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IS the breaker off :)

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  • IS the breaker off :)

    When I first started out in HVAC...doing installs...way back in 2006 and btw Im 43yrs old.....I was replaceing the condensor while other guy changed out the airhandler....was a strange complex..units had not back doors....sooo had to go 6 or 7 condo units down to cut to the back...then walk back 6 or 7 units to the front....typical Florida summer hot dang hot....and I got to replace the disconect and whip...hummm did I turn off the breaker...I "THINK" I did. welp use the meter #$$% meter is in the truck....welp I got Kline inuslated tools...no biggie..just touch 1 wire.....now I sweat like a pig...sooo I take my super duper screw driver...go to losen the screew...ZAP...nice 110v (only 1 leg not both)...tingle in my hand and arm..

    Hummmmm do the winny the poo thing...think think think think....grab my harbor freight flat head screw driver...I use it more as a pry bar....this is super el-cheapo so 99% plastic and low grade metal...soo it should not condeuct power....see IM smart sooo with my soaking wet paw I go to losen the screew....ZAP...tingle...many bad words...

    Soo walk my fat lazy arse around front and turn off the breaker

  • #2
    Re: IS the breaker off

    Something else to remember is that trying to cut to cut a live wire can causes the tool cutting edge to crack and send metal chips in places you don't have protection. Don't ask how I know this.
    Buy cheap, buy twice.

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    • #3
      Re: IS the breaker off

      I've got an amusing "is the breaker off?" story.

      Replacing all the duplex recepticles in an older duplex style house. In the kitchen, had all the breakers off for that area. Changing the plug under the kitchen table, got a zap, hit my head on the table, clunk. Cursed, went down to turn more breakers off. Started again, got another zap, clunk, hit my head on the table again. More cursing. Tired of this game already - turned off the main breaker. Got it now for sure. Dived in there again will all the confidence of a fool and ZAP! CLUNK!
      Turns out, when they built the place, this plug got wired to the other side of the duplex somehow.

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      • #4
        Re: IS the breaker off

        Originally posted by Ross Creek View Post
        I've got an amusing "is the breaker off?" story.

        Turns out, when they built the place, this plug got wired to the other side of the duplex somehow.
        That's when it's time to put on your work boots and hunt down the **** that installed it incorrectly and kick him in the butt. Please not too hard though, just wake him up.

        It pays to use a meter or test light and be sure power really is off.
        Last edited by Woussko; 06-01-2008, 09:24 AM.

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        • #5
          Re: IS the breaker off

          Originally posted by Woussko View Post
          That's when it's time to put on your steel toe work boots and hunt down the **** that installed it incorrectly and **** him.

          It pays to use a meter or test light and be sure power really is off.
          Funny you should mention that. I bought one of those "sensor" pen things right after that job. It had/has a permenant place on my tool belt from that day on.

          "it never hurts to check"

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          • #6
            Re: IS the breaker off

            Originally posted by Ross Creek View Post
            Turns out, when they built the place, this plug got wired to the other side of the duplex somehow.
            Ha, if I lived there that's where I'd plug in my gigantic space heater in the winter months!

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            • #7
              Re: IS the breaker off

              Originally posted by gear junkie View Post
              Something else to remember is that trying to cut to cut a live wire can causes the tool cutting edge to crack and send metal chips in places you don't have protection. Don't ask how I know this.
              I'm no pro, but I did rewire my first house. Opened all the walls and ran 12/3 romex. Things were going pretty good until I sat down in the living room to wire a duplex, as I cut the romex with my 9 inch sides big flash woke me up and took a chunk out of the side cutters. Forgot that I ran two different circuits in that room and only opened one breaker.

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              • #8
                Re: IS the breaker off

                I have a pretty good one....

                I had just finished installing the 220v 50A outlet for my Dads 36" oven the day before the Stove arrived. We went to put the stove in, and the plug happened to be ~1-2" to far to one side that it hit part of the range. So, I told my Dad to run down and shut off the breaker, and I would move it. He runs down stairs, and came back a minute or two later. I pulled the cover off the outlet, removed the anchor screws, and then proceeded to grab the outlet to turn it the other way....... Zap! Felt a good tingle in the fingers and arm... quickly turn toward my Dad and ask "ah, did you turn off the breaker?" To which he quickly responded "oh chit!" and promptly ran downstairs! I was a little ticked at first, but laughed about it, and still do. Yeah, it could have really hurt me bad, but it didnt. My Dad felt so bad, and kept appologizing, I told him not to worry about it... but I still bug him from time to time about it, as I still think its funny that he went all the way into the basement, and completely spaced on why he went down there in the first place!

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                • #9
                  Re: IS the breaker off

                  Friend of mine runs a motel with his home attached. He decides one day he needs to put in another dryer in the laundry room. There are already three in the laundry room. He goes downstairs and figures he can tie into a 220-v junction box right underneath one of the dryers to add the line. He goes over to the wall where the panels are located (two mains and two sub panels). He opens up a panel, flicks off the breaker marked "dryer." Goes back to the junction box, unwraps the insulation. Remember he's standing on a metal stool in a basement with a damp concrete floor underneat. He grabs the two leads he's just unwrapped. He gets blown across the room and lands about 6 feet away against a wall. He goes back and wraps the tape back on and lets the wires hang and calls me up to finish his job. I go to the panels and start checking. There are three dryers upstairs. There are three different 30-amp, 220-v breakers marked "Dryer" in three of the four panels. He hadn't learned the lesson yet about testing a circuit with a known, operating volt meter or Tic Tracer before starting work. Oh, well. Live and Learn.
                  Jim Don

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                  • #10
                    Re: IS the breaker off

                    Funny story, I had this happen to me the other day.

                    I tested the line, nothing, no flash, no sound, no marked breaker, so instead of cutting one at a time, I cut all three at once.

                    least to say, I went and purchased ne cutters, as mine were welded closed, and I reinforced the idea in my head that one at a time or make sure the tester is on all the way
                    sigpic

                    Robert

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                    • #11
                      Re: IS the breaker off

                      How'd you check for power, Robert?
                      Buy cheap, buy twice.

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                      • #12
                        Re: IS the breaker off

                        Originally posted by gear junkie View Post
                        How'd you check for power, Robert?

                        I have a Greenlee GT 15 Non contact voltage detector. kinda tricky to turn on, I din't have it clicked all the way to on



                        glad you asked Ben, I just looked it up and noticed it was for low voltage only.....that explains it............should have been dead a long time ago..9 lives
                        Last edited by westcoastplumber; 04-03-2008, 08:16 PM.
                        sigpic

                        Robert

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                        • #13
                          Re: IS the breaker off

                          Originally posted by westcoastplumber View Post
                          I have a Greenlee GT 15 Non contact voltage detector. kinda tricky to turn on, I din't have it clicked all the way to on



                          glad you asked Ben, I just looked it up and noticed it was for low voltage only.....that explains it............should have been dead a long time ago..9 lives

                          I am confused now, I am not sure if I have the 11 or the 15, it is in the van, which is at the shop, thanks to the thread about service vehicles breaking down

                          I will keep you posted ben
                          sigpic

                          Robert

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                          • #14
                            Re: IS the breaker off

                            Robert,
                            I use a Tic Tracer brand voltage sensor which will do about 80 volts up to
                            600 V. What you always want to do with a voltage sensor is to test it on a KNOWN AND WORKING circuit before you test it on the one you're going to work on. And even then, because I value my life, although many others do not, I will use some type of a full contact voltage indicator, either my Wiggy, or a neon test set, or even a regular volt/ohm meter, to check all the wires in the area to make sure that none of them are going to send me to the great beyond. Remember it is not the volts that kill you, it is the amps that get you and even amperage down in the milliamp range can hit you and stop your heart. It don't take too much. Be safe out there.
                            Jim Don

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                            • #15
                              Re: IS the breaker off

                              Originally posted by JimDon View Post
                              Robert,
                              I use a Tic Tracer brand voltage sensor which will do about 80 volts up to
                              600 V. What you always want to do with a voltage sensor is to test it on a KNOWN AND WORKING circuit before you test it on the one you're going to work on. And even then, because I value my life, although many others do not, I will use some type of a full contact voltage indicator, either my Wiggy, or a neon test set, or even a regular volt/ohm meter, to check all the wires in the area to make sure that none of them are going to send me to the great beyond. Remember it is not the volts that kill you, it is the amps that get you and even amperage down in the milliamp range can hit you and stop your heart. It don't take too much. Be safe out there.
                              Jim Don

                              I did, I tested it on my sawzall cord and it worked fine, I think I hit the little on and off before I got over to the wires I needed to test.

                              I appreciate the advice, I have the 11, greenlee, just tested it on my garage opener cord and it worked fine.

                              thanks again for the advice. me and electric never get along, I have been shocked quit a few times already working under houses in water and stuff
                              sigpic

                              Robert

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