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Old 04-30-2013, 02:52 AM   #11
Spiny-Norman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave1096 View Post
That clamp is called a romex clamp, and your problem is not fixed by loosening the clamp. When that clamp was originally over-tightened the sharp metal edges on it cut through the insulation and grounded-out either your hot or your neutral. When your electrician loosened the clamp he broke that short to ground, but the problem still exists and is a serious safety issue. I can't believe your electrician didn't mention this to you because this is a pretty easy issue to troubleshoot. Replace that run of wire, don't over-tighten the clamp, and you're good.
Trut so pure.
Looks like some damage was done to the wire insulation. In a high load situation this could cause arcing. Arcing lights fires. Bad bad bad.

 
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Old 04-30-2013, 02:59 AM   #12
Spiny-Norman
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Oh. and ground fault won't always protect from arcing. Arc fault breakers do that but are only required in bedrooms.
I guess that's because that's where all the sparks are? :-)

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Old 05-14-2013, 10:51 AM   #13
NewBrewB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave1096 View Post
That clamp is called a romex clamp, and your problem is not fixed by loosening the clamp. When that clamp was originally over-tightened the sharp metal edges on it cut through the insulation and grounded-out either your hot or your neutral. When your electrician loosened the clamp he broke that short to ground, but the problem still exists and is a serious safety issue. I can't believe your electrician didn't mention this to you because this is a pretty easy issue to troubleshoot. Replace that run of wire, don't over-tighten the clamp, and you're good.
Wanted to follow-up. I did replace the orange wire to the 30A outlet. Afterwards, I peeled-back the insulation where the romex clamp had pinched it to see and of course Dave1096 was absolutely correct. The neutral had pinched through the insulation and was grounding to the romex clamp.

Would this have started a house fire? I'm glad I will never know.

Thanks for the fast feedback guys.

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Old 05-14-2013, 07:41 PM   #14
Dave1096
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewBrewB View Post
Wanted to follow-up. I did replace the orange wire to the 30A outlet. Afterwards, I peeled-back the insulation where the romex clamp had pinched it to see and of course Dave1096 was absolutely correct. The neutral had pinched through the insulation and was grounding to the romex clamp.

Would this have started a house fire? I'm glad I will never know.

Thanks for the fast feedback guys.

No problem. I'm just glad you got a serious safety issue taken care of. To answer your question: Would it have started a house fire? Possibly. Electrical fires are typically caused by overheating of high-resistance connections (loose or broken connections). Even though the copper in the neutral wire wasn't physically touching the metal anymore once you loosened the clamp it was still close enough for the energy to jump through the air (arc) if there was enough potential there. Just as Spiny-Norman said, the insulation between the neutral and the grounded metal being compromised could easily have lead to arcing...which could easily have lead to a fire. Good work by you getting this taken care of. I would fire my electrician, though, if I were you.

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Old 05-14-2013, 08:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave1096 View Post
Good work by you getting this taken care of. I would fire my electrician, though, if I were you.
I couldn't agree more. He made an extremely incompetent decision to just loosen the clamp and walk away. It should have been obvious to him that some insulation must have been compromised if the GFCI was tripping before but not after loosening the clamp.

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