"What Sherlock did this?"

I thought it might be entertaining to see posts of your favorite experience with someone else's "Handiwork."
Two of my favorites.
1. My brother and I found voltages of 33 and 66 volts at a house that someone was fixing up to sell. 2. Telephone wire used to wire up a fluorescent light in a restaurant.
Andy
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I thought it might be entertaining to see posts of your favorite experience with someone else's "Handiwork."
Two of my favorites.
1. My brother and I found voltages of 33 and 66 volts at a house that someone was fixing up to sell. 2. Telephone wire used to wire up a fluorescent light in a restaurant.
Andy
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WhiteTea77581 wrote:

1. 33, 66, and almost anything else is believable if you don't know how to use a voltmeter. Just poking the leads in the outlet will easily get bizarre readings.
2. Telephone wire may very well be sufficient. Depends on the power requirements of the florescent lamp. I've used bell wire to power 9 watt porch lights. Works swell.
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So, what did you tell your insurance company when you had the electrical fire?
Andy
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WhiteTea77581 wrote:

That it was the altitude.
No... wait... that was the nosebleed.
Let me think...
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When I wa kid I used bell wire to get electicity to my tree house. I tworked well for a lamp and radio. It didnt work so well when we tried to use a hot plate.
Jimmie
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Hotwire from a hotplate?
--
Christopher A. Young
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On Thu, 2 Jul 2009 21:55:19 -0500, in alt.home.repair, "HeyBub"

At work, one of our computer labs was recently remodeled and got these nifty new computer tables with built-in power and network outlets. On one of them, our professional commercial electrical contractor managed to connect the table's ground wire to the hot supply....
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On Jul 3, 2:28pm, snipped-for-privacy@asgard.slcc.edu wrote:

Many years ago in rural territory here hard drawn twisted copper pair telephone drop wire (about 12 or 14 AWG) was a favourite for 'a couple of lights in the barn'. Then telco started using copper coated steel drop wires. It didn't like a couple of amps for two 100 watts light bulbs! One story is that it burnt off spectacularly! But have never bothered to work out the resistance, voltage drop and/ or current carrying capacity of say, one hundred feet of steel drop wire to see if there could be any credence to the story!
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Actually, "telephone wire" should not be used for 120 volt wiring.
The "protection scheme" for US wiring is that the entrance panel circuit breakers server to protect the WIRE against a fault.
In the worse possible scenario, you could have a long loop of #22 'telephone wire' that developes a fault at the far end.
The fault would only create, say, a 15 or 20 Amp current which isn't enough to 'trip' a breaker but is enough to nicely heat up the 'telephone wire' and set adjacent wood on fire.
It might be marginally safe to use "telephone wire" if the wire is protected by a fuse or CB to a reasonable current on the order of 1 amp or less. Otherwise, the "textbook" solution is to power the load from a 24 or 12 volt transformer that contains within some current limiting feature.

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So, how many house fires have you had? :-)
Andy
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On 7/2/2009 6:37 PM WhiteTea77581 spake thus:

Since we seem to be playing "Top this!" here, how about:
Rewiring a restaurant in Flagstaff lo these many decades ago, one that had previously been run by hippies (nice place, by the way), I discovered a circuit that ran into the kitchen *directly* from the meter panel in back. No fuse, no breaker, no nothing.
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[snip]
[snip]
When we experienced our first (of many) first-time homeowner issues, it was over the hot water heater dying a messy death and refusing everything my FIL and I attempted at resuscitation. A call to a random yellowpages ad for plumbing emergencies netted a gentleman that was one of the BFP I'd ever met. He (I nicked him, Man Mountain Mike) stood 6'10", 450 lb, had a long beard and hair pulled back in a ponytail. He FILLED the closet area that held the water heater. He was also able to lift said water heater through the garage and to his truck. As he pulled the tank from the wall, I heard him breathe, "What the holy hell?"
I peaked around the edge to see pipework (galvanized, corroded, calcium-encrusted) that rivaled anything from the movie, "Brazil." Through every female elbow bend to the dozen branch crosses and pipe trees, it was finally connected to the back of the water heater; a double connection. As Man Mountain Mike pulled the heater out, it was pulling the piping from the wall. He was a little annoyed and thought I'd done it. Once I was able to disconnect the mess for him, he offered to "clean" up the mess for no charge.
Many MMM-inspired epitaphs and monologues later, it was a much neater set-up. The best from MMM was, "I don't know the idiot that did this but he was either a genius or certifiable idiot. I know which I'm leaning towards..."
The Ranger
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Some years ago, I was in HEP building supplies. The guy behind the counter was telling me about a guy who was buying yards, and yards of 18 gage lamp cord. He finally asked, was the customer appliance repairman. No, he was rewiring his house, and the lamp cord was easier to fish through the walls.
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Two stand out for me.
Back in 1976 (in the days before most people did home inspections as a part of the buying process), my parents bought a "handyman special" and it was a treat. There was a window a/c unit in the family room plugged into an outlet we thought was running 220v. The a/c unit didn't work, so we went to trace the wire to see what circuit it was on and discovered they'd daisy-chained a couple of household extension cords from the breaker box through the crawlspace and up behind the baseboard radiator, cut off the multi-outlet block at the end of the second cord and attached a 220 box.
In 2005 my wife and I bought a row house in our neighborhood to fix up and rent out. In the basement the owner had put up a wall to divide the back part (workroom, weirdly large powder room) from the front. He'd used 2x4s to frame the wall, but then instead of putting up drywall he'd just stapled that corrugated paper brick up - you know, the type of stuff they used to use in the cheesy fake fireplace Christmas decorations.
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My 'most dangerous' was visiting to repair a TV in an extension built on back of a small house at end of this street. Next to the graveyard. It contained two children's bunk beds. The only heat in the cramped, congested and uninsulated space was an open glowing electric heater, probably a kilowatt or so. It was fed with a rickety taped up extension cord that also fed the TV. There was one tiny window that I don't think even a small child could have exited. I told them the whole thing was completely unsafe. Strange thing is that another son afterwards acquired the very small piece of land no room for anything except a house, and has built the biggest residence on the street; two people living in (for this area) a giant of a house. No trees, house occupies most of the land! Anyway along with all the trees the rest of us have grown, that house makes a nice windbreak! During some heavy wind a year after it was built some vinyl siding blew off that house while we were nice and snug and had no problems! Anyway back to scraping paint on my low singel storey bungalow!
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Not a safety issue but nevertheless pretty stupid...
Scenario: you're an HVAC "professional" installing a 2-zone heat + A/C system in a new house. You get to the part where you're wiring the downstairs thermostat to the zone controller. The connection requires cable with 6 wires. You only have 5-wire cable in your truck. Do you: 1) Go get some 7-wire cable, available almost anywhere (this is in MA, there have to be 10 HVAC supply houses within 5 miles), and wire it correctly.
2) Kludge it with 5-wire cable, scribbling instructions on the zone controller for the homeowner to move wires and jumpers around inside the controller to switch from heating to cooling mode.
Guess which option the guy chose?
Eric Law
PS Don't know if it was the same guy, but the house had an oil-fired water heater in addition to the furnace, and a power vent. When both operated at the same time, the power vent wiring bridged two branch circuits together. I found this out the hard way when I moved one circuit to a breaker that was on the opposite phase ;^)
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I guess the "Professional" did not get a Christmas card from you. :-)
A company did a roofing job for my mother.
They agreed to:
1. Re-roof the garage 2. Replace some rotted trim.
They did 1 but not 2.
Maybe they think their reputation is not all that important or that they will always be able to find new customers.
I think they way underbid the job, but it was their mistake.
Andy
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