The Electrical Contractor Network

ECN Electrical Forum
Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals

Books, Tools and Test Equipment for Electrical and Construction Trades

Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#7256 - 01/27/02 06:01 PM working hot circuits
doc Offline
Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 119
Loc: Texas
Guys even this company I work for has a couple of guys that will work hot stuff,I will do all kinds of troubleshooting with the circuit hot but to do any hookups or changes I require it to be turned off.
As long as you guys keep letting some excuse come along to do work hot then there is someone is going to get hurt. Have I taken a stand on this and catch heat yes I have,but even now these guys that work with me are starting to ask why does it have to be domne hot. Come on guys you are in control of ur on well being and it is real easy to blame someone else or to use some excuse to do hot work but it doesn't mean a thing to a widow or your children when some one comes out and tells them "it was his own doing to work that hot circuit we had told him countless times not to do it but that was old Joe he just had to get it done". Think about it a little could you take a little harder stand and get out of it or maybe most of you have just done it so long you blame it on someone else. Ther is not a job or money enough that ur family would take in place of you
Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
#7257 - 01/27/02 07:29 PM Re: working hot circuits
The Watt Doctor Offline
Registered: 12/23/01
Posts: 443
Loc: Mont Belvieu, TX
I wish that I could agree with you, but I consider working a hot circuit, part of the job. IMHO there are times when it has to be done. I would also add that personal judgement, and experience dictate when I will or will not work a circuit hot. I've "cut in" services hot in the rain, tapped service gutters hot with split bolt kerney's (not "hot" taps), etc, etc, etc, but every time I did, it was a personal choice that I made.
The Watt Doctor
Altura Cogen
Channelview, TX
#7258 - 01/28/02 02:12 AM Re: working hot circuits
sparky Offline
Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5545
According to sub part S & 70E, if an employer can prove (insert big grey area) that the work must be done live, you'll be given the correct PPE, and will either perform this work or potentially be fired.
#7259 - 01/28/02 10:03 AM Re: working hot circuits
Elzappr Offline
Registered: 12/20/01
Posts: 273
Loc: Oregon
I have to ask..Is 70E a legal document? Is it adopted by states, like the NEC is? Or, is 70E an NFPA electrical safety guideline that is enforced by OSHA? What is the status of 70E?

[This message has been edited by Elzappr (edited 01-28-2002).]
#7260 - 01/28/02 04:54 PM Re: working hot circuits
waymag Offline
Registered: 01/13/02
Posts: 68
Loc: dallas, texas, USA
I always turn off the circuit when possible, because i don't like working them hot at all. but there has been a few times where it just has to be done. I can work in a hot panel all day long, I just dont like working live circuits in a stuffed J box
#7261 - 01/28/02 08:24 PM Re: working hot circuits
sparky66wv Offline
Registered: 11/17/00
Posts: 2342
Loc: West Virginia
Today, I installed a new receptacle in a Vet's office for a TV (mounted high on a wall stand). Cut in a box, and fished to a switch that was conveniently below the TV (and conveniently had a neutral in the box...not a switch loop). The first thing I did was remove the line side from the switch by completely removing the screw (the tricky part), straighten the end with needlenose pliers, and nut the sucker off. The very last thing I did was make the hot splice between the line, the new pigtail to the switch, and the new jumper going to the new receptacle box. Everything in between was the same procedure as working "cold".

The alternative was to spend a very large part of the day figuring out which circuits all the important machines were plugged in to... All without tripping a breaker until it is confirmed that the one you want to turn off won't turn off something very important and expensive, like X-ray developers, 'puters, etc... This was an old farm house converted to a vet's office, with requisite old wiring, and a representation of every type of Romex ever made. I mean, every electrician and their brother must've had thier hand in this place at one time or another. Only God knows what fed what where... (I mean that with sincere heart)...

I don't see the big deal really. I won't work over 150V to ground hot because I've not been trained to do it, but lineman do it everyday with voltages that are 10 to 100 times that. Of course, they are trained.

Only touch one thing at a time...
Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
Member IAEI
#7262 - 01/29/02 03:30 AM Re: working hot circuits
Redsy Offline
Registered: 03/28/01
Posts: 2138
Loc: Bucks County PA
I know they are not foolproof, but do you have a circuit tracer? They are very reasonable now. Less than $50.00 I believe.
#7263 - 01/29/02 07:10 AM Re: working hot circuits
sparky66wv Offline
Registered: 11/17/00
Posts: 2342
Loc: West Virginia
Yeah, I got a tracer, but how does one use it to see which circuits everything is using (when there are little to no empty plugs to use it in)?

Besides, we gotta do something that makes the normal folk think we're earning our big money... Like risk our lives or something... I don't know, I guess I just like the thrill.
Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
Member IAEI
#7264 - 01/29/02 01:10 PM Re: working hot circuits
motor-T Offline
Registered: 11/10/01
Posts: 293
Loc: Girard, Ohio, USA
Its true sometimes you must work hot, but if you dont have why take the risk, it only takes an extra 5 minutes to use the circuit tracer, then shut off the breaker.
There was some guys working on a Sub-station who were maintenance, some college, and the switch gear was 4160, and they were told to work it hot, with only leather gloves, one guy went home and refused, so the forman took the other guy and went to work on the switchgear, the younger guy got burnt badly, and from what I have heard the forman was fired.
yes the Poco works hot but did you ever notice the equipment they have. Rubber gloves with protectors, rubber mats to drape over the other lines whyle they work on only one of the lines plus the buccket is insulated.
One summer we had an outage due to a summer storm and I watched the line crew change the cut-out fuse he got as close as 10 feet to the cut-out with a dead stick. replaced the fuse then dropped the bucket anotherr 5 feet extended the dead-stick and closed the cut-out.
Unless its absolutely no other way I for one will not work hot, and thats my company rule.
Making hot-taps in the rain is no fun either but a necessary evil, the problem is that drop is referred to as an infinite buss, and only the secondary is fused when the primary is fed with 12.8kv it takes an awefull lot of current to trip that fuse, and I really dont care to find out how much.
#7265 - 01/29/02 08:04 PM Re: working hot circuits

Although I posted my opinion in another thread very similiar to this one, safey can never be discussed enough. I avoid working hot at all cost and I discourage the practice. Why take un-nessecery risks? Just shut the breaker off and be done with it!!! Its so simple. If you cant shut it off, every possible safety measure should be taken before the circuit is worked live. It doesnt matter if the voltage is less or greater than 150 volts. Electricity does as it dang well pleases when it pleases to do it. Thats it. I applaud motor T's description of HV current problems. Not too many people realize that on a 7.2KV fused at 60A on the high side, it takes 3600A @ 120V on the low side to trip to breaker. Thats 3600A more than I want to experience. Kinda makes those bulky gloves and mats look a little better?
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >

Newest Members
Fidellis, gmarsden, Jerryglover87, Dan_Burns, pauldgardner

2017 NEC and Related
2017 NEC
Now Available!

Shout Box

Recent Posts
Forum Styles
by Admin
01/24/17 02:08 AM
License exam
01/23/17 09:16 PM
Looking for older post
by sparkyinak
01/23/17 12:27 AM
Members: Non-Members: Did you know?
by Admin
01/22/17 02:34 PM
Safety at heights?
by HotLine1
01/21/17 08:51 PM

Who's Online
2 registered (Admin, Fidellis), 132 Guests and 12 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
New in the Gallery:
Desk-mounted "power-board"
Top Posters
gfretwell 9066
Trumpy 8560
pauluk 7693
HotLine1 6833
sparky 5545
Member Spotlight
Member Since: 05/03/03
Posts: 1231

ECN Electrical Forums - sponsored by Electrical Contractor Network - Electrical and Code Related Discussion for Electrical Contractors, Electricians, Inspectors, Instructors, Engineers and other related Professionals