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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
You get there, half the lighting works the other half, they say, comes on and off by themselves. You open up the panel, remove the main breaker, it is stuck to the bus bar, you chop it out so that you replace it, the bus bar is all eaten out from arcing, you can not and should not install the new breaker and pack your tools, write a service call invoice and say 'good night' my day is over, I am all booked for tomorrow, call someone else to change the panel and whatever is necessary!
They could sue you because most of the lighting worked before you set foot in the home. Now nothing works? If you don't want to get sued you have to replace the panel or new service totally at your own expence! It did not happen to me but I know somebody that it did.

Any comments?
 

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Why on earth would an electrician ever feel compelled to replace the panel at his expense? Remove main breaker, find burned buss, replace panel, submit bill.
 

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BUT... the electrician that had to "hack out" the old main breaker should have never went to that effort if he didn't have time on his hands to replace the panel. That's just common sense and courtesy, in my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Why on earth would an electrician ever feel compelled to replace the panel at his expense? Remove main breaker, find burned buss, replace panel, submit bill.
The owners could not afford the replacing of the panel because it also involved replacing the whole service including a higher MAST above the roof in order to pass inspection. That was about $600.00 15 years ago. They were prepared to pay a service call and the price of a main c. breaker. The electrician caused all power to fail completely and was held responsible. At least they managed before with some devices working untill the electrician started taking it apart.
 

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What we've got here is failure to communicate.

 

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it is the professional responsibilty of an electrician to make sure the electrical service is safe. a buss bar on a meter/main that has and is burnt and the comment of flickering indicates continued arcing is a fire danger. this fire danger must be delt with. if the service tech said yep the buss bar is bad and left would still be responsible if the house burn down from this problem. the service tech should have opened the MCB and then told the owner the problem, and then inform them of his work schedule.
I had a problem on a project where the my company was doing phase 2 of the construction project. the fire alarm system was specified to be installed in a class A configuration. when i was inspecting the FACP i noticed both sides of the Class A system were run through the same pipe. as a professional i would have been neglegent if i wouldnt have informed the owner of this improper installation, especialy when life safety is involved.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
BUT... the electrician that had to "hack out" the old main breaker should have never went to that effort if he didn't have time on his hands to replace the panel. That's just common sense and courtesy, in my opinion.
I understand, that is what I am prepared to do on a call of that sort. My idea of posting was to bring out that response on discussion. I have a job next week to replace a 200 A Fuse panel into a C. breaker type. It all seems ok but if I strip the thread in the bottom of the seperated fused main switch, in here, we are forced to replace the whole works. I am installing a combination panel anyway, but we are not allowed splices in case I can not come off from one of the main fuses ( these are 40 years old type lugs. Very easy to strip. I already warned the customer that to change this 200 amperes service costs about $3,000.00 (all new) because about 42 circuits have to be extended 20 feet to reach a new panel location.
The main reason also for posting was to show some inexperienced contractors that when you repair something old and it breaks, you have to make it their responsibility to pay for it.
 

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The main reason also for posting was to show some inexperienced contractors that when you repair something old and it breaks, you have to make it their responsibility to pay for it.
A fine job you did at that, too. Very well spoken. :thumbsup: Thank you!

(I guess I jumped the gun, without letting you take it full circle. Sorry!)
 

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My company specializes in emergency service calls (among other things)and blow ups. Almost all commercial, but I would NEVER put myself in that position for one.

We are hired by electrical contractors to do emergency service, when we can notmake the repairs, for what ever reason, I call one of my electrical contractor customers, meet him on site to makle sure the repair are done my way, I come back and inspect the completed job and bill the customer.

And there is almost always a temporary fix......Parallel 2-two poles to feed the panel moving BCB's if necessary, temporary Main CB mounted adjacent to panel. Isolating the damaged bus and insulators of course.
 

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Yes, indeed, Brian.

A guy has no business doing service work if he doesn't have the time or the resources to complete the "worst case scenario" repair. Seems that a great deal of the problem related in the OP's original commentary were a basic communication problem between the EC and the homeowner right from the get-go. I struggle to communicate with the homeowner before the troubleshooting, then if necessary, during the troubleshooting as to what I'm starting to find.
 
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