When I'm not busy making up flawed strategies for replacing
my basement support post, I sometimes do electrical
This morning I received a call from a friend who was attempting
to replace some of the in-wall blower heaters in his new condo.
He was quite frantic, as he had just given himself a nasty shock
despite having turned off the "heater" breakers in his panel.
So I loaded up my rigging bag with tools and headed on over.
Upon inspecting the heater, I found a broken ground wire with
a melted end, and a scorch on the pergo floor. It appears that
my friend had (probably) contacted a live wire, and pushed it
into the ground wire. This earned him a burn on his finger and
a hand covered with soot from burned insulation. Lucky for
him it was a 110 volt shock, and not the full 220.
I introduced my friend to my handy circuit checker (I gave him
my spare), and had him turn off the circuit. He turned off the
pair of (non-ganged!) 20 amp breakers for the living room heaters,
and I checked the wires. Sure enough. . .one of the supply wires
was dead, but the other was still live.
I had my friend turn off random breakers until the second wire
went dead. Not surprisingly, the second wire was fed by the
breaker for a heater circuit that was _supposed_
to be for
another room. So the two living room heaters (wired in parallel)
require three separate breakers to disable their 220v supply.
My friend has promised to hire a professional electrician to
sort this one out.