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  1. #1
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    Default See what happened to me today..

    This, just from lifting up on the dead front...Pinched a conductor in the upper corner. Scared the crap out of me..

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: See what happened to me today..

    Yikes! What brand of breaker panel?

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  3. #3
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    Default Re: See what happened to me today..

    Glad you are safe! Be careful out there.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: See what happened to me today..

    I cant remember the make of the panel. Stuff like this just keeps the possibility of some of the inherent dangers in your face, literally.

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: See what happened to me today..

    123456

    Last edited by ken horak; 03-30-2012 at 04:44 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: See what happened to me today..

    Quote Originally Posted by ken horak View Post
    Glad to hear you experienced no bodily harm. We all realize these things happen, but the question that jumped into my mind is.....

    Now that your actions violated the integrity of the conductor, what did you do to remedy the situation?
    AFA the issue, I just taped the bare wire and shut off the power with a note...

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: See what happened to me today..

    Quote Originally Posted by ken horak View Post
    Now that your actions violated the integrity of the conductor,
    I am going to guess was your exercise for the day ... ... jumping to that conclusion.

    We have all found pinched conductors in the panel, as such my guess would be that each of the previous lifts of that cover pinched that conductor, and the first pinch of that conductor "violated the integrity of the conductor", with the failure or the insulation progressing forward until Marc happened along to raise that cover one more time ...

    Now I've had my exercise for the day too.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: See what happened to me today..

    123456

    Last edited by ken horak; 03-30-2012 at 04:44 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: See what happened to me today..

    Quote Originally Posted by ken horak View Post
    Easy there Buddy !
    First - HOW do YOU know this was NOT the first pinch ? Now who's
    jumping to conclusions ? ( So NOW you've had your excercise)
    Yep, that's why I said:
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Now I've had my exercise for the day too.


    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  10. #10
    Robert Meier's Avatar
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    Default Re: See what happened to me today..

    This is one of the reasons why a few cheap cable ties should have been used when shaping in the panel. .


  11. #11
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: See what happened to me today..

    That looks TW or THW wire. Did the house have a generator panel installed?


  12. #12
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    Default Re: See what happened to me today..

    Guessing you did not have the panel cover screw out and the fastener threads file cut into it.

    Glad you taped it.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: See what happened to me today..

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Elliott View Post
    Guessing you did not have the panel cover screw out and the fastener threads file cut into it.

    Glad you taped it.
    No, the sharp corner of the deadfront bit into the wire. There was no screw there. Scary design, that's why I asked the brand.

    The wire needs to be repaired by an electrician, so the tape would just be a temporary measure. Most of us know this without having to say it..

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: See what happened to me today..

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    That looks TW or THW wire. Did the house have a generator panel installed?
    No it didnt JD. And it was the corner which was pretty sharp that was the issue. I suppose It was one opening away from this happening anyhow. You should see the front of the screwdriver I was using.

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  15. #15
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    Default Re: See what happened to me today..

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc M View Post
    No it didnt JD. And it was the corner which was pretty sharp that was the issue. I suppose It was one opening away from this happening anyhow. You should see the front of the screwdriver I was using.
    With all those red wires it looks like one of those generator panels Home Depot sales. The installation can really really fill up a panel.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: See what happened to me today..

    I'm guessing it was the hair that broke the camel's back..

    hard to imagine Marc, standing there, forcing panel open to point where it pinched wire... sounds like more of a progression or series of stuff.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: See what happened to me today..

    To quote John, Yikes! This kind of thing makes me glad opening the panel is not one of my duties. Glad you're alright.

    With a long panel it wouldn't take much force lifting on one end to turn a sharp corner into an effective insulation cutter. It could easily have been the first time it got in the way. Is it common for them to be hinged at the top? Seems like a design flaw.

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  18. #18
    Robert Meier's Avatar
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    Default Re: See what happened to me today..

    Quote Originally Posted by Kristi Silber View Post
    To quote John, Yikes! This kind of thing makes me glad opening the panel is not one of my duties. Glad you're alright.

    With a long panel it wouldn't take much force lifting on one end to turn a sharp corner into an effective insulation cutter. It could easily have been the first time it got in the way. Is it common for them to be hinged at the top? Seems like a design flaw.
    Although it may not be the best design this one is on the installer. Certainly he should have known how the cover operates and shaped his conductors in accordingly. This one was caused by sloppy workmanship.


  19. #19

    Default Re: See what happened to me today..

    Stuff like this is what makes a newbie like me utterly terrified. Electrical panels still scare me to death. Aside from the regular precautions (touching the panel with the back of the right hand; running the back of the hand up and down the breakers to check for hot ones, making sure you're wearing rubber soled shoes, etc.), what are some "veterans' pointers" for dealing with electrical panels when you're getting started as a home inspector?

    Welmoed Sisson
    Inspections by Bob, LLC, Boyds, MD
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: See what happened to me today..

    I always take photos of the panel box with and without the deadfront on along with a pic of the manufacture's label and include the manufactures name in my report. I, like John would be interested in knowing who made this panel for future reference.


  21. #21
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    Default Re: See what happened to me today..

    Quote Originally Posted by Welmoed Sisson View Post
    Stuff like this is what makes a newbie like me utterly terrified. Electrical panels still scare me to death. Aside from the regular precautions (touching the panel with the back of the right hand; running the back of the hand up and down the breakers to check for hot ones, making sure you're wearing rubber soled shoes, etc.), what are some "veterans' pointers" for dealing with electrical panels when you're getting started as a home inspector?
    Ouch! Sorry but if you don't have much experience with electrical work you really should be more cautious while working with the equipment. Keep your hands out of the panels! Use a good non contact sensor on any metal equipment before you touch it. Panels, piping, HVAC equipment, metal siding, appliances and fences are just a few of the things I find during a home inspection that are energized. I carry a non-contact sensor in my shirt pocket and another in my tool pouch, and both get checked against a known source before use. I also carry a non contact thermometer for checking the temps of breakers
    I wear rubber soled shoes for inspections (check the soles for splits, nails, staples on a regular basis, not just for elec., this stuff scars wood and vinyl floors also), I wear all cotton clothing for inspections, with the exception of tyvek coveralls for attics and crawls. Safety glasses are a must for me along with gloves.

    Alton Darty
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  22. #22
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    Default Re: See what happened to me today..

    Quote Originally Posted by ken horak View Post
    Not to belittle Marc or anything,but to me it does sound like he was forcing it. I seem to remember he saying you should see the screwdriver I was using.
    you're not....I was pulling forward using the tab on the front. Put it this way, it barely moved and then...POP!

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  23. #23
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    Default Re: See what happened to me today..

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    Although it may not be the best design this one is on the installer. Certainly he should have known how the cover operates and shaped his conductors in accordingly. This one was caused by sloppy workmanship.
    Amen, brother man!


  24. #24
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    Default Re: See what happened to me today..

    Actually is was the lack of a dead front that led to this issue. The cover that was lifted up to open should not have the option to pinch a wire if a dead front was installed.
    Curious, was a dead front missing from this enclosure? Just what are we looking at, load center, disconnect, J-box?


  25. #25
    Lou Romano's Avatar
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    Default Re: See what happened to me today..

    This is a GE panel or meter/main combination unit. I can see the breakers in the first picture and they look like GE wafers.


  26. #26
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    Default Re: See what happened to me today..

    i see many square d panels with this type of deadfront. it is called a deadfront because you could easily be dead when trying to remove the dam things. you pull out on the bottom to about 30 degrees then push the top in and pull the deadfront down and pull out. anything can happen and marc is lucky that a change of shorts was all he needed


  27. #27
    Robert Rolleston's Avatar
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    Default Re: See what happened to me today..

    Quote Originally Posted by ken horak View Post
    Not to belittle Marc or anything,but to me it does sound like he was forcing it. I seem to remember he saying you should see the screwdriver I was using.
    Yeah if you have to pry on a cover with a screw driver to remove it best to just leave it alone and have someone else check it out.


  28. #28
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    Default Re: See what happened to me today..

    Seconding the non-contact tester (I've wondered for years when someone does not come up with one you could wear as a ring, so it's always handy even with a tool in hand).

    Are you inspecting panels with your bare hands? Even a pair of the thin work gloves with leather fingertips and palms provide a significant dielectric.

    Someone will be along shortly explaining that we should all be wearing a full protective kit every time we open a panel - and on one level they are correct.

    But a decent set of gloves thin enough to allow enough dexterity to inspect a panel and a decent pair safety glasses provides a *lot* more protection than nothing at all when inspecting typical 240V residential panels.


    Michael Thomas
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  29. #29
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    Default Re: See what happened to me today..

    The dead front is what appers to have pinched the wire it is shown in the first picture this appears to be a exterior enclosure with a top hinged cover then the dead front under that.


  30. #30
    Robert Rolleston's Avatar
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    Default Re: See what happened to me today..

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc M View Post
    No it didnt JD. And it was the corner which was pretty sharp that was the issue. I suppose It was one opening away from this happening anyhow. You should see the front of the screwdriver I was using.
    Lesson learned if it takes a screwdriver to pry it up leave it alone and have it looked at by someone else.

    You are darn lucky that you did not get yourself a nasty shock.


  31. #31
    Rich Lewandowski's Avatar
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    Default Re: See what happened to me today..

    So who pays for the proper repair?


  32. #32
    Robert Rolleston's Avatar
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    Default Re: See what happened to me today..

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Lewandowski View Post
    So who pays for the proper repair?
    IDK the original poster first said he was pulling up then said you should see what happened to the screwdriver I was using then he changed and said he was pulling forward.

    You can see the insulation is clearly peeled upwards and wire bent at almost a 90 towards the top of the panel.

    I know if was to accidentally break something and it required repair I would be more than happy to pay for it to get repaired. It's just something that makes me be able to get a good night sleep.


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