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by John Grabowski

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A FABULOUS GIFT!  Milwaukee 2426-22 M12 Cordless Multi-Tool Kit, Comes With 2 Batteries
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November 3, 2015:  I wrote a nineteen page guide on repairing bathroom exhaust fans.  It is a FREE Ebook sent to your email address.

October 21, 2015
I recently completed the update of my Fractional Horsepower Electric Motor page. Diagrams and descriptions are posted for each type of electric motor.

I am working on a new page to address the issues faced by humans as they age in place.  The location of electrical outlets and switches and other little things can make a big difference in the quality of life for aging retirees.
April 9, 2015: I recently answered a question incorrectly in another forum.  Fortunately another electrician noticed  my error and responded with the correct information.

The question pertained to what was permitted under an older version of the National Electrical Code regarding the proper method by which electrical power is brought from a house out to a detached garage for a sub-panel installation.

Before the publication of the 2008 National Electrical Code, there were additional acceptable methods than there are today for a detached garage sub-panel.  I had forgotten about one method that was not unusual to do, but I had never done it that way.

In the 2005 NEC, article 250.32(B)(2) allowed the required ground rod to be bonded to the neutral (AKA grounded conductor) when there was no other mettalic path for current to flow back to the main house electrical panel  Other mettalic paths could be a water pipe, a telephone line, a cable TV line and even an alarm circuit.  In addition there can be NO equipment grounding conductor installed with the power conductors.

Article 250.32(B) in the 2014 National Electrical Code requires that an equipment grounding conductor be installed with the power conductors to feed a sub-panel in a detached building whether or not there is another metalllic path.  Also, the neutral cannot be bonded to the equipment grounding conductor in a sub-panel.  There is an exception for previously installed systems as long as no other mettalic path exists.

The reason for the ground rod requirement in Article 250.32(A) in a detached building is lightning protection.

With the neutral conductor and the grounding conductor bonded together in a sub-panel, there is a remote chance under certain conditions that the metal connected to the electrical sub-panel, including the sub-panel, could become energized and very hazardous to the touch.

The equipment grounding conductor is now required in a sub-panel installation because it has been determined that a ground fault to earth will not likely trip a circuit breaker or blow a fuse in a sufficient period of time (Miliseconds).  I have tried this myself, by accident BTW working on an underground lighting circuit.  When a live wire hits the dirt it makes a POOF sort of sound, but it does not trip the circuit breaker.   Top
2014 National Electrical Code
Siemens Sub-Panel
April 8, 2015: I have noticed that many people disregard safety when doing home rennovations.  A construction worker in any trade is required by the Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration (OSHA) to wear protective clothing and apparatus to protect against hazards particular to their tasks.

A homeowner doing remodeling work around his or her own home is no different than a construction worker and needs protecting as well.

If you will be working in the garden, some useful articles for protection outside are: bug repellent, work gloves, knee pads or a piece of carpet, goggles, dust masks, hearing protection, portable GFCI device, steel toe shoes, hard hat and face shield, and perhaps protective clothing.

Working inside of the house has additional hazards such as dust and falling.  A P100 respirator should be used for most dusty situations including lead dust.

A properly sized ladder is important. Chairs, stools, and toilets should not be used in place of a ladder.  I think for a homeowner who has eight foot ceilings, a five foot ladder should suffice, but I have noticed that they are not sold everywhere. If five foot is not available, consider a six foot stepladder.

A non-contact voltage tester comes in handy when working with electrical wiring.

I urge all homeowners to refrain from climbing up on your roof to work on a project.  Fall protection is required when working on a roof.  This may consist of approved netting installed temporarily, but securely or you can use harnesses. Harnesses require special anchor points on the peaks to which a harness is attached to.  HOWEVER, you must have a prepared rescue plan and someone else (Or two) to implement it very quickly.

If a person falls and is saved, but dangling by a harness, their life is in great danger. The strain that the harness puts on the extremities causes blood to stop flowing.  I forget the timeframe, but it is within seconds that the person must be released from the harness. Any longer and paramedics will have to give that person a shot in each arm before the harness can be removed without threatening his or her life.

I received my 30 hour OSHA training card last year as part of my CEU’s to maintain my electrical license.  It was a long but terrific class and the teacher was excellent. During the class, statistics were presented on how much job safety has improved and the number of injuries and deaths has dropped considerably in the workplace. However no statistics were available (I asked) for the number of injuries sustained by do-it-yourself homeowners working around their houses.

Professionals receive safety training on their job.  I don’t think homeowners consider safety at all when planning a do-it-yourself home remodeling project.

I urge all of you to give safety a long thought and do what is necessary to protect yourself from harm when working around the house.

29 CFR 1926 OSHA Construction Industry Regulations      Top
Use a Respirator for Dusty Jobs
Wear Eye Protection
Hearing Protection
Excellent In-Ear Hearing Protection
Replacement Air Filters

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Updated December 13, 2015

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