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William
Re: Wired Backwards?
dj1 wrote:

bringing it up to code is a smart idea.

Yes I've decided to not only fix the wiring but to also install a brand new sub panel. The one in there now is the older style with screw in fuses. Loews has a new 10 space subpanel for 30.00 which gives me 4 extra spaces for expanding if needed. It's not to costly and since I have to rewire the subpanel anyway might as well update it now.

When I was looking closer at the sub panel currently in there I noticed that the bottom two fuse sockets were corroded (see picture below). What would cause this?

keith3267
Re: Wired Backwards?

You asked the question if the upstairs wiring would affect the down stairs wiring and I would say no, but with a caveat, no, only if the hot and return are switched between the panels. If a ground is also mixed up, then there will be problems.

You should find the source of the mixup between the panels, and I would go as far as to pull the cover on at least one downstairs outlet and check its wiring. Once you find the source of the mix up, then you need to correct it and all the affected outlets lest someone gets hurt.

William
Re: Wired Backwards?

Well I finally got a chance today to open up the main electrical box downstairs, and the electrical sub-box upstairs to see how they were wired. From what I can see it looks like the box downstairs is wired correctly. They have the red and the black going to a circuit breaker (each one 30 amps) and the white going to the neutrals. The only thing 'odd' is that the white wire has black tape on it. Not sure if it was nicked or not. I wanted to pass everything by you pros first to see if you see anything that I might have missed, before I do any wiring. Here is the main box downstairs:

Here are the red and black hooked up to the upstairs sub-box:

Here is the neutral bar:

Here are the hots going to the fuses:

Here is the entire sub-box:

So what do you guys think? It looks to me like the box downstairs and the main feeds upstairs were wired correctly, BUT every single receptacle was wired backwards. Do you agree?

dj1
Re: Wired Backwards?

From the pictures it looks like the wires were connected incorrectly.

William
Re: Wired Backwards?
dj1 wrote:

From the pictures it looks like the wires were connected incorrectly.

Hi dj1 :) Could you please be more specific? Which wires were connected incorrectly? The red/black to the sub-box, or the receptacles were reversed?

dj1
Re: Wired Backwards?
MyMilan wrote:

Hi dj1 :) Could you please be more specific? Which wires were connected incorrectly? The red/black to the sub-box, or the receptacles were reversed?

I was expecting to find white wires at the neutral bar and black wires at the fuses. The red and black at the bottom seem fine.

bp21901
Re: Wired Backwards?

First question...what awg wire was run to the fuse box?

Second question...are there two white wires to each fuse?

Third question...is that ground wire as close to the black supply lug as it looks?

Fourth question...where does the white wire & ground wire from the downstairs box terminate?

William
Re: Wired Backwards?
bp21901 wrote:

First question...what awg wire was run to the fuse box?

Not sure, but will check and post it for you.

Quote:

are there two white wires to each fuse?

All but one fuse has two whites going to it.

Quote:

is that ground wire as close to the black supply lug as it looks?

You mean this ground and black supply?

If so then yes. You have good eyes. I didn't even notice that. Upon closer inspection they wrapped the black supply wire under and around that terminal. The insulation is actually touching one of the grounds. That will be one of the first things that I rewire. Instead of running the wire under the terminal, I will run it directly to the terminal and re-route all those grounds out of that area. THANKS for mentioning that :)

Quote:

where does the white wire & ground wire from the downstairs box terminate?

White wire goes to the neutral bar. I do not see a ground wire. The cable has a metal jacket and has three wires; black, white and red. The black goes to one 30 amp circuit breaker and the red goes to another 30 amp circuit breaker. Could they be using the metal jacket as the ground? When I test the recepticles they do show a ground connected, so they have to have a ground somewhere, but I definitely don't see a separate ground wire downstairs.

keith3267
Re: Wired Backwards?

The individual receptacles are wired right, its the fuse panel that is not. You have the white wire from down stairs going to the buss bar, that is correct, but each white wire from the upstairs receptacle should also be going to the buss bar and the black wires to the fuses. You will correct this when you install the the breaker box. White to the ground/neutral buss and black to each CB.

William
Re: Wired Backwards?
keith3267 wrote:

each white wire from the upstairs receptacle should also be going to the buss bar and the black wires to the fuses

THANKS Keith!

I guess the part about all of this that is most amazing to me is that the electrician who wired the upstairs ran the white wire (from downstairs) to the neutral bar (upstairs), which is correct, BUT THEN he attached all the black wires to that same neutral bar :eek: I would think common sense would tell him not to mix white wires and black wires to the same place, but he obviously ignored that fact :D The biggest problem I'm seeing with everything now is that the sub-panel upstairs isn't grounded. At first I thought the metal jacket of the wire was picking up the ground from downstairs, but then I noticed that the metal jacket ISN'T connected to the downstairs box (it's just run through a hole in the main panel).

Upstairs, all of the grounds are connected to the sub-panel grounding posts, BUT the sub-panel is just nailed to the stud and not grounded anywhere. I'm not sure how the system upstairs is being grounded but my tester does show each outlet as being grounded. Maybe they used the outlet in the bathroom to ground to the plumbing? Not sure but I would feel much better if everything was getting its ground straight from the sub-panel. Can I use the metal jacket as a ground by connecting it to the panels (upstairs and downstairs)? If not and if I have to run a wire, then it would be easier to run the wire outside. Can I use a grounding pole for this? If so, then what gauge wire would I need to run?

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