Off N Pop, versus the Jesus Method

I had the privilege of watching a grey haired, experinced electrician work. The task of the moment was replacing some electrical sockets at the church. He had a "doctor bag" of all kinds of fun items. He walked up to one socket that needed to be replaced. Out of his bag of tricks, he pulled a rig that was a junction box, with a neon bulb and a big push button. This connected to about a foot of wire, and a three bladed plug.
He put the plug into the socket, and the neon bulb lit up. He took hold of the juncion box, and pushed the button. I heard a circuit breaker go "KLUNK" down the hall, and the neon bulb went off. I realized at that moment what happened, he had shorted out the breakerr and now the socket was safe to work on. Seriously kewl!
He counsells me that the push button needs to be at least 75 amp rated, or the contacts will burn off. I built such a device with a 15 amp switch and neon bulb combination. That didn't make it through one use, the contacts fused. My next model was a good two dollar 20 amp toggle switch, but I lost the neon bulb indicator. No loss, I just plug in my three bulb tester in the other socket. I labelled the switch plate "off" and "pop". I had it out for use, and a kid who was watching asked "What's off and pop?" which is now the name of the device.
This technique is not reccomended in buildings with Federal Pacific Electric panels. I assume no responsibility for people who build their own gadgets. I'm sure others have described the Jesus Method, using a short length of insulated wire. I won't describe it further. Less safe than Off And Pop.
--
Christopher A. Young
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That is just an easy way to damage the breaker and possibly cause a fire if it fails to trip. Why not just get a circuit tracer and do it correctly. You can get one from HF for less money than you will spend in time and parts to build that contraption you are describing.

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On 2/14/2011 6:44 PM, ROANIN wrote:

transfer panel from electrical contractor he recommended replacing my main panel because it was known for not tripping when it should. I bounced this off a retired commercial electrician foreman friend and he agreed. He told me of an experience with this type panel where they were remodeling a store and electrician figured he would just trip panel with a shovel to a floor outlet and ended up welding the shovel to the floor.
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On Feb 14, 5:34 pm, "Stormin Mormon"

This is a hair-brained and dangerous thing to use or recommend. I would say to see a priest for absolution before attempting its use it. Also a socket is for a bulb...a plug goes into a receptacle.
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On Feb 14, 6:34 pm, "Stormin Mormon"

I used to have a device called a "fool killer" an extension cord that the female end had been replaced with gator clips. I think your device ranks right up there with that one.
Jimmie
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On 2/14/2011 5:24 PM JIMMIE spake thus:

I've got one of those things now. Just used it the other day.
*However*, I only use it in the privacy of my own home, and I would never recommend that anyone else use such a killer device.
So it appears that the overwhelming consensus of opinion here is that Stormie's electrician's little trick is pretty idiotic. No surprise there.
--
The phrase "jump the shark" itself jumped the shark about a decade ago.

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On Mon, 14 Feb 2011 18:34:28 -0500, Stormin Mormon wrote:

I just do it hot. Last time I got bit I calmly let go and commented that it was hot.
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On Feb 16, 7:15 am, "Stormin Mormon"

Once an ass (and top-poster) always an...
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On Feb 15, 6:46 am, "Stormin Mormon"

There is no defense for stupidity.
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On Mon, 14 Feb 2011 22:46:40 -0600, The Daring Dufas wrote:

Why not just use a circuit tracer? They can be had for about $20.
http://www.harborfreight.com/circuit-breaker-detective-96934.html
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On 2/15/2011 8:36 AM, Michael Dobony wrote:

I own two with a lot of accessories. :-)
TDD
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If you as a technician are unable to determine whether power wires you will be working on or near in an electrical box are live or dead, and you need to shut off power to the entire panel or building to work on one outlet location you shouldn't be doing this sort of work...
Stick to construction and let someone who knows more and able to properly determine how to shut off only what needs to be powered down to safely do the work required... Not many facilities are going to be willing to allow you to randomly kill the power even if it is only for a few minutes to an entire panel or section...
If an electrician came to me and said he needed to power off an entire panel it had better be to replace the main breaker in that panel or because something needs to be rewired or a transformer opened up and looked at... If he or his workmen needed to kill power to an entire panel just to replace or work on one outlet on one circuit then I would request different workmen or better trained technicians...
~~ Evan
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on the other hand, if the breaker really is defective and fails to on a short..
isn't it better to find out that the breaker is bad during this "test" rather than during an actual short?
maybe somekind of 75 Amp load would be better then a dead short...
Mark
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Did you ever hear wires "lash" in a conduit from a dead short? This is not the way you want to go.
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On 2/15/2011 12:34 PM Bob Villa spake thus:

Yes, and when it's on a 277 volt circuit, you really hear them. (DAMHIKT)

Definitely not.
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On 2/15/2011 5:36 PM, David Nebenzahl wrote:

Ever seen a cable tray in an industrial setting do the overload dance? :-)
TDD
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