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#168945 - 09/21/07 04:26 PM My Favorite Electrical Myth
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
"Breakers and panels need to be cleaned and oiled regularly" \:\(

Yup, that's what the rental company maintenance guy told the tenant who was complaining of power surges.

Our tenant, knowing better, left the fool at the panel ... RACED to the management firm ... and said "get a REAL sparky out there!"

We found virtually every screw, including those in the meter pan, to be less than finger tight. One meter clip had got hot enough to burn the plastic base, and the spring clip lost all temper.

This is not the first time I've encountered this nonsense. At a prior job, the maintenance guy had taken a Dremel to the HOT busses to 'clean' them. In the process, he ruined at least three contacts. Oops. Customer - a 24/7 operation - got to shut down while the panel was replaced.

Where do these idiots get their information?

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#168946 - 09/21/07 05:05 PM Re: My Favorite Electrical Myth [Re: renosteinke]
BigJohn Offline
Member

Registered: 03/06/04
Posts: 352
Loc: Boston, MA
That's classic. It made me think of changing the oil on a car: Remember to replace the breaker filters, too. The guy wanted to look competent and if someone didn't know much about electrical work, that might sound like an esoteric piece of information known only to those really experienced few.

I can say from experience it's mighty hard to know you're in over your head and be forced to look a customer in the face and say "I don't know." We've all run into folks who would sooner make up an answer than admit ignorance:

I work with a licensed journeyman who jumped into a conversation between myself and an engineer to "educate" me on how an isolated ground needed to be tied to its own seperate ground rod because the current was returning to earth (one of my favorite myths).

But! In all fairness to the guy who cleaned the bus bars, it seems like I've heard of sparkys gently sanding oxidized/painted bars to improve connection. As long as you weren't grinding off copper...? So, maybe he heard the same thing.

-John


Edited by BigJohn (09/21/07 05:07 PM)

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#168953 - 09/21/07 06:35 PM Re: My Favorite Electrical Myth [Re: BigJohn]
electure Offline

Member

Registered: 12/24/00
Posts: 4226
Loc: Fullerton, CA USA
In keeping with the oil theme, from a horse ranch where I was.

The old horse trader (cheaper than Jack Benny, and the Code Enforcement Officer's best customer) that owned the place had a loadcenter with all of the knockouts removed, outside on a pole, hanging from the straps on the service riser.
Years of weather, "horse pen dust" (manure) and acidic fragrance had done a number on it.
As he walked by at twilight, he saw some arcing from one of the breaker bus stabs.

He picked up a can of his favorite remedy, WD40, and sprayed it into the panel, hoping to improve the contact.

It improved the contact alright, well enough that the whole panel erupted into a fireball that lasted long enough for him to run for a hose bibb 50' away and turn on the hose.
He ran the hose on the panel long enough that it tripped the 100Amp Main breaker.

The fool, by no action of his own, miraculously was not hurt, other than some curly-qs on his hair and eyebrows.

The panel didn't fare so well. It was the blackest thing I've ever seen.

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#168963 - 09/22/07 09:55 AM Re: My Favorite Electrical Myth [Re: electure]
Zapped Offline
Member

Registered: 10/01/02
Posts: 481
Loc: Huntington Beach, CA, USA
...oiled?

And when you service your truck, make sure to top-off your blinker fluid too.

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#168967 - 09/22/07 10:56 AM Re: My Favorite Electrical Myth [Re: Zapped]
SteveFehr Offline
Member

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 1192
Loc: Chesapeake, VA
Oh, I'm sure he was merely confusing the 3000A ACBs he routinely overhauls with 15A panel breakers \:D

My favorite are people who think that a UPS means they don't need a generator.

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#168991 - 09/23/07 09:38 AM Re: My Favorite Electrical Myth [Re: SteveFehr]
sparkyinak Offline
Member

Registered: 07/08/07
Posts: 1295
Loc: Alaska
My favorite elctrical myth. A handyman is a electrician too
_________________________
"Live Awesome!" - Kevin Carosa

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#168997 - 09/23/07 10:17 AM Re: My Favorite Electrical Myth [Re: sparkyinak]
DougW Offline
Member

Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 1083
Loc: North Chicago, IL
 Originally Posted By: sparkyinak
My favorite elctrical myth. A handyman is a electrician too


I started out as a handyman, but I at least knew what the Code was, and how to follow it.

I think that the most use a lot of these "perfessionals" have for the Code is to block up the shorter leg on the card table.

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#169001 - 09/23/07 12:10 PM Re: My Favorite Electrical Myth [Re: SteveFehr]
Elviscat Offline
Member

Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 214
Loc: Seattle Washington USA
 Originally Posted By: SteveFehr
My favorite are people who think that a UPS means they don't need a generator.


What part of "uninterruptible" don't you understand? \:D

my favorite was a local company claiming that "the national electric code requires your circuit breaker panel to be serviced by an electrician every five years" then quoted a section of the nec that had absolutely nothing to do with circuit breaker panels.

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#169014 - 09/23/07 02:38 PM Re: My Favorite Electrical Myth [Re: Elviscat]
n1ist Offline
Member

Registered: 02/13/02
Posts: 176
Loc: Malden MA
"Electricity always takes the path of least resistance". I'm a firm believer in Mr. Ohm and Mr. Kirchhoff. Trying to break Ohm's law smells bad.

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#169022 - 09/23/07 05:58 PM Re: My Favorite Electrical Myth [Re: n1ist]
macmikeman Offline
Member

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 718
Loc: Honolulu, Hawaii
How is this one? You should become an electrician, it is a really high paying job.

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