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GlennA
User Rank
Gold
scope of inspections
GlennA   1/17/2014 8:49:27 PM
NO RATINGS
The purpose of codes (NEC etc.) is to ensure safe wiring practices.  Violating code is a problem.  The inspection of a new installation is supposed to find violations.  This article seems more targeted to industrial rather than residential.  The routine inspections that I have seen most often are temperature scanners.  A poor connection in a junction box usually results in heat.  In residential situations the inspection may primarily be the main service panel - certainly the walls will not be opened to check the wiring.  And each receptacle and fixture will not be opened.  I found the reference to cords strange as cords are usually for appliances rather than permanent building wiring.

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Wiring
William K.   11/29/2013 8:14:49 PM
NO RATINGS
jsempt, While I did not make the reference to third world countries, I have seen some pictures and also worked with some of those folks. Those are not the only places where there are problems, but they are the areas where there does not seem to be much regulation. Wittness the factories collapsing, as an example.

Your emphasis on grounding and bonding is certainly interesting, and I agree that they are not at all the same. But I would offer that in a wooden frame constructed house, in areas away from any plumbing and above the ground level floor, that the shock hazard from contacting the line is minimal. For any actual hazard to exist a current path is a requirement. Of course touching a grounded device whiole also touching a device with a short circuit to ground would deliver a shock. So sometimes those things intended to increase safety instead create the hazard. And when I work on the entrance cable to a house I use a plastic ladder and non-insulated tools. Of course I also use a lot of caution, and I understand the mechanism of the potential hazards. And I am very certain to avoid being grounded. The result is no shocks or tingles.

But I agree that the unknowing and those incapable or unwilling to pay attention to what they are doing should not even touch tools, although our country could undoubtedly raise the avarage intelligence if they were allowed to zap themselves.

And about the hazards associated with the high voltage areas: I avoid them, they are dangerous.

jsemptd
User Rank
Iron
Re: Wiring
jsemptd   11/28/2013 7:20:20 AM
NO RATINGS
   One does not have to got to third world Countries to experience reprehensible and unacceptable wiring practices. I see it on a continuing basis here in Washington DC.

  I am an Electrical Contractor and also an Electrical Inspector. I consider myself to be to a degree to be rather knowledgeable of the Industry and the work required. I worked in New York, had a Company there and relocated to Washington several years ago. People who know me can attest to my capabilities.

  I take issue with references to third world countries and Electrical work, I am the collector of a plethora of pictures and comments about substandard work and Inspections performed on a continuing basis here in Washington DC. I have even gone as far as testifying before the City council about poor work and in particular the absence of knowledge of many here in DC who are engaged in Electrical work with little or no knowledge of the fundamental requirements. 

  I have major concerns with current ( no pun intended )practices, poor work and poorer inspections by persons who possess certifications to fill a 10 ft. square wall.

  Grounding and bonding is the area of particular concern to me because my conviction that proper electrical work at any voltage level is reliant on the quality of the grounding and bonding to ensure safety  and basic zero potential requirements at all voltage levels. In Sub stations with High Voltage and I mean high voltage not 277/480  but in the range encountered everyday by those who are engaged in Distribution and Transmission systems above 1000 volts and beyound the hazards are even greater.

 Not to digress and to return to the closer area of Residential and Commercial wiring, I run into people  who if it were left to me would  be denied the opportunity of buying electrical tools and material to protect society from the danger that these persons pose to society.

  Certification to this writer goes deeper than merely satisfying the Examiner on a 4 hour Exam. It is more than simply providing answers to questions with answers that the person being examined have  seen previously , but the ability to use fundamental principles when faced with a problem to use information available in a deductive manner and with intelligent analysis  determine the appropriate remedy for a particular situation and not that one answer fits all needs.

  People tell you that they have seen it before. Even some so called qualified people tell you that they have seen it before. The fact that you have seen it before does not make it right or acceptable.

  My response to that remark is that I have also seen people run Red Lights. Some survive, others die. The logical result ought to provide a bench mark for reference and not simply that you have seen it done this way or that way before.

   Let us not therefore in our elevated imagined state of glory use third word countries as a reference point. Bank robbery practiced here in the USA is equally unacceptable most intelligent and law abiding countries everywhere. I am open to information on the contrary position which up to this point has escaped the writer.

   I am in possession of a plethora of pictures of reprehensible electrical work approved and released for use by unsuspecting people whose lives are protected only by the man upstairs. Three phase systems with no bonding conductor as require by 250:122

  Systems where folks tell you that bonding and groundgimg are the same.

I have seen as recently as this week a situation where a 200 Ampere Panel is temporarily fed with 2 pieces of #12/2 in parallel ( 230:4 ???? ) Minimum size of wires used in parallel? The job ws inspected and released to the Utility Company. Third World Country ?????? This is Washington DC less than 4 miles away from The Senate Office Building. What does that say for our accomplishments. Third world Country, it seems to the writer that we are experiencing some form of Geographic inversion, a new dynamic in the thinking process.

  We can get back on this subject whenever you are willing. In the darkness of empty minds equating items of different polarities is an easy accomplishment. That with electricity would provide a blinding awakening and more than likely, limited survival.

 

 

 

 

 

jsemptd
User Rank
Iron
Re: Wiring
jsemptd   11/28/2013 7:20:18 AM
NO RATINGS
   One does not have to got to third world Countries to experience reprehensible and unacceptable wiring practices. I see it on a continuing basis here in Washington DC.

  I am an Electrical Contractor and also an Electrical Inspector. I consider myself to be to a degree to be rather knowledgeable of the Industry and the work required. I worked in New York, had a Company there and relocated to Washington several years ago. People who know me can attest to my capabilities.

  I take issue with references to third world countries and Electrical work, I am the collector of a plethora of pictures and comments about substandard work and Inspections performed on a continuing basis here in Washington DC. I have even gone as far as testifying before the City council about poor work and in particular the absence of knowledge of many here in DC who are engaged in Electrical work with little or no knowledge of the fundamental requirements. 

  I have major concerns with current ( no pun intended )practices, poor work and poorer inspections by persons who possess certifications to fill a 10 ft. square wall.

  Grounding and bonding is the area of particular concern to me because my conviction that proper electrical work at any voltage level is reliant on the quality of the grounding and bonding to ensure safety  and basic zero potential requirements at all voltage levels. In Sub stations with High Voltage and I mean high voltage not 277/480  but in the range encountered everyday by those who are engaged in Distribution and Transmission systems above 1000 volts and beyound the hazards are even greater.

 Not to digress and to return to the closer area of Residential and Commercial wiring, I run into people  who if it were left to me would  be denied the opportunity of buying electrical tools and material to protect society from the danger that these persons pose to society.

  Certification to this writer goes deeper than merely satisfying the Examiner on a 4 hour Exam. It is more than simply providing answers to questions with answers that the person being examined have  seen previously , but the ability to use fundamental principles when faced with a problem to use information available in a deductive manner and with intelligent analysis  determine the appropriate remedy for a particular situation and not that one answer fits all needs.

  People tell you that they have seen it before. Even some so called qualified people tell you that they have seen it before. The fact that you have seen it before does not make it right or acceptable.

  My response to that remark is that I have also seen people run Red Lights. Some survive, others die. The logical result ought to provide a bench mark for reference and not simply that you have seen it done this way or that way before.

   Let us not therefore in our elevated imagined state of glory use third word countries as a reference point. Bank robbery practiced here in the USA is equally unacceptable most intelligent and law abiding countries everywhere. I am open to information on the contrary position which up to this point has escaped the writer.

   I am in possession of a plethora of pictures of reprehensible electrical work approved and released for use by unsuspecting people whose lives are protected only by the man upstairs. Three phase systems with no bonding conductor as require by 250:122

  Systems where folks tell you that bonding and groundgimg are the same.

I have seen as recently as this week a situation where a 200 Ampere Panel is temporarily fed with 2 pieces of #12/2 in parallel ( 230:4 ???? ) Minimum size of wires used in parallel? The job ws inspected and released to the Utility Company. Third World Country ?????? This is Washington DC less than 4 miles away from The Senate Office Building. What does that say for our accomplishments. Third world Country, it seems to the writer that we are experiencing some form of Geographic inversion, a new dynamic in the thinking process.

  We can get back on this subject whenever you are willing. In the darkness of empty minds equating items of different polarities is an easy accomplishment. That with electricity would provide a blinding awakening and more than likely, limited survival.

 

 

 

 

 

Habib Tariq
User Rank
Iron
Re: Electrical Hazards
Habib Tariq   11/27/2013 1:02:52 AM
NO RATINGS
Another common practice found here (third world countries) is that people install fuses and circuit breakers of the wrong rating. Since people use one socket for many appliances, like they would use the same socket to power AC, fridge and iron, at the same time. Obviously the fuse would blow up or the circuit breaker would trip. So they install fuses and circuit breakers of higher rating through a local electrician. Now obviously the wire used are not designed to handle such large currents, so can be very dangerous.

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Wiring
William K.   11/26/2013 12:08:17 PM
NO RATINGS
Critic, why in the world would you need to wear safety glasses , gloves, and a helmet to inspect home wiring, unless you were one of those chained to their neurotic irrational fears. Possibly there could be some potential hazard when inspecting a main fuse or breaker panel, but it is far smarter to just have a bright light and look from a bit of a distance, like at least a foot away.

None of the home inspectors that I have come across had any credentials except as fiction writers.

Typical municiple inspectors often do have some background in the area of their inspection responsibilities, but most often they are individuals who are unable to make a living in the profession, so they go into inspection instead, since it takes less competence and is much less work. Many of the electrical inspectors have actually looked at a copy of the national electrical code, and a small portion of them may even understand some of it. But the actual inspection consists of the application ofr personal interpretations of what they think that the code requires, usually concentrating on some favorite area.

If this sounds like a criticism of inspectors, be certain that it is intended to be exactly that. The ones in this area have earned the criticism.

Critic
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Electrical Hazards
Critic   11/26/2013 11:49:18 AM
NO RATINGS
Always look for "AWG" when checking wire gauge/diameter.  Without the "AWG," people can invent their own wire gauge standard.

Critic
User Rank
Platinum
Wiring
Critic   11/26/2013 11:46:43 AM
NO RATINGS
Why would you inspect wiring before electrical work? It makes more sense to perform the inspection after the work is done, as is usually required in the US. The inspection could be expanded to include old wiring in addition to the new work.

Wiring inspections of homes are generally not done by engineers. They are typically done by home inspectors, or could be done by an electrician. It is ridiculous, unnecessary, and would be very expensive to have the inspections done by PEs.

I am not sure that "smooth running of electricity across the electric circuit design" is the proper way to describe electrical safety. Overheating of wiring, connections, or components is of concern, as is arcing. These can be caused by poor workmanship, water intrusion, defective materials or components, poor design, or degradation of materials, particularly insulation.

I'll be sure to wear gloves, safety glasses, a helmet, and a jacket when I check my home wiring. I hope the neighbors don't see me :-)

What, exactly, is a secure and smooth electric system?

Copper purity is generally not a concern in the US. Wire for homes is made to UL standards, and the NEC has requirements for conductor sizes. There is generally plenty of de-rating. If the conductors are of the proper size, the copper purity has to be extremely low to cause conductor heating issues. I recognize that in some countries, no such inspections and standards exist, but in the US, generally no worries.

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Electrical Hazards
William K.   11/26/2013 10:53:20 AM
NO RATINGS
Habib, OK, I am not that familiar with the wiring practices in those countries so I did not comment about them. I suppose that it is quite easy to add other less expensive metals to the melted copper to increase the profit. I have seen cast aluminum products from China showing rust from the i8ron impurities that found their way into the casting melt. So I would certainly suspect copper wire products from China.

Here in the US we have a different sort of problem now which is the intentional mislabeling of wire sizes. A roll of wire may be marked as nunber 10 wire, which would be adequate for thirty amps, but when it is measured the actual size would be closer to number 13, which would only be good for about 17 amps. And the wire marked as number 14 size , which is rated for 15 amps is actually closer to number 16, which should only be used for a maximum of about ten amps. The worst part of this problem is that these mismarked wires are sometimes sold in stores that people trust to provide good quality mechandise. My solution has been to bring a precision caliper into the store and check the diameter of the wire before purchasing it. When I have found undersized wires I have informed the stores management about it, since they are probably not aware of the problem.

 

Habib Tariq
User Rank
Iron
Re: Electrical Hazards
Habib Tariq   11/26/2013 1:13:56 AM
NO RATINGS
The use of Impure copper wire is a common practice in the third world countries. I myself come from a third world country where there isn't any check on any of these aspects. You usually pay a contractor for your building and you have little idea about the type of material used. And there isn't any proper way of verifying if the material used is of the right quality because they all claim it to be of the right quality. There is no check by anyone to see if the products they produce are of the same quality they claim it to be.

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