complicating-updating new box for client, electrician F***** it up-pics included

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by Kraze, Aug 22, 2007.

  1. Kraze

    Kraze New Member

    Messages:
    6
    am a contractor changing out a box for a client. He had a electrican who on the side came and changed out his box and left him with this(see pics, I broke it open so you can see ALL views, from the shoddy work to where the wire enters from the outside) and $800.00 broker.For those of you who suggest I hire a electrician unless your goign to donate money for the cause this is impossible due to lack of finances for the client. I am doing this because I have done alot of work for him in past, and the current condition that the stupid electrician left for him I wouldnt' trust another electrician to come in cause I could do better work than this clown can. Even though i'm not a electrician I do have experience with similar such as 220v installs, subpanels, wiring new homes and such. I built additions and installed jacuzzi tubs and rewired fans and all sorts of nice electrical projects. However, I know just little beyond common knowledge along lines of dealing with meters and service cable.
    first off the guy bought this box installed half a** and left with the clients money never to return. Its a 200amp box i belive, I didn't pay attention I could be wrong, the client told me thats what he was supposed to be installing a 200amp anyway, So really Im just going by that guess. So heres my questions
    1. what size service cable do I need for the entrance for a 200amp service, He doesnt' run nothing to heavy, has electric range,no dishwasher, no jacuzzis or even forced air ac. He rents the basement and upstairs and will be using 4 window ac units total, his furnace is over 17 years old. Just basic lights, he dont' even use a computer. However! he wants to sell it soon, and who knows what the future holds for the new would be owners electrical needs. Maybe a 100amp or 150 would suffice.
    2. how do I disconnect the power so I can run the wire? do I remove the meter head(part thats enclosed in glass)? Its not locked or tagged as you can see iin the pictures, After I remove it its safe correct? They wont upgrade his meter UNTIL the box is upgraded. Then if I remove the power to connect the new wire obviously I wont' have power to the house, which I guess I'll have to call them to schedule my time to connect it to the box? Or do they connect it to the box as well? ir is just to the meter are they responsible for? Do I just run the wire through a new hole, leave it all disconnected until they show then while they are changing out the box, i remove the old wire and install the new ones? or perhaps remove the meter head to disconnect all electric to box, change everything out run wires as needed, get it all framed in and when finished reconnect the meter head, or before reconnecting the meter head do I just run the new service cable from my new installed box to the old box totally eliminating the old cable, then reconnect the head, and when they come out they will remove the newly installed cable and reconnect to the new meter?
    3. the current meter is 100amp correct?, so this would be changed out if wanted to upgrade, If I leave it at 100a then what main breaker would I use? a 100amp breaker then go from there? I understand that the 100amps you use is only calculated at load(current use, as everything not on at once). Heard one similar answer on 100a service, to use a 90A breaker instead :confused: Heres another question, if you look on this new box why does this not have a main breaker? the wires run straight to the buss? NO breaker to flip in case of emergency? why? I want to eliminate ALL wires that are not necessary, so that grey box that is there is going bye bye,(If it cannot, please explain why), the junction box rewired, and all the wires properly in grommets and fasten down all wires.
    4. Should I ground this to cold water pipe or should I run 2 rods in the ground for this? dont' see where they grounded this, How do I tell if its grounded?
    5. I know basic loads, but not qualified to do a house load calculation what is the formula to figure this out? Or any directions to any websites would be useful, perhaps you know of one I have yet to visit. How about any sites on volt meter usage, I'd be interested in learning some of this stuff in my spare time. Any advice from the experienced that may be of use?
    6. last simple question, I put electrical tape on all my connections, is this a sign of an amateur? I was told that it was unnecessary and was a sign of a do it yourselfer/amateur...he was nice about it(i think) but I keep wondering what this licensed electrician said was true, because the pictures you see if from a electrician and he taped teh connections(very badly I might add)


    Just letting you know ALOT of these questions I ask I already have an answer for or already think I know the answer, but asking just to reassure myself. Just lettign you know as the only wrong answer or comment that anyone can post is to hire a qualified electrician:mad: After all if I do electrocute myself its more work for you guys in the future since I won't be around..LOL :)
    sorry for any confusion, but I have to get to teh jobsite and Im in a hurry. so disregard any spelling or grammer issues. Looking forward to any and all comments and hopefully learn some new things. Thanks in advance to all who help me out, it is greatly appreciated, and any advice given would be given credit for, but I WILL NOT!! hold anyone responsible for any ADVICE given. :cool:

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  2. Kraze

    Kraze New Member

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    6
    more pics 2

    more pics for you

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  3. Kraze

    Kraze New Member

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    6
    pics 3

    here is 3rd page of pics

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  4. Kraze

    Kraze New Member

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    pics 4

    4th page of pictures

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  5. Kraze

    Kraze New Member

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    5th set of pics

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  6. Kraze

    Kraze New Member

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    last set of pics,

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  7. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,560
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Hire an electrician is the only answer.

    Before anything else call the local inspector and let him see this system/
  8. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    996
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    Mike, forget it. This guy is NOT worth it. He has started this thread on a BUNCH of boards. He is getting the same advice all over yet thinks we all are the problem.:rolleyes:
  9. Chris75

    Chris75 Electrician

    Messages:
    608
    Location:
    Litchfield, CT
    Sounds like should have hired a contractor to begin with...:confused: Best advice I can give by looking at these pictures is to do a complete gut and redo... so money is going to be an issue, but that job is for no handy man special... call a Electrical Contractor...
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2007
  10. sbrn33

    sbrn33 Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    Fremont, NE
    Say what you want but no licensed electrician did that work, not to mention it looks like it was done 10-15 years ago. There is nothing in the 75 pics that was under 10 years old.

    If an electrical contractor did do that mess he should be reported.
  11. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

  12. cwhyu2

    cwhyu2 Consultant

    Messages:
    1,348
    Location:
    Cincinnati OH
    In 28 yrs of working remodeling I have never seen any thing like this.
  13. seaneys

    seaneys New Member

    Messages:
    192
    Location:
    Chicago Suburbs
    I'm an avid DIY'er who works with contractors. I tend to think of myself as the sub from hell...

    It strikes me as odd that a licensed contractor would go near a project this big outside of their purview. It just seems like a huge liability risk for a few grand worth of revenue. I could see simple items (running an outlet, etc), but this a little extreme.

    My experience is that when I become the official electrical or plumbing sub on a permit for my house, the contractor stays at arms length from anything related to my work.

    Couldn't this really hurt your relationship with the local inspectors? Ours would be furious and would probably look carefully at future projects.

    Steve
  14. snafflekid

    snafflekid Electrical Engineer

    Messages:
    45
    What a pile of sh**, but I think you already know that. I have replaced panels and they require work. That electrician was laaaaazy and never expected the panel to be opened. There are wire splices outside the box even!
  15. crutch

    crutch New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    michigan
    your right i wouldn't hire another one of us electricians because we are too expensive, and it sounds like you have plenty of experience yourself to tackle this easy project. it's not like its something that requires knowledge or experience in the electrical field. plain and simple everyone has been screwd by a contractor one way or another but that doesn't mean because you run into a few bad ones that everyone is bad. this project isn't one you can talk someone thru and expect good results. you need to know what your doing. maybe you can work out a deal with another electrician to cut you a deal if you promise him future work. i just hate it when people say they are lacking funds, that always screams hazard. besides if they don't have any money how are they paying you another contractor with min/no electrical experience. i always get upset when people say they don't need an electrician until it looks like your pics. before you think about saving a buck and doing this yourself why don't you think about the family that your putting at risk when your playing electrician in your off time and then maybe you can scrape together enough pennys to hire one.

  16. It's an underworld that exists, can't be stopped, and will continue through the "I ain't got no money" tradition of morals and values.
  17. crutch

    crutch New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    michigan
    your right, its just too bad that lack of money and hazard SOMETIMES go hand in hand.
  18. snafflekid

    snafflekid Electrical Engineer

    Messages:
    45
    I know a lady who runs a nightclub and I replaced one panel that was burned out and rigged up, not as bad. Her constant bleat is "I have no money" and the whole place is one band-aid fix after another. Funny thing is I heard her acquaintance say that she plans to buy a $1000 flat panel tv for the place. :mad:
  19. HandyAndy

    HandyAndy General Contractor, Farmer

    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    Haxtun, CO
    If the entrance and panel are that bad and poorly done, more than likely the rest of the wiring is jsut more of the same hazard, and your wanting to up grade.

    You and your Customer are going to need to jsut start from the beginning, and redo the entire building/unit, to end up with any thing one can trust, and if you don't know the answers to the questions your asking, you need a professional in the field either to assist you, or to do the job. as you will probly have to have it inspected to have the power moved from the old to the new, and if you don't know the code en-ought to answer some of the first questions asked, I am guessing you will have some code issues that will need to be worked out, and to redo things a number of times will cost you as well, then you have the liability and if something does go wrong, who's neck will they be looking for?

    I hate to say this but most every one is short of money in some way or another, and yes I am sorry your customer got took, I would check references next time around and find some one who is happy with the job and felt the price was fair, and hire who they hired. not just some fly by night guy.

    I don't know the extent of the rest of the project but may be some thing needs to be put on hold while the critical safety issues with the structure are addressed and upgraded to a safe and proper standard.

    and this looks like an area that needs some professional attention.

    (and this I will suggest, get a copy of the NEC, and get the handbook edition by the NPFA it is the code with commentary, which helps explain a lot of the code).

    But jsut having the NEC code book does not qualify some one in the interpretation of it, and even the tho the handbook helps one make heads or tails out of the code, The book is (hand book) is about 2 1/4" thick and a full 8 1/2" X 11", and even if you get it and read it from cover to cover, you will still can be very confusing, as it takes experience to know where things apply and do not apply. and which tables are apply to you situation,

    The book
    "Practical Electrical Wiring: Residential, Farm, Commercial and Industrial: Based on the 2005 National Electrical Code"

    will give one some of the basic information of wiring.


    But even if you do buy the two books it still does make one an a qualified electrician.

    There is a reason why they require the years/hours it take to become a licenced electrician. It is not some thing you jsut pick up over night.

    It is more than jsut pulling some wire and hooking it up to a few terminals. As you can see from the pictures you posted.

    I am not doubting your skills or your abilities to do the physical work needed, but to plan and to make the decisions needed appear to beyond your experience level (this is by the questions you asked).

    (no I am not a licenced electrician but I have done more than my share of wiring in the past, (most on my own properties), and my SIL is a licenced electrician and a darn good one at that. but before my son in law was licenced I never realized how much I did not know, yes I could put in a panel and run lines and to all the physical work and knew where to get wire sizes, but I talk to him and discuss many topics with him and each and ever conversation I realize how minimal I do know in some areas of the field, Why mostly because of experience,
    I do auto mechanics as well, and even tho we, (my son and I) have rebuilt over 25+ motors, bored and head work the complete rebuild, until I met the machinist we now use to do much of the machine work, I never knew how much I did not know about engine rebuilding,
    and after you rebuild 25+ you do have some experience, but it no were near some one who has been at it for 30 years, and has nearly seen it all.

    all I am saying is it take experience as well as the book knowledge to be effective in any area.

    Who knows maybe you can find some one who will let you work along side of them and learn.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2007
  20. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    996
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    CLASSIC! :mad: :rolleyes:

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