You are a lucky man.But its alot safer to not gamble.When pushing a fishtape into a live panel,it's best to remove the locknut,and install a rigid coupling, with a plug in one end, in the locknuts place.When the tape stops moving,remove the coupling to see if it is there,if fishtape is there, reinstall locknut and bushing.
Re: anyone ever done this(or how many times)#17973 12/05/0206:39 AM12/05/0206:39 AM
I have to say no. I never pushed a steel fish tape into a live panel without taking precaution, either someone on panel end with wood blocking the buss bar, or not using a fish tape and vacuum in a line.
txsparky: I like that method with the coupling and plug.
[This message has been edited by Wirenuttt (edited 12-05-2002).]
Re: anyone ever done this(or how many times)#17974 12/05/0207:37 AM12/05/0207:37 AM
I did it once. I pushed a wound steel "Sparks" fish into a live panel and hit the main lugs. The other guy was supposed to have the pipe covered with a piece of cardboard, but for some reason that didn't work out. There was a big arc, and a piece of paper with the panel schedule which we had shoved behind the main feeder caught on fire. Very stupid, I'll admit.
Re: anyone ever done this(or how many times)#17975 12/05/0209:51 AM12/05/0209:51 AM
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When I worked for a fairly large company some years back, a crew leader was sent out to our job to keep him busy. The job was in an existing plant, and we were adding circuits to a 400A 480/277 power panel in IMC. The guy was going to show us how slow we were, so he shoved a steel fishtape into that hot panel by himself. Cardboard over the lugs saved him momentarily, until he pulled the cardboard away, then lost his grip on the tape. The tape hit the B phase on the buss, and the resulting arc flash crisped his hair and eyebrows (no glasses for him!), made his sweatshirt smolder, blackened the front of his hardhat, and the plasma from the arc cascaded into the A and C phases on the buss, melting all three together. Dropped out the mains in the switchgear, then the substation mains for the building. The electric utility called the head engineer to ask why they just saw a 250KA spike on their meters for the line serving the building.
I kinda felt sorry for the guy, (he was relatively unhurt) but he was really shellshocked from the blast. Still, he had been warned twice to wait for someone to get freed up to help him before he ran the tape. He just had to prove how much better of crew leader he was than we were.