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Old 07-04-2012, 10:19 AM   #16
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So, our house just suffered an electrical fire...


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Originally Posted by Clutchcargo View Post
Does that J-box appear to be missing clamps?
Nothing specifically to do with this fire, but I noticed that in a few spots my electrician used those black plastic "clamps" for NM in metal boxes. I'm guessing that a fire in a junction box that they are used on would make short work of them--they don't seem like they're terribly robust.

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Old 07-04-2012, 11:25 AM   #17
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So, our house just suffered an electrical fire...


Those black romex connectors are standard. Nothing wrong with them.
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Old 07-04-2012, 12:52 PM   #18
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So, our house just suffered an electrical fire...


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Whenever I see tape on wirenuts, You know something is amiss...
I worked on a job years ago where taping the wirenuts was mandatory. Don't remember if it was the inspector or something job specific but I do remember it was required.
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Old 07-04-2012, 01:44 PM   #19
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So, our house just suffered an electrical fire...


doesn't 220V out of a panel have to land into condensers,stoves with no break and the box in a sheet rocked ceiling wonder what else is behind the walls?
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Old 07-04-2012, 01:48 PM   #20
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So, our house just suffered an electrical fire...


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Originally Posted by Thadius856 View Post
I do have an above shot, but it's taken with an iPhone which makes uploading it without a PC difficult. Regardless, the wire nuts are not melted....
email that pic to yourself, and THEN you should be able to upload it with no problem.
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Old 07-04-2012, 01:52 PM   #21
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So, our house just suffered an electrical fire...


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I worked on a job years ago where taping the wirenuts was mandatory. Don't remember if it was the inspector or something job specific but I do remember it was required.
I think I would cringe the entire job.
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Old 07-04-2012, 01:59 PM   #22
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So, our house just suffered an electrical fire...


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Those black romex connectors are standard. Nothing wrong with them.
Yeah, I know they are standard... but what I was saying was that the apparent absence of a clamp after a major fire event could just indicate that the plastic clamp was burned away.

To clutchcargo, you know, the more I think about it, the more I believe that if it were a matter of a clamp being missing and the wire chaffing, you'd see some of the copper conductor missing a chunk due to it vaporizing when the arc occurred... so if that is present, you'd know you at least had an arc there--whether or not that was the CAUSE of the fire, or occurred as a symptom of the fire (i.e. it was the first energized conductor that had it's insulation melted off, and thus arc'd after the fire started) would not be clear.
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Old 07-04-2012, 02:17 PM   #23
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So, our house just suffered an electrical fire...


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huh??
In an AC system, if one current carrying conductor passes through a hole in a metal box and the return path is through another hole in the same metal box, the metal between the two conductors will heat up because of induction.

The same thing would happen if one conductor was installed in a metal raceway and its return was installed in another metal raceway.

This is the principal on which a clamp-on ammeter works. If the jaws are clamped around all wires, no current will be read because the induction is cancelled out. If the jaws are clamped around one wire, current can be read because induction is present.

This is addressed in the NEC; 300.20 which basically states that all phase conductors and the neutral of any given circuit need to be grouped together and pass through the same hole of a metal enclosure, or a slot cut between the two holes.

I've never seen a fire because of this but I have seen the paint burned off of a metal box between two holes.

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Old 07-04-2012, 02:30 PM   #24
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So, our house just suffered an electrical fire...


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Why is that?
I don't know about anyone else, but I've seen FAR more taped wirenuts burn up than ones without tape. Especially in motors.

To me, taping wirenuts indicates a lack of experience.

Another reason is the guy who wants to 'do it right' and follows a bunch of idiotic procedures but doesn't know why. Usually our hero remembers hearing something from an 'expert' who actually knows next to nothing but feels the need to make himself look good so he spouts off a bunch of dumb things he has picked out of thin air.

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Old 07-04-2012, 03:10 PM   #25
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So, our house just suffered an electrical fire...


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email that pic to yourself, and THEN you should be able to upload it with no problem.
Problem wasn't getting it off the phone. That's easy. Problem was uploading it using only the phone, as I posted from my car (parked, of course). iPhone doesn't respond well to the "file selection" windows because it doesn't allow you to browse te file system without jail breaking.

I stopped by the house and snapped a few more pics. No the best lighting, but I'll post em today.

Agree about tape on wire nuts usually being a bad sign. Nothing wrong with doing it, but it usually signals that I'm about to find major code violations and safety hazards. Last time, it was that somebody had tapped 14-2 indoor into my chandelier, ran it with inline splices using only finger-tight twisted connections absolutely covere in tape, and run it to an outdoor light screwed directly to stucco, without a box and without GFCI protection.
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Old 07-04-2012, 05:19 PM   #26
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So, our house just suffered an electrical fire...














Those stupid single leads are all over* the place.

Sorry for poor lighting. No flash on the phone and only a weak flashlight.

Seem to have lost the "above" picture.
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Old 07-04-2012, 05:52 PM   #27
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So, our house just suffered an electrical fire...


I believe that most of this damage took place over a long period of time with the junction box being the hot spot. Ever have any buring smells that you could never find?

Last edited by zappa; 07-04-2012 at 06:02 PM.
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Old 07-04-2012, 06:03 PM   #28
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So, our house just suffered an electrical fire...


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Originally Posted by zappa
I believe that most of this damage took place over a long period of time with the junction box being the hot spot. Ever have any buring smells that you could never find?

I hope you can let us know where those twisted singles are going. It seems like someone had a bunch of wire laying around and tripled them up instead of using larger gauge wire.
I hope I can too. Only burning smells a few hours before. Smelled of mesquite, so I thought a neighbor was smoking meat.

If the insurance company doesn't want an electrical engineer, we can probably start ripping it out shortly. Otherwise, it'll be a week wait or more for one to come out before I can touch anything.

Will open up whatever wall it runs into. Not going to risk missing anything else.
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Old 07-04-2012, 06:21 PM   #29
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So, our house just suffered an electrical fire...


That sounds like a good plan. Ignore my twisted singles comment. Looking closer it appears to be melted Romex.
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Old 07-04-2012, 06:36 PM   #30
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So, our house just suffered an electrical fire...


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Originally Posted by zappa
That sounds like a good plan. Ignore my twisted singles comment. Looking closer it appears to be melted Romex.
Its not Romex. Indeed single wires. Thought they were coax at first and was ignoring them but they definitely enters the box and are too thick to be Romex. The copper is about 12g. Didn't see any text on them at all.

You can see lots of it hanging in other images. And its only twisted for the first 6", after that just a huge rats nest of wire.

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