Circuit breaker box hisses

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On Sat, 17 Oct 2015 00:08:21 -0400, "Ralph Mowery"

crimping tool and an insulated butt crimp connector consisting of a tinned copper tube and a hard plastic sleeve on it. A properly crimped connector requires a crimper with the correct size die for the connector, and a "calibrated" pressure, to ensure a "gas tite" connection - and an insulating sleeve that seals to the insulation, keeping moisture and other corrosive contamination away from the joint.
It is easier for a reasonably competent craftsman to make a decent soldered joint with tools at hand than to do a "proper" crimp without the specialized tools required.
That said, a "proper" crimped connection IS the preferred method of joining flexible conductors.
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On 10/16/2015 11:59 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Our house has a circuit breaker box in the bad bedroom where the previous owners built on an addition to the older house. I was wondering if a circuit box has an odor to it because sometimes I could swear that I can smell electricity in the air, but I can't really pinpoint where it's coming from. It's been like this for the entire time we've lived here.
--
Maggie

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On 10/17/2015 4:25 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

What does ozone smell like?
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Maggie

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Uncle Monster posted for all of us...

Strengthening your forearm.
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Tekkie

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On Friday, October 16, 2015 at 5:59:16 PM UTC-4, Texas Kingsnake wrote:

Not unusual for a loose connection to behave differently after you push it or fiddle with it. It may just be temporarily making better contact now. You can tighten it live, as long as you're 100% sure you know what you're doing.
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On 10/16/2015 05:12 PM, trader_4 wrote:

If he was 100% sure of what he was doing he would not tighten it live.
also see my other replies
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On Friday, October 16, 2015 at 6:18:43 PM UTC-4, philo wrote:

Yeah, I agree with those of you that pointed out that if it's been arcing, then it should be checked to see if it's damaged. I wasn't thinking about what arcing that's been going on could have done.
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On 10/16/2015 05:28 PM, trader_4 wrote:

For those who may have missed my posts over the past year or so, my background is industrial batteries and I have repaired literally thousands of chargers whose output is anywhere from 80 to 350 amps.
When I was still new on the job , if there was a burned or tarnished connection, I'd typically wire brush it down then sand it until everything was smooth and shiny.
It did not take me more than a year to realize that was only a temporary fix as the connection would always go bad again.
Once copper is heated it actually goes through a chemical change and becomes copper oxide. If the burned portion is cleaned, the copper still has a tarnished look to it.
If you cut a new copper wire and compare it to a cut, tarnished wire you will see the difference.
That's why I said all must be replaced.
If some hardware was replaced that ended up actually being OK, no harm done.
I think all see the corollary.
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I agree. I worked with lots of industrial electrical equipment, lots of 480 volt 3 phase from a few amps to around 500 amps.
There were hundreds if not thousands of breakers and switch gear that was inspected with an IR camera every year or two. If a connection shows evidence of overheating, sometimes cleaning and tightning would solve the problem, but often it would show back up on the next scan , usually about a year later.
Cutting back and changing seemed to be the long term solution.
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On 10/16/2015 06:37 PM, Ralph Mowery wrote:

You had a damn good job there. In the few years before I retired I saw a lot of companies getting the "IR checkup". Fix problems before they start...good idea.
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On 10/16/2015 5:38 PM, philo wrote:

If it's copper, I'll check to you as the authority. If it's AL as is the bulk of underground feeds over the past 45 years or so, is it the same deal with arcing.
The only thing I'm going with is DON'T mess with that service drop while it's live. Period!
If it's AL on the drop, you're definitely going to have to clean it up, recoat with the anti-oxidant paste and really crank it down. IIRC correctly those lugs are fitted with an Allen socket. Just way too much that can go wrong screwing around there even if you didn't have to pull the wire out to clean and re-coat.
He can, in the end, do whatever he wants. His widow can report back where he went wrong. ;)
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On 10/16/2015 06:42 PM, Unquestionably Confused wrote:

Worked on a lot high-powered transformers and if copper I could usually fix them by cutting back to clean copper and putting on a new lug.
Eventually I gave up on aluminum because no matter what I did, the connection would burn out again. I might have had better luck though if I used anti-oxidant paste. Too late now, I'm retired.
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On 10/16/2015 10:47 PM, philo wrote:

If it's what I think, the OP should call an electrician. And schedule a day for the power company to shut the power off, so the electrician can work safely.
Philo, yes, aluminum is a problem. I've heard the paste is a good idea.
- . Christopher A. Young learn more about Jesus . www.lds.org . .
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On Fri, 16 Oct 2015 17:29:57 -0400, "Texas Kingsnake"

It probably did loosen over time or was never tightened well, and just shifted a small bit. What you propose makes sense. Just be safe. If the floor is concrete, stand on a piece of plywood too. Otherwise call an electrician. Do this soon or you could end up with a fire or at least damaged wires or the box. A shot of PB Blaster on that screw head wont hurt to make it move easier.
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On Fri, 16 Oct 2015 18:04:12 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@none.com wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca posted for all of us...

Oh boy, the joys of reading this thread. Maybe he could solder or crimp the wire too; while it's live, what the heck the fuse at the pig pole may blow, or not.
Fire diversion, actual fire between the smells and the bells...
--
Tekkie

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On Fri, 16 Oct 2015 17:29:57 -0400, "Texas Kingsnake"

may not be able to tighten it. Trying to tighten it with the circuit live COULD get nasty if the lug is damaged and comes off the buss when you try to tighten it.
I have had a burned lug on a service panel and was lucky enough to be able to find a used replacement lug - and even luckier to be able to replace it and the cable connecting to it which had also been damaged by the arcing.
And yes, just pushing on it would possibly temporarily correct it.
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On 10/16/2015 8:24 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I agree that it is best to inspect and replace burnt parts as needed. OTOH, if he can stop the arcing temporarily it is safer than allowing it to continue until he can do it right. If he wants to be completely safe, pull the meter until you can get an electrician.
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turn off the main breaker and no current can flow. No current means no arc. No heat. No problem.
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