This is why you don't hire a novice to do work!

bigbird

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May 1, 2005
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is that right?
no, actually an insider's joke that an electrician or EE may understand. FPE was a circuit breaker used for many years that has been responsible for more house fires than all of circuit breaker brands combined. FPE breakers would not "open" under short circuit conditions.
 

the gorgon

Platinum
Sep 16, 2010
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no, actually an insider's joke that an electrician or EE may understand. FPE was a circuit breaker used for many years that has been responsible for more house fires than all of circuit breaker brands combined. FPE breakers would not "open" under short circuit conditions.

seems like they shipped some of the closeout stock down here...
 

gandolf50

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Apr 17, 2011
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A big problem is that many people do not want to pay to do the job "correctly". I do not bother even giving prices to people any more, because there is always some one willing to do the job for less then my cost of materials. So if its a friend I do the job for free and they can go and buy what is needed or I let them get some one else do it and then listen to them complain about it later.
 

gandolf50

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Apr 17, 2011
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seems like they shipped some of the closeout stock down here...

Or its like some grades of freon or DTT that you can no longer buy in the states, but you cross the border into Mexico and its for sale on the side of the road , "MADE IS USA" but not for sale in the USA.
 

the gorgon

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Sep 16, 2010
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Or its like some grades of freon or DTT that you can no longer buy in the states, but you cross the border into Mexico and its for sale on the side of the road , "MADE IS USA" but not for sale in the USA.

exactly. the DDT of the electrical firmament.
 

the gorgon

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Sep 16, 2010
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bought a car with a crappy pair of horns, once. i go get me a decent pair of Fiamms, and take it to this 'tecnico to install. he tells me that my car is positive ground, and that he has to install all manner of relays to get it to work. i laugh my ass off, and tell him to connect positive to positive, and negative to negative. it's freaking dc, for chrissakes. he goes ahaed anyway, installs it with a relay, and it works. we had a heavy shower of rain during the night, and the next morning the horn does not work. i take it back, and he says he knows the problem. the relay got soaked. so, my question is "do i have to get a new relay every time it rains?". no, he replies...some electrical tape will waterproof it. so, he replaces the relay, tapes it up, and tries to charge me. i tell him to bugger off. it was his fault. he should have done it the first time. he cusses me out, telling me never to return. i go home, dismantle his rubbish, throw the relay as far away as i can, and connect the thing direct. never had a problem thereafter.
 
May 29, 2006
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Wow. There are some things that are simply beyond my imagination. Running a spliced wire under concrete is a new one for me. Somehow pulling on the connection made it come undone? Get out of town!

Once in a rural school, I saw that the lights had ONE wire for the entire room. So if one light went out, they all went out like a string of Christmas tree lights. They didn't work, of course.
 

the gorgon

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Sep 16, 2010
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Wow. There are some things that are simply beyond my imagination. Running a spliced wire under concrete is a new one for me. Somehow pulling on the connection made it come undone? Get out of town!

Once in a rural school, I saw that the lights had ONE wire for the entire room. So if one light went out, they all went out like a string of Christmas tree lights. They didn't work, of course.

Peter, you should know that nothing in the DR is beyond the imagination!!
 

the gorgon

Platinum
Sep 16, 2010
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a buddy of mine in the USA has a hifi store, and he had a closeout on some serious 18db crossovers; dog cheap. i called him and told him to send me 20. i tried to give them away to some of these guys here who make speakers. i still have them all. every guy told me that crossovers are superfluous, and have no place in a speaker. i kid you not!
 

Mauricio

Gold
Nov 18, 2002
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This is why one has to PAY people that actually know what they do, instead of a local handyman that is an "expert" at everything from plomer?a to gardening, welding, interior decorations and brain surgery. I hope that there are some decent companies out there that can actually live up to a European construction standard, since I want to remodel our whole house. But I still haven't found any ...
Where are you located. I know several good guys, BUT expensive. I am not using them, while they are too expensive.
 

Bigocean

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Nov 25, 2010
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Ok, so first off, this is the 4th time I had to "open" this bathroom up. The previous 3 times was because of ****ty plumbing work. This time around, I felt a specific area of the floor was heating up. I automatically thought to myself: "well, if i had other plumbing issues with the cold water line; its got to be the hot water line this time leaking" So I called my "maestro" and we started to investigate. We discovered that there was no hot water line broken and that instead there are an electrical issue. Seems as if the "electrician" pulled spliced wire through the PVC pipe. The eletrical tape used must have slipped off and the "hot" wire with the neutral wire were making contact. This caused the tiles to heat up. A piece of the pipe burned off. I took a few pictures. The first one shows the pipe when we first uncovered the floor. The second picture shows that the wires are "live". The last picture shows the work completed.

6bZxBX7l.jpg

THIS IS WHAT WE SAW WHEN HE BROKE OPEN THE FLOOR. WE DIDN'T BREAK OPEN THE PIPE, IT WAS LIKE THAT. AS YOU CAN SEE THE PIPE IS BURNED BECAUSE OF THE SHORT CIRCUIT. I KNOW THAT THE "ELECTRICIAN" BASICALLY PULLED SPLICED WIRE THROUGH THE PIPE CAUSE WIRE SIMPLY DOESN'T TEAR LIKE THAT.

Uq2TzsRl.jpg

I TOOK MY VOLT METER TO MAKE SURE THAT THOSE WIRES WERE LIVE; AND INDEED THEY ARE. MEASURING 110V.

0Ge4NyDl.jpg

THE MAESTRO BASICALLY SPLICED THE WIRES TOGETHER, PLACED A WIRE CONNECTOR ON THEM AND COVERED THE OPEN PART OF THE PVC WITH A 3/4" PIECE OF PVC PIPE (NOT PICTURED).

Well, there you have it. Probably the "electrician" was using old wires which he spliced together to reach from box to box. I consider myself lucky that 1) My family or I didn't get electrocuted while walking on the bathroom floor, and 2) the wires didn't catch fire and spread. It's shameful and this is why we have a National Electrical Code in the US.

To add insult to injury, I am sure that you were charged for new wires during construction and they used whatever scraps to patch together your house. Three plumbing problems in the same bathroom? Isn't this a new house? Outrageous negligence.
If this house is new and you hired a builder, you should not have to pay for any of these types of repairs. If I were you, I would be extremely worried about other "shortcuts" that were made in the construction and would begin a process of retroactive due diligence regarding the property. Believe it or not, Obras Publicas is quite good in Santiago. I would go there to advise them of your problems, get a copy of all stamped approvals, and especially, very especially, get a copy of the compression tests for the concrete. Then I would get a good attorney such as Guzman & Assoc and force the builder to make you whole.
 

Makinater

New member
May 4, 2013
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A big problem is that many people do not want to pay to do the job "correctly". I do not bother even giving prices to people any more, because there is always some one willing to do the job for less then my cost of materials. So if its a friend I do the job for free and they can go and buy what is needed or I let them get some one else do it and then listen to them complain about it later.

Will PM you right away ...
 

Makinater

New member
May 4, 2013
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Hi,

What sort of construction/remodeling can you do? First thing that we will need is a skilled painter. Second necessity is someone that can install new windows in our walls of reinforced concrete. Will probably buy the windows from siscon.com.do if we don't find something better or something of the same standard at a lower cost.

Thanks in advance,

Me
 
May 29, 2006
10,265
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Agreed!!!!!!!

Also, if the wires heated up enough to burn the PVC pipe and warm the tile floor they probably were pulling a high enough current that a properly installed circuit breaker would have tripped the circuit. You may want to have your "maestro" check it out.

Circuit breakers trip when there is too much load on a circuit. With loose, arcing connections the short can continue to get hot until a fire starts. I found this out working on a winter cabin that was only heated on the weekends. The heating and cooling along with an already loose screw down connection caused a wire to slightly arc and by the time I was able to diagnose it, six inches of the insulation had burned away on a hot wire. If the wires in the PVC had better contact, it would have tripped the breaker, but there was prob an 1/8-1/4" gap between them which allowed arcing.

The other common mistake is when a circuit continues to trip a breaker, some people will replace a 15 amp breaker with a 20amp breaker. Hey look, I *fixed* it! This is not good if you have wired the circuit with 14 gauge wire...