|Forum topic by TopamaxSurvivor||posted 03-30-2011 11:06 AM||2299 views||0 times favorited||75 replies|
03-30-2011 11:06 AM
About 40 years ago I asked a plumber on a job how to do something in my house. He asked why I didn’t hire a plumber to do it. I told him I could run pipe. His response was anyone can run pipe, but if you want it done right and not leak, you need a plumber.
The same goes for electrical systems. Anyone can run wire and pass inspections. A few days ago, I had a conversation with a state inspection supervisor about corrections for issues that were missed by the previous inspection when the building was built. His response was he was offended that anyone would expect inspections to be 100%.
A friend on here has pointed out there may be some risk giving free advice on the web. There is so much bad information being given on LJ about electrical systems, I just cannot let it go uncorrected. In spite of being well intended to help some one out, you are still playing with fire and, in some instances, life and death issues.
Reading a few facts in a code book or article is only one of many points to be considered in any installation. Every article in the code is affected by many others. None of them stand alone.
25 years ago, the supervision at L&I wanted me to become a state electrical inspector. They said they were having a very difficult time finding qualified people to do the inspections. The choices were boiling down to lowering their standards either by doing fewer inspections or accepting unqualified inspectors. In the end, I could not deal with all the people working in the trade that should not be licensed and were on the edge of committing arson and manslaughter instead of electrical work. I have heard many comments from customers asking about the degradation of the field personnel in the last 10 – 15 years. The push for cheaper labor is getting to critical mass. Unfortunately, some unsuspecting victims will be paying a very high price; hopefully, it will just be property loss.
One of the LJs in the local area asked me about installing a sub-panel. Because of all the misinformation being espoused here on LJ, he thought it was a requirement. The fact is most FHA and other lender inspectors require consolidation of sub-panels into a main panel. Unless it is going to a separate building, if there is space in your main panel that is the place for the circuits.
One demonstration I used to use was putting a paper clip across an outlet causing a short circuit. Most the 15 and 20 amp circuit breakers on the market would melt it before the breaker tripped. Fuses and Sq D or Cutler Hammer breakers would trip before the paper clip even got hot. Fuses of the proper size are safer than circuit breakers, but people do not want the inconvenience. With breakers of that quality in most installations, do you really want to over size the over current protection? That over current protection is supposed to stop all catastrophic failures and fires whether they are part of the building or in utilization equipment.
Overload protection on most motors is over sized, especially what is provided external to the motor. It is normally too slow to protect a motor with locked rotor current when it becomes physically jammed. It is not short circuit protection. The breaker in the panel is supposed to serve that purpose whether the problem is in the building wiring, in the attachment wiring or the motor.
Be very careful what and who you believe. If you get some bad advice about WW, you might ruin an expensive piece of wood; have finishes you don’t really like or even a gooey mess that will not dry. You probably aren’t going to have a fire or worse. Electricians are just like fighter pilots and every other trade and profession. Very few aces!