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#56074 - 09/14/05 06:44 PM What would you do?
Clay Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/14/05
Posts: 2
Loc: Leamington, Ontario Canada
I posted this same scenario in the Canadian Electrical Code Topic but thought I would post it here as well. I just havn't seen this since I started in the trade about 10 years ago.

I was sent to a job a few days ago. it seemed that the shop owner decided that he could install his own CNC machine. He did alright until he hooked up his step-down transformer backwards (600 -120/208). His machine didn't survive the switch being turned on.
The rest of his wiring in his building is absolutely nasty. Armored cable (BX) hanging all over the place without connectors, (feeding 600 volt equipment), who ever did the work there has never heard of J-box covers, marretts must have been difficult to obtain. Don't even get me started on proper/any overload or over-currant protection.

I told the owner that I would be pulling a permit to hook up his CNC machine when it came back from being repaired. I have never seen anyone get so mad, language I haven’t heard before. lets just say I was asked to leave.

My problem is that sooner or later, someone is going to get hurt, or worse. So I've decided to let the local inspector know of the situation. I see him regularly and have a good working relationship with him. I'd hate to see someone get hurt knowing I could have done something about it. Even though the shop owner will very quickly figure out who "rated" on him.

Just wondering if anyone else has run into this sort of thing and what you would do about it.

I'm looking for advice. Am I wrong to let the local ESA inspector know of whets going on.

Thanks guys/gals


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#56075 - 09/14/05 07:37 PM Re: What would you do?
distributor x Offline

Registered: 07/28/05
Posts: 57
Loc: Canada
There is a chance that by doing what you did that you have saved someone from potential injury or death.
How could it be wrong?

[This message has been edited by distributor x (edited 09-14-2005).]

#56076 - 09/14/05 07:38 PM Re: What would you do?
livetoride Offline

Registered: 01/11/05
Posts: 109
Loc: san diego ca usa
When I have been put in this position I tell the friend/customer/business contact the facts, then if they ignore my warnings I narc them out. I would rather lose a contact/friend than have some one get hurt/killed. Rod
ps my boss just got 2 new rewires because of my reports that the customers were pissed about and wanted me to change and I told the boss I would not and so he backed me up. Right is right.

#56077 - 09/15/05 03:39 PM Re: What would you do?
Lostazhell Offline

Registered: 02/21/04
Posts: 1248
Loc: Bakersfield, CA (Originally Or...
I have to agree with the others here.. The potentially deadly effects of what we all deal with daily merits taking action when we come across situations where someone of lesser electrical knowledge may become seriously injured or killed. Just because the creator of the sitation doesnt realize you likely have saved him from a major lawsuit or even jailtime in certain cases, doesn't justify turning a blind eye. I applaud you for reporting that situation


#56078 - 09/15/05 04:28 PM Re: What would you do?
iwire Offline

Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 4343
Loc: North Attleboro, MA USA
Sometimes doing the right thing is hard.

That is why the people that do the right thing are respected.

I think you did the right thing.

Randy what's up?

Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician

#56079 - 09/15/05 05:20 PM Re: What would you do?
e57 Offline

Registered: 05/27/03
Posts: 2837
Loc: S.F.,CA USA
You may never work for the guy again, might be in your best interest not to... I would do the same! No permit - No work. The inspector walks in and sees all of the other stuff, and may, or may not say anything.... If he didn't, (and some just keep thier mouths shut on this type of stuff) where would you be then? I have had Inspectors walk all around the whole building giving all kinds of things the evil eye, before ever arriving at the permited work. And some that tip-toe around the hazards to get to the permited work with blinders on. They have legalities they have to deal with too. Everything I do gets done right, and on the up, and up. I tell customers that, "Yes, there will be an inspection", or no work. I have learned to avoid saying that I'm gonna rat them out, but before/during the inspection the inspector might get the "idea" to look around. If that "idea" comes from me saying as we walk in the door, "Look, I don't have to be the one who fixes everything wrong in this building, but someone should." So be it. That's the subtel method.

Then again, I have pulled someones meter, and called in for a RED TAG before too, because they refused to have an active shock hazard fixed. Told him the same... "Look, I don't have to be the one who fixes it, but someone will!" (Had a dish washer with 120 live on the exterior, and 120 opposite phase live on a sheet metal wall and sink next to it.) He told me my price was too high, and told the dishwashers to get back to work. So I called the cops, the building department, and pulled and capped his meter. We had a little pow-wow there in the morning. But that was an extreme case. (BTW The cops thought it might have been illegal for me to take the guys meter, but were understanding after talking to the inspector about it. As it was a blatent, and eminant danger. And I did end up doing the work.)
Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason

#56080 - 09/15/05 05:48 PM Re: What would you do?
Roger Offline

Registered: 05/18/02
Posts: 1779
Loc: N.C.
Clay welcome to the forum. You did the right thing.

The sad but good thing is, you will never know how many people you kept from being hurt or killed.

Don't bother looking back or questioning yourself, you did good.


#56081 - 09/15/05 05:53 PM Re: What would you do?
LK Offline


Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 1721
Loc: New Jersey
"Sometimes doing the right thing is hard.

That is why the people that do the right thing are respected."


When one of my guys comes back, and refuses to work without permit, i usually give then a short day, to show how much i respect their desision.

It sounds like this gent, should be running a paper route, with a bicycle, not a car , too dangerous for someone like that to even be on the road, not a machine shop operator for sure.

#56082 - 09/15/05 07:27 PM Re: What would you do?
Tiger Offline

Registered: 05/04/05
Posts: 714
Loc: Crystal Lake, IL USA
I had a residence where the owner installed a 200-amp panel reusing the 100-amp wire from the meter (ten feet SER through wood frame). They also filled the panel with 30-amp breakers. To top it all off it was mounted waist high with the cover removed. A half-dozen little kids were running around the room.

I called the AHJ and the POCO.


#56083 - 09/15/05 07:28 PM Re: What would you do?
Attic Rat Offline

Registered: 12/14/03
Posts: 530
Loc: Bergen Co.,N.J. USA
... Clay, being that it could become a
potentially hazardous situation,.."God help the plumber or water utility person working on the water meter",I would definetly alert the POCO,..but I'm always stickin' my big ol' nose where it don't belong anywho...
.."if it ain't fixed,don't break a Licensed Electrician"


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