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Old 02-22-2013, 06:43 PM   #121
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Originally Posted by charlestonsailing View Post
Taco are you saying you think you could handle 1000 amps for a brief instant?
Short answer is possibly, because that's essentially what happens when you get struck by lightning and people have survived that.

But i certainly wouldn't recommend counting on it.
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Old 02-23-2013, 12:25 AM   #122
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If I had to choose between a 15 amp circuit with 0 amps of load and a 15 amp circuit with 15 amps of load I personally would choose to grab on to the 15 amp circuit with 15 amps of load....

My reasoning: There is a snowballs chance in HELL that the extra 1/5th of an amp that it takes to kill me will trip the breaker thus de-energizing the dam circuit before I die... Just saying...
A little OT, but...

Yesterday I was working on my new workbench and miter saw station. I had just finished decking the top portion of it and decided to use some plywood scraps. I lined up the good edges at the back of the table, fastened them all down, and then went to rip the front edge. Took me two passes because the damn thing is 19' long and I only had a 12' straight edge, but I digress.

I had a neoprene glove on my right hand holding my worm drive circular saw, the left hand bare and sleeve rolled up for safe. I finished the cut, then went to set it down on my table saw. BOOOOM! 240v arced from the stamped steel table saw extensions and onto the circular saw's magnesium blade guard. Blew of pieces of both and left some black pitted scars.

I stood there in shock for a moment. Alive? Yes. In pain? No. Vision? Yes. Fingers? Yes. I slowly set it down on the concrete instead, carefully walked past both, then went to unplug both extension cords. Scared me pretty good.

Luckily Skil foresaw this, and the left hand guide handle is plastic. The entire rest of the case is magnesium. If my hand hadn't been perfectly on it, I hadn't been wearing good boots, or my right hand wasn't gloved, I'd have been lit up like a Christmas tree.

The table saw is down for now. I pulled the junction box and checked the wiring which looks fine, even if a bit sloppy. I can't find any reason why it would be hot, but the entire chassis is hot when plugged in now. Looks like I have some more investigating to do now.
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Old 02-23-2013, 12:29 PM   #123
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Alive? Yes. In pain? No. Vision? Yes. Fingers? Yes.
Underwear?
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Old 02-23-2013, 06:31 PM   #124
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Underwear?
Hah!

Tap a hole in the metal chassis and tie it to safety ground. Let your breakers do their job.
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Old 02-24-2013, 01:14 AM   #125
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Safety ground, as in, a separate earth ground?

I thought that it was generally inadvisable in to have multiple earth grounds in residential wiring unless they're tied directly together. IIRC, you don't even drive a separate ground for subpanels.

If you mean tie the chassis into the ground conductor on that circuit, well, it is tied in at the metal junction box on the underside of the table. Unless perhaps I wired the plug incorrectly. Seems unlikely though that it would still work.

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Old 02-24-2013, 12:56 PM   #126
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No, not separate grounding. Safety/equipment ground should be (well, is supposed to be) the grounding conductor for that circuit.

If the table is hot enough to make that sort of spark then I'd say it's pretty likely it's not grounded.

I'm assuming the Skil saw has a grounding plug on the power cord? Have you checked it for hot case, or has it been confirmed it is the table saw that's hot?

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Old 02-24-2013, 03:36 PM   #127
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I meant the earth ground in the cord, if there is one. If the tool is double insulated by design, it does not require the earth/safety ground in the cord, but the inside of the tool must have 2 layers of insulation between live (AC) signals and the metal case.

Anyhoo, grounding the case will make it much safer, but will probably just result in a tripped breaker for you. You've got something wrong inside your tool. Take a ohm meter and check continuity between the metal case and the earth (or neutral, which is the large lug on the plug).

You might want to also check the outlet. Make sure you don't have the ground and neutrals reversed or something else odd like that.

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Old 02-24-2013, 04:23 PM   #128
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No, not separate grounding. Safety/equipment ground should be (well, is supposed to be) the grounding conductor for that circuit.

If the table is hot enough to make that sort of spark then I'd say it's pretty likely it's not grounded.

I'm assuming the Skil saw has a grounding plug on the power cord? Have you checked it for hot case, or has it been confirmed it is the table saw that's hot?
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I meant the earth ground in the cord, if there is one. If the tool is double insulated by design, it does not require the earth/safety ground in the cord, but the inside of the tool must have 2 layers of insulation between live (AC) signals and the metal case.

Anyhoo, grounding the case will make it much safer, but will probably just result in a tripped breaker for you. You've got something wrong inside your tool. Take a ohm meter and check continuity between the metal case and the earth (or neutral, which is the large lug on the plug).

You might want to also check the outlet. Make sure you don't have the ground and neutrals reversed or something else odd like that.
There's ground continutity at the device yolk. Brand new cable all the way back to the panel with no junctions -- was rewired 6 months ago because an attic fire burned the old mess that they called a "cable". I haven't checked it yet at the junction in the saw yet. Brewing kept me busy from about 7am til midnight last night, and it wasn't even brew day... that's today! It's locked out, tagged out though.

I currently run it (edit: the table saw) off the laundry room's dryer 220V circuit. The wife doesn't like it when I forget to plug the dryer back in because she's afraid of the plug. The a-hole insurance electrician installed the device yolk up-side-down, and I don't want to touch his work until he passes final inspection.

I don't see a double insulated symbol on it-- (two concentric squares -- (edit: the circular saw) and it has a ground prong. I took my outlet tester to the extension cord it was plugged into and there's good ground. Also on a brand new circuit. I doubt it's the (edit: circular) saw, as it's brand new. =

It's a 3-prong (edit: 240V) outlet, so I'm pretty sure we're only H-H-N and with the ground tied to the surface-mounted box. There's a ground in the cable, and really the electrician should have just installed a 4-prong yolk, but I think he didn't want to piss me off by making me re-wire my dryer. Good idea, though. I'll check it out soon. Note, the dryer runs fine on it and is not energized. Swapped neutral and ground in this case wouldn't matter because I'm not on a subpanel, so they both trace back to the same lug on the bonded bus.

I took my non-contact voltage tester to both the circular saw and the table saw. The entire table saw case, extension wings and bars light up like mad. The circular saw does nothing. Yeah, pretty sure it's the table saw. Plus, the 240V circuit tripped when it arced. If it was the circular saw's circuit, I would expect the 120V circuit to trip. Breakers only sense a fault on the hot. (edit: non-AFCI)

Haven't broken out the multimeter yet. Will have to find time for that. The saw be wired for 120V easily -- the 240V connection doesn't really add the extra "umpfh" I thought it would. I left it at 240V because I only had two 120V circuits within reasonable reach when I re-wired it and the table saw draws a full 10 amps under load, so it would prevent nuissance tripping circuits mid-cut. But now that we've re-wired, I have many more at my disposal, including a dedicated 120V circuit, so I may just wire it back to 120V while I'm at it.
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Old 03-05-2013, 06:24 AM   #129
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The contractor we hired did an extremely poor hack job on our place as well. Everything in the kitchen, living room, dining room, and bathrooms were all wired to one 15amp circuit. Whenever we turned on something with the microwave, 75% of the house goes out...
My cousin, an electrician who lives about 3hrs away, had to spend several weekends with me fixing the major problems. Still a work in progress. Some are easy to spot, others not so much...

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Old 03-05-2013, 02:35 PM   #130
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If this was some sort of renovation and wasn't done to code then I surely hope you're pursuing the contractor to make it right.

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