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Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,749
[Linked Image from]

Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant
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Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 114

Joined: May 2004
Posts: 1
Junior Member
Say "NO" to "DIY"

DIY = Do It Yourself

Makes sense to me, call a qualified, licenced electrician !!!

Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,438
Means the label maker needs a "licensed" spellcheck [Linked Image]

In all seriousness, I had a call about 10pm last night were someone in an apartment was trying to make a ½ hot recept in a bedroom, where there was only a switched receptacle before. (constant hot ran unbroken through the box) "The guy at Home Depot said..... "
These guys at Home Depot are gonna get someone killed one of these days! [Linked Image] [Linked Image]
Reportedly they sold this guy an outlet & a piece of #12, & drew some crude diagram... Did they bother to sell a hotstick to this guy to make sure the continuous hot that he wanted to tie into was dead? NO! Did they tell him to turn ALL power off? NO! Did they explain that these were separate phases & that the grounded phase would probably knock him across the room from loads plugged in downstream, if they weren't damages? Nope!!
Tell him he had to pigtail the shared grounded phase? No! [Linked Image] [Linked Image]

As I explained to this guy that the "Home Depot guy" forget to tell him quite a few things.. I referred him to ECN's violation photo forum as a reference to what novice hands can do with electricity... I also told him if he wanted sound advice, this is the place to find it [Linked Image] (more than likely, call an electrician!)


Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 114
Randy's post reminds me...
I recently went to HD to buy 50 feet of 14-3 uf-b. All they had in stock was 12-3. I guess he didnt trust me (I'm only 15) and tried to tell me that I could just buy 14-2 and use the bare ground as a hot. [Linked Image] He kept telling me this was the only way to go, they dont make 14-3 uf, etc etc. Ended up going to the lowes acroos the street, where they happily sold me 50 feeot of the "non existant" 14-3 uf.
PS: Yes Randy, the guy at HD tried to draw a VERRRY crude diagram for me. Oh well...

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
It's not just HD in the U.S. either. I've overheard the "experts" at B&Q here explaining to somebody what materials are needed and how to go about some job.

There have even been times when I've intervened, although it seems that such action is not always appreciated.

I'm now 38, but I well remember what it was like at your age when somebody treated me as though I was stupid and couldn't possibly know anything. "He's just a kid, how does he know what he wants?" [Linked Image]

I hated that, and I vowed that I would never treat anyone younger than myself in that way. We all gain experience as we get older, but that doesn't mean we were stupid at 15......

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,143
Back when my wife was "just a friend", I'd offered to run a line (3/4 EMT) in her basement for her to utilize the 220 Dryer she'd gotten from her folks. I stopped by, removed an old, unused 50A DP breaker, and told her to go to HD and buy a 30A version. (Square D panel, IIRC, so it wasn't something esoteric)

"Larry", an older guy in a plaid shirt, told her

"Little lady, you've got to be a licensed electrician to buy circuit breakers"

Now my wife is very much a lady, but at 5'9", and (discretly forgotten) "not petite", she isn't little. Ibn addition, she used to accompany her late grandpa (an HVAC installer) on supply runs to the HVAC supplier and the local Ace. She called me up FUMING about this treatment. The manager had apologized for the "antique" attitude of this clown, but it obviously didn't make her feel better.

A few years later - we're now married, and I'm changing out her grandma's main panel as a Christmas present. While loading all the supplies from my truck into her car, I've forgotten my spare box of Seimens 15A breakers. (Turns out that while Seimens panels & breakers are stocked at HD's up here (northern IL), they're special order down in St. Louis.)

Since I'm out of my regular area, and the nearest EC supplier is about 45 minutes away, we reluctantly head to the same HD. Ask the "orange dude" (who my wife thinks was "Larry" of before) where the Seimens breakers are, or if they have a compatability chart, so I can use a "replacement" one in the new Seimens panel I'm installing.

This guy tells me that there isn't any compatability between breakers, nobody makes "replacement" breakers, and that I'll probably have to hire a licensed electrician and change out the entire panel.

Explain to him that:

a) Yes there is, due to buyouts of different manufacturers, and continued support for "in-field" products;

b) Yes, they really do, my Chicago area supplier will be happy to fax him a listing of available products;

c) I am;

d) that's what I'm doing - replacing an 8 space 60A fusebox with a Seimens 100A/30 space Main panel.

Continue to get the runaround, until the wife says "screw this place - I won't let them mess with me a second time. Let's go down I70 to the Lowe's. By the way, do you have the directions there?"

All of a sudden "Larry" asks
"Oh, you meant Seimens manufactured breakers?" and reaches for a box in the locked cabinet. Funny, they're the same box and brand as the ones in my truck, 300 miles north.

I know a few good HD guys in the electrical (and other) departments. The rest are clowns who watched a few too many "Hometime" reruns for their own (and everybody else's) good.

[This message has been edited by DougW (edited 05-18-2004).]

Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 394
I'm getting real tired of going into HD anymore. Every time I go, they have something new in a locked cage. Lately, all of the Klien tools are locked up. Of course, the breakers are in a cabinet with 4 padlocks. I expect to go in one of these days and be told to strip to my skivies so I won't put anything in my pocket.

Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 806
Sometimes, the cluelessness of HD employees can work to your advantage, though.

The last 3 times I have been in there to buy 2/0 THHN wire, the "expert" who cut the wire and puts the tag on your purchase charged me for 2 AWG! I tried to correct him the first time, and he insisted he had the right price.

2/0 copper for .59/ft.!

Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 259
Beacon Supply in my area was giving out bumper stickers that read,
Wiring is not a hobby, hire a lic. electrician

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