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Thread: Power failure

  1. #1
    Eric Shuman's Avatar
    Eric Shuman Guest

    Default Power failure

    Hello all,

    Did an inspection this weekend where someone had fashioned a new dead front cover out of thin galvanized sheet metal for the service entrance panel. While I can appreciate a little ingenuity it was a bit sloppy, they had hand cut the holes for the breakers to fit the cover. The holes were irregular and when I removed the cover, the irregular edge of one of the openings hung on the main breaker handle and flipped it off. After cursing for a second and imagining lost data on computers, etc., I went back into the house and shut down a/c power and turned off a few other things and then flipped the main breaker back on.

    When I went back into the house only about 1/2 of the power at various outlets had come back on.

    I contacted the homeowner and explained the situation (a/c would not come on and it was 100+ degrees outside -as it has been here for alomost two months now) and homeowner came home about 30 minutes later and said she had a simlar episode before. She then went out and turned all breakers off and back on again (I had tried this with the main breaker) and suddenly all power was restored.

    I reported all of this in my report and recommeded sparky, but was curious what may have caused this. Defective main breaker, where only one leg came back on? Overheated breaker that needed to cool down?

    Homeowner was cool, but I am concerned about the safety aspects of the issue (for the owner and/or the buyer).

    Also, how many of you would have removed a homemade dead front cover in the first place? I am reconsidering doing that again if I run into it in the future.

    Looking for input.

    Thanks,

    Eric

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
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    3,177

    Default Re: Power failure

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Shuman View Post
    ... how many of you would have removed a homemade dead front cover in the first place? I am reconsidering doing that again if I run into it in the future....
    Depending on what it looked like, I probably would, but that doesn't make it smart or right.

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  3. #3
    James Vincent's Avatar
    James Vincent Guest

    Default Re: Power failure

    Makes you wonder where the original front went to? Car part? Patch a hole in the BarBQ grill? Anyhow I once knew an inspector who opened a cover that someone used pointed screws in. The screws had already pierced the romex so when he back them out it arced and blew metal into his eye. Lucky he wasn't blinded by it. Just be careful with the DIY electrician work!

    PS. I appreciate my polycarbonate glasses................


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: Power failure

    Quote Originally Posted by James Vincent View Post
    Makes you wonder where the original front went to? Car part? Patch a hole in the BarBQ grill? Anyhow I once knew an inspector who opened a cover that someone used pointed screws in. The screws had already pierced the romex so when he back them out it arced and blew metal into his eye. Lucky he wasn't blinded by it. Just be careful with the DIY electrician work!

    PS. I appreciate my polycarbonate glasses................
    Somebody needs to read this post by Joe: http://www.inspectionnews.net/home_i...html#post94269

    NONE OF US wears proper PPE, and your post is just one example, albeit a VERY MINOR EXAMPLE of why all of us should wear PPE.

    I have not, I admit that, and at the same time admit that I have been lucky these last 45+/- years of opening electrical panels that *not wearing* PPE has not resulted in an injury.

    One can be "careful" and unlucky, one can be "careful" and lucky, and one can be "careless" and still be lucky - REAL lucky, or one can be "careless" and unlucky.

    I fall in the *careful and lucky* part. Nonetheless, though, you will see one common item between those three types ... "lucky" - whether or not there is an "un" in front of "lucky" or not.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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