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#135505 - 01/13/03 10:38 PM Tight Terminal Screws
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
How many times have you been called out to a place to find that, the only reason you are there, is because, the person who done the installation work, never done the screws on the fitting(s) up properly?.
I went to a house, this morning, way out in the middle of nowhere, fed with 3phase,
the customer reckoned they smelt something burning around the general area of the s/board, I got there and opened up the board and the feed wires fell out of the bottom of the Main Switch,BOOOMM!!.
A Phase-Phase Short!, like to get a hold of the person that was responsible for this one.
Have you seen anything like this before?,
Or even your own experiences with loose wires,please go forth-
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#135506 - 01/14/03 10:57 AM Re: Tight Terminal Screws
j a harrison Offline
Member

Registered: 05/22/02
Posts: 112
Loc: southampton, england
Trumpy.
to many times mate, far to many times.

just one ( of many ) time comes to mind,

I was called to a bakery in the centre of a large city,
our company had originally wired the site (on two floors) the supply was 600 A per phase, supply comes in from the road into a rather large (1000 A) disco then to a bussbar chamber to three 24 way DBs one feeding all the main high loads and the other to lighting and general power (big building.

I was called in on a weekend, as i was the engineer on call, to find out, and i quote,

`why the lights are flickering and all the ovens keep on reseting there timers`, ` what have YOU done to our electrics`,

You know what i mean on that one, all of us do !

So first things first, open up the DBs one by one, and have a look, well nothing wrong there,but at the disco i noticed another cable coming out, thinking, that dont look right, walks over to have a better look, moved a bit of 4 x 2 that was in the way, it hit the `new` bit of cable, it exploded, i hit the deck, and woke up in the ER. !!!

the long and short of it is,

there `Maintenance man come janitor wanted a new supply for his tempory cabin outside and decided that instead of calling the EC he would Wire it himself,

our company is in the prcess of a court action, and he is not employed any more,

the repair job/loss of trade/accident claim etc etc is gonna cost the firm about $190,000.!!!!

people should not tamper with electricity, we are trained time served and capable, also licensed ( well you are in the US but we are not in the UK .........Yet )

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#135507 - 01/15/03 12:22 PM Re: Tight Terminal Screws
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
I move fixtures and have wires just fall out on a regular basis, although not always quite so dramatically as in your example!

I once had the PoCo's main neutral just pull straight out of the connector block when I moved it slightly.

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#135508 - 01/15/03 12:34 PM Re: Tight Terminal Screws
txsparky Offline
Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 578
Loc: Magnolia,.Texas U.S.A.
YIKES !!
It's far to common everywhere.
_________________________
Donnie

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#135509 - 01/18/03 07:21 PM Re: Tight Terminal Screws
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
JH,
Are you OK, now?.
That sounds to me like a real shocker!.
I certainly agree with your comments about leaving Electrical work, to those that are trained and qualified, to do so, this could save a lot of Electric shocks, Fires and general property damage.
I've found over the years, that a lot of Engineering and General Maintenance staff, are working too far, out of their skills base when they start hooking up 3-phase equipment
and controls.
Recently, I had a callout, to the local Meat-Works, to repair a Backing Saw(splits Pig carcasses in half and it is the most vicious looking machine I have seen yet).
But, long story short, it was running backwards(and no, it was not joining the pigs back together), but it did nearly take the head off a Slaughter-man, only because one of the Maintenance men(?), didn't know about Phase Rotation of 3-Phase equipment,
he assumed, that no matter which way the feed was hooked up, the saw would turn the same way, as it was fed through a gearbox.
Still haven't worked out, his line of thinking on this one.
One thing I do know, is that, assumptions are the Mother of all F*** ups.

[This message has been edited by Trumpy (edited 01-18-2003).]
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#135510 - 01/20/03 11:34 AM Re: Tight Terminal Screws
Texas_Ranger Offline
Member

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2343
Loc: Vienna, Austria
Recently renovated School building. Circular saw in woodworking class, dedicated 16A 3ph circuit. Teacher wondered why saw worked so poorly. Opens receptacle, phases swapped. lol!
Concerning loose screws: Take an old switch out of the box or open a plug, and chances are good at least one of the wires will immediately fall out of the screws. In the Villa I mentioned in the DC system post EVERY switch had at least one loose wire.

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#135511 - 01/21/03 10:22 PM Re: Tight Terminal Screws
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Texas,
Over here, we have a thing called Visual Inspection, as part of the testing regime,
before an installation is first energised, this entails, giving the wires in the gear that you have just installed, a wee pull, to make sure they are tight, in thier terminals,
but some people are just not playing the same game over here.
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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#135512 - 01/22/03 04:47 AM Re: Tight Terminal Screws
Belgian Offline
Member

Registered: 10/10/02
Posts: 177
Loc: antwerp
Personally, I think that those screws get loose with time. This is especially true in panels with breakers where the heat/warmth which is emitted can cause those screws to loosen up.

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#135513 - 01/22/03 05:32 AM Re: Tight Terminal Screws
Texas_Ranger Offline
Member

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2343
Loc: Vienna, Austria
Well, remember, here in Austria a sparky's work is not inspected. Every sparky is his own inspector. The switches I mentioned were replacements, so probably they just sent out an apprentice. Yes, maybe the screws become loose, but it varies remarkably. Some old screws are still perfectly tight, sometimes there are tight and loose screws within one switch box.

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#135514 - 01/22/03 01:07 PM Re: Tight Terminal Screws
Belgian Offline
Member

Registered: 10/10/02
Posts: 177
Loc: antwerp
Yes, you're right Ranger that it varies remarkably. I am one who always makes a point of tightening screws very very strongly (sometimes untill they snap in half!(I have encountered this problem only with screws of contactors which have thinner screws. Let me add that I always get a replacement in such a case under the manufacturers warranty))
I was once called to a place where a whole RCD melted b/c of sparks that were created b/c of loose screws. It melted untill it made a short and the MCB tripped! I find that it would be a good idea to make RCD's with a thermal protection, too. I think that that's how a lot of fires (which are due to electrical fault) start.

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