Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee
kevin_standlee

Getting Grounded

While working on the electrical wiring in the garage, of course the circuits to the garage had to be turned off, so Lisa ran an extension cord from the electrical pedestal we had installed when we bought the house to provide service to the travel trailer.

Trailer Pedestal

This box has two outlets, each with its own separate circuit breaker. The round black outlet is for a 30A RV plug that provides power to the travel trailer. To the right is a 15A GFI outlet to which you can run things like the leaf blower or an extension to run lights like Lisa was doing. The outlet you see here is a replacement for the original outlet, which Lisa had to pull out because it broke a plug.

To Lisa's great annoyance, the original outlet grabbed the ground pin on the extension cord and it broke off in the outlet. She can replace the plug by cutting it off and wiring in a new one, but as the original plug is molded into the wire whereas the replacement will only be clamped, it won't be quite as good.

With a pin jammed in the original outlet, Lisa needed to take it out and replace it. When she did so, she had bad things to say about the electrician who installed the pedestal.

Electrical Grounding

With the power turned off to this at the main service box on the house, Lisa here is pointing at the "ground bus" to which you should attach the ground line from all outlets. When Lisa originally removed the front plate, she discovered that the electrician hadn't grounded either of the two outlets here when he installed them! Among other things, this means that the GFI-protected outlet was not actually protected. For almost ten years, we've simply been lucky.

Lisa pulled out the old outlet (and was able to get the broken pin out of the outlet) and set it aside, installing the new one shown in the pictures above. You can see in the photo that she also installed the ground lines (green wires) to the bus. Another wire runs from the bus back down the conduit to the main power box, where it ties into the ground bus there.

As it happens, the electrician who installed this never got around to billing us. Given the shoddy job Lisa discovered, I feel far less guilty about this than I once did.
Tags: electrical, house, trailer
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