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Electrican Question - For a School Paper Not a Real Scenario

This is to prepare a "defense" for a school law paper. I am certainly not going to mess with electricity so rest assured. Here is my scenario. An electrician with 10 years of experience turned on a breaker without testing for short circuits first. (According to the scenario, this step of testing for short circuits is a basic thing to do.) The electrician gets electrocuted and then tries to sue the company for negligence. My contention would be that with 10 years of experience a licensed electrician should know this. So, can you give me the basic steps an electrician would follow to turn the breakers back on?

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The breaker is to protect the wire. Turning it on first is done all the time. If a short exists, the breaker should trip to protect the wire and avoid a fire. The electrician would have to be touching bare copper or aluminum to get bit turning on a breaker, unless it was a very large circuit. So I assume he/she was probing inside some cabinet or box. More detail is needed.

GFCI breakers and receptacles, as well as arc fault breakers protect people from shock.

What company would he/she sue; the breaker/panel manufacturer, equipment being energized, company that owns the bldg. or company that leases the building, or another company that ordered the work?

The electrician tests for shorts on larger circuits where arc flash could result upon initial energizing - first time turning breaker on. For branch ckts he/she just turns it on and goes to test the voltage (and rotation if a 3 phase motor) where utilized.

Posted on Mar 11, 2009

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In my opinion turning on circuit breaker first is ok. First to determine what is tripping the breaker. Isolate what is on that circuit. There are always different ways of troubleshooting.

Posted on Mar 23, 2008

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