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[#] Tue Oct 25 2016 12:22:40 EDT from fleeb

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[#] Tue Oct 25 2016 15:38:06 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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Totally. And if he were only endangering himself it would be one thing ...
but he is also endangering anyone else who lives in the same home. Messing with this stuff in the wrong way can make the ground act as a neutral and then every metallic object in the house is a potential hazard. Not to mention what would happen if some other family member thought they could start up the generator in his absence.

What I *don't* believe, and is often suggested, is the "you could kill a lineman" rhetoric. Backfeeding a dead grid will immediately trip the generator's breaker as it tries in vain to supply the entire neighborhood. And there is NO WAY a lineman would ever grab onto a wire "assuming it is de-energized."
That goes against everything they were ever taught.

Squirrels, on the other hand...

[#] Mon Nov 14 2016 11:28:40 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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My current project is to replace the crappy electric stove in my house with a gas stove (or "range" or "cooker" if you prefer).

What a pain in the neck this project has been so far ... just because of the red tape. The inside gaswork has to be done by a plumber using blackpipe, which is fine, but that's also a separate permit from the one I need to get the propane company to set and connect the tank, and do the outside piping.
I might also need a completely separate permit, inspection, and electrician (because Local Fucking 3 who are Hitler and need to die in a reichstag fire bought themselves a rule mandating that homeowners can't pull their own permits here) to run a 12-inch piece of green wire to ground the pipe.

Yesterday I pulled the stove out, so I can sweep and clean the space to get ready for the plumber. It wasn't that dirty, but what I found was horrifying.
The 240V outlet for the stove was just sitting there loose on the floor, no clamp on the cable, and without the box fastened to the wall. Someone had installed a 240 volt, 20 amp receptacle at the counter, which I thought was a nice little thing to have, until I discovered that they had attached this 20 amp receptacle to the 40 amp range circuit using 14 gauge wire. They didn't even bother to spackle the holes they put in the wall to run it.

That's just brilliant. I had assumed the 240 volt receptacle was just a nice add-on that was part of the build (remember this is a modular home).
But someone obviously put this in later because they needed it. Imagine that, if that outlet had ever been overloaded to some value between 20 and 40 amps, the 14 gauge wire would have burned up and destroyed the home long before the breaker could have tripped.

I've already removed the outlet and placed new wallboard where the box was. In the end I have to replace the range outlet with a 120 volt receptacle anyway.

[#] Mon Nov 14 2016 13:13:36 EST from zooer

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It is amazing what the codes department and home inspectors miss.

[#] Tue Nov 15 2016 12:04:56 EST from Ragnar Danneskjold

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I think you'd be surprised that nearly EVERY electric stove is set up the same way..... Almost no one does it right.

[#] Tue Nov 15 2016 13:29:33 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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It surprised me because this is a modular home. The entire place is built the same way: the materials are contractor grade, but the workmanship is excellent.
I expected that level of quality here too. The house is only 25 years old so there are no "ancient horrors" like there were at the Mouse House.

Modular homes are usually shipped with the appliances installed, but perhaps this one wasn't, and the builder left an unterminated cable that someone did a crap job finishing. Or perhaps the box was originally mounted on the wall and whoever added the pigtail ripped it down. I pulled the pigtail out of the wall last night and saw a 2012 date stamp on the cable jacket.

I fastened the box to the wall last night but I'm going to replace it with an inset box, and when the new appliance arrives I'll change to a 120 volt outlet (can you run a 20 amp circuit on 8 gauge wire, or is it "too big"?). I'm going to run a green wire from the box ground to a clamp on the gas pipe and cite 250.104(B) which says "The equipment grounding conductor for the circuit that is likely to energize the piping shall be permitted to serve as the bonding means" and hope the inspector doesn't make a fuss ... otherwise I'm out another $200-300 for an electrician, permit, and inspection.
All this red tape needs to die in a car fire.

There's also the small matter of having a usable kitchen. The electric stove is getting hauled away when the gas stove arrives on Thursday. If I'm not hooked up by the weekend I'm going to have to buy some adapters and slap a BBQ tank on it.

[#] Wed Nov 16 2016 10:32:11 EST from the_mgt

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Just imagine how crappy every installed appliance would look like without red tape. There are people like you, who care about doing it properly. There are lots of people who like it fast and cheap. Those are the ones that get STDs from crack whores, too. Red tape is often ok, most of the time overdone, but it is the cheap and fast people, that need to die in a car fire. ;)

[#] Wed Nov 16 2016 11:50:03 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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Agreed, we need some compliance but where I live it's overkill.  If I lived 50 miles north of where I am now, I could obtain permits to work on my own house -- electrical, plumbing, gas, whatever.  There would still be an inspection to close out the permit.

I agree completely that unpermitted and uninspected work can be dangerous.  Some red tape is necessary ... there's just too much of it here.

[#] Fri Nov 18 2016 12:03:11 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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Passed inspection!  Yesterday the building inspector came and inspected/approved the inside plumbing.  A few hours later the new stove was delivered, and the old one was hauled away.  The propane company is coming on Monday to drop the tank and attach the outside plumbing, so that just leaves the weekend in between.  I think I'm going to go to the store tonight and pick up a few couplers to connect the plumbing to my BBQ tank.

(Photo above.  Yes, I know you can see the drywall joint.  I don't care.  Once the stove is in place no one will ever see it again.)

Electric was converted from 240 volts to 120 volts, and the wiring is now all inside the wall. 

[#] Sun Nov 20 2016 16:27:06 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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Propane and propane accessories. Hank Hill in da house!

Yesterday I finished adding blocks/straps to the outside pipes and painting them as the building inspector requested. I also bought some temporary fittings to connect a little BBQ tank and set that up, but the propane company is coming tomorrow so that won't get used for long. Converted the appliance for use with propane (which involves tweaking the reglator and replacing the orifices on all seven burners) and was getting ready to do the final connection when ... I discovered that the very last fitting didn't match. I suspect sabotage by ninja cats. So I had to make a third trip to Home Despot this morning to get another part.

But it's working now. Pretty blue flames. I'll be glad to have this project behind me. Projects are fun, stress is not. Someone please smack me for doing this so close to Thanksgiving. I am thankful that I won't have to serve raw turkey on Thursday. Now I just have to run it a few more times to burn that "new oven smell" out of it.

[#] Sun Nov 20 2016 21:30:26 EST from wizard of aahz

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Cats are clear. Go ahead and do the burn off thing

[#] Mon Nov 21 2016 13:21:42 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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The permanent propane tank is now onsite and hooked up. Operation Gobble Gobble is a go!

All in all ... I regret doing this project by-the-books. If I had it to do over again knowing what I know now, I would have bought a tank and done the entire installation myself, and then just called a propane company to have it "refilled" because it's always been there. Between the installations and the permits, I ended up spending more on the process than I did on the appliance.

I *almost* asked them to leave a tee and cap on the connection so I can add the grill later on ... and then decided to STFU before I get myself into another round of permits and inspections down the line.

[#] Wed Nov 23 2016 15:31:40 EST from the_mgt

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Guten Appetit!

Cooking with gas is so much fun and so effective, nothing beats it. Induction comes close, but is for sissies. I miss the gas stove from my last student flat.

[#] Mon Dec 05 2016 14:52:52 EST from zooer

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Explain this to me.... this picture does not show just how ugly this thing is.


Is it a tumbleweedman?  Not only that why would someone pay $90 for that?

[#] Mon Dec 05 2016 19:26:50 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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umm ... let me be the first of many to simply say ... it looks like Mr. Hankey.

[#] Tue Dec 06 2016 12:02:15 EST from the_mgt

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but a dry and grumpy one...

[#] Tue Jan 10 2017 09:51:36 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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With the propane project done (for now) and the new stove installed, we're ready to make some more improvements to the kitchen. First on the list is changing out the overhead lights. Currently we've got a single fixture in the middle of the room (plus a task light over the sink) and it just isn't enough, particularly in the corner of the room where we sit at the table.
I want to replace it with an array of recessed lights.

I tend to over-research these things so I'm learning a lot about recessed lights. You can buy them "IC"
(insulation contact) rated, which supposedly means that you can put the insulation directly back over them without worrying about an overheat condition, instead of leaving a gap that vents lamp heat, but also leaks the room's heat into the attic. I intend to buy sealed-beam LED trims so neither condition should be a problem for me.

There is attic space over the kitchen so I should be able to complete the installation with little trouble, even though my attic is quite unpleasant to move around in (as I mentioned last year when I did a cabling project ... it is low height and densely trussed). I haven't decided whether I want to use old-work cans, which simply snap into a hole in the ceiling, or regular cans with the braces that attach to the joists.

[#] Tue Jan 10 2017 17:16:48 EST from Ragnar Danneskjold

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Stick with the old work cans. The new ones are designed to be cut around.

[#] Wed Jan 11 2017 10:13:20 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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That's what I thought ... but I did see some videos where they installed new-work units by cutting a hole in the ceiling, then dropping the can through the hole (from the attic) and then extending the braces out to the joists. Seems like a perfectly workable process, which made me suspect that maybe the old-work cans were intended for installations where you don't have access to an attic overhead and don't want to tear down the ceiling.

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