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CallMeVilla 02-22-2013 04:52 PM

Scariest Stuff?
OK, I'd like to hear about the scariest electrical you have ever encountered.
Here is my opening contribution (pics to follow next week):

My next big job requires commercial electrical and plumbing in a medium sized, two story building. "The plumbing is easily access from underneath in the basement," says the owner. "But the basement is a little flooded. You'll have to install a new sump pump."

Down we got into the basement and I can see abou 1 1/2" of standing water in the 50'x35' finished portion. "Where can I see the space under the flooring," I ask.

"Turn left," he says as I hit the standing water, holding onto the wall ... so I turn left and in front of me is ... wait for it ... a 20' wall full of main and breaker panels, many of them with rust on the doors.

Before I do anything more next week, that basement will be pumped out till bone dry. :mad:

Fireguy5674 02-22-2013 07:07 PM

That is bad but your builing is still standing. When I was working as a firefighter, went to fire one night when of course it was about 0 degrees F. When the fire was out the whole roof structure of the brick building was burned off. During the after fire investigation it was discovered that some one had run #10 or #12 conductors directly off of 100 amp cartridge fuses to power the building. The building 2nd floor had collasped about 6 monthes earlier so they put a roof over the remaining bottom floor and "rewired". ;)

CallMeVilla 02-22-2013 09:38 PM

Yeah, a friend was buying a house in Washington DC and called me panicked. She had discovered soot in the celing of the basement and wanted to know what to do. The sellers were "highly motivated" to move and close "any" deal ... I told her to open the ceiling and look ... Discovered there had been a fire and most of the livingroom floor joists were burned or blackened. The wiring was cooked too. Kind of explained the bouncy floor, eh?

She demanded a $20,000 set aside to close the deal ... and got it. We fixed the damage for $9,500 and put the rest into repairs elsewhere in the house. At first, it was VERY scary when we opened up the celing ... but all turned out great. :D

Fireguy5674 02-23-2013 11:10 AM

I am remoleding my home of 3 years right now. (I should be finishing drywall as I type.) I have found several different places where someone took the 1940's wiring (big, black fiber wrapped wires. You know the stuff) cut it off, wire nutted new 12-2/w ground to it and buried the connections in the wall. I have found a couple of places where they actually used boxes for a doing the same but still buried them in the wall. One stage newer work. When we first moved in the almost new 40 gal electric water heater would barely keep up with two people. When I moved the main breaker box I realized the the # 10 wire was hooked up to the water heater correctly and was hooked to a 20 amp single pole breaker at the panel and the second leg was hooked into the neutral bar. It works much better now.

It is a wonder more places don't burn.

poppa 02-23-2013 09:28 PM

I once encountered a water heater that had been wired directly off the entrance cable before the fuse box. After pulling all fuses and thinking it was safe to cut the wire, I wound up with a pair of melted side cutters and blinded for a while from the flash. Thanks to the good lord I wasn't hurt but learned a valuable lesson when dealing with electricity in very old houses. Folks could be very creative when wiring in devices back then.

wilard 02-24-2013 06:26 AM

Call me villa

You are very wise to pump out all water.. I had a freind who's brother was killed going into a flooded basement to clean out a drain electricity and water do not mix

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