DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > Electrical and Wiring > Cutting wires reduces current flow.




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Old 07-31-2014, 02:49 PM  
Wuzzat?
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Default Cutting wires reduces current flow.

Right?

Not in this case

http://ecmweb.com/accidents-investigations/case-floating-neutral



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Old 07-31-2014, 05:18 PM  
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Old 07-31-2014, 05:51 PM  
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My bad.

Try
http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=%22When+the+lights+f licker+for+a+split+second,+most+people%22&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8
or
http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=%22although+it+was+d etermined+that+the%22&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8#q=%22although+it+was+determined+that+the+fire+or iginated+in+the+master+bedroom%22&rls=en

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Old 07-31-2014, 07:01 PM  
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For any electrician the first sentence with the description of lights BRIGHTENING and dimming would have immediately indicated an open neutral.

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Old 07-31-2014, 08:25 PM  
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Yes.
The new wrinkle is that the coax shield was carrying some or all of the neutral current, so I suppose there are people out there with flaky neutral connections which problem is being masked by cable shields handling some of the current.
And if the loads happened to be balanced no fire would resulted when the coax was cut but if a load unbalance happened hours later, that's when the fire would have started.

Maybe the cable shield cross-section is equal to that of #18 or smaller. Sounds like they should be fusing this current path to save the cable.

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Old 08-01-2014, 04:58 AM  
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Metal water lines will do the same thing by sending the neutral current out the water line to your neighbour's house.

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Old 08-01-2014, 09:22 AM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeD View Post
Metal water lines will do the same thing by sending the neutral current out the water line to your neighbour's house.
This can be checked.
Turn off everything in the house except a 10A load like a hair dryer or room heater (to make an unbalanced load) and then use a clamp-on ammeter to check the water pipe.
It might be a close race between the pipe and the neutral line, depending on the relative resistance of each.
3/4" ID pipe is equal to about #1 or #2 AWG.
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Old 08-01-2014, 07:54 PM  
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Or if your neighbour has a problem their current will be flowing on the pipe.

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Old 08-02-2014, 11:04 AM  
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Got curious and put my clamp-on on the pipe at its basement entry point. ~0.1A with almost nothing on in the house, just fridges cycling.

The real test is comparing this to the neutral current, but not having level 2 arc flash gear I don't like to pull the load center cover.

Next time I'm on the roof I could check the service drop neutral current.

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Old 08-05-2014, 03:20 PM  
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Wuzzat, I would say that cutting wires ALWAYS reduces current, unless you think literally in which case it simply always redirects it. In this instance it's just a matter of perspective. The side on the coax towards the post would have immediately seen a current reduction... the center conductor towards the house - not so much until the fire started



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