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Electrical Punk...
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571 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Client calls;

"My TV Buzzed out it was loud!, Then I heard a crackling sound and more Buzzing on the other side of the room next to the sliding door to the back porch, there is a switch-box there and the wall is burning hot with a melted plastic smell.....

Okay, go to your basement and shut off the main breaker and I'll be there in an hour.

So I look at the switch box, it looks fine and the wall is cool now, no smoke marks around the box are showing so I open it up to have a look it stunk of electrical burning,but nothing is showing in the box itself, but there is no power there either( I turned on all the breakers when I got there),,,Hmmm:blink: Okay so I open the receptacle below in, nothing showing there either, this box had 2 14/3's feed through red leg switched,that still had power from the red leg, but that's coming from a 4 way switch near the front door. So I open some of the other receptacles just to make sure they're ok, then I open the panel (ITE) everything checks out.

So there is only one thing left to do,,,,That's Right Cut open the wall around the switch, the last thing I want to do because now the grand total will jump big on the client, so I told him there really is no choice and your insurance will cover it, I started out with a 4" hole saw and sure enough the paper on the insulation was black from flames, so out to the truck for the sawzall, let the fun begin...:laughing:

Here is the inside of the switch-box..



This is the inside of the wall....:eek:



As you can see on this one is that if the outside-wall was not so tight it would have had more oxygen and this four family condo would have gone up in flames, but I suspect that there was not enough oxygen to feed it so some of the paper burnt itself out.



All the wiring was good here, the problem was the siders were using long nails in their nail gun about 15 years ago when this place was built, these outside-walls are 2x6 construction so you would think that there would be enough room for the wires,,,,Nope...

 

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Electrical Punk...
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571 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
This is the top of the switch-box...



So I pulled that off of the stud because the problem was behind the box, as I was doing so I got more sparks but the breaker held, so they are probably "NO-BLOW-BREAKERS":laughing:




These two are in love....:laughing:



Gotta love those nail guns...:eek::laughing:

 

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344 Posts
Wow. Great investigation work.
I'm sure the homeowner didnt balk at your bill after seeing everything he owned and then some could have been gone forever.
 

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Hair Splitter
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18,330 Posts
That doesn't look like siding nails, that looks like framing nails. Just my opinion. I'm thinking maybe door remodel, had to re-size the opening and re-nail the ply.
Or got lazy and that's what was loaded in the gun. Probably figured what harm could it do. :whistling
 

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Head Grunt
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3,270 Posts
Very lucky and nice job for you. I worked for a friend of mine doing siding one summer and he was always using 2-3" nails for everything. I asked him one day if he ever thought about what might be inside the wall? Nope, never had a problem. I myself when doing siding i use the shortest nails i can, just enough to get through the siding, foam if there is any and whatever for sheathing.
 

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Geeze.... Take this thread down before the NEC sees it.....

or we will all be in RMC next cycle....:eek:
 
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