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#110862 - 07/15/06 08:37 AM Fixing a Mess that Someone Left
Webmaster Offline


Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 3142
Loc: NY, USA
4 apartment building.

Someone called an electrican but I don't think so.

Just after the landlord gets back from vacation and tried to get his electrican to upgrade a service at one of the buildings he owns.

Owner bought 4 new panels and a 4 bank square D meter and wanted it installed.

His electrican did not feel like finishing a 4 meter service. This is what it is left like with no good layout as to placing the panels and refeeding the circuits. My boss and I are stumped as to what the guy was thinking. He tried to power the service which cut from the service drop and could not bug into due to hearing sparks and wire making sounds in the couduit feeding the meter.

He tried to temp in the 2 panels for the 4 apartments cause he wanted to get the hell out of there. Only powered some of the apartments back up and some had no power at all in 90 degree weather. Only left one of the phases hook up outside (wish I too a picture of that mess too) with the neutral. Feed from the service line was not even safed off.

Check out the pics and see if it can take you a few hours to fix and find what circuits go to what apartment. I just want to pull everything off the wall and do it right. I know I am not great but even in my worst day I could not even think of doing something like this.

I know I am leaving a lot of things out about the story so if ya got any questions just post them.

Jet98 (Joe)

2014 / 2011 NEC & Related Books and Study Guides
#110863 - 07/15/06 09:19 AM Re: Fixing a Mess that Someone Left
Alan Nadon Offline

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 398
Loc: Elkhart, IN. USA
Just salvage the panels and start all over.
If it was easy, anyone could do it.

#110864 - 07/15/06 09:31 AM Re: Fixing a Mess that Someone Left
Celtic Offline

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 367
Loc: NJ
That was no electrician that started that job...looks like a hack job from the word "GO".

I wouldn't be angry with the hack - he just created a HUGE job for a competant electrician

Now if I were the LL...I would very, very POed at the hack....but you get what you pay for.

Being as this appears to be in NJ, in an area I service (possible Harrison area) ~ based on the PSE&G stickers ~ I would take this bull by the horns and staighten it out.

BTW, I would add a 5th meter for the house circuits.

[This message has been edited by Celtic (edited 07-15-2006).]
~~ CELTIC ~~
...-= NJ =-...

#110865 - 07/15/06 05:45 PM Re: Fixing a Mess that Someone Left
trobb Offline

Registered: 06/08/06
Posts: 111
Loc: Iowa City, IA
"Neat and workmanlike" anyone?

#110866 - 07/15/06 09:20 PM Re: Fixing a Mess that Someone Left
mamills Offline

Registered: 11/30/01
Posts: 739
Loc: Wharton, Texas, USA
"HORRIBLE" is the word that comes to my mind when I look at this mess. Someone's gonna have to spend a lot of time ringing out all of these circuits and figuring what goes where. Time to start from scratch.

I'm interested in those meter cans. Is the power supplied to them from appears to be some kind of duct behind them?

What was originally connected to the wires sticking out of those nipples beneath the first two meters?

Mike (mamills)

#110867 - 07/16/06 06:50 AM Re: Fixing a Mess that Someone Left
steve ancient apprentice Offline

Registered: 03/04/05
Posts: 170
Loc: west springfield,mass
As I usually say YUCK WHAT A MESS.
i AGREE WITH THE OTHER REPLY. Start the whole thing over. I may be only a third year apprentice but the best and safest way to do this is to start over. Its the bosses licence that owns the place when you finish. No way did a electrician do this. Good luck and please charge accoringly.

#110868 - 07/16/06 10:46 AM Re: Fixing a Mess that Someone Left
JJM Offline

Registered: 10/31/05
Posts: 102
I just love all how all the BX is connected in the panel on the left with no grounding/bonding.

Speaking of grounding/bonding, I don't see any in either of the panels, though I guess when that uninsulated neutral lug on the left panel touches the case, it could at least considered "bonded".

Also seems to be a little Romex connected into those fuseboxes pictured on top, despite the fact the building wiring is largely BX; probably some handyman electrical "improvements" and "upgrades".

Just curious, on those new BX connections on the right panel, were red heads used?

The best though is the seemingly live and very short hanging conductors from the left-most meter. Were they planning on extending those into a panel, or what?


[This message has been edited by JJM (edited 07-16-2006).]

#110869 - 07/16/06 11:07 AM Re: Fixing a Mess that Someone Left
Luketrician Offline

Registered: 07/08/06
Posts: 273
Loc: Sale Creek, TN USA
Good point on the liability issue. Once you start working on it, you have to tear back all the way back to the point where you feel confident that there isn't any hidden violations that could land you in court. As far as neat and workman like, I doubt that all of that existing mc would reach any of the panels when they are routed and strapped accordingly. Might as well mount a trough close to the ceiling to catch all of the mc. Then install terminal strips to change over from mc to say stranded THHN. I would comment further on the other obvious, and numerous violations, but this is turning into a novel. (Next)
Luke Clarke
Electrical Planner for TVA.

#110870 - 07/30/06 05:26 AM Re: Fixing a Mess that Someone Left
ShockMe77 Offline

Registered: 06/11/05
Posts: 823
Loc: Rahway, New Jersey
I love fixing up services like this one. I really do. In fact, I wish I could do a service every single day of the week! Set up your tools, some lights, a radio, and away I go.

I understand the person who installed this is competant. This explains why both panels are butt up against each other so it looks nice and neat. The question is, how nice and neat is going to look when the panel covers are put on and they overlap one another? LOL

#110871 - 07/31/06 10:16 AM Re: Fixing a Mess that Someone Left
RSmike Offline

Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 130
Loc: Holland, MI USA
But....And....Then the...Why....Who... Isn't.....

You didn't happen to find the ashes from a sacrificed code book on the floor?

I would start by labeling everything and where it goes...or at least went. Then I'd start over with a nice new 4x8 sheet of plywood on an empty wall. Send the tenants for ice cream....for a couple days....


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