Light Bulb keeps blowing out! Please Help.

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  #1  
Old 07-14-13, 08:32 PM
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Unhappy Light Bulb keeps blowing out! Please Help.

I have a pool shed that has an electrical line run out to it to power the pool pump. I replaced the original 400 amp (from the 1970s) load center with a 125 amp load center.

The light bulb I keep connecting to it is blowing out. Please help. Here is my current set up.

125 amp with a 15 amp 2-pole breaker using 14 gauge wire to outlet to 12 gauge wire to light socket there is a 14 watt CFL bulb (equivalent of a 60 watt)

After I throw the breaker 3 seconds later the bulb plows out. WHY?
 
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Old 07-14-13, 08:45 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

A little confusing with the use of a 15 amp 2 pole breaker. Are you sure you're not sending 240 vac to the bulb ?

Do you have a voltmeter ?
 
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Old 07-14-13, 08:46 PM
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15 amp 2-pole breaker
It should be a single pole breaker.The white goes to the neutral bar. You are feeding 240 volts to the bulb.
 
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Old 07-14-13, 08:51 PM
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My voltmeter does say that it is 240 volts.

I had to use a 2-pole because my panel Shop GE 4-Circuit 4-Space 125-Amp Main Lug Load Center at Lowes.com has 4 spaces. First one is hot second is neutral. Third is hot last is neutral.
 
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Old 07-14-13, 08:58 PM
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A picture of your panel would be real helpful.

I couldn't find a decent online pic of the inside but you need to put your two hot legs on the bussbar lugs.
The white should be on the neutral bar.
Grounds should be on a non insulated ground bar.
 
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Old 07-14-13, 09:11 PM
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All spaces that breakers clip to are hot. None are ever neutral. Neutrals go to the neutral bar.
 
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Old 07-14-13, 09:13 PM
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<img src="https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/470866_782120787346_1046785026_o.jpg">
 
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Old 07-14-13, 09:16 PM
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  #9  
Old 07-14-13, 09:19 PM
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If you notice that each space looks different. They kind of alternate. I thought that at first but when I put in a 1-pole breaker and connected my neutral to the neutral bar. No power came out.
 
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Old 07-14-13, 09:43 PM
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You don't have a neutral feeding the box so there is no 120 volt connection possible. Only 240 volts available. Does that second large black wire have a white stripe on it?

I see a white wire to what may be a neutral bar but it is way to small to be a system neutral.

The box is also missing the ground bar and has neither an equipment grounding conductor or electrode grounding conductor.

See the first two diagrams at: http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...-diagrams.html
 
  #11  
Old 07-14-13, 09:49 PM
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The second black I believe is a neutral. It isn't live like the first one. Should I move it down to the lower lugs?

The small white is the neutral for the 14 gauge wire running to the bulb.
 
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Old 07-14-13, 10:20 PM
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My voltmeter does say that it is 240 volts
So we know you have 240 volts based on your meter reading so it is not a neutral. You can confirm that by measuring between the two wires. Therefore it is a 240 volt only subpanel as wired. There is no 120 volts available in the panel. Note as wired it is a code violation even for a 240 volt only panel. You need to start from scratch and wire it correctly. Please look at the diagrams I posted a link to.

Another way to know it is a 240 volt only hookup is if those two wires are both connected to breakers at the house. The voltage between two breakers in a residential single phase system is always 240 volts or 0 volts; never 120 volts.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 07-14-13 at 10:39 PM.
  #13  
Old 07-15-13, 07:34 AM
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I have a pool shed that has an electrical line run out to it to power the pool pump. I replaced the original 400 amp (from the 1970s) load center with a 125 amp load center.

The light bulb I keep connecting to it is blowing out. Please help. Here is my current set up.

125 amp with a 15 amp 2-pole breaker using 14 gauge wire to outlet to 12 gauge wire to light socket there is a 14 watt CFL bulb (equivalent of a 60 watt)

After I throw the breaker 3 seconds later the bulb plows out. WHY?
Sounds like you have a mess. Why did you originally have a 400 amp panel in a pool shed? Obviously you didn't need 400 amps if you could replace it with a 125 amp panel. At how many amps was the old panel protected at the house? The 250 MCM THW conductor in your picture is not big enough for 400 amps. Ray seems to be on the right track, but you need to supply a lot more information and/or a complete set of pictures. I am just assuming you are in the U.S., but you could be somewhere else, you didn't fill out your profile.
 
  #14  
Old 07-15-13, 08:01 PM
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I am in the US.

The pool was built in the 60s. It had a pool heater that required 350 amps of power. The picture of the 400 amp load that is in the house had an identical one in the shed. The black 3 gauge wire runs about 70 feet through the ceiling and under ground to the shed. I was hoping the repurpose the wire instead of digging it up and running smaller gauge. There are 3 red wires that run through the same conduit. They are 10 gauge. I think I am going to use those. Use black and white tape to mark the Hot Common and neutral.

In side I am replacing the 400 amp load with a 200 amp panel. so that I can send some power to my garage which is currently not powered. But that is a project for the future. Right now I just need to power the new 125 amp load in the shed with a 20amp 1-pole breaker and a 15amp 1-pole breaker. The 20 goes to the pool pump and the 15 is for the light.

THANK YOU ALL!!! for your input.
 
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Old 07-15-13, 08:17 PM
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There are 3 red wires that run through the same conduit. They are 10 gauge. I think I am going to use those. Use black and white tape to mark the Hot Common and neutral.
You can't remark a red or black wire as neutral if it is not #4 or larger so you can't remark the #10s. Common is a meaningless term in this application. You do need four wires white, green and two wires black or black and red (or any color not reserved for grounds and grounded conductors).

I just need to power the new 125 amp load in the shed with a 20amp 1-pole breaker and a 15amp 1-pole breaker.
You can't do that. You can only have one power source to a separate structure. Nothing you have is correct and from what you write it seems you don't have a good understanding of the basics. We can walk you through doing this but first you should to buy and read Wiring Simplified Available at Amazon and in the electrical aisles of some building supply stores. You need to know and understand the basics before starting a project like this.
 
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Old 07-15-13, 08:23 PM
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I had to use a 2-pole because my panel Shop GE 4-Circuit 4-Space 125-Amp Main Lug Load Center at Lowes.com has 4 spaces. First one is hot second is neutral. Third is hot last is neutral.
No.
Originally Posted by ray2047
All spaces that breakers clip to are hot. None are ever neutral. Neutrals go to the neutral bar.

You don't have a neutral feeding the box so there is no 120 volt connection possible. Only 240 volts available.
From the information on the page you linked to:
  • Full Length Neutral Bars - faster and easier wiring
  • Accepts Standard, GFCI and AFCI Circuit Breakers
My voltmeter does say that it is 240 volts.
Yes.

I have a pool shed that has an electrical line run out to it to power the pool pump. I replaced the original 400 amp (from the 1970s) load center with a 125 amp load center.
Does your pool pump require 120V or 240V?

Before doing any more work on this on any other circuit in your house, you should buy and read a copy of Wiring Simplified. It's easy to read and understand, it covers not only how but why we wire things in certain ways, and it's continually updated to include the latest code revisions.
 
  #18  
Old 07-16-13, 02:20 PM
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I have successfully hooked it up. In doing so, I am able to eliminate the 400amp load inside my house.

I skipped the 3/0 wire and used the red 10 gauge wire. I found 2 open breakers in my house and hooked those wires up to it. so there is 40amp running. I am only using a 20amp and a 15 amp so I am under by 5amps. I will be grounding it to an existing ground spike outside the shed. Using 8 gauge grounding wire.

What do you think of this solution?
 
  #19  
Old 07-16-13, 03:05 PM
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What do you think of this solution?
I think you still have a mess, just a different one than you started with. Are you even a little bit concerned about following the NEC (code) which is for safety?
 
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Old 07-16-13, 03:20 PM
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What do you think of this solution?
Have you read and understood anything we have written. You have ignored our questions and comments. Do you want help or not?

I found 2 open breakers in my house and hooked those wires up to it. so there is 40amp running.
You can't use two random breakers. With #10 it must be a dedicated 30 amp two pole breaker.

Here is what you should do. I am going to assume the pump is wired for 240 volts. Based on your link it could also be 120 volts.

I assume you have conduit and it is either RMC or PVC and can be reused. If it is EMT it needs to be replaced. Instructions are for PVC.

All of the wires in the conduit need to be removed except for two of the three red wires.

If you can easily pull the wires that are unneeded use one when you pull them out to pull in one #10 white and one #10 green.

Install a 30 amp 2 pole breaker in the main panel. Connect the two red wires to that breaker.

If the main panel is the first panel after the meter connect the green and white to the neutral bar. If there is a ground bar the green wire goes to the ground bar.

At the subpanel at the pool buy and add a ground bar. Connect the green wire to that.
Connect your wire from the ground rod there also.

Remove the grounding screw or strap from the neutral bar and connect your white wire from the house there

You now are ready to install breakers in your subpanel for your loads. A 15 amp single pole breaker for lights and a 15 or 20 amp 2 pole breaker for the pump assuming it is wired 240v.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 07-16-13 at 05:20 PM.
  #21  
Old 07-16-13, 03:23 PM
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I'll toss in my nickel and state that you [have] no business playing around with electricity. For your sake, and the sake of your loved ones, get a QUALIFIED electrician in to properly perform the needed work.
 

Last edited by Nashkat1; 07-16-13 at 04:34 PM. Reason: Remove comment
  #22  
Old 07-16-13, 04:36 PM
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For your sake, and the sake of your loved ones, get a QUALIFIED electrician in to properly perform the needed work.
Or follow Ray's advice in post #20 to the letter.

It's clear that you have no clue about what you're attempting to do, let alone why the work needs to be performed in a certain way. Fortunately (I think), this is a simple enough project that we can talk you through it even without that understanding.

That requires, however, that you follow our advice exactly - no inventive shortcuts and no "interpretations." If you don't understand something we said, ask. We'll be glad to clarify.
 

Last edited by Nashkat1; 07-16-13 at 05:00 PM.
  #23  
Old 07-16-13, 08:41 PM
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for your information. I have wired my kitchen and bathroom by myself. Don't be worried about my families safety my contractor checked my work before he put up the drywall.

I will admit that I am not an electrician nor do I care to be one. I do have an understanding of currents and wiring. But when they get up into the high level amps and voltages I am cautious so I sought out help and advice from this forum. Not to be insulted by you FURD.
 
  #24  
Old 07-16-13, 08:51 PM
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Does it have to be a RED WHITE and GREEN wire? There is not physical different between them. I wrapped black tape around one and left the other red. The one with white tape I use as my neutral.

I am glad to see that you are saying to use a 20a 2-pole. Here is a picture I took from the instructions. I had a question about it. It shows 3 wires but doesn't say what they are. One has a symbol that appears to be a ground wire. the other two are not labeled. But the image shows a subpanel that has a neutral. There is no neutral wire leading to the pump. What is it telling me to do?

 
  #25  
Old 07-16-13, 08:52 PM
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Don't be worried about my families safety my contractor checked my work before he put up the drywall.
Every general contractors' wiring I've seen had to be ripped out and done over due to the amount of code violations. I don't think I've ever met a general contractor, handyman, etc. that was competent of doing basic residential wiring. Ray's forum signature is a good thing to keep in mind.
 
  #26  
Old 07-16-13, 09:25 PM
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I haven't read all the posts here and I'm addressing your questions in post 24 only.

That picture shows how to connect a 230vac pump. Have you decided how you are wiring your pump..... 120v or 240v ?

You are talking about a two pole 20A breaker which means you may have decided to wire the pump for high voltage (240v) in which case...... there is NO neutral connection required. There are two hot connections to your two pole breaker and a ground connection.
 
  #27  
Old 07-16-13, 09:40 PM
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Does it have to be a RED WHITE and GREEN wire? There is not physical different between them.
That is not the point. The point is it is not code compliant. If the motor is wired 240 you actually need two reds and a green you do not use a white. You could wire the house with barbed wire wrapped in silk thread and it would be physically the same but that would be wrong also. Why are you so determined to do it wrong?
 
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Old 07-16-13, 10:50 PM
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Since the original question of why the light bulbs were burning out has been answered and it has been explained how to correct the problem this thread is now closed to new posts.
 
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