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Electrical Problems Uncovered

I was here helping a customer upgrade some lighting to LED. I opened the electrical panel up, and nothing was labelled.  Next, I pulled the cover to find where the wires to this pipe were going to.  Right away I noticed a burnt wire. Wires can burn due to several different factors.  This one does not appear to be loose. But if you have a loose connection it can actually cause arcing in there and cause the wire to burn back and possibly start a fire.

In the breakers, the same thing I suspect that this one here could be because it has a ground fault in it.  This main grounding screw bonds your can and ground to your neutral. This is only supposed to be on the primary panel, and this is a sub-panel. Otherwise instead of allowing the electricity, in case of a fault, to come out and go through the ground as it should, it recirculates it and could have caused this (burnt wire).

Wrong sized electrical wires for the breaker

This breaker is 200 amps and is supposed to protect these service wires coming in from the main disconnect. These wires are severely undersized.  They’re able to serve 100 amps, they’re number 3.  And they’re protected by a 200 amp breaker.  This would allow these wires to get so hot that they could catch on fire before this breaker even comes close to tripping.

Next we need to remove this screw. This separates your panel and ground from your neutral. We’re going to either need to change this breaker to 100 amp breaker and make it a 100 amp sub-panel. Or we could remove these wires and this undersized pipe to fit 200 amp wire and re-pull the whole thing.

We’re going to have to figure out why this caught on fire, why this started to melt, and which breaker it’s going to and replace it and find the fault.

This is the importance of an electrical safety check.

Patriot Pros provides expert electrician services in and around Castle Rock, Colorado! We look forward to servicing your needs!