Possible grounding issue?

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Old 10-05-18, 04:19 PM
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Possible grounding issue?

Hey All,

To keep a long story short, I rent a ****ty house and have terrible landlords (A government agency whom employees me) that don't maintain anything and half ass repairs. Unfortunately withholding rent and moving out isn't an option.

My washer and dryer are on individual circuits. Washer is on 20a 120v breaker, dryer is on 2 30a 120v that are connected to eachother. Something is wrong with the washers circuit. I've been running it on a 50' heavy gauge electric cord from the kitchen. After about a month, they finally came out and tried a few things with no success. As far as I know they replaced the breaker and checked wiring.

I just recently found a wire on Amazon, Conntek NEMA 14-30P 30-Amp 125/250-volt Dryer Plug to U.S. 15/20-Amp Female Connectors. It was my understanding that this would take the two hots and separate them into individual 120 amp circuits, maintaining a ground and neutral. Basically providing me with 4 5-15 recepticls, split 2 and 2 on the circuits.

When I plug in the washer, it does not power up at all.

If I plug in my portable AC units, they power up but seem to go into a power cycle and don't work. If they do, they don't work for long.

I noticed with multiple devices, they receive power briefly and what seems to be sporadically.

I'm kinda leaning towards this being a grounding issue. Though my dryer that utilizes all 4 prongs works fine. I also have a 240v heater that works just fine on the recepticls....

Yes my heat and AC also suck to the point where I need supplemental heaters and AC units. Nothing like it being 90 degrees inside with the AC running and 3 portable AC units also running. They other thing I was thinking is that the breakers are wired wierd to the point where they are 50/50 to each hot and maybe not being split right?

Unfortunately I'm not an electrician, I'm stuck here for another 8 months, and my overall electric knowledge is limited.

Any advice?

-Matt
 
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Old 10-05-18, 04:36 PM
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Any advice...... yeah.... move out.

Your washer is 120v.
I'm guessing your dryer is 240v ?? That would be a 2P30A breaker.
There should be no connection between the washer and dryer circuit.

It's kind of hard to get a handle what the problem is there but it sounds like there are many.
I would not consider a cord that split a 240v device on two 120v circuits.

And it is not a ground or grounding problem. The ground is ONLY there to keep you from getting electrocuted if an appliance shorts internally to the metal frame.
 
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Old 10-05-18, 04:45 PM
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Believe me, if I could move out I would... Unfortunately my terms of employment require me to stay here for the time being. My career pays extremely well, but I won't pay for my own electrician to come and mess around with this place... The electrician they sent out here even told me the place may have serious electrical issues.

I will try and clarify. The washer is on its own circuit. It is a 20 amp 120 volt. Nothing is working at the outlets. When the electrician they sent came out, he tried replacing the breaker and he tried to pull the wiring through the wall. Unfortunately it was stuck on something and he needs a contractor to come out and remove parts of the wall to find where the wires go.

The dryer has two breakers, each are listed as 30 amps 120 volt. These two are connected by a metal bracket that forces them to both trip at the same time.

There are definitely a lot of issues. Basically 60+ years lack of updates and maintenance.

The only reason I considered this cord was so I didn't have to have the big ass extension cord running through my house. Unless there is an issue with the cord. I just tested it on an LED strip light I have and it lit it up, but only at about half power.

-Matt
 
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Old 10-05-18, 05:36 PM
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I'm kinda leaning towards this being a grounding issue.
The ground performs no function on a circuit except during a fault. Your issue does not sound like a grounding issue.

We can help you troubleshoot this but it will take time and effort. You will need to buy an electrical meter, preferably a cheap analog meter or an expensive digital one (you said you are paid well. ) Some picture of the electrical panel and receptacles/wiring might be helpful as well.
 
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Old 10-05-18, 06:10 PM
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There really should be no need to open the wall to follow the cable. doesn't sound like he understood basic troubleshooting.
 
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Old 10-05-18, 06:22 PM
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Toyln,

Gotcha. I wasn't sure because devices were turning on and off quick.

I think I may have found the reason why this is happening. I've been searching google all day... I'm probably not explaining it right, I believe that because there are 2 breakers connecting the circuit 4-30 r together so that it is functional, when the wire splits it up again, it is dividing the circuit in a way that makes it incompatible with itself.

I can see what I can do on getting meters. I won't be able to get out and get one for a bit. I did put the images up of the panel, receptacle, and wire. I think this link will work.
https://imgur.com/a/arXGGP0


-Matt

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Last edited by PJmax; 10-05-18 at 06:34 PM. Reason: resized/added 1 pic from link
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Old 10-05-18, 06:26 PM
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Pcboss,

We only have the best of the best that are allowed to service our buildings... I'm pretty sure there are critters living in the walls and they had something to do with this. As I am typing this, I can hear something moving through the ceiling and just a little while ago, I heard something in the duct work.

-Matt
 
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Old 10-05-18, 06:32 PM
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Yes..... the two green breakers have a tie handle and that powers the dryer.
What are the two red breakers for that are also tied ?
 
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Old 10-05-18, 06:36 PM
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PJ,

The two reds are listed as the water heater.

-Matt
 
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Old 10-05-18, 06:41 PM
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The top two blue breakers are the outlets for the house, all outlets divided over the two breakers.

The top two reds go to the oven and the other the fridge and microwave/

The next blue is the furnace - not even sure if the furnace is tied into the heat anymore... they took it out a while ago.

The second blue goes to a security system... Fence, lights... and some other stuff.

The bottom red one is the washer. - guy said to leave it on

The top two black are the AC and heat.

The bottom black is the main.

All of the stuff listed is on old paper that looks like its 15 years old.
 
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Old 10-05-18, 07:00 PM
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Everything in the panel appears to be OK except for some minor things that were possibly not required at the time of it was installed. (Example: white wire being used as a hot but not marked with tape.) I suspect that panel is older then 15 years . It looks at the time when Bryant was changing over to Cutler Hammer.
 
 

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