ground rods keep them apart 6 foot { 2 metre } apart and keep it out where rain water will get them.
{ you only need #6 (16mm˛) will do the task very well }

Merci,Marc
frenchelectrican is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2009, 08:52 AM   #15
DIYer
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Virginia
Posts: 910
Rewards Points: 500
Default

Shock problems, from subpanel


Quote:
Originally Posted by frenchelectrican View Post
Gigs ., Just give you a head up the SE is 3 conductor cable while SER is 4 conductor cable that is a crictal part you have to be carefull that all.
Oh, OK thanks.. I will edit my message so no one gets confused.

Advertisement

Gigs is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Adding a subpanel to a sub-panel and other questions CardinalPilot Electrical 14 03-30-2011 03:23 PM
Elec short causing A/C problems or A/C problems causing elec problems? Marlon Electrical 2 06-25-2008 03:04 PM
Another subpanel question:) primal65 Electrical 15 06-22-2008 10:43 AM
Reverse Polarity at the Subpanel adm060306 Electrical 14 07-09-2007 01:58 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts