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Old 01-14-2009, 04:53 PM   #1
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You know the guy. He cuts an opening in a patition wall, finds a bunch of cable and he figures he can just splice/tape them.

He had twelve splices in this wall. It worked for 8 years and recently he started to smell pine burning.





Had to tear out all the paneling and drywall.






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Old 01-14-2009, 05:04 PM   #2
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He had twelve splices in this wall. It worked for 8 years and recently he started to smell pine burning.
Why did it work for so long?
Why did it stop working?
Were the splices soldered?
How many of the 12 failed?

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Old 01-14-2009, 05:23 PM   #3
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Is that Al wire? Looks like an AL-CU splice that failed (duh!)
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Old 01-14-2009, 05:57 PM   #4
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Looks like he's also the guy that doesn't know how to frame an opening. He installed the jack studs wrong. And I don't see any cripple studs. Before or after. And hopefully those two new electrical boxes will have access covers and not be hidden behind the drywall.

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Old 01-15-2009, 05:15 AM   #5
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Why did it work for so long?

Bad connections get progressivly worse over time. The more carbon crap, the more resistance.

Why did it stop working?

It finally reached critical mass

Were the splices soldered?

Heh heh...no

How many of the 12 failed?

One



Quote:
Is that Al wire? Looks like an AL-CU splice that failed (duh!)
It is AL wire but the failure was because of a loose/bad connection, not an AL/CU connection.

Quote:
Looks like he's also the guy that doesn't know how to frame an opening
He didn't even need the header. It only a partition wall. He didn't know any better.

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Old 01-15-2009, 05:55 AM   #6
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This guy is lucky he still has a house where it can be fixed and not a very large pile of ashes
Good job 220/221 only about a million more of these to fix.
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Old 01-15-2009, 02:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 220/221 View Post
Why did it work for so long?

Bad connections get progressivly worse over time. The more carbon crap, the more resistance.

Why did it stop working?

It finally reached critical mass

Were the splices soldered?

Heh heh...no

How many of the 12 failed?

One
Actually, one out of 12 "units" failing after 8 years is not a bad MTBF, and this is a guy who made the splices with average or less-than-average "diligence".
If you started out with 12 brand new cars, how many would have "failed" in less than 8 years?
The problem with house wiring in houses made of wood is the possible bad consequences of just a single failure.

While we're on the subject,
roughly how many wires nuts are there in an average house?
How many splices of this kind fail, per year, or per 10 years?
In my whole life I've never knowingly had a splice fail in a house I've lived in, so a diligently done wirenut connection must have a very low failure rate.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 01-15-2009 at 02:46 PM.
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Old 01-15-2009, 03:59 PM   #8
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What is the correct way to do that? In a box?
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Old 01-15-2009, 04:10 PM   #9
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What is the correct way to do that? In a box?
Either place a new box for the junctions and use a blank cover to make it less obvious (of course with accessibility) or run new cables between the existing boxes.
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Old 01-15-2009, 04:22 PM   #10
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Either place a new box for the junctions and use a blank cover to make it less obvious (of course with accessibility) or run new cables between the existing boxes.
Ok so exactly what I thought it was. Good to know.
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Old 01-15-2009, 05:02 PM   #11
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The purpose of the box is to contain the fire in a failure situation.

Splice will fail. That's why you leave them protected and accessible.

Todays failure. No smoke, simply a failed connection. a single #12 in with 2 #14's. They weren't diligent and it came loose after a few years after the remodel.

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Old 01-15-2009, 08:42 PM   #12
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Damn!
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Old 01-15-2009, 09:37 PM   #13
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Actually, one out of 12 "units" failing after 8 years is not a bad MTBF
What??? 8 years is not a bad MTBF electrical connections?? By that logic, my house should have burned down at least 10 times by now...
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Old 01-16-2009, 06:18 AM   #14
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wow,,, seems a certain failure rate is acceptable by some.
it can be expected but everything posible should be done to avoid disaster which in most cases is covered if the electrical code is followed to the letter, and acceptable would be more like 1 in one million over 8 years.

My cousin is a 31 year vetrin fire fighter (volenteer), he has seen some nasty sh*t over those years but one thing that struck him hard a couple years ago was after a fire was extinguished which wiped out an entire house, was finding the family ( whom our family knew) both parents still in bed, one child still in what was a crib, and other two children in a corner of their room huddled together, all died of smoke inhailation before they were burnt to a crisp, they bought the house 4 years before, the father knew nothing and did nothing electrical, the home passed a home inspection at the time of sale. the fire was caused buy pretty the same thing, burried electrical connections (no box) in a basement ceiling (wreckroom) done by the previous home owner, done several years before he had sold the house.
Does that make the failure rate still acceptable, or doing it wrong still acceptable?
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Old 01-16-2009, 03:51 PM   #15
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What??? 8 years is not a bad MTBF electrical connections?? By that logic, my house should have burned down at least 10 times by now...
No, it's 12x8 = 96 years. MTBF calcs. are rather weird, and some people don't believe in them at all, including "The Bathtub Curve."
And since a car has thousands of parts, for a whole car to last 8 years requires each part to have a virtually zero failure rate.

For people safety there are very high reliability rates, I think 99.9999% or something. I used to know what it was for the Space Shuttle.
MIL-STD 217 covers this subject.

Let's say birth control is 99.9% effective. You "throw the dice" 1000 times. There's a 1-[0.999^1000] = 63% chance you'll be buying baby clothes.


Last edited by Yoyizit; 01-17-2009 at 05:57 PM.
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