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  1. #14
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    Jan 2007
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    Wow...informative posts, here. It sounds more and more as though the real problem is with my antique electrical system.

  2. #15
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    Feb 2004
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    Connecticut
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark g View Post
    My former company is gradually relocating all gas meters to be adjacent to the house or building, rather than in the alley or yard.
    WHY? Isn't it ewasier for the meter readers to go up and down an alley and read them than it is to have to go in every single back yard?

  3. #16
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    Aug 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexGB View Post
    Wow...informative posts, here. It sounds more and more as though the real problem is with my antique electrical system.
    Implied is a problem that even violates antiquated standards. A problem too often seen in many older homes.

    Too many see lights working. Then assume everything is OK. Classic junk science reasoning. Without inspection, you have little idea (yet) what you have.

  4. #17
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    Nov 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexGB View Post
    Wow...informative posts, here. It sounds more and more as though the real problem is with my antique electrical system.
    Stress test your elec. system.
    Plugging in a 10A, 120v hair dryer should result in no more than a 3vac drop from the 120vac at that outlet.
    Slapping a 20A load on your 240v supply should drop ~0.4vac from the 240vac, measured at the panel.

  5. #18
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    Aug 2004
    Location
    S.E. Pa
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    6,228

    Exclamation

    http://www.idealindustries.com/prodD...?prodId=61-165

    Great tool. Can help explain when electronic ignition systems fail, too.

    If you go onto the websites of the various CSST mfrs., you will see specific bonding instructions in light of the class action lawsuit. Note: you are 'bonding'---not 'grounding' the CSST.

    Gas lines cannot be used as a ground but should be bonded if there is a chance they can be energized.

    The electric meter and the distribution panel should be bonded to an grounding electrode conductor. The GEC can be 'ground rods' or other systems such as a Ufer. The water lines and gas line are usually all bonded at a gas WH. Also, it is a good idea to peek at the water meter because sometimes the bonding jumper is left disconnected, which could put you and everyone in the house at risk, esp. if that is intended as the GES.

    HTH,
    Hearthman

  6. #19
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    Aug 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhoIsThat? View Post
    Stress test your elec. system. ...
    Slapping a 20A load on your 240v supply should drop ~0.4vac from the 240vac, measured at the panel.
    The essential and code required earth ground could be completely missing. And that test would report everything as OK.

    There is only one way to confirm that so critically important earth ground - visual inspection.

    That Ideal tester also reports nothing about the earth ground. It only tests for wire polarity, voltage, and safety ground - not earth ground. Implied was a problem directly traceable to a missing earth ground. That Ideal tester would report everything OK even while the earth ground remained completely missing.

    Appreciate a major difference between the earth ground and safety ground (also called equipment ground). They are not same.

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    2,603
    "GFIs in kitchen are inop." Quote

    Your spike came down neutral on this one, not down hot. Check your neutral grounding, also have utility check neutral to their stepdown transformer.

  8. #21
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    Nov 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by westom View Post
    There is only one way to confirm that so critically important earth ground - visual inspection.
    I guess one check could be where you run the hair dryer from hot to earth ground and you should see less than 0.5v drop in voltage across the hair dryer (i.e., from 120.0vac to no less than 119.5vac)
    since more than 0.5vac can be fatal in some small percent of cases.
    If it fails this you have a problem. If it passes you still may have a problem but at least you now can calculate the resistance of your bonding conductor and its connections.

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&c...&aq=f&oq=&aqi=

  9. #22
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    Aug 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhoIsThat? View Post
    I guess one check could be where you run the hair dryer from hot to earth ground and you should see less than 0.5v drop in voltage across the hair dryer (i.e., from 120.0vac to no less than 119.5vac)
    since more than 0.5vac can be fatal in some small percent of cases.
    Again, please learn the difference. No earth ground is at the receptacle. That safety ground (or equipment ground) does nothing to conduct current through the earth ground. How does current through a hair dryer travel through a 10 foot rod driven in earth? Wall receptacle safety ground is not the earth ground. Testing earth ground from a wall receptacle is not possible.

    Implied in the OPs post is a problem because his earth ground is missing or compromised. All homes – with two wire or three wire receptacles – were required to have earth ground.

  10. #23
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    Aug 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by madhat View Post
    Your spike came down neutral on this one, not down hot.
    Does not matter where the spike came down. Matters are what an incoming and outgoing current path were. Spike (implying voltage) is not relevant. Relevant is the current path. Voltage (and the resulting destructive energy) only occurs when something tries to stop that current.

    What was the incoming and outgoing current path destructively through that GFCI. It could have been any or all wires. A typically destructive surge means current flowing in the same direction on any or every wire.

    The fact that a surge current was permitted inside the building demonstrates why high reliability structures earth a 'whole house' protector - so that surges never find a path destructively through GFCIs - or smoke detectors.

    Electricity. That means both an incoming and outgoing path must have existed through the GFCI for damage to occur. The surge did not crash on the GFCI like waves on a beach. First current was flowing through the GFCI. Only much later did the GFCI fail.

  11. #24
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    Nov 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by westom View Post
    How does current through a hair dryer travel through a 10 foot rod driven in earth? Wall receptacle safety ground is not the earth ground. Testing earth ground from a wall receptacle is not possible.
    Try it, you'll like it. . .

  12. #25
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    Jan 2007
    Posts
    49
    Quote Originally Posted by westom View Post
    The essential and code required earth ground could be completely missing. And that test would report everything as OK.

    There is only one way to confirm that so critically important earth ground - visual inspection.

    That Ideal tester also reports nothing about the earth ground. It only tests for wire polarity, voltage, and safety ground - not earth ground. Implied was a problem directly traceable to a missing earth ground. That Ideal tester would report everything OK even while the earth ground remained completely missing.

    Appreciate a major difference between the earth ground and safety ground (also called equipment ground). They are not same.
    Okay...I think I understand. IOW, an electrician (which I am obviously not) would trace an actual ground from the electrical service panel or entrance to some point in the earth, such as a grounding rod, located outside the structure? And when I have this '50s-era fuse panel replaced with a modern breaker/whole house surge supressor set-up, is that something an electrical contractor will do in order to "update grounding to code", as it is written in the contract?

  13. #26
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    Aug 2009
    Posts
    31
    Quote Originally Posted by AlexGB View Post
    Okay...I think I understand. IOW, an electrician (which I am obviously not) would trace an actual ground from the electrical service panel or entrance to some point in the earth, such as a grounding rod, located outside the structure?
    First you trace the ground wire. Nobody needs electrical knowledge to do that. Anyone with minimal knowledge can follow that wire. Tracing the ground wire takes eyes, grasp of what is colored copper, and to ability to relate where the wire goes outside with where you find it outside.

    Appreciate what you have. Remember, your replies here will only be as useful as details that only you can provide. Currently posted are speculations based only in what you have posted. We have a suspect - and nothing to indict. Accusations will only be as useful as what you post. Current posts have only described a primary suspect. But you need better answers.

    Is grounding the reason for your problems? Maybe. Probably. But necessary is to have actual facts - ie that a ground really is missing. Maybe it is something else? We don't know yet. You have not yet confirmed anything. Speculated is it might be missing because that is a most likely suspect. Only speculated based upon some facts and some still missing facts.

    Attention everyone with a 1950s house. Do you have any earthing? Most every 1950s homeowner should be doing this same inspection because some previous owners *knew* also using speculation. The ground wire was disconnected. Lights still worked. Therefore the ground wire was not important. Most every 1950s house would eventually have an owner with that dangerous attitude. Too many homes of that vintage that I have seen also have missing grounds - even after a professional home inspection.

    Only when your problem is explained by a 'definitively missing ground' do we know ground may be a solution. Currently, a missing earth ground is only a suspect. I hope you don't indict suspects only on speculation - only because it would explain your symptoms.

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