HELP! Panel Box is Open at my house....

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  #1  
Old 12-02-05, 10:44 AM
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HELP! Panel Box is Open at my house....

I am right now working on electrical wires and need help. There is no one I can call. My wife needed an electrical plug where the 240 plug is in the kitchen, and it does not work (black, red, white wire). The house is about 40 yrs. old. I traced it to the panel box outside and it is not connected...there is no power. My question is can I make it a 120 circuit by putting (connecting) the black wire in the box where the other black wires are.....white and red at the bottom where the ground wires are??
I just don't want to get electrocuted. Can someone call me and talk to me on the phone....I'll be glad to give out my cell #?? I need help now. I'll check back on this site in about 10 - 15 minutes.
Kyle
 
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  #2  
Old 12-02-05, 10:48 AM
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No you cannot do this. You need to run a proper wire for a new circuit. This circuit has no ground and using one of the wires as a ground wire is unsafe.
 
  #3  
Old 12-02-05, 11:06 AM
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Thank you

Thanks Bob

I don't understand why? The black could be the black; the white could be the white; and the red could be the ground. That way, it's already ready for me to hook up and the the wires are a heavier gage......I'm not going down to a smaller gage wire...it should be ok. Shouldn't it???
 

Last edited by kyle johnson; 12-02-05 at 11:11 AM. Reason: Heavier wire
  #4  
Old 12-02-05, 11:19 AM
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You are not allowed to use a red wire as a ground wire.
You are not allowed to use a white wire as a ground wire.

You don't have a ground wire, or a wire that you can use as a ground wire.

It doesn't sound like you have a breaker you can use anyway.
 
  #5  
Old 12-02-05, 11:23 AM
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Ok

Thanks for your help
Kyle
 
  #6  
Old 12-02-05, 11:30 AM
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Please describe the type of cable between the 2 connection-points.

You will have the required Equiptment Grounding Conductor IF---(1), the cable is Armored Cable, the wires enclosed in metal or (2), a Non-metallic cable with Black/Red/Whire wires AND a bare Grounding Conductor
 
  #7  
Old 12-02-05, 11:46 AM
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It's a kitchen circuit? So GFI is needed? GFI marked "no bonding conductor" I believe would make it legal but from the sound of it you need more upgraded than just an outlet.
 
  #8  
Old 12-02-05, 11:59 AM
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It's just an outlet......

for the telephone answering machine...that's all. I'm sure the wire is 40 yrs. old just like the house and the rest of the wiring....it's just a black, red, and white wire...it's not armored. I don't see why I can't do it.
Kyle
 
  #9  
Old 12-02-05, 12:02 PM
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You can't do it becuase it violates code.

And you can't put it on a GFCI with no ground either. Your only safe and legal soplution is to abandon the cable and install a new one.

Why can't you buy a piece of 12 gage cable when you buy the 20 amp breaker you need?
 
  #10  
Old 12-02-05, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by racraft
You can't do it becuase it violates code.

And you can't put it on a GFCI with no ground either. Your only safe and legal soplution is to abandon the cable and install a new one.

Why can't you buy a piece of 12 gage cable when you buy the 20 amp breaker you need?
I never said I was going to put it on with a GFCI...it's not going to be next to a sink or anything close to that. It's located about 12" from the floor.
Why would I need to buy a 20 amp breaker when there is already one out there??????
 
  #11  
Old 12-02-05, 12:21 PM
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I suspect speedy72 suggested a GFCI because of the mention of kitchen and/or because a GFCI can be used in certain situations on an ungrounded circuit (however not this situation). The requirements for a GFCI are not based on a sink nearby.

Fine, you already have a 20 amp breaker to use. And perhaps you already have a receptacle to use. And perhaps you already have a junction box to use. You just donít have the right cable to use. Go buy a piece of 12-2 cable (which will have a ground wire in addition to the two current carrying conductors).
 
  #12  
Old 12-02-05, 12:30 PM
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Thank you.
 
  #13  
Old 12-02-05, 12:31 PM
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Kyle, what you are running into is a guestion of "will it work" or "should I do it". Putting the black (or red) wiring onto a breaker and the white onto the neutral bar will give you 120V at the outlet box. Using a color anything other than Green or Green with a yellow tracer for ground is a safetly issue and therefore a BIG code violation. But the copper inside of that colored jacket certainly doesn't know what color the electrons are.
Given your situation I would put wire nuts on both ends of the red wire to make sure it doesn't come into contact with anything. Use black for hot and white for neutral which is correct and legal. And get a standard non grounded (two prong) outlet from the local home store. However if this wire is a heavy six gauge wire then connecting the wire to anything is a pain in the...

That's as close as I can see you getting to legal/safe without the effort of running a new circuit. For those of us that can run a new circuit with our eyes closed this seems like more work than just doing it right to begin with.

You know, if the refridgerator isn't too far way it may just be easier to jump from that box to the one near the answering machine....

Edit: engineer bob beat me to the punch but yes, the best thing to do is run a new wire to the location. Of course the other problem is a thing called box fill. But that seems to be one of those sections of the code that electricians completely ignore and inspectors only use it when someone urinated in thier morning coffee.
 
  #14  
Old 12-02-05, 12:52 PM
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You know, if the refridgerator isn't too far way it may just be easier to jump from that box to the one near the answering machine....

I would, but when I was underneath the house yesterday...there is that same old kind of wiring going to it too.

The wiring that I'm talking about (240) is not connected at the panel box..it's just "tucked away" in the corner. It'd seem easier to just untuck it and connect the black where the other blacks are; the white to the neutral and the red to the neutral (or ground)---they are the same in this box.
 
  #15  
Old 12-02-05, 01:12 PM
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If you do this, and I can't recommend enough that you don't, at least get some green electrical tape and wrap the red at both ends so anyone that goes in there after you has some idea of "why did this moron put a hot wire on the ground bus?".

But again, I don't know how much handy you are or what kind of tools you have but running a new 12/2 is probably a piece of cake.
 
  #16  
Old 12-02-05, 01:27 PM
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I understand where you are coming from...but it is very hard and tight getting under this house and especially running it from one end to the other end. Now all I have to do is just put green tape on the red wire.
 
  #17  
Old 12-02-05, 01:48 PM
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Please do not do this. You are creating a code violation and a very unsafe installation.
 
  #18  
Old 12-02-05, 06:24 PM
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The reason this is so unsafe is that someday, someone, maybe you, maybe your cousin, maybe the next guy that owns your house 20 years from now, will assume that red wire is hot or should be hot and connect it to a hot spot. It has been thouroughly explained, and I think you understood, that electicity doesn't care what color the jacket works, so your proposal works electrically. But 220 also doesn't care how innocent or stupid the "victim" is, it just nails them!
 
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