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  1. #1
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    Default Best place/how to learn more about panels

    Much like a lot of you, electrical is a weak point for this newbie. Any pointers or courses out there worth taking? Spend time with an electrician? Ordered the Practical Wiring book by Richter & Hartwell for starters but would really like to sharpen my skills.

    Thanks in advance...

    Ross

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  2. #2
    Rob Thomas's Avatar
    Rob Thomas Guest

    Default Re: Best place/how to learn more about panels

    Purchase a copy of Douglas Hansen's Electrical Inspection of Existing Dwellings. Every home inspector should own this book. Really.

    RT


    Quote Originally Posted by Ross Neag View Post
    Much like a lot of you, electrical is a weak point for this newbie. Any pointers or courses out there worth taking? Spend time with an electrician? Ordered the Practical Wiring book by Richter & Hartwell for starters but would really like to sharpen my skills.

    Thanks in advance...

    Ross



  3. #3
    Erol Kartal's Avatar
    Erol Kartal Guest

    Default Re: Best place/how to learn more about panels

    Ross,

    There will be an all day electical seminar for home inspectors on a Saturday I believe in Elgin end of Septemeber. It is conducted by veteran ASHI member Corey Friedman who also has about every electrical certification known to mankind. I'll keep you posted.

    Erol Kartal
    Pro Inspect


  4. #4
    Edgar Abrego's Avatar
    Edgar Abrego Guest

    Default Re: Best place/how to learn more about panels

    Great question.
    Hey Rob do you kno where I can find that book? It is not available on Amazon.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Best place/how to learn more about panels

    Edgar,

    I'm not Rob but here is a link w/free shipping: Electrical Inspection of Existing Dwellings

    or search
    Douglas Hansen's Electrical Inspection of Existing Dwellings

    may be some on ebay or other auctions

    the price hasn't changed in years

    badair http://www.adairinspection.com Garland, TX 75042 TREC # 4563
    Commercial-Residential-Construction-EIFS-Infrared Thermography
    life is the random lottery of events followed by numerous narrow escapes

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Best place/how to learn more about panels

    I find myself tempted to write:

    "Open twistouts in deadfront should be closed off to prevent the entry of fingers and the exit of flames."

    What's your vote:

    "Too cute?" "Unprofessional?" Or to the point?


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Best place/how to learn more about panels

    Ross. the that Doug Hansen book is a very good place to start. I recommend you get and read it all the way through, then read it again. After that it is very easy to reference later when you have questions about things.

    I also recommend this book: Amazon.com: Illustrated Guide to the NEC: Based on the 2005 National Electrical Code: Books: Charles Miller

    Someone on this board recommended it to me and I have found it very useful.

    Eric


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Best place/how to learn more about panels

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    I find myself tempted to write:

    "Open twistouts in deadfront should be closed off to prevent the entry of fingers and the exit of flames."
    I've been told it's not so much the exit of flames but the entrance of air to feed the flames.

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

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Best place/how to learn more about panels

    Not worried that much about flames either way, it's mostly about keeping things out which should not be in, and keeping thing in which should not be out.

    I.e., keep foreign matter out so as to not cause a problem.

    I.e., keep arc flash particles in so as to not cause as much damage. (Granted, with a high enough arc flash, those little bitty breaker twist out covers are not going to stop the arc flash, but it may eliminate the foreign matter which causes the arc flash.

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

  10. #10
    Shannon Guinn's Avatar
    Shannon Guinn Guest

    Default Re: Best place/how to learn more about panels

    Ross, another excellent resource to learn about electrical panels is to go to the electrical aisle at Home Depot, man those guys know everything!


  11. #11
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    Thumbs up Re: Best place/how to learn more about panels

    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar Abrego View Post
    Great question.
    Hey Rob do you kno where I can find that book? It is not available on Amazon.

    Did you check the "Books/Reference" section here on InspectionNews? Look at the links on the right of the page and click through.

    See InspectionNews' Secret To Getting More Inspections

    -----------------
    Sincerely,
    Brian Hannigan
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Best place/how to learn more about panels

    Quote Originally Posted by Shannon Guinn View Post
    Ross, another excellent resource to learn about electrical panels is to go to the electrical aisle at Home Depot, man those guys know everything!
    Shannon, That must be some special Home Depot you have there in town.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Best place/how to learn more about panels

    For anyone looking for electrical knowledge, theres a ton of reading right here on this message board.

    Check out the "old" message board to for many hours of good reading. Click on the blue tool bar to the right of the screen and scan down to Board archives.

    rick


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Best place/how to learn more about panels

    Quote Originally Posted by Shannon Guinn View Post
    Ross, another excellent resource to learn about electrical panels is to go to the electrical aisle at Home Depot, man those guys know everything!
    Not sure if you're being sarcastic. I never am, so it's hard for me to recognize in others...

    The Big Orange Box guys are all over the lot, as far as knowledge goes. I've run into some very helpful guys around Philadelphia, and then there was the one in the plumbing section - I was looking for a specific type of faucet set for my wife's darkroom sink. I described it to the guy and he said sorry, no, they didn't carry anything like that. So I went off looking for other stuff, and eventually found myself back in the very same spot, only without the plumbing guy. There was the exact faucet set I was looking for. Not only didn't he know what the store carried, he had physically blocked my view of it!

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

  15. #15
    Jim Severine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best place/how to learn more about panels

    The worst place to go for proper electrical advice is one of the Home Improvement stores. In between jobs a year ago, I worked at a Lowes, and being an electrical type, they put me in there. ( Home Depot is the same). If they have someone in the zone that is knowledgable, he is likely the only one. And, he will not last long at $10 per hour, and he/she is good, will get bumped up the ladder. The rest are not likely to know much.

    First, there are things that are not even allowed in the codes that they stock and sell.

    Second, they will put anyone in those departments. They have training programs with level 1, 2 and 3 "pamplets" for advancing up the "ladder".

    Third, they are dangerous because their pride (and pamplet certifications) will not let them admit that they don't know something.

    Yes, there are some that do know a lot, but at less than $10 an hour, it is rare, and they don't last long.

    Want a common outlet, there are usually 10+ types that mostly look the same. But, some are for alum., some for copper, some for 15 amps, some for 20 amps, etc...... They almost always sell the lowest cost one.

    Want wire? Another nightmare. Then mix in the different types of conduit and the families of conduit, connectors and terminations. I could go on form a long time.

    The biggest problem is that the people that need the most help don't know how to know if salesman knows what he is talking about.

    In Boise, we have a chain of local stores that specialize in plumbing and electrical issues. They know the electrical issues. I suspect that most mid to large cities will have stores like this. You just have to know how to look and evaluate them.

    Jim


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Best place/how to learn more about panels

    Once I walked into a Lowes and told the guy in the building dept. I was looking to purchase some "Clear" cedar for a patio arbor. He said, " I"m sorry but all of our cedar is Red."

    A real Knot-head that guy.

    rick


  17. #17
    Shannon Guinn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best place/how to learn more about panels

    Ok, before anyone else replies, YES I WAS BEING SARCASTIC ! When HD first opened here (it originated in Ga) it was a sort of haven that tradesman could go into just to go aaah and look at the tools, but now it's just another corporation that is just interested in the bottom line,profit. Don't get me wrong I still enjoy going in to look at the tools, but it seems that most of them are wearing orange vests now. So seriously, if any new HI's want to gain a better understanding of panels or just elec. in general, educate yourself as best as you can, read as much as you can, take as much advice as you can from the learned individuals that make up this forum, and don't be afraid to ask advice from experienced tradesmen both in residential and commercial electrical.


  18. #18
    Richard Stanley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best place/how to learn more about panels

    Brian, I looked in the books / reference section - didn't see Hansens book.


  19. #19
    Joe Rossi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best place/how to learn more about panels

    Back in 1984, while being laid off from my regular job, I worked at a Builders Square for about 8 months. They had recently come to our area and had the practice of hiring retired trades people to staff their various departments. A newly retired co-worker of mine John, was the electrical department manager of this particular store and hired me in his department. One of the other "associates" was Mike, an older (about 65 at the time) retired electrician from Chicago. John happened to overhear a customer explaining an electrical project he was in the process of doing at his home. John turned white as a ghost when he heard Mike loudly say to the customer "Waddayou F****n nuts! Your gonna burn your house down!"
    Not wanting to believe what he just heard John walked away knowing that he was probably going to have to dicipline Mike for what he said to the customer. About 10 minutes later John was called to see the Store Manager who wanted to know what Mike had said to the customer. John said he wasn't sure, why? The SM said a customer came up to him and told him that the old guy Mike in electical was the best salesman he ever saw. The customer couldn't get over how helpful and knowlegable Mike was and he really straightened him out on his project. Mike wound up getting one of those weekly corporate "atta boys" for being so helpful to the customer.
    I guess the moral of the story is that there can be some good people at the big boxes, just make sure you look for the old gray-haired guy with the knarled hands covered with scars.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Best place/how to learn more about panels

    Go to ATI, now Kaplan schools, etc. website. This will get you right to the book by Doug Hansen. I believe it's a newer version.

    Home Inspection Training Courses, Report Forms,Tools, Classes, Schools & More from Kaplan Profession: The Professional Inspector's Resource Guide to Electrical Inspections

    Jim, in Calvert County, MD

  21. #21
    David Banks's Avatar
    David Banks Guest

    Default Re: Best place/how to learn more about panels

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Rossi View Post
    Back in 1984, while being laid off from my regular job, I worked at a Builders Square for about 8 months. They had recently come to our area and had the practice of hiring retired trades people to staff their various departments. A newly retired co-worker of mine John, was the electrical department manager of this particular store and hired me in his department. One of the other "associates" was Mike, an older (about 65 at the time) retired electrician from Chicago. John happened to overhear a customer explaining an electrical project he was in the process of doing at his home. John turned white as a ghost when he heard Mike loudly say to the customer "Waddayou F****n nuts! Your gonna burn your house down!"
    Not wanting to believe what he just heard John walked away knowing that he was probably going to have to dicipline Mike for what he said to the customer. About 10 minutes later John was called to see the Store Manager who wanted to know what Mike had said to the customer. John said he wasn't sure, why? The SM said a customer came up to him and told him that the old guy Mike in electical was the best salesman he ever saw. The customer couldn't get over how helpful and knowlegable Mike was and he really straightened him out on his project. Mike wound up getting one of those weekly corporate "atta boys" for being so helpful to the customer.
    I guess the moral of the story is that there can be some good people at the big boxes, just make sure you look for the old gray-haired guy with the knarled hands covered with scars.
    My uncle a retired electrician works at Home Depot. He likes the interaction with people and is very helpful with years of knowledge. I know I go over and ask questions


  22. #22
    Roger P's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best place/how to learn more about panels

    re: "Electrical Inspection of Existing Dwellings by Douglas Hansen", is the older version of - - -"The Professional Inspector's Resource Guide to Electrical Inspections by Douglas Hansen" and is currently available at: Home Inspection Training Courses, Report Forms,Tools, Classes, Schools & More from Kaplan Profession: The Professional Inspector's Resource Guide to Electrical Inspections

    Oops, didn't see Jim's post until after I pressed the submit button - but, my source did confirm that this book is readily available.....


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Best place/how to learn more about panels

    You don't have to look any further then Mr. Jerry peck. He's expensive but well worth the read...........

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

  24. #24
    Richard Stanley's Avatar
    Richard Stanley Guest

    Default Re: Best place/how to learn more about panels

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schulz View Post
    You don't have to look any further then Mr. Jerry peck. He's expensive but well worth the read...........
    I would buy Jerrys book if I could afford it.


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