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#109278 - 08/24/03 10:37 PM 6 Throws of the Hand?  
Admin  Offline

Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,447
[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

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[Linked Image]
This is the service for what was a drycleaners in a strip mall. I was sent here to do a "make safe" that is kill all the power so the demo contractor could gut the inside.

Also I was to wire in a permanent exhaust fan and some GFCI work outlets.

What I found while doing this was surprising, all the disconnects and panels you see are taps, even better some where taps of taps.

The 3 breaker panels where all 100 amp rated with no overcurrent protection, the feeder (not 400 amp conductors) coming in the 3" RMC was backed up by a 400 amp fused disconnect switch.

In picture 1 you can see that the 3" RMC heads to the right through the block wall into what was the office in there a pull box was installed that someone found was a good place to tap another 100 amp panel.

I ended up shutting down the 400 amp feed so I could safely clear all the unneeded conductors out. After I did so I found that the feeder also shutdown a Bank, Pizza shop and a Photo shop (the photo shop was not impressed, they had pictures in the auto developing machine, opps)

It would take 64 throws of the hand to shut down the drycleaners not counting the other 20 circuit panel stuffed with "twins" in the office.

In picture 4 you can see a 1/2" EMT leaving the top left of the panel with tapped 12 awgs feeding a disconnect in picture 1, but I do not remember what the two whites are doing in the 1/2" EMT with the taps (Picture 4)

All this was bad enough but I ended up finding a branch circuit 12 awg TW tapped under the smaller Bulldog Pushmatic panel lugs.

I did not trace out were it went but as far as I know there was a 120 volt 400 amp duplex outlet, no more troublesome tripping.

When I left the only thing still live was the small plug in panel to power the fan and lights I had to provide, I tried to get them to pay for a 200 amp fused disconnect but that was no sale.

Under a piece of glass on the desk in the office where the business cards of the people they deal with, an glass contractor, drycleaners supply salesmen, and an electrician, I wanted to call and ask him some questions but realized that would get ugly fast.

Bob (iwire)

2017 / 2014 NEC & Related Books and Study Guides

#109279 - 08/25/03 12:21 AM Re: 6 Throws of the Hand?  
frenchelectrican  Offline
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 939
Wi/ Paris France { France for ...
bob that is a nightmare for all the mess and alot of tapping i been wondering that did not even get on fire for that kind of mess i see it simuair with one store it took me almost 80 swings to get one store shut off but it did affect few other bussiness and apartments one tentent did cuss at me but i allready gave him a 48 hours note that the power might go off and he say he is on middle of very impoart stuff ( i did not ask him at all) anyway it have big 600 amp single phase service but numbers of boxes and loadceneters was way high it was 18 total and the photo i see it what you have old pushmatic that i havent see for while especally large unit and not too long ago i ran into THREE PHASE PUSH MATIC breaker box that was very big pain in the rearend and i told the owner that get rid of old push matic box and put new one and get few other service seperated and he say ok it took me 2 1/2 weeks to change over it was mess one of my freind did took a photo of my truck box full of old electrical boxes it have pretty good wieght there including old wires ( over 3 tons of it )

merci marc

ps bob did you try to talk to them to put new box in there ??

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

#109280 - 08/25/03 02:21 AM Re: 6 Throws of the Hand?  
nesparky  Offline
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 642
Looks like you were following the lowball jerks after they had several years of extreamly lousy work and electrical butchery.
Good luck getting the owners to pay for all the repairs. [Linked Image]


#109281 - 08/25/03 08:41 AM Re: 6 Throws of the Hand?  
pauluk  Offline
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
Norfolk, England
Different panels, different wiring methods, but all too familiar in other respects.

I've seen too many places where it seems that when a new circuit is needed the only question asked has been "Where's the nearest wires we can tap into?" [Linked Image]

#109282 - 08/25/03 10:57 AM Re: 6 Throws of the Hand?  
Bjarney  Offline
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,527
West-Southern Inner-Northeast ...
iwire, the next time you are involved in some sort of outage—like “…Dry Cleaners, …Bank, Pizza shop and a Photo shop…” including assorted self-important snivelers, remember to invoke the standard clause used by electric utilities: While we endeavor to maintain reasonable continuity of electric service, we provide absolutely no guarantee of the same.

[This message has been edited by Bjarney (edited 08-25-2003).]

#109283 - 08/25/03 01:33 PM Re: 6 Throws of the Hand?  
Ryan_J  Offline
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,374
West Jordan, Utah, USA
Bob...Instead of calling the electrician on the phone, why don't you place a call to the local liscening board and go after this guy? With work like that I can promise you he wins more bids than you and the other honest electricians in the area. I would call this "electrician" and ask him, politley, about how he circuited something that you can't track down, get him to admit to the installation and then go after him.

Ryan Jackson,
Salt Lake City

#109284 - 08/31/03 06:00 PM Re: 6 Throws of the Hand?  
iwire  Offline
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
North Attleboro, MA USA

Instead of calling the electrician on the phone, why don't you place a call to the local liscening board and go after this guy?

I really thought about this question, you are right, that is probably the thing I should have done.

Any reasons I came up with in my head for not doing that are more correctly described as excuses.

I would think that both this work was done without permits and over a long time, perfect conditions for anyone to deny any involvement.

The up side is all that the only equipment not in the trash when I left was the 12 circuit plug in panel, all original branch circuits where cut back about 10' from the service so the Demo contractor can start his work from there.

This space is getting gutted to the exterior walls, the basement slab is getting ripped up to do cleaning chemical abatement. Any rework of this space will surly be inspected and brought to code.


Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician

#109285 - 08/31/03 06:21 PM Re: 6 Throws of the Hand?  
electure  Offline

Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 4,260
Fullerton, CA USA
Although I'm absolutely not defending this guy, I don't think that it violates the 6 subdivision rule. You mention that it could all be turned off by a 400 amp EXO, thus only 1 operation is necessary.
That said, the "electrician" that did this should be subject to criminal charges or thrown off the top of a tall building...S

#109286 - 08/31/03 06:58 PM Re: 6 Throws of the Hand?  
Bjarney  Offline
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,527
West-Southern Inner-Northeast ...
Very astute observation, electure. The case of "ONE throw of the hand" cutting loose SIX businesses is certainly not an NEC violation. ;-) ;-) ;-)

#109287 - 08/31/03 07:16 PM Re: 6 Throws of the Hand?  
iwire  Offline
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
North Attleboro, MA USA
I know you are not defending this and you are correct, as long as you use the exception to 230.72(C) (access to disconnect) the 400 amp disco was in the basement of a pharmacy.

This property was under the management of a reality company we do work for, it is doubtful they are available 24/7 but to be honest I see in this area very loose interpretation of that exception.

Scott, It is kind of funny to me that this tenant apparently has the "NEC right" to "pull the switch" on the other tenants.

That did not bother me as much as 400 amps backiing up 100 amp MLO panels.


Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician

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