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I think I need a electrician...

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Jonathon Tillman, Aug 8, 2004.

  1. Jonathon Tillman

    Jonathon Tillman Stunt Coordinator

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    I live in a colonial built in 1961.

    The problem I am having is electric current bar and hum lines that go up the screen. You can only see them on a bright screen and when the room is dark. I suspected it was romex wire that runs next to the video/audio cables in the ceiling. We moved the flex rack a couple of times and I tryed my best the 2nd time to keep the cables away from the electric lines. Does electric lines affect coaxial quad shield RG6?

    This type of nuisance happens with everything that goes through. Dvd, satellite, LD and xbox, all of these go though the same line with a video switcher.

    Last week we just got cable and the day after the techs left installing the boxes we started to notice a sound hum (at high volumes) and strong lines going up the screen with green stripes. This was driving me crazy. I called my cable company and asked for them to send out a tech to investigate this and he determined that the house ground has 2.75-3.0 amps on it and that was the cause of the problem. Before he left though he decided to replace the ground clamp for the cable line to the house. He did not know it but that fixed the problem somewhat. I still have little lines going up but not as bad as before.

    I did a little trouble shooting and bought one of those clamp electrical testers and pinpointed what circuits were causing the short. It's three circuit and it's in the wall and I can't find it. Another thing is that when I shut down the entire house there is still 1.00 amp on the house ground? The type of fuse box that is on the house is a Federal Pacific Stab Lok circuit breaker, Which turns out to be faulty (from info I got over the net), It does not trip when supposed to and might be leaking into the house ground.

    Is it normal for the meter to make a arc buzzing when the primary house circuit is cut?

    The cable tech told me to change the ground clamps on the house ground with a pair of hot gloves, I got the clamps but I am afraid to wit 3.00 amps on the line.

    When I was troubleshooting I pulled the appliances out and flipped each circuit one by one.
    Is there a line tester you can get that you stick in a outlet and it tells you if it is installed properly?

    I don't know what to do about this situation, any ideas?
     
  2. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    Yes, by all means get an eelctrician to consult.

    It sounds - to me who is not an electrician - that you've got major leage... interesting going on in your house electrical.

    And, in my experience, there are a lot of places that you don't want... interesting. Electrical, plumbing, and framing are the first three that come to mind in a house (though not particularly in that order.)

    Leo Kerr
     
  3. Jonathon Tillman

    Jonathon Tillman Stunt Coordinator

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    In my house we don't have a lightning rod I don't think. Where does the neutral go from the box, isn't that a ground too? The Two lines that come from the pole are the two hot wires with 120v on each both are 240v and a ground I think. When the cable comp and telephone ground there wires on the pipe coming down to the meter where does the pipe get connected to the ground for that to work?

    If there is 1 amp on the ground with the main circuit off then something is touching the ground in the box right? I'd like to learn a little more about the box and it's wires, or the neutral if any.

    The tester the cable guy had was a $100 one. The one I got was a cheap $50 one from craftsman that read .5 amps when it touched nothing, But I think it did do it's job. Is there anything that returns back to the pole?

    Does anyone else have a Federal Pacific fuse box?
    What kind of fuse box do you have?

    Jonathon
     
  4. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    I've encountered Federal Pacific at work; so far as I can tell, a box is a box is a box. The only real difference is, does it use fuses or breakers?

    Me, personally, I like breakers. (We have the ever popular Square-D panel at home.)

    My recollection is that we have three wires coming from the pole: the two hots and a neutral. The white wire goes back to the pole, and the ground wire is connected to (in our case,) the cold water supply pipe (earth ground.) Maybe also to a copper stake driven into the ground, but I'm not positive of that.

    I would guess (and note: I am not an electrician of any sort!) that you have some sort of current leakage going on. This is a bad thing, and would trip a ground-fault-inturrupter so fast it'd make your head spin.

    But I refer you back to my original response:


    Leo Kerr
     

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