Drop Ceiling Carrying Current?

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After we use our shower, our ceiling makes a buzzing noise (sounds like a bug stuck up there). When my husband moved the drop ceiling tiles he noticed one rail is carrying current (it was throwing off a continues spark when it touched another metal). We turned off the breaker in our apartment and the apartment above ours and it was still carrying a current, not as strong as it was before we turned the breakers off but still enough to notice. Any ideas as to what it could be? is it possible that who ever installed the drop ceiling drove a nail into a wire in the wall?

Switching just the 2 apartment's breakers off was a good try, but now you need to switch other breakers until the current is gone. Then, leave that circuit off even if someone needs to run an extension cord or 2 until the repair is completed.

Once it's gone, then nails can be extracted & reinserted until the offender is found in the ceiling & walls, the token (hopefully) long nail or screw would be the...

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Switching just the 2 apartment's breakers off was a good try, but now you need to switch other breakers until the current is gone. Then, leave that circuit off even if someone needs to run an extension cord or 2 until the repair is completed.

Once it's gone, then nails can be extracted & reinserted until the offender is found in the ceiling & walls, the token (hopefully) long nail or screw would be the likely culprit. If the Landlord doesn't act immediately & filing a complaint with Local Officials has an estimate of weeks, months, a year or never.

Then, you can still protect yourselves by insulating the drop's grid, perimeter rail ends & bottoms & the hanging wires. Rails with, bicycle inner tube chunks, plastic L's like the clear clips that come with mini-blinds to secure the blind's bottom (stores sell them in bulk packs), or anything similar in shape & material. Hanging wires can be removed & wrapped with electrical tape & reinstalled or at the ceiling you may be...

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It sounds like there's an ungrounded (hot) conductor shorted to ground somewhere. Finding the short is likely going to be a tedious task.

Did you install grommets or clamps, where the wiring passed through knockout holes in boxes? If not, start by inspecting the wiring where it passes through the knockouts. The edges of these holes (especially on thin recessed lighting boxes) can be quite sharp, and can easily damage cables and wires as they pass through the hole.

Check all your connections, making sure nothing came into contact with ground or non-current carrying metal. This can sometimes happen when wires are pushed into boxes, so check for loose or pulled out wires.

Inspect cables/wires where they are supported, especially where supported by metal staples or clips.

Start by turning off each breaker in the panel one at a time, while monitoring the voltage on the drop ceiling rails with your non-contact voltage tester. When the voltage goes away, you've...

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Soundproof Ceilings to Stop Airborne and Impact Sound

If you live in a flat, or a property converted to accommodate multiple occupants ceiling soundproofing might be your only option when trying to reduce noise generated by your neighbours. Even if you live in detached property soundproofing your ceilings can be used to reduce the noise between living rooms and bedrooms, listening to a teenager playing computer games in there bedroom is not very relaxing after a day at work. Various solutions are available depending on what type of noise you are trying to stop, airborne or impact noise and how much height you can afford to lose in the rooms you are trying to soundproof. In this article you will find solutions to suit the most common noise problems in domestic properties, as well as how to soundproof a ceiling to meet current Building Regulations Part E.

Is it airborne or impact noise?

Airborne Sound This occurs when a sound transfers directly from a source...

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If you had asked me a year ago would I ever write an article called "how to install a drop ceiling" I would have looked at you like you had three heads. Yet, here I am. Or rather, here we are.

I taught myself how to install a drop ceiling and here's the result. It makes me tear up with joy each time I go down to my basement. I'm writing this article to show you how to do yours.

I'm guessing you are here for the same reason that I was Googling for days on end a year ago. You want to know if you can install a drop ceiling in your basement on your own.

The short answer is yes! Yes you can and it's not that hard. You can save a lot of money by doing it yourself IF you don't make some of these key mistakes.

If you're here because you're still trying to decide should you go with a drop ceiling over a drywall ceiling for your basement then make sure to read both sides of the debate here on the site. Here's Jason's article that is definitely against drop...

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Edit Article

Suspended ceilings, also called "drop ceilings" or "dropped ceilings," are a popular choice for office spaces and residential basements. They are inexpensive, easy, and quick to install, and they require little maintenance. They also offer plenty of air space above the tiles for utility lines. The best way to insulate a drop ceiling is to install batt insulation between the ceiling joists before installing the hanging grid; this installation would proceed as any insulation installation. If you are seeking to add insulation to a suspended ceiling that is already in place, however, you will have to rest the batt insulation on top of the ceiling...

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Current Carrying Capacity Tables

The links below show tables of the current carrying capacity and voltage drops relating to Doncaster Cables products.

Below these links you will find our cable calculator. Instructions below:-

1. Choose your supply type (Single phase 230V / Three Phase 400V)
2. Choose your required voltage drop
3. Input the power in watts or current in amperes which you require your cable to carry
4. Input the length of your cable run
5. Choose the method of installation how the cable is going to be installed
6. Press calculate and your cable sizes will be calculated.

Our calculator now lists different cable types, so by scrolling down the list you are able to see how different cable types may have different sizes for the same set of parameters.
Choose a cable which is suitable for your installation.

Cable Size Calculator

Supply TypePowerCable RunMethod

Cable Size Calculator...

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The drop ceiling, also called the suspended ceiling, is like avocado-colored refrigerators or confetti-colored linoleum: You either love them or hate them. Invented in the 1960s, the drop ceiling consists of interlocking tiles suspended on a metal grid. Wire cables hold the metal grid several inches from the ceiling. If your drop ceiling is looking a little shabby and you're ready for a change, the first step is to remove the suspended ceiling in the opposite order it was originally installed: tiles, lights and metal grid. Once removed, you can repair the original ceiling, if possible, or add new sheets of drywall.

Remove the Drop Ceiling

Lift up a tile and tilt it slightly to lower it from the drop ceiling grid. Climb up the ladder until you can see over the drop ceiling. Quickly inspect the condition of the drop ceiling and the ceiling above it. Older drop ceilings may be coated with dust, rodent droppings or nests, or old electrical wiring, so be careful when...

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This calculator requires the use of Javascript enabled and capable browsers. This calculator is designed to give an approximate quantity for all materials needed for a drop ceiling installation. While we assume regular dimensions, you can estimate irregular dimensions fairly well. Measure the length of the room (at the longest point if irregular) and the width of the room (at the widest point if irregular). Enter the values; if you are using 2 x 4 tiles, you may want to try the entries both ways to see if the fit is better one way or the other. Enter the distance from the ceiling you are covering to the support point of the drop ceiling (if irregular, use the average distance, though that compromises the individual tie wire length). Click on Calculate for the values returned. We have assumed in this calculation that the perimeter support moldings will support all outside edges of the outside ceiling tiles. We round up, not down. We assume 4 pieces of ceiling wire per 12 foot main...

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23 September 2008 12:35 AM

markym

Posts: 13
Joined: 23 September 2008

i recently upped a existing lighting circuit wired in 1.0mm from a 6amp breaker to 10amp breaker, my gaffer said i was wrong to do this as 1.0mm only carries 8amps but as i pointed out albeit in a sixteenth edition regs book using method1 1.0mm in table 4d2a in that method is shown to carry 15amps which he was shocked when i showed him, he had forgotten were he had got that figure from but i also pointed out wickes 1.0mm cable also advertises that it takes 13amps, i would like to hear from very experienced electricians on this view as i dont feel i did anything dangerous, ive only been qualified for three years on the city & guilds coarse, and a lot of sparkys have different values for 1.0mm used with that method,interested in your opinions thanx mark.

23 September 2008 12:53 AM

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When considering cable ratings care needs to taken as this is not as straight forward as it may seem. For example, if you check the manufacturers current rating for 1.5 twin and earth cable (suitable for most lighting circuits in a domestic environment) it will state that it is around 20 amps, but this value would only apply if the cable was in free air (as it can cool easily). If you put the same cable above a plasterboard ceiling covered by thermal insulation 100mm thick (17th edition regs reference method 100) its current carrying capacity is reduced to 16 amps (because it can no long cool as easily).

Consider the table below and the reference methods below that to see how the current carrying capacity is affected by installing the cable in different situations.

Examples of installation method

Cable sizing example

So lets say we wish to rewire a lighting circuit for the upstairs of our house. We have 3 bedrooms, a bathroom and a landing light. So...

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