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Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,661
Likes: 1
Admin Offline OP
[Linked Image]
This circuit breaker disconnect with undervoltage release mechanism for a piece of critical cancer treatment equipment was furnished by the equipment vendor. (See attached .jpg photo file.) The equipment can be damaged by low voltage. There was apparently problems with undervoltage mechanism, so the vendor opened up the molded case circuit breaker and inserted a tie wrap to prevent the breaker from opening. A definite NEC violation. (And this obviously must be something that the vendor's technician has done before, I bet.) One of our physical plant electricians discovered this "fix." He will be replacing the breaker tomorrow!

This "fix" is also a Life Safety Code violation, as it prevents the emergency power off pushbuttons for the equipment from working.

Submitted by Joe Tedesco

2017 / 2014 NEC & Related Books and Study Guides
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 4,287
The vendor obviously knows enough to be dangerous.
I hope you charge your vendor for your electrician's time replacing the breaker...S

Joined: May 2002
Posts: 1,716
I know this outfit, and given my experiences with them, they wouldn't ever own up to it if something happened, they would point fingers at the owner or the electrician.

BTW, they charge thousands for that switch.


Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,437
Geez!... No wonder my health insurance keeps going up!!!! I gather from what Roger states, that if this equiptment WAS damaged due to the tomfoolery of their "technician" (I use that term loosely here) they wouldn't honor their end of the warranty either! Should the breaker replacement have been honored in this manner?!?? [Linked Image] [Linked Image]

Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,691
Can something like this be proven in small-claims court?

Would speaking to other facilities with this equipment (from the same vendor) prove something when taking the vendor to court?

God forbid someone should get killed because of this then the health-center will be the one that gets sued!! [Linked Image] Talk to your lawyer....

Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,721
Broom Pusher and
You mean that someone actually opened up that frame, inserted something to lodge the handle/trip works in the closed position - eliminating the Breaker's ability to Trip-Free, then managed to put the whole thing back together again - all while it's in service!!!

Find this Joker and put a Straight Jacket on Him/Her ASAP!!!
[Linked Image]

Wow! Just when I think I've seen / heard 5150 extremes... [Linked Image]

Looks like a GE 225 Amp Frame Size.


Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,437
You know, typically it's an untrained person (ie. your average homeowner, handyman, etc.) that'll try to do something without knowing enough to do something safe & correct... But that's just the thing, they're ignorant to that very fact! A person such as a representative for a piece of equiptment like this should be someone that can be trusted to hold up the standards that are to be expected from a professional in our society, not even to mention the bar being raised just that much more because this equiptment is designated for use in the healthcare industry! [Linked Image] This person should OBVIOUSLY know the intricacies of the pictured equiptment & should have been able to troubleshoot and CORRECT the original situation by the proper means! I utterly agree with the rest of the board here in saying that this person is truly DANGEROUS & if he just couldn't TS the equiptment & figure out the right repair to prevent the ocpd from opening.. Throw INCOMPETENT right there next to dangerous... As I've said before... It's one thing to jeopardize your own life with your own stupidity..(this is protected by our constitution [Linked Image] ) But KNOWINGLY risking the lives of the innocent in this manner should be harshly punished! [Linked Image] [Linked Image] [Linked Image]

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,143
If your vendor's responsible for the install, shouldn't he also be responsible to verify that all safeguards operate correctly? Save the breaker, and see it the AHJ wants to pull prints off of the inside (hey, it's a good threat). You might want to contact other customers with a "friendly warning" about this type of "mischief"

Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 328
This just makes me angry. Life is filled with many tragedies that are just part of life, some are avoidable, some can be mitigated and some can be reduced sometimes - like the threat of cancer.

What makes me angry about this is that I can imagine what this would potentially mean for a cancer treatment patient. A person gets the awful news that they've got cancer, then they launch what is often a horrendous course of treatment, then if they get harmed or damaged by a piece of equipment that was supposed to offer hope and save their lives, it's a harsh blow to them or their family and loved ones. If they were to find out that the vendor's own rep/tech had fouled up the machine or the installation, there wouldn't be any mercy from my perspective and no amount of money would ever compensate for the loss of a loved one.

Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 4,287
Thanks, Never give up. We need your help!

[This message has been edited by electure (edited 03-06-2004).]

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