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Author Topic: "All the other bands use it...."  (Read 7759 times)

Jonathan Johnson

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Re: "All the other bands use it...."
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2016, 01:26:55 am »

The panel pictured appears to have a 14- or 12-gauge wire feeding it. Since it would be highly unusual to see a 50A single pole breaker -- especially one recently added to a panel of this vintage (good luck finding a 50A single-pole Pushmatic as a replacement), I'm guessing the 50A was added on the upstream side of this panel. The amperages for these breakers is written on the side of the pushbutton, right next to the ON/OFF indicator.

If this is indeed the case, the damage wouldn't be downstream of this panel, it would be upstream.

If the backline power, the FOH power, your lighting, and those decorative lights were all fed from this panel, then you probably were overloading the wire feeding the panel (which probably was "protected" by a 50A breaker) -- risking a fire in spite of your efforts.

It would be unlikely that you'd melt the wire from overloading. What would happen is that you'd melt or burn the insulation from overheating due to overloading, then the wires would short out. If the breaker feeding the wires is oversized, the wires would arc and melt from the short circuit before the breaker trips.

If they ask you back, tell them not until their electrical system is upgraded by a licensed electrician and inspected by the local AHJ.

EDIT: On second look, it appears that this panel is fed by "parallel" small-gauge wires. Two problems with this: for parallel conductors, the conductors must be EXACTLY the same length, and it's only permitted in larger-gauge wires.

Also, it appears that only three of the breakers in the panel have connected loads. Two of them have no wires connected.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2016, 01:34:04 am by Jonathan Johnson »
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Stephen Kirby

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Re: "All the other bands use it...."
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2016, 01:40:18 pm »

That looks like fairly new OSB around a fairly ancient panel.  Which implies that there has been some recent renovation, and some AHJ allowed the flammable material as a wall covering.  Or maybe some "handyperson" just did it.  Scary.
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Dave Garoutte

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Re: "All the other bands use it...."
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2016, 04:20:39 pm »


Where'd you get the pictures of Bob?
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Jeff Bankston

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Re: "All the other bands use it...."
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2016, 09:17:58 pm »

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Erik Jerde

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Re: "All the other bands use it...."
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2016, 11:50:44 pm »

Those are bulldog pushmatic breakers.  I've a 100A panel with those in my home.  I installed a new 200A 60 ckt PON QO panel as well as meter base and mast a year ago to get away from it.  I've rewired about half the house to be on the new panel now.  There are questions about the reliability of the old pushmatic breakers.  I'll probably look for someone who tests old breakers and send them my panel when I finish getting off of it.  There is no way to separate the neutral bus from the chassis so I had to install a new isolated neutral bus bar in the panelbox when I made it a sub panel of my new one.

They did make 50A single pole pushmatic breakers so that bit of the story you were given could be correct.  All that said, even if it was legal to parallel conductors of that size there's no way the lines feeding that panel are up to the job of feeding one 50A circuit.

You should report this to the fire marshal, at least then you'll have a clean conscience should something bad happen there down the road.
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John Escallier

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Re: "All the other bands use it...."
« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2016, 12:53:36 pm »


The problem is, in many cases, the AHJ only has jurisdiction on new construction.  Minor violations won't be addressed-major ones might be if there is a clear danger to the public.

One need only remind the AHJ about the Station club in West Warwick Rhode Island.  Yes, it was a pyro incident, but imagine being the person who knew the soundproofing was flammable yet did not notify someone?

The government can't fix everything (whether or not it should try to is a political debate outside the scope and purpose of this forum)-as individuals and businesses we have to do the right thing-even if it means turning down an opportunity to make some cash.  Obviously "all the other bands" would rather live dangerously than make the owner mad.  The question is, do you want to be one of "all the other bands"?

If everyone refused to use the setup, it would get changed!

I live by the mantra "see something, say something".  I refuse to put myself in the position of knowing that my actions could have saved lives had I spoken up.

I understand the desire to not rock the boat.  That however, pales in comparison to "I should have spoken up".

I recommend detailing to the owner exactly what is wrong, why it is wrong, what can happen.   AND, how to fix it.

John

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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: "All the other bands use it...."
« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2016, 02:42:39 pm »

I understand the desire to not rock the boat.  That however, pales in comparison to "I should have spoken up".

I'm reminded of this poem by Don Merrell; I've seen it on safety posters in industrial sites.

I Chose to Look The Other Way

I could have saved a life that day,
But I chose to look the other way.

It wasnít that I didnít care,
I had the time, and I was there.

But I didnít want to seem a fool,
Or argue over a safety rule.

I knew heíd done the job before,
If I spoke up, he might get sore.

The chances didnít seem that bad,
Iíd done the same, He knew I had.

So I shook my head and walked on by,
He knew the risks as well as I.

He took the chance, I closed an eye,
And with that act, I let him die.

I could have saved a life that day,
But I chose to look the other way.

Now every time I see his wife,
Iíll know, I should have saved his life.

That guilt is something I must bear,
But it isnít something you need share.

If you see a risk that others take,
That puts their health or life at stake.

The question asked, or thing you say,
Could help them live another day.

If you see a risk and walk away,
Then hope you never have to say,

"I could have saved a life that day,
But I chose, to look the other way."

Don Merrell
donmerrell@hotmail.com

More safety poems by Don Merrell
« Last Edit: July 19, 2016, 02:45:28 pm by Jonathan Johnson »
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Ned Ward

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Re: "All the other bands use it...."
« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2016, 05:24:51 pm »


I recommend detailing to the owner exactly what is wrong, why it is wrong, what can happen.   AND, how to fix it.

John
Agree all except detailing how to fix it, unless the answer is "have a licensed/bonded electrician repair this."
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John Escallier

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Re: "All the other bands use it...."
« Reply #18 on: August 08, 2016, 02:48:22 pm »

Agree all except detailing how to fix it, unless the answer is "have a licensed/bonded electrician repair this."
No, we are in violent agreement.  I meant general things to fix it.  And one of those is to have qualified people do the work. You are correct to point that out.

It may be possible to do the work in stages to lessen the financial hit on the venue.  Course, it could also close the joint should the problems come to light.

John
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Stephen Swaffer

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Re: "All the other bands use it...."
« Reply #19 on: August 08, 2016, 10:56:54 pm »

Unfortunately, the cost to make this right plus the cost of doing it wrong the first time will probably be more than double what it should have cost to do it right the first time.  And yet people complain that sparkies are too expensive.
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Steve Swaffer

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Re: "All the other bands use it...."
¬ę Reply #19 on: August 08, 2016, 10:56:54 pm ¬Ľ


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