Originally Posted By: pabernathy
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It is my experience that usually it is a combination of a loose connection and multi-wire neutral overload. The possible theory is it happens from the end where the wire is stripped and higher heat because of lack of insulation near the end that is stripped…then it melts backwards…
But again......no science behind it....
I would simply suggest when an HI is looking at this they should locate the "ungrounded" wires in the circuit with the melted "grounded" wire and see if it is a possible multi-wire circuit.....and then see if they are both on the same side or apart from each other....or on the same side with a breaker between them....either way they are on the same phase and giving an improper balance to the neutral.
The melted insulation is only the starting point....the next point would be to do the following:
1.) Verify the above "ungrounded " ( ie: hot wires ) and see if their are more than (1) coming into the box from the same point the melted neutral enters....
2.) Make sure the " ungrounded" conductor is not one size and placed on a breaker that is oversized....meaning a # 14 AWG on a 30 AMP breaker...trust me...home owners do such a thing....sure it could also melt the black wire insulation as well...but it might not be noticed or started yet.....
3.) Lastly it could very well be a loose neutral....but unless you have a specialty in electrical...I would simply at this point refer it to a licensed electrician....( now I tug on it because I happen to be a electrician so I am comfortable with it....)
But you need to rule out all the above....in determining the problem but in all cases....if questions persist refer to an Electrician.
Paul W. Abernathy- NACHI Certified
Electrical Service Specialists
Licensed Master Electrician
President of NACHI Central Virginia Chapter
Moderator @ Doityourself.com
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