Monday, March 21, 2005

Transformers, Motor Controls, and Circuit Breakers My first job

I had been working since the seventies buying and selling new used and surplus electrical equipment but it wasn't until the nineties and NAFTA that I started working for myself. NAFTA caused so many Textile plants to shut down and move to mexico that it was unreal. The first job that I went out on my own and bought was a Burlington Industries plant in Ashville, N.C. It was a large plant on the river that three men had bought as an investment property. When I came in it was to look at the electrical but what I did was so much more. Burlington Industries did a great job of clearing equipment out of the plants that they shut down but usually the support equipment that was left over was still worth a great deal of money. This plant had Allen Bradley motor control centers, ITE and Westinghouse electrical panels, Transformer with Substations, and chillers and cooling towers every where.
The first thing that I did was get a list of all the equipment that was availiable and start pricing it with companies that bought it. For the ITE and Westinghouse Electrical panels, Allen Bradley motor control centers, and circuit breakers, Jim Griggs at . Transformers and substations, there is no one better than Steve Belyea at . Finally Trane and Carrier Chillers and BAC Cooling towers, Bill Koch at . Once you have a price for the equipment then you have to figure out how to get it out of the building without harming the building. I was lucky to have a guy named Ken Rainey who could rig equipment out of rooms that you often thought that they had built the room around the equipment. Having an estimate on what it will take to remove it and what you can sell it for still leaves you with having to buy. What helped me on this job was showing the owners that the price for all this would pay for them to rewire the plant to run just lights and cut the power bill by thousands of dollars a month. This was my first job on my own and it helped that the companies that I sold too paid when they said that they would.
What is important to remember is that all this electrical has wires that run to it and once the equipment is gone it's just hanging there. 500 mcm weighs one and a half pounds a foot. Conduit is usually in ten foot sections and there normally is three leads inside the conduit. It's easy enough once you have the feet to multiply by one and a half to get how many pounds you have. Call the local scrap man and get a price. I had a wire stripper so the price I was getting was for number 1 bare bright. The copper paid for the labor of getting the equipment out.


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