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Old 08-25-2013, 06:57 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by Roger C H View Post
Here is what I mean by weird: My house has two bathrooms, an outside plug by the patio and two outlets in the garage. All are protected by ONE GFI breaker in the main bath. It seems strange to me that the electrician would run all that wire just to avoid using another breaker, but that is what they did.

An electical thingy will work perfectly fine if you have the neutral and not the hot line run through the switch to it But when you turn the switch off, you still have the thing having hot electricity to it and you can get a short by touching ground and the hot wire.

I heard of electricians checking if a light socket was live by sticking their finger in it. By not touching either contact, they could feel a "tingle". But this is not a good practice, especially if you are nervous, LOL.
In the 1970's & 80s GFCI protection was provided normally by a GFCI breaker at a cost of $50 to $60 per breaker (1970 prices) . I remember feeding the bathroom GFI receptacle and then every other GFI required outlet in the house off of it, Scale was only about $5/hr so $60 was equal to 12 hrs labor. This was common practice back then ,now you can buy a good quality GFCI receptacle for $7 ( The total profit on wiring a home in the 70's or 80's was about $100 so you did not add anything extra or there was no profit)

The switching of the identified conductor (Neutral) is generally prohibited by the code and is only done in instances such as gasoline dispensing pumps "Switch the hot"

Testing voltage with your fingers is common in the trades but with a lot of caveats . The highest voltage I used the finger method on was 240 VAC
One of the problems is on a dry day and if you have calloused hands you may not feel 120 VAC or lower voltages so you have to lick your fingers so you can feel the tingle . I only used this method when I was too lazy to walk to my truck and find my meter . Only use one hand when using this method (Put the other in your pocket), the right hand farther from your heart
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:39 AM   #42
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Smile Thanks, Steven

I know this is a bit tardy, but thanks for answering my statements.

The single GFI conundrum was nicely answered and it does make sense.

I know switching the neutral is not code, but I owned an old house before this one and I wouldn't have put it past the builder or PO to do anything. He even made a pipe connection using about 12 elbows. The BX cable for the porch light was held in the switch box with a piece of wire. Now would you trust someone like that to ALWAYS switch the hot not the neutral? I wouldn't.

I heard the manual detection of electricity was used by a relative, I didn't know it was common practice. Familiarity breeds contempt, I guess.

Thanks for the comments!
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Old 08-14-2016, 08:43 PM   #43
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I'm sort of reviving this thread because after adding a second circuit and some outlets in my Scamp I was having the same problem as the OP was. Tripping GFCI plug used as shore power in garage.

Thanks to the original post having brought the subject up, and Jon in post #8 providing a link to some troubleshooting information in another forum. RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Tech Issues: Electrical Along with the discussion in this thread by folks that really know this stuff. I was able to track down the problem. I know a bit about wiring but GFCI outlets were just starting to become a "thing" when I stopped working on this sort of stuff.

Top clue was tripped garage GFCI plug with circuit breakers in scamp off, meaning neutral / ground fault (since no power to scamp wiring with circuit breakers off) Then it was a matter of disconnecting all the white neutral wires to confirm not tripping without neutral connection. Then just a matter of re-connect each one to shore line one at a time until plugging in at garage caused a trip. Turned out to be an old outlet I used with own box that I had installed with the wires placed so that when cover was tightened it crushed and connected the white/green neutral/ground wires together. Opened up, shifted wires, plugged in, no trip.

I am going to replace that old part, started thinking about it and that part had to be well over 20 years old. Been sitting in parts box all this time waiting to be used and now I'm going to pitch it. Makes me sad. On the other hand ..... Our members are just darned helpful, makes this forum where I did the search rather than Google.
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Old 08-15-2016, 04:34 AM   #44
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