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I'll start. Hack Job #2758

Yesterday. Got call intercom guy fishing his wires through hole stove wire was in blew up in his face. He left a ghost she said. Showed up and the quest began. There was old #4- 3 wire SEU ran from panel to Stove J-Box. The stove installer used 3 rather large split bolts to connect whip to 3 wire. He left about 1 inch of wire out other side of split bolt. Turns out that a strand or two must have been exposed within mm's of metal box, and when he was yanking on seu cable to fish his data wire in same hole, a strand or two must have hit metal j-box. Now, it led to more. Once double oven stove was out (7000Watt). The whip was obviously jury rigged. It had 3 insulated conductors and a bare ground (obviously they tied the ground and neutral together in J-box) and did'nt bond the j-box as well (that's why breaker never tripped). Must not of had a flex connector for whip in truck as well so they used alot of tape. On top of all that, the stove whip had 4-#12 Cu's ???
7,000 Watts at 240 Volt ...#12 hummm on a 50 amp 2-Pole Breaker...

Very nice indeed

Next....
 

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Ok, i'll take a turn ..

Get call from General Contractor , his electricians roughed in two residential homes but could not be found anywhere when finish time rolled around. We go in to do the finish on these two homes and immediately get suspicious when we see teck cable coming out of the bottom of the meter base and romex cable going into the panel ( bet you guys didn't know that if you jam and cram you actually can get 6 #3 copper lines spliced inside of an extended 4 11/16" box )

Some of my personal highlights of that job were;


  • The boss getting frustrated with the dishwasher that he's hooked up and spent close to 3 hours trying to figure out why it's not getting power. He finally got so pissed off he grabbed the wire tail that was hanging out of the wall and yanked on it .. only to fall on his ass because the wire only went into the wall about 6" and was stappled to make it look like it went somewhere
  • The bathroom bar light fixtures. Someone cut a hole in the drywall and dropped in about 4 ft of wire.
  • The jacuzzi tub that was wired on with the rest of the bedroom lights and plugs ( i do have to give them credit ... they only put 12 items on the circuit )
  • Not one, not two .. but three single gang receptacle boxes with a total of 14 wires in them .. Just slightly overfilled.
 

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Project Manager HFH..
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The boss getting frustrated with the dishwasher that he's hooked up and spent close to 3 hours trying to figure out why it's not getting power. He finally got so pissed off he grabbed the wire tail that was hanging out of the wall and yanked on it .. only to fall on his ass because the wire only went into the wall about 6" and was stappled to make it look like it went somewhere
[*]The bathroom bar light fixtures. Someone cut a hole in the drywall and dropped in about 4 ft of wire.
:blink::blink:

At least it was stapled!:laughing::laughing::laughing:
 

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Project Manager HFH..
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Installing a dimmer switch in a wall that had been previously moved.

There where two switches in the box....So I open up the box and there is a bare wire on one side of a 3 way switch....Upon further review there was a j-box in the attic. Apparently the hack did not have enough 14/3 to run back down to the new location of the box he had moved.
So he tied 14/2 the the old 14/3 and used the ground wire as one of the hots!.
 

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35 years ago, I worked in a motor home factory. When a coach was to be shipped to Canada, CSA standards applied to wiring and plumbing.

1. The difference between a CSA and non-CSA faucet was the lable. The purchasing agent got the supplier to hand deliver CSA lables. I would put the CSA label on the faucets when they were sent to the floor. The lables were hidden in the parts room and I was the only one who knew where they were kept. That did not comply with CSA standards at all, as the labels were to be put on only at the factory.

2. CSA wiring was crinkled and had paper covering. The sales department did not always stamp the build orders "CSA" so some coaches were built w/UL wiring. Now the inspectors were not stupid, and would pull the covers off of some of the receptacles and switches. So we were told to remove the wiring devices, wire nut CSA wire onto the UL wires, wire the devices and poke the extra wire back into the box. Of course, sometimes the existing wire was too short, especially if the staple was placed properly. You really had to pull on the UL wire to get enough length to wire nut the CSA wire, then you had to push all that extra wire and nuts back into a box that was not designed for that much wire. But a screwdriver and hammer usually made it all fit.

Next class we will discuss why staples do not hold seat belts to 1/8 panels very well, then why seats held in place with number 8 wood screws is faster than bolts welded in place and using nuts. If we have time the class will discuss how to remove silicone sealer from drain lines.
 

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... 1. The difference between a CSA and non-CSA faucet was the lable. The purchasing agent got the supplier to hand deliver CSA lables. I would put the CSA label on the faucets when they were sent to the floor. The lables were hidden in the parts room and I was the only one who knew where they were kept. That did not comply with CSA standards at all, as the labels were to be put on only at the factory.

2. CSA wiring was crinkled and had paper covering. The sales department did not always stamp the build orders "CSA" so some coaches were built w/UL wiring. Now the inspectors were not stupid, and would pull the covers off of some of the receptacles and switches. So we were told to remove the wiring devices, wire nut CSA wire onto the UL wires, wire the devices and poke the extra wire back into the box. Of course, sometimes the existing wire was too short, especially if the staple was placed properly. You really had to pull on the UL wire to get enough length to wire nut the CSA wire, then you had to push all that extra wire and nuts back into a box that was not designed for that much wire. But a screwdriver and hammer usually made it all fit. ...
<covers eyes and ears>

La la la la la la ... i see nothing!

<runs outside to put a torch to his motorhome>
 

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Zimmermann
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:eek:

is all i can muster from what ive read here....
 

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Head Grunt
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I guess the worst i have seen is a HO called me about a light switch she had repaired but didnt trust the guys work so she called me to verify it was done properly. I took it apart to find it was a skylight control "low voltage" and it indeed was repaired improperly. I found a capped off wire in the back of the box by itself and tested it to find only 27 volts. The switch was wired to another feed from a switch box on the opposite all which had 120volts. What had surprised me was the lack of a ground wire and the only nuetral in the box was capped off. This hack had used the ground for the circuits nuetral :eek:. It too me several hours to run a new circuit from the closest recepticle to this switch box so it would at least have proper nuetral and ground again. This was a second floor too so there was no way to fish a new circuit from the panel up.
 

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Palisade Point Const.
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Splices in the middle of the wall, no box, one side wrapped with electrical tape, no wire nuts. Several of these in one house.

Bathroom light circuit run off one side of the 220 breaker for the water heater. Same house. We spent quite a while looking for the breaker that shut off the bathroom, before finding it several hours later when we shut off the water heater.


Didn't see this one myself, but we were working on a second story on a garage, the home owner comes out of the house and asks what it might mean if shutting off the main breaker won't kill power to the bathroom.
 

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Jeff
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Splices in the middle of the wall, no box, one side wrapped with electrical tape, no wire nuts. Several of these in one house.

Bathroom light circuit run off one side of the 220 breaker for the water heater. Same house. We spent quite a while looking for the breaker that shut off the bathroom, before finding it several hours later when we shut off the water heater.


Didn't see this one myself, but we were working on a second story on a garage, the home owner comes out of the house and asks what it might mean if shutting off the main breaker won't kill power to the bathroom.
Lol we've had that when doin demo before. Keep flipping breakers to kill a circuit cant get it. Dump the main nothing. It was the only panel in the house, we traced the service in. Never did figure out how to shut any of it off.....Maybe they had a j box outside taping into a neighbors outside rec.
 

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Too many hack jobs to list. 99% of the time on new jobs I find something new that amazes me. Lampcord in the attic, no wire nuts-just tape, extension cords run inside walls, shared neutrals with hots on the same phase, triple tapped breakers, ceiling fans hanging from gem or remodel boxes, etc.

The older the house, the more probability that a diy or handyman has "worked his magic" at some point.

Be careful out there and always expect the unexpected!
 

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Palisade Point Const.
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How about this one- an old house we remodeled- 1 circuit fed by 2 breakers. Apparently to turn off power to the south bedroom, you had to flip the breaker for the south bedroom and the kitchen (North side of the house on a different floor).
 

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Head Grunt
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How about this one- an old house we remodeled- 1 circuit fed by 2 breakers. Apparently to turn off power to the south bedroom, you had to flip the breaker for the south bedroom and the kitchen (North side of the house on a different floor).
I have seen that, circuit on two breakers/same phase. Now that others have mentioned a few stories i now remember seeing other problems like lamp cord used in walls, buried junction boxes, splices that were only taped and buried in the wall or just laying in the attic in the insulation.

I saw once an under ground splice where the hack used a romex connector to pinch the wires and the wrapped with tape. This fix lasted around 6 months before it failed.
 

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I am confused about the guy leaving as a ghost.. so he died?
I think he means he left, ghost meaning he wasn't there.

The older the house, the more probability that a diy or handyman has "worked his magic" at some point.
True, I can understand it when it's an old house and the original wiring is done funny if that's just how they did things back then. But I just worked on an old house where I tore off some drywall to find a j-box just dangling inside the wall cavity with some relativaley new wiring in it, no cover and wires left exposed.

I've noticed that with framing too on an old house, someone remodeled and just hacked it together. Non-treated studs furred out against concrete, all warped leaving a crooked wall. I guess that's the mentality, "Well it's an old house, who cares?"
 

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Palisade Point Const.
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I think he means he left, ghost meaning he wasn't there.
I took it to mean that he was a bit pale when he left. He got the sh*t shocked out of him because of the hack that originally wired the place, I'd be a bit pale as well. Particularly if I knew that I had more work to do there, following that hack around.
 
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