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Thread: Volts leaking to ground rod

  1. #31
    DIY Senior Member Homeownerinburb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ActionDave View Post
    Something wrong there. Did you compare current on the neutral to the ground and the hot?

    I would not be doing that.
    I'm not clear how I'd be reading that with my clamp on meter.

    And I was wearing gloves as I took the grounding apart and put it back together.

  2. #32
    Electrician ActionDave's Avatar
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    Amps go out, amps go back, all of them should be on the hot and the noodle and should read about the same on each when measured individually. Amp clamp around the hot and the noodle together should read close to zero. Are you reading 7A on the hot at the washer? Are you missing 7A on the neutral at washer? The washer may not be the problem, but it is worth checking out.

    You have a bad neutral somewhere. The water pipes and grounding electrode system are now the neutral or at least part of it. Break the connection and on one side of it and you have voltage above ground. Good way to get a nasty shock. Also a good way to cook somebody's fridge, washer, stereo system.......

  3. #33
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    quote; I have 2 Amprobes and a Bell current gun, so does that mean I am qualified?

    If you had a formula I race car, would the automatically qualify you as a "race driver"?
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  4. #34
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    quote; Then I released the grounding cable from the plumbing, and then from the ground rod. And found essentially nothing. Less than three volts. And I could not recreate the 45v I had moments before.

    If I read this properly, you disconnected the path for the "leakage" which means you would NOT reproduce the previous reading. The washing machine could have "quit" because when you removed the path, as in the situation I described, Everything went to 240 volts and it should have burned out the motor, or doing so eliminated the neutral side of a 120 circuit so there was no "power" to operate it. Your testing procedures may be suspect, so I would have to be there to do my own tests. The only way a neutral/ground rod could "have current" flowing to it with the power to the system turned off would be if "something" was "pumping" power into it because ITS neutral was also defective, ahead of the point where the two systems interconnected.
    Last edited by hj; 02-21-2014 at 06:40 AM.
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  5. #35
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    I don't understand, Why a person that knows they are working on a neutral problem, Would disconnect the ground wire from the ground rod, to see if the current on the wire goes away.

    I could tell from here.


    Be careful playing with electricity.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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  6. #36
    DIY Senior Member Homeownerinburb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ActionDave View Post
    Amps go out, amps go back, all of them should be on the hot and the noodle and should read about the same on each when measured individually. Amp clamp around the hot and the noodle together should read close to zero. Are you reading 7A on the hot at the washer? Are you missing 7A on the neutral at washer? The washer may not be the problem, but it is worth checking out.

    You have a bad neutral somewhere. The water pipes and grounding electrode system are now the neutral or at least part of it. Break the connection and on one side of it and you have voltage above ground. Good way to get a nasty shock. Also a good way to cook somebody's fridge, washer, stereo system.......
    One problem with that attempt to test is that this is 1930's equipment in steel flex conduit with rubber and cloth insulated conductors.

    I simply cannot get the receptacle out far enough to get the clamp around the conductors, without the insulation likely breaking away. One cannot expect to substantially disturb that stuff without seeing it all fall to bits.

    I DID tell the owner that he is due for a re-wire....

    I don't see all the amps going down the ground. It shows only 0.3 amps when the washing machine is not running. The house is pulling more than that out of the city at any given moment. Granted, there could indeed be an issue with the power co's neutral. That is my next step.

  7. #37
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homeownerinburb View Post
    Granted, there could indeed be an issue with the power co's neutral. That is my next step.

    So you work backwards ?


    I do to sometimes.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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  8. #38
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobL43 View Post
    I have 2 Amprobes and a Bell current gun, so does that mean I am qualified? I have no plasma suit, so I am definitely not.

    The plasma suit should not be required if you have a Aluminum Foil Hat.


    PPE is important.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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  9. #39
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homeownerinburb View Post
    I don't see all the amps going down the ground. It shows only 0.3 amps when the washing machine is not running. The house is pulling more than that out of the city at any given moment. Granted, there could indeed be an issue with the power co's neutral. That is my next step.
    You must not have understood what I wrote about only the differential going to neutral. If each leg is pulling roughly the same amps, there will be no amps on the neutral. THis is sparky 101...

  10. #40
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    If each leg is pulling roughly the same amps, there will be no amps on the neutral. THis is sparky 101...

    Do Watt ?


    I do not think so.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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  11. #41
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    Do Watt ?
    Don,
    If you don't understand the basics, you should not be playing with electricity. For sure then you should not be giving advice!!

  12. #42
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    Don,
    If you don't understand the basics, you should not be playing with electricity. For sure then you should not be giving advice!!

    If your theory is correct then everything would need to be running on 240V Only and it is not, to the best of my knowledge.

    The neutral is the return path for 120V devices.


    Please correct me if I am wrong, Anyone.
    Last edited by DonL; 02-21-2014 at 11:43 AM.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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  13. #43
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    Please correct me if I am wrong, Anyone.
    You are wrong. The 120V loads are in series, so the two legs cancel out. It is only the unbalanced differential current that is seen on the neutral between the panel and the pole.

  14. #44
    DIY Senior Member Reach4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    If your theory is correct then everything would need to be running on 240V Only and it is not, to the best of my knowledge.

    The neutral is the return path for 120V devices.


    Please correct me if I am wrong, Anyone.
    I don't get it. Your humor is too subtle this time.

  15. #45
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reach4 View Post
    I don't get it. Your humor is too subtle this time.

    Yep that is how I roll.


    All of us do not live in a vacuum.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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