I am an American commercial/residential electrician. Ask me anything.
Are you bored, sad, lonely, seeking validation, or just want someone to talk to?Because why else make the thread, pretty much nobody makes AMA threads about their job here.Tell a story or something.
>>1665616>He wraps his tools in electrical tape instead of buying pre-dipped*Autistic screeching*
>>1665618>Are you bored, yes>sadNo>lonelynot usually. >seeking validationThat's probably a small factor>or just want someone to talk to?This here. I used to make these threads regularly and I've legitimately helped DIYers with problems. I enjoy it, and I enjoy the DIY mentality.>pretty much nobody makes AMA threads about their job here.Ive a penchant for rule breaking.>Tell a story or something.One time I was gonna fuck this really cute chick that id been wanting to fuck for a long time. We were in the woods sitting around a bonfire and it'd been a while since I'd gotten any, and I was worried about my stamina, so in my drunken state I snuck into the woods and rubbed one out. So fast forward to us out front of her house in my car making out and ol cpt Willy ain't doing shit, and I'm getting more and more annoyed that she's taking forever to lead me into her house and frustrated at my dick being whiskey limp. So I kick her out of her car. And that's the story of how I quite literally fucked myself.The look of surprise on her face was fucking fantastic tho.
>>1665625I don’t insulate my tools with tape, but I do use a couple pieces to mark all my tools. The company that provided our tools considers scribing our initials into them is vandalism and damaging company property.
>>1665625Pre dipped are unnecessarily expensive, and must be babied to avoid damage. They're typically used by primadonnas and not worth the hassle. When the tape gets beat up, you just replace the tape. But mostly, it's for identification purposes.
Questions for OP.Suppose I want to use transformers to run 600V instead of 120V across a long distance, about 2000ft. Higher voltage to reduce resistance wiring loss and reduce wire costs of course, and 600 seems like a common enough voltage.Looking to power a cabin on the far side of the property (yes 2000ft away), about 5-10kVA.- Where can you order a pair of transformer like this, do power magnetics manufacturers ever sell direct to customers or do you have to go through a supplier?- And 2nd question, is there any fundamental difference between a step-up transformer and a step-down transformer? I have a buddy who thinks that you can't simply use an identical pair of xfrmrs for this because of some magnetic mumbo-jumbo. I don't know, that doesn't sound right to me. Thoughts?
>>16656512 transformers for a 12 amp circuit? Dude just calculate for voltage drop and size the wire appropriately, you'll save a bundle.
>>1665651 >>1665661The way I see it you have 4 options: transformers, upsizing the wire, or solar panels/battery combo, or a generator. If the transformers is what your going with, step up and step down can be used interchangeably, but it won't be as efficient.
>>1665651>I have a buddy who thinks that you can't simply use an identical pair of xfrmrs for this because of some magnetic mumbo-jumbo.Transformers aren't 100% efficient.
>>1665661I didn't say 12 amp, I said 5-10kVA which'll be 41-83 amps.Think small house rather than merely a cabin, call it 60 amps.https://www.southwire.com/calculator-vdropSays I need 2 parallel sets of 750kcmil aluminum for 60 amps 120V vs 1 set of 4AWG to for 12A 600V. This is to stay within 5% voltage, the calculator recommends 3%.Price difference between 8k feet of 750kcmil vs 4k feet of 4AWG is like $32khttps://www.mysouthwire.com/medias/sys_master/pricing-pdfs/pricing-pdfs/h6f/h19/8856479858718.pdf
>>1665669That was my bad, I'm an idiot. Let me start over. Yes there is a difference in step up and step down transformers, the easiest place to get them is probably your local electrical supply house, and if not, the internet. That's a hell of a run man, have you priced out any alternatives?
how much more physically exhausting is being an electrician compared to retail stocking
>>1665673Thanks for answering. I'm pretty new to this and didn't know the deal about power transformers and how to source them.>That's a hell of a run man, have you priced out any alternatives?Eh not really. I'm doing the most basic research now. Nothing's even built yet so the 2000ft figure isn't set in stone, that could change to 1000ft if I find out I wildly underestimated the costs involved.As far as alternatives I could easily go wood for heat and propane for cooking/clothes drying. Don't need AC at all where I am (pretty far north in Canada) so that helps.
>>1665677Tough to say I've never really worked as a stockboy, but I imagine that doesn't vary much from day to day. I was once an IHOP busboy and that shit was the most tiring BS on earth. Electrical work does, however, I've had extremely easy days or weeks even, and Ibe had days where I've wired up attics in the August heat, or hunched over all day in filthy crawl spaces ect. And usually, if it's not a rush job, you get to take small breaks here and there. But it's very Interesting and rewarding work, imo. I do not regret my career choice one bit.>>1665683Ah ok. What kind of terrain are you dealing with? Rocky? Trees? Reason I ask is because burying a line is gonna be a bitch if not impossible. Propane is certainly an option (or natural gas, terrain allowing)And let's say you did go that route, you could easily supplement that with a fairly cheap propane powered generator for lights and outlets and whatnot.
>>1665702>Ah ok. What kind of terrain are you dealing with? Rocky? Trees? There are trees, but I could pick a path to mostly avoid the trees, where it is soft silty/clayey hayfield with gentle hills, height variation no more than ~8 feet. Pretty damn easy to bury with the help of a trencher I think.>propane powered generatorInteresting, I will have to look into these
My house is 60 years old. I have a wacky basement conversion in my basement and i think the electrical is fucked. Sometimes light bulbs will randomly blow out and there’s a wall plug which is a little loose. When i push a chord in there ie to charge my electric razor, if i press too hard the plug moves into the wall a bit and the entire bathroom goes dark. When i pull it out the lights go back on and i have to push the plug into the socket gently to avoid that.
>>1665616I noticed that the non-metallic wiring ( eg, Romex) in a 1967 house has a ground wire thinner than the 14 gauge of the black/white ones.Was this really done back then ? Is it a concern?
>>1665616If half my grounds are connected to the neutral bus bar, and half the neutrals are connected to the ground bus bar, in an American breaker panel, and everything has been working fine for over 20 years, is it worth switching them all to the correct bus bar? Thinking if I sell it could matter depending on home inspectors. And no, I didn't do this myself.
>>1665616>I am an American commercial/residential electrician. Ask me anything.>Werasince when do yanks have yuro tools?
>>1665715yep sounds like that outlet is the culprit, pretty common, just tighten the connections on that outlet and that ought to fix ya up. then fix the lose factor, either dry wall mud (90 minute hot) or screws or whatever.
Just wired three 12v golf cart batteries to 36 for some other component to distribute for a diy ebike. Can I just wire in a 36v charger to charge all three simultaneously or should I I use a car batt charger and charge in parallel? Rather not rewire everytime to charge.
>>1665634Can't use your own tools?
>>1665616>That driver set>ElectricianDoubt
>>1665733Asshat before me made.
>>1665738Asshat (myself) put in.
Rate my shaping.
>>1665634>Electrician>Company buys hand tools>Company buys hand tools off of AmazonMmmmmhmmmm
>>1665747pretty gay to be honest
>>1665669>60 amps 120V don't you guys run split phase 240vyou could split loads on the different phase and effectively half the current for one conductor more>This is to stay within 5% voltagei know this is botch, but any line equipment is guaranteed to run on +/-10% rated voltage. Since this is load dependent this is an edge case anyway, or are you running all your shit simultanios
>>1665616>wrapped in tapeshit>>1665747>wrapped in tapeshit>twisted togethermakes testing tedious, shite.so shit all in allbut pretty typical for america
>>1665635Insulated are used for the rare times when we have to work on live shit, anything else it's non insulated. Of course it's different for commercial/residential than industrial
>>1665747>taping your splices>not just stripping an appropriate amount of insulation off the wire to where no shine shows from the ass end of the wirenut when you're done twisting it onYou're one of THOSE guys
>>1665616have you ever considered what it would take to build a time machine?like really big transformers and pulsating magnet fields?
>>1665747wasted too much time twisting shit.Your strain relief comes from the box, not your twists.
>>1665895Looks good in a classroom. OP is a goober in community college who knows just enough to be dangerous.
>>1665889got a parts list ?and a circuit schematic?
>>1665767>you could split loads on the different phase and effectively half the current for one conductor moreYeah but then I'm running three 1000-2000ft conductors instead of two. I'm not sure there is any cost benefit.Consider that if one were to perfectly balance the loads on both 120 legs, then no current would flow thru neutral.So why not just omit the neutral conductor, and step up 240V to 600V then step down 600V to 240V with a center tap on the secondary to get two 120V legs.
>>1665715you have some loose connections behind that outlet for sure. probably elsewhere as well. lights burning out is indicative of a loose neutral, power cutting out altogether is indicative of a loose hot wire.>>1665731do not use drywall mud. use screws, bolts, spacers, extension rings, ect.>>1665738oh no>>1665747not a fan. twisted far too much, tape is a waste of time and material. the wirenut is enough.>>1665783yeah, i meant strictly in terms of res/commercial when its not worth/possible finding the power source. plus the tape really isnt doing much for this driver, as the ratcheting mechanism on the handle is metal.>>1665877no>>1665728since i got tire of kliens chinese bullshit. i found knipex in lows once upon a time and it piqued my interest.>>1665716over time the code changes. slightly dmaller grounds in a dwelling really isnt much to get worked up about. youll be fine.>>1665719 im assuming this is the main panel and not a sub panel? if so, the neutral bar and ground bar are bonded together. the home inspector shouldnt flag this but they are fucking morons sometimes. all that should be required in this case is a letter from a licensed electrician sayinig its fine. speaking in terms of electrical theory, they are the same conductor. HOWEVER if this is a sub panel (panels fed by an outside disconnect count) then yes, it should be remedied immediately. >>1665737>>1665775i know more than you
If I wanted to install a sub panel in my garage, and I dug the trench for the conduit myself, how many manhours would you charge for to run the conduit, run the wires, install the panel, and wire up the following:> 1 20 amp 240v outlet> 2 20A 120V outlets> 2 100w light fixturesThe interior of the garage is unfinished, if that matters
>>1665923~16-20 depending on the length of the run from panel to panel
>>1665934High end estimate would be about 160 ft.
>>1665747You don't need that many turns on the ground, goddamn. Maybe a twist per inch with a nut on the end. Why did you tape the wire nuts? If installed properly (torqued until tight and begins to twist wires), you don't need to tape them unless it's in a box that experiences vibration or jostling.
>>1665616Ever been hit with 100 amps? Happened to a buddy last week when he was doing a panel. Heard him cursing from two floors down through drywall and insulation. At the end of the day I asked him if he was still ok he said his back really hurt and moved his hand to around the lung area. Said he got hit over the chest.
>>1665962Just because you see 100 amps on the main breaker doesn't mean you're getting zapped with 100 amps.
Rate my (unfinished) panel>>1665964I dunno man it was the neutral bus and everything was turned off except one breaker for the quickjob outlets we ran for our equipment. He's ok but yea who knows what bit him in reality. Im sure it sucked though
>>1665616cmon anon use shring tubing not vinyl tape, the bits look terible
>>1665962>>1665964Faggot deserved it should of fried damn untrained niggers on site , hope he was sack of site
I noticed recently two of the plugs on the far end of an otherwise ok branch have 60 volts on the ground prongs. Everything else in the circuit is fine leading up to it, and only those last two have it. I looked and they appear to be wired normally. Everything unplugged across entire branch to test.I should be concerned about this right? My house is 90 years old and some previous owner had the knob and tube replaced, it's mostly an ok job from what I can tell but there are some spots that make me nervous as hell (like that one) and at least one wire that connects to dontknowwhere. Lots of exposed switches when I bought the house. Other random weird shit in this house so who knows what is lurking.
>>1666195That is not normal and should be remedied.
>>1665616I have a 20 amp circuit that powers 3 outlets and a light in a room that was added on to the house. Can I pull a wire from one of the outlets to power a new outdoor light fixture or must I run a whole new circuit? Thanks
how do you it so I can steal electric from a neighboring apt. I have seen it done 20 times but never asked how. do I literally just take the line from the breaker and put it into theirs or is there a more pro way?
>>1665912.YOU SHOULD REALLY TAKE THE TIME TO STOP AND CONSIDER THIS >>1665877
>>1665616OP question for you.3 weeks ago electricians installed a breaker panel + mast pole + meter chassis on my power shed.Today the power company installed the pole transformer and ran the power lines from the transformer to the mast on the power shed, and installed the meter.BUT my buddy who was in the area tried seeing if there was power in the shed, no lights, no electricity at the plugs. Turned on the breakers and still no power at the lights or the plug.Is this normal for the electricians to wait until the power company ran the line, to do the final hookup in the breaker panel?tl;dr power company hooked up my new install but there's still no power and I'm not in the area to look at the work done
What's the functional difference between 110, 115, and 120 volt line voltage?
>>1665907Not that guy, but>Yeah but then I'm running three 1000-2000ft conductors instead of two. I'm not sure there is any cost benefit.1. If you have one 120 V circuit at 10 kVA, that's two conductors (L, N), each carrying up to 83.3 A.2. If you have a 240 V split-phase circuit, you have 3 conductors (L1, L2, N), each carrying up to 41.7 A.To achieve the same voltage drop, each of the 3 conductors in case 2 can have 1/4 the cross-sectional area of the conductors in case 1. You definitely save a lot of copper.
I was painting a room last week and popped off one of the socket covers. I noticed a mess of wires and wire nuts behind the socket and decided to do a little pokey poking. When I moved the wire nuts in certain ways it cut power to the other sockets in the room. I jammed it all back in the box in a working condition. Should I get an electrician to look at it?
>>1666363>Should I get an electrician to look at it?for you, yesHe'll tighten the wire nut you fucked with.The outlets are in a 'daisy chain' and the ones that died were farther down in the chain.>>1666325>What's the functional difference between 110, 115, and 120 volt line voltage?https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity> In the United States and Canada, national standards specify that the nominal voltage at the source should be 120 V and allow a range of 114 V to 126 V (RMS) (−5% to +5%). Historically 110 V, 115 V and 117 V have been used at different times and places in North America. Mains power is sometimes spoken of as 110 V; however, 120 V is the nominal voltage.
>>1666338Maybe there's a misunderstanding here.The long distance run is going to be 600V, not 120 nor split 240 w/ neutral.The cost of two transformers is way, way cheaper than the cost of thousands of feet of wire of heavy gauge stuff if I was running 240/120V at the currents I'm interested in.Let's suppose for a moment some other anon suggests to use 600V with a center tap, so two 300V legs. I would still have to design for the "worst case scenario" - where I'm using all 10kVA at the end with a welder or something, and the legs are balanced, and thus no current is flowing through the neutral conductor. (as happens with balanced loads). This means my two 300V conductors have to be sized to handle the maximum current anyway (16.7A for 10kVA at 600V) and then I don't get to use thinner conductors.So because I'm using transformers to get up to 600 and back down from 600, I don't see the point of splitting the 600V transmission line.I completely agree the cabin end should have a transformer 600V -> 240V with a center tap to get two 120V and neutral and I see the benefit of doing that because the cabin will have variable loads.I just don't see the point of using a neutral conductor on the 600V line.
>>1665728To be fair I do appliance repair in Michigan and I have wera stuff.... knipex and wiha as well.. hell menards carries knipex stuff now....
>>1666317Why? If I were capable of figuring out time travel I would have let myself know by now.. Jesus you really don’t get how to properly use time travel if you had it do you?
>>1665728Actually now that I think about it what do you frogs use for electric meters? Imported U.S. flukes? Or is their an industry standard European company that makes electric meters? Genuinely curious now...
>project manager came by with more wirenuts>bag of NSI brand wirenuts come with this little plastic socket bit you attach to a drill >so you can use the bit + drill to tighten your wirenuts; the socket has teeth that correspond to the ridges on the outside of the wirenutWhat do you think of this my fellow sparkies? I think it's gay as fuck
What meter do you use
>>1666369>for you, yesfuck you LABORER. make sure you punch in this morning or you aren't getting paid. I am going to tighten it myself. I only shocked myself twice last time I opened it up. This time I'll be more careful.
Hey there! Just bought a backup inverter generator. Our fridge is hardwired in, and it's also fitted into the cabinets (ie, would be a prick to get out and in). Is there a way to safely hookup the generator to the fridge via the breaker box (fusebox)? We're in the US and we have had all new electrical installed recently. Thanks!
>>16664773rd worlder? hell maybe even risky for american as i dunno what their protections are and they drop toasters in baths to kill themselves in all those movies. Dont die anon
>>1666487Does it automatically turn on if power is cut? If not, why not just run an extension cord in place and switch the fridge to it when you have to go manually turn it on
>>1666535>Our fridge is hardwired in, and it's also fitted into the cabinets (ie, would be a prick to get out and in).read closer, bro.(what is "hardwired", anyway?)
>>1665616New houseOne bedroom is used for an office 15 amp afci breaker in boxFucker trips constantlyShares breaker with hall lights and empty fan/light switch but no load on these.Notice on my power conditioner voltage regularly is low like 113-117 compared to my last home. Switch to amps not pulling more than 3 amps while gaming.Breaker only trips randomly in middle of the day when no one is using office.Home warranty electrician comes out and says no issue he can find.Says afci is shit.Internet says afci is finicky with power supply switches on older computer psuI upgraded to an active pfc platinum rated power supplyNow I have a fucking ground loop sound coming from my studio speakers in the room.Breaker hasn't tripped yet today but I suspect in the next 72 hours it will fix itself.Yesterday when I switched the breaker back from tripping I noticed 5 blinks on the LED. Internwebs says that is a ground fault. Hoping power supply was just feeding back into the line and tricking the afci but I wouldn't expect the 5 blinks. Any ideas sir?Thoughts my friend?
>>1666538It's probably a built in like a viking or something high end. I bet the compressor is external and wired right to the wall. Similar to how a cooktop is hard wired.
>>1666544Switch to GFCI or normal breaker?
>>1666544Just put a normal breaker in, AFCI _is_ shit. Some are so bad they trip with vacuum cleaners and even handheld radios
>>1665747Did you close your drill chuck on the wire and just let it rip?
>>1666755>>1666761House is new built and under warranty. I cannot and no electrician will do so for a bedroom. My next attempt is to have dedicated 20 amp ran to the room but I really suspect a wiring issue in the walls or one of the empty sockets is grounding out due to shoddy building.
How difficult is it to replace a 200 amp breaker panel?
>>1665616one of the outlets in my house blows the fuse every time I plug something in. If I reset the fuse while it's plugged in it continues to work. what is wrong and how can I fix it without hiring you.
>>1665616Plumber here, why don't you own a broom
>>1665616Wby are you afraid of 230V?
>>1666970They work on 240 regularly for most of our large appliances? Wtf do you mean?
>>1665865>Not using WAGOos
>>1666397I think your plan is unusual, but a good one. One thing though, is the insulation for these wires rated for 600v? For some reason I seem to remember standard THW being rated for 250v.
>>1667058Those are shit tier and leave you less room (in cu. in) in a j-box compared to wirenuts.
This is more of an appliances question, but i have an old reel-to-reel tape machine from the 60s that I'm restoring, and it doesn't have a ground. Is there a way I can add one myself? Google is only returning stuff about rewiring outlets and stuff in the walls.
>>1667267>it doesn't have a grounddo you mean it doesn't have a 3rd prong on the power cord plug?post pics
>>1667287Exactly, it's just two prongs.
>>1667267>>1667287>>1667290you can buy a new cord at home depot that has a ground and then peel/scrape some paint inside and bolt the ground right to the metal case. I'm sot sure this will ground every part of the reel to reel because it might not all be connected with metal inside... only taking it apart would allow me to know that.not op, sorry for stepping on your thread.
>>1667293Here's the innards, there's metal to metal contact for everything important.
>>1666866Well. It'd probably be a good idea to call the power company and tell them you want to have the meter pulled outside, so you can work on it de-energized. From there it's just doing the work of replacing it.
>>1667293>peel/scrape some paint inside and bolt the ground right to the metal case.You just use any chassis screw, no need to scrape.
>>1667306I scrape because they paint around a lot of the holes to insure a proper bond.>>1667299>>1667299>there's metal to metal contact for everything important.sounds like a pain in the ass, you are going to want to bond all those parts together if you are dead set on doing this... you know it worked without a ground at 1 time... I get it in the interest of safety but whats the worst that will happen?
>>1667299>the innards,L E W D
>>1667313I mean that all the pots, input/output jacks, etc. are all screwed into the metal chassis. Proper grounding for audio equipment is important to remove ground hum.
>>1667313>they paint around a lot of the holes to insure a proper bond.The screw gives the bond either way. Generally there is at least one screw going through a ground trace on the PCB and into the chassis, usually right at the power supply, this is my standard point for the ground.>>1667329You can cause ground loops and the like, but in this case there is not much risk, if noise increases after you screw the ground down, just move to a different screw, but this is unlikely to cause a ground loop and that risk is greatly reduced if you just ground at a point the PCB is grounded.
>>1667334It's going to ground loop as soon as he plugs in that ungrounded 1/4 audio plug. It's not grounded as I don't see Tip Ring and Sleeve. He would have to replace that as well and ground it. It's better for him to leave it ground lifted. As soon as he plugs it to amplified audio source it's going to pick up every bit of ground and emi in the lines.>>1667299Why are you trying to convert to 3 prong anyway? Did I miss an actual reason? Most older equipment like that has an external screw ground that runs a wire to an external screw ground. Look at how turntables handle ground.
>>1667319What is this from? Do you have more?
>>1667400I was thinking the same thing about ground loops anon, especially with analog gear. I'd skip the grounding
>>1666545>>1666538Yep, no plug. It's wired directly into the outlet. It's a big french-door with water/ice and would be super shitty to get in and out. Esp. When full of food. No, the generator is a portable one, it won't kick in automatically. Thanks!
>>1667463from some artist on pixivsorry i cant read the moon runes to ID it exactly
Hard to see in the picture. I bought a older home with two pong outlets all upstairs. But when I took the outlet off I saw a copper rod/wire in the back of the box running perpendicular. Is that the ground? I wanna replace my outlets and older homes usually don't have ground these people built this house themselves so it had a lot of things going for it.
>>1666888Dub trips for the plumber_why don't you own a broom fag
>>1665716>I noticed that the non-metallic wiring ( eg, Romex) in a 1967 house has a ground wire thinner than the 14 gauge of the black/white ones.>Was this really done back then ?Yes.>Is it a concern?No. The 18 AWG ground is good to carry the whole circuit load at 90 °C. It only has to carry it long enough to trip anyway.The only reason 14 AWG NM-B exists is because the code wants it run at 60 °C for 15 amps.
One of the prior owners of our house "DIY"-ed one of the electrical outlets from the master bedroom through the wall into a cabinet in the other room. It's kind of hanging around, not mounted into the wall. My wife says she got a shock from it once. Do you think it's safe for me to DIY it back into the master bedroom, or will I just burn the house down?
I want to hook up a secondary battery in my van. I want to can alternator to charge it when the van is running. But I don't want any load on the secondary battery to kill the starter battery. Should I use a simple solenoid, or a battery isolator, or a smart battery isolator, or a DC to DC charger? There are so many options and I can't find a good answer. Also, what gauge wire should I use to connect them? The secondary battery will be AGM for now, LiFePO4 later. It will be mounted maybe a few feet from the starting battery. Thanks for your help