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Windows 7: Any Electrical Danger?

24 Jun 2010   #11
xarden

Windows 7 Enterprise
 
 

So, the area with the missing outlet is probably on the same circuit that your modem/router is on. Thus when you shut off the power to the area, it included the router.

Quote:
But just starting from two days ago, I've been thinking what I've done (turning the power on to that area with no outlet on it) could have affected THE ENTIRE electrical system in the house somehow which would also include the wiring in my room, so I have been seriously depressed about all that I did regarding that stupid outlet...
Dont beat yourself up over it...
Its usually difficult to shutdown power to a whole house. If anything happens with those two wire touching each other, it'l just blow the fuse for that area.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jun 2010   #12
Wandering Flame

Vista
 
 

Thanks for the help xarden.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by xarden View Post
Quote:
Ok, I kind of get what a short circuit is...though not completely...I've been reading about it but am not understanding...is it resulting from two wires of different voltages touching each other?

Also let's say a short circuit were to happen, and the breaker trips. I guess nothing huge happened here (I'm not including myself in this case) to the breaker, since, you can just switch it back on right?

But what about the wires themselves? If they touched themselves, or touched something else (I know they are touching my walls from behind, while not touching themselves per se) then will they be damaged to some extent afterwards? Would I need to replace my inside wiring, or the breaker, in the case where my wire ends have been touching the inside of my walls or could I just have the electrician cut off the old ends or something?

Of course if the fuse is "blown" then I'd probably have to get that replaced...although what's really bothering me is the inside house wiring. I'm not sure how I would go on to replace that...since that would probably involve tearing the house walls down everywhere where there is wiring.
If by two voltages you mean +240v and 0 (or ground), then yes. This will cause a short circuit.
(We use 220-240v here, so this will be my reference. Yours may be different)

No you wont need to replace all the internal wireing or tear down your walls. Just replace the fuse/breaker. Thats what its job is. To destroy itself, and save your wires and house.
Ok, so I guess since that one outlet area was only associated with the breaker/switch #14 and the outlets in my room are associated with breaker #20, I shouldn't be worried at least when it comes to the outlets in my room, how well they function etc.

Also I realized the other outlets in the house that didn't work had nothing really to do with my recent doings...even way before I did anything my mom noticed some outlets that didn't work and those are the same ones now that don't work. However there is still one outlet that very recently stopped working but it has nothing to do with switch #14 so I don't know what's up with it...the electrician who came today hooked up the new outlet (twisted and put wire nuts on like 5-10 wires and just used one white and one black wire for the new receptacle lol) but he wasn't able to answer any of my questions in that they don't stay and help you out to the full. They just come and do the job they are assigned and leave right away. He claimed he would stay to help me out some more but he said he would get in trouble if he didn't gtfo of my house as soon as possible once accomplishing the task, but you guys (mostly xarden) answered most of my questions and I thank you man. I'm getting a little bit out of the depression now...hopefully I'll be out of it completely...I've been in it since...damn...when I started having Windows 7 problems back in March lol. Actually it began on my birthday which is Feb 19.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by xarden View Post
If the amperage is high enough, the spark created from the short circuit may melt the wires together. But this depends also on the gauge of the wire.
This is also how a MiG welder works.
Wire manufacturers tend to underrate the wire for this safety reason. EG: a wire rated for 10A can carry about 20A of current before the wire gets dangerously hot to melting or fusing point.
(I didnt tell you this, and you should ALWAYS adhere to the safety ratings)
Fuse manufacturers do not underrate. A 10A fuse/breaker will blow at 10A.
They didn't melt and I also noticed, out of my 4 black and 4 white wires, and my one ground wire, one wire (black) seemed to be touching the inside of the wall...or...something inside my wall, but not another wire. The ground wire was touching the inside of my wall directly...whereas the rest of the wires were floating in the air. Actually an additional two wires, either both black or white or a combination, were touching the paper towel I had covering the area but they weren't touching each other, and this did not seem to do anything I guess because the paper towel doesn't conduct electricity? I don't know. Either way nothing seemed to have happened (though tell me if something would happen normally e.g. if a wire touched a paper towel) and he cut off the old ends of the wires and used their fresh parts.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by xarden View Post
Im not quite sure I follow your next question, so I'l just give an example:

In a typical apartment building for example, the power panel (distribution board) in the basement/maintenance room will have a large ceramic switch.
This is the master. Flip it and you've lost power to the entire building.
Then you may have several rows and columns.
Each row may represent a different floor, and the start of each row should have another master switch for that floor.
* Further along, there will be fuses/breakers for reception outlets, reception lights, hallway lights, hallway outlets.
** Furthermore along, (these are sometimes grouped) You'd have each room's master switch, lights, outlets, kitchen, oven. (As stated before, there may be several for different areas of lights and outlets)

* Some places I've been to have their own DB on each floor, governed by the main DB in the basement.
** Same as above for each room, governed by the DB at each floor.
Yeah my whole panel looks like that.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by xarden View Post
And just to add extra tea in the kettle, apartments/commercial/industrial buildings all use 3-phase power. Which is then converted to single phase at or before the DB's. You dont need to worry about this. Im not going to explain it.
Ok.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by xarden View Post
And there we go, just like that I've lost my train of thought.


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by xarden View Post
Quote:
the only reason I removed the old one in the first place was to see how an outlet is replaced
I dont blame you. I started pulling stereos and other things apart since I was 8. Just to see how its done.
Still, I think I'm pathetic...

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by zigzag3143 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Wandering Flame View Post
*Sigh* sorry but this is another one of my electrical issue topics...but I think it could be serious, moreso than my other one.

I recently (like two weeks ago) removed an old duplex receptacle outlet from one of my walls. I shut it off of course while removing it and I'm pretty sure at an earlier point I was fiddling with it while the power was on and thank God nothing happened to me then...by the way, I removed it because I was curious as to how they are hooked up and how I could replace them.

So anyway it has been removed now for about two weeks, and for that span of time (two weeks) the black and white wires, as well as the ground wire have not been connected to anything...meaning they're just floating there right now, unconnected to any outlet.

I'm not really sure if this is safe...especially when power is running to that outlet. You may be wondering why I just don't turn off the power to that outlet via my switchbox/powerbox. Well the reason is, when I do that, for some reason my internet goes down since I think it turns off the main source box that gives me my FIOS internet, and, although I can live without that for a while until an electrician comes and installs my new outlet, I have two brothers who are not willing to go even one day without internet.

Obviously it is not safe in the sense that someone could put their hand in there and get shocked, however I have sealed that area off with a paper towel with "KEEP AWAY" written on it, and I'm not quite sure whether or not the cable ends are touching that paper towel from behind...but I don't even want to make sure since it'll involve touching that area and I don't know what may happen to me...but so far it didn't make a spark or fire or anything so I suppose it's not causing any reaction with the paper towel...

So, I was wondering if this at all may affect any of the other electrical wiring in my house. Meaning, could it have an effect on neighboring outlets or any of the other outlets in my house (the fact I have one old outlet removed and the wires for it are just floating where they are, unattached to anything)? Because I noticed two outlets in my house that are not really working...one seemed to go from working to not-working sometimes, but 90% of the time it doesn't work, and the other one just plain doesn't work at all...the one that doesn't work at all is an outlet close to the area where the old outlet has been removed, and the outlet that doesn't work 90% of the time is in a whole different floor on my house.

My #1 concern now is if, the fact I have one removed outlet with the wires for it floating around unnattached is going to affect other outlets in the house (I'm really only concerned about the outlets in my room), and as I said it seems to have affected two outlets (I know I have everything turned on in my switchbox/powerbox so I know this isn't an issue) but has not really affected any of my room outlets...but I am afraid of plugging any more things in my room, since I have no idea what this may cause considering there's one outlet area in my house with floating unnattached wires...

You wont affect any of the other outlets but there is EXTREME DANGER leaving the wires hanging loose. Remember we are a windows forum, and you should really be asking an electrician. If nothing else turn off the power and put wire nuts and tape over any exposed wires.

BE CAREFUL


Ken
Ok and where're your cat avy's? They're cute.


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by xarden View Post
So, the area with the missing outlet is probably on the same circuit that your modem/router is on. Thus when you shut off the power to the area, it included the router.
Well nah it wasn't the router since the router was on. The "Internet" light on the router was off so it must have been our FiOS box which is weird...since when I flick that switch off, the lights on the FiOS box are still on...wtf...bah...who cares anymore.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by xarden View Post
Quote:
But just starting from two days ago, I've been thinking what I've done (turning the power on to that area with no outlet on it) could have affected THE ENTIRE electrical system in the house somehow which would also include the wiring in my room, so I have been seriously depressed about all that I did regarding that stupid outlet...
Dont beat yourself up over it...
Its usually difficult to shutdown power to a whole house. If anything happens with those two wire touching each other, it'l just blow the fuse for that area.
Thanks...I liked this quote...also don't you mean breaker, since a person either has a breaker or a fuse right? A fuse would be like a wire like you said, and a breaker is in a form of switch. So if I have something like this, the main board in my townhouse:



I have breakers (switches I think) and not fuses? Sorry if I have not gotten it yet.

Any Electrical Danger?-electropool.jpg

^ok wtf @ the second image I did not even post that...lol...that just appeared after I made the edit...somehow...


My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jun 2010   #13
xarden

Windows 7 Enterprise
 
 

yea those look like breakers.

Lol, That second pic is actually one of the famous 'fails' long before the whole fail trend started. I remember seeing it when I was in highschool.... (many many maaaaany years ago)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

26 Jun 2010   #14
Bituser

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by xarden View Post
Quote:
By the way, what is the difference between trip, and blow? Breaker and fuse? Not saying this will happen or it happened, but if one black wire has touched a white wire will there be a way for me to determine if this happened?
You trip a breaker, and blow a fuse.

A breaker is bascially the same as a fuse, except it is in the form of a type of switch.
You will hear it click when you short circuit the wires and it trips.
It is more expensive and safer than a fuse, as you can just flick the switch and you'll have power back.
Note, if you flick the switch back on and it flicks off straight away, you still have a short circuit in your wires somewhere.

A fuse, is No.8 wire generally wrapped around two metal poles encased in a ceramic block. You should hear it go bang when you short circuit your wires. If I remember correctly, No.8 wire is 10Amps... so should only be wrapped around the poles once. Twice would make the fuse 20A. Dont do this. It will make a bigger bang, and probably shock you if you replace it while there is still a short circuit.

Either way, you'll most certainly know if its been tripped/blown: You'd have no power on that circuit.
Most modern houses have half the lights on one circuit, half on another, outdoor lights on another, power outlets in an area on one circuit, another area on another circuit etc etc. Kitchen has its own. Oven sometimes has its own too.
Is it illegal here? Thats something I never new.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jun 2010   #15
Wandering Flame

Vista
 
 

So xarden, a household either has breakers or fuses right? Meaning if they have a panel like that, they only have breakers and not fuses? Since I didn't think you could have both for your house.

Reason I'm asking is, I think you meant if the two wires have touched, it would mess up the breaker, not the fuse since I don't think I have fuses.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jun 2010   #16
xarden

Windows 7 Enterprise
 
 

Quote:
So xarden, a household either has breakers or fuses right? Meaning if they have a panel like that, they only have breakers and not fuses? Since I didn't think you could have both for your house.
Essentially, yes. Older houses are likely to have fuses, as that was what was common back in those days.
Any Electrical Danger?-mem_1957_fuseholders.jpg

Newer houses are likely to have breakers, as they are safer for the common person to reset.
Any Electrical Danger?-800px-four_1_pole_circuit_breakers_fitted_in_a_meter_box.jpg
As you can probably see, that example has main switch, lights, power points, power points, stove.

Quote:
Reason I'm asking is, I think you meant if the two wires have touched, it would mess up the breaker, not the fuse since I don't think I have fuses.
It wouldnt 'mess up' the breaker, it would just flick the switch and cut off power on that circuit. Its like turning the lights off at the wall, but does it automatically when theres a short circuit (wires touching) You reset it, or turn it back on, by flicking the switch. If theres still a short circuit, it will flick back off.

You can also buy from hardware or electical stores (@fastboy42: Mitre10) a fuse/breaker replacement. Its a breaker module that replaces the fuse block in old houses. They look like the ones in the 2nd pic.
(Both pics are sourced from Wikipedia)


My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jun 2010   #17
xarden

Windows 7 Enterprise
 
 

And just while I think about Fastboy's question a bit further, I'd like to elaborate on a previous statement:
Yes, it is illegal to do your own electrical work IF it has not been sign off and certified by a certified sparky.
Same in regards to building your own house. You can do all the work yourself, but it must be certified by the proper authorities to be compliant.
Such reasons being, if the house collapses or the electrical work causes a fire and results in any persons injury or death, you will be held liable as the government sees the work as been done poorly by someone who 'doesnt know what theyre doing'.
It also holds true for vehicles, which is why any modifications need to be certed to be seen as safe for the roads. Refer to your local transport authority for more info.

Its best practice to check with your local council before proceeding any building/electrical work, as the laws may differ in your country. They will have all the contacts that you'll may further require advice or certification from.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jun 2010   #18
BrightBlessings

Win7 Pro-64 Bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Fastboy42 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by xarden View Post
Quote:
By the way, what is the difference between trip, and blow? Breaker and fuse? Not saying this will happen or it happened, but if one black wire has touched a white wire will there be a way for me to determine if this happened?
You trip a breaker, and blow a fuse.

A breaker is bascially the same as a fuse, except it is in the form of a type of switch.
You will hear it click when you short circuit the wires and it trips.
It is more expensive and safer than a fuse, as you can just flick the switch and you'll have power back.
Note, if you flick the switch back on and it flicks off straight away, you still have a short circuit in your wires somewhere.

A fuse, is No.8 wire generally wrapped around two metal poles encased in a ceramic block. You should hear it go bang when you short circuit your wires. If I remember correctly, No.8 wire is 10Amps... so should only be wrapped around the poles once. Twice would make the fuse 20A. Dont do this. It will make a bigger bang, and probably shock you if you replace it while there is still a short circuit.

Either way, you'll most certainly know if its been tripped/blown: You'd have no power on that circuit.
Most modern houses have half the lights on one circuit, half on another, outdoor lights on another, power outlets in an area on one circuit, another area on another circuit etc etc. Kitchen has its own. Oven sometimes has its own too.
Is it illegal here? Thats something I never new.
Same as it is in oz only a licensed sparky is meant to do it but you can still buy power points,overhead fans,light sockets and switches from woolies,with a warning only a licensed electrician to install. I don't know anybody who does'nt install it themselves myself included it does help if you have some knowledge in the electrical area.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jun 2010   #19
Wandering Flame

Vista
 
 

K that's kind of weird...even one of the electricians on the phone told me how to install a receptacle if I wanted to do it myself lol...but I guess you're talking about a different country. I didn't install it myself, I got a sparky to do it, but I was the one who removed the old outlet . I didn't think it was a big deal. I saw do it yourself vids on youtube and stuff.

Anyway that shit is over now . Hopefully my mood doesn't go down anymore.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jun 2010   #20
xarden

Windows 7 Enterprise
 
 

Good to hear you got it all sorted out now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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