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Old 12-02-2008, 10:36 PM   #1
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Voltage drop fix I discovered...


Iv'e had bad voltage drop in my basement living room, I ran 12/3 to a switch box, which is about 1/2 of the total distance of the circuit. Still, when a 10 amp load is applied, the voltage drops from 123 to 115. Recently, Iv'e been replacing the wire nuts in each box. They were snug, I replaced them anyways. After applying the 10 amp load, the voltage dropped about 2-3 volts. What a difference!

I've been tripping breakers here and there. All of the outlets were switched- great. I just used the 12/3 to supply the outlets as a mwbc. Supplied by a double pole breaker of course!

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Old 12-02-2008, 10:54 PM   #2
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Voltage drop fix I discovered...


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Originally Posted by rgsgww View Post
Iv'e had bad voltage drop in my basement living room, I ran 12/3 to a switch box, which is about 1/2 of the total distance of the circuit. Still, when a 10 amp load is applied, the voltage drops from 123 to 115. Recently, Iv'e been replacing the wire nuts in each box. They were snug, I replaced them anyways. After applying the 10 amp load, the voltage dropped about 2-3 volts. What a difference!

I've been tripping breakers here and there. All of the outlets were switched- great. I just used the 12/3 to supply the outlets as a mwbc. Supplied by a double pole breaker of course!
From 123 to 115 at 10 A? Wow. That's 80 watts being dissipated across the wire nut. I would check every connection I could get to. Not to start this again, but that's why I pretwist.

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Old 12-03-2008, 08:22 AM   #3
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Voltage drop fix I discovered...


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Originally Posted by InPhase277 View Post
From 123 to 115 at 10 A? Wow. That's 80 watts being dissipated across the wire nut. I would check every connection I could get to. Not to start this again, but that's why I pretwist.

I think it was several wirenuts...they weren't all tight.

I pretwist all of the time. No way I'm going to just twist the nut on.

I replaced all of the outlets, they never held a plug. These guys actually terminated bx in a plastic box! Then they just wrapped a ground wire around the jacket. They backstabbed all of the outlets as well. I fished new wire and took the old box out...its a real pain taking plastic boxes out of finished walls without damaging them. I got rid of that old bx.

Awhile ago there was a short circuit on this circuit. Every wire nut I got to that wasn't feeling tight had little black where the wirenut dug in. It wasn't much, barely noticeable.

Last edited by rgsgww; 12-03-2008 at 08:26 AM.
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Old 12-03-2008, 05:42 PM   #4
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Voltage drop fix I discovered...


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Originally Posted by InPhase277 View Post
From 123 to 115 at 10 A? Wow. That's 80 watts being dissipated across the wire nut. I would check every connection I could get to. Not to start this again, but that's why I pretwist.
Well, ~30w is being dissipated in the wires.

When you pretwist, do you cut off the little stubs sticking out or just try to start the nut the way it is?
Do you also wrap with tape like some books say?

With 5 wirenuts with each having 1/2 sq. in. surface area, 10w each, they could have reached 100C. Were any melted?

Last edited by Yoyizit; 12-03-2008 at 05:46 PM.
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Old 12-03-2008, 06:52 PM   #5
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Voltage drop fix I discovered...


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Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
Well, ~30w is being dissipated in the wires.

When you pretwist, do you cut off the little stubs sticking out or just try to start the nut the way it is?
Do you also wrap with tape like some books say?

With 5 wirenuts with each having 1/2 sq. in. surface area, 10w each, they could have reached 100C. Were any melted?
Some were a little discolored, There are about 12 junction points in the circuit, each nut a little loose. The loads were not on long, so damage was to a minimum.

Then again, my house is being powered by a temporary service, so the results of the tests may be a little off.
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Old 12-03-2008, 07:16 PM   #6
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Voltage drop fix I discovered...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
Well, ~30w is being dissipated in the wires.

When you pretwist, do you cut off the little stubs sticking out or just try to start the nut the way it is?
Do you also wrap with tape like some books say?

With 5 wirenuts with each having 1/2 sq. in. surface area, 10w each, they could have reached 100C. Were any melted?
I often strip the wires a bit longer than will fit into the wire nut, then I hold all the wires so the insulation lines up, the ends of the wires do not necessarly line up, then I twist all of the wires together until they are twisted tightly together. The wires with no wire nut would maintain a connection just fine. Then I trim the end of the twisted wires, then I twist on a properly sized wire nut.
I only use tape to; a. reidentify wires, b. tape the wires to a fish for a pull, c. (very rarely) repair a nick in an outer piece of insulation, such as the outer jacket on romex. I never tape connections or outlets, when installed properly, I can't see the need. They are not falling apart.

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Old 12-03-2008, 09:22 PM   #7
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No, I don't use tape. Its a waste of tape to me, looks messy, and has no benefit.

Thats for wire nuts, outlets, etc. are a different story.
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Old 12-03-2008, 09:25 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by jamiedolan View Post
I often strip the wires a bit longer than will fit into the wire nut, then I hold all the wires so the insulation lines up, the ends of the wires do not necessarly line up, then I twist all of the wires together until they are twisted tightly together. The wires with no wire nut would maintain a connection just fine. Then I trim the end of the twisted wires, then I twist on a properly sized wire nut.
I only use tape to; a. reidentify wires, b. tape the wires to a fish for a pull, c. (very rarely) repair a nick in an outer piece of insulation, such as the outer jacket on romex. I never tape connections or outlets, when installed properly, I can't see the need. They are not falling apart.

Jamie

I will tape outlets when a metal box is present, sometimes when a plastic is, depends.


Linemans pliers are almost necessary to make a nice twist.
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Old 12-04-2008, 12:06 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by rgsgww View Post
I will tape outlets when a metal box is present, sometimes when a plastic is, depends.


Linemans pliers are almost necessary to make a nice twist.
I am just curious, Why would you need tape, even with a metal box? Once the switch / outlet is mounted in a metal box, how are the terminals going to contact the metal? And if they do, and your box is grounded, then doesn't it short and open the breaker?

I am not trying to be cocky, I am trying to understand the reason behind why some people tape up outlets and connections, I have just never understood the logic behind it.

Klein, Journeyman series or better...

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Old 12-04-2008, 12:30 AM   #10
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Voltage drop fix I discovered...


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Originally Posted by jamiedolan View Post
I am not trying to be cocky, I am trying to understand the reason behind why some people tape up outlets and connections, I have just never understood the logic behind it.
So you can pull the device out hot without worrying about the screws shorting to the box.
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Old 12-04-2008, 08:11 AM   #11
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So you can pull the device out hot without worrying about the screws shorting to the box.

Exactly.

I will do this for testing reasons, I do NOT do work live.
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Old 12-08-2008, 08:55 AM   #12
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Voltage drop fix I discovered...


"All xxxxx-brand wire connectors are manufactured from heat-stabilized,
copper-stabilized, flame-retardant polypropylene. As such, none will burn
unless exposed to an open flame. When the flame is removed, they will
self-extinguish within 20 seconds -- this is a UL requirement.

Standard (non-high temperature) xxxxx wire connectors will begin to soften
at approximately 261 deg. C - the bottom of the melting range for
polypropylene. High temperature models (black Wire-Nut brand connectors)
do not begin to soften until approximately 320 deg C."
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Old 12-09-2008, 06:21 PM   #13
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I never tape wire nuts or devices, been working in the tradefor over 20 years, to me if there is a problem in the future which there hopefully never will be, thats all the more to fuel a spark or heat into a fire

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