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Old 07-17-2010, 12:33 PM   #1
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ungrounded subpanel


hi everyone,

i have an ungrounded subpanel in my crawlspace that seems to operate the crawlspace lights and two outlets down there. I had a friend help me run some new electrical for my kitchen remodel. I don't know what he was doing or looking for in that panel, but he said as soon as he stuck his screw driver in - poof! it blew the 2 screw in fuses that were in there. we replaced the fuses - all the lights seem to work, but one outlet does not work anymore. might the outlet have been fried and now need replacing?
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Old 07-17-2010, 01:50 PM   #2
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Man, don't let your friend help you anymore. It sounds as if he doesn't have any idea of what he is doing and is a danger to boot.

Is the receptacle a GFCI? Do you have any electrical testing tools (multimeter or even a tick tracer)? Can you trace the wiring through the crawl space to see where it goes?

There are trouble shooting steps you can go through. Let us know what your skill level is.
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Old 07-17-2010, 03:18 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbitt View Post
hi everyone,

i have an ungrounded subpanel in my crawlspace that seems to operate the crawlspace lights and two outlets down there. I had a friend help me run some new electrical for my kitchen remodel. I don't know what he was doing or looking for in that panel, but he said as soon as he stuck his screw driver in - poof! it blew the 2 screw in fuses that were in there. we replaced the fuses - all the lights seem to work, but one outlet does not work anymore. might the outlet have been fried and now need replacing?
Sounds to me like the panel has a very good ground. If it didn't, your friend might have gone poof.
Does this sub panel have a main disconnect? If not, the main panel that it is connect to will have, or better have, a disconnect. Learn were it is and stay out of the panel unless the power is disconnected. Crawl spaces make a good body ground because you are on your hands and knees.
You say there are two screw in fuses so my guess is one circuit is still dead. With power off to the sub, check around for marks were the screwdriver shorted out. Something most likely got fried. Pull the fuse and check the base too.
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Old 07-17-2010, 04:06 PM   #4
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Crawl spaces make a good body ground because you are on your hands and knees.
they also generally make for illegal places to put a panel for exactly the same reason.
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