I had a service call to check why some lights were not working. After a few routine checks I ended up in the attic. Boy was I surprised.
The wire you see and the insulation was pulled out of the attic. The man that use to live here done some DIY work. The best I remember, he had oversized the breaker on this piece of 14/3 romex. You can't see it clearly, but the romex had melted together for about 10 feet or so. It had already scorched the insulation bad and smoked part of the rafter just before it went down into the wall. Of course I pulled new wire and fused it correctly.
I showed the homeowner, which was the son of who I think done this. Very amazing that it was that close to being a terrible fire. Why the breaker didn't trip before this happened, I don't know, unless it had a bad breaker... etc.. Just thought I'd share it as a trophy for Do it Yourselfers:)
Also attached is the electrical panel that this wire came out of. It was a total mess also as you can see. Some people need to know their limitations:)
This type of fault rarely trips breakers. Normal arc fault current from line to line is usually less than 5 amps. It is an arcing fault and the reason AFCI were invented. Now make the wires a good maechanical connection and the current rises high enough to trip the breaker. Even a fault has to have good conenctions.
(Sig disabled for shame) My parents' house has a lot of the same problems - redone in '82 with no permit and they are paying for it now. Things make no sense - near everything is #14, even the 20A CB's. Circuits are on two ends of the (90' long) house, or on two floors. Both panels are tough to get to, one is above a clothes washer, the other kind of behind the water heater; one panel was REUSED from a gas station (the old schedule can still be read). There's more, but I already hijacked the thread too much...
trobb, I would tell them to watch out for blinking lights, and for burning smells. If I remember right on the pictures above, the homeowner had a 30 amp breaker on the 14/3 romex that melted in the attic. Electricity is not a hobby in my opinion, it is a profession, not something to play around with. A person's life is worth more than the cost it would be to do something right, and I'm sure you agree. Give them my regards and I hope they stay safe.
That work was done in the "State of Delusion"! The DIY THOUGHT he could do electrical work. I just bought a house for my son and I found a ton of violations. I was trying to send them in (and I think I screwed up again) However I will try again.