Jump to content

Main Disconnects - Do you crack 'em open?


mgbinspect
 Share

Recommended Posts

This thread is a spin-off of Phantom Generator. The main reason I didn't try to force the apparently siezed thumb-crews for the Automatic Transfer boxes was I didn't really expect to find anything revealing, and the screws could easily be snapped off.

This all causes me to wonder, though. When a breaker panel is inside and the main diconnect is outside, do you open the outside main disconnect to inspect the wiring? I don't (routinely). I have on a few occassions but it isn't my habit. So I find myself wondering: Do you? If so, Why? Has it ever paid off - have you found anything?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting. I'll make it a habit. It just never really occured to me that anything could everbe profoundly wrong in there.

If any of the three main lines aren't hooked up, things test crazy anyway. I remember once a meter wasn't pushed fully in so only one hot side made contact. In that case I turned on the oven and lights were coming on all over the house (current back-feeding through the dead oven circuit. That was funny.

So, I am guessing that the only things that won't manifest themself without a look see is a bad overheating connection or a bad or missing ground to a rod?

Am I correct, or are there other conditions that won't manifest themself without viewing it?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting. I'll make it a habit. It just never really occured to me that anything could everbe profoundly wrong in there.

If any of the three main lines aren't hooked up, things test crazy anyway. I remember once a meter wasn't pushed fully in so only one hot side made contact. In that case I turned on the oven and lights were coming on all over the house (current back-feeding through the dead oven circuit. That was funny.

So, I am guessing that the only things that won't manifest themself without a look see is a bad overheating connection or a bad or missing ground to a rod?

Am I correct, or are there other conditions that won't manifest themself without viewing it?

Improperly sized service conductors to the main disconnect from the meter, corrosion, etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I always open them unless sealed by the utility co. You need to report if the service is properly grounded and size and type of SEC. I dont usually see issues.

Well, Richard, doesn't it seem appropriate that the very first main disconnect on the exterior that I crack open I find the cable to the ground rod completely disconnected. It doesn't even look like it was ever connected. Sheesh.

Click to Enlarge
tn_201083123728_DSCN9027.jpg

55.98 KB

Unbelievable... Hanging my head in shame... What was it Fred Sanford used to say?, "You big dummy!" Well, thanks for the responses guys and the sobering needed adjustment in my inspection proceedure.

"There are no mistakes or failures, only lessons." ~Denis Waitley

[:-graduat

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I always open all service panels and fuse boxes that I can reach and open. Isn't that what the standards tell us to do? When there was ones that I can't access (rusted screws, blocked by furniture, etc.), I take a picture (for my own records) and report that the panel/box wasn't accessible, why, and that a licensed electrician be consulted to make repairs and fully inspect what I couldn't inspect. I never want to assume anything is correct or safe. I don't need the lawsuit or phone call down the road from a PO'd client.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...