Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 24

Thread: Malfunctioning patio outlet

  1. Back To Top    #1
    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    3,899

    Malfunctioning patio outlet

    Hi all (especially bk, Bama, and anyone else who is electricity-smart),

    I have a patio outlet that hasn't worked since I moved into the house. I also had one GFCI breaker that was left off because it would always trip. Well duh, I figured there was a short somewhere between the panel and the outlet.
    While expanding some planter beds in the yard last week, I found a buried splice that was sloppily wrapped, not even in electrical tape, but pipe wrap
    Unsurprisingly, it was sopping wet inside when I took it apart. From the panel to that disconnected splice I get 130 volts - perfect! The tripping breaker stays on. At this point I thought I had it figured out. Fix that connection and party on, dude!

    After cleaning and drying the wires, I reconnected them and tested voltage at the outlet. The breaker didn't trip, but...26 volts

    So, I guess I have 2 questions:
    - how can I get 26 volts? I assume that means some huge resistance loss in the 40 feet between the splice and the outlet?? Or, could the problem be with the connections, since all I could do was re-twist the wires back together? I can expose probably 25 feet on that side before it goes under decking and pavers.
    - what is the correct way to connect two direct-burial wires? Is it even allowed? Something tells me it wasn't done properly before
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
    Make each day your masterpiece. - John Wooden

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    SW Indiana
    Posts
    9,089

    Re: Malfunctioning patio outlet

    Resistance alone wouldn't give you a voltage drop without a load on the circuit. What do you get line-neutral, line-ground and neutral-ground?
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    3,899

    Re: Malfunctioning patio outlet

    I'll post it up this evening.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
    Make each day your masterpiece. - John Wooden

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    SouthWest Alabama
    Posts
    22,347

    Re: Malfunctioning patio outlet

    Chances are that if you found one splice, there may be others. And if the one you found was that bad, any others won't be any better.
    A seriously loose connection can give you a very low voltage reading without any load. Also be sure to check the lugs on the breaker and receptacle ends. Some people use the push-in connectors on the receptacles and those are notorious for causing connection problems.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    3,899

    Re: Malfunctioning patio outlet

    I do know that the breaker is secure, and I already removed the outlet from the box on the other end, so I was just testing the bare wires. I'll hook it up nice and tight this evening and give it another shot. Thanks guys!
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
    Make each day your masterpiece. - John Wooden

  6. Back To Top    #6
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    SouthWest Alabama
    Posts
    22,347

    Re: Malfunctioning patio outlet

    You can do a continuity test on the wires. Unhook the wires at both ends and wirenut one end together. Check the resistance with an ohm meter. It should be low and the same on all three wires. I'd go as far as checking them two at a time instead of hooking all three together.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

  7. Back To Top    #7
    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    3,899

    Re: Malfunctioning patio outlet

    OK, here are my sad results:
    - No detectable continuity between any of the three wires.
    - White/ground = 2.5 V
    - Black/ground = 10.1 V
    - White/black = 12.6 V

    So, looks like I'm out of luck. Until I have a reason to follow the line as far as I can (probably sooner rather than later, now that my darling bride is after me to get it working ), how should I cover up the ends of the wire that is good? Assuming I eventually get the bad side working, how should the two sides be connected; J-box? I might as well just do that part correctly now.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
    Make each day your masterpiece. - John Wooden

  8. Back To Top    #8
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    SouthWest Alabama
    Posts
    22,347

    Re: Malfunctioning patio outlet

    The proper way to fix it is to run all new wire, but you already knew that!

    If you can get the 'good' end out of the ground a foot or so then a junction box will do. If you can't, see first sentence!
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

  9. Back To Top    #9
    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    3,899

    Re: Malfunctioning patio outlet

    Thanks Bama; yes, I can get it a foot or so out of the ground. Running all new wire will be the eventual solution, but for now i'll just stub it there.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
    Make each day your masterpiece. - John Wooden

  10. Back To Top    #10
    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    3,899

    Re: Malfunctioning patio outlet

    Update! I gave up on this last year and worked on other stuff. I was doing some digging for drip irrigation, and here's what I found. I guess this is what happens when you cut partially through a line with a shovel (wasn't me!) and leave the power on. Any idea how long this takes?



    On the plus side, I did some proper splices and got the outlet working again.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
    Make each day your masterpiece. - John Wooden

  11. Back To Top    #11
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    SouthWest Alabama
    Posts
    22,347

    Re: Malfunctioning patio outlet

    Yep, that's been there a while. Glad you found it and got it fixed.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

  12. Back To Top    #12
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    37,389

    Re: Malfunctioning patio outlet

    Yikes ... glad it was not in a puddle that could be stepped in.

    I actually have similar concerns with the way some of the wiring has been done at my house (the joy of an older house I guess). While doing a little irrigation work I have run across a few lines like that buried maybe 6" ... not sure if they are live and what they run to ...
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  13. Back To Top    #13
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    SW Indiana
    Posts
    9,089

    Re: Malfunctioning patio outlet

    Quote Originally Posted by jblauert
    Yikes ... glad it was not in a puddle that could be stepped in.

    I actually have similar concerns with the way some of the wiring has been done at my house (the joy of an older house I guess). While doing a little irrigation work I have run across a few lines like that buried maybe 6" ... not sure if they are live and what they run to ...
    Be thankful for GFCIs (if you have them).
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

  14. Back To Top    #14
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    37,389

    Re: Malfunctioning patio outlet

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    Quote Originally Posted by jblauert
    Yikes ... glad it was not in a puddle that could be stepped in.

    I actually have similar concerns with the way some of the wiring has been done at my house (the joy of an older house I guess). While doing a little irrigation work I have run across a few lines like that buried maybe 6" ... not sure if they are live and what they run to ...
    Be thankful for GFCIs (if you have them).
    Well, the pool light was not on a GFCI until I added it if that gives any indication ...
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  15. Back To Top    #15
    Ohm_Boy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,344

    Re: Malfunctioning patio outlet

    AHA! An opportunity for another of my boring anecdotes.

    I've found pretty much the same situation inside a house once, in the electrical box behind a bedroom receptacle. The couple that lived there was complaining about an odd smell in the bedroom whenever they vacuumed.
    Turns out that one receptacle screw terminal was loose, and the wire heated up whenever there was a current draw. It burned the insulation off, eventually melting the wire down to about the diameter of a sewing needle, and melting the side of the electrical box. This receptacle was daisy-chained to the rest, so wherever they plugged in the vacuum, it drew 15 amps through this connection.

    FWIW, those grey plastic electrical boxes smell like a mix of bad electric motor and dead possum when they burn.
    [center:1kpalu48]Helpful Links: Pool School | CYA/Chlorine Chart | Pool Calculator[/center:1kpalu48]

  16. Back To Top    #16
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    SW Indiana
    Posts
    9,089

    Re: Malfunctioning patio outlet

    Quote Originally Posted by jblauert
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    Quote Originally Posted by jblauert
    Yikes ... glad it was not in a puddle that could be stepped in.

    I actually have similar concerns with the way some of the wiring has been done at my house (the joy of an older house I guess). While doing a little irrigation work I have run across a few lines like that buried maybe 6" ... not sure if they are live and what they run to ...
    Be thankful for GFCIs (if you have them).
    Well, the pool light was not on a GFCI until I added it if that gives any indication ...
    I'd invest in a plastic shovel
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

  17. Back To Top    #17
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    37,389

    Re: Malfunctioning patio outlet

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    I'd invest in a plastic shovel
    At least the dirt at this house is soft enough that a plastic one might almost work ... unlike our last house across town that literally required a pick ax before you could shovel.

    Actually I think the wires I have found are for some of the landscaping lights ... and I am pretty sure they are on a GFCI (like the irrigation controller that looses its memory anytime the GFCI pops )
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  18. Back To Top    #18
    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    3,899

    Re: Malfunctioning patio outlet

    Quote Originally Posted by jblauert
    I have run across a few lines like that buried maybe 6" ... not sure if they are live and what they run to ...
    How bout this? You're supposed to bury these fellas 18" down That is about 3" below ground surface, and notice that the elec is even shallower!
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
    Make each day your masterpiece. - John Wooden

  19. Back To Top    #19
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    37,389

    Re: Malfunctioning patio outlet

    Is that your yellow gas line?

    Apparently it just takes too much work to dig stuff deep down here.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  20. Back To Top    #20
    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    3,899

    Re: Malfunctioning patio outlet

    It's a line to the backyard bbq and firepit hookups. Notice the digging bar-shaped dent right in the middle? It leaks now, and I'm not sure I will be able to (or will want to) get it fixed.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
    Make each day your masterpiece. - John Wooden

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •