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Posted By: Tesla handyman shows how it's not done - 07/10/14 07:18 PM

Our hero starts out pretty hot...

And hacks his way to the close.

Say... did he put a non-GFCI receptacle back into service along the kitchen counter?


Was the living room an add-on to an exterior wall?

Maybe, kitchens usually don't face living rooms.

If so... Who wired the living room addition?

Mr. Hack & Company.
Posted By: Texas_Ranger Re: handyman shows how it's not done - 07/11/14 12:18 AM
Actually he seems to know a lot more than your usual hack. I mean what average DIYer/handyman would know about crimp sleeves and proper tools to use them? Also you've got to give him credit for actually supplying a ground instead of suggesting anything illegal.

There is of course the issue of the non-GFI receptacle but is he in fact technically required to install a GFI if he didn't really change anything in the kitchen except for hooking up an extra ground?

Considering the age of the wiring I'm fairly sure that neither room is an addition but the house dates back to a time when grounds were required in kitchens but not in living rooms, bedrooms etc.
Posted By: Tesla Re: handyman shows how it's not done - 07/11/14 01:29 AM
I love the beginning sequence... where he tells the viewer to never work receptacles hot -- because you could die -- and then proceeds to do just that.

I have noted that there is a propensity for those who know little to YouTube much.

As for my personal style, if I touch a receptacle that is as old as the kitchen device -- I replace it every time. (Modest price adder) I don't want to have to come back on a warranty call because I shook something loose in a marginal device. Likewise, I always expose fresh copper, or shine up old copper.

I must give him good marks for good grounding.

Worse tradecraft is out there. Always.
Posted By: Texas_Ranger Re: handyman shows how it's not done - 07/11/14 02:33 PM
I wondered about the working hot part... it looked to me as though his touchless detector lit up a few times. That's stupid of course!

Replacing the old device makes a whole lot of sense in a contractor job where we're talking warranty but not really for a DIYer, which is who this video is aimed at. A DIYer only has to blame him/herself if the device fails a few weeks or months after s/he put it back into the wall.

Of course it is debatable whether DIY electrical instruction videos are acceptable at all, but if they do exist I prefer them to show at least decent work practice instead of shoddy or outright dangerous.
Posted By: sparkyinak Re: handyman shows how it's not done - 07/14/14 07:52 AM
Electrically wise, the kitchen recept could of been protected up line by another gfci or breaker. I'm not a fan of grounding crimp connectors because I find too many old ones that are loose. The ding dong needs to learn to use a level and fine someone that knows how to mud. My blind grandmother can do a better job mudding.

Also grounding screws are 10/32 unless you are using Canadian Wiremold boxes. also he siding show how he pig-tailed the two old groundless cables to tie on the two new recepts
Posted By: electure Re: handyman shows how it's not done - 07/14/14 06:18 PM
In his defense:

I have the same non contact voltage tester as he does.
It will momentarily show voltage where there is none if tapped against a hard object (like the screws on the receptacle).

That being said, the rest of the work is absolutely inexcusable

Posted By: HotLine1 Re: handyman shows how it's not done - 07/15/14 02:55 AM
I have two non-contact detectors, Fluke & GB. Both will do as Electure stated.

At least he has a tester!
Posted By: sparkyinak Re: handyman shows how it's not done - 07/16/14 04:03 PM
Originally Posted by electure
That being said, the rest of the work is absolutely inexcusable


Just carious. I'm not defending the guy. What's inexcusable?
Posted By: renosteinke Re: handyman shows how it's not done - 07/16/14 11:01 PM
Lest I seem like a salmon, trying to swim up the waterfall ...

I don't see anything wrong with his install- indeed, it's neater than most. I certainly would have damaged the drywall more than he did, fighting with those clamps!

Sure, pigtail length is an issue- but he found it that way.

I can nit-pick ... perhaps I would have used different materials ... and I really think that steel box is supposed to have a mud ring. Compared to stuff posted here, though, these are tiny details.
Posted By: electure Re: handyman shows how it's not done - 07/16/14 11:10 PM
He made no mention of the missing deadfront on the panel, which appears to have been missing for some time.

He broke out the chisel, instead of trying to free the recp by wiggling the bottom of the yoke, and caused the beginning of the plaster damage.

Despite describing every other step in detail, he just jumped to the box being removed. It looks like he took it out with a hammer. More plaster damage.
If he had used a sawzall with a fine metal cutting blade, there would be much less damage.

He twists the grounds together incessantly & needlessly.

Didn't even mention the need for GFCIs in the kitchen.

Most houses of that era (late 50's to early 60's) have a #16 ground run in the romex to the circuits that need grounding. (I believe the video maker is in CA, from the looks of the service). That might not be the best choice of houses to make a how to video.

The patching plaster is still shiny wet when he called the job finished. No sanding necessary


Posted By: Tesla Re: handyman shows how it's not done - 07/16/14 11:36 PM

It's a 2-G handy-box... hence no mud ring.

BTW, the original YouTube that I linked to was edited not so long thereafter.

In the original 'Tube he was working with blue latex gloves on an obviously hot receptacle.

That 90 second sequence is now entirely missing.

For the effort expended, I would've installed GFCIs.

As for his tradecraft, It's below what I would expect of myself. I'm more than willing to slow down for old work... and price it accordingly.

There are Romex connectors that fit 1/2" metallic KOs which can be installed afterwards -- and from inside the box going outwards. They are not expensive. Using them would've entirely eliminated the need to hack up the plaster.

The plaster damage at the southwest was no doubt caused by pushing the expanded metal back into the wall instead of cutting it clean. I'd consider that embarrassing collateral damage.

I can see that he gave up on using a 2-G old work box. (Carlon - blue) because the expanded metal and the surface tabs (@ Carlon facing) made it problematic. So I agree with his selection of a 2-G handy-box.


A tip for anyone cutting into old work:

Blue tape makes for a superior layout surface... much easier to define ones cutting lines... and able to double check for plumb and true.

For such low cut-ins I prefer to use a traditional carpenter's square during the layout: its wide side is EXACTLY perfect for the width of the common 1-G cut-in box. I merely double check to see if the square is plumb and the floor is level. It's much easier to trace without shifting position (of the cut-in box being traced) when a carpenter's square is resting on the (level) floor.

Posted By: renosteinke Re: handyman shows how it's not done - 07/17/14 01:37 AM
Thanks, Tesla, for the details.

I didn't know there were 2-gang 'handy' boxes, nor was I aware of the connectors you mention.

That's an interesting tip about the carpenters' square.

I suppose we all have our own habits. I do agree with the GFCI upgrade.

"Surgical" gloves for shock protection? Well, that's just plain silly - especially when you've already traced & killed one circuit.
Posted By: Tesla Re: handyman shows how it's not done - 07/17/14 03:02 AM

Tom Two Way (above) is suitable for " knockouts, and installs from inside or outside the box


Every service truck should have some.

This Garvin product can also be installed AFTER the Romex has been pulled through the KO.

1) Pull in Romex
2) Insert Garvin gadget around the Romex...
3) Sliding it up towards the KO
4) Because of the flex built into the grip...
5) You can get away with forcing the Romex + Garvin up into the KO
6) Where it click-snaps into place.

While rated for two Romex (regular way) it is wise to only attempt the above trick with a single Romex in the connector. (You need the extra play.)

Like the TT-500, the Garvin accepts Romex in the conventional manner, too.


I first spotted 2-G handy-boxes in Home Depot and Lowes. They are not a box popular with commercial electricians.

I submit that they are a better solution for 2-G cut-ins whenever you can place them directly adjacent to a stud. They lie flat and anchor easily.

Perfect depth is easily had by installing scavenged yoke parts from old switches into the handy-box such that they flare AWAY from the box and out onto the sheet rock. These temp attachments leave the interior free for TEK screws or their like to anchor to the stud. (3-point hold)

The result is a rock solid attachment -- with the trims perfectly aligned.

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