re: "Lot's of info and experiences though"
A neighbor asked me to replace the light fixture outside his front
"Is the power off?" I asked.
"Yes" came the reply.
I replaced the fixture and ask him to turn the power back on. Instead
of going down into the basement, he walked towards me and flipped the
switch that was right inside the front door.
I guess his idea of "power off" was a bit more lenient than mine.
All I would have done was to cut off the same switch. It goes to the same
wire , just closer to the light. Just make sure no one else is around to
turn on the switch.
As an electrician in a plant, I often just turn off the switch of the room I
am in changing ballasts in a room. I do have a locking device I use to keep
anyone from just walking in and flipping the switch.
Most are not the normal 120 volt units, but they run on 277 volts. As there
are usually 3 circuits on the same neutral you have to be careful not to cut
into the neutral. To make things really safe you have to cut off 3 breakers
and make sure you get the correct 3.
In a residential setting, I'd never trust the switch without testing
with a current detector. Some idiot could have the switch leg on the
neutral side up in the ceiling box. When I replaced the 2-hole outlets
here with 3-hole (grounded boxes), half of the outlets were wired
I never trust a switch without testing the wires I put my hands on. If I
can make a direct connection to the wires, I like a voltmeter or maybe a
circuit tester I have made by Fluke. If I can not make a direct wire
connection I use one of the 'hot sticks' that glow when near wires with
Even If I see someone test the wiring, I do it myself before touching
If you think residential wiring can be bad, you should see some comercial
plants that have anywhere from the 120 volt up to 13,200 volt stuff. Most
of that wiring is not even inspected like a house would be.
The safest thing when working on most any project, be it electrical,
plumbing, structural, etc. is to presume whoever worked on it last was a
moron, and to thoroughly test and analyze the current situation before
Now, now, be charitable. Untrained smart people can screw stuff up
beyond recognition. Visiting my sister and Herr Doctor Professor BIL, I
often have to bite my tongue hard at some of the things he has committed
around the house. But he is mostly a good guy (socialist PC politics
aside), and better than her previous guys by far, so I play nice and
walk him through stuff real slow. And I have to give him credit, he
catches on quick, and he ain't afraid to jump right in to projects. He
also has a lot more willpower about completing things than I do. (Wonder
if not having internet or TV at home helps with that?) My sister is
definitely a world-class SWMBO, too.
On Sun, 14 Feb 2010 17:25:42 -0500, aemeijers wrote:
Yeah... we just have some "interesting" wiring, that's all - and the
fusebox above the bath/shower in one bathroom with a thin wooden cover
over it held on by one screw was just beautiful :-) (We weren't using that
bathroom, but didn't even know there was a fuse box there until the cover
fell off with a loud crash one day)
I've used that technique. I've seen electricians
use the Jesus Method of locating breakers. I've
not tried that one, yet. Someday when I'm more
Friend of mine has a miswire, when you turn on one
breaker, another one pops off. Aparently, two
circuits (on two different power legs) got tied
Yes fortunately both on the same 115 volt 'leg' (not phase although
they are commonly mis-called that). They are only 'phases' in a 3
phase installation; very uncommon in North American domestic
Re switching off ALL power ................. may not be completely
practical for reasons of other lighting, furnace or other heating,
sump pumps, someon else working in the house etc. etc. But AGREE, be
very, very careful.
BTW Not partcularly keen on electrcians who just short out the
circuit; 'To see which CB trips'! Or those who put tips of two fingers
across the wiring 'To see if it's alive'!
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