Puzzled And Baffled Wire Question - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum
Advertisement


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 11-16-2010, 05:36 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 2
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Puzzled and Baffled Wire Question


I had a very odd situation happen today that is really bothering me! I am hoping someone may have an explination or answer.

I wired in a new 240V 2500 watt baseboard heater bought from Home Depot. I ran a dedicated line (12-2 wire) from the heater to a double pole 20 amp breaker. The breaker is Brand NEW and is a pushmatic replacement. (I have an older pushmatic box but it is in good shape and never had any issues). The heater works fine and everything is great.

I decided later to also install a small 240V 1000 watt heater on the same circuit....so I decided to simply install a junction box and basically tee off to both heaters.

I tripped the 20 amp heater breaker to OFF and I watched the heater panel lights go off knowing that the power was disconnected. I then cut my 12-2 wire and POP - BIG ARC when I cut it. WOW!

WHY is there power still in the line! I tripped the NEW Breaker to off and saw the power go off at the heater!

I then did what I should have done in the first place (and will always do in the future) I turned off the main breaker and then even removed the wires from the 20 amp breaker before going any further. I did my work and everything is working fine. But I still am totally freaked out as to why there was voltage in that line! The heater doesn't have a capacitor or anything that would hold voltage.

Thanks in advance!

Greg
Greg21 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 11-16-2010, 05:51 PM   #2
I=E/R
 
a7ecorsair's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 2,052
Rewards Points: 1,000
Default


Sounds like when the breaker "tripped" it only dropped one leg. That would give you the indication you saw with the panel going off but when you cut the 12-2 w/GROUND, guess what......

Last edited by a7ecorsair; 11-16-2010 at 05:55 PM.
a7ecorsair is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 11-17-2010, 02:40 AM   #3
Electrical Contractor
 
kbsparky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Delmarva
Posts: 3,368
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default


Double-pole Bulldog breakers are notorious for allowing you to switch off only one side ... looks like your cutters tripped out the other side ...
__________________
-KB

Life is uncertain -- eat dessert first!!
kbsparky is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 11-17-2010, 06:25 AM   #4
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 2
Rewards Points: 10
Default


Thanks for the replies! So I guess if the breaker trips it is still possible one side is still energized. In the event of a problem then I would hope the live side would then trip off. The breaker is brand new as I mentioned which leads me to believe it should work properly.
Greg21 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2010, 06:18 PM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Nashua, NH, USA
Posts: 8,597
Rewards Points: 2,800
Default


I am a little confused.

You strung the wire and installed the heater.
You connected it to a double breaker.
You flipped off the breaker set manually.
You cut the wire and got an arc.
Both sides of the line should have been dead when you flipped off the breaker set.

A little off topic but don't try this at home.
Say one side of the line (had two single breakers) was turned off and the heaters stopped working. Then if you snipped the other wire with no other part of your body touching anything grounded and the wire cutter not touching other metal, then no arc should have happened because the current was not flowing any more.
__________________
Stick to your lawn watering schedule until it really starts to pour. After the storm you have only the same number of rest days you always had and then you need to start watering again.
AllanJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2010, 06:28 PM   #6
I=E/R
 
a7ecorsair's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 2,052
Rewards Points: 1,000
Default


Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanJ View Post

A little off topic but don't try this at home.
Say one side of the line (had two single breakers) was turned off and the heaters stopped working. Then if you snipped the other wire with no other part of your body touching anything grounded and the wire cutter not touching other metal, then no arc should have happened because the current was not flowing any more.
This is true provide there isn't a ground wire in the way....
a7ecorsair is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
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





Top of Page | View New Posts