They drilled my romex!

Tweakophyte

SatelliteGuys Family
Original poster
Jun 10, 2004
64
0
Boulder, CO
When my 721 upgrade was installed they needed to drill another hole into the basement. In doing so they "nicked" two runs of romex, which popped the circuit breaker. The tech, who said he worked for an electrical contractor repaired it by:
- peeling back the outer sheathing and inspecting the nick
- separating the three wires for another check
- wrapping the wires in electrical tape
- folding the sheathing back over the repair and taping some more.

Does that sound like the proper repair? Is this up to code? Does it seem strange that the tech would repair damage like that? What is the "normal" process for repair?

For some reason the tech's supervisor had him fill out an additional form that was "between he and I" that I would not sue him. That tells me they deviated from the normal process. Really I want to know if the repair is appropriate or should I have them re-run the romex (it is in my unfinished basement).

Any suggestions? How about similar experiences?

Thanks,
 
Fixing the nick

It sounds like it would be a good temporary safe fix. I am saying temporary only because I am assuming that the wire was nicked, and not just the insulation. If it was insulation only, the fix would be fine. If the wire was nicked, then it should be used as a temporary fix. I would ask for them to replace the run of romex just to be safe, or if there is enough slack in the wires, add a junction box at that location, and make up the wire in the box. I am assuming this is not in any sort of a wet location.

I hope this helps. NHDishOwner

P.S. You should consult with someone in your local area who is a license electrician, I am not one (been a helper on and off for many years with my friend who is licensed)
 
In our area, the electrical code states that anyplace you have to splice cables in a wall must be accessible (i.e. in an electrical box) and cannot be buried behind the wall...I second that you should check with a local licensed electrician...better safe than sorry later.
 
Yes, that is acceptable for a temporary fix. Does that romex have a constant load? Or is it for something that is used very little? If it is constant, heavy load on it then I would put a box in the wall and splice the wires with wire nuts and put the appropriate cover in place. If it is barely used I, personally, would leave it alone. Depending on the electrical code for your area you may want to have a licensed electrician inspect. Your call but that is not an uncommon type of repair.
 
If they popped the circuit breaker they actually hit the wire not just scrapped the insulation. If they decreased the diameter of the wire they created a future trouble spot because that wire cannot carry the load. Check with the city or towns building inspector you should replace that wire, at there expense.
 
If it were me I would want that wire replaced from the junction/circuit breaker to its destination. A certified electrician should be hired at their expense. The installers should have insurance to cover things such as that.
 
What all the guys above said. :)

Replacing the ENTIRE run might be overkill - it just depends on how it's routed and so forth. In any event, the nicked wire IS a danger.

Public note: ANY time you're asked to sign a release like that, DON'T! Just think about it. :) If they resist, throw them out.
 
The release is to benefit them, NOT you as a customer. Just tell them that you dont sign any such paperwork without a lawyer looking at it first and see what they say. They would probably rather hire a electrician to come out and fix it than to go that far with it.

I am no electrician but have run a bit of electric wire and done connections along with working with an electrician. If there is a nick there is one of two things you can do to be on the safe side. One, make a junction box at that spot or two, run a whole new piece. Better safe than sorry when you are talking about high voltage.
 
It needs to be cut and placed into a jbox and then spliced with wire nuts. The jbox will need to be mounted so it can be accessed in the future if needed. DO NOT SIGN A RELEASE.
 
The only thing I signed was something saying I would not hold the tech that did the job responsible. The tech told me it was between he and I and would not be filed. From what he wrote (barely legible), it would not hold up in court.

I asked specifically if it needed to be placed in a box and he said no because the copper was not torn. I am going to call Dish, regardless. I'd like to push for a full run of romex, but I am not sure if the fan and lights hook into the electrical outlet, which is accessible from below.

Thanks to everyone for the reply. I will call Dish and let you know what happens.
 
Tweakophyte said:
The only thing I signed was something saying I would not hold the tech that did the job responsible. The tech told me it was between he and I and would not be filed. From what he wrote (barely legible), it would not hold up in court.

I asked specifically if it needed to be placed in a box and he said no because the copper was not torn. I am going to call Dish, regardless. I'd like to push for a full run of romex, but I am not sure if the fan and lights hook into the electrical outlet, which is accessible from below.

Thanks to everyone for the reply. I will call Dish and let you know what happens.

Once again, if the circuit breaker popped, he hit the copper in the romex. I wouldn't believe a word about it's between "you and me." It's gonna go in a file. You are right, it won't hold up in court. He's responsible, no matter what you signed.
 
To be considered a proper fix, the romex should be cut at the damaged spot and if there is enough slack, join the wires together with wire nuts in a junction box that will remain accessible. If the wire is tight, cut the wire at the damage, mount two junction boxes and run one of the ends of the two halves to each box, then add a wire between the two boxes to complete the circuit. Like the first repair, these boxes have to remain accessible. Hope this helps

Tom
 
It sounds like to me he was just to lazy or in to big of a hurry to fix it the correct way. I really think that you should call the installer and make them come back and fix it. Having been a paramedic (in another life) :D I know what kind of bad trouble can come from a shorted wire. That is nothing to play with. Please call them back in.

Bob
 
The installer was sent from Dish, and I believe is a Dish employee. Yes, I will be calling them back in on a few issues. The switch is not grounded and my 301 is randomly dropping out a few transponders that I never had any trouble with.

Part of the reason I signed it is because I had a house full of guests and I arguing with this level of employee was not a vaule-add activity. It took them 4 hours to do their job.
 
About half of all improperly installed Dish work I fix is DNSC stuff. The biggest reason for their incompetence is simple: they pay less than contractors make, their benefits are neglible, and their management isn't exactly a brain trust and that management doesn't like to hire techs smarter than them who know to cancel jobs for no proper line of sight, no way to ground, etc.

Consequently, you get them using uninsulated staples in vinyl siding, not plumbing the mast, using multiple switches in cascade instead of quads, drilling through romex, not grounding, and worse.

You'd think that eventually someone in DBS would notice that most installers these days aren't considered competent enough to install analog cable and are the dregs that the cable world has rejected. And more to the point that they are butchering the rep of DBS.

That paper they wanted you to sign is a violation of DNSC/Dish internal rules and bordering on illegal. DNSC has insurance covering the work of their techs and the cost of repairing that damage by an electrician would be easily covered with the submission and the tech given usually at worst a stern warning. All they did was compound their mistake.
 
Here's the end of the story...

Six days later I called DNS back. I told the person on the phone what happened, and he started to challenge me. "Why did you wait so long?" I asked if the techs were certified electricians and he said "no". He said he would need to review the paperwork and get back to me. By the way, I did not get angry at this person because I already had Plan B in mind.

Not feeling good about the exhance, I wrote the "CEO" customer servive group. Whithin 5 minutes I was called back. Two nights later the electrician came out and fixed the problem. (By the way, he used the same technique after inspecting the damage.)

The "CEO" contact was excellent to work with. I explained that if the original person I called had been understanding, I would not have needed to use this option. I passed on what I believe to be useful feedback in improving the level of service. I had some other problems with this install not being grounded. I will touch on the in the other thread. Overall I was very pleased with the response I got AFTER I used the "CEO" options.
 
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