Wednesday, February 23, 2011

No way to finish a floor


By Nick Markowitz Jr.
Electrical Contractor and Fire Investigator

When you call a flooring contractor to come and refinish your Tongue and Groove Wood Floors
They often bring to the job a large commercial grade floor sander, which draws aprox.
25 amps at 240 volts.
Since most homes do not have a 240 volt 30 amp outlet readily available the Flooring Contractor typically opens up the Breaker Box and removes the wires to the electric dryer or other heavy electric appliance and puts the wires for the sander into this breaker. Often times leaving the panel lid completely off with out any type of guarding and many times on a breaker that is oversized for the 10/3 wire going to the machine.
An even more dangerous practice is they will take a hex key “Allen Wrench” that has been wrapped in Electric Tape and hook the wire for the machine directly across the main breaker meaning the long heavy duty rubber cord they are using to the machine has no over current protection if the wire would overload or short it would burn down the structure often times when they are working in a building or residence that’s yet to be occupied they leave the wire hooked up unprotected over night. The Floor contractors claim there is no danger in what they do because the wire they use to run the machine is very thick and rugged but I have seen more than one Electrical Inspector or Fire Official and make them remove the wiring And cite them.
The correct way to handle the machine is for the flooring contractor to call an Electrician in or use the Electrician working on the job site to properly hook there machine in thru a temporary bushing and correct breaker which allows the panel lid to remain closed. But obviously that’s too much work and expense so every job they go to they risk life and property and could care less about it. If you are the AHJ and know Floor Re-finishers are working in your jurisdiction you need to be checking just how these companies are operating to prevent a fire and danger to your Firefighters because some idiot has decided not to follow rules and regulations and has allowed a un-fused cord to be laid thru out a structure.

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