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Thread: 😧what the heck???😧

  1. #1
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    😧what the heck???😧

    Well we’ve been here for 35 + years now and had “ That Call” no business owner ever wants to hear “ there’s Smoke coming out your shop!” When I made it there the fire department was as well and when the smoke cleared this is the panel . Now of course we’ve got insurance and pay enough taxes that all business's do to stay legal. I’m just looking for a answer to why or how this happened and what’s the correct way to get my shop back in forward motion .Name:  69811557-00E3-45DA-9655-41521ACC3361.jpg
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    thank you for any help with this matter as I feel that I’ll get some answers from reliable sources on this forum. Also Have a Happy Easter and enjoy it with family and friends! .
    Last edited by Valweld; 04-04-2021 at 01:16 PM.

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    Re: 😧what the heck???😧

    Quote Originally Posted by Valweld View Post
    Well weve been here for 35 + years now and had That Call no business owner ever wants to hear theres Smoke coming out your shop! When I made it there the fire department was as well and when the smoke cleared this is the panel . Now of course weve got insurance and pay enough taxes that all business's do to stay legal. Im just looking for a answer to why or how this happened and whats the correct way to get my shop back in forward motion .Name:  69811557-00E3-45DA-9655-41521ACC3361.jpg
Views: 751
Size:  151.9 KB
    thank you for any help with this matter as I feel that Ill get some answers from reliable sources on this forum. Also Have a Happy Easter and enjoy it with family and friends! .
    No answers for you, sorry.

    If you were close by I would have gladly lent a hand if needed though.

    Best of luck.


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  4. #3
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    Re: 😧what the heck???😧

    Is this a joke. At first I thought the pipes all melted and left the wires but looks like there was just wires or what. The PVC would have made a melted mess or locknuts would still be there. What are 2 big 2" holes in back of panel wide open.

    Man to me sorry to say it looks like it was long overdo for what happened. Maybe I am way off base.

    In any case you need a licensed qualified electrician come and rip everything out in it's entirety and start over.

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    Re: 😧what the heck???😧

    I’m just looking for a answer to why or how this happened and what’s the correct way to get my shop back in forward motion.
    The fire investigators will tell you their theory on the origin of the fire. If they identify a fault or a code defect, fix it. Otherwise, work with your insurance company, reliable contractors (including a licensed electrician) and the local building inspector, and let the process take its course. Hopefully you have business interruption insurance as well as fire insurance. Also, be sure to hire yourself a public adjuster. He/she represents your interests and negotiates with the insurance company on your behalf to be sure you get a fair settlement. https://missouripublicadjuster.org/f...blic-adjuster/
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    Re: 😧what the heck???😧

    Rodents?
    MM200 w/Spoolmatic 1
    Syncrowave 180SD
    Bobcat 225G Plus - LP/NG
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    Save Second Base!

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  10. #6
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    Re: what the heck???

    It looks like a shotty installation. There's no connectors or conduit except for a couple on the bottom with a piece of conduit that looks like it was cut off with the wires still in it. It really bothers me that the feeder had no protection.

    That may not have been the cause, but it's a good indicator that there were shortcuts taken elsewhere that may have contributed.

    Unfortunately, we went through the same thing when my parents shop burned down. I feel your pain; a fire is a bad thing to go through. Hopefully the damage wasn't too bad.

    The first step is to call the insurance company and follow their instructions. They will likely send their own investigator to try to determine the cause.

    When they finish their investigation you can begin the clean up and rebuild. Don't touch anything until they give you permission.

    They will probably ask for a list of everything damaged or lost with values.

    I would also start getting estimates for repairs so that you have something to back you up if there's a dispute with their assessment.

    You likely won't get any payment for any work you do yourself. We didn't get full payment for the cleanup because we did it ourselves. I think they paid some for the dumpsters, but none for our labor. At the time we couldn't find anyone local to do the cleanup, so we had to do it.

    Zach
    Last edited by WTXBTUMOVER; 04-04-2021 at 03:40 PM.

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  12. #7
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    Re: what the heck???

    I've seen plenty of meltdowns like that as a result of a continuous heavy load overheating a breaker to the point where it started burning the plastic and just took off from there. I am in the desert and every one I ever saw was an AC unit breaker that started it due to AC never shutting down for hours if not days,. AC is not considered to be a continuous load by code due to cycling but here in the desert is can easily become one. Is there a chance something like a compressor or other heavy load was running non-stop? It would take a load to generate that kind of heat, and possibly a loose connection. The ones I've seen have almost always been ITE-Siemans plug on style and I am surprised to see it in your panel which is a top of the line Square D QO.
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  13. #8
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    Re: what the heck???

    Quote Originally Posted by bigb View Post
    I've seen plenty of meltdowns like that as a result of a continuous heavy load overheating a breaker to the point where it started burning the plastic and just took off from there. I am in the desert and every one I ever saw was an AC unit breaker that started it due to AC never shutting down for hours if not days,. AC is not considered to be a continuous load by code due to cycling but here in the desert is can easily become one. Is there a chance something like a compressor or other heavy load was running non-stop? It would take a load to generate that kind of heat, and possibly a loose connection. The ones I've seen have almost always been ITE-Siemans plug on style and I am surprised to see it in your panel which is a top of the line Square D QO.
    If the heat is enough to melt the plastic on the breaker, wouldn't it have generated enough heat to trip the breaker? My understanding is that you have two components to a standard breaker..................thermal overload, and magnetic trip for shorts.

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    Re: 😧what the heck???😧

    Having always done my own electrical work, that's a scary picture....

    The thing that stands out to me is the unprotected feeders coming thru that ragged hole. I assume that, if there were some now burnt-away PVC conduit, then there would have been a tin nut left inside. I don't understand the comment about the missing 2" knockouts though, we don't live in a perfect world, how would that have been a contributing factor?

    As much as overheating breakers, I've seen the buss bar connection, often at the main breaker push on connection, corrode and start to burn.

    It Amazes me that the fire investigators are able to determine the exact source with something like that!

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    Re: 😧what the heck???😧

    Is that Vinyl Siding?

    Was this on the Outside of the building???

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    Re: 😧what the heck???😧

    Looks like there were enough code violations to have started that fire years ago. I’d say you were lucky for a long time.
    Now to fix it simply hire a licensed, bonded, insured, electrician and give him a check for a couple grand to get it squared away.

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    Re: 😧what the heck???😧

    All of this "code violations", "licensed sparky", etc are fine. It doesn't address any of the faults present in the wiring that are so out of whack, that the building shoulda burnt down years ago. WHAT ARE THE VIOLATIONS???????????

    Don't just say it's crap, say why it's crap.

  18. #13
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    Re: 😧what the heck???😧

    Quote Originally Posted by farmersammm View Post
    All of this "code violations", "licensed sparky", etc are fine. It doesn't address any of the faults present in the wiring that are so out of whack, that the building shoulda burnt down years ago. WHAT ARE THE VIOLATIONS???????????

    Don't just say it's crap, say why it's crap.
    How about the stunning lack of any sort of protection for the wire through any hole in the box. No conduit, no bushings, no caps in unused holes. All that green, corroded, bare wire where it is not burned looks fun too.

  19. #14
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    Re: 😧what the heck???😧

    Is that a 208V 3 phase feed with single phase breakers?

  20. #15
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    Re: 😧what the heck???😧

    Quote Originally Posted by farmersammm View Post
    All of this "code violations", "licensed sparky", etc are fine. It doesn't address any of the faults present in the wiring that are so out of whack, that the building shoulda burnt down years ago. WHAT ARE THE VIOLATIONS???????????

    Don't just say it's crap, say why it's crap.
    Are you serious ? You should have been fined heavily and insurance should not have to pay for any of that. Totally YOUR fault.

    ....and you still don't get that there was even anything wrong ?

    They have been pointed out many times now. Are you blind ? and can't read ?

    That was a abortion that should have went up in flames the day it was installed.

    Rip everything out. All electric gone and start over. There is nothing there worth having before it burnt.

  21. #16
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    Re: what the heck???

    Quote Originally Posted by farmersammm View Post
    If the heat is enough to melt the plastic on the breaker, wouldn't it have generated enough heat to trip the breaker? My understanding is that you have two components to a standard breaker..................thermal overload, and magnetic trip for shorts.
    That is my understanding as well however I have seen this more times than I can count. It is possible that the thermal trip requires a hotter temperature than it takes to burn the plastic.
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  22. #17
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    Re: what the heck???



    No pipes on any of the wiring. 2" knockouts wide open. The main is loose wire no pipe. It is not even good if it was temporary. That should have never been powered up.

  23. #18
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    Re: what the heck???

    Quote Originally Posted by WTXBTUMOVER View Post
    It looks like a shotty installation. There's no connectors or conduit except for a couple on the bottom with a piece of conduit that looks like it was cut off with the wires still in it. It really bothers me that the feeder had no protection.

    That may not have been the cause, but it's a good indicator that there were shortcuts taken elsewhere that may have contributed.

    Unfortunately, we went through the same thing when my parents shop burned down. I feel your pain; a fire is a bad thing to go through. Hopefully the damage wasn't too bad.

    The first step is to call the insurance company and follow their instructions. They will likely send their own investigator to try to determine the cause.

    When they finish their investigation you can begin the clean up and rebuild. Don't touch anything until they give you permission.

    They will probably ask for a list of everything damaged or lost with values.

    I would also start getting estimates for repairs so that you have something to back you up if there's a dispute with their assessment.

    You likely won't get any payment for any work you do yourself. We didn't get full payment for the cleanup because we did it ourselves. I think they paid some for the dumpsters, but none for our labor. At the time we couldn't find anyone local to do the cleanup, so we had to do it.

    Zach
    shoddy

  24. #19
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    Re: what the heck???

    Quote Originally Posted by bigb View Post
    That is my understanding as well however I have seen this more times than I can count. It is possible that the thermal trip requires a hotter temperature than it takes to burn the plastic.
    Dunno if you remember.......a while back, I replaced some plugs, and receptacles. One had started to melt (burnt my hand when I went to unplug it at the end of the day). I found out when I unhooked the drop that runs my shop heaters. I immediately checked the breaker at the pole, and it was still normal temperature. The panel in the shop was slightly warm, but not out of hand. Each heater has a dedicated breaker in the shop (30amp)..........separate from the one at the pole that the drop's hooked to. The breaker at the pole is 50amp................the heaters combined, are 10Kw.

    I'm glad you've observed the same thing. I can tell ya..............it scared Hell out of me.

    When I replaced the plug/receptacle.............the connection ran cool. I feel that corrosion was the culprit. This segment of the drop is constantly outside, and it's protected between uses by an upside down dog dish. After almost over a decade or more, I guess the corrosion caused too much resistance.

    BTW............the heaters had been running all day, starting at around 10:00AM, and I shut down around 8:00PM.

    I now realize I'm an idiot for not occasionally checking stuff out.

    My heaters, once the shop is heated at the beginning of the work day, cycle. Very rarely do both run at once, and once the shop is up to temp, they usually run at low-med settings.
    Last edited by farmersammm; 04-06-2021 at 02:59 PM. Reason: spelling

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    Re: what the heck???

    You can be 95% certain that a loose connection along with possibly the wrong over current but not necessarily. When things get loose things start to get hot but the breaker does not know or see that and continues to cook until something gets hot enough to ignite itself or something in contact with the wiring. A loose connection on a traditional breaker will not usually cause it to trip and even 15/20 amps on loose connection can create plenty of heat without drawing more than the breakers rating. These aren't shorts to ground remember.It thinks it is normal load.

    None or most of this looks like it was not in proper piping. Panel cover may have not been on. The feeders exposed. When you see that you just know it is all a mess.

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    Re: what the heck???

    Anyone see the feed coming through the wall, looks like it has been rubbing on the cut away tin. That is really bad. Looks like a lot of the hot wires on the right side have been pulled tight and all ran through the 1 unsupported hole on the bottom left.

    I know I dont always do things exactly proper, but I have always feared losing 500k in machinery to a $3 connector. I normally run electricians out because I want oversized wires and such and they dont understand why I want things done right.

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    Last edited by Country Metals; 04-06-2021 at 09:17 PM.

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    Re: what the heck???

    When you reorient the pic like that, I am starting to think that the fire didn't start inside the panel. More pics would help, but fire spreads up and out much more than it spreads down. That fire started outside the panel to the right where to coke bottle opener is situated on the wall. I am not saying there's not a million code violations, but my money says something else started that fire.
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    Re: what the heck???

    Thanks for y’all’s opinions on what information I had . This is inside a shop that’s been working 35+ years with that panel. Now NOTHING was on except WiFi and a security camera. Oh and phone. We’ve heard everything from what you’ve been replying as well. Even by certified electricians as they chuckled and looked back over the mom and pop shop and said but it’s been working out this long just if you get any more workers and welding machines you’ll need a new bigger panel. It was even moved by the electric company! And turned back on .! As for the wise cracks I new they would happen, that’s just people mad at themselves for their own personal choices. Those remarks really show it too but Anyways ...
    And as the security cameras shows me checking machines and tanks and out the door I went out the door as the cowbell rang.—-Reason being ,because when firemen and I arrived the only electric door was wide open and the fire marshal definitely wanted to know that .
    Now then, the electric company came out and said that the transformer went back to box with 45,000 volts and it welded the 200 amp breaker then back to transformer and blew two fuses at pole. I seen them put em up when they cut loose from building.
    Yeah the panel was way outta code violations even for a 3rd world country standards we all can see. And the new will have everything 2021 code approved. I’m just checking azzholes before the discussion with insurance company is why I came here. All my old timers have passed.. Oh as for the security cameras last pic before going offline as it says is a white light about 8’ off the ground aprox at meter disconnect, outside it’s even that high .. Like 5-5.5 feet somewhere is code I THINK. Not 8’ I’ve got other pics if anyone is somewhat respectfully curious that might have some insight about any of this. I’ll weed through the remarks to find those ones that use this forum for helping and problem solving.
    Thanks for your response .
    Sorry I didn’t get to finish with this last night but interesting thing happened today while at burnt shop, the electric company came out to a power outage here,.... I said well yeah I’m the last on this leg but they said naw fuse is blown,? I said nothing is on it and they changed em Monday. But one was gone they blamed a bird squirrel, ape, etc, got in it . I said strange, 35+ years and never had blown and blowers again? Well then I get my phone out to record these hardheaded linemen. Well one was , and as he’s using a yellow pole the young guy says “ Bill stop and look, ain’t that oil coming out , naw I’m gunna hit it anyways “ mind you I’m right there when he has it looped on top and says well I’m gunna Tap it....���� kaboom . And they get in there truck and leave .
    also sorry for the sideways pics , but ANY INFORMATION would help as I’m just wanting to get the correct answers and of course the blame. Then eventually weld stuff up and keep my little town happy with their metal and aluminum items or floating as always.
    God bless our Veterans and troops !
    -thank you
    valweld .
    P.s. the panel inside was on but machine screws were wobbly, so I assumed it blew off during the electric issue.
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    Last edited by Valweld; 04-07-2021 at 05:24 PM.

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  30. #24
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    Re: what the heck???

    I think what youre going to find is that people dont believe your story. There is no way on Gods green earth that line took 45,000 volts. Where, pray tell, would that have been fed from? In my experience, an electrical utility admitting responsibility for anything is hard to find.

    Now, I would believe that you used up your luck with that panel, shorted your feed to ground and blew the fuses at the pole. Youre not going to convince anyone that the panel was just fine and it must have been the utility.

    Anyway, your insurance investigation is going to tell the tale.

    Oh, and I dont believe your electric utility moved that panel, either. Took one look and pulled your meter, Id believe.

  31. #25
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    Re: what the heck???

    In light of these new facts it sounds like you may have had a short in the line conductors on or in your building which caused a massive amount of amperage to flow causing a fireball inside the panel before the transformer mains blew. We had one where a roofing truck backed into the main and it went line to line, the amount of damage in just the short time before the mains opened was unbelievable.
    Then again if the mains fuse blew again when you were disconnected (which it looks like that's what you are saying) I don't know, are you the only one on that transformer? Is your service drop damaged, what about your meter base? Have they clipped your service drop at the transformer?
    Last edited by bigb; 04-07-2021 at 07:46 PM.
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