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Monster HTS-1000 ground problem - any electrians out there?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mike-H, Oct 19, 2001.

  1. Mike-H

    Mike-H Agent

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    I just hooked up my home theater to a Monster HTS-1000 power center and the "Ground OK" LED did not come on. So, I unplugged everything and took the HTS-1000 to different plugs around the house. It looks like the only circuit in my house that is not grounded properly is the one where my home theater is. The LED comes on everywhere else.
    What could be wrong with that one circuit to cause the "Ground OK" LED not to come on? The other plugs on that circuit have the same problem. FYI, the house is 11 years old and all the plugs are 3-prong.
    Any electricians out there? (Maybe you electrians [​IMG] could help too. I need to proof read my topics more closely since you can't edit them)
    [Edited last by Mike-H on October 19, 2001 at 08:33 AM]
     
  2. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

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    Mike-H,
    I have a similar problem with my Monster product. I have the AV700 and when I hooked it up, both the green and the red light came on. After looking in the manual, it states that if they both come on, it means that there may be a polarity issue with the house (which is 1.5 years old). I had one of the builder's assistants check out the room with some kind of electrical device and he said that the polarity was okay. However, I don't buy it. Therefore, I too am looking for some electrician advice!
    Ron
     
  3. Mike-H

    Mike-H Agent

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    The HTS-1000 does not have a red LED. It has 2 green LEDs for 'Protection On' and 'Ground OK'. The red switch also lights up when switched on. Both green LEDs are supposed to be on to indicate everything is working.
    I am thinking I have a loose ground wire in this circuit. Maybe at the breaker box since all the plugs act the same in this circuit - no 'Ground OK' LED.
    Any other thoughts?
     
  4. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

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    Actually, maybe I'm thinking about the "Protection On" light. If my memory serves me correctly, it's not supposed to be lit...
     
  5. Mike-H

    Mike-H Agent

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    Ron,
    Maybe our units operate are differently. My manual says both LEDs are supposed to be on. And they both do come on when I plug it into any other circuit in my house. It figures the only circuit in my house with a problem is where my home theater is [​IMG] ...
     
  6. SamRoza

    SamRoza Stunt Coordinator

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    Why don't you do the easiest thing and turn the breaker to that room off, remove the plug receptacle from the wall, and make sure the ground is connected securely?
    That's where I'd start.
    Sam
     
  7. RossVTaylor

    RossVTaylor Extra

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    If you're concerned about a ground fault or incorrect wiring issue, you can buy a small plug-in tester at Home Depot or any similar store. It's a small module with several (3?) LEDs, and a three prong plug built into it. The whole thing's only about the size of a heavy extension cord plug, and they're about $12.
    It's a must-have item for any homeowner. You can check the status and wiring of receptacles in a new home before purchase, or after wiring changes. The small button on it allows you to check the functioning of GFCI receptacles.
    This tester will tell you if there's a problem without removing the receptacle, if your uncomfortable with doing that.
    Ross
     
  8. Kerry Hackney

    Kerry Hackney Stunt Coordinator

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    OK, assuming that there is indeed a ground problem in this circuit here's what I would do. Do you know how the recepticle is fed? Does the romex come from the breaker panel in one long run to this outlet? If it does there are three possiblities. 1 the bare ground wire is not connected to the recepticle (the green screw) 2 the bare ground wire is not connected to the ground bar in the panel or 3 there is a break in the wire... which is not likely but could be. If the circuit loops through other outlets before it gets to your AV center then the ground could be disconected at any of the upstream outlets. I would bet that it is at the recepticle where your equipment is. Turn off the breaker and pull it out of the wall. If that isn't it follow the wires from the breaker to where they go together into the romex jacket. Find the bare wire there and follow it to the ground/neutral bar. A lot of times they are tied together. There should also be one large bare wire that goes from that bar/s to the outside and the ground rod. Failing that you could run a long piece of speaker wire from the end of the bare in the panel to the outlet and use a continuity tester to see if there is a break anywhere. Make sure the breaker is off when you do this. If there is continuity then the other possibiltiy is the outlet itself. They are cheap to replace so that would be a cheap fix attempt. The internal ground in the device could be broken. Black to the gold colored screw, white to the silver screw and bare to the green screw.
     
  9. Mike-H

    Mike-H Agent

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    The HTS-1000 is basically my ground tester, so I know most of the plugs in that room are not grounded. There may be one or two I didn't check last night. So, it would seem the ground is disconnected some where between the breaker and the first plug - whichever one that is. Or if there is one good plug, the problem would be between the good plug and the next bad plug.
    Is that how houses are wired - in series? Or could the connections 'fan' out? Is there just one cable from each breaker?
    I let you know what I find out when I get home...
     
  10. Mike-H

    Mike-H Agent

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    Well, I still do not know what the problem is. First, I switched off the breaker and inspected all 8 plugs. I took the cover off and unscrewed the plugs from the boxes. The ground wire on each plug was connected good. The ground wire went to a wire nut that connected this pigtail to the ground wires from the 2 cables coming in the box. One box had 3 cables in it. I actually verified a short with a digital multimeter between the ground socket on the plug to each bare wire coming out of the cables. I thought maybe one of the wire nuts was not actually shorting the wires together.
    Then I inspected the breaker box. I actually found a ground wire that was not fully inserted in one of the clamps. I thought that had to be the ground from that circuit. But after I clamped it in I still had the same problem: "Ground OK" LED not on.
    Next, I plugged in an extension cord in one of the suspect plugs and ran it to the breaker box. I verified a short with the multimeter from the ground on the extension cord to the ground bar in the breaker box. So the ground wire seems to be OK.
    What could be the problem? I would think the HTS-1000 was bad, but the "Ground OK" light comes on when plugged into other circuits in the house.
    Could there be a borderline problem with one of the plugs? I could replace them. Can I do with my multimeter what this plug tester mentioned above does?
     
  11. Gary Silverman

    Gary Silverman Stunt Coordinator

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    Mike, it still sounds like you've got a break in the ground wire somehere. It's very possible that the cicuit may run through some other electrical box besides the receptacle boxes. You may need to look in some of the switch boxes and/or ceiling light boxes. I've found that, many times, when a homeowner replaces a light fixture, the wiring doesn't always get put back together properly, even though the light works. Good luck investigating.
     
  12. Mike-H

    Mike-H Agent

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    I found and fixed the problem. Both LEDs on the HTS-1000 are now on.
    quote: I've found that, many times, when a homeowner replaces a light fixture, the wiring doesn't always get put back together properly, even though the light works.[/quote]
    Well, that home owner was me, but it wasn't a light fixture. Several years ago I installed pulldown stairs in the garage for easier access to storage space above the garage. Well, there was one electrical cable strung tight across the opening where I put the stairs. So, I spliced in several feet of new cable to be able to route the cable around the stair opening. Guess which cable that was? [​IMG] I had crossed the hot and neutral wires on one splice. You all know how hard it is to tell the difference between white and black. [​IMG] The ground was good, but the HTS-1000 probably couldn't detect a connection between nuetral and ground.
    I guess it is a good thing I got the HTS-1000 or I never would have know I had a problem.
    Thanks for your help...
    [Edited last by Mike-H on October 20, 2001 at 11:49 AM]
     

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