Electrical mayhem in my shop...

Discussion in 'Garages, Workshops & Tools' started by Paul1979, Jan 10, 2015.

  1. Paul1979

    Paul1979 Veteran Member

    403
    1
    Oct 10, 2007
    Treasure Valley
    Recently, the power went out in my shop. Checked the breaker box and sure enough the breaker to the shop had blown (Is that the technical term?...) So I reset it and noticed some fireworks.....

    Ok not really, but all the lights in the shop turned on briefly despite being in the "off" position, followed shortly by a loud crack and no power. The light just outside the front door actually caught on fire and partially shattered. I called an electrician and he found a tiny problem...the power box below, which runs 220v from my house to the shop, had worn through the rubber and insulation of the wire, sending 220v into EVERYTHING.
    [​IMG]

    You see that plastic threaded hole the cord is coming out of? That wasn't there before he fixed it. The metal opening is what wore into the wire. You can see the burn marks on the wall and box.
    [​IMG]

    So he fixed that problem...but all is not well in Zion. The shop lights behave like strobe lights unless I have all of them on at the same time. The outlets don't deliver the same power as before. For instance a drill will only operate at about half speed. I tried Google but couldn't find another instance of this happening, so here I am on the best wealth of information on the 'net, asking for a diagnosis and hopefully an inexpensive solution (I love to kid myself...)

    Do I:

    a) need to replace the entire wiring, outlets, shop light fixtures, etc?
    b) perhaps, pretty please, only need to replace the outlets?
    c) burn the shop down, collect insurance, and build new shop?

    Seriously though any thoughts on what needs to be done would be helpful. I keep telling myself I'm mentally prepared for (a), but we'll see.
     
  2. zekefreak

    zekefreak Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    1,532
    4
    Apr 16, 2006
    western PA
    I would replace all the wiring in the shop. Outlets are cheap so replace them also. I wouldn't sleep well at night if I knew there might be problems with my wiring.
     
  3. Paul1979

    Paul1979 Veteran Member

    403
    1
    Oct 10, 2007
    Treasure Valley
    Unfortunately you are probably correct. I'm holding out for an electrician on here that can tell me if the wiring itself could be ruined by a 220v surge. The electrician that helped me earlier is out of town.
     
  4. mickstan

    mickstan Veteran Member

    927
    5
    Jun 11, 2012
    E'ville, IL
    I don't know how any "electrician" could say that was "fixed". I would start off with a new breaker box for one thing. And the cord coming out of it? Where is that going and what does it power? The threaded fitting in the top there is only half complete, that is a cable grip without the grip part. Illegal (and unsafe)installation.
     
  5. zekefreak

    zekefreak Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    1,532
    4
    Apr 16, 2006
    western PA
    "The shop lights behave like strobe lights unless I have all of them on at the same time."

    That sounds like some wires have fused together somewhere. Don't fool around with trying to "patch" the problem, replace it all. Maybe your homeowner's insurance will help cover the costs.

    BTW, you don't blow a circuit breaker, you trip it.
     
  6. Da-bigguy

    Da-bigguy Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    3,049
    22
    Jan 19, 2010
    Cypress, TX
    I would definitely play it safe and get a good licensed electrician to redo the whole system, no sense risking everything else.
     
  7. stevenp3762

    stevenp3762 BANNED

    1,466
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    Feb 7, 2013
    bradenton fl.
    My friend said it almost sounds like you lost a leg, he's a EE major but its been years since he graduated ( his disclaimer ).
     
  8. CapnMorgan

    CapnMorgan Veteran Member

    164
    0
    Sep 5, 2014
    Campbell, Ohio
    It does sound like you lost a phase, fused the phase, or have a ground fault somewhere. go to a hardware store and buy a receptacle tester/analyzer. Shut off the main feed when your not around to call the fire department. It may be as simple as a bad breaker or it could be a major fire hazard that endangers your family and belongings. I'd defiantly hire a competent electrician to properly install the wire from the box in your pic.
     
  9. Paul1979

    Paul1979 Veteran Member

    403
    1
    Oct 10, 2007
    Treasure Valley
    Thanks for the comments. I think I'll tear it all out and have an electrician start from scratch. This will set the Camaro back a year or three, but I'll sleep better knowing it won't be going up in flames (or worse). I'll check with my homeowner's insurance to see if I have a valid claim.
     

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