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#150691 - 08/22/05 08:13 PM Live work  
Tiger  Offline
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 706
Crystal Lake, IL USA
What would the proper protective gear be for residential distribution panel work?

In this area the meter could be pulled so the panel isn't live, but meters are rarely pulled. In other areas the POCO doesn't want ECs to pull meters. In either case with a live panel the top of the main is "Live POCO" which is somewhat close to unfused.

I'm curious what kind of arc flash could happen if the main shorted and what kind of PPE would be required for protection in that circumstance.


Arc Flash PPE Clothing, LOTO & Insulated Tools

#150692 - 08/24/05 03:25 AM Re: Live work  
Trumpy  Offline

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,223
SI,New Zealand
With an un-fused supply, you are basically at the mercy of the Secondary side of the Transformer feeding the Installation.
Considering the lack of fusing, I would get Cover-up gear around the main, depending upon what you were doing.
Other way you could do it is with Insulated Gloves and Protectors and Isolate your Phases by Insulating them with the Main Switch turned off and then remove them and Insulate them.
Other side of the coin too, wear a face shield, in case something does go wrong.

#150693 - 08/24/05 06:34 AM Re: Live work  
resqcapt19  Offline
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,148
If we would apply the Canadian code rules, this would not be as big of a problem as long as you are not trying to work on the line side connections. Their code requires an additional cover over the line side connections that remains in place while working on the load side parts.
Without this cover, you will need arc flash PPE. This would often require the use of an arc flash hood as well as FR clothing.


#150694 - 08/24/05 10:19 AM Re: Live work  
Partywaggin  Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 9
Tucson, AZ
The videos I've seen of a short in a meter bank in a metering room for a condo or some other type of big building is truly impressive. It's something you do not want to be near.

The required PPE would be, for my companies, FR shirt, natural fiber clothes, steel toes, Class 0 gloves, hard hat, and safety glasses and/or face shield.

Depending on the power company's high-side protection is certainly taking a large gamble with your life. Its scheme is designed to protect equipment, not people. OH transformers would be more merciful than UG equipment since those Bay-o-net fuses are way over sized to force the pothead fuse to blow first.

Also when it comes to pulling the meter, don't do it unless the power company specifically says it's okay. Cutting the seal is usually the first step to "diverting current." Most power comapnies are pretty serious about that stuff.


#150695 - 08/24/05 02:50 PM Re: Live work  
mxslick  Offline
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 803
Atomic City, ID USA

First off, welcome aboard! You'll find a lot of great info and great people on this site! [Linked Image]

Now a question for you: The video you refer to, is it available online? If so, could you post a link?

If not , do you recall where you saw it so we might be able to look it up?

Thanks!! Tony

Stupid should be painful.

#150696 - 08/27/05 10:32 AM Re: Live work  
Trumpy  Offline

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,223
SI,New Zealand
Could you explain to me what is wrong with Electricians using Cover-up Gear?.
I'm an Electrician and I use it most days that I work.

#150697 - 08/27/05 11:15 AM Re: Live work  
Joe Tedesco  Offline
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,749
Boston, Massachusetts USA
Here's a link to a 13 minute electrical safety video that can be downloaded:

Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant

#150698 - 08/28/05 01:54 PM Re: Live work  
DougW  Offline
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,143
North Chicago, IL
I realize it's not resi, but...

We had an electrical contractor (David Emmerling, with Wigdahl Electrical Company of Elk Grove Village, IL) and Deputy Chief Wayne Luecht of a FD south of us get burned (3rd degree - 93%) when a fault two miles away decided to use the panel room housing 480v gear in a shopping center as a "point of release".

The contractor was KIA - Chief Luecht died after 11 days in CCU. The building engineer survived, and underwent therapy.

[This message has been edited by DougW (edited 08-28-2005).]

#150699 - 08/28/05 04:24 PM Re: Live work  
Tiger  Offline
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 706
Crystal Lake, IL USA
Dave Wigdahl's name rings a bell. I think I went to school with him. I've heard good things about his business, one of the largest in the state. It's a devastating accident.

It was accually the motivation for my post. We all pull the cover off a residential panel, often with little thought to the increase in the level of danger that the line side of the main poses.


#150700 - 08/28/05 11:54 PM Re: Live work  
mxslick  Offline
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 803
Atomic City, ID USA

The video is very good and should be viewed by everyone. However, a note is in order:

The opening few scenes of the video contain graphic images of electrical burns.

Thanks for the link!


edit: The quote is mine, using the feature to make the text stand out...

[This message has been edited by mxslick (edited 08-29-2005).]

Stupid should be painful.

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