residential electrical wiring in older home

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Sounds bogus to me, unless you live where it requires a union thug to wipe your bottom. I'm pretty sure all the inspectors I've used when I've bought have pulled the entrance panel. One of the houses I sold was to a relocation company. Their inspector pulled the panel cover during his inspection, too (I had to replace the "tied" breakers).

It's such a simple and important thing.
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On 3/24/2012 7:19 PM, Robert Green wrote:

I have a tester I got a long time ago that can find a N-G connection at the receptacle. It puts short relatively high current pulses H-N (if I remember right) and looks at the N-G voltage. The tester should see voltage drop on the neutral wire. It can also test if there is a good ground connection (again with a short pulse - to ground).

A 3-light tester with GFCI test is essentially the same as a 3-lite tester. If it tells you there is a problem there very likely is. They won't find a lot of problems. For instance they can't reliably tell you there is a good ground connection. Or G connected to N at the receptacle.

IMHO it is not a good idea for a rather untrained person to remove a panel cover. It may be an OSHA violation - the person is not likely a "qualified person". The hazards of not just shock, but arc-flash, are not adequately appreciated.
--
bud--



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wrote:

well you could disconnect all the white lines at the breaker box then check with a light bulb between hot black and ground.
hacked ground to neutral wouldnt power the bulb, use a 60 watt incandescent minimum.
doesnt help home inspectors but it would detect hacks
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news:2b3da6e2-4fdc-45ea-8658-
<stuff snipped>

<<well you could disconnect all the white lines at the breaker box then check with a light bulb between hot black and ground. hacked ground to neutral wouldnt power the bulb, use a 60 watt incandescent minimum. doesnt help home inspectors but it would detect hacks>>
I can see the look on a seller's face when I start disconnecting the wires from the neutral buss bars! (-:
I believe inspection of a few outlets would reveal what I want to know. But I'd rather have a plug-in tester that could detect bozos pulling a "neutral as ground" scam.
-- Bobby G.
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On 3/25/2012 9:38 PM, bob haller wrote:

IMHO you are unlikely to come up with an easy way to find a H-N connection at a receptacle. Meters and 3-light testers use very low currents. H & N are connected at the panel which limits what can be done to test.
You could try hr(bob)'s advice. But the (ground wire) - (panel N-G bond) - (neutral wire) loop resistance is very low. Any current on the neutral (or ground) can screw up the measurement. Contact resistance from meter to the receptacle will be a problem.
My tester finds N-G receptacle connections and actually tests ground wires. It is made by Ecos Electronics and they have probably not been made for a long time. May be available from sources like ebay.
Looks like Ideal makes a tester with more features: http://www.idealindustries.com/products/test_measurement/circuit_analyzers/suretest_circuit_analyzers.jsp Price probably over $300. But this is the type of device a home inspector would use if they wanted to test N-G receptacle connections or actual grounding.

Probably easier be to put a 200W bulb on a flasher and connect it H-G at the receptacle. Use a clamp on ammeter to look for which wire in the panel has the pulsing current. You can clamp multiple wires at the same time.
--
bud--


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wrote:

Boy, you really are dumb. Thinking that the small possible resistance difference between a neutral and ground connected at the outlet versus at the panel is going to make a difference in the brightness of LEDs?

If that was possible using your method, folks a lot smarter than you would have figured it out a long time ago.
>There wasn't

Oh no! I[m totally shocked! About as shocked as if you reported that you stuck your wiener in the outlet and got shocked. Disclaimer: I'm not suggesting you do that, but would be quite happy if you did.

You should do that before making an ass of yourself.

I can think of ways of how to do it that would work.

Which of course, as usual, has nothing to do with the discussion.
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On Tue, 27 Mar 2012 08:16:41 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

It's possible but I'd think the false-positives (and negatives) would make the tool useless. One could measure the inductance of the N-G path. I don't think the tool would sell anyway. The number of "tricked" N-G connections in the country has to be exceedingly small.

It's possible but I don't see a market for it and there would, necessarily be false indications, further driving down the market (and liability up).
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Remove the connection to the ground rod? (Temporarily.)
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same bus in the panel, so there'd still be continuity even if there were no improper wiring.
nate
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I think HB was suggesting that the ground-neutral link be removed. Of course, that only works if the grounds and neutrals are separated on their respective bars.
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I always put them in. It makes the job neater.
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On 3/30/2012 4:08 PM, Robert Green wrote:

I agree with Nate that this won't work.

More likely to be useful - it uses a high enough test current to find bad grounds on a grounded receptacle. A 3-LED tester is not reliable for this.
--
bud--

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Not as dumb as your mother when your Dad told her she couldn't get pregnant through anal intercourse. And then 9 months later, YOU were born! (-: See, *anyone* can be insulting. It's much harder to be right. You've been riding my butt for a long time, Trader (family tradition of yours?). But not forever. You want to throw down, then OK, we'll throw down.

Bzzt. Wrong answer, once again! Mr. Know It All, I regret to inform you that someone did build that tester and you just didn't know about it. You've once again proved why you're our resident "stupidist." You're so eager to insult, you didn't even see Bud's post about the Ideal plug-in tester series. Insulting people AND getting it wrong? Priceless. You make this so easy. Now people will read your cartoon theories on economics and politics, Chetnik, and wonder "is that all bluster and bullshi+, too?" Doncha just hate yourself right about now?
Obviously there's some measurable/detectable difference between a real ground and a "bootleg" ground and this unit detects it by just plugging into a wall outlet. Educate yourself Trader:
http://www.idealindustries.com/prodDetail.do?prodIda-164
It's apparently the number once choice of home inspectors specializing in electrical inspections, at least based upon the numerous posted reviews. That's because it detects so many faults that are very difficult to detect without removing the circuit panel cover or disconnecting wires.
Here's what Amazon says about it.
<< Identifies proper wiring in 3-wire receptacles --- Identifies false (bootleg) grounds --- Tests GFCIs and EPDs for proper operation --- Conducts testing without disturbing sensitive loads --- Verified isolated grounds (with 61-176 adapter) --- Utilizing patented technology, the SureTest circuit analyzers "look behind walls" to identify wiring problems that can lead to personal shock hazards, electrical fires, or equipment performance issues. Personal shock hazards stem from poor grounding, false grounds, and/or no ground fault protection. . . The SureTest Circuit Analyzer takes only seconds to test each outlet and circuit under a full load. This test tool checks for various wiring conditions including: correct wiring, polarity reversal and no ground per UL-1436. A simple menu gives access to measurements of line voltage, voltage drop under a full load condition, ground-neutral voltage and line impedances. The ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) test is performed separately in accordance with UL-1436 and disrupts the electrical supply if a functional GFCI is present. --- INCLUDES: 1 - Carrying Case; 1 - 1 foot Extension Cord >>
Thanks for providing another item to add to my ever growing list of "Trader/Chet tries to insult someone else but only foolishly insults himself" folder. Chet, it doesn't take very many brains to be nasty and insulting. Clearly, you've got that part down. But it does take brains to get it right. For you, that will take some doing.
As has been suggested, by Mr. Hofmann and others, there's obviously a measurable difference at the outlet between a bootlegged ground - an outlet's ground connector pig-tailed to the neutral - and a proper ground. The only question is how does the Ideal device make that determination and will they tell me if I ask them? (-: I believe from reading about the device's capabilities, Mr. Hofmann was correct - the ability of the Ideal tester to detect a bootlegged ground is based on resistance readings. There's less resistance between a 2 or 3 inch pigtail and perhaps a 25 foot or longer wiring run. Or do things work differently on planet Trader?
Now, Chet, let's hear you stutter like Porky Pig as you try to explain you didn't actually mean what you wrote. If I know you, that's going to be as much fun as watching Larry Craig trying to explain his "wide stance." Again. I know I shouldn't enjoy this so much, but when a guy who regularly and thoughtlessly insults entire groups of people steps on his own joint, and then grinds his shoe on it, you just gotta love it.

I knew you were a very hateful, unhappy person, Chet, but I didn't think that you were this hateful. No wonder you support involving the US in meaningless war after war. You're a typical warmonger. You rant on and on about going to Syria while you're demanding huge spending cuts. That's Trader's logic. Cut the deficit by getting into another costly war halfway around the world. I was right. Your daddy *really* must have beat the crap out of you to twist you up this badly. "Wibwoon, Wibwoon!" Got any cleated golf shoes handy? Put them on the next time you step on your willie. Maybe that way you'll learn not to.

Who has made an ass out of whom, Trader? You're as confused as ever. Next time, try taking your own advice and you won't look so uninformed and spiteful. You couldn't make me happier if you tried, Chet. You ought to pull in your horns before you gore your credibility to death. (-:

But you didn't list any. Joe McCarthy, your soul brother, had a list, too. He couldn't *show* it to anybody, either.
In case you missed it, DD_BobK posted a website a while back that talks about some testers that displayed dimmed LEDs depending on unusual fault conditions:
http://www.thecircuitdetective.com/test.htm
That's why I decided to rig up a test outlet to verify my unit's capabilities. It's something I learned from Ronald Reagan: "trust but verify." A bootlegged ground is not a "usual fault" condition. I'm sorry if my testing doesn't meet with your approval. About as sorry as I am over Sarah and John losing to Barack. (-: Wait, I forgot, you're "analogically challenged." This should be easier for you to understand: "I don't give a flying fu& about what you think, Chet, and never will."

Jeez, you got that wrong, too, Snarky. You're so easily blinded by rage. Do you have to make this a turkey shoot? That's no fun. Still, if you want to chip away at your own credibility, I'll give you all the help you need.
What you meant to say is that "As usual, my hate-filled brain is so anxious and determined to insult Bobby that I missed the obvious connection." The People's Court case has everything to do with the previous thread statements concerning what a home seller will allow a home buyer to do, as in remove a circuit panel door - like a boat buyer asking to remove a cylinder head. Do you make the connection now?
Let me try it another way in case you're still blinded by rage: There appears to be a limit to what you can ask of a seller. For at least one boat owner, it seems pulling the cylinder head was his limit. Asking to remove a circuit panel door or disconnect wires and run wiring tests might not meet with approval from a lot of home sellers. Capiche?
Very simple analogy. But not, apparently, for you, the guy who previously tried to insult me by saying mine was the "stupidist" analogy he had ever seen. Only you could try to insult someone's intelligence and spell "stupidest" incorrectly while attempting it. "BANG!" Chet shoots his foot again. Now you've conclusively proved you're the one that's "analogically" challenged. Probably something to do with your anal nativity. (-" Yet you have the chutzpah to call other people dumb. A man will often accuse others of what he is most guilty of himself. Why are you so determined to prove it over and over and over again?
How do you feed yourself if you can't figure these simple things out, Chet?
-- Bobby G.
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On 3/30/2012 7:22 AM, Robert Green wrote:

As I think I wrote before, my Ecos tester puts a relatively high current pulse from H-N and measures the N-G voltage. The voltage will be about zero if the N and G are connected at the receptacle. If N and G are connected at the N-G bond at the panel there will be a measurable voltage - the voltage drop on the neutral to the panel. If the branch circuit length to the panel is only about 20 feet there won't be enough voltage to reliably measure and Ecos will indicate a bootleg ground.
Ideal has a similar short distance limitation and can also inject current pulses into the branch circuit. It is likely Ideal uses the same method.
I don't think it is likely you can use a voltmeter or LED tester to find a bootleg ground. You could connnect a 15A load H-N and look at the N-G voltage, but it is rather involved and wouldn't work so good for a home inspector.
The Ideal tester can make many other measurements including some that a home inspector wouldn't know what they mean.
--
bud--

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About 7 years ago I bought a house and the inspector took off the breaker panel cover to check the wiring. I watched him do it and then he went around with the plug in tester . I did not have to have the house inspected, but I thought it was a good idea. I was not worried about the small things he found, but needed to see if anything major need work. This was in the middle of North Carolina.
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On Sat, 24 Mar 2012 20:33:57 -0400, "Ralph Mowery"

Yes, the house we just bought (actually, closing is next week) is in very good shape but it's a foreclosure (Fannie owned) and it wasn't a major decision to spend $350 for someone to spend a few hours looking for things I missed in the, maybe 1/2 hour I'd spent looking at the house. He did find a few things that I'll want to take care of quickly but nothing major. He did find that the water heater was burned out. The morons who Fannie hired to winterize the house didn't turn it off before draining it - poof!. We got her to fix that problem, since they caused it.
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On 3/24/2012 5:26 PM, Doug wrote:

If you are considering purchasing the home make it non-negotiable that an inspector of your choice address your concerns beforehand. If that is rejected then walk ... no run, they are hiding something.
As a former substation transformer designer I assure you there are only two ways of making reliable connections using aluminum conductors. One is to acid treat, copper plate the aluminum, and then bolt aluminum to copper bus bars together. Inside a transformer this connection is submerged in oil and can still fail. Aluminum to aluminum connections must be welded together to be completely safe. Obviously you will find none of that in household wiring. Crimping or twisting aluminum to aluminum or aluminum to copper connections will eventually fail due to corrosion.
HTH, John
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On 3/24/2012 7:04 PM, John wrote:

The vast majority of residential electrical services use aluminum conductors. They're generally clamped down in set screw connectors using a little anti-ox paste, and hold up just fine.
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On 3/24/12 6:04 PM, John wrote:

A big share of underground wiring for irrigation systems/wells is aluminum. That wiring supplies power to the three phase motors. The motors for the wells are usually 3 480 VAC. Most are 50 to 100 hp. There aren't that many failures in the actual connections at the panels. Most of the ones I've seen are caused by rodents or lightning. I don't know if I'd want AL house wiring but it works well where I've seen it used. Anti oxidant and proper connectors seem to make it ok.
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On 03/24/2012 08:46 PM, Dean Hoffman > wrote:

The wiring itself isn't bad but the connections to typical light fixtures, receptacles, etc. certainly can be.
http://www.nachi.org/aluminum-wiring.htm
The OP is correct to be concerned.
nate
--
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
http://members.cox.net/njnagel
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