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Old 02-23-2010, 10:06 PM   #1
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Odd question for the sparkys... re: DIYers


Got a strange situation, and am wondering how an electrician might react if I call one in.

I've been planning to add a couple of subpanels for a while (as I've posted on here before). However, the furthest I've gotten is mounting one of the backplates on the wall and put the new panel on it (empty, no cover, breakers, etc).

Tonight, I had a breaker in the existing main panel trip that powers a good portion of the house (lights and receptacles in a Br, Kitchen, and only Bath ) It won't reset (keeps tripping back off), so I'm guessing I'm going to have to call in someone to fix it until I can get around to rewiring those parts of the house.

So, just wondering what to expect for when the 'trician comes out and sees an empty panel sitting right next to the main panel with the tripped breaker.

I presume that the prevailing thought will be a typical DIYer screwup. Any chance he won't work on it because of that?

Thanks,

Mike

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Old 02-23-2010, 10:27 PM   #2
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Odd question for the sparkys... re: DIYers


I doubt it'll be a problem for him. He's there to fix a problem with an unrelated part of the system and that doesn't have anything to do with the fact you screwed an empty panel to the wall. Communicate that you're going to re-wire but haven't done it yet.

Inversely, if you'd begun the work and had the thing half wired and were having an electrical problem, he'd be better served staying away. He might want to know if the job is even being done legally with the POCO and the City. He could easily be blamed for any problem on the job even if he didn't have anything to do with it.

Depends on who you hire, but I wouldn't anticipate a problem. Just let him know you're planning to change things out in the future. And be ready to hear his opinions, good or bad!

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Old 02-24-2010, 09:41 AM   #3
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Odd question for the sparkys... re: DIYers


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Originally Posted by tigereye View Post

Tonight, I had a breaker in the existing main panel trip that powers a good portion of the house (lights and receptacles in a Br, Kitchen, and only Bath ) It won't reset (keeps tripping back off), so I'm guessing I'm going to have to call in someone to fix it until I can get around to rewiring those parts of the house.
Have you removed all plug-in loads from the circuit and tried resetting it?

I'm guessing he's going to care a lot more about your one overtasked breaker.....
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Old 02-24-2010, 09:57 AM   #4
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Odd question for the sparkys... re: DIYers


KC and Leah,

Thanks for the feedback and replies. I've removed all of the loads from the receptacles and it still won't reset. I think what I'm seeing is the deterioration of the connections on the AL wiring in my house. I've had problems with this particular circuit before (to the point of taping off a particular receptacle so the kids don't use it), and am having some other issues with unrelated circuits.

I'd rather just say forget it and just start the re-wiring project now with this circuit, but by the time I get the work done and inspected, we'll be without power in half the house for probably 2 weeks. But, then again, who knows if they'll even work on an AL branch.

Thanks again for the assist,

Mike

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Have you removed all plug-in loads from the circuit and tried resetting it?

I'm guessing he's going to care a lot more about your one overtasked breaker.....
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:07 PM   #5
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Odd question for the sparkys... re: DIYers


The first thing I would ask you is "what have you have been working on"? That is most likely where I will find the problem.
The unfinished panel is a good thing. It lets the electrician know you have been working on the electrical system at some point, and you might just be able to tell him where the problem is.
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:58 AM   #6
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Odd question for the sparkys... re: DIYers


Just wanted to say thanks again for the advice/assistance on this. Electrician was out Friday. Wasn't phased at all by the panel. I was worried over nothing.

FWIW, the CU/AL connection on my dishwasher had melted through the yellow wire nut and was causing the short that was taking out the breaker. Would likely never have thought to check there, so glad I called him out.

Mike
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:03 PM   #7
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Odd question for the sparkys... re: DIYers


Danged aluminum wire! Thanks for following up. Good to hear it all worked out for you.
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:46 PM   #8
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Odd question for the sparkys... re: DIYers


Some of us make a living off of DIYer screw ups

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