Going nutz here

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by PackratKing, Oct 26, 2008.

  1. PackratKing

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Jul 13, 2008
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    :p Looking for a particular item I saw in a dollar store years ago, and could kick myself for not loading up then.............wondering if any of you had seen them..........

    "them", are tiny neon nightlights, which are nothing more than a chunk of plastic with an ac plug, a dropping resistor and a neon lamp. Typical chinese junk, but for the following app. priceless, and I need about 60 of 'em.............they were four or six on a card fer a buck

    I have to make some sense out of the wiring in my house [ have had to for years, basically dreading and /or too lazy ]

    Object is to plug 'em into every outlet in the house, and turn on all the lights..........and then inventory the outage with each breaker turned off.

    I would like to strangle or otherwise abuse the unimaginable imbecile [ in lieu of another long string of expletives I could offer ] that originally wired my house :mad: A more convoluted mess you could only imagine, and would have to see to appreciate.

    I know how they feel about commerce on the forum, so if anyone happens to find these, or knows of another source..........snag a website or an e-mail, and I'll go from there.

    Thanx muchly in advance [ much grass :D ] for any / all help !!
     
  2. scubasteve_911

    Senior Member

    Dec 27, 2007
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  3. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
    15,815
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    Electricians can be really dedicated to saving materials/labor/imagination. I have found that some can't even manage to keep track of the four wire colors.

    Don't forget to have all the lights on, too. Outlets on both side of a wall may be wired to the same breaker. The overhead fixtures can get hooked to the oddest breakers.
     
  4. scubasteve_911

    Senior Member

    Dec 27, 2007
    1,202
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    So, did you look into the things I suggested?

    Your post asked for a source on cheap indicators for 120VAC.

    Steve
     
  5. Audioguru

    New Member

    Dec 20, 2007
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    I took an electrical plug and joined its two or three wires together.
    Then I plugged it into an electrical outlet and looked at which breaker tripped.
    I got some sparks but my home didn't burn down.

    Note that outlets in the kitchen have a dual breaker so each half can use a lot of current.
     
  6. floomdoggle

    Senior Member

    Sep 1, 2008
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    Please do not try audioguru's method.
    Is your house wired 110 or 220?
    Lights should be on a separate circuit from outlets. If you find any split outlets like audioguru says, separate them into different boxes, and make sure each is hooked to an individual breaker.
    Are you having any problems with circuits blowing? If not leave well enough alone. If you do need to track down a circuit, try it at night, saves a bit of running back and forth.
     
  7. scubasteve_911

    Senior Member

    Dec 27, 2007
    1,202
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    Yes, respectfully, Audioguru's method is unsafe! There may be a weak link somewhere in the lines, that link might heat up excessively and cause a fire. Although, I guess it would be nice to do it when you expect a problem, rather than find out by accident.

    Steve
     
  8. Audioguru

    New Member

    Dec 20, 2007
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    Many appliances draw almost the 15A to trip a breaker. If the wiring has a weak link then your house will burn down when you turn on a high current appliance.
     
  9. scubasteve_911

    Senior Member

    Dec 27, 2007
    1,202
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    Let's not tempt faint nor be unsafe, than sorry.

    Steve
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2008
  10. SgtWookie

    Expert

    Jul 17, 2007
    22,182
    1,728
    My primary objection to Audioguru's method would be the resultant damage to the outlet. Outlets are designed as connectors, not switches for maximum current loads.

    Making a dead-short connection at the outlet will result in a pitted and burned socket, which will create a relatively high-resistance connection when compared to an undamaged socket. This could lead to overheating and a fire when a "normal" load was plugged in, like perhaps a vacuum cleaner or a high-wattage heater.
     
  11. Audioguru

    New Member

    Dec 20, 2007
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    I think the resistance of the breaker and wiring limited the peak current to about 30A in my 15A circuits.
    The outlets still look new and work fine.
     
  12. thingmaker3

    Retired Moderator

    May 16, 2005
    5,072
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    What Audioguru is suggesting is just plain unsafe. He may have come through unscathed, but others might not.

    The twisted wires could arc if not fully twisted. This would be a clear and present fire hazard. The bright light produced in an arc-flash is also potentially harmful to the eyes.

    Audioguru's wiring might be up to snuff and able to handle such abuse. Not all wiring is. I've seen some pretty atrocious house wiring!

    Furthermore, the momentary over-heating prior to the breaker tripping can contribute to oxidation of connections.

    There is nothing good about what Audioguru has suggested.

    Just DON'T do it.

    Audioguru: if I had caught your post earlier, I would have summarily deleted it as being in violation of item #2 of our Rules, Code of Conduct and Terms and Conditions of Usage
     
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