Have you wondered what is it like to be an electrician for E2? You could find out by becoming one yourself and joining our awesome team! Below, Jonathan Burks details out some fun and facts during a day at our company.
Keep in mind, however, that no day at E2 is a replica of the next day. Every day has its own set of challenges, delights, tasks, and surprises. Each day is fresh and new, where a different physically challenging or mentally stimulating electrical job awaits. I look forward to working with my wonderful team to install brand new panels, outlets, lighting fixtures, and much more for our friendly customers.
7:00 am: The commute to Dayton. It takes me approximately 15 minutes to drive my company van to work at E2’s shop near downtown Dayton. I love the small highway that goes straight to the medium Midwestern city. It is called State Route 4, and it very rarely has any traffic issues. Are you jealous yet? As I approach the city of Dayton, the sun is just coming up behind me in a beautiful sunrise, and reflecting brightly on the Dayton skyline.
7:20 am: Arrive at the Shop. I get to the E2 headquarters in excellent time. I walk through the garage into the lobby where I am greeted by my coworkers. If I were a coffee drinker, I would use this time to get my Joe, but I fill up my water bottle instead for future thirst quenching.
7:30 am: The Clock Starts! Its time to get ready for the job ahead. I talk to my supervisor, Kenny, about where to go, what needs to be done, and what material I will need. Today, I am going to upgrade a customer’s house from a 100 amp service to a 200 amp service. The upgrade will include a brand new breaker panel, meter socket, weather head, ground rod, and run of service cable. It is a challenging job with a lot of steps, but I will team up with Matt, one our residential electric experts to tackle the task.
8:00am: Arrive at the customer’s home. We arrive at the house, and we are ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work, but first, we need to meet our customers, and cordially remind them that we will be turning their power off. Our customers are usually very nice about this, despite the enormous inconvenience.
8:15am: Disconnect the Power. Once the occupants of the house are ready, it’s time to turn off the power. This is very important because we want to upgrade the service without risking any electrical accidents that could easily occur with the electric on. We first take the strong and insulated fiberglass extension ladder off the work van, and set it up against the house where the electrical service is located at. We then make sure all disconnects are off and the meter is out. Now it’s time to disconnect the service from the utility. We do this by cutting each wire very carefully with specially insulated ratchet cutters.
9:00 am: Remove the old Service. Once we cut and cap off the utility service drop properly, we are ready to start removing the old service equipment. Matt goes into the house to start removing the outdated 100amp panel while I begin to extract the worn service cable, straps, meter hub, and weather head. The service cable’s insulation is peeling everywhere as I tear it off. It sure needed to be replaced! Also, inside the old meter hub, I notice that the main phase terminals are starting to corrode. This could have resulted in the customer losing power all the sudden or worse, so I am glad they chose to upgrade their service. Meanwhile, Matt is busy taking out the unreliable Federal Pacific panel. He is expertly sliding each circuit out of it so that, when empty, he can unfasten it.
10:30am: Prepare and install new weather head and service cable. Back outside, I am done removing the old stuff. Phew! That was some nasty cable. Now I can begin working with the new and smooth 4/0 aluminum service cable. I start by unrolling the cable so that it is flat and straight for a crisp, professional, installation. I then mount the weather head at the end of the cable with the individual wires hanging out. This is called the drip loop, which is where the electric from the utility attaches to the electric throughout the house. Now I can hang the weather head with the cable attached to it near the peak of the house next to the utility drop. When that is finished, I carefully run the service cable down to where the new meter will be.
11:30am: lunch: The best part of the day! Today, Matt is feeling very generous, so he orders two pizzas for both of us. Food tastes so good when you’ve been working hard!
12:00pm: New Panel and New Meter Socket. It’s time to go back to work for the final stretch. Inside, Matt got all the wires out of the old panel and removed it from the wall. Now he can start putting wires into the new panel, but first, he must cut some drywall so that the larger, roomier breaker panel will fit inside the wall. Back outside, I mount the new meter socket where the old one used to be. The difference is huge: all the terminals are shiny and new with anti-corrosion material, and the enclosure is smooth with a sparkling silver finish. I go ahead and pull the cable from the weather head into the meter socket. I do the same with a shorter piece going through the wall to Matt’s panel.
1:30pm: Terminations and Grounding. Once Matt has his wires in the new panel, he can make terminations on lugs and breakers. There are numerous rules in the NEC on terminating wires, so Matt is careful to do everything according to code. Doing otherwise could result in bad stuff. He also makes sure the proper grounding electrodes are being bonded in the panel. If need be, we will have to run a wire to the main water pipe and the ground rod that we install. Outside, I strip the wire inside the meter socket, and make my terminations. I coat my wires with a special anti-oxidation compound that prevents corrosion before I set them in the lugs, and tighten them down.
2:30pm: Finishing touches and Reconnecting the service: We are almost done! Matt is putting the last breakers in the panel and I am done with the meter. Now it’s time to re-energize the service. On the insulated extension ladder, I carefully connected the wires using a special crimp tool. Then, I put special covers on the connections. I check the meter hub with a multi-meter. We have power! Now we just have to snap on the meter, turn on the breakers, and label the panel, and we’re finished! Matt and I made a great team on this job: we checked each other’s work to make sure we didn’t make any small errors and we helped each other out to get the job done quickly, carefully, and efficiently.
3:30pm: Clean up. The job is not done until we clean up. We take clean up very seriously at E2. We make sure everything is picked up, and all the floors, surfaces, and grounds are all as good as they were when we got here. We then take our tools, materials, and trash to the vans.
4:00pm: Go Home. We have officially finished! Now for the fun time of the work day: the drive home with the satisfaction of the work well done.
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State of Ohio Electrical Certification #13438
Ohio Fire Alarm License #54-57-0312
Lebanon Chamber of Commerce
Master Electrical Contractors Assn
International Electrical Contractors
National Federation of Independent Business
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