HI -

I've been lurking on this board for over a year now, and finally decided to show myself. In addition to electronics work, I do some general construction and maintenance work for myself and a few unnamed others in upstate NY. My policy is I will do whatever is needed if I can open and tag out a breaker between where I need to work and the power source. I earned an EE degree back in the 70's, and also worked under a Master Electrician for several years, but never got a license. Together we did both commercial and residential work, including my home which had a main panel, (4) 100A sub-panels and a generator transfer station for the underground tie to my generator out in the barn. When inspection is needed, I get the work to the appropriate point and then call in an inspection service for a "meets code" sticker. The usual comment is "if all work was like this then there would be no need for inspections..." That bit aside, I am aware that in some jurisdictions you need a license to wipe your backside, and so I call in a real pro.

I am finding this forum very entertaining and frequently helpful as well. Going from the assumption that the code is the same kind of guideline as the "suggestion" from your Drill Sargent, I am constantly amazed at the frequency of posters on the forum encountering a total lack of common sense when they are on a job site. I have personally encountered some very interesting things - most recently, a "Pro" job where a 240V baseboard heater circuit was cross wired into a 120 V outlet because one of the 240 V heater legs was a couple inches too short in the panel and the installer simply said "a white is a white" with interesting consequences: two breakers feeding one outlet and depending on which breaker was turned on, you got either 120 or 240 out of that 120 V outlet. I found that out when I plugged in a 500W shop light and it got VERY bright! I guess the initial installer did not want to bother with erasing the label in the box and moving the breaker up to where the cable would reach!

Anyhoo, I will chime in occasionally if I have something that i think might help, or if I need a bit of guidance to keep me from making a fool (or crispy critter) of myself.


Bruce Lightfoot
Semi-retired after 20+ years of field technical work for GE and 20 more with my own computer systems / phones / networking business. (I have also been both a laborer and the GC on both residential and commercial construction sites.)

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