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Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 650
IMHO, as an electrician living in the condo complex, you probably have a couple of political problems that you will have to address.

1) You might be seen as having a conflict of interest, pointing out 'problems' to drum up business for yourself. After all, these things that you've been pointing out 'have been working fine for years'.

2) If you do convince people that there is a problem, you might be expected to volunteer to fix them at cost.

3) Some of the problems that you point out are not immediate safety hazards, but poor workmanship that will _potentially_ lead to early failures and safety hazards.

The shallow buried sch 40 conduit, for example: as long as the conduit is not broken, then the install is safe...but by not being deep enough and not being thick enough, it will be prone to breaking. These are also the problems that will be most expensive to fix.

The list of things that you find will need to be prioritized, and in some cases probably won't get fixed. Does the NEC apply in your area? You might not have the legal backing to get the poor workmanship fixed.

Good luck! I certainly would not want to live there, and you might point out to the condo association that these clearly identifiable safety hazards suggest poor property maintenance and probably depress property values.


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Joined: May 2002
Posts: 25
I just "toured" my buddy's new house for the first time last night. He wants my opinion of the electric. (Why not ask BEFORE you buy??) House is 63 years old, with original wiring and 8 fuses. OK, that looked safe, if a little old. Go outside to look at service - meter is rusted badly, with some small holes present. Feeder from meter runs along outside of house for 20 feet or so. Feeder is badly deteriorated, with almost no insulation left, shield around cable loose and falling off - bad. Easily the worst deterioration on a cable I've ever seen. Tell him it needs to be replaced - probably $850 or so for a new 100 amp service with a 20 breaker panel. ANYWAYS.... the point is he got mad at me for telling him about it. Can't afford it, just bought a house, blah, blah, blah. Like it was my fault.
Kinda ticked me off so later I ask him about the batteries in the smoke detectors. He asks why. I say "cuz you're gonna have a fire soon and I want you to live through it".

Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 642
these pictures show the results of those who want to shave every nickle they can. The condduits too close to the surface may have been a shovelful deep but now the ground has settled. the same for the UF now exposed. the rest show careless and cut corner construction and lack of maintence. How the inspectors in your area allowed the transformers and compressor units to be so close to the parking lot, to me shows either no inspections or lazy inspectors.

IMHO prepare the report and tell the home owners association to hire a electrical contractor other than your company to eliminate conflict of intrest. Also that will hopefully stop them wanting you to fix this junk for free. Also I would call the local POCO about the transformer.

Good luck

Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 10
Junior Member
Anyone else suffered through a similar problem before? The manager became defensive after about the 2nd item I pointed out, I guess I will address the homeowner's board from now on. They were asking me to prepare a report, I doubt they will pay me for a prepared report so I was going to direct them to this website in a couple of weeks.

Good luck! I had a customer with some of the exact same issues as you have pictured. I had a hard time getting them to fix any of the violations. They think as long as it's working it will be just fine. You can talk until you are blue in the face, but it is real hard to get them to spend money to fix something that in their mind isn't broke. What finally got my customer to spend some money was when the fire marshall made a suprise visit and wrote them up on several violations, then all of a sudden they had some money to spend

Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
e57 Offline
Manager not interested! By the looks of these pic's, I would push for regime change!

As for that Transformer, it is just wrong! I would go over this "Mangers" head on that. Fixing alot of this stuff might push your HOA fees up, but so will the indefensable wrongfull death suit!

I can't imagine the ground on that tranie being in great shape. And I don't want to imagine someone knocking it back enough to make contact on the primarys. If the transformer doesn't go off like a bomb, the person getting out of the car does! I'm sure the person who lives in the unit behind it wants the equivelant of 4 sticks of dinomite waiting to blow out side thier window!

Joe, or Scott, I know you're out there watching... Could you link us up to some of the high voltage victems of the range of this type? Some Trannie explosions too, please!

[This message has been edited by e57 (edited 06-24-2004).]

Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 16
I emailed our utility company (xcel energy) last night about the transformers and gave them your website address to look at the photos.

Joined: May 2004
Posts: 186
Why not get the insurance company to have a look at the photo's on the webb site, I am sure that they would be interested!

What a mess!
A Colorado E.C. here out of Highlands Ranch. Nice to meet you, or, maybe we have met.
Looks to me like your missing quite a few of the stop blocks in the parking lot including the one in front of the xfrmr. If you don't get a response from Xcel you may want to call them and find out who the rep is for your area and give the rep a call. Electrical Inspectors here are going to leave it up to Xcel. I think the only thing Xcel will do is write a letter to the building owner or association since they do not install stop blocks or bollards. GOOD LUCK.

Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 16
You're right...haven't heard back from Xcel yet. I'm not a contractor...just a JW electrician. Thank you for the suggestion of finding out who my rep is. I think the transformer is the most dangerous issue we have.

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