Faulthy wiring.

Lately I have been working on, or been taking down some house installations. With almost 100% hitrate I find one or two loose screws or wire nuts in those . Is that due to lousy workmanship? Or is there some reason for a correctly torqued screw to work itself loose? One of those loose screws was on a 100 amp clamp......
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There's a tiny guy that goes from house to house loosening those screws. He's paid to cause house fires so the fire department has something to do, or they would all end up on unemployment or welfare. You dont see the guy because he's so small.......
Seriously, your question really has no answer. Lousy workmanship is possible, or the guy got a call on his phone in the middle of tightening a wirenut and forgot to tighten it the rest of the way after the call, or came to work with a hangover, or...... the list goes on infinately.....
On the other hand, copper and aluminum or copper clad AL main cables expand and contract at a different amount than steel. These soft metals also compress, and heat from heavy loads adds to the expansion and contraction. A screw that was tight at installation can be loose later due to this. Plus stranded cables will creep, whereas the individual wires move between other strands, and again, can cause a loose connection.
In the end, it could be one of a million possibilities....
When I work on electrical stuff, I will occasionally check for loose wires and just snug up all the screws. Electricians dont use torque wrenches. It's all by feel. But age can change that...
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I was going to write about thermal expansion, but the little guy theory makes as much sense. I heard, one time, from a woman who had electrical socket that "was fine" until she tried to run her window AC. And then the socket went dead. Problem turned out to be that the screw that held the neutral wire had come loose. I've seen more loose neutral screws than breaker screws. I've gotten into the habit of checking the neutral screws for tightness when ever I get into a panel box. Only takes a couple minutes.
I'm the tightener guy, which is probably why you can see me. If I was the loosener guy, I'd be invisible.
Righty, tighty, what a sighty. Loosy, goosey, he's invisible.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
There's a tiny guy that goes from house to house loosening those screws. He's paid to cause house fires so the fire department has something to do, or they would all end up on unemployment or welfare. You dont see the guy because he's so small.......
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On 2/1/2012 10:51 PM, Sjouke Burry wrote:

It's called "cold flow".
http://www.thehartford.com/corporate/losscontrol/SBA/TIPS/680-400.pdf
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Jabut.. In the Netherlands we dont have aluminium wiring.
Copper only.
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Sjouke, h?
Frysln Boppe:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ozb6kZePIfE

Note the skutsjesilen sailing race with old-fashioned sailing freighters. Met my sweetie in sailing camp on the skutsje Gudsekop in Friesland, 1962, just before senior year in high school.
--
Best regards
Han
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On 02/02/12 09:50 am, Han wrote:

But even copper flows to some extent under pressure.

A Dutch guy from Amsterdam said, "You know how they argue about whether Fries [Vries? Frys?] is a dialect of Dutch or a separate language? Actually, it's neither: it's a speech impediment."
Perce
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LOL! Actually it is a different language, but still part of the indo European language family, not different like Welsh, Basque, Hungarian, Finnish ...
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Best regards
Han
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