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Thread: Hot Box

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Colorado Front Range

    Default Hot Box

    The black wire on the right has been cut through and there is 120 volts between the neutral and the box. No main breaker (direct to meter) and no bonding screw. Also, a total of 7 breakers in the panel.

    Oddly enough, this wasn't the problem I got called for but one of several just as bad that I found.

    This is the cable that supplied a gas cooktop receptacle. (and receptacle has 8 wires on 4 screws) You can see where the black faulted against the box. Ground is cut off. #14 on a 20 AMP circuit. Another just like it supplied a garbage disposer.

    As it turns out, 5 receptacles back in the string (whole kitchen is on 1 circuit) the ground wire on the power supply cable was broken. So, all the appliances in the kitchen had a 120 volt potential on the frame/housing. Darn good thing all the plumbing was plastic (I didn't mention no GFCI upstream either, did I?)

    Seems that the furnace kept burning up brain boards, and when the latest repairman was checking things his "volt tic" it said everything in the crawl space was hot (why I got the call). The gas line is a lousy ground, but is a good connection between the cook top and furnace. When voltage was tested at the furnace, it showed hot and neutral reversed because (surprise) all the ductwork was hot as were the metal boxes for the service receptacle and light. When I installed a new furnace circuit ( oh yeah, furnace was on the kitchen circuit too) and hooked up a good ground, the breaker on the kitchen circuit tripped. (gas line now grounded through furnace).

    Last edited by Bill Kriegh; 03-26-2011 at 03:26 AM.
    Certified Master Inspector CMI


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