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  1. The part of the main (150 amp, older GE panel) switch in the photo below that the green arrow points to looks like some kind of extension to widen the switch itself. It looks like it might be designed to flip over or be removed if necessary. Does anyone know if it can be flipped to the other side (the upper side in the photo) of the switch? I've tried with gentle pressure but it doesn't seem to want to move, don't want to force it. But then it's old. I ask because the space used by the metal extension is preventing installation of a generator interlock device that was designed specifically for the panel.
  2. Thanks for all the advice! You guys are all great!
  3. You're too nice a guy! They sell them at big-box stores so they aren't targeting electricians only. 25 years using the same almost illegible copy-of-copy-of-copy instructions? You should see the diagrams - how many have been installed wrong by homeowners? In addition to that I would say the soft metal and weird thickness of the screw slots come close to design flaws. Home Depot is getting it back with the shredded screw slots.
  4. Yep, but thanks! The problem is single slot screws, especially if the slot is too wide. Steve
  5. Thanks, I was getting there myself since I want to be done before the sun gets to that side of the house! One more question about this - I assume that for the lug connections you strip off enough insulation (about 1/4"-3/8") to inert the bare wire under the lug, then just tighten the lug down on it. In other words, the wire doesn't wrap around anything, right? (Allow me to vent for a moment: I can't believe manufacturers can get away with being so vague about something that they claim is supposedly critical - in addition to the impossible torque numbers, the instructions actually say to strip off "__ in" (direct quote - there's no number there) of insulation and they include no illustration of the lug connection. Copyright 1991 GE, so it's been like that over 20 years). Thanks again, very much appreciated.
  6. I am redoing the wiring to an exterior A/C compressor and to/from the exterior disconnect box (made by GE). The disconnect box instructions say to torque the lugs to 32-35 in-lb. I've ruined several lugs trying to do this. They have a single slot that is so wide that I can't find any driver bit that engages the slot securely, definitely not securely enough to accomodate that kind of torque. Is there a special tool for this or am I missing some trick of the trade? Also, should I be using a torque wrench also on the connections to the A/C?
  7. Am I allowed to use 3-wire (plus ground = 4 wires) NM cable for a connection that only needs 2 conductors (+ ground)? If so, how do I flag the wire that's not being used? Can I just put a screw-on splice cap over it at both ends?
  8. I would not advise anyone to do something dangerous, but just a few thoughts: 1) If time or money is an issue or you're just a compulsive do-it-yourselfer, one safety option is to hire a pro to install permanent fall arrest anchors at the roof ridges and on the wall of your house. This lets you do it yourself on the roof or ladders safely wearing fall arrest equipment. 2) I hired a painter once who painted the walls above the pitched roofs on my house using a little stepladder-looking device with adjustable legs, designed to provide a level surface for a longer ladder. I don't know if he made it or bought it, although it looked manufactured. Here's something similar: http://www.provisiontools.com/pivit/. Although that painter didn't use fall arrest gear, I'd recommend it for any ladder work over a few feet, and always on a roof. 3) In hurricane states like Florida after a hurricane, you'll have trouble getting your insurance company to respond, much less hiring someone to do anything to your house for at least a month. So your only option for replacing shingles that blow off or repairing (even temporarily) any damage is to get up there and do it yourself! 43) I agree that safety should always come first, but I have to wonder how one becomes a "ladder expert" if not by asking advice from people with experience . . . ? It's really not helpful if the answer is, "You can't get there from here" . . .
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