On Sat, 17 Oct 2015 00:08:21 -0400, "Ralph Mowery"
But the "properly crimped connection" is not made with a $3.00
crimping tool and an insulated butt crimp connector consisting of a
tinned copper tube and a hard plastic sleeve on it. A properly crimped
connector requires a crimper with the correct size die for the
connector, and a "calibrated" pressure, to ensure a "gas tite"
connection - and an insulating sleeve that seals to the insulation,
keeping moisture and other corrosive contamination away from the
It is easier for a reasonably competent craftsman to make a decent
soldered joint with tools at hand than to do a "proper" crimp without
the specialized tools required.
That said, a "proper" crimped connection IS the preferred method of
joining flexible conductors.
On 10/16/2015 11:59 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Our house has a circuit breaker box in the bad bedroom where the
previous owners built on an addition to the older house. I was wondering
if a circuit box has an odor to it because sometimes I could swear that
I can smell electricity in the air, but I can't really pinpoint where
it's coming from. It's been like this for the entire time we've lived here.
On Friday, October 16, 2015 at 5:59:16 PM UTC-4, Texas Kingsnake wrote:
Not unusual for a loose connection to behave differently after you
push it or fiddle with it. It may just be temporarily making better
contact now. You can tighten it live, as long as you're 100% sure
you know what you're doing.
For those who may have missed my posts over the past year or so, my
background is industrial batteries and I have repaired literally
thousands of chargers whose output is anywhere from 80 to 350 amps.
When I was still new on the job , if there was a burned or tarnished
connection, I'd typically wire brush it down then sand it until
everything was smooth and shiny.
It did not take me more than a year to realize that was only a temporary
fix as the connection would always go bad again.
Once copper is heated it actually goes through a chemical change and
becomes copper oxide. If the burned portion is cleaned, the copper still
has a tarnished look to it.
If you cut a new copper wire and compare it to a cut, tarnished wire you
will see the difference.
That's why I said all must be replaced.
If some hardware was replaced that ended up actually being OK, no harm done.
I think all see the corollary.
I agree. I worked with lots of industrial electrical equipment, lots of 480
volt 3 phase from a few amps to around 500 amps.
There were hundreds if not thousands of breakers and switch gear that was
inspected with an IR camera every year or two. If a connection shows
evidence of overheating, sometimes cleaning and tightning would solve the
problem, but often it would show back up on the next scan , usually about a
Cutting back and changing seemed to be the long term solution.
If it's copper, I'll check to you as the authority. If it's AL as is
the bulk of underground feeds over the past 45 years or so, is it the
same deal with arcing.
The only thing I'm going with is DON'T mess with that service drop while
it's live. Period!
If it's AL on the drop, you're definitely going to have to clean it up,
recoat with the anti-oxidant paste and really crank it down. IIRC
correctly those lugs are fitted with an Allen socket. Just way too much
that can go wrong screwing around there even if you didn't have to pull
the wire out to clean and re-coat.
He can, in the end, do whatever he wants. His widow can report back
where he went wrong. ;)
On 10/16/2015 06:42 PM, Unquestionably Confused wrote:
Worked on a lot high-powered transformers and if copper I could usually
fix them by cutting back to clean copper and putting on a new lug.
Eventually I gave up on aluminum because no matter what I did, the
connection would burn out again. I might have had better luck though if
I used anti-oxidant paste. Too late now, I'm retired.
If it's what I think, the OP should call an
electrician. And schedule a day for the power
company to shut the power off, so the
electrician can work safely.
Philo, yes, aluminum is a problem. I've heard
the paste is a good idea.
Christopher A. Young
learn more about Jesus
On Fri, 16 Oct 2015 17:29:57 -0400, "Texas Kingsnake"
It probably did loosen over time or was never tightened well, and just
shifted a small bit. What you propose makes sense. Just be safe. If the
floor is concrete, stand on a piece of plywood too. Otherwise call an
electrician. Do this soon or you could end up with a fire or at least
damaged wires or the box. A shot of PB Blaster on that screw head wont
hurt to make it move easier.
email@example.com posted for all of us...
Oh boy, the joys of reading this thread. Maybe he could solder or crimp the
wire too; while it's live, what the heck the fuse at the pig pole may blow,
Fire diversion, actual fire between the smells and the bells...
On Fri, 16 Oct 2015 17:29:57 -0400, "Texas Kingsnake"
Your main power lug is loose - and quite possibly burned. You may or
may not be able to tighten it. Trying to tighten it with the circuit
live COULD get nasty if the lug is damaged and comes off the buss when
you try to tighten it.
I have had a burned lug on a service panel and was lucky enough to be
able to find a used replacement lug - and even luckier to be able to
replace it and the cable connecting to it which had also been damaged
by the arcing.
And yes, just pushing on it would possibly temporarily correct it.
On 10/16/2015 8:24 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I agree that it is best to inspect and replace burnt parts as needed.
OTOH, if he can stop the arcing temporarily it is safer than allowing it
to continue until he can do it right. If he wants to be completely
safe, pull the meter until you can get an electrician.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.