Cray J932SE (was Re: Straight 8 up on Ebay just now)
mouse at Rodents-Montreal.ORG
Tue Jul 19 11:47:17 CDT 2016
>> [...electrical wiring...]
> This very definitely is an area where, if you're not 100% comfortable with t$
Also, know your own limits. A depressing number of people think
they're more competent than they are.
For example, I once had a neighbour who replaced an outlet in his
kitchen. Turned off the breaker, removed the old one, put in the new
one, all very nice. Turned the breaker for that circuit back on and
popped the service main breaker.
When I investigated, it turned out the new outlet still had the
bridging piece that shorts together the hots for the two outlets, and
this was a kitchen outlet and thus had separate circuits for each half
(and, as is often the case, they were on adjacent fingers in the
breaker box and thus on different phases). So, of course, the new
outlet shorted the two hot phases together.
He didn't have the experience to recognize that those shorting pieces
exist, to realize that having four conductors instead of three coming
to the outlet - or its being a kitchen outlet - likely means the two
halves are on different circuits and thus likely different phases, or
the electrical understanding to put those facts together. Which
wouldn't've been a problem, except that he thought he was fine - he
didn't bring me in until the main service breaker blew. (He did,
fortunately, have enough sense for that to tickle his "something I
don't understand happened, call for help" reaction.)
I've been doing electrical work since I was maybe ten or twelve, when I
helped my parents wire the house they were building. (My father
inspected my work first; then, this being de rigeur there-and-then, it
was inspected by a suitable authority. Only then was it energized.) I
don't hesitate to do routine house electrical work, maybe even
installing 30A outlets (though I'd make sure I looked up the
appropriate gauge of wire, and probably then used the next larger
gauge). But I'd call in someone more experienced for something well
outside my own experience, like (say) dealing with 600/600 service.
I would say that, if you don't have a good deal of experience, find
someone who does to look over your work before you energize it.
Indeed, some jurisdictions require that for work done by unlicensed
persons - or at least used to, and I would assume some still do. Even
if yours doesn't, it strikes me as the smart thing to do.
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