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  1. #1
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    Default Require help with a narrative.

    1996 build.
    Two level townhouse.
    Siemens 24 knockout. 125 amp remote panel.
    Several breakers in the off position. 2 X 30 amp - 1 20 - several 15 amp.
    Client out of town.
    I considered the stove and water heater breakers were turned off. No big deal...

    As I started analysing outlets with my Extech CT70. It took over a minute to operate. Fuzzy screen with lines flickering running through the screen.
    I measured, 123 V, 174 peak, 0.01 v on the neutral and 26.6 hz. 21.8% Vd.
    My three bulb speary operated though. All the bulbs were brightly lite. Hmmm?
    The emire bottom level was like that. I thought one 120 feed was working.

    I ran to the second level. 60 hz and all appeared normal.
    For the halibut, I said to myself being a fisherman, I will turn on both 30 amp breakers.
    That fixed the problem.
    Explanation required.
    26.6 hz.JPGvd.JPG

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Require help with a narrative.

    NO answer, but what the heck, 26 hertz? I'm thinking your meter or the ground reference connection was screwed up. There is nothing in a residential system that should affect that. Your PoCo system is on 60 Hertz, right?

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

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    Default Re: Require help with a narrative.

    What is that 21.8 reading? I can't make out what letters or symbol is behind it. almost looks like a 'z' for 'Hz'?

    Do you usually keep it on peak voltage or on RMS, or does it not have an RMS setting?

    Do you guys use 60 Hz like we do, or 50 Hz like Europe does? That 26 Hz reading would be almost every other cycle for 50 Hz ... as though your instrument was only reading every other cycle and translating it to half the Hz frequency - otherwise I am coming up blank right now.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Require help with a narrative.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    What is that 21.8 reading? I can't make out what letters or symbol is behind it. almost looks like a 'z' for 'Hz'?

    Do you usually keep it on peak voltage or on RMS, or does it not have an RMS setting?

    Do you guys use 60 Hz like we do, or 50 Hz like Europe does? That 26 Hz reading would be almost every other cycle for 50 Hz ... as though your instrument was only reading every other cycle and translating it to half the Hz frequency - otherwise I am coming up blank right now.
    We use 60Hz like you.
    Europe uses 50Hz.

    Two 30 amp breakers in the remote where in the off position. Let just say one 30 amp break for now.
    This reduced the Hz from 60 Hz to below 30 Hz throughout the circuit. About 10 or 12 outlets.
    Once the breaker was turned on, every outlet was back to 60Hz. No Vd as well. Below 5%.
    A real head scratcher.

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    Default Re: Require help with a narrative.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    What is that 21.8 reading? I can't make out what letters or symbol is behind it. almost looks like a 'z' for 'Hz'?
    Jerry
    The the photo with the 21.8 is showing percentage of Voltage Drop, the reading is 21.8% voltage drop at a 15A simulated load. This device does read RMS, you just have to cycle through the settings to reach it as you lose the display and the device resets to defaults each time it is unplugged. I have the same device (for about a year now) and have not seen readings like these, give it time though I am sure that I will run across the condition sooner or later...

    Alton Darty
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    Default Re: Require help with a narrative.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alton Darty View Post
    Jerry
    The the photo with the 21.8 is showing percentage of Voltage Drop, the reading is 21.8% voltage drop at a 15A simulated load. This device does read RMS, you just have to cycle through the settings to reach it as you lose the display and the device resets to defaults each time it is unplugged. I have the same device (for about a year now) and have not seen readings like these, give it time though I am sure that I will run across the condition sooner or later...
    I have on 3 occasions now. Yesterday being the third.
    I typically do not turn breaks on from the off position. Yesterday's inspection had me truly perplexed, and for reasons. Some amature work that I will revial at another time.

    Alton, as you know it cycles through 3 simulations of Voltage Drop or Vd. 12 amp, 15 amp and 20 amp.
    You just turned on a light.
    A: One 30 amp breaker was for the water heater.
    B: I suspect the other was for the Stone/range.
    a. The 30 amp breaker for the water heater had no effect on Vd on that circuit.
    b. The 30 amp break that I suspect was for the range did. I say suspect because I did not operate the stove. I do not do appliances.
    b. I did operate the fan for venting and light. They both operated when the breaker was off.
    Everything operated at ><120 and peaked at >< 171.
    I will go to Mike Holt's EC&M forum when I get a chance.

    On a side note. I am thinking of change circuit analyser models. I will looking at the New Sure Test. Due to analysing defects in the previous models I went with Extech CT70.
    The click through cycling for all the different measurements takes time on the Extech CT70. Not always a quick response in certain measurements. There are 17 measurements that can be analysed as you know.
    • Selectable loads of 12, 15, and 20 Amps.
    • Measures loaded and unloaded AC Line Voltage.
    • Calculates and displays % Voltage Drop and Line Impedance.
    • Displays Peak Line Voltage and Frequency.

    I said that so Jerry might get an idea as to how the equipment operates.
    Alton, Jerry and other members, any recommendations?
    What do InspectionNews members currently use?
    Would truly like some imput on this. I recognised years ago 3 bulb testers are not always accurate and can be fooled with bootlegging.

    I typically/usually open every panel. I suspect what I would have encountered I would not be able to identify nor explain to the client or a licensed electrician to resolve such an issue, that's if there is an issue to be resolved in the first place. As expressed, to myself, an untrained electrician, a rear head scratcher.

    Much thanks, Alton.

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    Default Re: Require help with a narrative.

    Robert, I am wondering why you do not turn on the top burners of a kitchen range just to see if they heat up? It takes about one minute to do so. A couple more minutes for the oven.
    You can still say and write you do not test for CYA, but it is the type of customer service that people notice. JMO.

    You do find time to record complex test results with your equipment. I do not know why you had false readings but I know they were false because 60 Hz, cycles per second, do not become something else in residential wiring. So the instrument was calibrated wrong and maybe would have corrected itself, or there was a bad connection at your test leads. It seems that was the case when you flipped the second 30 amp breaker, readings went normal. Just tester issues in all likelihood.

    Also I recommend turning on an electric water heater briefly just to see if it is working. Always always turn it off again when you are done. Sometimes, fairly often actually, a goof will turn off the water but leave the tank energized. In that case, I check for a burn out, then leave a note, and turn that breaker off.

    Last edited by John Kogel; 11-14-2016 at 12:18 PM.
    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
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    Default Re: Require help with a narrative.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Robert, I am wondering why you do not turn on the top burners of a kitchen range just to see if they heat up? It takes about one minute to do so. A couple more minutes for the oven.
    You can still say and write you do not test for CYA, but it is the type of customer service that people notice. JMO.
    NG or LP appliances are energized. Also sniffed for leaks.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    You do find time to record complex test results with your equipment. I do not know why you had false readings but I know they were false because 60 Hz, cycles per second, do not become something else in residential wiring. So the instrument was calibrated wrong and maybe would have corrected itself, or there was a bad connection at your test leads. It seems that was the case when you flipped the second 30 amp breaker, readings went normal. Just tester issues in all likelihood.
    No way of telling if you are correct. 3 times this occurred the last 12 months. Each time breakers were closed.
    The local supply frequency is 60 Hertz.
    Looking into to what occurred and why.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Also I recommend turning on an electric water heater briefly just to see if it is working. Always always turn it off again when you are done. Sometimes, fairly often actually, a goof will turn off the water but leave the tank energized. In that case, I check for a burn out, then leave a note, and turn that breaker off.
    I do.

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Require help with a narrative.

    A 30 amp circuit for a range seems small. normally they call for a 40 or 50 amp circuit.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Require help with a narrative.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    A 30 amp circuit for a range seems small. normally they call for a 40 or 50 amp circuit.
    I believe he said it was a gas range, would just be for the controls and igniters, which probably only needs a 20 amp circuit?

    Any ideas, other than instrument malfunction how the Hz could be affected by anything related to a house?

    I could run it into a signal generator and control the output to be anything I wanted, used to do that in a lab when I worked in the Standards Lab calibrating equipment, and when I worked in an R&D lab ... but something in a house which would cause that???

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Require help with a narrative.

    If just a gas stove it could be part of a SABC or another circuit. the micro ignitor and clock need very little.

    No idea on the other issue.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Require help with a narrative.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    A 30 amp circuit for a range seems small. normally they call for a 40 or 50 amp circuit.
    My mistake.You are correct. One 40 amp breaker at the 2 4 knockout.
    I should have been more observant.breaker.JPG

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    Default Re: Require help with a narrative.

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    My mistake.You are correct. One 40 amp breaker at the 2 4 knockout.
    That makes sense. There is probably an unused 40 amp outlet behind the gas range. Turning that on does nothing, so the glitch with your tool is still a mystery.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
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    Default Re: Require help with a narrative.

    Anything other than something very close to 60 HZ would be an instrument issue. Something not almost exactly in phase with the service wiring would soon release all the high pressure black smoke so carefully installed to make it operable.

    I once worked on a project site with 7 big gen sets that were paralleled to supply project construction power. One set was idled for servicing at a time and when brought back online went through a procedure to sync it with the other units before being cut back into the circuit. Hurrying this procedure by cutting in before things were synced tended to put pistons through the sides of huge CAT engine blocks.

    Anyway, I digress. WHY on earth are you testing Hz at a residence on a public utility? And why are you testing peak voltage - again on a public utility. DON'T be one of those guys that fills a report with detritus nobody looks at or cares about and miss other stuff that matters. Any deviation in the local norms would mean an entire utility system has issues and the POCO would know about them immediately.

    If you are going to mess around in panels, get yourself a Wiggy type tester so you can be sure of line voltages and spot neutral issues. Why a HI would need anything more than a Wiggy, a good DVM,and a tester that will trip GFCI load side receptacles is beyond me. As a pro, I carry a megger around too, but anything beyond these testers sits in the shop collecting dust to be dragged out once every 4 or 5 hundred service calls.

    Occam's eraser: The philosophical principle that even the simplest solution is bound to have something wrong with it.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Require help with a narrative.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kriegh View Post
    Anything other than something very close to 60 HZ would be an instrument issue. Something not almost exactly in phase with the service wiring would soon release all the high pressure black smoke so carefully installed to make it operable.
    As to your, "high pressure black smoke" narrative, I see your point about (HZ) but am lost with your black smoke narrative.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kriegh View Post
    I once worked on a project site with 7 big gen sets that were paralleled to supply project construction power. One set was idled for servicing at a time and when brought back online went through a procedure to sync it with the other units before being cut back into the circuit. Hurrying this procedure by cutting in before things were synced tended to put pistons through the sides of huge CAT engine blocks.
    Sorry to hear that. Rebuilding or installing blocks must have been costly let alone the the down time and power loss.
    Bet the party manager was not happy.
    I worked in my youth on Northern projects were diesel generators are life of death at minus 60.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kriegh View Post
    Anyway, I digress. WHY on earth are you testing Hz at a residence on a public utility? And why are you testing peak voltage - again on a public utility. DON'T be one of those guys that fills a report with detritus nobody looks at or cares about and miss other stuff that matters. Any deviation in the local norms would mean an entire utility system has issues and the POCO would know about them immediately.
    I am not one of those guys that cares for filler at the client's expense.

    The equipment I use on outlets cycles through - Selectable loads of 12, 15 and 20 Amps - Measures loaded and unloaded AC Line Voltage - Calculates and displays % Voltage Drop and Line Impedance - Displays Peak Line Voltage and Frequency - GFCI Trip Time and Trip Current.
    I hope that helps!
    PS: I am not one of those guys that cares for filler at the client's expense.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kriegh View Post
    If you are going to mess around in panels, get yourself a Wiggy type tester so you can be sure of line voltages and spot neutral issues. Why a HI would need anything more than a Wiggy, a good DVM,and a tester that will trip GFCI load side receptacles is beyond me. As a pro, I carry a megger around too, but anything beyond these testers sits in the shop collecting dust to be dragged out once every 4 or 5 hundred service calls.
    Klein Tools ET200 Electronic Voltage/Continuity Tester. I also have a circuit tracer.

    Best regards.

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    Default Re: Require help with a narrative.

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    As to your, "high pressure black smoke" narrative, I see your point about (HZ) but am lost with your black smoke narrative.
    You have not learned about electrical yet?

    "Electricity" travels through wires as smoke. For any non-believers, let the smoke out and see if the electricity still works ... it doesn't.

    Putting the smoke back in is a job left to trained electricians only, anyone else may end up losing their own smoke ... .

    The question I was getting ready to ask Bill was about the difference between the colors of smoke ... mostly, I have seen gray smoke escaping, and being as black smoke is apparently more dense than gray smoke (thus the darker black color), black smoke must be really heavy duty electricity in really heavy wiring and large equipment?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  17. #17
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    Default Re: Require help with a narrative.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    You have not learned about electrical yet?

    "Electricity" travels through wires as smoke. For any non-believers, let the smoke out and see if the electricity still works ... it doesn't.

    Putting the smoke back in is a job left to trained electricians only, anyone else may end up losing their own smoke ... .

    The question I was getting ready to ask Bill was about the difference between the colors of smoke ... mostly, I have seen gray smoke escaping, and being as black smoke is apparently more dense than gray smoke (thus the darker black color), black smoke must be really heavy duty electricity in really heavy wiring and large equipment?
    Gees Louise. So much to l,earn and now theres smoke. Theory of smoke. The transmission of negative ions by retention of the visible spectral manifestation known as "smoke".

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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Require help with a narrative.

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    Gees Louise. So much to l,earn and now theres smoke. Theory of smoke. The transmission of negative ions by retention of the visible spectral manifestation known as "smoke".
    You got it!

    Everyone who owns a British car, especially older ones, is well versed that list of five items at the end.

    "
    Positive ground depends on proper circuit functioning, which is the transmission of negative ions by retention of the visible spectral manifestation known as “smoke”.Smoke is the thing that makes electrical circuits work. We know this to be true because every time one lets the smoke out of an electrical circuit, it stops working. This can be verified repeatedly through empirical testing.For example, if one places a copper bar across the terminals of a battery, prodigious quantities of smoke are liberated and the battery shortly ceases to function. In addition, if one observes smoke escaping from an electrical component such as a Lucas voltage regulator, it will also be observed that the component no longer functions. The logic is elementary and inescapable!The function of the wiring harness is to conduct the smoke from one device to another. When the wiring springs a leak and lets all the smoke out of the system, nothing works afterward.Starter motors were considered unsuitable for British motorcycles for some time largely because they consumed large quantities of smoke, requiring very unsightly large wires.It has been reported that Lucas electrical components are possibly more prone to electrical leakage than their Bosch, Japanese or American counterparts. Experts point out that this is because Lucas is British, and all things British leak. British engines leak oil, British shock absorbers, hydraulic forks and disk brake systems leak fluid, British tires leak air and British Intelligence leaks national defense secrets.Therefore, it follows that British electrical systems must leak smoke. Once again, the logic is clear and inescapable.In conclusion, the basic concept of transmission of electrical energy in the form of smoke provides a logical explanation of the mysteries of electrical components especially British units manufactured by Joseph Lucas, Ltd.And remember: “A gentleman does not motor about after dark.”Joseph Lucas “The Prince of Darkness”
    1842-1903

    The Lucas motto: “Get home before dark.”

    Lucas is the patent holder for the short circuit.

    Lucas - Inventor of the first intermittent wiper.

    Lucas - Inventor of the self-dimming headlamp.

    The three-position Lucas switch--DIM,FLICKER and OFF.
    "


    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  19. #19
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    Default Re: Require help with a narrative.

    Jerry,

    Your "Theory of Smoke" sounds surprisingly similar to the "Dark Sucker Theory".

    https://astro.uni-bonn.de/~dfischer/dark_sucker_2.html

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Require help with a narrative.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Jerry,

    Your "Theory of Smoke" sounds surprisingly similar to the "Dark Sucker Theory".

    https://astro.uni-bonn.de/~dfischer/dark_sucker_2.html
    Thanks, I had not heard of Dark Suckers.

    So, I suppose the capacity of Dark Suckers is listed in lumens, the more lumens there are, the more dark they can suck up ... way cool!

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Require help with a narrative.

    For me this would be number one that you never flip on breakers that are off because you never know why they're turned off I would call for further evaluation by a qualified licensed electrician and also put in your report that they were many outlets in many different items that you could not test due to the lack of power switches that were turned on or off


  22. #22
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    Default Re: Require help with a narrative.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    You got it!

    Everyone who owns a British car, especially older ones, is well versed that list of five items at the end. "
    Certain American car and motorcycle manufactures, back in the day, leaked oil.
    The Indian Motocycle Manufacturing Company as well as Harley Davidson leaked oil. I still remember cork gaskets and leaky seals on vintage cars.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Positive ground depends on proper circuit functioning, which is the transmission of negative ions by retention of the visible spectral manifestation known as “smoke”.Smoke is the thing that makes electrical circuits work. We know this to be true because every time one lets the smoke out of an electrical circuit, it stops working. This can be verified repeatedly through empirical testing.For example, if one places a copper bar across the terminals of a battery, prodigious quantities of smoke are liberated and the battery shortly ceases to function. In addition, if one observes smoke escaping from an electrical component such as a Lucas voltage regulator, it will also be observed that the component no longer functions. The logic is elementary and inescapable!The function of the wiring harness is to conduct the smoke from one device to another. When the wiring springs a leak and lets all the smoke out of the system, nothing works afterward.Starter motors were considered unsuitable for British motorcycles for some time largely because they consumed large quantities of smoke, requiring very unsightly large wires.It has been reported that Lucas electrical components are possibly more prone to electrical leakage than their Bosch, Japanese or American counterparts. Experts point out that this is because Lucas is British, and all things British leak. British engines leak oil, British shock absorbers, hydraulic forks and disk brake systems leak fluid, British tires leak air and British Intelligence leaks national defense secrets.Therefore, it follows that British electrical systems must leak smoke. Once again, the logic is clear and inescapable.In conclusion, the basic concept of transmission of electrical energy in the form of smoke provides a logical explanation of the mysteries of electrical components especially British units manufactured by Joseph Lucas, Ltd.And remember: “A gentleman does not motor about after dark.”Joseph Lucas “The Prince of Darkness”
    1842-1903

    The Lucas motto: “Get home before dark.”

    Lucas is the patent holder for the short circuit.

    Lucas - Inventor of the first intermittent wiper.

    Lucas - Inventor of the self-dimming headlamp.

    The three-position Lucas switch--DIM,FLICKER and OFF.
    "
    As for English car electronics, Lucas tried to repeal Ohm's law, but they ran into too much resistance.

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.”

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