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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Cape Cod, Massachusetts
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    574

    Default What does this mean?

    Here's a new one for me. All three lights lit-up like a christmas tree.
    Not even on the legend of the tester. What is the problem with this circuit?

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    Ken Amelin
    Cape Cod's Best Inspection Services
    www.midcapehomeinspection.com

  2. #2

    Default Re: What does this mean?

    Welmoed Sisson
    Inspections by Bob, LLC, Boyds, MD
    "Given sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine."

  3. #3
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    Mar 2007
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    Cape Cod, Massachusetts
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    574

    Default Re: What does this mean?

    That's great info!

    Thanks

    Ken Amelin
    Cape Cod's Best Inspection Services
    www.midcapehomeinspection.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Charlotte NC
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    2,303

    Default Re: What does this mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    Here's a new one for me. All three lights lit-up like a christmas tree.
    Not even on the legend of the tester. What is the problem with this circuit?
    Probably 240v between hot and neutral. Need to check with meter when this happens.

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    60

    Default Re: What does this mean?

    I ran into this a couple of years ago. A young couple from Germany (engineers working for local company) wired one receptacle in the laundry room with 240 volt. Do not know why but was told they did bring their appliances with then from Germany. They use 240 volts in Germany supplied in a small receptacle we use with 120 volt???? I agree, learn how to use and always carry a volt meter.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: What does this mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Horn View Post
    I ran into this a couple of years ago. A young couple from Germany (engineers working for local company) wired one receptacle in the laundry room with 240 volt. Do not know why but was told they did bring their appliances with then from Germany. They use 240 volts in Germany supplied in a small receptacle we use with 120 volt???? I agree, learn how to use and always carry a volt meter.
    Don;

    I lived in Germany for 13 years while serving our country. I am curious if their appliances worked correctly because not only 240V in Germany but also runs on 50Hz and not 60Hz. Talk about more power ("Home Improvment" show)


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Stamford, CT
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: What does this mean?

    Don,
    Wiring a 110v recepticle with 220v would not work for appliances from Europe. The reason is that they are single line 220v appliances and using two 110v legs would burn them up. You would need a step up transformer to convert 110v to 220v and then it would work.

    Chris,
    If you step up from 110v to 220v, you would still be able to use some appliances like heating elements (coffee maker, toaster) and motors (electric drill, saws, etc.), as well as some electronics, but not all.

    I lived in Europe for 13 years and have a lot of tools that I still use on a step up transformer. I also used a lot of tools in Europe that I took with me on the same transformer using the step down function. I also have a computer printer that I still use on a small step up transformer. There is no noticable difference in the performance of these items because of the change in cycles.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,549

    Default Re: What does this mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    Probably 240v between hot and neutral. Need to check with meter when this happens.
    I think probably an open neutral, or it could be two faults.


    You'd have to be way out to lunch to get 240 volts on that simple receptacle feeder.

    Here's some more on the subject. I cropped some of it:

    Circuit tester question
    1. I ran into it once. The neutral opened up and fried a nice lady's boombox. We tested it with a plug-in tester and all three lites came on. The multimeter said 208v across the two slots in the receptacle, 120v from each to ground. Traced it back one box and found the neutral out of the wirenut.






    Last edited by John Kogel; 08-10-2012 at 02:53 PM.
    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: What does this mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold Doughty View Post
    Don,
    Wiring a 110v recepticle with 220v would not work for appliances from Europe. The reason is that they are single line 220v appliances and using two 110v legs would burn them up. You would need a step up transformer to convert 110v to 220v and then it would work.

    Chris,
    If you step up from 110v to 220v, you would still be able to use some appliances like heating elements (coffee maker, toaster) and motors (electric drill, saws, etc.), as well as some electronics, but not all.

    I lived in Europe for 13 years and have a lot of tools that I still use on a step up transformer. I also used a lot of tools in Europe that I took with me on the same transformer using the step down function. I also have a computer printer that I still use on a small step up transformer. There is no noticable difference in the performance of these items because of the change in cycles.
    Harold;

    Yes a step up transformer is correct in your application. In the case of the appliances coming from overseas you need a step-down transformer. Would the Hz be the same? Not sure.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Stamford, CT
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: What does this mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Roth View Post
    Harold;

    Yes a step up transformer is correct in your application. In the case of the appliances coming from overseas you need a step-down transformer. Would the Hz be the same? Not sure.
    Chris,

    My understanding is that the step-up/step-down transformer only changes the voltage, but does not change the Hz (at least mine doesn't). Not sure if there are models out there that do. I used my U.S. model skill saw, trim router and mitre saw in Europe and here I still use my EU model sander, hammer drill, router and printer with no noticeable difference. I've been told that 50Hz motors will run faster on 60Hz and vice-versa. Not sure if it's true, but I couldn't tell the difference.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    45

    Smile Re: What does this mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold Doughty View Post
    Chris,

    My understanding is that the step-up/step-down transformer only changes the voltage, but does not change the Hz (at least mine doesn't). Not sure if there are models out there that do. I used my U.S. model skill saw, trim router and mitre saw in Europe and here I still use my EU model sander, hammer drill, router and printer with no noticeable difference. I've been told that 50Hz motors will run faster on 60Hz and vice-versa. Not sure if it's true, but I couldn't tell the difference.
    Absolutley;

    When I was in Germany I hooked up my alarm clock from the US to a transformer and I was 4 hours late reporting for duty. Not good Had to buy a 220V alarm clock all because of the 50 and 60 Hz stuff. Good Post.


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Snowbird (this means I'm retired and migrate between locations), FL/MI
    Posts
    4,086

    Default Re: What does this mean?

    Have you read the manufacturer's instructions/user's manual?

    WAGs, suspect MWBC: something is "plugged" into other half (esp. "power supply"), and/or half is open; concern electrical contact btwn tester & conductive plate, questionable grnd of a receptacle & mounting of a receptacle to metallic wiring method as ground, and/or non-isolated neutral making contact with box. DIYer may have tapped off a switch supplied receptacle, or replaced receptacle where originally just half was switch controlled and/or other half was supplied by different circuit and failed to break both tabs - or crossed neutrals where sourced from multi-gang box elsewhere. i.e. backfeed or leakage on neutral.

    Without further diagnositcs, investigations elsewhere, circuit tracing impossible from afar.

    Never use with a MWBC, never use with ungrounded circuits. presence of a GFCI receptacle ahead may suggest the original wiring system lacking shared neutral after division of MWBC; a grounding conductor or presence of EMT for part of the circuit is no assurance it is solidly grounded throughout.

    From instructions for tester (sadly lacking schematic/wiring diagram) under "Standard Receptacle:

    "3. The tester will not indicate the qulity of the ground connection, 2 (two) hot wires in a circuit, a combination of defects, or reversal of ground and neutral conductors."

    Attached Files Attached Files

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: What does this mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold Doughty View Post
    Don,
    Wiring a 110v recepticle with 220v would not work for appliances from Europe. The reason is that they are single line 220v appliances and using two 110v legs would burn them up.
    Would someone mind explaining why this is so? Frequency aside, 220/240VAC should be the same the world around, no?


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