Results 1 to 27 of 27

Thread: Stupidity

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
    Posts
    3,473

    Default Stupidity

    Pics from the service panel at yesterday's inspection. Pointed sheet metal screws securing the deadfront cover of the panel and how close they came to creating a very bad situation. I actually got a little chill after removing the deadfront cover and seeing the gouge in the service cable.

    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images
    Inspection Referral
    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lake Barrington, IL
    Posts
    1,363

    Default Re: Stupidity

    A couple of years ago I drove a screw like than into the SEC - it surely livened up the inspection and got everyone's attention. I also able to confirmed that the main breaker worked.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,446

    Default Re: Stupidity

    Arc welding using only a screwdriver.


  4. #4
    Lou Romano's Avatar
    Lou Romano Guest

    Default Re: Stupidity

    Lucky for whoever did this that it was the neutral that the screw penetrated!


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    869

    Default Re: Stupidity

    So, when you were finished, did you put the same screws back in?

    Steven Turetsky, UID #16000002314
    homeinspectionsnewyork.com
    eifsinspectionsnewyork.com

  6. #6
    Lou Romano's Avatar
    Lou Romano Guest

    Default Re: Stupidity

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    So, when you were finished, did you put the same screws back in?
    I was wondering the same thing!


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Chico,Ca
    Posts
    423

    Default Re: Stupidity

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    Pics from the service panel at yesterday's inspection. Pointed sheet metal screws securing the deadfront cover of the panel and how close they came to creating a very bad situation. I actually got a little chill after removing the deadfront cover and seeing the gouge in the service cable.
    Be glad it was the neutral (or should have been). That cable may not be acceptable for indoor use BTW, depends on the type of insulation.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,899

    Default Re: Stupidity

    Can't tell if that is a cable, but looks like XHH* insulation.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
    Posts
    3,473

    Default Re: Stupidity

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    So, when you were finished, did you put the same screws back in?
    I did but only at the upper and lower corner holes. I left them out of the middle holes because that's where the cables were. I don't carry spare screws to replace the wrong ones and I had to get the cover back on.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Georgetown, KY
    Posts
    537

    Default Re: Stupidity

    Good reason to carry a few different types of spare screws someplace in the inspection vehicle.

    Though, if I can tell they're pointed screws I sometimes don't even bother taking the cover off, just calling the pointed screws and recommending an electrician finish it.

    A wise man learns from his experience.
    A truly wise man learns from other peoples experience.

    Just not sure I want to do arc welding with a screw driver.

    -

    Erby Crofutt, Georgetown, KY - Read my Blog here: Erby the Central Kentucky Home Inspector B4 U Close Home Inspections www.b4uclose.com www.kentuckyradon.com
    Find on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/B4UCloseInspections

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Colorado Front Range
    Posts
    601

    Default Re: Stupidity

    A possible point to ponder here is that the cover usually has paint on all of it, including where it contacts the box. In many cases this makes the paint the screw removes (if any) when installed the only way the cover is bonded to the box. The type of box construction shown allows the requirement for engagement of 2 full threads of the bonding screw to be met if a fine thread (32 TPI) is used. Sheet metal screws don't meet the requirement.

    I break out the Dremel with a small wire brush and clean off the area under the head of one or two of the screws so there is a good bond.

    You can put a continuity tester on an exposed piece of bare metal on covers (breaker knockout hole edge) and on the panel box and find no continuity in many cases.


  12. #12
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Stupidity

    A couple years ago I tested a panel cover before removing it and there was no flow at all. I stuck the trusty screwdriver ( I usually use a small twelve volt screw driver) on the screw and started unscrewing the first screw when suddenly before I even felt the screw driver leave my hand I heard a large POW and the screw drive stuck in the wall behind me.

    I guess the screw just needed another twist or 2 to cut thru the insulation. The client just walked away from the spot the screwdriver stuck in the drywall behind me. The damn driver just blew out of my hand with a blinding flash and a bang. So much for test the panel cover first ..... I usually don't.

    Last edited by Ted Menelly; 06-28-2011 at 04:09 PM.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Tyler, TX
    Posts
    719

    Default Re: Stupidity

    yikes and double yikes....

    I have replaced pointed screws in the past when I find them (after ensuring that all wires would be out of the way.

    Of course, leaving the cabinet cover off is too dangerous as well and I don't (should, maybe) carry extra cabinet screws.

    Bruce Thompson, Lic. #9199
    www.TylerHomeInspector.com
    Home Inspections in the Tyler and East Texas area

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Lanham, MD
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: Stupidity

    Eric (#2) Just curious on how the main breaker would trip when the short was on the SEC which is on the line side of the main breaker. I would think either the screw would be blown to bits thus breaking the short, or the transformer fuse would blow.


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Memphis TN.
    Posts
    4,311

    Default Re: Stupidity

    I'd be concerned about what has been cut unsecured and abandoned.
    .

    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images
    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    552

    Default Re: Stupidity

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    Arc welding using only a screwdriver.
    One time I saw a 12" wrench reduced to 6".... at the same time brown stuff in the users pants......


  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    michigan
    Posts
    421

    Default Re: Stupidity

    The transformer fuse will not blow no matter how well you might ground the line conductor.

    The best one I have done.... In an attempt to satisfy a customers request that I not leave them without power too long, I decided to remove/prepare all that I could before cutting power.
    When punching out the mortar around the old service cable, POW!
    My large steel punch blew out of my hand like a missile. I don't know what happened to the first inch or so, probably vaporized.

    I seems that the original installer (maybe the brick layers) thought they would hide the ugly cable behind the brick for a foot, before bringing it outside.
    Needless to say, I stopped bowing to this common request.

    When taking cover screws out, throwing the switch on a one-arm-bandit, (either on or off), working on transformers or any of the like,
    do not stand if front of the equipment. Stand to the side or at least position your head to one side.


  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Tyler, TX
    Posts
    719

    Default Re: Stupidity

    I have blown a transformer fuse before....not on the customer side of the meter though.

    Bruce Thompson, Lic. #9199
    www.TylerHomeInspector.com
    Home Inspections in the Tyler and East Texas area

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    South-West Michigan
    Posts
    469

    Post Re: Stupidity

    Wow, the comments have me laughing. It is a serious problem, encountered too often. The most irritating occurrence was discovering pointed screws holding the panel covers on for both residences in a duplex. My client asked for and paid for a review to make sure that all requested corrections were completed. When it was discovered that the pointed screws were not replaced, I asked the seller why. His "electrician" said it was alright and they didn't have to be replaced. Hmmm . . . I wonder if pop-rivets would solve the problem.

    Randall Aldering GHI BAOM MSM
    Housesmithe Inspection
    www.housesmithe.com

  20. #20
    Bert de Haan's Avatar
    Bert de Haan Guest

    Default Re: Stupidity

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Aldering View Post
    . . . I wonder if pop-rivets would solve the problem.
    Just be careful drilling the holes for the rivets.


  21. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Posts
    1,072

    Default Re: Stupidity

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    A couple years ago I tested a panel cover before removing it and there was no flow at all. I stuck the trust screw driver ( I usually use a small twelve volt screw driver) on the screw and started unscrewing the first screw when suddenly before I even felt the screw driver leave my hand I heard a large POW and the screw drive stuck in the wall behind me.

    I guess the screw just needed another twist or 2 to cut thru the insulation. The client just walked away from the spot the screw driver stuck in the drywall behind me. The damn driver just blew out of my hand with a blinding flash and a bang. So much for test the panel cover first ..... I usually don't.

    Ted that same experience happened with my associate except for the flying screw driver. He was also a master electrician and about soiled himself.

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
    www.houseinspections.com

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lake Barrington, IL
    Posts
    1,363

    Default Re: Stupidity

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Saville View Post
    Eric (#2) Just curious on how the main breaker would trip when the short was on the SEC which is on the line side of the main breaker. I would think either the screw would be blown to bits thus breaking the short, or the transformer fuse would blow.
    Steven - I don't have an answer for you - it's a good question.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  23. #23
    Lou Romano's Avatar
    Lou Romano Guest

    Default Re: Stupidity

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Barker View Post
    Steven - I don't have an answer for you - it's a good question.
    It could be the inrush current! If the breaker has a low KAIC rating like 10 KAIC and you dead short the unfused line coming into the breaker it may trip. This is also something that can happen if the KAIC rating of a given breaker is less than the rating of the transformer on its line side. When the transformer is first energized or shorted it may or may not trip the breaker, but the potential is there! I have seen this happen and had to deal with it in the past.


  24. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Melbourne, FL
    Posts
    180

    Smile Re: Stupidity

    Unfortunately we run into "STUPIDITY" on a daily bases. I had an old and very experienced inspector some 15 years ago tell me to always check the panel box cover with the back of your hand before deciding to remove it. If it's warm don't touch it call for a qualified electrician. If it's hot you hand muscles will contract pulling away from the cover. Additionally always use a fully insulated screw driver.


  25. #25
    Bert de Haan's Avatar
    Bert de Haan Guest

    Default Re: Stupidity

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas McKay View Post
    Unfortunately we run into "STUPIDITY" on a daily bases. I had an old and very experienced inspector some 15 years ago tell me to always check the panel box cover with the back of your hand before deciding to remove it. If it's warm don't touch it call for a qualified electrician. If it's hot you hand muscles will contract pulling away from the cover. Additionally always use a fully insulated screw driver.
    When you say; if it's warm don't touch it, you mean warm as in temperature? I can understand hot as in electrically charged but would it ever be warm (temperature)?


  26. #26
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Melbourne, FL
    Posts
    180

    Default Re: Stupidity

    Yes warm as in "temperature" means it could be overloaded.


  27. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    South-West Michigan
    Posts
    469

    Post Re: Stupidity

    Quote Originally Posted by Bert de Haan View Post
    Just be careful drilling the holes for the rivets.
    Yes, absolutely. I was thinking about a video featuring one of the electricians that like to say "those are OK" drilling out the pop-rivets to get the panel open. Once that drill bit hits a hot conductor . . . well, just imagine that on You Tube.

    Randall Aldering GHI BAOM MSM
    Housesmithe Inspection
    www.housesmithe.com

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •