DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > Electrical and Wiring > Fusebox neutral bar grounded? Correct?




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Old 02-19-2011, 04:24 PM  
Sh3ppard
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Default Fusebox neutral bar grounded? Correct?

Hi. Can you guys please help me out, I'm having some issues:

First question:
In the fusebox the neutral bar that all the wires connect to should not be grounded to the box, correct?

On the ground bar and the neutral bar I'm getting continuity, is that normal?


Q2: To find out where the problem is down one of the lines or the bar itself, do I test it one by one by disconnecting the neutrals one by one?

Will that tell me the problem?

What reasons could my neutral be grounded in my fuse box?

I have some DIY electrical experience but this baffling me.

I don't have enough money to hire an electrician and I need to get this fixed soon.

Thank you very much for your help.



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Old 02-19-2011, 05:30 PM  
kok328
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First question:
In the fusebox the neutral bar that all the wires connect to should not be grounded to the box, correct? Depends on whether the box is the main panel or sub-panel. The neutral bar should be grounded in a main panel but, not a sub-panel.

On the ground bar and the neutral bar I'm getting continuity, is that normal? Depends on whether the box is the main panel or sub-panel. The neutral bar should have continuity in a main panel but, not a sub-panel.


Q2: To find out where the problem is down one of the lines or the bar itself, do I test it one by one by disconnecting the neutrals one by one? Not sure what your trying to accomplish but, disabling the entire bar will prove nothing.

Will that tell me the problem? Nothing

What reasons could my neutral be grounded in my fuse box? To meet NEC code requirements



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Old 02-19-2011, 06:46 PM  
Sh3ppard
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Hi and thanks for your help!

A basic question that I want to be sure of is how can I tell which is the main panel and which is the sub panel?

One box is located inside the house and one is outside the house.

I assume the main panel is outside the house and the subpanel is inside the house but how can I be 100% certain which is which?

I assume the main panel feeds the subpanel... Is this true in all cases?

Thanks.

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Old 02-19-2011, 08:09 PM  
Sh3ppard
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Hi. I'm sorry I should of posted with more details about the problem. This might be a little confusing to read as I may not be explaining it well.

A year ago before all these problems I originally had a 20amp breaker, and I replaced it with a 30amp breaker. It's been working fine for about a year so I don't think this is related but I felt I should mention it.


Several days ago I lost power in the lights and outlets in the main bedroom, bathroom and little bedroom all on the same breaker. I was running 1000 watt lights and other appliances from the outlets.

Now I'm getting a hot ground reversed reading from the outlets and no appliances work from them.

The problem seem to of started when a fish tank heater broke and I think it shorted out and stayed shorted out in the water for a long time, possibly days. On the outlet in the bedroom I'm getting half signal between ground and hot. Reading of 017 continuity digital meter (0 is full continuity).
When I flip the light switch in the bathroom, the voltage drops in half.
Using my outlet receptacle tester shows hot ground reversed.
Readings are 120v but when I plug something in it goes to reverse ground and nothing works.

I assumed it was the breaker, but I replaced the breaker and the problem still exists with no improvement so I don't think it's the breaker anymore.


I turned the breaker off and started testing continuity between the panel, sockets and switches and that's when I got "bleeder" / weak signal (half the volume on the tone generator) between the ground and neutral.
I then pulled the neutral and the ground thinking that would stop the problem but it didn't.

I disconnected one of the outlets in the main bedroom which killed the two other plugs in the bedroom and all of the bathroom and the smaller bedroom lights and plugs but the problem hasn't changed.

There's only one other outlet now (to the breaker box) which is outside. This outside socket got flooded with water and when I plugged in my receptacle tester it shows three lights on that socket although the third light is dim. I think this outside socket is the first socket in the line and I'm assuming following it is the outside light and inside hallway light which both work.


I had a friend make me a 4 110v gangbox which I could plug into my 220v outlet and I'm getting hot neutral reversed with nothing plugged in it reads 122v. Receptacle tester reads hot neutral reversed. Unplug receptacle, plug in digital meter reads 122 volts, I add the receptacle tester with the digital meter and it drops to 118v. If I plug in add a desk lamp it switches the receptacle to hot ground reverse, and reads digital meter reads 37 volts.
I tested the gangbox and it seems to be ok unless I made a mistake testing it.

Supposedly there's a GFCI somewhere but I can't it anywhere.

This is a manufactured home but I don't think that matters?

What does this problem sound like and how can I find it and fix it?

How can I test to see if it's my breaker or the main (electric companies) that's the problem?

Is it on one of the lines and feeding back or is it the neutral bar possibly touching the box?

Thank you for your help and I'm sorry if I wasn't clear.

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Old 02-20-2011, 08:58 AM  
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By the questions your asking and the actions your taking I'd strongly suggest calling a licenced electrician on this one.
You never ever remove a 20 amp. breaker and just replace it with a higher amperage breaker, unless you also replace all the wiring to a higher gauge. What you have done is created a real fire hazard. If the breaker was tripping it was doing it's job, by increasing the amperage it's not going to trip unless there's a dead short caused by the wires completely melting the insulation off of the wiring now.
If there's to much amperage being pulled on a line it could have been taken care of by splitting some of the load off and running a whole new line to that circuit to a new breaker.



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