AC outlet voltage at 78v.... that's just weird

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by W7UUU, Nov 13, 2017.

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  1. G0VKT

    G0VKT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Many years ago a group of us decided on a bit of off road cycling. With bikes on the roof of the car we set off for the start of the route. Getting a bit lost we stopped for a look at the map. We could hear a very loud buzzing. Took a while but we found it to be one of those bike speedometers that used a magnet on the wheel and a reed switch. We were parked under a 500kV line!
     
    K8MHZ likes this.
  2. KB1CKT

    KB1CKT Ham Member QRZ Page

    For some reason my entire bedroom--the master bedroom mind you--is on one breaker. The previous owner redid all the wiring, and for the most part it's been fine, no problems. But why he would put the entire upstairs on one breaker is beyond me... Wife has learned to not iron while the a/c is running!

    Recently learned that our microwave is on the circuit as the dishwasher, but only because I recently put a dehumidifier onto the dishwasher circuit. Never enough breakers.
     
  3. NM7L

    NM7L Ham Member QRZ Page

    I moved to EWA in 2003, and my wife and I rented a house here in Richland as I was starting out a new job after retiring from the Navy. Fast forward a few years ... and I am sitting in the family room watching TV. I am noticing the incandescent lights flickering and started to investigate. No other room had the flickering - just the family room. On a whim, I went out into the garage & looked at the breaker box ... Zinsco! That's when it hit me: I could hear something resembling "sizzling", but there was no other indications.

    Using the power of the Internet, I quickly learned of Zinsco (and Sylvania, who bought out Zinsco), and the panel / breaker's faulty shortcomings. I then went out to the breaker box & pulled out the breaker servicing the family room's lights. Sure enough: as soon as I pulled out the breaker I saw the "pitting" on the panel's buswork - caused by the "arcing" across the gap caused by the reduction in the breaker's clamping force to the buswork. Hence, the "sizzling" heard earlier.

    I relocated the breaker to the last remaining slot in the panel ... that eliminated the flickering of the lights in the rental home. I informed the property management company of this problem & strongly suggested that the owners consider retrofitting the panel to mitigate any additional problems. The owners, sadly, chose to live with the issue.

    Fast forward to 2008: the wife and I bought a house about 2 blocks from the rental property. Look at the distribution panel ... crap, another freakin' Zinsco! Prior to committing to purchase this house, at the "walk-through" inspection I had a licensed electrician join the party specifically to assess the health of the Zinsco. Well ... all doubts were confirmed the moment we tested the operation of the cooktop in the kitchen. Remember the "sizzle" heard earlier? Well ... when all elements were energized the racket from the feeder breaker in the panel was staggering! One would think the panel was about to shoot a fireball into what was going to be my new "radio shack"! Seeing the pitting on that panel's buswork under the cooktop's breaker was enough for me to convince the previous owners to reduce the house price sufficiently to have a retrofit panel (made by Cutler-Hammer) installed in it's place (using the Zinsco's existing outer can) & all circuits rewired. Best $1600.00 I ever spent.

    BTW: did I mention that I really HATE ZINSCO????
     
  4. WD0BCT

    WD0BCT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I've seen the same due to CU only terminals on the receptacle and aluminum wire terminated.
     
  5. WD0BCT

    WD0BCT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    There are some with 1 year experience...20 times. :)
     
    K5PHW and N2EY like this.
  6. WD0BCT

    WD0BCT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    True...the outlet is a broad term....but it includes receptacles as well as other things.
     
  7. WD0BCT

    WD0BCT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Some people can't even do wrong right!
     
    N2EY likes this.
  8. WD0BCT

    WD0BCT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Congrats on the find Dave.
    Even a new house is prone to errors. Our existing place was brand spanking new when we moved in. From Day 1 some of the recessed ceiling fixtures were rotating with the bulb when I attempted to install a new bulb. Electrician came out and fixed them all....no charge.
    Then...we lost a receptacle in our bedroom during the night...the installing electrician spent a day trouble shooting that one...turned out one of our bedroom receptacles was on the masterbath GFI...and the GFI was faulty. He corrected the situation w/o charge.

    Some of the worst electrical work I've seen is by kitchen remodel contractors. I don't think they use licensed electricians. Our first remodel in SE Denver wound up with the kitchen lights on the receptacle for the microwave oven. First time we used the MW all the lights in the kitchen would dim.

    Second remodel in our new home (8 years after move in) the contractor could not reuse a GFI receptacle because it interfered with the new countertop cove....so he exchanged it for a non GFI on the other side of the kitchen. Result...the receptacles on the other side of the kitchen were now GFI....the receptacles near the sink were not. The receptacle that interfered with the cove had its outlet cover shaved so it would fit over the cove. Free thinking electrician!

    We are about to remodel our kitchen again..after 14 years...and this time I am demanding that all electrical work be done by a licensed electrician. The contractor winced at this but he could not argue.
     
  9. WE6C

    WE6C Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've learned when working on electrical of any kind whether it be your home or vehicle, never trust what someone else did. Most homeowners have no idea the difference between hot, neutral, ground, or whatever and which is which in the receptacle. Working on the home I've learned to always check the circuits with your meter even if the breaker is off, unless the main is off.

    Since I don't have x-ray vision I always turn the main off when doing some wiring since I cannot see inside the walls to see what someone else may have done.

    And as a mechanic for several years the wiring "hacks" in the automotive field you see is unbelievable!
     
    N2EY likes this.
  10. W7UUU

    W7UUU Super Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    So much of that out there!! The house I'm in now has the kitchen/dining (over the table) light on the same circuit as the front room outlets (another room quite far removed) and the GREENHOUSE (buried wire, 50 feet away from house). All on the same breaker!

    My wife's previous home had the kitchen, garage door opener (other end of the house - not even close) and all the outdoor in-ground lighting all on the same breaker.

    Lots of amateurs out there mucking stuff up!

    Dave
    W7UUU
     
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