Sunday, September 10, 2017

Slvania Circuit Breakers & Panels Dilemma

Service call original wiring 1 Sylvania breaker panel 240 volt 200 amp 1 Sylvania 240 volt 100 amp both panels stuffed full of 240 volt breakers and 120 volt piggyback breakers with wiring crammed in and less than 10 years old from a total rewire that was done by licensed electricians and inspected from a total remodel.

Client wants to add a 2.5 KW 240 volt load for a Sauna and wants to know how safe it would be to do so? The 2 panels are both Main Breaker and lead to overhead and underground to grid tied utility pole CT meter tap and meter is located on this utility pole.

The 240 volt 100 amp panel Out Building and would hold the intended new load and is located away from the 200 amp Home panel as described above for grid utility metering. 
(But the wires from grid wires to 100 amp Main Breaker are only #2 aluminum? 
How this even got inspected and passed and then hooked up by the grid utility is beyond me?) In short the only right fix for the #2 aluminum wires in question, that are not rated for 100 amps and the only fix is replacement to #2 copper thhn.

 Personally I dislike aluminum wire of any type because of the oxidation process that can happen if the oxide paste fails. Along with any aluminum wire needs to be twice the size of any copper wire for the same wattage & amperage being operated.

The next problem is the name Sylvania, go do any online research and you will discover nightmare after nightmare with these circuit breaker panels and also the breakers themself. The problem stems from the way the breakers snap onto the buss bar with a Zinsco engineering clip design that was prone to many failures. The only recommendations that I can find to see if a Sylvania breaker panel is good or bad? Is to have a licensed electrician shut the Main Breaker off and remove each breaker for inspection of arcing damage along with the buss bar where the breaker came from. Research has shown that clip failure causing loss connection and also code does not allow cross referencing brands of various manufactories.

In this service call there not only is Sylvania circuit breakers but also Square D Homeline, G E, ITE and one other I can not make out? So in this case I have 5 different breaker manufacturers all new less than 10 years ago? Where does this end? Sadly it keeps going because every bit of it already has been inspected and passed and the homeowner does not have a clue of the screwing that they got on the updated electrical that they paid for less than 10 years ago. Without removing every outlet and switch and doing a visual inspection as well as a test tone inspection God and the licensed contractor who did the original rewire work know where all those wires lead to? Just looking at the craftsmanship that they left behind tells of fault after fault. (An example of this is SEU cable in the 2" riser pipe for the 100 amp panel the SEU neutral is bare aluminum wrapped with black tape inside the 100 amp panel. The whip going to the central AC unit outside is regular flexible conduit rated for indoor use but they got clever and painted it gray. The whip should be weatherproof coated rated as well as all exterior whip connections.)

All I can do is document what I see for this client and let them make there own choices on how to proceed with or without additional repairs as the last licensed electrician sure did not do these people a good job at all. So back to the the original question can the 100 amp panel hold the 2.5 KW 240v load?

Yes as long as no other large 240 volt loads are also operated on the original #2 aluminium wires (grid to Main Breaker) will hold the 2.5 KW load. 

Clearly you can see that a quality craftsman takes every aspect of a client's wattage load requirements into consideration as well as what he has to work with when it comes to original wiring issues. These 2 Sylvania panels have a bad rap and I would not want them in my home period. 

A to Z D B Electric has your electrical needs taken care of with quality craftsmanship and services.

D B Electric

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Alternative Electrical Energy 2017 and Onsite Wattage Loads

Any AC electrical power usage consumes wattage for operation cycle an example of this is turn any AC load off or on and wattage is being consumed. Every onsite AC electrical power usage is different for each off grid or grid tied location because of the needed wattage to operate total onsite wattage usage and needs.
Grid tied customers have a much better advantage when considering lowering or eliminating their monthly billing as the KW or Kwh gives a better understanding needed to adjust those numbers into a alternative electrical energy system for their onsite wattage needs. Off grid and remote alternative
electric energy is as simple as spread sheeting every intend AC or DC device to be operated and matching those numbers for the required onsite system.
Grid quality AC single and three phase electrical power energy can be matched by alternative electrical energy that is also grid quality. It never has been so reliable and easy to make alternative electrical energy than it is right now today with the advancement in microprocessor controlled devices.

 Alternative electrical power can be achieved by anyone that wants to invest into a system that pays for itself by lowering or eliminating grid tied monthly billing. There are many off the shelf vendors worldwide that offer grid quality products that are designed to be mixed and matched with other vendors products of the same grid quality standards.  This allows systems to start small and as funding allows keep adding to meet the final onsite system needs.

Alternative electrical energy is no more than adding up your wattage loads and designing the required system that can meet or exceed those required wattage loads. The higher the voltage the less the amperage draw for the same wattage being operated gives the best yields possible for alternative electrical energy . Todays 2 main solar panel types are DC charging to battery bank control and AC no batteries required that tie direct into AC electrical circurit breakers. Wind power even in small systems are all ready 1 or 3 phase AC and have to be rectified down to DC voltage for charging.

Combining and making these various alternative electrical energy devices play together nicely is achieved effortlessly with PLC (programmable logic controller) and SCADA software.
This mixing and matching of various grid quality vendors products can be achieved by adding any alternative electrical energy source for charging solar, wind, hydro. Combining all these switching sources from alternative energy produces microgrid electrical power energy in a wide range of voltage and wattage requirements in either 50 or 60 hertz.

The benefits are endless when it comes to alternative electrical energy and AC electrical power with microprocessor control. Consulting clients worldwide on alternative electrical energy power in either grid tied or off grid systems by a retired master electrician with over 43 years experience.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Good old boy Electrical Troubleshooting

A recent call from a out of State crew called with switching and lighting issues on original commercial wiring near me? The crew could not go home until the projects that they were working on were 100% completed and this was the last issue that was holding them up as no one on their crew could figure it out?

The service call problem was 1 kitchen lighting and 1 ceiling light for an office along with 2 gang switch box for control. Scheduling the project meant after normal business hours repairs evening work for me and one other of  my crew member.

Arrived onsite and spoke with their crew leader and his explanation of the electrical issues? Discover that to the original described electrical issues that also splices were discovered in the attic area X 3 different octagon metal box locations that also are part now of this original wiring issue?

Crawl up into attic area and do visual inspection on the 3 splice octagon metal box locations and discover yet more nightmares of many NMB romex cables of #14 2 & #12 2 mixed together going God knows where and many wire nuts and wires wrapped into a twisted mess in each of these 3 splice box locations.

It worked once make it work again was the crew leaders message to me. Bewildered why anyone would want to keep such a mess as this original wiring harness was in? And it was explained that the the original wiring would be upgraded in next phase of their projects that were upcoming. The old wiring harness just needed to work as temporary power till those projects were then completed.

The fix was to disconnect all wiring within each of the 3 attic splice locations and tone generate each wire individually for line, switch leg, neutral, ground it worked once make it work again, it was also discovered that 2 separate circurit breakers were controlling each light and switching individually.

What took the good ole boys many hours to try and figure out was completed in 2 hours by myself and one other of my crew member by performing the testing of the original wiring issues.

A to Z  D B Electric has your electrical energy needs covered