The Electrical Contractor Network

ECN Electrical Forum
Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals

Books, Tools and Test Equipment for Electrical and Construction Trades

Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#123470 - 03/29/06 05:23 PM Why it's Tough to Make Money on New Construction
Webmaster Offline


Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 3142
Loc: NY, USA
The attached photos are of the CT cabinet for one of our customers. This is a new clubhouse in an age restricted community. It's hard to compete when you price for straight pipe installation.

The reason we ended up with them as a customer is that they were having problems with their parking lot lights burning out prematurely. What we found out is that there are 21 different types of HID fixtures all wired to 240V on the multi-tap ballasts. The problem is, the building (and the circuit feeding the lights) are 208V.

It's hard to compete when you try to do the right thing. The good news is that they are going to pay us to go in and repair everything correctly.

- mahlere

Tools for Electricians:
#123471 - 03/29/06 07:24 PM Re: Why it's Tough to Make Money on New Construction
ShockMe77 Offline

Registered: 06/11/05
Posts: 823
Loc: Rahway, New Jersey
240, 208... same thing, lol.

If the guy who installed that CT cabinet is the same guy who wired those lights, well, I'm not suprised.

What a crappy install of those pipes into the CT.

#123472 - 03/29/06 11:22 PM Re: Why it's Tough to Make Money on New Construction
Trumpy Offline


Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8532
Loc: SI,New Zealand
What's happening here?.
This looks pretty rough, and if an apprentice did this sort of work under my supervision, there would be changes made I can assure you!.
All that room and the KO's are so close.
BTW, any chance of seeing what is in the box?.

[This message has been edited by Trumpy (edited 03-30-2006).]
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

#123473 - 03/30/06 04:27 AM Re: Why it's Tough to Make Money on New Construction
mahlere Offline

Registered: 11/17/05
Posts: 514
Loc: New Jersey
no good to see inside. it's a power company ct cabinet. I could cut the seal, but they would get a little ticked.

honestly, my guess is the foreman had minimal experience and did not speak the same language as the installer. Or they both did not care.

I don't know who did the original install, but right now the community board has us going over the entire property (common areas) with a fine tooth comb to find any problems before the builder turns everything over to them.

#123474 - 03/31/06 07:27 AM Re: Why it's Tough to Make Money on New Construction
Alan Nadon Offline

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 398
Loc: Elkhart, IN. USA
The metal CT cabinet has Non metallic conduit going in and coming out. More than likely it isn't bonded. You might want to have the utility co open it to see what was done inside.
If it was easy, anyone could do it.

#123475 - 03/31/06 12:50 PM Re: Why it's Tough to Make Money on New Construction
georgestolz Offline

Registered: 06/26/05
Posts: 90
Loc: Fort Collins, CO, US
Working space? We don't need no stinkin' working space!

Those are some sexy pipe runs!


I'm suprised that the lights weren't just factory-wired 277, that's the most common mistake I see.

#123476 - 04/03/06 07:54 AM Re: Why it's Tough to Make Money on New Construction
Bill39 Offline

Registered: 11/28/01
Posts: 77
Loc: Indianapolis, IN, USA
This type of thing is often seen on high-dollar homes in my area.

Do people both the builders and the occupants)just not care or is it they don't know any better?

You can be sure that they wouldn't put up with a crooked support post on a front porch.

#123477 - 04/04/06 08:10 AM Re: Why it's Tough to Make Money on New Construction
Lostazhell Offline

Registered: 02/21/04
Posts: 1248
Loc: Bakersfield, CA (Originally Or...
The house I live in now was built in 2005, and I've found a few "built in a barn" quality issues here and there.. (& made the builder fix em )

1. Arc fault for the master bedroom outlets would trip as soon as anything was plugged in. I found an outlet where someone felt the need to strip about 2" off the neutral and the ground was contacting it..

2. There's an outlet in my living room thats about 3" higher than all the rest. Being it's near the fireplace I'm assuming the gasline was in the way.. I put a plant in front of it.

3. I'm not sure how this one slipped through, but there's NO switched outlet or ceiling light in the living room! (which I didn't even notice for about a month )

4. The cheapo Leviton outlets have already begun losing grip and are sporadically being replaced with Hubbell. (Now my wife complains it take too much effort to plug in her hairdryer )


ECN Electrical Forums - sponsored by Electrical Contractor Network - Electrical and Code Related Discussion for Electrical Contractors, Electricians, Inspectors, Instructors, Engineers and other related Professionals