Grounding issues / three way switch issues

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  #1  
Old 06-22-12, 11:02 PM
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Grounding issues / three way switch issues

Maybe you remember me from this thread:
http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...ml#post1974871

I'm still putting out fires that my electrician started, so to speak.

Anyway,

I was finishing up today, putting in the final fixtures, then spliced power into my panel to check everything. I did this by pigtailing from the end of an extension cord, splicing the hot into two breakers (so I get power to each bus in the panel), and the neutral into the bus bar. I turned on each breaker to energize the entire panel. So far so good. Now everything worked except four GFCI outlets (two in the kitchen, one in each bath). All of these fed other outlets. I also had two other GFCI outlets that were on individual branch circuits-- both worked fine. On one of the GFCI outlets that was not working, when I pushed the reset button the breaker would trip.

My question is whether the culprit can be the grounding in the extension cord I'm bringing in power with. I'm borrowing power from a neighbor. My long cord's grounding prong is broken off. To get it to work properly I'll either have to repair my long cord, or borrow or buy another one. I would have thought that as long as my panel is grounded properly, it would not matter if the power I brought in was. Can this situation maybe be remedied just by bringing in a properly grounded extension cord?

As for the three way switch. This is a foam block house, so the wire is MC. I was annoyed to have to buy an entire roll of 12/3 MC just for one switch, so my electrician said he could just use two pieces of 12/2. When I went to actually install the switches and fixtures, I looked at my book first, and the the different possibilities for wiring. He did it a bit differently.
Actually, sorry, I can't remember exactly how it was done. I'll update and edit later after I can look at it. LOL, nevermind on this part of the question, but I could still use help with the first part.

Thanks, this forum is awesome.
 
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Old 06-22-12, 11:22 PM
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my question is whether the culprit can be the grounding in the extension cord I'm bringing in power with.
No, a lack of ground does not prevent a circuit from working. Wrong wire to the neutral, power to the load side instead of line side. Or one power in wire to line and one to load would prevent the GFCI from working.

so my electrician said he could just use two pieces of 12/2. When I went to actually install the switches and fixtures
Not sure how you could do that without violating the code requirement all conductors should be in the same raceway (sheath or conduit).

The extension cord will only work to test one side of the panel at a time if any of the circuits are multi-wire circuits.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 06-23-12 at 12:57 PM.
  #3  
Old 06-23-12, 07:38 AM
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I was annoyed to have to buy an entire roll of 12/3 MC just for one switch, so my electrician said he could just use two pieces of 12/2.
Definitely a code violation. Calling this guy an "Electrician" is using the term very loosely. Is he licensed (not business license)? If so, he should know better.
 
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Old 06-23-12, 09:16 AM
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Yes, he is licensed. He also ran an outdoor GFCI outlet of of my refrigerator outlet, and a kitchen outlet off the bathroom GFCI. On an addition, the washing machine, refrigerator, porch light, and a couple of kitchen outlets all ran out of a junction box powered from the same home run.

Somehow every bit of this slipped past the inspector, and I, the homeowner DIYer (although with some construction experience, though admittedly a novice electrician) caught it. Go figure.
 
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Old 06-23-12, 11:28 AM
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Definitely a code violation. Calling this guy an "Electrician" is using the term very loosely. Is he licensed (not business license)? If so, he should know better.
I wonder if the electricians in Texas are lacking training, or are the OP’s re-communicating the information wrong!? This is a third in a little over a week—that gave the HO the wrong info.. Not saying we all don’t do it, but to tell a person it’s ok to run a single neutral conductor on the outside of a cable is ridiculous—at least for an electrician to say!!! <<<This is just one example.

@Ray (Note: Ray’s from TX),
maybe me and you should open a school. Seems you are the only one—so far—that’s well informed. :dog run:

<Joking>
 
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Old 06-23-12, 06:56 PM
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The extension cord will only work to test one side of the panel at a time if any of the circuits are multi-wire circuits.


I just pigtailed it, tying it into two breakers so it energizes both buses.
 
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Old 06-23-12, 07:33 PM
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I just pigtailed it, tying it into two breakers so it energizes both buses.
But a multi-wire circuit needs both sides of the 240v supply to your house the function correctly and if I remember your previous post there was mention of the possibility of a multi-wire circuit.
 
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Old 06-23-12, 08:41 PM
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There is a three way switch, but nothing requiring 240 except a stove.
 
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Old 06-23-12, 09:21 PM
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A multi-wire circuit is actually a way of providing two 120v circuits using only three wires plus ground.
There is a three way switch, but nothing requiring 240 except a stove
 
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