Makes you wonder sometimes

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Old 11-02-14, 05:25 AM
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Makes you wonder sometimes

Friday at work the electrician came in to check out some electrical problems we have had as of late.

A little background to set the stage. The building is an old converted food store to a home improvement store. Drop ceilings. Depending on season we have various displays that require electrical power. Since Winter in coming up we have our heater display set up in middle of store where there is no dedicated power source.

That's no problem for store mangers. Just string hundreds of feet of extension cord above drop ceiling to all sorts of displays. In this case about 50 feet to power about eight heaters. But they're not stupid, they used surge suppressor power strips as a safety measure. And they told us to only have one or two units actually powered up. Of course customers have free access to turn on any heater.

I wish I had pics but that's a no-no and if caught taking them could be grounds for dismissal.

Anyway, the electrician goes up into the drop ceiling and pulls out a coil of extension cord melted and fused together. Am I the only one that sees a problem here?
1. It gets as hot as all hell up in the ceiling space
2. Those heaters draw one hell of a lot of current
3. Never coil up an extension cord while in use. (Sets up an induction field and generates heat)

Electrician walks away just shaking his head.

I've gotta work here!
 
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Old 11-02-14, 05:39 AM
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It always amazes me some of the bone head stuff some folks do. I've always used the heaviest cord feasible and the shortest length that would work. I've had to run 200' of extension cord before to operate my airless and have heard all the horror stories of how it's burned them up but I use 10 and 12 gauge cords. I wouldn't use a short 16 gauge cord on something that draws a lot of amps but some see no problem in using a 100' or more .... and then get upset because they burn up their equipment

On a related note, my wife and her sons think that duct tape is for fixing most everything
 
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Old 11-02-14, 05:43 AM
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On a related note, my wife and her sons think that duct tape is for fixing most everything
If moves and it's not suppose to, duct tape it. If it's stuck use WD-40. That's all that's needed.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 11-02-14 at 07:32 AM. Reason: Fix quote foemating.
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Old 11-02-14, 06:08 AM
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If moves and it's not suppose to, duct tape it. If it's stuck use WD-40. That's all that's needed.
yes.......................................
 
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Old 11-02-14, 08:16 AM
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Just string hundreds of feet of extension cord above drop ceiling to all sorts of displays. In this case about 50 feet to power about eight heaters. But they're not stupid, they used surge suppressor power strips as a safety measure.
Surge protectors strips do not protect against overcurrent. The flexible cords are not to be used above drop ceilings even temporarily. If you want to be an activist, place an anonymous call to the local fire marshal. If I were you, I'd plan myself a quick escape route each day I went into work.
 
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Old 11-02-14, 10:57 AM
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I'm honestly going to say that what you describe is about 95% of the drop ceilings in commercial buildings I've crawled in to.
After 20 to 40 years of service calls and guys saying "oh just chuck that bx across the ceiling nobody will see it", and inexperienced maintenance guys doing things like running extension cords everywhere, thats how a ceiling winds up being a rats nest of overloaded wire.
The best I've seen so far was a ceiling fan box with 3 extension rings on it, every knockout had a bx fired in to it and the wires looked like a chia pet mushrooming out the top.
 
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Old 11-02-14, 11:18 AM
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Like this cadeusus?

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Old 11-02-14, 11:27 AM
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Norm.... you need to be carrying one of those strap on fire extinguishers.
 
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Old 11-02-14, 12:23 PM
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Surge protectors strips do not protect against overcurrent.
Some do. It all depends on if they have a circuit breaker (usually 14 ampere so it will trip before the branch circuit fuse or CB) in addition to the MOV surge arrestor.
 
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Old 11-02-14, 02:04 PM
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Some do. It all depends on if they have a circuit breaker (usually 14 ampere so it will trip before the branch circuit fuse or CB)
I stand corrected, yes, some do. Not all do however.
 
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Old 11-02-14, 02:28 PM
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Nope, not all by any means. Probably most do not have a CB.
 
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Old 11-02-14, 10:50 PM
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Nope, not all by any means. Probably most do not have a CB.
Actually, they all do. The older ones had a button-style mini circuit breaker, and the newer ones have the circuit breaker built into the power switch. They're usually rated anywhere from 12-20A depending on the cord size.

IMHO, all extension cords should be required to have a fuse or circuit breaker in the plug like Christmas lights do.
 
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Old 11-03-14, 06:54 AM
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Check out this NEC 2014 article,“400.8 Uses Not Permitted. Unless specifically permitted in 400.7, flexible cords and cables shall not be used for the following:
(1)
As a substitute for the fixed wiring of a structure
(2)
Where run through holes in walls, structural ceilings, suspended ceilings, dropped ceilings, or floors
(3)
Where run through doorways, windows, or similar openings
(4)
Where attached to building surfaces
Exception to (4): Flexible cord and cable shall be permitted to be attached to building surfaces in accordance with the provisions of 368.56(B)
(5)
Where concealed by walls, floors, or ceilings or located above suspended or dropped ceilings
(6)
Where installed in raceways, except as otherwise permitted in this Code
(7)
Where subject to physical damage”

Excerpt From: National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). “NFPA 70®, National Electrical Code® (NEC®), 2014 Edition.” NFPA. iBooks.
This material may be protected by copywrite
 
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Old 11-03-14, 06:13 PM
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Tell your boss this is bad practice . About all you can do & you have fulfilled your moral obligation .

And make sure you have an unobstructed exit .

It is next to impossible to talk to some one in sales , about anything but sales .

God bless
Wyr
 
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