Make the permaculture electrician cringe

  • Make the permaculture electrician cringe

    Posted by AiNt-RiTe-Acres on September 5, 2022 at 3:26 pm

    Fun with electricity….

    I thought since zone zero is home and that’s where we we’re working now it might be fun to share what we’re finding along with electrical issues y’all may have found at your own place. Let’s play a game of make Billy the permaculture electrician cringe!

    Fairly certain my first experience here will be enough to make Billy squirm as he exclaims aloud … “No! Just, just, NO!…”

    So with our place we have the main floor with a walkout basement downstairs. The setup itself was part of the appeal. The kids have the walkout basement downstairs to themselves while we have the upstairs. We decided early on to have a laundry area on both floors (zones by accident). Since ours will be the lighter loads and most coming from our bedroom wifey picked up an apartment size all in one stacked washer dryer for our boudoir. This required new wiring which is where I come in. Wifey thought the existing dryer line could be used but it wasn’t properly grounded for today’s codes. I’m in a zone/code free area but I try to go code or above. I wish the guy before me had thought that way 🙄. So first things first is to check the main power box and see what we have. A little testing showed that the existing 10 gauge 30 amp line was connected to the 40 amp breaker at the panel 🤭. At this point I’m already wondering why we’re not standing in a pile of ashes but I digress. So I immediately flip off all the power and remove the breaker of chance. At this point I’m questioning everything so I turn off all the breakers and only turn the ones we have to have after testing what I can and checking what I can first.

    Two days later……. (hey I’m slow and disabled).

    My 17yr old and I begin the task of removing the old dryer wire. The first thing I realize as I disconnect the wire from the outlet is that it is not 10 gauge 30 amp wire which is what a sane person would use for a 30 amp outlet. Nope.. it’s 12 gauge 20 amp wire that was connected to a freaking 40 amp breaker. 😑 (seriously.. how is this place not ashes). We then begin the task of removing the old and replacing with the new. The fastest way to do this is connect the old wire to the new and feed it through. My 17yr old is feeding the wire through the ceiling in his room downstairs and all is going well. At this point where halfway there so he gets into the crawl space feeding wire towards me. I’m at the panel pulling along as he feeds it my way. We get about 20 ft of the line through and hit a snag. My first thought was crap I was hoping not to open more walls or flooring. I told my boy to see if he could find the snag and he quickly reported back…. “something ain’t right”… (ain’t right is a running theme here) I inquire as to what the issue is and he informs me the wire is to big. Now the old wire is virtually the same physical size as the new one and most of the holes through 2×6’s in the place are about an inch so I’m trying to understand the issue. I ask how is it to big? Is there a smaller hole? A kink? What is the issue? My son then explains…. you know how we wired the new wire to the old wire? Well they wired the old wire to a bigger wire and it’s stuck.

    Okay now I’m curious… a bigger wire? Well this requires my broken butt to crawl under there with him where I discover that they’ve taken the 12 gauge 20 amp wire and tied it in to a …. hold it…. hold it….. 6 gauge 55 amp wire with about a roll of electrical tape to ensure safety 🤷‍♂️ 🤯.

    So here’s the tally … the old 30 amp dryer outlet was connected to a 12 gauge 20 amp wire that was connected to a 6 gauge 55 amp wire then back to a 12 gauge wire and finally connected to a 40 amp breaker 🤯🤯🤭

    Again I wonder… why ain’t I standing in ashes…. and this place ain’t right. Welcome to AiNt-RiTe-Acres …..

    BLT_Ranch replied 1 year, 7 months ago 8 Members · 15 Replies
  • 15 Replies
  • Billy

    Community Leader
    September 5, 2022 at 4:31 pm

    That sounds like a rough situation for sure! Remember, the thing that makes electricity so dangerous is your inability to see it.

    • AiNt-RiTe-Acres

      September 5, 2022 at 9:01 pm

      It’ll let you know it’s there if you forget safety practices that’s for certain

  • CarolinaCarefree

    September 5, 2022 at 5:03 pm

    You are right. The fact you can’t see it. I have many stories as a communication installer for the Army, but one of my favorite and I will make this short is we a site where 6 racks had been remove but the power cabling was still hanging out of the conduit. We asked one of the locals if this was still live and he promptly links his fingers and grabs each one. His answer was that all of them were.still hot. Team lead quickly states find the breakers. 😱😖

    • AiNt-RiTe-Acres

      September 5, 2022 at 9:05 pm

      I guess you call that one “do you fried with that” lol

      If you were army communications you may be familiar with my hometown Augusta, GA

    • CarolinaCarefree

      September 5, 2022 at 10:01 pm

      Aint rite acres,, I am very well acquainted with Augusta and Ft. Gordon. Was there front Sept. 83 -Jan 84. Went to Ft Huachuca to install school and returned to Ft Gordon about 6 weeks later to upgrade the school I had just graduated from. That’s Army thinking for you.

  • Galley-Cat

    September 5, 2022 at 5:31 pm

    Hey, we are standing in a pile of ashes. House burned down last Tuesday. It was electrical in the attic space. Previous owner wired an RV outlet for the outside of the house. I’m not the electrician type so I don’t know the in’s and outs but …… yeah ….. I’m glad you found the issues

    • AiNt-RiTe-Acres

      September 5, 2022 at 9:07 pm

      So sorry to hear about that. Insurance and effort can replace a lot but when memories burn up it’s a true struggle. Y’all are definitely in my prayers now! I pray that y’all recover quickly!

      • Galley-Cat

        September 5, 2022 at 10:04 pm

        Thanks for your prayers. We are covered nicely with insurance. We are fortunate there. Everything else is in His hands and we are extremely grateful for His protection and provision!

  • FaintlyArtistic

    September 5, 2022 at 5:49 pm

    Our 1955 home is chock full of wires spliced together with nuthin’ but a fat wad of ultra sticky electrical tape…

    • AiNt-RiTe-Acres

      September 5, 2022 at 9:58 pm

      We lived in old farm house when I was kid. Tongue and groove plank walls with the wires running down the inside of the walls. Fabric insulation and the occasional screw in outlet hanging from the pull chain light. We had the old screw in fuse box and there was probably $20 in change keeping the lights on.

      What… a fuse blew? Who’s got a penny lol.

  • Barred-Rock-or-Brahma

    September 5, 2022 at 9:20 pm

    This breaker is currently in use. It clicks amd smells like an electrical fire, but it only throws sparks when you touch it. Its load includes 4 air conditioning units, a dozen or so lights, a 60″ TV, and whatever phones, laptops, and radios happen to be charging at any given time.

    Not bad enough? The dude that works on it wears no PPE, has no insulated tools, and I have yet to see him shut off the main breaker when doing any sort of electrical work.


    The maintence guy came by, cut the wire above where the installation melted, tossed the melted section, and stuck the rest back in the burned out breaker. Somehow he’s still alive, and it worked. Good times.

    • AiNt-RiTe-Acres

      September 5, 2022 at 9:51 pm

      That’s not a maintenance guy it’s patch and run. If I we’re renting I’d be tempted to report that to the zoning office or fire marshal. We all have our own situations though.

    • BLT_Ranch

      September 10, 2022 at 1:35 pm

      That’s rough. NFPA 73 clearly states panel boards and distribution equipment shall not show signs of overheating, physical damage, or corrosion. Article 110 of NEC (echos this same sediment, in paragraph form) yes the melted wire was removed, however by doing that a bigger Hazzard has been created by covering up the problem. Circuit breakers have thermal relays inside, they are mechanical components, like anything mechanical they eventually fail. The most common responce is its still working. Problem with that is…it’s not that breaker long ago failed. Breakers trip for 2 reasons over current and fault current. Never should things melt, this means the thermal relay in the breaker is not working. Think of a car with no brake pads, if you never use or need the brakes you will never know they are not present or not working. Untill one day you do need them and it’s not working.

      The wire appears to be #12. It’s waaay too much to type out but unless these 4 ac units are in a barbie house that circuit is completely overloaded and the likelihood of that being the only place the wire is melted is very low. Minimum is replace the breaker, best case is to add dedicated circuits for AC units as required, and have someone go through the circuit and verify connections throughout are not melted.

  • Molly14

    September 10, 2022 at 12:29 pm

    I bought a rental that someone was living in. When I gutted it I found wires that had been run between the drywall and studs, wires held in place by bent over nails, wire connections with no box and just wire nuts and in some cases tape, on top of that someone had cut a ceiling joist to put in ductwork that had not been used in years. There were many other eye roll moments but a year and a half later and it is 90% done and beautiful!

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