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  • two wire system.......................

    Another small partial rehab; cottage in the woods; we have............4 rooms, 2 circuits, 2 wire system, 20A fuses, no ground.
    First of all the electrical is supposed to remain as is. (NIC).
    But...........................
    Customer says he got a shock from the dryer (propane).
    Cord was chewed up by rats; he replaced cord; no difference; he got a shock at the outlet cover; stainless steel.
    Pulled the fuse for the dryer circuit; still getting zapped at the dryer outlet cover.
    Pulled the other fuse on the second circuit; same result still getting zapped.
    Now we have 2 circuits both supposedly dead, but the one the dryer is on has a leak.
    Shut off the main breaker; this stopped the zapping.
    We are suggesting he replace the old entrance panel with a new 100A one, but were wondering if he will still have the same problem on that circuit since all he will be doing is swapping panels; still ungrounded.
    Any ideas on where the leak is coming from?? meter to main breaker??
    Thanks,
    Chenchen.

  • #2
    Re: two wire system.......................

    I am guessing that by two wire your saying the power is a old 120 volt only entrance. one hot and one neutral wire.

    guessing again here, but by shutting off the main breaker, my guess is your discussing a breaker at the meter? is that correct?

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    which side of the wiring is fused? Could the neutral side be the fused side? and the hot wire ran to the unfused side of the cottage's wiring?

    Is the system grounded by ground rod at the entrance box/fuse box, and is it intact and attached to the ground rod?

    Is the neutral wire bonded to the ground wire in the fuse box?

    Is the power hot in other locations of the cottage when the fuses are removed? or jsut the dryer?

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    plus I would think there would be something wrong in the box as there should not be any thing attached to the box if there is no ground, so the box should not be attached to either wire neutral or hot, (so if it or the cover was hot, then some wire appears to have or be touching the box the dryer is attached to). (If I am reading and understanding things correctly).

    was the dryer plugged in when the shock occurred at the receptacle cover, or unplugged?

    Is the receptacle and cord, a grounded type or a old two wire type without the ground prong or hole?
    Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
    attributed to Samuel Johnson
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: two wire system.......................

      Did someone tie a hot to the gas pipe thinking it was ground? The case of the dryer could be energized by the gas pipe

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: two wire system.......................

        Personaly I would tell this guy he either has to have the electrical work done, or walk away from the job. Just from your very brief run down of what you have there, I wouldn't even consider just leaving it alone. He is a homeowner that only sees dollar signs right now, you as his contractor have a responsibility to explain to him what he has there and how bad it is. Saving a few dollars now, may very well end up killing someone or burning his cottage down. Considering you are on here asking about it, you also know their is a problem, just tell him it has to be fixed, or it's your conscience down the road that will suffer when it happens.

        Jeff

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: two wire system.......................

          Originally posted by wbrooks View Post
          Did someone tie a hot to the gas pipe thinking it was ground? The case of the dryer could be energized by the gas pipe
          No gas piping; rubber hose from propane tank to dryer.
          Chenchen.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: two wire system.......................

            Originally posted by piette View Post
            Personaly I would tell this guy he either has to have the electrical work done, or walk away from the job. Just from your very brief run down of what you have there, I wouldn't even consider just leaving it alone. He is a homeowner that only sees dollar signs right now, you as his contractor have a responsibility to explain to him what he has there and how bad it is. Saving a few dollars now, may very well end up killing someone or burning his cottage down. Considering you are on here asking about it, you also know their is a problem, just tell him it has to be fixed, or it's your conscience down the road that will suffer when it happens.

            Jeff
            Jeff,
            Our work does not involve electrical; basically we are making the structure wind and watertight; we are using our generator for power.
            Suggesting the customer contact the utility co to upgrade the service entrance.
            Chenchen.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: two wire system.......................

              Originally posted by BHD View Post
              I am guessing that by two wire your saying the power is a old 120 volt only entrance. one hot and one neutral wire.

              guessing again here, but by shutting off the main breaker, my guess is your discussing a breaker at the meter? is that correct?

              ~~~~~~~~~~

              which side of the wiring is fused? Could the neutral side be the fused side? and the hot wire ran to the unfused side of the cottage's wiring?

              Is the system grounded by ground rod at the entrance box/fuse box, and is it intact and attached to the ground rod?

              Is the neutral wire bonded to the ground wire in the fuse box?

              Is the power hot in other locations of the cottage when the fuses are removed? or jsut the dryer?

              ~~~~~~~~~~

              plus I would think there would be something wrong in the box as there should not be any thing attached to the box if there is no ground, so the box should not be attached to either wire neutral or hot, (so if it or the cover was hot, then some wire appears to have or be touching the box the dryer is attached to). (If I am reading and understanding things correctly).

              was the dryer plugged in when the shock occurred at the receptacle cover, or unplugged?

              Is the receptacle and cord, a grounded type or a old two wire type without the ground prong or hole?
              BHD,
              2 wires overhead to the meter.
              Meter has a 25A fuse in separate enclosure.
              Inside..................PLASTIC panel with main switch not fused; a simple on/off; 2 circuits 2 wires; no ground; no ground rod; neutral not bonded; hot wires are fused; neutrals not.
              One circuit hot with fuse pulled; all outlets.
              Dryer was plugged in; customer opened door and got zapped; tried to pull plug from wall; got zapped touching plug; pulled fuse got zapped again at cover plate; pulled other fuse thinking wrong circuit; got zapped once more.
              Receptacle is 3 prong; looks like a replacement.
              Outlet box is plastic.
              Customer to contact utility co; pull in new wires.
              Chenchen.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: two wire system.......................

                I do think you need to get a electrician and review the system.

                But if you remove the fuses and still have something hot, I would jsut question the basic wiring in general or possibly something is reversed or backwards,

                I would suggest to upgrade the ground/bond of the main electrical box if it currently does not have one,

                I would review closely the "new cord" and the receptacle of the dryer to see if the connections are correct and not improper either in placement or the technique in which it was done,

                also would look to see if some mice damage was missed.

                also if your protected by 25 amp fuses, I would have a look at the gage of the wire being used and see if it can handle the amperage safely,

                I would also be concerned about the "rubber" gas line. and consider an upgrade there as well. (If mice are chewing up the cords is the gas line next)?

                (I am guessing you have two problems one on the basic wiring it self and one in the dryer/plug rewire or additional mice damage not disovered yet, and I would rate it serious)
                Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
                attributed to Samuel Johnson
                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: two wire system.......................

                  Is this an old timer house-cottage? If yes and it's out in the country it is possible it was at one time wired up for 32 Volts DC and powered off batteries. In such cases there are no ground connections used. Sometimes people not thinking would rig up 120 Volts AC using the old wiring and just change light bulbs. This is dangerous but so was much of the older home wiring.

                  Please note that many places out in the country didn't have electric company supplied power until the 1950s and in some places until 1960. They either used storage batteries and some form of generator or used an engine-generator to make power. Larger cities had it much earlier.

                  I would consider seriously having a good electrician disconnect it all and start fresh. Do NOT take safety lightly. You can't afford a nasty fire or worse yet serious injury or death of yourself or someone else. Don't do the "Penny Wise and Dollar Foolish" deal. Get things made right or walk away and don't go back.
                  Last edited by Woussko; 04-07-2008, 01:55 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: two wire system.......................

                    Originally posted by BHD View Post
                    I do think you need to get a electrician and review the system.

                    But if you remove the fuses and still have something hot, I would jsut question the basic wiring in general or possibly something is reversed or backwards,

                    I would suggest to upgrade the ground/bond of the main electrical box if it currently does not have one,

                    I would review closely the "new cord" and the receptacle of the dryer to see if the connections are correct and not improper either in placement or the technique in which it was done,

                    also would look to see if some mice damage was missed.

                    also if your protected by 25 amp fuses, I would have a look at the gage of the wire being used and see if it can handle the amperage safely,

                    I would also be concerned about the "rubber" gas line. and consider an upgrade there as well. (If mice are chewing up the cords is the gas line next)?

                    (I am guessing you have two problems one on the basic wiring it self and one in the dryer/plug rewire or additional mice damage not disovered yet, and I would rate it serious)
                    Thanks BHD,
                    The "pros" are on their way; we're just the nail pounders.
                    Customer is calling the utility co today.
                    The dryer circuit is shut down; forgot to mention dryer is GE 220V with a hard wired transformer with a ground??; 110 in 220 out; bottled propane.
                    Transformer is shorted out.
                    Chenchen.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: two wire system.......................

                      Originally posted by Woussko View Post
                      Is this an old timer house-cottage? If yes and it's out in the country it is possible it was at one time wired up for 32 Volts DC and powered off batteries. In such cases there are no ground connections used. Sometimes people not thinking would rig up 120 Volts AC using the old wiring and just change light bulbs. This is dangerous but so was much of the older home wiring.

                      Please note that many places out in the country didn't have electric company supplied power until the 1950s and in some places until 1960. They either used storage batteries and some form of generator or used an engine-generator to make power. Larger cities had it much earlier.

                      I would consider seriously having a good electrician disconnect it all and start fresh. Do NOT take safety lightly. You can't afford a nasty fire or worse yet serious injury or death of yourself or someone else. Don't do the "Penny Wise and Dollar Foolish" deal. Get things made right or walk away and don't go back.
                      Woussko,
                      Cottage is about 20 years old; well constructed except they skimped on the mechanicals; plastic junk.
                      Never DC.
                      Meter base says 1986; wiring looks very corroded at the connections.
                      Utility on way; electrician also.
                      Chenchen.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: two wire system.......................

                        I'm glad you have both an electrician and the utility company coming to look things over.

                        Comment

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