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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Charleston, SC, USA
    Posts
    108
    Mrs. S comes down from North Carolina to her 2 million dollar week-end home in Charleston SC. She calls, "No Heat" I arrive and she tells of the main 200 amp on her second panel tripping, the heat breaker sparking, and the computer upstairs doesn't work. "OK I'll look", up the stairs to the attic..... and I stand there for 5 minutes wondering why I am not standing in a bed of coals.





    A cheap plastic disconnect was attached to the joist and burnt off, all that's left is the wires and the lugs. It looked as if one of the lugs cracked and sparked.



    The wood behind the box was acctually charred 1 inch deep. Why it didn't burn I'll never know.

    I serviced this unit in January and checked the connections all tight. My former employer did this install three years ago. Then sold me a portion of the company. This was one of them. I remember thinking at the time of the install, "these are cheap disconnects" and "the electritions are off duty firemen so I guess they are OK". Not again, they get switched or no start up.



    Here is the box



    got the attic light wire too, thus no computer power.


    Be good to your fellow man, not nice. There is a difference.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Rochester, New York
    Posts
    1,385
    WOW

    Tell the owner to buy a lottery ticket!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    2,652
    Originally posted by Makinice
    WOW

    Tell the owner to buy a lottery ticket!


    No doubt!!!

    If that would have happened in my attic, I'd be homeless.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    31
    My sincere thanks for this post.
    I have several electrical snafus to repair in the attic that were there when I bought the house.
    I bought the newer plastic boxes some time back to correct the wiring.

    They're not going in the attic now.
    -br

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    30
    My boss gets pissed off because I dont use those cheap ones and now I got pics to show him why. Thanks.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    9,932
    That's horrifying! I can't even imagine what the disconnect looked like.

    Was that a 220 volt pull out disconnect?

    How many amps was the disconnect rated for?

    Does that disconnect meet code?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Charleston, SC, USA
    Posts
    108
    It was a 60 amp disconnect pull bar type, with a "v" type spring for the contacts on the pull. It was to the tempstar in the pic, which has 9.6 Kw plus the fan...figure acctual 41.5 amps. The panel breaker was a 50A.

    Be good to your fellow man, not nice. There is a difference.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    1,503
    I'da thought the CB woulda tripped before all that...!

    She (and you) - lucky!!!!!!!!!!

    Post a pic of a pre-BBQ disconnect, same type...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    534
    All I can say is WOW. I'm speechless.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    28

    Unhappy ...another item to add to the punch list...

    ...smoke detector in the attic. Even if I don't have gas up there, electricity can evidently do the job just fine.

    Slightly off-topic, I can understand why the circuit breaker did not trip at 50A immediately... takes a while to get to those amperages while everything cooks slowly away. Would a AFCI or GFCI been a better choice. And, for that matter, do they make GFCI's in that size range? (50A, single phase)

    Glad the place didn't burn down.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    1,503
    Why does the Main CB trip (minimum 100A, probably 200) but not the 50 for the A/H??

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    4
    The reason the 200 trips is probably do to the location down stream from the fault site. The further away from the fault the main is, the greater the fault will register on the CB. I intentionally faulted a 20 Federal in the vain hope of tripping it while doing a job years ago, too lazy to crawel two hundred feet back out of an attic, and accidently blew an 800 amp main. Did this while I was a journeyman, know better now....LOL There is an electrical formula to show how this occurs.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    1,503

    Question

    Originally posted by durango
    The reason the 200 trips is probably do to the location down stream from the fault site. The further away from the fault the main is, the greater the fault will register on the CB. I intentionally faulted a 20 Federal in the vain hope of tripping it while doing a job years ago, too lazy to crawel two hundred feet back out of an attic, and accidently blew an 800 amp main. Did this while I was a journeyman, know better now....LOL There is an electrical formula to show how this occurs.
    Say what?

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