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Discussion Starter #1
My boss wants me to get used to working live and I worry about making a mistake one time, even connecting potlights live or removing live wires by a junction box.

I was told that if I was really concerned I could short the circuit and trip the breaker by touching the hot against ground. This would create a small arc would it not ? If arc is not the correct term then I mean sparks.

Another question I have is should I stay with the company or should I go
 

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Conservitum Americum
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8,778 Posts
What's that burning smell?
 

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Modérateur
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My boss wants me to get used to working live and I worry about making a mistake one time, even connecting potlights live or removing live wires by a junction box.

I was told that if I was really concerned I could short the circuit and trip the breaker by touching the hot against ground. This would create a small arc would it not ? If arc is not the correct term then I mean sparks.

Another question I have is should I stay with the company or should I go
I would dump that baka because it not really worth it anymore due many insurance company and safety dept is clamping down pretty hard for safety.

It dont take much on 120 volts to hurt like crazy. Just dont even go there on 347 volts circuits that will really nail ya hard.

Just go find other company they will treat ya better and work safer.

I just dont know why that company want to save few extra minuites to work hot.

Without proper PPE ( personal protection equiment ) that is pretty much gambling your life on that.
 

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Senile Member
I make all the electrons line up for their Flu shots
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Your boss sounds like a cool dude. I wanna invite him over for a Barbecue.













Nyuck, nyuck.............
 

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Registered
Master Electrician - Ontario
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3,333 Posts
I am an owner of a company and I would never request or demand that any of my guys work live. Do they do live work, well technically they do because every time they jam a breaker in a panel or troubleshoot a circuit they often “work live”; but sometimes it is necessary to test a circuit for proper functioning of control devices, or similar activities.

The real question is what are the circumstances that you are working live? In residential, except for testing a circuit, I cannot fathom a reason to have anything live. In commercial again, I cannot see a requirement except you may have to install a cable or branch circuit conductors in a live panel / conduit so you don’t shut down the store, etc. Industrial is a bit different, where when you are installing and removing MCC buckets, changing control devices, etc you may be working live, but there generally is a host of “protocols” and equipment requirements to be met before that can happen.

Do I work live, yes I do on occasion. While I admit it may not be a good example to set for my crew, it is a choice that I make based on a number of risk factors (and almost 30 years in the field) and none of them are related to saving time or money. Generally it is related to diagnosing a situation with a faulty control device, but I have also been known to change a breaker, switch or receptacle too.

Do not let your boss push you into something that is not required and could be dangerous; there is basically no reason for it.

Based on your questions, I suspect you are pretty new in the trade; there are tons of avenues for you to explore but if you end up killing yourself because you are being pushed into something that is not required (and it goes wrong), you will never get a chance to see all the fine things the trade can offer.

Cheers
John
 

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Old Grumpy Bastard
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61,265 Posts
I am an owner of a company and I would never request or demand that any of my guys work live. Do they do live work, well technically they do because every time they jam a breaker in a panel or troubleshoot a circuit they often “work live”; but sometimes it is necessary to test a circuit for proper functioning of control devices, or similar activities.

The real question is what are the circumstances that you are working live? In residential, except for testing a circuit, I cannot fathom a reason to have anything live. In commercial again, I cannot see a requirement except you may have to install a cable or branch circuit conductors in a live panel / conduit so you don’t shut down the store, etc. Industrial is a bit different, where when you are installing and removing MCC buckets, changing control devices, etc you may be working live, but there generally is a host of “protocols” and equipment requirements to be met before that can happen.

Do I work live, yes I do on occasion. While I admit it may not be a good example to set for my crew, it is a choice that I make based on a number of risk factors (and almost 30 years in the field) and none of them are related to saving time or money. Generally it is related to diagnosing a situation with a faulty control device, but I have also been known to change a breaker, switch or receptacle too.

Do not let your boss push you into something that is not required and could be dangerous; there is basically no reason for it.

Based on your questions, I suspect you are pretty new in the trade; there are tons of avenues for you to explore but if you end up killing yourself because you are being pushed into something that is not required (and it goes wrong), you will never get a chance to see all the fine things the trade can offer.

Cheers
John

This guys employer needs to be turned in for his lack of safety practices.
 

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Band Member
DIYer Extrodinaire
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6,962 Posts
My boss wants me to get used to working live and I worry about making a mistake one time, even connecting potlights live or removing live wires by a junction box.

I was told that if I was really concerned I could short the circuit and trip the breaker by touching the hot against ground. This would create a small arc would it not ? If arc is not the correct term then I mean sparks.

Another question I have is should I stay with the company or should I go
We have a thread open right now, and some of us have admitted to working live. Keep in mind, a lot of the guys here are 20 25 30 35 even 40 year veterans. We know what we're doing.

If for ANY reason you have to work live, it should be you WATCHING your Jman and learning.

As others said ... time to start looking for a new job.
 

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Petulant Moderator
Estwing magic
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24,833 Posts
Are you registered as an apprentice? If not, get registerd first and then dump his sorry ass. This sounds like the kind of clown who will screw you out of hours and forget to send you to school.
 

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Premium Member
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No matter how much time on the tools I have, the electrons don't know that. They're waiting in hiding to bite me anyhow. While I have worked live, and continue to from time to time, it's not a point of pride. I see the OP having many options:
  • Work live, as his boss suggests.
  • Don't work live, and ignore the boss.
  • Talk with the boss like a reasonable person would and tell him how uncomfortable you are with working live seeing that it's dangerous and technically against the law under most circumstances. See if you can have a meeting of the minds.
  • Turn the boss into OSHA or similar health and safety agency.
  • Quit his job and get into another line of work.
  • Quit his job and get a job in the same line of work where hot work is prohibited.

While all of the above options are completely viable, they each come with their own peculiar repercussions. Some would be considered being a man, some would be considered being a chicken, and some would be considered being a d!ck.
 

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Petulant Moderator
Estwing magic
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I agree.

It makes me wonder, If he's asking a new apprentice to work hot or short circuits out on purpose, how many other little things is he doing wrong too?
The OP is a smart dude and his boss is trying to bring him down to his level of stupid. There's no future here.
 

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Registered
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Better safe then toasted.

Tim
 

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Scada Supervisor
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No No NO

I was told that if I was really concerned I could short the circuit and trip the breaker by touching the hot against ground. This would create a small arc would it not ?
DO NOT DO THIS!!!!

It can and may do the following.
1. Start a fire, dryer lint goes up real fast.
2. Destroy the breaker so it don't reset.
3. Destroy the breaker so it don't trip next time when needed.
4. Leave black marks on the walls, and brown one in underwear.
5. Damage wire or open bad splices.
6. and much more.


When I was an apprentice my Jman told me the same thing to find the breaker, I melted a piece of #10 wire like a welding rod shoving it in the recepticial. Breaker never tripped.

Stay alive move on.
 

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Light Bender
plumber
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6,015 Posts
DO NOT DO THIS!!!!

It can and may do the following.
1. Start a fire, dryer lint goes up real fast.
2. Destroy the breaker so it don't reset.
3. Destroy the breaker so it don't trip next time when needed.
4. Leave black marks on the walls, and brown one in underwear.
5. Damage wire or open bad splices.
6. and much more.


When I was an apprentice my Jman told me the same thing to find the breaker, I melted a piece of #10 wire like a welding rod shoving it in the recepticial. Breaker never tripped.

Stay alive move on.
I do it as a last test, after I have ensured the power is off with a pen tester and a multi meter. Before putting myself in a bad spot where I could get hurt.
 
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