Thursday, June 23, 2011

Burning in Electrical panel do to loose breakers

Burnt Bus Bar

Inspected the panel because the client was concerned about loose circuit breakers. We found a burnt buss bar. This occurs when circuit breakers get old, incorrect breaker are installed or general corrosion fatigues the metal. The electricity makes a poor connection between the buss and the breaker. This poor connection causes sparks and heat that damages the panel.

Old and incorrect circuit breakers

The breakers in this panel are between 20 and 30 years old. The wiring is even older. They are all in poor condition and should be replaced. Many of the breakers are in the off position. We did not test if they were even functioning because we did not know what they operated. Some of the circuit may have short circuits in them and that is why they are off. Other could control  equipment that needs to be kept off when not in use.

Sloppy work and no grounding

Here is a close up picture of a circuit that is incorrectly added to the panel. The ground wire is wrapped around a random screw. This panel must of been replace at some time in the past. The wiring that is feeding this panel is before grounding was part of electrical systems

This is the neutral buss bar. There is a drywall screw use to bond the electrical neutral to the metal case. This is not the correct way to do this. This panel should use the proper bonding screw. There should also be farther investigation to see if it is possible to add a ground wire to this location

Wrong Panel Cover

The bury picture below is meant to show that the panel cover is not the correct cover for this panel. There are screw hole in the paneling that are being used to close the panel. The panel cove needs to be screwed into the panel body. A panel cover that is not bonded to the panel case can become energized shocking people who think that they are safe.
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