More Electrical Panel Work

The last few nights I’ve been doing more work on my temporary electrical panel. I should probably come up with a name for it, like Panel of Power, only better. I’ll work on that. As of tonight I’ve gotten all of the main outlets wired and the breakers in place. The last outlet, the one that will run the timer that will control the SSRs, isn’t in because I thought I had an extra GFCI here, but turns out that the one I have is ivory, and we can’t have an ivory outlet in a panel full of white ones. I’m going to see if the hardware will trade me a white one for the ivory one tomorrow.

I have some more pictures to post from the last few nights, however they are on my other camera card. That camera decided to die on me Monday night and the warranty is up on it in a week, so I was pretty quick to send it in for factory service. Anyhow, that camera card is on my desk at work because I keep forgetting to bring it home. Tonight’s pictures came courtesy of the camera my wife uses most of the time.

Back to the electrical panel. I had everything wired up and pretty like, and was all excited about it because it looked pretty darn good. I figured I had better do some testing on it to make sure there weren’t any shorts before I powered it up. Much to my dismay, the ground and the neutral were shorted together somewhere. I started using my CSI skills and found that the culprit was the cable clamps on the breaker box. They had some how found their way through enough of the insulation on 2 neutral wires to tie them to ground. Upon examining the wires, all I could find was some marks where the clamps were, but no exposed copper. It must have been something as small as a pin pricking the insulation because once I loosened the clamps and moved the wires the short went away. I was initially going to just wrap them in electrical tape and re-clamp them, but then I decided that since they were all wire tied pretty well, that I would just leave the clamping part off.

It would seem that these weren’t the right kind of clamps to use, but I didn’t see anything else at the hardware that would work. Maybe the key is just surrounding the wires with something, like electrical tape. After more testing I determined that the clamps on the receptacle boxes weren’t doing the same thing, but it still worries me a bit how easily a short was created. After removing the clamps and re-securing the wires, I thoroughly tested the whole thing for shorts and couldn’t find any, so that’s a good sign.

All that’s left is to put the last receptacle in and run the control wires for the SSRs. Then I should be ready to test. Since I don’t have my 50A 240V outlet installed outside yet, I will probably just plug it into the unused stove outlet (the one whose circuit I’m stealing for the outside outlet) to see if it works.

Also, in Pixel news, I received a tracking number from JEC for the replacement boards, so that means they are finally on their way. I’m hoping they will arrive Fri. or Sat., but I proabably won’t have time to assemble one until Sun. at the Earliest. Still no sign of the Ren2DMX boards, but I’m still holding out hope.

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