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Old 10-27-2009, 10:17 AM   #1
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dummy breakers, lug covers for panel safety


With the service panel cover off, it seems like the biggest risk of shock is the unfilled breaker positions, and exposed main lugs. It would be an inexpensive matter to make some dummy breaker blanks and some clip-on lug protectors to cover that exposed metal. Heck, they have terminal protectors for your 12v car battery. Does anything like this exist?

Sure you are not supposed to work on a hot panel, but I am guessing most here have done it on occasion, and probably been lit up once or twice in their career.

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Old 10-27-2009, 11:18 AM   #2
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dummy breakers, lug covers for panel safety


There are many electrical contracting companies which have the policy for employees to NEVER work with live electricity period!

And I do the same. I never work with live electricity. I never have any reason to work with live electricity! There are many other safe ways to trace circuits or whatever you need to do. (Multimeter, testers, etc.)

And I especially would not want to be in the situation where there was live electricity present on a breaker bus and I was doing something like using a wrench or applying force on something and the wrench could slip and my hand go flying into the live bus!

(These kind of accidents have happened in the past [never to me], thus the reason for the no live work policies....)

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Old 10-27-2009, 12:44 PM   #3
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dummy breakers, lug covers for panel safety


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Originally Posted by Billy_Bob View Post
There are many electrical contracting companies which have the policy for employees to NEVER work with live electricity period!

And I do the same. I never work with live electricity. I never have any reason to work with live electricity! There are many other safe ways to trace circuits or whatever you need to do. (Multimeter, testers, etc.)

And I especially would not want to be in the situation where there was live electricity present on a breaker bus and I was doing something like using a wrench or applying force on something and the wrench could slip and my hand go flying into the live bus!

(These kind of accidents have happened in the past [never to me], thus the reason for the no live work policies....)
Good job.
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Old 10-27-2009, 06:20 PM   #4
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dummy breakers, lug covers for panel safety


I actually like my panel setup for that. There is a separate cut off switch so I can actually shut power to the entire panel if I want to get into it. Even when you shut off the main there's still power to the bus bar near the main breaker, so while it may be further down/up it's there, and you could accidentally put your hand, or drop a tool, and ouch...

When I get my panel replaced with a bigger one I'll make sure there's still the main cut off switch (probably will have to replace that too if I go to 200amp service)

I've done a few things live before outside of the panel and while it's "safe" when you know what you're doing, there's always that possibility of an accident. Once I was doing a light in my parent's kitchen and when I slipped the hot wire inside the small hole of the fixture, it touched the bare metal which I had already hooked up to the ground. It gave me a little up close fireworks show.
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Old 10-27-2009, 08:32 PM   #5
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dummy breakers, lug covers for panel safety


When the cover comes off you better be aware.

I had a customer come about an inch from touching the bus bars. I was showing her some issues in her (open) panel and she caught me off guard as she pointed to something.

I've never been "lit up" from a panel. We usually get it from simple, less dangerous things while installing/troubleshooting switches and receptacles.
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Old 10-27-2009, 09:12 PM   #6
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dummy breakers, lug covers for panel safety


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Originally Posted by 220/221 View Post
When the cover comes off you better be aware.

I had a customer come about an inch from touching the bus bars. I was showing her some issues in her (open) panel and she caught me off guard as she pointed to something.

I've never been "lit up" from a panel. We usually get it from simple, less dangerous things while installing/troubleshooting switches and receptacles.
Here is the difference between someone working full time (when not fishing or trying to fix the car) as an Electrician and a DIY'er (My hat off to the DIY'ers). We work with the cover off (when necessary) without even noticing it. Also, when snaking in a new line or handling other tools around exposed live wires, there's great use to be made of cardboard boxes (which is a great insulator)! I had a similar story with a customer who was standing next to me when I opened the cover of a 400Amp., 3 Phase Switch. When I put (the back of) my two fingers on the Cartridge Fuse to check if it's HOT, the customer imitated my action which SHOCKED me more than any electric shock... (No matter what) Don't Drink and Drive, Ever!!!
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Old 10-27-2009, 09:41 PM   #7
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dummy breakers, lug covers for panel safety


I'd agree that the number of times you've been stung is a good indication of how many times you have been less safe then you could have been. I remember one instructor who said anytime you work on dangerous equipment, make sure you are the only one who can turn it on. Keep the power cord/keys in your back pocket.

I haven't had reason to open many panels, but energized or not they always seem more dangerous than they should be due to the exposed conductors. I think simple protective covers for this metal would make it that much safer.

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