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I was a plant electrical project engineer and early in my career I decided I wanted to do Power System Studies: Fault, Coordination, and then along came Arc Flash. It was a really good decision because it's a field that I really enjoy, the work is constant, and the pay is good. And I've always been a side-hustler looking for ways to makemomoney :cool::) need arc flash labels???? :sneaky:
What do you mean by Arc Flash? Is that a franchise name or a specialization I (apprentice) havent heard of?
 

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Arc Flash is a term that covers the results of electrical equipment blowing up near ppl
google it and watch all of the videos
especially about the survivors while healing from the severe burns
it will change your mind about how dangerous your job really is
 

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the biggest problem with any arc is that it turns the normal O2 in the air to O3 which is ozone and conductive
this will cause the arc to get larger and eventually all 3 phases and ground will be involved

the other lesson of that video was a clear demonstration of why you need co-ordinated OCPD systems
that was not main gear it was sub gear, the upstream OCPD should have tripped much sooner
 

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Retired EC and Fuel distribution contractor
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the biggest problem with any arc is that it turns the normal O2 in the air to O3 which is ozone and conductive
this will cause the arc to get larger and eventually all 3 phases and ground will be involved

the other lesson of that video was a clear demonstration of why you need co-ordinated OCPD systems
that was not main gear it was sub gear, the upstream OCPD should have tripped much sooner
And I always took the stance that I'm a dumb contractor, that's what engineers are for. :) Put on paper and I'll do it (so long as it's not a code violation).
 
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For me it was troubleshooting. I would most likely still be doing that had my supervision not forced my off shift work. They me go to regular maintenance and then I had to look to leave. Out on my own I did residential, commercial, light industrial, waste water treatment and solar. By far troubleshooting is still my favorite. I now do it with crushers and water treatment stuff. But all that is winding down. I kind of like fixing all the crap that has been neglected at my place. Work a half a day a couple times a week. The rest of the time spent at home.
I like your style...that's exactly what I do. Couple times a week fixing others F- - - ps. :D
 

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Professional Engineer (MD, VA, DC, DE) and licensed Master electrician (DE and MD)
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What do you mean by Arc Flash? Is that a franchise name or a specialization I (apprentice) havent heard of?
Responsible companies in the US follow NFPA 70E which was created by OSHA in the late 70s. NFPA 70E defines an arc flash hazard as:

"A source of possible injury or damage to health associated with the release of energy caused by an electric arc."

The arc flash incident energy level is determined by calculating the available arcing fault current, then determining how long it takes for the upstream overcurrent protective device to operate.
There are a number of software packages that do the calculations, with input data being cables sizes and lengths, transformer sizes and impedance, Utility strength, etc.

Personal Protective Equipment is then selected based on the Incident Energy calculation.

Note that the more sophisticated protective devices have solid-state trip units that allow adjustments in Longtime Pickup, Long time delay, Short time pickup, Short time delay and Instantaneous. The software lets you to plot the devices on a Time Current Characteristic curve and make adjustments so that the device closest to the fault trips first.

Every electrical system with adjustable devices should have an analysis that provides settings for the relays and breakers. But it's often overlooked.
 

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Arc Flash is a term that covers the results of electrical equipment blowing up near ppl
google it and watch all of the videos
especially about the survivors while healing from the severe burns
it will change your mind about how dangerous your job really is
I definetly know what arc flash is lol, I was more wondering he meant in the context of it being a specialization in the field.
 

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In my country I could wire whole village in one day, with one wire. You Americans use too many tools
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For me once I've gotten good at something is when becomes boring. I'm sure if I had focused on one thing that I love (such as landscape lighting) I could be retired by now. But landscape lighting requires a lot of low wage labor and I am terrible at managing people. I would hate landscape lighting if I had to spend my days managing laborers.
But I feel so blessed to be in the profession of a self-employed electrical contractor. Every day there is a fork in the road to take or a new mystery to solve. I take every free training course I can find. I've been certified by Panasonic, Generac, DoorKing, Lutron dimmers and shades, Jandy pool controllers, various alarm and television panels, and quite a few solar manufacturers that are out of business. Getting certified doesn't make you good at something but it can get your foot in the door. It also gives you insight into how similar products operate. In my world if you do something once, you're and expert! Any and all of the courses I've taken could be a specialty in itself.
I hear myself saying those lame excuses like " I don't want to work on a hot roof all day" doing solar installs. That happens to me anytime I have a job that lasts over a few weeks. I know it's impossible for me to carry on my truck all the material and tools to do all the specialties I'm capable of attempting but it hasn't stopped me from trying. I'd say the disorganization of carrying around all the material is the most disheartening aspect of my career. I often see fellow electrical contractor trucks on the road with an empty bed and back seat and wonder how they make a living. What would it be like to go work in a hi-rise where you leave everything in a job box onsite and have the material delivered as needed?
Looking back on 35 years of doing this I see how pervasive my ADHD has affected all aspects of my life. I don't know how many other people like me are out there and I can think of no other occupation that can give someone so many possibilities. Seeing my children struggle in these dumbed down public schools really makes me worry who is going to carry on basic repairs. The local trade school offers courses on Solar Installation and some obsolete industrial applications but there is nothing to captivate a young mind. Solar has been taken over by Wall Street and I feel like they are training minions to be laborers while they skim the profit (ie renting solar panels). I know the unions have very specific courses and the people I've met that have gone through them are highly competent. Maybe specialization is the future. I saw a van with fancy graphics on the freeway today that said they were the "baby gate specialists". Maybe the young generation only want to hire people with a narrow focus and finely honed skills? Maybe I can become a tamper proof plug specialist, yeah that the ticket.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
For me once I've gotten good at something is when becomes boring. I'm sure if I had focused on one thing that I love (such as landscape lighting) I could be retired by now. But landscape lighting requires a lot of low wage labor and I am terrible at managing people. I would hate landscape lighting if I had to spend my days managing laborers.
But I feel so blessed to be in the profession of a self-employed electrical contractor. Every day there is a fork in the road to take or a new mystery to solve. I take every free training course I can find. I've been certified by Panasonic, Generac, DoorKing, Lutron dimmers and shades, Jandy pool controllers, various alarm and television panels, and quite a few solar manufacturers that are out of business. Getting certified doesn't make you good at something but it can get your foot in the door. It also gives you insight into how similar products operate. In my world if you do something once, you're and expert! Any and all of the courses I've taken could be a specialty in itself.
I hear myself saying those lame excuses like " I don't want to work on a hot roof all day" doing solar installs. That happens to me anytime I have a job that lasts over a few weeks. I know it's impossible for me to carry on my truck all the material and tools to do all the specialties I'm capable of attempting but it hasn't stopped me from trying. I'd say the disorganization of carrying around all the material is the most disheartening aspect of my career. I often see fellow electrical contractor trucks on the road with an empty bed and back seat and wonder how they make a living. What would it be like to go work in a hi-rise where you leave everything in a job box onsite and have the material delivered as needed?
Looking back on 35 years of doing this I see how pervasive my ADHD has affected all aspects of my life. I don't know how many other people like me are out there and I can think of no other occupation that can give someone so many possibilities. Seeing my children struggle in these dumbed down public schools really makes me worry who is going to carry on basic repairs. The local trade school offers courses on Solar Installation and some obsolete industrial applications but there is nothing to captivate a young mind. Solar has been taken over by Wall Street and I feel like they are training minions to be laborers while they skim the profit (ie renting solar panels). I know the unions have very specific courses and the people I've met that have gone through them are highly competent. Maybe specialization is the future. I saw a van with fancy graphics on the freeway today that said they were the "baby gate specialists". Maybe the young generation only want to hire people with a narrow focus and finely honed skills? Maybe I can become a tamper proof plug specialist, yeah that the ticket.
LOL! This post is like a glimpse into my brain as well. Ha!

It feels like everyone here who says they get bored doing something over and over also says they have ADD. I can relate.

I also like what you said about taking all those manufacturers certification courses. That might be a good thing to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
I'd say the disorganization of carrying around all the material is the most disheartening aspect of my career. I often see fellow electrical contractor trucks on the road with an empty bed and back seat and wonder how they make a living. What would it be like to go work in a hi-rise where you leave everything in a job box onsite and have the material delivered as needed?
Dude, seriously, I have no idea how some of these guys get stuff done with only a few devices, couple breakers, a bag of wire nuts and 2 drop cords in the back of their truck. It’s absolutely mind boggling. I’ve tried so many times, its just not feasible for me to work like that.

When you bounce around from job to job, and then throw in a couple service calls and maybe 2 ongoing remodels, there’s no way you can be getting stuff done efficiently without carrying a ton of materials around. No way!

Even if all your work is 15 minutes away from Lowes/HD or a supply house, who wants to waste 3-4 trips every day in there??!!!!
 
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