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#17970 - 12/05/02 12:27 AM anyone ever done this(or how many times)  
dugmaze  Offline
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 45
St. Louis
run 60 feet of 3/4 emt with lots of kicks and 90's into a live main breaker panel

insert fish tape at device end of run until resistance is felt

jam fish tape repeatedly

check panel

1/4 inch from mains!

it was the easiest pushing tape I've ever felt. I kept waiting for it to hit a connector but never did.

lesson learned.

anyone else?

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

#17971 - 12/05/02 07:18 AM Re: anyone ever done this(or how many times)  
sparky  Offline
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,311
did you tape up the fish end?

#17972 - 12/05/02 07:32 AM Re: anyone ever done this(or how many times)  
txsparky  Offline
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 552
Magnolia,.Texas U.S.A.
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.


#17973 - 12/05/02 07:39 AM Re: anyone ever done this(or how many times)  
Wirenuttt  Offline
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 267
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).]

#17974 - 12/05/02 08:37 AM Re: anyone ever done this(or how many times)  
CRW  Offline
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 159
Bethlehem, PA USA
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.

#17975 - 12/05/02 10:51 AM Re: anyone ever done this(or how many times)  
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#17976 - 12/05/02 11:03 AM Re: anyone ever done this(or how many times)  
Fredmeister  Offline
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 23
Beacon, NY, US
How about pushing it into the wrong hole?

What happens when you push 150ft of your snake in a 100ft run of pipe with a live panel on the other end?

Just to find chunks of the snake on the floor after repeatedly being blown to pieces after hitting the main lugs......

Talk about a comedy show....

#17977 - 12/05/02 09:48 PM Re: anyone ever done this(or how many times)  
Bjarney  Offline
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,527
West-Southern Inner-Northeast ...
Hitting a live terminal with a steel fishtape in EMT makes an unforgettable noise.

#17978 - 12/06/02 12:05 AM Re: anyone ever done this(or how many times)  
dugmaze  Offline
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 45
St. Louis
txsparky, perfect idea, will do next time! Thanks

#17979 - 12/06/02 12:38 AM Re: anyone ever done this(or how many times)  
Dallas  Offline
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 151
North Salem, IN 46165
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.

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