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A couple of weeks ago, I was up at the Rock helping Pete Brooks with the work on the 40". At that time, many extension cords were being used, some with metal electrical boxes at the end. I inquired if all the electrical service to the scopes and outlets was ground faulted either via ground fault outlets or ground fault breakers. I could see that the outlets were not ground faulted, so I assumed the breakers were ground faulted.

.... I was sort of shocked (no pun intended) to find out the breakers were not ground faulted. This is an unacceptable safety risk. Doing electrial work around a piece of equipment that is 80% metal (mount, scope, control boxes), in a dome that is metal, with wires and motors mounted on it, is asking for big trouble. Add in the fact that the floors might be wet from leaks (I've seen this), and the fact that often people are working alone, quite frankly, scares the heck out of me.

Same for all the outlets throughout the complex. This entire complex should provide ground faulted electric straight from the breakers.

Can we get ground fault breakers put in at Pulpit, and really, at SM as well? In this day and age, it is unacceptable to have any electrical service that provides electric to the outdoors, or to areas where active electrical work is being done, not be ground faulted.

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I agree, we should start with a survey of the circuits. Pete, Scott and I were trying to troubleshoot a problem (no power) a couple of weeks ago and had difficulty determining where the power was being fed from. Geek
Once we know how the circuits are laid out then we should review thier use and make sure we don't have a problem lurking. All of the circuits should then be provided with GFI protection.

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All 5 observatories at Pulpit Rock and the Brooks and the roll-off at South Mountain now have a GFCI outlet installed for those who want to plug in equipment from the outside. Plugging in telescopes, dew heaters and other devices should be of less concern while observing. However, any user should still use basic safety practices to avoid shock by not using electrical equipment outside under very wet conditions or in the rain. Please, always use caution when using electrical power. Electrical cords and connections should be kept dry and in good condition and insulation should be checked often. Please stay safe!

Regards,

John Kmetz

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Great Job !!

4 posts :: Page 1 of 1