John, you can tell wires are live by the fact that you haven't turned off the breaker. Or, you can buy a $1.50 "voltage pencil" at HD. That's a device that looks like a small screwdriver with a neon light in it and a pocket clip. You touch the wire with the screwdriver tip while holding the handle so your hand touches the pocket clip. If it lights up, it's live.
As for drumming up more hvac business, I'm sorry, John, I can't help you with that. You'll have to do some good work and hope for some referrals.
Originally posted by dx Then check same at the mains.
With the above info, the problem can be diagnosed step-by-step right here on your friendly forum.
Disclaimer: Homeowner does need to keep fingers away from live wires.
Alternative 1 ... Cool
Alternative 2 ... Dead or may just ShoCkeD
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I had a problem with a window unit that kept blowing the circuit breaker. Found the wires on the circuit breaker was loose. Tightened them up and never had a problem with it again so far. Might also check the connections on the plug on the wall. Be sure to shut off the circuit breaker when doing this.