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Proud Navy Veteran
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was sent to a Sears in Daytona (Florida) to check out some parking lot lights and here is what I found. Sorry no Pics.

28 lights out, contactors are fed from a sub-panel (480VAC) that has 3P 50A FPE breakers :thumbdown: . The wires coming out of of the breakers are #10 stranded, yes that is right #10, going to 3 50A 3P contactors and 2 20A Siemens IEC contactors (IEC's held in box with double-sided tape). The load side has #10 stranded wire-nutted to #4 AL wire. I found one contactor had phases A,B,A instead of A,B,C, once that was corrected I got more lights to turn on, imagine that. So now we are waiting for the go ahead to replace bulbs and ballasts as necessary and clean up the fire hazard in the control cabinet and breaker panel. With travel time I will probably be in Daytona for a couple of days.

Needless to say it is going to be a costly repair. I later found out that the previous maint. guy did the re-work and was proud of his work. It didn't even look nice cosmetically.

I forgot to mention when I open one of the pole bases to check fuses it blew up in my face because one of the split bolts tape had fallen off and I guess I moved the wires the wrong way. But good ole FPE didn't trip and those lights stayed on.:icon_wink:

Working on these big stores I thought I had seen some junk but this is the best one yet.
 

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R.I.P. 2014
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4,722 Posts
The most common problems I have found in supermarkets and mall stores have always been the maintenance guys that think they know more than proper broomhandling procedures.
 

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Bilge Rat
motors and controls.........
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9,478 Posts
I'll second that!!

If you really want to know just how much abuse electrical equipment can actually stand, simply work in one of these places.

It's amazing more of these guys aren't hurt or killed.

Rob.
 

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Mad Skills
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5,803 Posts
I forgot to mention when I open one of the pole bases to check fuses it blew up in my face because one of the split bolts tape had fallen off and I guess I moved the wires the wrong way. But good ole FPE didn't trip and those lights stayed on.:icon_wink:
I'm guessing - and hoping - you are "OK" after that forgotten tidbit. :thumbsup:
 

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Proud Navy Veteran
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Saw white spots for the rest of the day. Just heard I'm being sent with the bucket truck to change lights and ballasts, but was told not to touch the contactors because the Sears maint. guys are going to fix that. We might as well wait until the contactors are "fixed" before we do the lights.
 

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Mad Skills
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5,803 Posts
what is the voltage requirement of each light pole? I'm learning things.I are a maintenace electrician.
It will vary from site to site...sometimes it might be 120v sometimes more....

From what Greg originally posted " 28 lights out, contactors are fed from a sub-panel (480VAC) that has 3P 50A FPE breakers" ...obviously 480v.
The higher the voltage, the more poles you can light up per circuit - it is not uncommon to have a #2's feeding the poles with a 50A CB after taking voltage drop into consideration
 

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Registered
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It is also not uncommon to find them undersized in an effort to save money, being the conductors are underground and there is little risk of property damage.
 
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