I’ve been working as an electrician for almost a year now and I’ve seen things that have made me stop in my tracks simply because of how ridiculous they were.
I’ve been on jobs that honestly didn’t require an electrician, just plain simple logic. I understand if you can’t use a breaker if you’ve been using screw-in fuses your whole life.
I’m talking about people who call with problems like “There’s no lights in the living room.”, and it turns ut to be a burnt lightbulb. Or the classic; “My television is plugged directly into the wall and works fine, but my components plugged into a power-bar do not work, do I need a new power-bar?” When I go check, all I have to do is turn on the power-bar.
I’ve done jobs in homes that the homeowner decided to renovate on his own. Most of the time the client nows what he’s doing and did it well too. All we have to do is the connections in the panel. Occasionally we get the odd customer that we have to completely redo what he already did because it’s a hazard.
Sometimes we see things that are just astonishingly dumb. Like the story I’m building up to in this post.
A client had called us asking to run some new circuits to the electrical panel as well as move the panel from the basement to the main floor.
We arrive at the house get to work right away, my boss prepping the holes in the walls and floor to run all the wiring and I was removing all the wires from the panel.
At one point I got zapped, nothing serious, only 120v but still it shocked me (see what I did there?) that the line still had power considering we had turned off the main power supply.
I followed the wire and saw that it went into the other basement apartment’s electrical panel. That was the first thing I noticed. Second was that unlike the panel I was working on, this one wasnt accessable from the storage room I was in. This one was only accessable from the basement apartment that the home owner was renovating, all I could see of this second panel was it’s back.
When the owner unlocked the door and let me into that second basement apartment I saw the dumbest DIY project I’ve ever seen.
To be frank, I was surprised at this one because the homeowner actually did some pretty amazing work throughout his whole house. I don’t now what he was thinking when he was doing this project but boy did I laugh at how dumb it was:
For some reason the guy decided to build his shower over the front of the electrical panel that was already in place. Well, at least he used the waterproof drywall for his bathroom renovation.
When my boss asked him why he hid the electrical panel behind the shower or how did he plan on resetting a breaker if one ever jumped, his reply was simply;
“I thought that you can open it from the back or the front.”
You thought wrong buddy.
We managed to finish the original job but we’re still waiting on a call back from him. He was supposed to call us back after he took down his shower so that we can move that panel to a different wall.