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Re: What's the hokiest electrical stuff you've seen? [Re: Texas_Ranger] #197603 12/08/10 09:45 PM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 183
n1ist Offline
Today's find - a Frank Adams panel where a section of the deadfront was replaced with a piece of galvanized metal, with corrugated cardboard behind it as an insulator. In the same panel, there's a 3-phase 50A breaker feeding one 500w spotlight through 14-2 cloth romex. All in a place of assembly. I don't want to know how 5 MLO panels throughout the building are fed off one 400A breaker.

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Re: What's the hokiest electrical stuff you've seen? [Re: n1ist] #197604 12/08/10 10:20 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,229
HotLine1 Offline
That's a blast from the past!! I have not seen a Frank Adams creation in +25 years. They used to be a good panel. (Without the cardboard insulator)

Re: What's the hokiest electrical stuff you've seen? [Re: Texas_Ranger] #197605 12/08/10 10:22 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 783
LarryC Offline
Someone on this site talked about the ceiling fans in a relatives mobile home being wired with thermostat wire.

Re: What's the hokiest electrical stuff you've seen? [Re: LarryC] #197616 12/09/10 05:04 PM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 745
EV607797 Offline
I'd have to say that the worst one I've ever encountered was a basement that was finished by Harry Homeowner who wired the entire thing with lamp cord. No boxes at all, just nice little cutouts in the paneling with the devices screwed in place. Even though this looked to have been done in the late 1960's, he used two-wire receptacles. Frankly, I'm surprised that the place didn't burn to the ground.

This was before it became popular to use home inspectors, so the new owners were in for quite a shock when I had to give them the bad news.

Of course, the whole basement was fed from the oil burner circuit. That is the only reason that this issue even came to light. The service man for the furnace noticed several pieces of lamp cord leaving the disconnect switch and brought it to the homeowner's attention.


"But the guy at Home Depot said it would work."
Re: What's the hokiest electrical stuff you've seen? [Re: EV607797] #197622 12/10/10 06:36 AM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 939
frenchelectrican Offline
Ok .,

On European side not too long ago { it already posted in other electrician fourm } found total of 30 hidden junction boxes crazy and quite few ring circuits { they are illegal in France } with 1.5mm { 16 awg } conductors with 32 amp breaker now that is way out of wack!!

On USA side .,

Got a farm house wired up with mixed bag of POTS and Zipcords and 4.0mm˛(*12) for electric stove end up rewired the whole place.


Pas de problme,il marche n'est-ce pas?"(No problem, it works doesn't it?)

Re: What's the hokiest electrical stuff you've seen? [Re: frenchelectrican] #197677 12/13/10 08:48 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 169
ChicoC10 Offline
I didn't see this personally but my former employer came upon a mother in law unit in a back yard that was powered with a single strand of buried THHN. The gas pipe was used as a return path. The renter was having intermittent problems and called the POCO. They noticed and pulled the meter.

Re: What's the hokiest electrical stuff you've seen? [Re: ChicoC10] #197680 12/13/10 09:29 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,229
HotLine1 Offline
Best I can remember was a basement wired in 16ga orange extension cords, including the whirlpool (cause the big box guy said 'it's cheaper')

The HVAC tech using copper pipe for fuses on a rooftop HVAC unit.
The aluminum foil (4 wraps) around midget 10 amp, 600 volt cartridge fuses was cute.
The book of matches cleaverly holding a lighting contactor closed.
The HVAC disconnect (resi) secured to the house with a drainpipe strap right over the cover.

Re: What's the hokiest electrical stuff you've seen? [Re: HotLine1] #197682 12/14/10 12:32 AM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 361
mbhydro Offline
A lot of low budget TV movies were shot in Winnipeg in the last few years, and walking around downtown I have seen ground clamps from the gen sets hooked to sewer gate covers, fire hydrants, street sign poles and even to the hand hole bolt on lamp standards.

Re: What's the hokiest electrical stuff you've seen? [Re: mbhydro] #197694 12/15/10 10:06 AM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,233
harold endean Offline
I didn't have a camera with me back then, (Do now) anyway I saw a transformer in the ceiling and I guess the place where you bolt a leg to the transformer was bad. So someone used a pair of "Vice-Grip" clamping pliers to hold the lug to the bolt on in the transformer. The pliers were rusted badly, but the transformer was still working.

Re: What's the hokiest electrical stuff you've seen? [Re: wewire2] #198208 01/15/11 01:56 AM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 345
tdhorne Offline
A kitchen Range / Cooker circuit that had been converted to a feeder during a kitchen remodel with the neutral and one hot reversed. No separate equipment grounding conductor. Almost every metallic surface in the kitchen was hot at 120 volts to ground. It had been this way for ten years. Wife had been complaining the whole time that the stove did not work right. The clock and oven timer would not work; the two hundred forty volts across them had burned them up; and the oven took too long to bake anything. I told that lady that if I could bottle her luck we would all by filthy rich. What may have saved her life was that the plumbing was all plastic so there was no grounded conductive surface in the kitchen to finish the pathway back to the Main Bonding Jumper and thence to the transformer.

Tom Horne

"This alternating current stuff is just a fad. It is much too dangerous for general use" Thomas Alva Edison
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