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Old 01-31-2013, 04:23 AM   #11
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Bad taping, loose and missing wire nuts, no lid on the junction box, cellulose insulation compacted into it, exceeded box fill, missing wire clamps and improper insulator choice (3x single conductor pole-ethylene high voltage wire instead of 3-wire NM).

Eventually a loose connection heated when we turned on the dryer and the freezer kicked on at the same time. It was a hot summer afternoon, probably around 120F in the attic, and the insulation finally hit flash point with the ohmic heating. Got lucky that I'd bough top quality paint, because I woke up around 2:30 am with 6-9" paint blisters all over the ceiling. None had popped yet, and they were right above my couch. Would have been the end of the house if one had burst and rained down embers.

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Old 01-31-2013, 04:28 AM   #12
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Posts like this scare the chit outta me...if you don't know what you're doin'...call an ELECTRICIAN.

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Old 01-31-2013, 03:00 PM   #13
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Bad taping, loose and missing wire nuts, no lid on the junction box, cellulose insulation compacted into it, exceeded box fill, missing wire clamps and improper insulator choice (3x single conductor pole-ethylene high voltage wire instead of 3-wire NM).

Eventually a loose connection heated when we turned on the dryer and the freezer kicked on at the same time. It was a hot summer afternoon, probably around 120F in the attic, and the insulation finally hit flash point with the ohmic heating. Got lucky that I'd bough top quality paint, because I woke up around 2:30 am with 6-9" paint blisters all over the ceiling. None had popped yet, and they were right above my couch. Would have been the end of the house if one had burst and rained down embers.
DAMN. That could be a case study on how to do everything wrong. I'm surprised just for the hell of it they didn't throw a couple penny's in there to promote arching

This is what gives electrical work a bad name. Whoever did that had complete lack of knowledge of any kind of common practices.
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:03 PM   #14
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Posts like this scare the chit outta me...if you don't know what you're doin'...call an ELECTRICIAN.
Who are you freaking out at??? If they scare you so much don't read them.
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:12 PM   #15
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Who are you freaking out at??? If they scare you so much don't read them.
Messin' around in electrical panels is serious stuff...as in, if you do something wrong, you might die.
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Old 01-31-2013, 05:19 PM   #16
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Okay I should have worded my post differently. I used to work for an electrician (not as one myself but as paid labor) and installed a bunch of breakers under his supervision so I am comfortable doing it. If you don't know the first thing about electricity and how these panels work don't attempt it. If you know where not to touch and have seen it done right a few times it is pretty routine IMO. A lot easier than relocating fixtures or wiring your control box. If one isn't comfortable installing a breaker I just can't see how one would be comfortable fabricating and wiring a control panel.
Bottom line - if you are unsure or uncomfortable find qualified help.

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Old 01-31-2013, 05:30 PM   #17
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Agreed, for anyone not familiar with working with power, working in a panel is not a good place to start. Thanks for the feedback.

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Old 01-31-2013, 06:39 PM   #18
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DAMN. That could be a case study on how to do everything wrong. I'm surprised just for the hell of it they didn't throw a couple penny's in there to promote arching

This is what gives electrical work a bad name. Whoever did that had complete lack of knowledge of any kind of common practices.
Agreed. I had found other hack jobs in the attic and other rooms as well, and promptly fixed or removed them. Wish I'd caught this one, but as I said before, it was buried in the insulation and neither I nor the pre-purchase inspector caught it.

Afterwards, the insurance company paid to de-insulate the attic. I told the contractor that took on the repairs that I wanted them to leave it de-insulated for 3 months - that they were only to touch electrical that had to do with the fire. I pulled permits to fix everything else that wasn't covered, add extra circuits, replaced most of the existing wiring, and re-wired the kitchen.

If anybody needs help with electrical in a residential setting, please don't hesitate to ask. I'm not an electrician, but I can help point you in the right direction at least. I just ask that you work on it safely and pull permits for it.
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Old 01-31-2013, 08:11 PM   #19
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Makes you wonder if the money you spent on the pre-purchase inspection was worth it or not Not to keep you up at night, but I hope they didn't bury anything (open wiring) in the walls.

Sounds like you did what you could do tidy things up.

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Old 02-03-2013, 03:55 PM   #20
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As an electrician I do this everyday. It's not that big of a deal. Kill the main breaker, test to make sure it killed the power and don't touch the main feed coming in as it's still hot. Be careful and good luck with your project

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