Electrical question

Page 1 of 3  
I've got a newly-built house (well, actually, it's 2/3 new, 1/3 existing) with new wiring from the panel in. It's got a 200 amp rating at the panel. But whenever the air conditioning comes on, the lights dim and power dips much more than I've ever seen in another house, even ones with lower amps and older wiring. Sometimes it's enough to shut down my computer or TV.
The wire coming in from the pole is what was here when only the existing house was here. How likely is it that a problem like this is on the city's side of the breaker panel?
Jim Beaver
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Sis wrote:

Yes.
Toaster and coffee maker or microwave oven is pushing it.
Best regards, Bob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
If your house or at least your kitchen was built in the last thirty years or so, the electrical code required at least two 20 amp circuits for the outlets and dedicated circuits for a standard refrigerator were not required, which is to say; your fridge may already be on the same circuit as your toaster so plugging them into the same outlet should be fine

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If the refrigerator cycles on while the toaster is running, you'll probably trip the breaker (or blow the fuse, as the case may be). It's better to plug the toaster in to an outlet on a different circuit, if you can.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks so much! Sis

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I have a quick question, if someone would be so kind to answer.
When you install a light fixture on the ceiling or similar there are two wires, black (hot) / white (neutral)
If the white (neutral) wire is not connected to the fixture, would the fixture still work when turned on?
I know nothing about electricity etc. so please excuse my seemingly foolish yet curious question.
Thank you, William
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
no circuit, no light.
if you dont know what that means, i feel any further explanation would be wasted until you go down to the library and get a time life book on basic home wiring and read it.
randy

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The white should not be connected to the fixture. If there is a wire connected to the fixture it should be bare or green. There need not be a wire connected to the fixture. The light fixture should come with a black and white wire. Hook like colors to like colors and you're good to go.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
William T. wrote:

Think of it like water flow. Water comes in and it needs to go out. If you have no out, your water has nowhere to go. Black wire is power in, white wire is power out ( like a drain.) Oversimplified, but it should give you an idea.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
William T. wrote:

Power must flow through the lamp to light it. Black (or red) is one side of the issue and white is the usual other side. However it is possible for the light to function if the white is not connected if there is a fault and the current if finding a ground (ground wire [white or bare] or even a grounded metal pipe) This is not safe and should be checked out by someone who knows what they are doing if it is happening.
--
Joseph Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks everyone, my questions have been answered.
William.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
No.
--

Christopher A. Young
Learn more about Jesus
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
While replacing an old outdoor single outlet receptacle ( with a GFI protected), this is what I found. There are two cables, power coming in and the other going out to a switch to power an outdoor light. These are the two wire type with no ground wire. The two black wires were spliced together with a copper crimp with a pigtail going to the one outlet terminal. The white wires were crimped together and a pigtail was attached to the other outlet terminal. There is also another pigtail from the white wire crimp that goes to a ground screw in the metal box. That is my question. Is this the old way to ground an outlet box or am I about to be fried? I have since replaced it with a GFI outlet without the ground wire in place.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The two white wires are neutrals and the pigtail to the outlet is fine, but remove the pigtail to the box, which is wrong. If the cable is metal, the sheath serves as the ground. If the cable is nonmetallic and has no ground, the GFCI should be marked as ungrounded, or better yet, replace the cable with a grounded type. hth

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
jadern wrote:

customary in your area for copper wire the presence of crimp connections in the wiring would suggest the presence of Aluminum wiring. Crimp splices are the most reliable remedial measure for aluminum wirings early problems. That does not effect the work you have described so far but be aware of the possibility that your wiring is the old alloy aluminum type. If it is then be very sure that you use only devices listed for aluminum wiring where ever aluminum wiring terminates directly on the device. If the pigtails from the crimp splices are copper than terminating the copper pig tails on CU only devices is just fine. When working on your wiring you must only use listed CO/ALR devices to terminate the aluminum wiring. Do not try to apply ordinary crimp connectors to aluminum wire! They are not suitable for the application and will develop arcing faults and high resistance glowing connections that can lead to a fire of electrical origin. The only crimp connector that is listed for use in joining aluminum wiring to copper wiring is a high pressure crimp that must be applied be specifically certified electricians using only a particular crimping tool. -- Tom H
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I have a fundamental electrical question. I have several years old Siemens 150 A main panel that has single neutral/ground terminal. All ground and neutral wires are attached to it. There are also only three incoming wires into the panel: two 220V hot wires and one ground wire. So what I see there is no difference between ground and neutral wire so the questions is why wiring is done with three wires instead of two? Is it possible (legal) to connect ground and neutral wire together in a switch box? As far as I understand from books I read most panels have only single neutral/ground terminal.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

explanation, but my understanding is that most residential main panels have the service entrance come with the two hot wires, one ground, and the neutral / ground bar is shared. Note: to meet code, the main panel should be grounded to the water pipe and to a grounding rod as I understand it. You might have missed them as they are smaller (than the service 00 or larger gauge) bare 4-6 gauge wires that should exit the panel to the locations I just stated.
I do not think it is legal or safe to combine the ground and neutral together in a switch box, but I am not an electrician.
There are times when the ground and neutral bars are separated, such as the installation of a subpanel, the ground and neutral are separated in this load center.
Hope this helps, and I am sure more will respond.
David
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Sasha wrote:

The ground wire and neutral wire in a residential electrical system should be connected together at one -- and only one -- point in the system: where the service enters the house. Thus, if you have a 220V service, your service entry panel will have two hot wires and a neutral coming from the utility company. The panel will be grounded to earth. At that point, the neutral is connected to ground.
Connecting the neutral and ground together anywhere else but the entry service could result in a potential difference across the ground wires throughout the system in case of a short -- a dangerous situation.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Could you explain to me why connecting ground and neutral wire "anywhere else but the entry service could result in a potential difference across the ground wires throughout the system in case of a short -- a dangerous situation"? They are connected in main panel? What "dangerous situation" can it be if neutral and ground wires are connected somewhere up in circuits? Also I checked my service which is three years old and was done by license electrician has only three incoming wires - there are no separate ground and neutral wire, just one thick white wire connected to neutral/ground terminal.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The neutral wire carries current, in normal operation. The ground wire does *not*.
Having these two connected anywhere except the service entrance panel results in current being present on the ground wire as well as the neutral - which in turn electrifies *every* metal fixture box, *every* metal appliance chassis, *every* plumbing fixture, etc. throughout the house.

Yes, and at the main panel, they are *also* connected to a grounding electrode to ensure that both are at true ground potential _at_the_panel_.

See above.

Three wires coming in from the power company, yes. There should also be a fairly heavy gauge bare (or green insulated) wire connected to the neutral/ground bus bar in the panel, that is connected at its other end to a grounding rod sunk into the earth outside the house and very close to the service entrance.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.