View Full Version : Electrical Wiring SNAFU's
02-27-2004, 01:53 PM
Here is one of many DIY's wiring mistakes that I have at my place.
The picture is poor, but what you want to look for is the 12ga black wire going into the same breaker as the 6ga wire.
What they did was tap into a 220 50am breaker on one leg to get 110 power.
The main stupidity here is that the 12 ga wire will NOT withstand a potential short because the circuit breaker will allow at least 50 amps of power to flow before it trips. More than enough electrical current will flow to set the wiring on fire. 12 ga is supposed to be run off of at most a 20 amp breaker .
02-27-2004, 02:02 PM
I wouldn't be as concerned about breaker trip in the event of a short as I would be about the overcurrent draw possibility on the #12 wire.
The second thing I see that's interesting is that someone inserted both copper and aluminum wire together in the same terminal.
When that connection is disassembled it will be real interesting to see the amount of corrosion, and evidence of microarcing on the conductors.
The insulation cutback on the #6 is really professional as well.
02-27-2004, 02:10 PM
Here is a broader view of the service drop. The breaker on the left feeds a sub in the quonset hut/ the breaker on the right is supposed to be main for the house feed- however there is a second service drop that attaches to the front of the Quonest hut that is the houses actual service main.
I have shut off the breaker that uses 2ga aluminum wires that appears to be a 'house' feed and nothing seems to have been affected.
Needless to say- I should just do a service panel upgrade here so I will know where everything goes-however at this time I cannot afford to have a county inspector roaming about my piece of dirt.
Also the stuff inside that looks like bird crap or cobwebs is actual leftovers from wasps. Of course knockouts left open after being punched but not used- aw the joys of home debtship:rolleyes:
02-27-2004, 02:34 PM
On a service upgrade he is only there to inspect service. Its an incentive to do upgrades. I agree with Franz, the 12 will trip the 50 in the event of a short. What it will allow to happen is overloading of the wire and it wont trip. A short can develope hundreds of thousands of amps. A single tiny strand from an extension cord, not much bigger than a hair can trip a 50. The breaker provides 2 main functions most of the time. Short circuit interuption and overload protection. They are really 2 different things per sae,, although a fault is a gigantic overload. It just happens so fast it doesnt have time to overheat the wire. They are commonly called circuit breakers but the real name is OCPD.
02-27-2004, 02:56 PM
I should say, it helps to think of in terms of it being an OCPD, and what or why it would trip.
03-09-2004, 08:35 PM
Sberry's right. Permit it, rip it out and do it right. The peace of mind will be well worth the $$ and the effort, and you'll be SAFE!
03-09-2004, 09:09 PM
Hank, its great to have a couple legit sparkies here to catch me when I shoot my mouth off. Heck, I am a black and white electrician, throw more than about 3 wires in there and I am lost,,, ok,, a red one once in a while is ok.
03-22-2004, 03:18 AM
Hey, that's all professional, neat and safe compared to my house. Wait till I put pics up, I have my service drop permit and only 3 more weeks left on it!
03-23-2004, 09:44 PM
So here is a question.. I just bought a new house, and the Garage is wired for 15 amp. It is 12-2 romex in the walls, can I just swap out the 15 amp breaker for a 20 amp?
03-23-2004, 11:03 PM
Assuming you're certain it is 12-2 and the wire is copper, the 20 amp breaker shouldn't be a problem.
03-24-2004, 02:48 AM
Absolutely certain... Square D , here I come.. thanks.
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