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Old 12-12-2013, 07:38 PM   #21
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Don't trust meter leads unless they read 0 ohms when touched.

The wire is real fine and won't stand much abuse.

To do a quick check of the hi res. touch the leads with your fingers on a DMM, BUT NOT A MEGGER!
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Old 12-17-2013, 05:05 AM   #22
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thanks
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Old 12-17-2013, 08:06 AM   #23
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Don't use a digital meter, use a wiggy (solenoid) tester.
Check fuses and breakers phase to phase, if you test breakers phase to ground or phase to neutral, you are a noob.
Intermittent power is usually a bad neutral.
Get a plug in tester that has the three lights on it and even better, one with a gfci test button.
I have found dozens of bad terminations using one of these and accidentally finding a loose termination when plugging and unplugging it.
Buy a plug in circuit tracer
Buy a toner.
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Old 12-17-2013, 05:25 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrannis
Buy a toner.
By toner, do you mean continuity tester?
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Old 12-17-2013, 05:26 PM   #25
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Start at the source.

Limit your assumptions.

Gather HO input but don't trust it completely.

If something is missing, look for signs of remodel.

Short circuit: Unplug everything and turn all switches off.

Open circuit: Make an educated guess if it's a complete circuit out or just a section. Look for ironing boards or space heaters.

Look for HO/Handyman extensions to the stock wiring. On shorts, especially look outside.

If you see exposed romex dangling on the outside of the house as you walk up, plan on being there a while.

Beware of the MWBC's. Disconnect one leg before you even wiggle that first neutral connection.
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Old 12-17-2013, 05:48 PM   #26
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Knowing a little about the history of residential wiring can be a big help.
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Old 12-17-2013, 06:02 PM   #27
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Strong theory is by far the #1 tool for troubleshooting. Also always think about cause and effect, the effect is why you were called most of the time and too many people get hung up on the effect instead of looking for the cause.
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Old 12-17-2013, 06:07 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by owl View Post
By toner, do you mean continuity tester?
He means Signal Generator. The best for tracing out wiring.


* Tip: Ask if there has been any work or changes recently.
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Old 12-17-2013, 06:12 PM   #29
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The first thing i look for when i pull up to a " half my house aint workin" service call is where the service is. Almost always in a home , the problem will be where a receptacle still has power, a failed backstab or poor splice leads to power not going downstream. Most of the time a circuit originates nearest to the panel according to where you are in the home, work the circuit backwards towards that direction, and open that up. Most of the time as soon as i touch that receptacle thats still working the rest of the room lights up
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Old 12-17-2013, 06:14 PM   #30
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Another helpful tool to have is a 120v 4 or 6 inch "school bell" mounted to a 1900 box with a male cord. Plug it into an outlet not working, and bang on the walls near switches and receptacles , even lights still working. Theres a good chance that poor connection will touch even for a split second and the bell will ring. Now u know where the problem is
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Old 12-17-2013, 11:12 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Next72969 View Post
Another helpful tool to have is a 120v 4 or 6 inch "school bell" mounted to a 1900 box with a male cord. Plug it into an outlet not working, and bang on the walls near switches and receptacles , even lights still working. Theres a good chance that poor connection will touch even for a split second and the bell will ring. Now u know where the problem is
I love this idea!
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Old 12-18-2013, 12:59 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by owl View Post
That sounds oddly fun in a sadistic kind of way.
Fun, sadistically is right! Freakin Saturday I and the janitor were the only freakin ones there. The freakin alarm wouldn't set up to arm!

I freakin go back Monday with everyone there and it sets up!

Double SHEESH!



I swear it's on an Indian burial ground!
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Old 12-18-2013, 12:10 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LARMGUY
Fun, sadistically is right! Freakin Saturday I and the janitor were the only freakin ones there. The freakin alarm wouldn't set up to arm! I freakin go back Monday with everyone there and it sets up! Double SHEESH! I swear it's on an Indian burial ground!
My old high school was on an indian burial ground
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Old 12-18-2013, 12:13 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Next72969
My old high school was on an indian burial ground
Mine was built on a graveyard that flooded and had the bodies moved
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Old 12-18-2013, 06:24 PM   #35
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I guess it depends on what you are troubleshooting.
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Old 12-18-2013, 07:11 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bkessler View Post
Knowing a little about the history of residential wiring can be a big help.
Having experience in roping houses helps a LOT also. It give you a clue as to standard cable paths. I roped a couple houses a day for the first 6 months of my "career" so I have a good idea of how things are put together in a stock house.
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Old 12-18-2013, 07:31 PM   #37
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Troubleshooting?
1) draw it out
2) test it 1/2 way
3) test it 1/2 way again until the problem is found.
Write down what you did and save it for later reference.
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Old 12-18-2013, 07:44 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 220/221 View Post

Having experience in roping houses helps a LOT also. It give you a clue as to standard cable paths. I roped a couple houses a day for the first 6 months of my "career" so I have a good idea of how things are put together in a stock house.
2 houses a day?

And I thought I was fast
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Old 12-18-2013, 07:56 PM   #39
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2 houses a day?

And I thought I was fast

Modern houses are more time consuming.

This was the mid 70's. 1500-1700 square foot, 3 bedroom, 2 bath, single story slab construction with truss roof.

No phone, cable or recessed cans or smokies. Sometimes, no ceiling boxes (switched receps) .

Just lay it out (no prints...tract houses/all the same), nail up boxes, drill holes in the top plate, string your romex, stub a handfull of home runs out, hang the service panel and move next store and do it again. 2 man crew, 2 a day. I think we'd trim out about 6 a day.
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