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Thread: Hot Roses

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    136

    Thumbs down Hot Roses

    Easy job-cut sign off and raise it 11 feet up and weld in tubing from original post to stub up in sign. Rebuild sign electronics and re-lamp. Run conduit up the pole and install switch and photocell. Hook up wires and Viola UH What

    No reliable power today but there was on Monday. Find open neutral by running toner and hooking it up where some one else had disconnected it in the building. Still no reliable voltage. Out comes handy Fluke Voltage probe. Neutral says hot and hot says hot the meters says 12 volts.

    I walk past a rose bush around the sign with out turning off the probe and it goes off. I walk back to the bush and the probe lights up. Every bush and the sign post is hot enough to trigger the warning. With power still applied I put my Meter in Ohms mode and see the 12 volts on the bar graph and 7.62K ohms on the meter. Tomorrow we dig up the conduit and look for the problem.

    Phew!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
    Posts
    3,159
    How old is the original instalation?
    How long has the rose bush been there?

    I'm thinking the roots might have grown down and broken the conduit.
    John from Baltimore
    "One Day at a Time"
    Responses based on the 2008 NEC

    If you can stay calm, while all around you is chaos...then you probably haven't completely understood the seriousness of the situation

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    136
    The roses are 6 or so feet away, the original sign was there in 1978. Though the wire color goes from red to yellow on the Hot lead so I fear a repair underground. At the place where the wires came up there was a PVC stub with the wires in it and an EMT Stub 8 inches high sticking up from alongside with nothing in it. I hope the problem is straight down.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
    Posts
    3,159
    I hate to say it, but the wire color difference and the 2 different conduits makes it sound like an underground splice gone bad. :mad:
    John from Baltimore
    "One Day at a Time"
    Responses based on the 2008 NEC

    If you can stay calm, while all around you is chaos...then you probably haven't completely understood the seriousness of the situation

  5. #5
    Ah, you've got to love people hiding splices inside conduits. I gutted a run of 4 THW a week or so ago and when I pulled it out, found 20 feet of 4 type R spliced into it :rolleyes:

    Vern

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    136
    Yep good thing for my assistant to work on.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia
    Posts
    21,838
    Quote Originally Posted by VernB
    I gutted a run of 4 THW a week or so ago and when I pulled it out, found 20 feet of 4 type R spliced into it.
    Solder and heat-shrink?
    Code references based on 2005 NEC
    Larry B. Fine
    Master Electrician
    Electrical Contractor
    Richmond, VA

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by LarryFine
    Solder and heat-shrink?
    Heh, sure. The conduit was enough oversized that they pulled split bolt splices inside of it. Totally brain damaged.

    I've impressed the owners here that nothing here is safe to reactivate unless one of us personally watched it going in or it can be inspected completely from end to end.

    Vern

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    136
    found zee probleeeem. New PVC above old pipe that did not follow the original path but angled over towards the side of the store. We cut the brush and there is a box with the original color wires in it but they go back inside on metal pipe that is not inside. I boom to the roof and find a photocell that is on that pipe (trusty tone generator). The conduit going down to the load center is again PVC. We power the circuit up and the photocell housing, EMT to outside box and that metal side of the building went hot. The metal side of the building goes down into the earth and that lit off the damp earth and rose bushes.

    The Photocell had a 7.62 K ohm junction inside isolating the circuit in bright light but when hot it has 5 ohms to the housing and the voltage went that way. Removed the photocell and all is well and I got paid 2 hours over the bid.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
    Posts
    3,159
    Nice job!
    John from Baltimore
    "One Day at a Time"
    Responses based on the 2008 NEC

    If you can stay calm, while all around you is chaos...then you probably haven't completely understood the seriousness of the situation

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