A couple three basic questions that I'm not willing to test myself.
When pigtailing wires together, you won't get shocked so long as 1) the
breaker to that circuit is off 2) you aren't touching both the neutral AND
the hot wire. Meaning, if I grab two hot wires and pig-tail them (like when
adding in a dimmer) I won't get shocked so long as I'm not touching the
neutral wire AND the breaker to that circuit is off. I'm not trying to be
ultra safe here so much as I'm trying to make sure that in situation where
switching off the breaker isn't a guarentee that power is off for that
Second question, if I take the probe leads from my volt meter and jam them
into an outlet, it's not gonna short the circuit but do exactly what I would
expect it to do - read the potential difference between the two sockets in
AC volts (assuming your voltmeter is reading AC volts).
And finally, when splicing phone line, do the wires normally carry voltage
sufficient to shock or could you essentially splice them with your teeth if
you had to?
The phone lines are safe. You won't feel any shocks.
Power lines are a bit different.There should not be power on the
colored power wire, usually black, when the breaker is turned off.
Neutrals, the white one, are usually shared by two circuits. In a
perfect world there should not be power on the neutrals if
everything is wired correctly. DO NOT assume so. You do not tell
if your wiring is new enough to have a ground, either green or
bare. Turn off the breaker, check between black and white - no
power; then use your tester between the black and the green - no
power; use your tester between the white and the green - no power,
you're good to go.
It is good practice to never use both hands around electricity
that can allow current through your heart. If you are not
grounded, barefoot, in a puddle of water, or some other grounding
you might feel a tingle, but the current can't go through you. I
am not suggesting this, but some old electricians might use their
finger in a light socket to check for power.
A live Singing Valentine quartet,
On Feb 10, 3:01 pm, firstname.lastname@example.org (Doug Miller) wrote:
True. It was the practice to have shared neutral circuits, you get two
circuits out of 3 wires. The 2 hots were supposed to be hooked up to
different busbars, so that the currents in the neutral were out of
phase, but over the years, they end up sometimes on the same side. If
I can't run an extra wire, I'll hook the two up to a ganged breaker,
so that they're on opposite busbars, and on breaker turns both off.
It is relevant here, because when they're on different breakers,
throwing one breaker doesn't mean that the neutral isn't hot.
On Feb 11, 1:51 pm, email@example.com (Doug Miller) wrote:
Can you define "normal" installation?
The posting followed up to advised the OP that he should watch out for
shared-neutral circuits. That is a valid concern, regardless of what
you think "normal" installation is.
I apparently have Spambait plonked, as I don't see his posts, only
Nexus replies. Perhaps his responses indicate why I have him
Residential romex circuits tend to have separate circuit neutrals
only because of the nature of the wire. Commercial will nail you
to the wall. Very few circuits have their own neutral. In my
original reply to the OP, I would rather preach chapter and verse.
Always check for a back fed neutral or shared neutral.
A live Singing Valentine quartet,
From what I know about neutrals, they ALL are connected together in the
panel to a "neutral bar". I would think, therefore, that the neutral has a
potential to carry current even though the "hot" on the breaker side is
disconnected, just not through that particular "hot" wire. If for some
reason the neutrals are not grounded properly, and you happen to be, that
could be a problem. Is this not correct?
You're referring to the situation when the neutrals become somehow
disconnected from the neutral busbar, but remain connected to each
other. One specific instance of that problem happens in a shared
neutral circuit, and is why shared neutral circuits are "bad."
However, you're referring to a situation with a fault.
The GP is warning that if the OP's house has shared neutral circuits,
the neutral is live, even without any fault, when only the breaker for
one side if turned off.
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