Zzzzzzzzzzzzzttt! Got lucky this time!!!

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Old 05-27-19, 01:28 PM
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Zzzzzzzzzzzzzttt! Got lucky this time!!!

I am in need of help with an old Thermador radiating wall heater that I believe Fred Flinstone left in my house!!! It has to be from the 60's. I was scraping paint off of the cover and noticed a bunch of spider webs, dust, nests, etc. inside the unit so I removed the cover and vacuumed out all of the debris. There must be water getting in from somewhere or simply the condensation from the tub/shower is making the box in the wall rust. Anyway when I attempted to reinsert the whole thing back into the wall, ZZZZZZZZZZZTTTTTTTT, and and arc. My only guess is that when I removed all the debris and junk there may have been a worn wire from the unit being so old and I removed its insulation when I cleaned it out.
Okay, here's the tricky part. I cannot get to the breaker box. It is located inside a locked door. The room is unfinished and the landlord does not want anyone to go in there. Even better, my maintenance man that has the key is out of town for 2 weeks on personal business so I cannot get him to let me in!!!
Here's the question: Is there a way that I can cut or remove a wire, like the hot one, so it is disconnected to the power source. I just want to put it back in the wall and forget it until next winter without zapping myself!!!! I have a person in my care that has Alzheimers and I cannot allow them to even be in the bathroom alone with that on the floor!! My cats are curious too!!!
Please tell me there is something I can do to disconnect it. I can rewire a lamp but this is beyond my electrical abilities and there's nothing online even remotely touching this!!
I anticipate your reply and thank you in advance.
Marie A.
PS - I cannot afford to call and electrician either. I even attempted to contact an old fraternity brother who is an electrical engineer but he's dead!!!
 
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Old 05-27-19, 02:42 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

There isn't much I can say or you can do. The circuit needs to be shut off. Working with a live circuit that is arcing is a recipe for disaster. Technically.... after the arcing.... the breaker should have tripped. Do you have any way of testing the wire for power ?
 
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Old 05-28-19, 01:03 AM
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No. I used to have a tester but not anymore. There's two bolts connecting the wires to the heater. It's not possible to disconnect one at a time? Or will it zap me? I can't believe I only vacuumed it out and trued tried dtoput it back and it blew!!! I would have let it catch on fire if I knew this would happen!! Alright, thanks for your time and consideration.
 
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Old 05-28-19, 03:44 AM
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Why is the breaker box behind a locked door? Who has access to it? The breaker should be shut off until the heater can be repaired or replaced.
 
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Old 05-28-19, 08:07 AM
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I doubt your landlord would have given his only key to the maintenance man. Call your landlord and tell him that the wire was sparking. This is a safety and a fire issue that he needs to take care of immediately. If you don't have a tester, don't mess with the wire.

Also, why would you need to hire an electrician? This is not your property. It's the landlord's responsibility to provide a suitable living space for tenants.
 
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Old 05-29-19, 04:00 AM
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Found it!

My bad! I THOUGHT the breaker box was in the locked mudroom, I was wrong! It's outside by the electrical meter. There's no diagram or map to tell which is which. I'll have to hit the main switch. After all power is off how do I proceed? All I want to do is disconnect power to the heater, put it back in the wall and forget about it until the Fall. I can buy a new one then and everything is right with the world. Can I disconnect the heater at the plastic caps, put the caps back on the main wires and be done? I'm concerned that there's a bare wire towards the main source and that's why it zapped!! Please tell me how I can alleviate this problem now that I've found the box. It's pretty straigthtforward now right??
Thank you for your advice, I really appreciate it!! My landlord lives about 100 miles away. Not only that, I have a really unbelievably great deal on this beautiful cabin with huge backyard, side and front yards, driveway, AND a ginormous shed that's bigger than my whole previous cabin so I avoid causing him any out of pocket expenses unless absolutely necessary!!! Thank you again, in advance, for your time.
 
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Old 05-29-19, 06:59 AM
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Take a pic or to so we can see what you have there, you can also leave the breaker off to that heat, it should be a 2 pole breaker.
Geo
 
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Old 05-29-19, 12:02 PM
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I'm concerned that there's a bare wire towards the main source and that's why it zapped!!
Yes.... that is a concern and should not be the concern of a renter regardless of the type of rental deal. At the very least the owner should be aware of the problem.

If you turn the power off and remove the heater....... you need a way of checking which breaker it's own so that the wires can be capped off and that breaker left turned off instead of the main breaker.

That's it. That's what needs to be done. Not much more help we can offer you.
 
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