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Author Topic: It works, so it must be right. Right?  (Read 3490 times)

Jonathan Johnson

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It works, so it must be right. Right?
« on: December 25, 2013, 11:30:32 pm »

These gems were removed from my church this past year. From a current flow standpoint, they are wired correctly. That's about all that's correct about them, though.

The supply to these circuits was via an ancient 2-wire Romex with no equipment grounding conductor. The "ground" was provided by a wire wrapped a couple of times around a metal water pipe. Several years ago, the supply lines to the building had been replaced with plastic, so there was basically no ground path.

One of these was placed in such a way that I would scrape my back on it whenever I would work in the crawl space.
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Mike Sokol

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Re: It works, so it must be right. Right?
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2013, 01:09:42 am »

These gems were removed from my church this past year. From a current flow standpoint, they are wired correctly. That's about all that's correct about them, though.

At least this had J-Boxes. I've seen stuff like this inside a wall without a Junction Box.  >:(
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Lyle Williams

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Re: It works, so it must be right. Right?
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2013, 02:29:13 am »

A friend went to Cambodia in the 90's.  Whole little towns were wired up with DON-10 with .50 cal ammo tins as distribution boards.  No breakers.  Everything just twisted together.
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: It works, so it must be right. Right?
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2013, 02:18:10 pm »

A friend went to Cambodia in the 90's.  Whole little towns were wired up with DON-10 with .50 cal ammo tins as distribution boards.  No breakers.  Everything just twisted together.

When I rewired my grandma's barn, I discovered that the outlets in the tool room had no overcurrent protection at all. In fact, the only ways to kill the power were to cut the wire or pull the meter.

One of the outlets in Grandma's house (which I also rewired) was wired with single-pair 20 gauge copper-clad steel aerial telephone drop cord. Luckily the only thing I ever saw plugged in there was a table lamp.

(At the time I rewired that stuff, my grandpa had already passed away. Safety wasn't a big concern for him. His skin was so dry -- he was probably always dehydrated -- that he would work on wiring hot, with his bare hands. He would do the same with his electric fence; he said that he just got "a little tingle" from it.)

When I was in Guatemala in 2001, I saw lights wired up with any ol' wire -- in one case, with smooth 17 gauge galvanized steel electric fence wire.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2013, 02:25:00 pm by Jonathan Johnson »
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: It works, so it must be right. Right?
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2013, 02:26:32 pm »

At least this had J-Boxes. I've seen stuff like this inside a wall without a Junction Box.  >:(

Boxes overfilled. ALL the clamps were loose. No covers. Wires twisted and taped. Unused knockouts knocked out.

I'd say the J-boxes were more or less imaginary.
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Stephen Swaffer

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Re: It works, so it must be right. Right?
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2013, 02:29:39 pm »

I once unplugged a 480 VAC 3 phase hoist (wired by a "qualified"person!) to make a repair-I carefully plugged the hoist back in when I realized the male plug was wired to the supply.  The hoist had worked fine for a long time!

I am guilty of using that thought process in audio setups-if it works, do it-but avoid doing so when it is a life safety issue-and most anything in power distribution should be considered life safety related.

Boxes overfilled? I only count 6 12-2NMs.  Pulled one out a few weeks ago with 12 12-2 NMs in it-I seriously would like to meet the guy that was skilled enough to get them all in the box and working-and yes it did have a cover on it.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2013, 02:36:08 pm by Stephen Swaffer »
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: It works, so it must be right. Right?
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2013, 02:34:39 pm »

These gems were removed from my church this past year. From a current flow standpoint, they are wired correctly. That's about all that's correct about them, though.

I believe these J-boxes were installed by the same man who dealt with the sound system before I took over. I can tell you that the sound system was in no better shape. He was mostly deaf, with severe loss of the high-end. He refused to get hearing aids, not believing he needed them.

He actually built his own loudspeakers for the church, with a design that effectively boosted the high end and killed any bass. They sounded terrible, but he was happy.
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Gus Housen

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Re: It works, so it must be right. Right?
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2013, 07:21:57 pm »

Back when I was much skinnier, my dad hired me to help out this old lady. She was moving out of the house and needed someone to check crawlspaces for stored bits. She had a converted attic room and on the other side of the attic wasn't converted. I found her ex husband who recently passed was a avid DIY guy. He had made several runs off romex to a single 16 gauge lamp cord that was used to originally illuminate the original attic space with a 4" ball of friction tape around the whole mess.
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Re: It works, so it must be right. Right?
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2013, 07:21:57 pm »


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