Electrician Talk banner
81 - 100 of 119 Posts

·
Chief Flunky
Field Service Engineer
Joined
·
2,194 Posts
My old suit is getting to the point where i can not wait much longer so im probably going to take your advice and try a oberon.
They are lighter, cooler, and cheaper. The face shields alone are several times lighter. Oberon tries to sell you on the product instead of the name.

We bought the last set from Burlington Labs if memory serves correctly but most of our stuff now goes through Mississippi Power. I have used Mitchell Instruments before too. Our local lineman supply is J Harlen.

Except for the hood though you can just buy 40 cal winter bibs and jackets a lot easier and get the side benefit of winter gear.
 

·
Registered
Power distribution and controls
Joined
·
723 Posts
I talked to my buddy that has a home inspection business. Mentioned the back of the hand test.
He told me that is what the inspection people TEACH the new inspectors. I was silent for awhile.
I asked him if he had learn anything from me in the years we have been friends. Yes was the answer.
It takes all kinds and sorts to make up our civilization. Like money management being taught in schools, basic safety should be as well.
Sure wish money management was taught when I was in school
 

·
Chief Flunky
Field Service Engineer
Joined
·
2,194 Posts
I talked to my buddy that has a home inspection business. Mentioned the back of the hand test.
He told me that is what the inspection people TEACH the new inspectors. I was silent for awhile.
I asked him if he had learn anything from me in the years we have been friends. Yes was the answer.
It takes all kinds and sorts to make up our civilization. Like money management being taught in schools, basic safety should be as well.
Sure wish money management was taught when I was in school
This is what I teach:

The American Electrician Handbook has a long discussion about measuring the voltage on a 9 V battery from the taste.

My dad said grand dad has no feeling in his first two fingers from testing hots. Grandad was a telephone tech for over 50 years. The highest voltage he felt was a 90 V ringer back when you had physical bells. He also said wet your fingers.

My dad said use the side of your hand or your knuckles.

That worked until we had a 60 HP 480 three phase irrigation pump on the farm. When I slipped and turned my beater screwdriver into a stubby and found myself sitting on the ground several feet away, first my dad asked if I was alright, then cussed me for blowing up a starter, then said we need to be more careful like using meters instead of fingers from now on because that three phase stuff is dangerous. Plus using your knuckles might be a really bad idea.

Any lineman will also teach you how to “buzz” a line. It’s simple, easy, and requires no special tools other than a piece of steel like a wrench. Buzzing only works at higher voltages though and it’s not guaranteed to work either.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
I am a Home Inspector. Love us or hate us, we are out there, and a -few- of us try to stay up-to date, educated and aware...

That said, our job requires us, in most states, to open and inspect residential electrical panels. No touching, no modifications, just inspecting. This USED to be considered a Level-00 arc flash risk until they did away with the zeros...

I am arc-flash aware.., I know that some residential panels have -very- high surge/arc potential as they may be just a few feet away from a large transformers feeding many many houses on a street. So, I wear nomex & leather gloves when I open panels along with my safety glasses. Minimal for sure, but more than many do...

So my question for all of you is: What precautions do you take when INITIALLY opening a unknown residential panel? Gloves, glasses, does your employer provide any flash rated street clothing? Do you buzz the outside of the panel first, or just test it with the back of your hand? I am lucky in the only thing that has "bit" me so far after 20 years was a GFCI that exploded when I pressed the test button... and I want to keep it that way.

PS... a few inspector friends have been burnt when they were -removing- screws from a panels, pointy screws, that some idiot had put in and all but pierced a feeder... when they moved the screws, boom... some have been burnt badly, others just had to change their underwear. I have refused to open some panels because I could -see- non-factory screws, drywall, lags, metal self tapping or similar. I don't get paid enough...
I will say, I am guilty of talking down home inspectors at times, but until this year, they were not even licensed in my state. I have seen all manner of mis-information on inspection reports, from erroneous supposition, to outright error. What really galls me is when home inspectors use that four letter word "code". Up until now, most home inspectors here have been failed general contractors. I'm hoping the new licensing process will weed out some of the knuckleheads.

As to removing panel covers, I don't see anything wrong with anybody pulling a cover for visual inspection purposes. If things have been configured and maintained properly, there should be no substantial hazards present, generally. If it was really an issue, phillips and slotted head screws should certainly replaced with more secure fasteners. Sadly, there is no way to protect the world from idiots. Approach life with caution, and consider the risk of doing anything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
I am a Home Inspector. Love us or hate us, we are out there, and a -few- of us try to stay up-to date, educated and aware...

That said, our job requires us, in most states, to open and inspect residential electrical panels. No touching, no modifications, just inspecting. This USED to be considered a Level-00 arc flash risk until they did away with the zeros...

I am arc-flash aware.., I know that some residential panels have -very- high surge/arc potential as they may be just a few feet away from a large transformers feeding many many houses on a street. So, I wear nomex & leather gloves when I open panels along with my safety glasses. Minimal for sure, but more than many do...

So my question for all of you is: What precautions do you take when INITIALLY opening a unknown residential panel? Gloves, glasses, does your employer provide any flash rated street clothing? Do you buzz the outside of the panel first, or just test it with the back of your hand? I am lucky in the only thing that has "bit" me so far after 20 years was a GFCI that exploded when I pressed the test button... and I want to keep it that way.

PS... a few inspector friends have been burnt when they were -removing- screws from a panels, pointy screws, that some idiot had put in and all but pierced a feeder... when they moved the screws, boom... some have been burnt badly, others just had to change their underwear. I have refused to open some panels because I could -see- non-factory screws, drywall, lags, metal self tapping or similar. I don't get paid enough...
Follow the safety guidelines, of course, with all non-flammable materials for clothing and PPE that you are comfortable with. Whatever you do, make sure to take a deep breath HOLD IT IN while you are doing something that may blow up in your face. If you experience the arc flash feel free to EXHALE deeply and get away from the flash vicinity before inhaling again. You definitely DO NOT want to inhale (accidentally or intentionally) during an arc flash. That vapor is detrimental to your lung health and you don’t want it in there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
When I inspected for county ,I would open panel door and put my green sticker in it. And snap shut and LEAVE. Like a good inspector should.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
I have been in the elevator trade for 41 years and have been a helper (when we were actually trained), mechanic, foreman, superintendent a national, municipal as an AHJ, and private elevator consultant and inspector and so as you can imagine I've seen a lot of potentially dangerous conditions from EMT being used as a mainline disconnect fuse to knife blades that don't drop out of a leg, that's just for starters. Anyway, your initial post, as well as your follow-up, are spot on. The truth as I see it is that as inspectors with proper training and PPE we should look at everything within our level of expertise. It's up to us to determine what we can and can not look at on a job site. The responsibility is on us as to when to call in for reinforcements that's why I have a contact list of peers and master techs in multiple trades to tap into. BTW taking an Arc Flash course is a potentially life-saving event and sadly most haven't seen the effects of what and how it takes place. ALL, Please Stay Safe out there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
I am a Home Inspector. Love us or hate us, we are out there, and a -few- of us try to stay up-to date, educated and aware...

That said, our job requires us, in most states, to open and inspect residential electrical panels. No touching, no modifications, just inspecting. This USED to be considered a Level-00 arc flash risk until they did away with the zeros...

I am arc-flash aware.., I know that some residential panels have -very- high surge/arc potential as they may be just a few feet away from a large transformers feeding many many houses on a street. So, I wear nomex & leather gloves when I open panels along with my safety glasses. Minimal for sure, but more than many do...

So my question for all of you is: What precautions do you take when INITIALLY opening a unknown residential panel? Gloves, glasses, does your employer provide any flash rated street clothing? Do you buzz the outside of the panel first, or just test it with the back of your hand? I am lucky in the only thing that has "bit" me so far after 20 years was a GFCI that exploded when I pressed the test button... and I want to keep it that way.

PS... a few inspector friends have been burnt when they were -removing- screws from a panels, pointy screws, that some idiot had put in and all but pierced a feeder... when they moved the screws, boom... some have been burnt badly, others just had to change their underwear. I have refused to open some panels because I could -see- non-factory screws, drywall, lags, metal self tapping or similar. I don't get paid enough...
Sir, you be either crazy as hell or just look'n for an ass whupp'n or commit'n suicide by Electrician to come here on this site an start mouth'n off. God help yer Sorry Ass....!
 

·
Registered
Electrical Contractor
Joined
·
2,589 Posts
Sir, you be either crazy as hell or just look'n for an ass whupp'n or commit'n suicide by Electrician to come here on this site an start mouth'n off. God help yer Sorry Ass....!
Don't hold back! Tell him what you really think!



:D
 

·
Registered
50 + years in the trade, now retired..
Joined
·
10 Posts
I am a Home Inspector. Love us or hate us, we are out there, and a -few- of us try to stay up-to date, educated and aware...

That said, our job requires us, in most states, to open and inspect residential electrical panels. No touching, no modifications, just inspecting. This USED to be considered a Level-00 arc flash risk until they did away with the zeros...

I am arc-flash aware.., I know that some residential panels have -very- high surge/arc potential as they may be just a few feet away from a large transformers feeding many many houses on a street. So, I wear nomex & leather gloves when I open panels along with my safety glasses. Minimal for sure, but more than many do...

So my question for all of you is: What precautions do you take when INITIALLY opening a unknown residential panel? Gloves, glasses, does your employer provide any flash rated street clothing? Do you buzz the outside of the panel first, or just test it with the back of your hand? I am lucky in the only thing that has "bit" me so far after 20 years was a GFCI that exploded when I pressed the test button... and I want to keep it that way.

PS... a few inspector friends have been burnt when they were -removing- screws from a panels, pointy screws, that some idiot had put in and all but pierced a feeder... when they moved the screws, boom... some have been burnt badly, others just had to change their underwear. I have refused to open some panels because I could -see- non-factory screws, drywall, lags, metal self tapping or similar. I don't get paid enough...
Never in my 45+ years as an Electrical contractor and electrician have I ever seen or even heard of someone opening a service panel and getting hurt.... And I have opened hundreds , both residential and commercial ,including industrial.... California, Utah, Nevada. Initially I simply backhand the panel ,lightly.,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
333 Posts
Wow. I have a hard time with all the silly responses here.

Yeah, I work in live resi panels without gloves all the time. Almost every day.

The biggest danger in a residential panel is that it's not properly grounded and that the neutral has failed.
With 30+ years doing almost exclusively residential work in houses ranging from 80 - 140 years old, I've never seen a panel where the service feed was even close to a cover screw; that's actually difficult to achieve. LoL

The exception to not wearing gloves would be:
1). In a panel where I either suspect or I know that there is water penetration. I've dealt with lots of these and never seen an arc flash.
2). Where I can see that there is potential for a ground failure (just in case there is also a neutral failure or an unbonded case). Again, lots of service calls for ungrounded panels with a neutral failure and never seen an arc flash.
3). In an underground end box (honestly: there should be requirements that end boxes are made of PVC or are required to be insulated).
4). In a meter socket. ... Because of the potential danger, but yet again: never seen an arc flash.

Yeah, it is possible that there could be an arc flash if a feed to the main breaker or lug was loose and being in held in place by the cover panel - and so tightly bound that releasing the panel cover results in the feeder wire popping up, whipping around, and hitting a ground. I've never seen anything close to that though. But I'm sure that Wile E Coyote has.

That said,
Working on a meter socket, I always wear elbow length gloves because there is a lot more potential for danger due to a neutral fail, not being redundantly grounded, water penetration, etc ...but not every time if I already know what's going on in there.

I hesitate to admit this, but if it's not raining:
I'm perfectly happy making service connections on an aluminum ladder because it's more likely that I will hurt my back moving a fiberglass ladder than that I will die from electrocution by using an aluminum ladder. That said, and either case, I do whip out the elbow length gloves. :)

I always wear a life vest when kayaking, but I do cross the street on red lights and sometimes not at the crosswalk.

Worse than that, I'm embarrassed to admit that I've drank Budweiser. ...Although I would never buy it of course!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
168 Posts
Discussion Starter · #93 ·
This one was sent to me by another inspector. You never know what you will find when you open a panel. At least this one wasn't hissing at them...
Makes it really hard to see anything like the multiple gnds/neutrals under a single screw, the double taps, or 4-5 gnds stuffed into one hole... Other than being stuffed, his panel,actually looks pretty good compared to some that we see...
157439
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,740 Posts
Sir, you be either crazy as hell or just look'n for an ass whupp'n or commit'n suicide by Electrician to come here on this site an start mouth'n off. God help yer Sorry Ass....!
You have some real issues, did you take your meds today? Get a grip he was not mouthing off he was looking for insight. Offer something of substance in lieu of mouthing off would be something you should look into.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
I am a Home Inspector. Love us or hate us, we are out there, and a -few- of us try to stay up-to date, educated and aware...

That said, our job requires us, in most states, to open and inspect residential electrical panels. No touching, no modifications, just inspecting. This USED to be considered a Level-00 arc flash risk until they did away with the zeros...

I am arc-flash aware.., I know that some residential panels have -very- high surge/arc potential as they may be just a few feet away from a large transformers feeding many many houses on a street. So, I wear nomex & leather gloves when I open panels along with my safety glasses. Minimal for sure, but more than many do...

So my question for all of you is: What precautions do you take when INITIALLY opening a unknown residential panel? Gloves, glasses, does your employer provide any flash rated street clothing? Do you buzz the outside of the panel first, or just test it with the back of your hand? I am lucky in the only thing that has "bit" me so far after 20 years was a GFCI that exploded when I pressed the test button... and I want to keep it that way.

PS... a few inspector friends have been burnt when they were -removing- screws from a panels, pointy screws, that some idiot had put in and all but pierced a feeder... when they moved the screws, boom... some have been burnt badly, others just had to change their underwear. I have refused to open some panels because I could -see- non-factory screws, drywall, lags, metal self tapping or similar. I don't get paid enough...
I am not concerned with electrical panel covers. What I do think one should be alert to, is crawling under crawl-spaces and working on energized electrical boxes. To me. that would be the type of risk that would require rubber gloves. If I ever get electrocuted, it will probably be in a wet or damp crawlspace!o_O
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,740 Posts
Never in my 45+ years as an Electrical contractor and electrician have I ever seen or even heard of someone opening a service panel and getting hurt.... And I have opened hundreds , both residential and commercial ,including industrial.... California, Utah, Nevada. Initially I simply backhand the panel ,lightly.,
In commercial installations in the last 40 years, I have been involved in this end of the business I have seen 7 severe injuries, a few serious burns, and one death. It does happen.
 

·
Dope-less Hope Fiend
electrician
Joined
·
700 Posts
"Do you glove up for residential Panels?"

I glove up whenever I work with anything live, whether it's changing a switch in an apartment, or testing amperage and voltage in a panel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
We are REQUIRED by our LICENSES to open, examine and report on electrical panels. We are licensed, and trained, and required to get continuing education. Yes, some say we shouldn't be opening panels, but we are... get over it. We send you lots of business. From what I see some of us are better trained (on residential) than some of the "electricians" out there... but that is true for all the trades, including mine. As for unlicensed Home Inspectors, my opinion of them is lower than yours. We don't "mess around with" we examine and report.

Now, how about something useful... I was politely asking about what you do when opening a new residential panel. Who gloves up, what do you wear, and all that.

As for the person asking about other systems, yes we examine everything, from walking the roof if safe, to sump pump crocks. Under sinks, behind washing machines, and everywhere in between. We do "triage" and let the buyer know who needs to be called in, such as a licensed, bonded (grounded) electrician, plumber, HVAC tech, roofer etc...

If a buyer were to try to get an electrician in to examine ever receptacle & outlet in the house from the far end of the attic to the basement and write a comprehensive report IN THE NEXT 3 DAYS, and a plumber, and an HVAC technician, and a roofer, Pest guy, and and and... first it wouldn't happen, next it would be extremely expensive, and lastly, most trades don't write reports... so there are Home Inspectors. Oh, and all the trades have to show up in the same 4-hour window set by the seller. Some, like me, care enough to go to electrician classes, and HVAC classes, and and and... some are even code certified...

We save lives every day by calling out hazards that need attention NOW. We send licensed contractors lots of business. LOTS. We send even more in recommended upgrades and improvements. Want to learn more, or maybe teach Home Inspectors what they are missing or should NOT be flagging as problems, visit a local association meeting... Most association chapters would welcome you.
You may be licensed but that sure doesn't make you qualified. Your crack about knowing more than some electricians just proves your "inspector" mentality. which IMHO stinks. In this state we have Uniform Dwelling Code inspectors. They are also licensed and some act as you do. Only here they inspect everything from concrete to framing to plumbing HVAC and electrical. Everything in a new home. The only ones that are worth a tinkers dam are the ones that were employed as a tradesman at one time and learned something that didn't only come out of a book. I think you should open every electrical panel you get near and stick your fingers into them.
 

·
Just trying to get home
Site Engineer
Joined
·
2,553 Posts
I thought you had to be an electrician to post here.
I used to post on the InterNACHI forum, but was told I had to be an inspector. Tradeworks got blocked at work. ET and DIY are pretty good, but some still manage to get banned on one or both of those sister sites.
 
81 - 100 of 119 Posts
Top