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Knock Out for that Circuit Breaker Panel

April 30th, 2010

During an Acceptance Testing procedure on new circuit breakers and electrical switchgear used in a manufacturing plant, we ran into a squabble over a 2 inch hole in the side of a power panel.  This was strange because the cost of a 2” knockout closure is nothing.  It was just a small detail on our checklist. But the owner’s representative was determined to make his point that it was unnecessary because the new and the old circuit breaker panel boards were in a locked room and only electricians and other authorized personnel were allowed to enter.

 

This really wasn’t going to cost anything and usually MIDWEST just tells the electrical contractor about these little things and they take care of them willingly. In this case, the contractor was already off the job and we were just following up on more important details, like several breakers that did not meet the interrupting rating required.

 

When we spoke of code and construction in a “workmanlike manner,” it didn’t seem to make a difference.  When we spoke of rodents or accidental entry of something conductive, we were met with disbelief.   

 

Then MIDWEST politely explained examples of rodents causing electrical failures. And we recounted a tragic accident where two ceiling workers were seriously injured when the fixture wire they were working with, was accidentally extended into an opening in similar electrical equipment, causing a horrible electrical fault on the line side of the protective circuit breaker. At this point there was silence and a simple instruction to just take care of it.  Sometimes the human factor is more difficult to deal with than circuit breakers and switchgear. 

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