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Nov 20, 2022 - 12:48:46 PM
10524 posts since 3/19/2009

Couldn't resist starting this topic after what I saw at someone's house this weekend.. So, I was asked to look into a strange electrical problem.. Seems that a lady's husband did some home repairs and didn't want to admit that he was responsible for this:.. there is a wall plug in their bedroom. Looks normal.. but when the lady plugs in her hair dryer and turns it on.... the closet light also comes on!!! A circuit tester shows an open ground. Upon inspection, yep.. the ground wire was cut and left hanging on the plug...I have not made a repair yet but I'm curious to see where the wiring goes to have caused this problem!! I can't get back to work on it until almost Christmas.. What do you think I will find? Hmmm?

The reason I didn't get around to repairing the plug  was that when I was pulling hair out of their bathtub (I had a List of thingys to do) , my efforts caused a major drain line clog that made the tub/sink/ and basement utility tub to all stop passing water.. That took up TIME.. but I eventually  I got all lines crystal clear and flowing faster than they had in years (so she says)...

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 11/20/2022 12:51:49

Nov 20, 2022 - 1:06:46 PM
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2289 posts since 8/27/2008
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Will the closet light come on without closing the circuit through the hair dryer plug? Perhaps he tapped a switch-leg for the circuit. Unscrew the closet light and the hair dryer plug may be dead.

Edited by - Brian Wood on 11/20/2022 13:09:00

Nov 20, 2022 - 1:22:29 PM
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Mobob

USA

222 posts since 10/1/2009

sounds like maybe the neutral from the outlet has replaced the hot(black) wire for the light in the closet, if so, as Brian suggests, the light won't work without power passing through the outlet on the neutral side, needs a pigtail in a wire nut to supply power to both from the incoming hot.

Nov 20, 2022 - 1:31:44 PM
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6063 posts since 8/7/2009

This is probably not what you want to hear - but: Any answer about the problem or solution would be pure speculation. And fixing that problem may only reveal other problems. This is not a good place to trouble shoot electrical problems.

An electrician should be able to determine everything that needs to be done, but it should be corrected under the supervision of the licensed and bonded contractor. Yes, it will cost money, but, in the end, it may save a whole lot more than just the money you spent on the contractor - in a lot of different ways.

It is tue - what they say: Electrical work is not a hobby. 

(over 50 years in the trade)

 

Nov 20, 2022 - 1:34:32 PM

10524 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by tonyelder

This is probably not what you want to hear - but: Any answer about the problem or solution would be pure speculation. And fixing that problem may only reveal other problems. This is not a good place to trouble shoot electrical problems.

An electrician should be able to determine everything that needs to be done, but it should be corrected under the supervision of the licensed and bonded contractor. Yes, it will cost money, but, in the end, it may save a whole lot more than just the money you spent on the contractor - in a lot of different ways.

It is tue - what they say: Electrical work is not a hobby. 

(over 50 years in the trade)

 


While not an electrician,, I'm very skilled at household wiring, beyond hobbiest!!.. I'm Pretty sure that I'll get this fixed..just wanted to get some ideas about what you guys think I'll find. I'll report back..eventually. 

Nov 20, 2022 - 1:39:47 PM

10524 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Brian Wood

Will the closet light come on without closing the circuit through the hair dryer plug? Perhaps he tapped a switch-leg for the circuit. Unscrew the closet light and the hair dryer plug may be dead.


I hadn't had time to check that yet.. You are making a good suggestion.. It is obviously a simple fix..but first I'll need to Understand it from all angles.. Incidentally, another room has a double gang switch, where one switch is for the ceiling light and the other is for a closet.. EITHER switch turns on Both lights.. That is an easy repair.  The guy who did this had NO idea how to do household wiring..

Nov 20, 2022 - 1:52:11 PM
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10524 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by tonyelder

This is probably not what you want to hear - but: Any answer about the problem or solution would be pure speculation. And fixing that problem may only reveal other problems. This is not a good place to trouble shoot electrical problems.

An electrician should be able to determine everything that needs to be done, but it should be corrected under the supervision of the licensed and bonded contractor. Yes, it will cost money, but, in the end, it may save a whole lot more than just the money you spent on the contractor - in a lot of different ways.

It is tue - what they say: Electrical work is not a hobby. 

(over 50 years in the trade)

 


I have an Associates Degree in Engineering Electronics, and have wired more than one house and LOVE to troubleshoot these types of things.  Not only am I smart enough to repair most  of these types of these things.. I'm smart enough to know when I'm in over my head!!!! and need to call in an electrician.. What will make me make the call would be the need to do a lot of new wire running but I don't foresee that in this project.   Fortunately, this is probably a crossed wire  issue.. Again, I'll  check back when I get 'er  repaired..BUT, thanks for the warning!!  

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 11/20/2022 13:55:14

Nov 20, 2022 - 2:06:44 PM

10524 posts since 3/19/2009

I'm hoping to elicit other stories about Interesting home repair problems..
This one is a comedy of errors and as home repairs go, ya never know where they will lead.. I went to do electrical repairs and wound up making two trips to Menard's to solve a plumbing problem... and never did get to do the electrical work that I went there expecting to do!!!
What interesting repairs have YOU had to make?

Nov 20, 2022 - 2:48 PM
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6063 posts since 8/7/2009

quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver
quote:
Originally posted by tonyelder

This is probably not what you want to hear - but: Any answer about the problem or solution would be pure speculation. And fixing that problem may only reveal other problems. This is not a good place to trouble shoot electrical problems.

An electrician should be able to determine everything that needs to be done, but it should be corrected under the supervision of the licensed and bonded contractor. Yes, it will cost money, but, in the end, it may save a whole lot more than just the money you spent on the contractor - in a lot of different ways.

It is tue - what they say: Electrical work is not a hobby. 

(over 50 years in the trade)

 


I have an Associates Degree in Engineering Electronics, and have wired more than one house and LOVE to troubleshoot these types of things.  Not only am I smart enough to repair most  of these types of these things.. I'm smart enough to know when I'm in over my head!!!! and need to call in an electrician.. What will make me make the call would be the need to do a lot of new wire running but I don't foresee that in this project.   Fortunately, this is probably a crossed wire  issue.. Again, I'll  check back when I get 'er  repaired..BUT, thanks for the warning!!  


I'm sorry Lee. My comment wasn't to suggest you weren't smart enough to figure it out. That was not the point. 

My background in the electrical trade has given me an appreciation for what is being provided when you hire a licensed and bonded contractor - to do anything. There is a real risk that you assume when you involve yourself in these types of situations. Most of them never lead to anything, but...

Your good neighborly intentions, generous heart, and your level of knowledge will not be worth anything as a defense in civil or criminal court. There is a story behind almost every law, building code regulation, safe work requirement, licensing requirement, and insurance requirement, mostly to protect us from ourself. Almost everyone of them are the result of unintended circumstances that led to serious problems. 

I've heard told about insurance companies refusing to pay claims on homeowner policies based on a discovery of un-permitted work done in homes. Even when the damage was un-related. And that was only the beginning of the problems they had to deal with.

I don't want to be a part of any of that.

I guarantee you - I have all the qualifications and experience needed to fix that problem, BUT I'm not licensed in your state and I don't work for a licensed contractor in your state. I would beg out, and hope they understand. Perhaps there is a way help them pay for a contractor - to find and fix the problem - and check out the remainder of what was installed by the "husband". Maybe see if it would be possible to get a permit (retro-active) for the work that was done by the husband and then checked out by the contractor for code compliance, so it can be inspected by the code enforcement officials. 

Hiring a contractor is a cheap insurance policy. One payment and you will always have that protection.

i'll shut up now.  blush   Certainly your heart is in the right place.

Nov 20, 2022 - 2:52:33 PM

10524 posts since 3/19/2009

.... which reminds me of a client I had one time, who said he needed to call an electrician to replace a cracked switch plate.. Ok.. He was Judge and knew the law and I guess it is ok if he doesn't know how to replace a cracked switch plate!! Always chuckle when I think of that one..! 

And then, there was a homeowner's association that said all  cedar fences must be Painted a certain color.. Well, they didn't understand that Cedar Fences don't take paint well and need to be STAINED>.    Obviously they didn't understand the difference between stain and paint and the fact that Paint won't stay on cedar..!...  Stain soaks into cedar and paint peels off of cedar.. Duh..  They Insisted on having the wood painted.. Guess it is good for repair personnel...

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 11/20/2022 14:57:08

Nov 20, 2022 - 4:27:13 PM

10524 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by tonyelder
quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver
quote:
Originally posted by tonyelder

This is probably not what you want to hear - but: Any answer about the problem or solution would be pure speculation. And fixing that problem may only reveal other problems. This is not a good place to trouble shoot electrical problems.

An electrician should be able to determine everything that needs to be done, but it should be corrected under the supervision of the licensed and bonded contractor. Yes, it will cost money, but, in the end, it may save a whole lot more than just the money you spent on the contractor - in a lot of different ways.

It is tue - what they say: Electrical work is not a hobby. 

(over 50 years in the trade)

 


I have an Associates Degree in Engineering Electronics, and have wired more than one house and LOVE to troubleshoot these types of things.  Not only am I smart enough to repair most  of these types of these things.. I'm smart enough to know when I'm in over my head!!!! and need to call in an electrician.. What will make me make the call would be the need to do a lot of new wire running but I don't foresee that in this project.   Fortunately, this is probably a crossed wire  issue.. Again, I'll  check back when I get 'er  repaired..BUT, thanks for the warning!!  


I'm sorry Lee. My comment wasn't to suggest you weren't smart enough to figure it out. That was not the point. 

My background in the electrical trade has given me an appreciation for what is being provided when you hire a licensed and bonded contractor - to do anything. There is a real risk that you assume when you involve yourself in these types of situations. Most of them never lead to anything, but...

Your good neighborly intentions, generous heart, and your level of knowledge will not be worth anything as a defense in civil or criminal court. There is a story behind almost every law, building code regulation, safe work requirement, licensing requirement, and insurance requirement, mostly to protect us from ourself. Almost everyone of them are the result of unintended circumstances that led to serious problems. 

I've heard told about insurance companies refusing to pay claims on homeowner policies based on a discovery of un-permitted work done in homes. Even when the damage was un-related. And that was only the beginning of the problems they had to deal with.

I don't want to be a part of any of that.

I guarantee you - I have all the qualifications and experience needed to fix that problem, BUT I'm not licensed in your state and I don't work for a licensed contractor in your state. I would beg out, and hope they understand. Perhaps there is a way help them pay for a contractor - to find and fix the problem - and check out the remainder of what was installed by the "husband". Maybe see if it would be possible to get a permit (retro-active) for the work that was done by the husband and then checked out by the contractor for code compliance, so it can be inspected by the code enforcement officials. 

Hiring a contractor is a cheap insurance policy. One payment and you will always have that protection.

i'll shut up now.  blush   Certainly your heart is in the right place.


WAIT< WAIT.. You haven't suggested that I call a plumber for the plumbing problem that I spent half of the day on!!.. THAT is where I needed the help!!! Forget the electrical .. that I can do.. but Plumbing is not my 'forte'.... (Murphy's Law number 2.. No home repair will wind up where you thing it will).........

Nov 20, 2022 - 7:34:17 PM
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2817 posts since 10/22/2007

Our first house on this farm, the bathroom was an add-on. Consequently, the pipes weren't in the ground very deep. There was an inspection/access door beside the water closet, for the tub. This time of year, if you heard noises behind the inspection door, chances are, you'll be introduced to an opossum.
The furnace was also some sort of add-on. The cold air return was the crawl space under the house. We were woke up one night. It seems a skunk was under there having a tussle with? To be woke up from a sound sleep by skunk spray, is memorable.

Nov 20, 2022 - 7:47:28 PM
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6015 posts since 9/26/2008

That sounds like a very Iowa problem.
My biggest whoa was when I decided to remove the ceiling fan from the kitchen (waaay too low of a ceiling for that) in the 1880s farmhouse we bought a few years previously. As I was taking the fan out of the electrical box (that is in the ceiling where all the wiring goes), the box just fell from the ceiling with it. At any time that thing could have just crashed down on us. The house was a flipped house. I inspected every fixture and found about half of them were in need of something, usually tightening or reattaching the wires.

Nov 21, 2022 - 5:44:51 AM
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2817 posts since 10/22/2007

I can point out my window, houses that still may have old Delco light plant wiring. This was a generator many farms had before rural electricity was run.

Today I could also count around 200 wind turbines around me. A few protested these turbines. Just like some protested rural electricity and "mile" roads, back in the day.

Nov 21, 2022 - 6:44:09 AM
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6063 posts since 8/7/2009

quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver
 

WAIT< WAIT.. You haven't suggested that I call a plumber for the plumbing problem that I spent half of the day on!!.. THAT is where I needed the help!!! Forget the electrical .. that I can do.. but Plumbing is not my 'forte'.... (Murphy's Law number 2.. No home repair will wind up where you thing it will).........


yeah, yeah... i know   I'm such a....  wink

Nov 21, 2022 - 7:28:58 AM
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10524 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by tonyelder
quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver
 

WAIT< WAIT.. You haven't suggested that I call a plumber for the plumbing problem that I spent half of the day on!!.. THAT is where I needed the help!!! Forget the electrical .. that I can do.. but Plumbing is not my 'forte'.... (Murphy's Law number 2.. No home repair will wind up where you thing it will).........


yeah, yeah... i know   I'm such a....  wink


Tony, you have a good sense of humour.... and hopefully so do I..!!! (happy Thanksgiving in advance)

Nov 26, 2022 - 2:56:18 AM
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1526 posts since 5/13/2008

shocking. just shocking!

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