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Post  GallopingGhostler Wed Mar 16, 2022 3:24 pm

Ken Cook wrote:Also provide a inline fuse between the battery /panel. I told my club member this time and time again that you can get a pigtail for auto fuses for the inline link for $5 at the parts store. So I see him again and no inline fuse so I mention it again. Well he never installed it and it burned his Corvette to an ash pile over $5 not to mention he suffered severe burns on his hands. As he was driving, the box fell over and shorted against something inside and melted the wires setting the insulation on fire and then everything else. He tried to pull the box out of the car but it was too late as the interior ignited. Good times.

Interesting story, Ken, thanks for sharing. It seems the world is not short of Darwinian moments these days.  Doh!

I have found that just because one has a college degree and especially a license to practice their trade (albeit engineering, teaching, etc.) does not common sense make.

After I left Douglas Aircraft at the downturn of aerospace, back in the early 1990's with facilities management for a short time with the Interior on the Navajo Reservation, we were doing housing inspections at the some 66 (kindergarten to 12th grade) school locations. A teacher wanted to have his backyard lit up at night in the school housing compound. We found that he had spliced into the back porch light box wiring, an ungrounded 16 gauge 2 wire interior extension cord (you know, the $4 bargain special at Dollar Stores) to a 4 foot long 2x4 board "pole" nailed to the roof soffit edge. Onto it was mounted a dual spot light fixture powered by this extension cord section.

We might have looked the other way, if he hired a licensed electrician and the extended circuit was done professionally, say in 1/2" EMT with weatherproof fittings and 14 gauge THHN or Romex inside the conduit, all properly grounded, and proper outdoor extension box to wire from at the porch light fixture, with the pole extension end looking professional as well.

As is, his work was definitely a shock/fire hazard, not weather resistant, and over a short time, the bright Arizona sun in a very low humidity area would have caused the extension cord insulation to fail. Those stuccoed wood framed houses were built sometime in the 1960's, (looked like military housing) and with limited fire protection services in these extremely rural situations, would have burnt to the ground in minutes. A photo would have made for a good, humorous BEEN THERE DONE IT - I FIXED IT photo opportunity on social media or construction forums. Laughing

Ken Cook wrote:I have a club member who uses a similar box like yours for starting engines. It weighs a ton and he has a lead acid battery in it. A very bad idea because even metal surrounding it can corrode. If it leaks it just screws everything up. His starter didn't have a inline fuse and it caught fire and he tried to undo the connection while it was shorting. He received a very bad burn from this. Inline fuses are simple cost effective measures to avoid tragedy.

You are correct Ken, fuses are cheap insurance, and very reliable. I even saw at another school, where a 15 Amp 115 Volt circuit breaker failed, when a short occurred in a shop office light fixture box some 60 feet way. The copper wiring connection at the switch became the fusible link. (This is why commercial buildings, [some light commercial exempted,] all use metallic conduit. They help to contain a fire.) Circuit breakers are good, but not infallible.

Here are some commonly used fuses by the Darwinian moment committee members. Beers

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