Entire shack/shop/man cave lost to fire tonight

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by W7UUU, Oct 26, 2020.

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  1. N2EY

    N2EY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Excellent idea - but why stop there?

    Since it's a shack - shop-man cave, why not go the full monty? Label each outlet and switch cover plate with the number of the circuit breaker that powers it. That way, if an outlet needs to be turned off, or goes dead, you just look at the cover plate, see the breaker number, and you know where to look. Same for a switched lighting fixture, etc. No guessing.


    Reminds me of a story.....

    Years ago, in the early days of mobile TV camera units, there was a news team that would be sent to the various county courthouses/city halls to cover newsworthy court proceedings, etc. They'd set up in the hallway or lobby to try to interview people on the way in and out.

    In those days they needed serious lighting for the cameras to work indoors, and finding which breaker controlled which outlet was always an issue. In particular they needed to know the ampacity of a circuit so they didn't have a breaker trip in the middle of an interview.

    The tech guy on the crew had a homemade "breaker finder" - a heavy-duty plug with the hot, neutral and ground all strapped together! He'd "test" a suitable outlet by plugging in the "breaker finder" and going to the panel to see which breaker tripped, and its size. Worked like a charm.....


    He did it one day at a county courthouse that was....old.....and should have had serious electrical work done years earlier.

    The "breaker finder" didn't trip the branch circuit breaker, which was frozen in the ON position. Instead, the lights got dim for several seconds and then the main breaker for a large part of the courthouse tripped - plunging several courtrooms into darkness while in use for serious criminal trials.

    The judges in those courtrooms were NOT amused.
    N0TZU and N2SR like this.
  2. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Actually, our local medical center does just that! (And a "red" dot on an electrical outlet indicates it is on "emergency" power, should it ever be needed.)
    N2EY likes this.
  3. W7UUU

    W7UUU Principal Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    You very probably make some good points but please bear in mind this is not a DIY project!

    1. My GC & EC are licensed in the State of WA, bonded and insured and on the insurance company "approved GC list"
    2. The structural engineer contracted by the GC is licensed in the State of WA and also Kitsap County
    3. The "fire reconstruction assessment engineer" (I forget his official title) is licensed by the State of WA and works for Kitsap County Fire Marshal
    4. All permits are filed with the county and reviewed by the insurance company, who is footing the bill and verifying everything is on the up and up

    These disciplines I am relying on highly paid professionals to address. It's not what I do, nor claim to do. I'm not one of the zillion QRZ "armchair experts" but rather am relying on State of Washington licensed persons and departments to assure this project meets all required codes.

    WD4IGX, K4TTJ, WD4ELG and 3 others like this.
  4. W7UUU

    W7UUU Principal Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Thanks Larry! And YES BY ALL MEANS - not only will every breaker be labeled and stored away, every single outlet in the entire space will be duly labeled as well so I know exactly which breaker to turn off when needed!

    Anne shares her regards as well - stay well my friend,

    WA9SVD and N8RKD like this.
  5. N2EY

    N2EY Ham Member QRZ Page

    "The first step to wisdom is knowing what you do not know".

    You can always label the breakers and outlets after the job is all done and approved.

    73 es GL de Jim, N2EY

    The pictures and descriptions are greatly appreciated.
    KU4X likes this.
  6. N1DQQ

    N1DQQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I hope you got nail safety plates for your studs, to prevent piercing of your hidden wiring. My shop was built in 1970, and the shields weren't used. Years later, I came across HOT nails in the wall, which I noticed by the proximity, and verified with a meter.. I eventually remodeled the shop and ripped all of the wiring out, and installed EMT, 100% .

    Last edited: Feb 5, 2021
  7. W3WN

    W3WN Ham Member QRZ Page

    As I recently found out, labels only help if people bother to read.

    Had to replace the kitchen dishwasher a few weeks back. The Boss told the installer which breaker the circuit is on... and this was the only thing on it. Nope! He hit the master switch and killed power to the whole house. He said later he couldn’t read the handwriting (it’s a printed label). Took me a few hours to get all the house devices reset... wasted time better spent DXing. *sigh*

    And... yes, Dave, thanks for the updates! Muchly appreciated!
    WD4IGX and W7UUU like this.
  8. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Public Service plug here: It's a good idea to exercise your circuit breakers once a year to make sure they aren't stuck ON. Those of us who have to chase down RFI sources occasionally probably satisfy this during those adventures.
    WD4IGX, KU4X, W7UUU and 2 others like this.
  9. N2EY

    N2EY Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is excellent advice!
    N0TZU and W7UUU like this.
  10. K5WY

    K5WY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I believe it's against some contractor's religion, or oath to correctly label circuit breakers themselves. The contractor that wired my house filled out the table on the inside of the breaker box, the problem is that what he wrote doesn't match reality. :(

    I've been meaning to buy one of those 'breaker finders': https://www.amazon.com/Klein-Tools-ET300-Electrical-Standard/dp/B003LHJSY8

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