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#74914 - 02/06/07 07:50 AM Here's something to read
Theelectrikid Offline
Member

Registered: 04/30/04
Posts: 854
Loc: Levittown, PA
Bucks County Courier Times: Wiring woes can strike old, new homes
http://www.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/news/111-02062007-1294814.html

I wonder how many people will call an electrician the next time their outlets shoot sparks, after reading this article?

Seems like a good wake-up call, if anyone bothers to read it beyond "skimming over" it.

Ian A.
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#74915 - 02/06/07 08:08 AM Re: Here's something to read
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
The problem is that so many people have an "out of sight, out of mind" approach to electricity, until something goes drastically wrong, by which time it's too late. That and the "It works, so it must be O.K." philosophy.

 Quote:
In 2002, federal regulations began requiring that bedrooms in all new homes include arc fault interrupters.


And what federal regulations would they be?

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#74916 - 02/06/07 10:43 AM Re: Here's something to read
wa2ise Offline
Member

Registered: 11/29/02
Posts: 771
Loc: Oradell NJ USA
 Quote:
And what federal regulations would they be?


Must be the "*National* Electric Code", national = federal? :-)

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#74917 - 02/06/07 06:44 PM Re: Here's something to read
BigB Offline
Member

Registered: 03/31/04
Posts: 727
Loc: Tucson, AZ USA
"There are plenty of signs that a home has developed an electrical problem, including flickering or dimming lights"

All you Sparkies in that area better get ready for all the calls on dimming lights tomorrow.

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#74918 - 02/06/07 11:03 PM Re: Here's something to read
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9045
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
This shows the disconnect between what people think an AFCI does and reality. "Dimming and flickering lights" is a symptom of a loose wire and that is the kind of arc an AFCI can't see (series)
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#74919 - 02/06/07 11:55 PM Re: Here's something to read
johno12345 Offline
Member

Registered: 09/13/05
Posts: 93
Loc: United Kingdom
Not that I know but I assumed that an AFCI _could_ detect an arc on a broken or lose wire where the arc was phase - phase? I take it that it will trip on a phase - neutral or phase - earth arc where a normal breaker wouldnt because the current being used in the arc ist sufficient to cause an overload or short circuit condition.

I wonder if they will make an appearance in the UK. Overheated or sparking connections dont seem as common from what I have read and seen, except on shower circuits >7kw mainly down to dodgy DIY!

[This message has been edited by johno12345 (edited 02-07-2007).]
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#74920 - 02/07/07 06:20 AM Re: Here's something to read
Texas_Ranger Offline
Member

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2343
Loc: Vienna, Austria
Here in Austria I personally encountered arcing connections in the wall twice. In both cases it was a ca. 1900 connection that had been worked on in the second half of the 20th century.
The first encounter was in my very own place. Nosy as I am I started the full rewire by pulling the wires out of cramped junction boxes to figure out the old wiring layout. A few hours later I heard weird crackling noises from one of those boxes... I immediately knew it was electrical! Unscrewed the fuse and it stopped...
There wasn't much heat - the PVC electrical tape around the connection was barely darkened. Turned out the original connection was wires wrapped around a screw and secured with a washer and nut. When someone rewired the bathroom in 1962 he didn't tighten the connection sufficiently and when I moved it it started arcing under load (2kW electric quartz heater).

Second time was a service call for receptacles in an office not working. Each box we opened contained a solid stuffed mess of black wires (in the days before PVC wire insulation they didn't bother color coding fixed wiring, cloth wire was always black). Opening the last box (actually a wooden frame in the plastered brick wall) we fpund a twisted and taped connection that had burnt and even slightly charred the wood. Replaced it with a "choc block" and we were done.

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#74921 - 02/07/07 08:11 AM Re: Here's something to read
ITO Offline
Member

Registered: 11/26/06
Posts: 341
Loc: Texas
Ever notice on TLCs “Flip this House” they never upgrade the electrical unless the inspector makes them do it. Oh they will put in new fixtures and or spend 20k on a new kitchen with granite countertops but they will not bring it up to code or put in a new service no matter how badly it may need one, unless they are forced to by the AJH. The same goes for plumbing.

I even saw an episode where the “flipper” was advised by a realtor NOT to tear out walls because they did not want to expose any electrical problems that needed to be fixed. The comment “out of site, out of mind” is exactly correct.

Then the new buyer comes in and buys this “completely remodeled” house, which has the same electrical service and branch wiring it had when it was built 30 years ago.

The problem is people don’t value the infrastructure of a house until they have to pay to fix it, or it fails and ruins their investment. (Key word being “investments”) Most people see their house as an investment, and don’t want to spend money on something they don’t have too, and won’t show a return. If you completely rewire an old house, you have increased the value by exactly zero, but if you put in a whole new kitchen, you can double your money, even if all the kitchen receptacles are on one circuit.

Just my thoughts on it…
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#74922 - 02/07/07 09:15 AM Re: Here's something to read
Theelectrikid Offline
Member

Registered: 04/30/04
Posts: 854
Loc: Levittown, PA
 Quote:
Ever notice on TLCs “Flip this House” they never upgrade the electrical unless the inspector makes them do it. Oh they will put in new fixtures and or spend 20k on a new kitchen with granite countertops but they will not bring it up to code or put in a new service no matter how badly it may need one, unless they are forced to by the AHJ. The same goes for plumbing.


"AHJ? Inspector? What's that?!?" Seriously, If the inspector on any of those shows isn't passed a couple hundred big 'uns, I'd be very surprised, due to the work done on those shows.

The really scary part comes when at the beginning of the show, all you see is ungrounded 1-15s, and at the end, "grounded" 5-15 Decoras. Also when the kitchen has one ungrounded recept. to start, and several "grounded" recepts to end, without a GFCI in sight.

 Quote:
I even saw an episode where the “flipper” was advised by a realtor NOT to tear out walls because they did not want to expose any electrical problems that needed to be fixed. The comment “out of site, out of mind” is exactly correct.


What do you expect from the RE agent that's making more than anyone on the show? "Get it done now! Now! NOW! So I can get my money!"


Ian A.

[This message has been edited by Theelectrikid (edited 02-07-2007).]
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#74923 - 02/07/07 10:29 AM Re: Here's something to read
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9045
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
All of these TV "fix up" shows are roadrunner cartoons. It is not a place to get real information, they only intend to entertain and sell products.
Most of the homeowners who allow the TV crews in are left with a mess and a stack of bills when they leave. If it doesn't actually get shown in the "wrap up" segment they didn't do it. When the stage director says "cut" they are gone.
Personally I would rather buy a "fixer upper" than to buy a house that was "renovated" since most renovations are purely cosmetic. At least when you buy a house in the original condition you have some clues to what you have to fix and you won't be ripping out newly finished cosmetics to get to the systems they should have fixed.
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Greg Fretwell

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