Terminating wires

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Eddie_T

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Not telling you to do it but I would prolly just turn the breaker on and see what happens. If anything's wrong it'll just trip.
 

bud16415

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I grew up and apprenticed starting at the age of 17 with a company that at that time was the largest manufacture in the world. Being the young apprentice and being taught by guys that learned their given trades well before WWII and lived thru the depression as children, they told it like it is, and didn’t hold back.



I was no worse for the wear being taught that way. My dad also had an impact on me that kids today don’t get. At about 8 or 9 he told me I would be mowing the yard and the instructions went like this. Stick your hand in there when it gets clogged and you will pull it out with stumps where you had fingers. Pull the mower back over your toes and kiss your feet goodbye. Here is where the gas goes, check the oil here, wind the rope around this, here is the choke, now get going.



There is a time and a place in today’s world for being blunt and it is a much different world. I want to first agree with @Jeff Handy s post and then compliment him for understanding when we cross the line it is ok to simply admit it and move ahead. I would also like to compliment @afjes_2016 for pointing out something he felt could better be handled with some civility in a non confronting manner. Lastly @swimmer_spe complements on replying to this with telling us your intentions without going negative.



This is the way we all need to handle things here on the forum. We don’t want anyone to ever get injured on advice we give or work beyond their abilities. We need to help when we can and watch out for others who’s advice we may question. It is the OPs job to explain everything they can about their problem and to read and comprehend all the advice they get back.
 

swimmer_spe

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Not telling you to do it but I would prolly just turn the breaker on and see what happens. If anything's wrong it'll just trip.

If it were only 110, I might. 220, Ah Hell Naw!

This is the way we all need to handle things here on the forum. We don’t want anyone to ever get injured on advice we give or work beyond their abilities. We need to help when we can and watch out for others who’s advice we may question. It is the OPs job to explain everything they can about their problem and to read and comprehend all the advice they get back.

I have found that kindness kills, and ignoring comments is even better.
 

Jeff Handy

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Not telling you to do it but I would prolly just turn the breaker on and see what happens. If anything's wrong it'll just trip.
If a 50 or 60 amp breaker is protecting those 15 or 20 amp exterior outlets, and there is no smaller breaker in between, then the wires could melt or burn if there is a short, or other funky situation out under the deck.
 

bud16415

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If it were only 110, I might. 220, Ah Hell Naw!
First off that’s kind of a misconception laying on wet ground under a deck messing with 120v lines or a 240v service will both have what it takes to kill you dead as a door nail.



Non contact testers have a place but I would never trust one totally.



There is a device called a megger and it is not what you need or want in this case. What you need is a simple multimeter that has the ability to measure at least voltage. You can pick one up at Ace Hardware for 25 bucks. They come digital or analog and I have one of each but being old school I kind of like watching a needle move rather than numbers jump around. Ether will tell you what you need to know and better to buy one now as once you get one you will wonder why you didn’t do it a long time ago.
 

bud16415

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If a 50 or 60 amp breaker is protecting those 15 or 20 amp exterior outlets, and there is no smaller breaker in between, then the wires could melt or burn if there is a short, or other funky situation out under the deck.
I tried to point that out a couple times.
 

Jeff Handy

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First off that’s kind of a misconception laying on wet ground under a deck messing with 120v lines or a 240v service will both have what it takes to kill you dead as a door nail.



Non contact testers have a place but I would never trust one totally.



There is a device called a megger and it is not what you need or want in this case. What you need is a simple multimeter that has the ability to measure at least voltage. You can pick one up at Ace Hardware for 25 bucks. They come digital or analog and I have one of each but being old school I kind of like watching a needle move rather than numbers jump around. Ether will tell you what you need to know and better to buy one now as once you get one you will wonder why you didn’t do it a long time ago.
Even cheaper and more simple, just a typical contact type voltage tester with a small display window, which lights up to indicate whether voltage is 240 or 120.
Some also show lower voltages, but I like to use different testers for that.
 

Jeff Handy

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Pretty much off topic, but this illustrates that I have seen some goofy stuff with hot tub wiring, and homeowners who are sometimes too casual about safety.

I am not an electrician, but am experienced enough to handle fairly advanced wiring.
And I know my limits.

I had a long time client who had a new hot tub installed, and they also had it wired up to the breaker panel in the basement.

It would run the jets, or the heater, but not both at once.

The installers had put a 50 amp gfci breaker in the main panel, and the tub needed 60 to operate properly.
They ran LiquidTite conduit all the way, with no outside disconnect.

I rewired everything, in hard conduit, and installed a 60 amp gfci disconnect outside, which was hard to find in pre-internet days.

Then they wanted another dedicated outdoor circuit installed nearby, for twinkle lighting, which I installed ten feet away, and instructed them that the lights have to be low voltage, with a transformer at the outlet.

I came by one weekend, and some idiot guest had a boom box plugged into the new outlet, sitting on the very edge of the tub.
I explained that you can’t trust gfci with your life like that, but he was arguing that it was fine.

I unplugged the boom box, cut the cord, and left.

My clients were cool with it.
 

Eddie_T

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Sorry I misunderstood, I thought the breaker for outdoor wiring had to be GFCI.

BTW 240V is 120V to ground rather than 240V. Will still kill you though.
 

bud16415

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Sorry I misunderstood, I thought the breaker for outdoor wiring had to be GFCI.
It does have to be GFCI, but GFCI does nothing with limiting current it looks for unbalanced current in the mil amp range, thus detecting a second path to ground.



If you take a 50a GFCI and crowbar a dead short it will not open until 50a is passing.



The GFCI and the current rating are not connected.
 

Eddie_T

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GFCI doesn't detect current to ground it checks for balance in the lines assuming any imbalance is going to ground.

I guess you are suggesting a short could occur between conductors w/o impacting the ground wire. I suppose that could be a possibility.
 

bud16415

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GFCI doesn't detect current to ground it checks for balance in the lines assuming any imbalance is going to ground.

I guess you are suggesting a short could occur between conductors w/o impacting the ground wire. I suppose that could be a possibility.
That’s correct about GFCI.



I have many things in my home that only have a two prong plug like lamps etc. My electric drill is double insulated and only has two prongs. If that gets an internal short plugged into a 15/20a outlet and the outlet is protected with a 50a breaker the wires in the walls or the wires to the drill become the fuse and have to burn thru as they can’t carry 50a.
 

Jeff Handy

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That’s correct about GFCI.



I have many things in my home that only have a two prong plug like lamps etc. My electric drill is double insulated and only has two prongs. If that gets an internal short plugged into a 15/20a outlet and the outlet is protected with a 50a breaker the wires in the walls or the wires to the drill become the fuse and have to burn thru as they can’t carry 50a.
This is mostly correct.
However, the fuse or breaker is not meant to protect your drill.
The fuse or breaker is meant to protect the house wiring from melting, over heating, or burning, etc, which would endanger the house or occupants etc.
But your point about protecting the wires in the drill is relevant, because nowadays more and more small appliances have a fuse built right into their plug, just to protect the appliance or its wiring, usually much smaller that 15 or 20 amps.
 

Eddie_T

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I would still flip the breaker, just not plug Bud's drill into one of the receptacles or crawl under the deck.
 
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Jeff Handy

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Sorry I misunderstood, I thought the breaker for outdoor wiring had to be GFCI.

BTW 240V is 120V to ground rather than 240V. Will still kill you though.
The breaker in the main panel could be a regular breaker, feeding a sub panel or disconnect outside for the hot tub, which then has the tub gfci breaker inside it.
And maybe the outside box also has a 15 or 20 amp gfci breaker inside it, feeding the dead outlets.

Or the existing junction box might have led to a disconnect box which has now gone bye bye.

Time to open up the deck to expose the mystery wires or junction box etc.
You can always kill the main breaker in the main panel, to safely poke around in the wires down there.

When killing and restoring main power, I first like to power off and/or unplug sensitive electronics, like computers, tv, microwave, sound system, even the fridge and washer dryer.
Or turn off their breakers if dedicated.
Sometimes a circuit board can get fried by the big voltage surge when switching main power.
 

swimmer_spe

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If a 50 or 60 amp breaker is protecting those 15 or 20 amp exterior outlets, and there is no smaller breaker in between, then the wires could melt or burn if there is a short, or other funky situation out under the deck.

That is why, with what everyone has been saying, I will open it up and see what is what. I don'teven remember if there is more than the wires in and the wires out of it. Which means even more figuring out what is what.

First off that’s kind of a misconception laying on wet ground under a deck messing with 120v lines or a 240v service will both have what it takes to kill you dead as a door nail.

True, but 15A is a little less scary to me than a 50A. And, yes, I do know that less than 1 amp will kill me.

Non contact testers have a place but I would never trust one totally.

They are a good first check thing. Does not tell you much, but I would trust it over nothing.

There is a device called a megger and it is not what you need or want in this case. What you need is a simple multimeter that has the ability to measure at least voltage. You can pick one up at Ace Hardware for 25 bucks. They come digital or analog and I have one of each but being old school I kind of like watching a needle move rather than numbers jump around. Ether will tell you what you need to know and better to buy one now as once you get one you will wonder why you didn’t do it a long time ago.

As I understand it, a megger is used in situations to apply a low voltage to the lines to then be able to find the problems.
 

Eddie_T

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A megger is not an easy meter to use. Since a common VOM cannot measure high resistances a megger is used to look for insulation breakdown. The circuit must be completely isolated and the megger generates a high enough voltage to force a current in high resistance insulation. This is a IIRC comment as I haven't seen a megger used since my first job out of college.

So far you/we/us don't even know if you have a problem. You just have to determine what's on that 50A breaker.
 

swimmer_spe

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A megger is not an easy meter to use. Since a common VOM cannot measure high resistances a megger is used to look for insulation breakdown. The circuit must be completely isolated and the megger generates a high enough voltage to force a current in high resistance insulation. This is a IIRC comment as I haven't seen a megger used since my first job out of college.

So far you/we/us don't even know if you have a problem. You just have to determine what's on that 50A breaker.

Point is, I have done what i can with a dead circuit. The point of this post was to figure out a safe way to make those bare wires from electrocuting me.
 

afjes_2016

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Swimmer_spe
I will chime in with the misconception that working with 240v is more dangerous than working with 120v.
One thing you must remember, it takes less than an amp to kill you and 120v and 240v have amps sufficient to kill you.

Here is a quote from an article:
A current of 10 mA or 0.01 A is a severe shock, but it would not be fatal. As we approach 100 mA or 0.1 A, muscle contractions set in. It is imperative to realize that due to the low resistance of the heart, a current of only 10 mA is sufficient to kill us.


.
 

Jeff Handy

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Swimmer_spe
I will chime in with the misconception that working with 240v is more dangerous than working with 120v.
One thing you must remember, it takes less than an amp to kill you and 120v and 240v have amps sufficient to kill you.

Here is a quote from an article:



.
I have read that about as much current as it takes to light up a flash light is enough to kill you, if it goes through your heart.
That is one reason why old timers will tell you to only touch a fuse box or breaker panel with one hand, and keep your other hand in your pocket, so a possible shock won’t go across your body.
And also to stand on a scrap piece of dry carpet, and never barefoot.
 
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