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#6467 - 01/05/02 09:10 AM Splicing a new light fixture while circuit is energized
Elzappr Offline
Member

Registered: 12/20/01
Posts: 273
Loc: Oregon
I'm wondering about how many out there have experienced any problems with connecting fluorescent fixtures into live circuits. Consider the possibility of having a short in a new fixture..straight out of the box..and you try to add that light by slipping a wire nut loose and jamming in the new wire.. until you start to connect that last wire!!!

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#6468 - 01/05/02 11:02 AM Re: Splicing a new light fixture while circuit is energized
Tom Offline
Member

Registered: 01/01/01
Posts: 1069
Loc: Shinnston, WV USA
Why in the world are you connecting to a live circuit? Trying to get your name in the paper?

Something similar happened to an apprentice I knew, connecting up a piece of Romex that had a dead short. His fingers were burned pretty bad. No permanent damage, but he was off work for a couple of weeks. I don't believe he ever connected to a live wire again.
_________________________
Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.

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#6469 - 01/05/02 11:14 AM Re: Splicing a new light fixture while circuit is energized
Steve Miller Offline
Member

Registered: 08/30/01
Posts: 322
Loc: Loudoun Cty, VA
Well Mr. Engineer, perhaps you should spend some time doing commercial service. You won't let us "value engineer" the system, even though it's the engineer's client who usually requests it, now you want us to turn off the lights/circuit. Most of us wish we could, we're not too crazy about working on live circuits; but try and turn off the lights for only 2 minutes and see what the office people say. In ain't gonna happen. But there's always choice 2 ... do it when the office is closed. That can work, but the customers won't pay the OT bill. So we do what we have to do. By the way, try and change a 4 way switch in a 2 gang metal box in a 277v system (where the other switch is on a different phase) while it's hot. That'll keep you humble.

To answer your question ... I've probably added 100 or so and have been lucky about 98 times. You just learn to be careful and be prepared.

Sorry about the tone here, don't mean to pick on you personally.

BTW are you one of the engrs whose blueprints still tell us to use THW wire? )

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#6470 - 01/05/02 11:17 AM Re: Splicing a new light fixture while circuit is energized
Elzappr Offline
Member

Registered: 12/20/01
Posts: 273
Loc: Oregon
That reminds me of my apprenticeship. I was working on a snack bar/marina complex and the branch panel didn't have any circuit labeling. My J.W. told me to just short the hot out to a solid ground, and thus identify the breaker later by seeing which one tripped. Well, I did that trick one time too many when the greasy wood floor caught fire because of the arcing ground fault I created at a floor outlet! I guess I should have connected the wire to ground with more 'authority'..or better still, I should have worked with a REAL Journeyman Wireman.

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#6471 - 01/05/02 11:22 AM Re: Splicing a new light fixture while circuit is energized
Elzappr Offline
Member

Registered: 12/20/01
Posts: 273
Loc: Oregon
Ah Steve, I KNEW that my question was double edged! No, I'm not an engineer. How 'bout those engineers who spec only one multiwire home run in a 3/4 conduit!?

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#6472 - 01/05/02 12:47 PM Re: Splicing a new light fixture while circuit is energized
sparky Offline
Member

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5545
At last, an honest down to earth thread!
70E and subpart S would hold us suspect for our everyday habits. The justification for live work is simply smoke & mirrors to shelter the corporate machine from liability, it serves them more than it ever will us.
BTW, screw up, and your dead carcass will be posted on the internet as an example of incompetance!!!!!

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#6473 - 01/05/02 01:11 PM Re: Splicing a new light fixture while circuit is energized
electure Offline

Member

Registered: 12/24/00
Posts: 4226
Loc: Fullerton, CA USA
I'm not recommending this, of course.
One could very easily detect a dead short by testing the load side of their wiring with an ohmmeter before they hooked it up hot!!

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#6474 - 01/05/02 01:15 PM Re: Splicing a new light fixture while circuit is energized
resqcapt19 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/10/00
Posts: 2209
Loc: IL
Steve,
That's fine that you work these circuits hot until someone gets hurt or killed. Then you not only have to deal with the injury or death but also a "wanton and willful" citation from OSHA. There a number of larger electrical contracting firms that have notified their clients that they will not work anything hot, with the only exception being the necessary hot troubleshooting. Clients that did not want the circuits shut off were told to find another contractor.
Note that your 277 volt switch example is also a code violation. See 380-8(b).
Don(resqcapt19)
_________________________
Don(resqcapt19)

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#6475 - 01/06/02 06:15 AM Re: Splicing a new light fixture while circuit is energized
electure Offline

Member

Registered: 12/24/00
Posts: 4226
Loc: Fullerton, CA USA
Steve Miller,
Who cares what the office people say? It's not their butt on the line.

The company I work for had an electrician that against orders was working a hot 277 light circuit. His autopsy said it was the shock, and not the 25 foot fall to the concrete that killed him. If we can't shut it off, then it doesn't get connected. Workmen's Comp Insurance doubled. Working hot circs is grounds for immediate termination.
"So we do what we have to do" is a crock. Nobody can make you do it.
("Sorry, JP, we'll get that dead electrician out of your office right away. We wouldn't want to INCONVENIENCE YOU")
Edited 'cause there are 2 Steve M's posting on this thread, and only 1 is acting dumb


[This message has been edited by electure (edited 01-06-2002).]

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#6476 - 01/06/02 09:37 AM Re: Splicing a new light fixture while circuit is energized
sparky Offline
Member

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5545
Everyone has a story, it would seem that most would not wish to do live work. I for one agree. I have no argument with subpart S & 70E in principal , as safety is a priority. I do not, however, subscribe to a few points made in them.
>>>An employer can make an employee work a live circuit, under circumstances that i find gray , without any input from the employee who ultimately is put at risk.
>>>I would be willing to bet that out of the last i've heard 1/2 million electricians in this country , the majority are have either no safety training/have not seen 70E/ are unaware of subpart S .

My point is i feel the system , allbeit grand intentions, does not serve those intended very well.

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