wiring problem

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  #1  
Old 01-16-06, 08:38 AM
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wiring problem

hey everybody, just wanted to say thanks for all the great info!!
anyway,here is my question. this weekend i was putting in a seperate plug at my sisters house for her microwave. i turned off the breaker at the box that was running her old plug and disconnected the wiring going to it. but i noticed that when i reattached the hot wires in the junction box,that the old microwave power was coming from,i got a dim glow from a light that was on the circuit? so i took my non-contact voltage detector and put it by the wires it displayed that there was power going thru the wires. once i connected the neutrals the light went out?when i turned the breaker back on. everything worked fine. i was noticing that it sounded kind of like the stories from the open neutral problem.
what do you guys think something like this could be?
 
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  #2  
Old 01-16-06, 08:51 AM
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There are many possible explanations. One is that you may have been dealing with a multiwire circuit (two hots and one neutral). Or it may be that the junction box just had wires from two circuits running through it.

Moral to the story is to never touch any wire without testing it first, no matter how many breakers you think you've turned off.
 
  #3  
Old 01-16-06, 09:16 AM
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how common

is a multi-wire circuit like that? if the power doesn't actually get completely shut off with the breaker, its just kind of confusing to me. what would be the point of that type of circuit. by the way. thanks for the reply john!!

russ
 
  #4  
Old 01-16-06, 10:55 AM
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For a multiwire circuit, power is not shut off until you shut off two breakers. The point of a multiwire circuit is that it saves on wire and voltage drop, but the many undesirable side-effects make it not worth it for most applications (in my opinion).
 
  #5  
Old 01-16-06, 11:21 AM
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i'll

second that. kind of a pain.
anyway, thanks john

russ
 
  #6  
Old 01-16-06, 11:35 AM
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Multi wire circuits have their place. They are a good solution to needing two 120 volt circuits at an outbuilding and not wanting to run a sub panel.

They are also great if you have two needs in the same location for a similar purpose, such as needing two lines for ice melting equipment on your roof.
 
  #7  
Old 01-16-06, 11:54 AM
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hmm

in a typical house set-up where there is none such equipment, is that something that is common or not really. would it be in my sisters best interest to seperate out the circuits for her into seperate lines. she has a lot of items running on just a few breakers?
 
  #8  
Old 01-16-06, 12:12 PM
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It is not even yet established that your sister has a multiwire circuit.
 
  #9  
Old 01-16-06, 12:17 PM
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which

would be the best approach to take in finding the problem?
 
  #10  
Old 01-16-06, 01:27 PM
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What problem? I thought you said that everything was now fine.
 
  #11  
Old 01-16-06, 01:32 PM
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well, i suppose

its not really a problem. but i guess it just sticks out in my mind that if it isn't a multi-wire circuit. and it is something else. i would like to know what it is that causes the possible issue with the wiring.if its nothing to worry about,i apologize
, i don't mean to be annoying.lol
 
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