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What caused corrosion in these wires? water damage or joule heating, etc.?

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    #16
    That installation is totally illegal. Cost cannot be a factor in deciding to allow it to remain like this, it is a FIRE AND OR ELECTROCUTION WAITING TO HAPPEN! Breakers MUST be totally enclosed, never directly exposed to the elements like that. Most likely someone made their own distribution panel by mounting those breakers into a Raintight enclosure called a “gutter”, but it would have had a cover on it that lifted up from the bottom so that it provided a drip hood when open for servicing. Someone has removed that cover or it rusted away, leaving the breakers exposed. That is now totally illegal and extremely dangerous.

    If your neighbors will not cooperate in sharing the cost for getting it fixed, make an anonymous call to the local municipality inspection dept. or Fire Marshall. Once they see it they will Red Flag it for immediate repair or replacement, with the threat of declaring your residences uninhabitable if not done.
    Last edited by Jraef; 09-11-19, 12:09 PM. Reason: Corrected a typo on uninhabitable
    __________________________________________________ ____________________________
    Many people are shocked when they discover I am not a good electrician...

    I'm in California, ergo I am still stuck on the 2014 NEC... We'll get around to the 2017 code in around 2021.

    Comment


      #17
      Can we assume this is in the US? It looks very typical of the type of common things I see when working in other countries. "Make it work and maybe mitigate some dangers and maintenance issues if you have time and money left over; maybe."

      In Papua New Guinea, they had no local word for "maintenance." We had to teach them the concept and then they just used the English word for it.
      Last edited by MAC702; 09-10-19, 12:24 PM.

      Comment


        #18
        Cost is small factor. The major reason they can't replace the enclosure, etc, just like that is there would be two to three weeks of power interruption. Who wants 3 weeks without electricity? The reason is because the procedure to change the breakers or enclosure would be long process.

        1. First. The power company has to remove all the meters. Then the electrician has to remove all the enclosure and breakers. Then
        the power company would give you new meter base for installation.

        2. Then you need to go to city hall to apply for electrical permit (the plan should be submitted to the power company too). It would take 5 days at most. Then the inspector will check the new meter base and new enclosure, etc. this takes long process because the inspectors are mostly busy having to serve so many places and they have to schedule it.

        3. After the inspector check the service entrance panel, gutter, breakers, meter base .. One has to wait for a week before the Certificate of Electrical Inspection is released.

        4. Then you have to bring the CEI to the power company which will schedule to put the meters, and electrift your home.

        5. Whole process will take more than 2 weeks. Usually 3 weeks. All my neighbors don't want power interruption of 3 weeks. This is why in the
        entire Philippines. We don't remodel the service entrance even if it's in the rusty condition like mine.

        6. If it's only cost. I could have bought the enclosure for the neighbors and shoulder the breakers and let electrician replace all in half day. But the major problem is it would take 3 weeks of power interruption.

        In the United States and other countries. What procedure do you undergo to replace the enclosure or change the breaker?

        By the way.. what my electrician did replacing the breaker and wiring was not supposed to be allowed. Had he been caught. We would have power cut for litigation by the power company. I'm supposed to apply for permit first just like the above where my home would have no electricity for 3 weeks. Later I'll go to the power company to explain why the electrician did it. It usually doesn't happen like this. Any remodeling of service entrance even just replacing the breaker needs 3 weeks of permit application (enumerated above), and 3 weeks of continuous power interruption.

        Comment


          #19
          Originally posted by tersh View Post
          ...Whole process will take more than 2 weeks. Usually 3 weeks. All my neighbors don't want power interruption of 3 weeks. This is why in the
          entire Philippines. We don't remodel the service entrance even if it's in the rusty condition like mine.

          6. If it's only cost. I could have bought the enclosure for the neighbors and shoulder the breakers and let electrician replace all in half day. But the major problem is it would take 3 weeks of power interruption.

          In the United States and other countries. What procedure do you undergo to replace the enclosure or change the breaker?...
          Ah, I thought it might be overseas. If that was in the OP, I missed it.

          In the US, it seems quite normal that this is an urgent job, and the utilities and government inspection offices are ready to do this with usually only a day or two outage.

          Comment


            #20
            Originally posted by MAC702 View Post

            Ah, I thought it might be overseas. If that was in the OP, I missed it.

            In the US, it seems quite normal that this is an urgent job, and the utilities and government inspection offices are ready to do this with usually only a day or two outage.
            You can request government inspection offices to visit and issue a certificate within the day in the US?

            Here in one city of 3 million population, we only have 5 inspectors (average salary per month is $250), so they have to schedule it. Processing is between one to two weeks.

            I just talked with the Power company. They said it would be faster if we make a separate service entrance. Power interruption can only be days. So I guess this is the recourse we will take if I can get the neighbors to cooperate and shell some bucks (harder would be to convince each to apply for remodeling permit at city hall). Thank you all for the corrosion identification thing.
            Last edited by tersh; 09-10-19, 09:13 PM.

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              #21
              Originally posted by tersh View Post

              You can request government inspection offices to visit and issue a certificate within the day in the US?

              Here in one city of 3 million population, we only have 5 inspectors (average salary per month is $250), so they have to schedule it. Processing is between one to two weeks.

              I just talked with the Power company. They said it would be faster if we make a separate service entrance. Power interruption can only be days. So I guess this is the recourse we will take if I can get the neighbors to cooperate and shell some bucks (harder would be to convince each to apply for remodeling permit at city hall). Thank you all for the corrosion identification thing.
              This is what I would do.

              And maybe bring in a grounding service conductor, though I remember you said that would involve boring up the concrete.
              Our comedian shamelessly joked about a blackout. Talk about dark humor.

              Comment


                #22
                Originally posted by tersh View Post


                No. When I bought the house which is part of 5 townhouse inside compound. The main panels outside street were already like this (each breaker services one house). Two already suffered lack of electricity. The others would fail in due time.


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                The greatest damages in the wires are in the top of the breakers where rain from the meters and top enclosure flow down the wires.
                The picture supports my statement. Thank you.

                Tom
                TBLO

                Comment


                  #23
                  Originally posted by ptonsparky View Post

                  The picture supports my statement. Thank you.
                  In the Philippines. 99.9999% of our panels were locally fabricated without any standard. Quality is not good that was why it rusted even less than 10 years.

                  The neighbors are thrifty. It's even difficult to get from them monthly dues to pay the security guards. If I will shoulder and put the latest US original Siemens or Square D panels and breakers. The problem is if something goes wrong. I'd be blamed. So I guess I'll just ask city hall to write them a letter forcing all 5 home owners to fix them so we can contribute and share responsibilities for building permits and new equipments.

                  Also we can't put new wires because the houses were 20 to 30 meters away. We can't destroy the parking concrete to put new wires. Hence can't insert any ground (even if we do, all our appliances don't have any ground or EGC). The power company suggested we just extend the wires from existing feeders to the new panels on the right side of it. We will likely use these.

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                  I asked the power company and electrician how to connect two AWG 1 or 2 together and create waterproof splice. They don't have ideas. Hence I don't even have confidence to write to city hall to force our compound to upgrade to new panels when all the splices can corrode (putting them inside feeders won't guarantee water entry from flooded tubes). What waterproof splice do you guys use so I can share it to the poco and electricians? Thanks.

                  Comment


                    #24
                    Originally posted by tersh View Post

                    There is no outer layer. What you saw were just debris or corroded surface. Below are the lower terminals. There were less water exposure and damage that was why the wires were still intact.

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                    Are the above corroded main service entrance wires the worse you have seen in your life.. or have you seen worse?

                    Again I bough the house second hand with 4 neighbors. They don't want to replace the enclosure outside because it would cost a lot so I'd suggest to them to at least cover the following from rain. Any ideas how best to cover them? Maybe put plastic over the entire cage? What do you think?

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                    Parts that are white is where the outer layer is gone and aluminum oxide has formed. Parts that are not white is where there is still some (tin?) plating still intact. I have seen similar to what you have posted many times as well as worse.
                    I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

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                      #25
                      It appears to me that you would be best served by having a competent electrical contractor just replace the whole thing with some breakers in a weather proof enclosure. It looks to me like there is at least an attempt at some limited protection from the elements already but it may not have been done very well if water is getting to live parts.

                      It looks like there is a lot of corrosion of the metal boxes that will need to be dealt with. replacement seems like the only long term solution.
                      Bob

                      Comment


                        #26
                        Originally posted by tersh View Post



                        Here in one city of 3 million population, we only have 5 inspectors (average salary per month is $250), so they have to schedule it. Processing is between one to two weeks.
                        I think I would check to see what the normal bribe rate is to expedite things a bit.

                        The 95% of people that you can't trust give the other 5% a bad name.

                        Comment


                          #27
                          Regardless of the reasonings and justifications for inaction, the facts remain the facts and that this is not just dangerous, it is potentially DEADLY!

                          Situations like this will not get better with time, or even stay the same, it will ONLY GET WORSE and in fact that process is in a steady state of accelerating. When something catches on fire and burns your places down, the cost to fix it will seem trivial. And if, God forbid, a child sticks their hand through that grate to retrieve a ball or something and touches live conductive parts, the blame will be on those that ignored this.

                          DO WHATEVER IT TAKES
                          Last edited by Jraef; 09-12-19, 12:46 AM.
                          __________________________________________________ ____________________________
                          Many people are shocked when they discover I am not a good electrician...

                          I'm in California, ergo I am still stuck on the 2014 NEC... We'll get around to the 2017 code in around 2021.

                          Comment


                            #28
                            Originally posted by Jraef View Post
                            Regardless of the reasonings and justifications for inaction, the facts remain the facts and that this is not just dangerous, it is potentially DEADLY!

                            situations like this will not get better with time, or even stay the same, it will ONLY GET WORSE and in fact that process is in a streaky state of accelerating. When something catches on fire and burns your places down, the cost to fix it will seem trivial. And if, God forbid, a child sticks their hand through that grate to retrieve a ball or something and touches live conductive parts, the blame will be on those that ignored this.

                            DO WHATEVER IT TAKES
                            The panels are located outside the compound in the street. It's not near the 5 houses (which is inside the compound).

                            My concern is the electrician. In the Philippines, since we don't have any EGC or neutral, electricians distinguish themselves by working live. For example. I told my electrician to use gloves. He said it makes the work more difficult. I bought these months ago.

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                            The electrician won't use the arc flash suit. He won't even use the arc flash rated gloves above. He said it makes turning screws more difficult. But I insist he uses gloves working live so I gave thinner kitchen gloves which he preferred.

                            So I will let city hall write letter to the neighbors to force them to fix the panels because my concerns are the electricians of the neighbors who may need to fix the corroded wires one day and working live.

                            Comment


                              #29
                              Originally posted by kwired View Post

                              Parts that are white is where the outer layer is gone and aluminum oxide has formed. Parts that are not white is where there is still some (tin?) plating still intact. I have seen similar to what you have posted many times as well as worse.

                              Is this "aluminum oxide" you mentioned same as AL2O3? I read it is an insulator. When the electrician removed the breakers. The wires ends (30 meters) leading to the house has aluminum oxide in it:

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                              He didn't remove the aluminum oxide or cut new ends before putting it to new breakers. Would this form parts of strands that are resistive and initiate arcing? I wonder whether to call him back to fix it. It's easier since the breaker can be turned off and it is in the load side.

                              By the way, the electrician kept removing the gloves when I went away to get something during the fix. He hates gloves. Foreign electricians also hate gloves when working live?

                              Comment


                                #30
                                Originally posted by Jraef View Post
                                Regardless of the reasonings and justifications for inaction, the facts remain the facts and that this is not just dangerous, it is potentially DEADLY!

                                situations like this will not get better with time, or even stay the same, it will ONLY GET WORSE and in fact that process is in a streaky state of accelerating. When something catches on fire and burns your places down, the cost to fix it will seem trivial. And if, God forbid, a child sticks their hand through that grate to retrieve a ball or something and touches live conductive parts, the blame will be on those that ignored this.

                                DO WHATEVER IT TAKES
                                You are wasting your breath. Sit tight for another 20 pages of questions about garbage that should be in the dumpster.

                                -Hal

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