electrician "best practices"

I'm curious as to how many electricians actually shut off power before working on a circuit. I'm currently working on a 240V circuit and always shut down power, especially when it's work in the panel.
Anyone care to share their best practices when working in panels?
Cheers,
Mike
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diesel_mike snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Mike) wrote:

electricians, but there are no old, bold electricians...
Bottom line is you can't get electrocuted by a de-energized circuit. Shut it off first.
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On 01 Jul 2003, Doug Miller wrote:

Agreed 100% with this and other similar statements about the subject. I would feel pretty stupid if I died or spent a night in the ER because of laziness.
TP --
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If you mean the GFIs they may not protect you as you can short out between the hot and neutral and they will not offer protection.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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I always shut the power off as well, but I've worked with lots of electricians that preferred to work on "Hot" circuits. They also refused to use hand tools that had insulated handles, such as pliers, side-cutters, etc. Their thinking was they didn't want a false sense of security. I once asked my helper if he had turned the power off on a circuit I was working on. After being assured that he had, I preceded to start cutting wires. It blew up in my face. It also ruined my glasses. I would have been blinded if I hadn't been wearing them. Now the old farts that work on hot circuits wouldn't have had my problem, they treat all circuits as if they were hot.
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Are we talkin' home or commercial, cause sometimes its just not possible to kill power when doin' renovations commercially. I work it hot, if I have to. Just the other day we had to knock out a 2 1/2" hole in an MDP to supply a new panel. We haven't pulled the conductors just yet, but I suspect that we will have to work that hot as well.
Op --Old is a relative term and I certainly ain't bold--
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just out of curiosity when you work it hot do you stick one hand in your pocket?
wrote:
"
" "> I'm curious as to how many electricians actually shut off powerbefore "> working on a circuit. I'm currently working on a 240V circuit and "> always shut down power, especially when it's work in the panel."> "> Anyone care to share their best practices when working in panels?"> "> Cheers,"> "> Mike" "Are we talkin' home or commercial, cause sometimes its just not possible to "kill power when doin' renovations commercially. I work it hot, if I have "to. Just the other day we had to knock out a 2 1/2" hole in an MDP to "supply a new panel. We haven't pulled the conductors just yet, but I "suspect that we will have to work that hot as well. " "Op --Old is a relative term and I certainly ain't bold-- "
-
To Explain Oneself Is A Sign Of Weakness!
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On 01 Jul 2003, yar wrote:

GNF has a point: sometimes there is no other way. And yes, the very few times I -had- to, I made a conscious effort to keep my one thumb tucked inside a belt loop while I was handling the service entrance cable with the other hand.
Couple of tips I can offer to anyone in that situation --
1) Plan, plan, plan. Prep, prep, prep. Do -everything- you can as far as readying the box(es), getting the old crap stripped out, even getting the lugs ready to accept the wire. Back out the screws, make sure they're not misthreaded, etc. When you have that live wire in your hand, you don't want to have to "multitask".
2) Remove *ALL* distractions from the work area: kids, pets, cel phones, etc. Your mind has to be 101% on what you're doing, or you can leave the room in a big black bag.
TP --
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On 02 Jul 2003, volts500 wrote:

What's your point?
TP --
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This is Turtle.
His point is Your stupid plan and simple. Am I clear on this?
Second thing here. If a person tells me that he is working service entrence lines hot and does not know how to will not cut the seal and pull the meter is one of two things. He is very Stupid or lying through his teeth. Which one is it tom ?
TURTLE
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wrote:

That sure is enough to intimidate anyone. To answer an earlier question, this is in reference to residential, so I can shut off the power w/o a problem, and I will do so. I can understand when an electrician is in a commercial setting, and shutting down someone's business isn't feasible.
After all, you should be able to handle a live wire provided your one hand is in your belt loop and you're standing on a thick rubber mat. Correct?
Thanks.
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On 02 Jul 2003, Mike wrote:

ehhhhhhh, uhhhhhhhh, no. You have to be conscious of more than your feet. The -box- you're working in is grounded, or at least it should be. You need to be concerned with bumping a bare forearm up against a concrete wall. It's all potentially bad, some worse than others.
The stalking jerkoff pro gave some good advice (elaborating on what I've said) about trying to cover up the dangerous contact areas as much as possible. *Do* *that*. And you should never aim to touch the live, uninsulated wire on purpose unless you've taken *all* of the safety precautions including the rubber gloves. There's times you come damned close. If you use a metal utility knife to strip it, you'll be in contact. Use a plastic handled one and duct tape over the screws that hold it together. Little things like that need to be done.
You have to prepare like you're *always* in contact with a live wire, and then take precautions to try and *never* let it happen. Bottom line = if you slip, and you've done your homework, you won't even feel a tingle.
--
TP
-- _________________________________________
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There is NO way to elaborate on the dangerous crap that you post Tom Penderast.
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Electrical safety in general.
The definition of a "qualified electrician" is not only someone who has the skills and knowledge related to the construction and operation of electrical equipment and installations, but also is someone who knows how to protect oneself and others from the hazards involved while doing the work. That's what we _do_. We can work energized equipment bare-handed if necessary......but ONLY _after_ receiving proper safety training AND heeding that training along with using PPE (Personal Protective Equipment.) _Never_ work something hot if you don't have to.
PPE starts with clothing.....100% cotton. In the event of an explosion, cotton will burn off your body, as opposed to a synthetic fiber that will burn into your skin and stay there. PPE also includes things like non-conductive rubber gloves, rubber mats, face (flash) shields, hard hat, and a whole slew of other products rated for the voltage being worked on.
First rule is to de-energize when possible........not always a real world solution though.
Second rule is to test the de-energized circuit or equipment with a known-to-be-good voltage tester.......then, after testing the de-energized equipment or circuit, test the test equipment again on a known-to-be-live circuit.
Many electricians have been killed or seriously injured by emergency generators that start automatically.......sometimes the delay upon loss of normal power can be longer than expected. Or emergency panels are tied in to the normal power before the main and will still be energized when the main is shut down.
The first question one should ask oneself when working something hot is: "Am I grounded" IF you ARE grounded, then you need to seriously reconsider working it hot.......or at least see if some PPE will help. Since everyone's perception of danger is different, if at ANYTIME you feel unsafe, STOP doing what you're doing........then schedule a shutdown. It requires considerable training to be able to know if you're in real danger though. Without _proper_ electrical safety training, it's stupid to work something hot. Even trained workers following all the safety rules does not guarantee total safety.
Never work something hot when alone. Also helps if the person that you are with knows CPR......and stands far enough away so as not to be injured in an explosion or energized by flapping arms and legs if the worker doing the hot work is being electrocuted.......so you can be helped. Never hurts to have a 4' piece of clean, dry 2 x 4 close by.
Many electricians have been killed by a fall off a ladder, scaffold, or other high place after a non-lethal shock.......the reaction to the shock usually causes the fall.
Defective switches and circuit breakers have been known to explode upon operation. In an old, corroded panel, sometimes just removing the cover can cause some serious arcing and sparking.
DC power equipment can be very dangerous......things like capacitors and coils can retain a deadly charge if not properly discharged.
When working energized panels it helps to place non-conductive rubber mats over the live sections of the panel. Of course, many electrical contractors don't provide PPE.......so we're forced to chose between depending upon clean, dry scraps of lumber and/or drywall.....yes, cardboard too.........or drag up. Since most people have to eat and cardboard boxes are kinda rough to live in, that's the reality of it.
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Thanks for the lengthy advice on safety. My 220 electrical project was a success.
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(Mike)

<snip>
I only wear my tinfoil hat golfing on stormy days. :-)
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