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Nathan, after our being hit with storm Sandy, we at the home depot I work at have sold countless generators.

Let me start by saying I am not an electrician but I do have extensive knowledge about the subject. I have heard many ways to connect a generator to the panel and many are wrong and un-safe.

I try to educate my customers to do it the right way or hire an electrician. Anyway one of my most recent questions I have is this.

When I you install a Reliance or any other brand transfer switch a short section of greenfield is supplied with the switch. You pull the wires from the transfer switch into the panel knockout and secure it. The wires from the transfer switch are labled in pairs black and red A-A, B-B,
C-C and so on. you are instructed to remove the existing wire from the breaker and place the RED wire in the breaker then connect the black wire to the branch circuit with a wire nut. I have been recently told that you cannot splice a wire in the breaker panel. If this is true, what do you do. Most of my customers are on Long Island, New York. Please advise, Frank
 

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First and foremost, you cannot tell your customers how to do electrical work, due to you are not licensed, and you are placing a huge liability on not only yourself, but your store manager, store, company and stock holders. That means if you tell a customer how to do something as a unlicensed person, you can be held responsible if it comes back, that they either kill or injure themselves, or burn down theirs or someone else's structure, from the information you gave them.

The best thing to do to remove yourself and your store from the responsibility circle, is inform the customer that if they are not able to follow the instructions that come with the product, they should hire an electrician to do the work. It even states that on the box, and in the instructions that come with stuff like Generators, panel surge protectors, GFCI outlets, cut-over panels for generators, etc..
 

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Nathan, after our being hit with storm Sandy, we at the home depot I work at have sold countless generators. Let me start by saying I am not an electrician but I do have extensive knowledge about the subject. I have heard many ways to connect a generator to the panel and many are wrong and un-safe. I try to educate my customers to do it the right way or hire an electrician. Anyway one of my most recent questions I have is this. When I you install a Reliance or any other brand transfer switch a short section of greenfield is supplied with the switch. You pull the wires from the transfer switch into the panel knockout and secure it. The wires from the transfer switch are labled in pairs black and red A-A, B-B,
C-C and so on. you are instructed to remove the existing wire from the breaker and place the RED wire in the breaker then connect the black wire to the branch circuit with a wire nut. I have been recently told that you cannot splice a wire in the breaker panel. If this is true, what do you do. Most of my customers are on Long Island, New York. Please advise, Frank
Frank it is perfectly fine to splice wires in the panel when installing manual transfer switches like the reliance. There is a section in the Nec that addresses this situation. I'll be glad to post it if you ask.

I'm not sure about the liability thing. I do know that most employers have disclaimers for just about everything. Being licensed does not release you from liability it increases it ... I doubt seriously unless it was very unusual circumstances that you would be liable for anything. If that were the case big box stores would not sell electrical materials and equipment to homeowners. I would check with store policy and be sure that you are following it. In the end it is the responsibility of the home owner to install according to the instructions and local codes.
 

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Nathan, after our being hit with storm Sandy, we at the home depot I work at have sold countless generators. Let me start by saying I am not an electrician but I do have extensive knowledge about the subject. I have heard many ways to connect a generator to the panel and many are wrong and un-safe. I try to educate my customers to do it the right way or hire an electrician. Anyway one of my most recent questions I have is this. When I you install a Reliance or any other brand transfer switch a short section of greenfield is supplied with the switch. You pull the wires from the transfer switch into the panel knockout and secure it. The wires from the transfer switch are labled in pairs black and red A-A, B-B,
C-C and so on. you are instructed to remove the existing wire from the breaker and place the RED wire in the breaker then connect the black wire to the branch circuit with a wire nut. I have been recently told that you cannot splice a wire in the breaker panel. If this is true, what do you do. Most of my customers are on Long Island, New York. Please advise, Frank
First of all you do not have to be licensed to give electrical advise. Just look on this forum. We have plenty of amaturez giving advise here everyday. You may want to consult with your manger about the store policy though.

AS for splicing in a breaker panel check out this thread I recently started addressing this very issue.

http://www.diychatroom.com/f18/when-can-panelboard-used-splicing-never-172647/
 
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I have been recently told that you cannot splice a wire in the breaker panel. If this is true, what do you do. Most of my customers are on Long Island, New York. Please advise, Frank
Who "told" you this? Because it is false.

Do not tell your customers anything beyond "Read the instructions".

Home centers have a horrible reputation for giving out anywhere from poor to literally dangerous advice. Don't be part of that.

Besides, you are on Litigation Island. Those folks will sue you for looking at them the wrong way.
 
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There was an article where a big box store and employee were sued because of advice given and the customers house burnt down and a three year old died.
 

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Electures, but also if you read through the posts, there are experts backing up and correcting any info that may be given out, or giving a better explanation of the info, even though at times it gives too much info, which gets over some beginners heads.

But when you look at it, there is also the disclaimer that states that the information on this board is for educational purposes only, and that you should also contact a licensed electrician if the scope of work is out of your handling.

This site is more of a bunch of round table discussions, with a group of guys and some gals, just sitting around a table drinking their favorite beverage if you really look at it in that way.

But having some employee at a big box store telling people how to do electrical work, with no background, and/or not or never been certified in that field, is a big problem. I have no problem with asking an employee which item may be better, or if I did not know anything about what breaker my panel had, and was sent on a run, with the picture or panel info, I expect them to be able to pull the right item.

I find anymore, that the only place you can find someone with some kind of expertise in what they do, is at the parts counter of the supply house. The big box stores are starting to get to the point that they are nothing more than the Walmart of building supplies. Too many employees that only know how to say high and point in a direction, and very few that have a actual working knowledge of the stuff in the department they are working in.
 

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Electures, but also if you read through the posts, there are experts backing up and correcting any info that may be given out, or giving a better explanation of the info, even though at times it gives too much info, which gets over some beginners heads.

But when you look at it, there is also the disclaimer that states that the information on this board is for educational purposes only, and that you should also contact a licensed electrician if the scope of work is out of your handling.

This site is more of a bunch of round table discussions, with a group of guys and some gals, just sitting around a table drinking their favorite beverage if you really look at it in that way.

But having some employee at a big box store telling people how to do electrical work, with no background, and/or not or never been certified in that field, is a big problem. I have no problem with asking an employee which item may be better, or if I did not know anything about what breaker my panel had, and was sent on a run, with the picture or panel info, I expect them to be able to pull the right item.

I find anymore, that the only place you can find someone with some kind of expertise in what they do, is at the parts counter of the supply house. The big box stores are starting to get to the point that they are nothing more than the Walmart of building supplies. Too many employees that only know how to say high and point in a direction, and very few that have a actual working knowledge of the stuff in the department they are working in.
Agreed, but the employees in the local supply houses in my area are prohibited from offering any advice to customers. All they will say is "hire a licensed electrician". The supply houses do not want the liability. I am surprised that the big box stores allow it. Curiouse to know their store policy.
 
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I'm surprised nobody has pointed out that in many places, it is illegal for an unlicensed person to do electrical work, even in their own house. It happens to be legal here (same for plumbing), but were I a big box clerk, I would never be telling customers how to do it.
 

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md2lgyk said:
I'm surprised nobody has pointed out that in many places, it is illegal for an unlicensed person to do electrical work, even in their own house. It happens to be legal here (same for plumbing), but were I a big box clerk, I would never be telling customers how to do it.
My area it is not one of those areas. They state that as long as the work is done in a professional manner and the rules are followed, the homeowner lives there more than two years, they are allowed to do any and all work within their abilities.

The only reason there are some areas like that, is because it is nothing more than a money grab.

Now of course, what you left out, is that the homeowner can still be allowed to maintian and do stuff like fix leaks, replace fixtures, outlets and switches.

What you are implying is that those areas do not want the private party to rewire the whole house, pull a circuit, install gas lines, plumbing lines no matter if the job is small or large, because then the city is loosing money on delving out permits and want to keep people under their thumb.
 

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Now of course, what you left out, is that the homeowner can still be allowed to maintian and do stuff like fix leaks, replace fixtures, outlets and switches.
Well, I didn't intentionally leave it out. That's because there are places, at least one I have lived in, where even those things are illegal. I do agree with you that it's mostly about the money. Practially anybody with a three-digit IQ can safely replace an outlet.
 

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I'm surprised nobody has pointed out that in many places, it is illegal for an unlicensed person to do electrical work, even in their own house. It happens to be legal here (same for plumbing), but were I a big box clerk, I would never be telling customers how to do it.
Never use the word never .... I'm surprised your surprised we didn't point out that in a very few places homeowners cannot do their own electrical work. What would be the point?

Now big box stores are notorious for wrong information but not always. My local Lowes has a 35 year retired electrican and a 40 year retired plumber as emplyees. When I'm in the store I enjoy visting with them if they are on shift. Nice knowledgable guys.

Sure a homeowner has in many cases have no idea what the correct way to do their electrical project would involve.
There alots of things where advice can be given about the products you sell ..IMO..... but if you aren't sure or don't know it would be the prudent thing to defer to a professional rather than blow a bunch of smoke.
 

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md2lgyk said:
Well, I didn't intentionally leave it out. That's because there are places, at least one I have lived in, where even those things are illegal. I do agree with you that it's mostly about the money. Practially anybody with a three-digit IQ can safely replace an outlet.
It does not even take a three didget. Anyone with a IQ above 65 and eigth grade education can do a lot of stuff.

Problem with those with very high IQ's, is that they tend to over think things, and disect the problem, instead of just doong it, and getting it done.

Now of course I have been known to sit on a project for a while, but usually because I am still going over the planning stuff in my head, or redoing stuff like electrical layout for a room in my house.
 

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I've heard that HD and Lowes sell romex in Chicago, and we all know it is not allowed to be used.
Yes that is true, but not because it is not allowed to be used, there are some areas, that it can be used, and since customers happen to be from another area, why should a retailer not sell a particular product, that is not used in another.

It is like stating that only Fords can be sold and driven in Michigan, Chevy's in the South. No one is able to bring another brand into those areas, or sell them, just because the rules say so.
 

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...I have been recently told that you cannot splice a wire in the breaker panel...
Some of this stuff is common sense. Electrical connections can come loose, spark, then cause a fire. This will not happen if the electrical connection is in an approved* enclosure (any sparks would be contained).

*I saw a picture on the internet where someone used a cardboard/paper cigar box for electrical connections - thus the "approved enclosure" part!

Anyway a breaker panel would certainly contain sparks from a loose connection! They are designed to do so.

As for people saying things like this, I like to ask... Where did you hear that? Where does it say that?

Also note that local laws/rules are sometimes influenced by manufacturer and trade "special interest groups". In some areas they may pay off politicians to enact certain rules which force people to needlessly spend more money. In that case the silly rules have nothing to do with "common sense".

Another thing to note is sometimes inspectors go by the "manufacturer's installation instructions" as being the "rule". I've seen that done for things not specifically covered by building codes. Like a specific model of woodstove may need to be so many inches from the wall, etc.

With that said, you should be pretty safe following what various installation instructions say to do.

And good for you for asking about this!
 

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Some of this stuff is common sense. Electrical connections can come loose, spark, then cause a fire. This will not happen if the electrical connection is in an approved* enclosure (any sparks would be contained).

*I saw a picture on the internet where someone used a cardboard/paper cigar box for electrical connections - thus the "approved enclosure" part!

Anyway a breaker panel would certainly contain sparks from a loose connection! They are designed to do so.

As for people saying things like this, I like to ask... Where did you hear that? Where does it say that?

Also note that local laws/rules are sometimes influenced by manufacturer and trade "special interest groups". In some areas they may pay off politicians to enact certain rules which force people to needlessly spend more money. In that case the silly rules have nothing to do with "common sense".

Another thing to note is sometimes inspectors go by the "manufacturer's installation instructions" as being the "rule". I've seen that done for things not specifically covered by building codes. Like a specific model of woodstove may need to be so many inches from the wall, etc.

With that said, you should be pretty safe following what various installation instructions say to do.

And good for you for asking about this!
A breakerpanel is an "approved enclosure" and it compliant to make splices inside of it as long as it meets code. AS for the manufactures installation instruction, see NEC 110.3(B).
 

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I've heard that HD and Lowes sell romex in Chicago, and we all know it is not allowed to be used.
Doesn't surprise me. My local HD sells bottle traps, which have been illegal everywhere for some time. Probably a lot of other illegal stuff too. Caveat emptor in action.

In HD's defense (excluding the bottle traps), it's probably very difficult to keep track of what is illegal where. Some brass plumbing fittings that are legal in neighboring WV cannot be sold in MD because of their lead content. I'm sure there are many other such instances around the country.
 
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