Is my electrician dangerous? Please read

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OK. My electrician has 1 feed for one of my bedrooms and a couple plugs in hallway. The feed coming from my basement to my 2nd story has a short. They think the drywall or siding guys screwed into the wire. The circuit was tripping so what he did was tied the neutral white wire into the breaker and then tied the black into the neutral bar of my panel. All works plugs/lights work. I caught this before and asked why he put the black on the neutral bar and the neutral wire on the breaker. He said he had a short somewhere and did that to find where the problem is.
So when I was at work I was told by my contractor that the electrical was fixed up and ready for final inspection. Curious as I am, I decided to take the cover off of my panel and found that he didn't make the change but that he put black tape over the neutral wire and back into the circuit breaker and left the black on the neutral bar.
I called my contractor (not the electrician) and told him what he did and said that there was no way that this would pass inspection. Am I wrong? Is this a fix that would pass inspection? Is this a common thing for electricians to do? This to me seems like a lazy fix, but am not sure if this presents a hazard.
Like I said everything works in my hallway and bedroom so I am thinking he reversed his wiring to make things work. So what it appears to me is that the black wire is hitting the ground wire form when someone screwed the drywall or siding.
Please offer me some advice and please let me know what I should say to the electrician when I question him on it. I know he will say hey don't worry it is safe, but I need to know if it is not safe and if it is not safe why it isn't safe to do this. That way he will not jerk me around and it would appear like I know what I am talking about.
I am almost thinking about telling my general contractor that he will not get paid for my reno until this electrical situation is fixed properly and I am thinking about getting another electrician to make the fix because I don't think I can trust this electrician.
Any and all advice is welcome
Thanks in Advance
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If you have a general contractor why are you dealing with the electrician? Just tell them you want it to pass inspection and let them deal with it.
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wrote:

Technically, the electrician does not work for the homeowner. They work for the GC. My belief anyway.
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Poor phrasing on my part.
Just tell them, the GC, that you want it to pass inspection and let them, the GC, deal with it. It in this case being your dubious electrician.
This is what General Contractors are for.
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You might want to give your contractor a "Heads Up" on what you saw.
What was described just "ain't right" (i.e.: not safe) and you may consider dropping a dime on the electrician and ensure that the inspector looks closely at the work.
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"may consider" ? Rat the bastard out. If he doesn't care if you go up in a house fire, he's worth the dime.
Steve
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call your codes officer and ask him if its legal that will smarten up your electrician

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[snip rest]
Yes, the electrician *is* dangerous. Very dangerous. There are at least two serious safety hazards in what he did: First, by reversing hot and neutral, he's instantly put every switch on that circuit on the neutral side instead of on the hot side where it belongs. Second, whatever caused the short to ground is still there; it's just connected to the neutral instead of the hot -- trouble is, the neutral carries current too, and so whatever's touching that is providing an alternate path for that current to return to ground, possibly through somebody.
Explain this to the general contractor, and demand a *different* electrician. Don't allow the first one back on your property, not even to try to fix his own screw-up -- no assurance that he's competent to do it right, and plenty of evidence that he's not.
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wrote:

I agree. This must be fixed. However to find the problem holes may need to be made in the drywall. The electrician should be able to narrow the problem down a little by disconnecting wires at each outlet and switch until it goes away. If no one will cooperate, tell the electrical inspector. He won't pass the inspection until the problem is resolved. The electrical inspectors that I have dealt with carry their own little plug-in polarity/ground/GFI tester. If that was inserted into one of your receptacles it would have immediately shown that a problem exists.
Occasionally I find a situation similar to this in large scale condo, townhouse, and single family developments. Some of which are many years old. It takes me hours to find the problem or I just wind up refeeding the circuit with new cable. Unfortunately there isn't always a neat way to accomplish this. Better to nip your problem now.
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wrote:

I used the testers when I was a safety inspector. It is incredible the amount of circuits that are wired wrong.
Steve
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The two problems the OP have cannot be detected by plug in tester.
http://www.wiebetech.com/images/products/HotPlug_Accessories/Outlet_Polarity_Tester.jpg
If you look, you'd notice there is no indication for white/black wires switched, or Gound/Neutral shorted.
The label "correct" is very misleading. It should read "correct or <list of undetectable faults>". Someday a law suit would arise out of this.
White and black wires switched at both ends (at the panel and the outlets) can only be detected by visual inspection.
Neutral shorted to the ground somewhere in the middle can be easily detected by disconnecting the neutral + hot from the panel and measuring continuity.
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http://www.wiebetech.com/images/products/HotPlug_Accessories/Outlet_Polarity_Tester.jpg
Right, like the tester won't detect a boot leg ground. Tony
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http://www.wiebetech.com/images/products/HotPlug_Accessories/Outlet_Polarity_Tester.jpg
Hot/neutral reversed would be the reading in this case.
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Although it was not mentioned by the OP, a "respectable" electrician would reverse the hot/neutral in the outlets after reversing them in the panel. This way the faulty wiring would be undetectable.
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Uhhh.... no. Any *competent* electrician would fix the problem, instead of attempting to hide it.
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It has already been mentioned, if an electrician switches the hot and neutral, the biggest danger comes from lights. This causes the screw shell of the lamp socket to be hot.
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http://www.wiebetech.com/images/products/HotPlug_Accessories/Outlet_Polarity_Tester.jpg
Yes there is: "Hot/Neu. Reverse"
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On Jun 9, 10:04pm, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:
stlink.ca> wrote:

re: Explain this to the general contractor, and demand a *different* electrician.
I'm not arguing this point, in fact, I agree. I'm just noticing a bit of a grey area here.
If the client should be dealing only with the GC, does the client actually have the right/authority to decide which sub-contractors the GC chooses? Wouldn't there need to be some sort of clause in the contract to grant that authority?
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For one thing, as of the 2005 NEC, all bedroom wiring should be AFCI protected. That situation would trip an AFCI breaker. I would question the electrical inspector regarding no AFCI protection, and certainly what the electrician did is improper and potentially dangerous

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Doobielicious wrote: ...

If that is the case (and if reversing leads fixed the problem sounds as if is good bet) a check of that circuit for continuity between the new neutral and ground should show up that there is continuity (besides the neutral bar at the the box). That wouldn't pass inspection if the inspection is thorough enough.
Strange, however, that an electrical inspection wouldn't have been done before the walls were closed up unless this is retrofit work area.
It is not an immediate safety hazard as in it'll burn the house down tonight, but it's a circuit failure waiting to happen as well as the improper connection between ground/neutral other than the box and that there's almost certainly mechanical damage to the cable. Those should not be left unattended.
--
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