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#40694 07/31/04 08:36 PM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 171
Merlin Offline OP
I ran across a very frighful situation the other day. I had a 15 hp, 3ph., 230 volt motor on an air compressor burn up. As I was changing it, I noticed all the wiring inside was scorched. After the reinstall, I was speaking with our mechanic and he mentioned something that concerned me. He said that the breaker kept tripping on this a couple of years ago and our "electrician" checked it out and it hasn't tripped since. By the way, nothing tripped this time either, just blowed it clean.

Well I decided to trace down the circuit. So I opened the panel and found the EMPTY 50 amp breaker where it was supposed to be. It was now tied directly into the main lugs fed by a 225 amp main breaker. Needless to say my boss was very upset. I don't think he will be back here. This is one of the many cases that I have came across similar to this in the past year.

I guess this is one of those situations that I should have taken pictures.

#40695 07/31/04 09:39 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 947
twh Offline
I guess this is one of those situations that I should have taken pictures.

Yep. Without the pictures you will have to hire him again.

When you go to the bar, take an ugly friend. We need to surround ourselves with good electricians, who we can rely on and turn to for help. However, every once in a while it's nice to have someone stop by who will make us look good.

#40696 07/31/04 10:12 PM
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 141
Last Tuesday I replaced a 2 HP 208 volt 3 phase motor protected by a 20 amp 3 phase breaker.
I also installed a starter with 11.5 amp heaters. The owner was pissed cuz the motor cost $193 and the starter cost $305. "The motor worked for 3 years without a starter. Why do I need ne now?" "So it doesn't happen again" I replied.
Monday I meet with a guy who is moving his printing plant to a new building. He has 8 multi-HP motors w/o thermal protection. Not one of them has a starter now. He will not be happy with the cost of the new starters. He will probably find someone who will agree to install the motors w/o installing starters. I doubt I will get the job.

#40697 07/31/04 10:27 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 947
twh Offline
bob, I know. But, there is a difference between the other guys and us. They are rich. I'll never understand that.

#40698 08/01/04 02:47 AM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
the motor cost $193 and the starter cost $305
I run into this sort of thing all the time in residential work.

Example #1: Home-owner buys a set of lights at the DIY store for £9.95 and then queries why it's going to cost an additional £25 in materials alone to install them properly.

Example #2: Owner buys a £49.99 electric shower for his bathroom and nearly has a fit when quoted £250+ to add the necessary branch circuit as there's no spare capacity in the panel.

Best one on a commercial job was the pub owner who asked for a quoye to install an exhaust fan in his kitchen. It involved fitting a heavy-duty 12-inch fan, knocking through about a 10-inch brick wall and making good, as well as the wiring. IIRC, the overall quote including the builder I would have subbed the brickwork out to came to about £400. The guy was thinking of those cheap little bathroom fans that retail for about £10 and thought that anything over £100 for the whole job was outrageous. [Linked Image]

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