Something doesn't add up

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  #1  
Old 09-18-10, 12:35 PM
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Something doesn't add up

Ever notice that the electrical forum has the most threads and posts? Well? - I thought people were the most afraid of electrical, and hence more willing to pay a pro to come out and fix the problem! Guess not, eh?

And if this is true, is this in a way, an indicator of people indirectly saying, 'the people have spoken'? That "we want to be able to do our own electrical work!" ? And then hire enough inspectors to go out and inspect what people do themselves?
 
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Old 09-18-10, 01:17 PM
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Or it looks easier then it is. They may be intimidated by trying to cut a board just right but heck twist a couple of wires together, wrap it with a little tape, how hard can that be?
 
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Old 09-18-10, 03:39 PM
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I'm pretty much limit myself to just a few of the main topics but maybe once a month or so go through the entire list to see what others have posted. I do learn things this way but If I did it on a regular basis I'd never have time for anything else.

I will say that for me cutting a board straight is extremely difficult, I detest drywall work and feel the same about painting. My daddy, who was a painter for most of his life once told me that if I had shown the slightest inclination to going into the painting trade he would have cheerfully broken both of my arms.

I have always found electrical work to be easy, far easier than any kind of carpentry. Plumbing is also easy for me but I shy away from sewer/drainage issues because so much of it is very specific in its code mandates and unlike the electrical codes I have never enjoyed reading plumbing codes.

The one thing that does bother me about many of the questions on the electrical forum is the number of people that write in asking extremely elementary questions. It seems to me that they have never even opened a DIY book on basic electricity and for the most part I either refrain from answering those questions or else strongly recommend the poster read a couple of books BEFORE doing electrical work.
 
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Old 09-18-10, 03:40 PM
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You are both discounting the great people that hang out and help on that forum. People are attracted to the good help.
 
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Old 09-18-10, 03:40 PM
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Ya, that's simple - just twist these 2 wires together... zap zap ouch.... who turned off the lights
 
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Old 09-18-10, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by pcboss View Post
You are both discounting the great people that hang out and help on that forum. People are attracted to the good help.
I thought of that angle. That would only explain the "posters" count. But that doesn't explain the fact that the "thread" count - people asking the questions - is ALSO higher than any other forum here.

Especially when I often hear people in real life say they are afraid of electrical, and are even still afraid when I tell them to turn the circuit breakers off first. Therefore, there is quite this segment out there that ARE willing to tackle electrical, and must not have that terrible fear of maybe getting killed, or even causing a fire.
 
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Old 09-18-10, 04:04 PM
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Just hope they either take our advice or at least have someone look at it before they close it up. Doing remodeling for about 20 years, now, and Mike Holmes ain't seen it all yet, believe me. I have opened up ceilings and walls and have to stand back and stop shaking, thankful the house hasn't burned down yet.
 
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Old 09-18-10, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by marksr View Post
Ya, that's simple - just twist these 2 wires together... zap zap ouch.... who turned off the lights
Well -ya -some of the new cable tv home repair networks out there now even do a potential disservice, I feel, regarding the well being of the general public, by showing these greenhorn remodelers getting zapped on tv, and then laughing about it. Even one of the program stars/host had sparks fly on him on one show when it was discovered, after the fact of course, that there were these still live wires left in the wall. A person sees enough of this stuff, regarding electrical, and the fear factor maybe goes away some.
 
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Old 09-18-10, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by chandler View Post
Just hope they either take our advice or at least have someone look at it before they close it up. Doing remodeling for about 20 years, now, and Mike Holmes ain't seen it all yet, believe me. I have opened up ceilings and walls and have to stand back and stop shaking, thankful the house hasn't burned down yet.
He was that star/host. See that recent show?
 
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Old 09-18-10, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by furd View Post
The one thing that does bother me about many of the questions on the electrical forum is the number of people that write in asking extremely elementary questions.
Then again, most things in this life seem easy and elementary, once you know about it. And just think, if it weren't for these people and their 'easy' questions, we wouldn't be answering as many questions here.
 
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Old 09-18-10, 04:48 PM
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What frosts me is when blatant violation are left or created and never pointed out. One show had a full kitchen remodel and new receptacles were never installed and flex slinky duct was used to vent the downdraft cooktop.
 
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Old 09-18-10, 07:12 PM
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"My daddy, who was a painter for most of his life once told me that if I had shown the slightest inclination to going into the painting trade he would have cheerfully broken both of my arms."

Furd - My father was a machinist that loved painting houses. He and my uncle had a side business to bring in extra money. It financed our hunting and fishing trips and kept the gun rack full. I remember him saying many times that he wished he could make enough money as a painter to quit his machinist job.
 
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Old 09-19-10, 04:26 AM
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I spent the majority of my working life as a painter, made decent money and enjoyed my work [not counting the occasional insane customer or the other tradesmen that might not give crap] I worked both of my sons in my business. My oldest one has the potential to be a good painter but he had no interest, my youngest son never couldn't figure it out

It doesn't matter what my sons do for a living as long as it's legal, they enjoy it and make enough to support themselves. I would think that most fathers would be of the same opinion.
 
  #14  
Old 09-19-10, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by ecman51` View Post
Ever notice that the electrical forum has the most threads and posts? Well? - I thought people were the most afraid of electrical, and hence more willing to pay a pro to come out and fix the problem! Guess not, eh?

And if this is true, is this in a way, an indicator of people indirectly saying, 'the people have spoken'? That "we want to be able to do our own electrical work!" ? And then hire enough inspectors to go out and inspect what people do themselves?
I think as the economy stays the same or gets worse, I think most people just don't have the money.
I think that with a lot of people, it is "macho" to be able to do electrical work.
I have done mechanic work for about 50 years and and I know that you can ask an automobile question, to a group of men, and nearly all will tell you the problem. Most of the time about 2 out of 10 will have the correct answer.
If I am doing electrical work, I use extreme caution and double check power
But I still think the main reason for this is to possibly save money
 
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Old 09-19-10, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by pcboss View Post
One show had a full kitchen remodel and new receptacles were never installed ..........
What did they do, keep the old ones?
 
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Old 09-19-10, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Giles View Post
I think that with a lot of people, it is "macho" to be able to do electrical work.
Especially if they have one of those non-contact wire tracers to play with. The guy remodeling his kitchen on one of those home repair tv show networks, had that in his hand, while his wife was turning off the breakers. And they came to the conclusion that no breaker turned off the power to that one outlet. So he put his left hand in his pants pocket, while he used linesman's pliers to snip the wire anyway, while his wife looked on in apprehension. He told his wife that that way, the power would not go through his heart.
 
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Old 09-19-10, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by ecman51` View Post
Especially if they have one of those non-contact wire tracers to play with. The guy remodeling his kitchen on one of those home repair tv show networks, had that in his hand, while his wife was turning off the breakers. And they came to the conclusion that no breaker turned off the power to that one outlet. So he put his left hand in his pants pocket, while he used linesman's pliers to snip the wire anyway, while his wife looked on in apprehension. He told his wife that that way, the power would not go through his heart.
I believe that what he said was true. I don't know if it's still PC, but many years ago I was taught the one hand method to be used when working on energized equipment, something I did daily.

Think about body resistance and path from hand to hand vs body resistance and path from hand to foot. Especially bare skin to bare skin vs bare skin to sock, to shoe leather , to floor coveriing etc.

Cutting a wire carrying 120VAC with linesman pliers isn't something I would want to do routinely, but I don't consider it particularly dangerous - unless the guy was soaking wet and standing in a pufddle on a concrete floor. The conductivity of the human body varies considerably according to circumstance.
 
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Old 09-19-10, 11:39 AM
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So he put his left hand in his pants pocket, while he used linesman's pliers to snip the wire anyway, while his wife looked on in apprehension. He told his wife that that way, the power would not go through his heart.

Ignorance has harmed or killed many people. If you don't know for sure, ask someone that does
NEVER guess or take a chance with electrical work

I am not an electrician but I respect it and I am aware of the danger!
 
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Old 09-19-10, 12:26 PM
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Ignorance has harmed or killed many people. If you don't know for sure, ask someone that does
NEVER guess or take a chance with electrical work
But how do you know they really do. Lots of "Uncles" and "Brother-in-laws" do lots of electric work and seem to know what they are doing but do they really know?
 
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Old 09-19-10, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Giles View Post
So he put his left hand in his pants pocket, while he used linesman's pliers to snip the wire anyway, while his wife looked on in apprehension. He told his wife that that way, the power would not go through his heart.

Ignorance has harmed or killed many people. If you don't know for sure, ask someone that does
NEVER guess or take a chance with electrical work

I am not an electrician but I respect it and I am aware of the danger!
Indeed, but what the guy did was not ignorant assuming the linesman's pliers were insulated although it probably wasn't necessary because he could have killed power. My point was that what he did wasn't especially unsafe.
 
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Old 09-19-10, 03:44 PM
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Even if I'm reasonably sure that power is off to a circuit, I can't resist taking taking the thumb and forefinger of one hand and tapping the tips to each wire before I feel comfortable.
Only place I've done electrical is in my own house, or very simple jobs at someone else's.

The reason that I felt I could undertake electrical work without formal training is that I felt it was based solely on logic and furthermore, thanks to circuit breakers, a trial and error process.

If I were to do it professionally however, I would be considered among the incompetent.
 
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Old 09-19-10, 06:32 PM
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An older electrician (when I was young) always told me if I had to "check" a wire to make sure it was dead was to use the back of my finger. Reason....if you touch it with the inside and it is hot, your hand will flex and you will grab the wire and can't let go. Back of the hand, hand flexes and your hand falls away.
Our jobsites.....no shock....period.
 
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Old 09-20-10, 06:12 AM
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Years ago, I had the electrician who wired my house come back to hook up a new ceiling fan for me and after he shocked himself the second time, he said, "I'm supposed to be used to that by now." I replied, "aren't you supposed to not be shocking yourself any more by now?"
 
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Old 09-20-10, 06:52 AM
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I believe the reason many people get shocked is because it has happened to them before and didn't harm them so they take the chance! This is true in many cases but with the right conditions,it could be fatel!
Most people, that get shocked, receive more harm from other sources---like falling or bumping ther head--then they get from the shock
 
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Old 09-20-10, 09:32 AM
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Back when I was a youngster I was told to go in the basement a straighten/clean up my daddy's shop. Everything went well until I ran across a lamp plug [no wire or lamp, just a plug] my pea brain decide the best place to put it was in the wall plug in. I got zapped, the lights went out and I landed across the room next to the furnace. After I realized what had happened, I removed the plug, replaced the fuse and I've had a healthy respect for electricity ever since!
 
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