We do our best- and sometimes end up with a job we know we could have done better.
I was involved recently in converting an office into a restaraunt. For the areas in these pics, I did have a print showing the soda, coffee, tea, sink, and ice cream machine. I even had a panel schedule, showing the required electric. What could go wrong?
The general contractor helpfully opened up the wall for me. His first words to me were "those prints don't mean nothin'"; there had already been some pretty radical changes in the layout of the place. I took this to mean that my stuf was to go where he had opened up the wall. I also understood that the entire area would be a counter.
The "after" pic shows what really happened. Not one piece of equipment had electrical needs as called for in the panel schedule. The ice cream machine was a particular heartburn-generator.
The prints called for 2 pole; the first machine needed two 3-pole circuits- but couldn't be used as it was an illegal type in Nevada. The width of the "pocket" matches the width of this machine. The final machine only needed one 3-pole circuit.
One thing that failed to register - shame on me - was the SINK. Even with the plumbing in place, I missed it. Less obvious, It did not register that the ice cream machine was on wheels, and not sitting on the counter.
The result is that the receptacle for the ice cream machine is very poorly placed, above the counter, and too close to the sink. Being 3 phase, there is no GFI breaker available from the panel maker we used. So, a twist-lock plug is the best I could do.
It can be challenging to imagine what a place will look like when it's finished; this, being my first restaraunt job, was quite a learning experience.
The general contractor - who surely saw this situation developing - was more than happy to keep his mouth shut during this project. Nevertheless, this receptacle placement appears to have been my biggest "goof," and for that, I'm grateful.
The quality of the plans might have made a differance. Having elivation pictures with dementions can really help. Some plans the scale is so small like 1/8. Or worse when it a 3/32. Sometimes they try to put all trades on 1 page. Other times there are so many pages it can be hard to find the details you need.
For equipmet were not positive of we try to do it's own HR.
I seen it where equipment was specked out, rough was done but the owner got something elce. More to do with what was on special before delivery. Even better when they get used equipment. You have to come back because it shorts out. So then the supplier gives them something totaly different.
The last ice cream machine had 2 seperate 3 PH cords on it. Don't ask me why. I never saw it when it came.
Re: We Do Our Best ...#122558 11/26/0511:29 AM11/26/0511:29 AM
Yep, resturaunts can be a particular hassle... I am often deemed the devil as I scream <Swartzeneger>"Spec's - they must be accuate und complete!"<Swartzeneger>
Resteruant owners are notorious for scrambling eggs when it comes to equipment. From experiance I have learned to HR everything, and upsize capacity of conductors. Add to cost and sell as value added engineering, that way they have already paid for it when they screw you in the end. Tell them "I know your electrical needs will change in the future, if not during the project, then down the line. For a few dollars more, we can help alieviate but not eleininate that problem. Or there can not be any changes to equipment, at all." (And be clear that there are limits) Wire 20's for 30, and 30's for 50. Be able to bring all 3 phases and neutral if ness. to any equipment. It is also nessesary to have the conversation that "Convienance outlets" are not for equipment use. Many see an outlet on the plans and think "thats were my (20a 240) Pannini machine can go." A firm grilling about equipment use is required for things like that up-front. Most resteruant owners will have an apiphany about past experiances of tripping breakers after you explain circuit capacity to them. "Oh thats why we couldn't run the (120 2200W) coffee makers and (120 2200W) commercial microwaves at the same time... Hmmmm" Everytime I do this little bit of customer edjucation, I get 10 more items added to the equipment list, that they thought they could just plug into the wall anywhere.
As for location, that ice cream equpment should have been obvious to the GC when the counters went in, and he should have called you right then before the finish hit the wall. I see that as just as much his mistake as it being yours. He being responcable for over-all project QC... IMO
Mark Heller "Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
Re: We Do Our Best ...#122560 11/26/0505:51 PM11/26/0505:51 PM
One detail, not noted on the prints, and unknown to me, is that the soda guy really would have appreciated an additional receptacle under the counter. It seems that there is a pump or something that goes down there.
The customer has also added another machine- a juice dispenser, similar to the soda machine. While the circuits can handle the loads -quite easily- another receptacle would have been nice.
I did measure all the equipment- for the next time. That way, I hope to be able to place the receptacles better.
Re: We Do Our Best ...#122561 11/26/0509:36 PM11/26/0509:36 PM
Oh man, restaurants are a place to work in. I'm currently working on a new Applebees opening up. When I mean being exact, I mean being exact. Total of 5 months to finish all the electrical. Soo much to consider and soo much to work around other trade's installs. Pages upon pages upon pages of prints and details. If you ever have the opportunity to work on a commercial franchise as this one, skip it.
Re: We Do Our Best ...#122563 11/27/0508:35 PM11/27/0508:35 PM
Personally I would like working with a franchise that provided too many details than a speculative start up resteruant that has no clue at all. I do far too many of the latter. Bath me in useless detail please! I don't like franchises, dont get me wrong, I did a set of 6 stores for a franchise, after the first one it was clockwork, they were all the same... Boring! But it is pretty satifying to do a nice high class resteraunt, and after years of doing them, I know how to milk them for the info I need. There are also GC's that specialize in them and that helps a whole lot!
Mark Heller "Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
Re: We Do Our Best ...#122564 11/27/0511:10 PM11/27/0511:10 PM