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Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,722
Likes: 1
Scott35 Offline OP
Broom Pusher and
Topic: "Questions For All, Regarding Plansets"

I would like to get input from ECN Members, regarding what YOU would like to see / not to see, in Electrical Plan Pages - whereas applied to Commercial / Industrial Projects. Residential Projects may apply in cases like Custom Houses and Multi-Family Dwellings.

This goes out to ANYONE whom deals with these Documents - which includes:
  • Journeyman Electricians,
  • Foremen Electricians,
  • Apprentice Electricians,
  • Estimators,
  • Project Mangers,
  • Plans Examiners,
  • Inspectors.

My goal is to create + Plot ("Plot" is a CAD term for "Printing") Electrical Plans, which are as efficient, understandable, detailed and usable by all People listed above.
Not going to be the easiest task, but if I am able to make things even 10% better, the effort will be totally worthwhile.

So, to begin with - what suggestions do you have?
What would make your job much easier?
What could be included in the "E Sheets" (Electrical Plan Pages), that you feel need to be - or could help dramatically?

I'll toss out several areas I think are relative:

1: Electrical Cover Page Items:

* More Detailed Scope of Work (relative to what's new and what's existing),

* "Revisions List" - list describing date, revised for (client rev., Plancheck rev., etc.), pages affected, and summary of items revised,

* Table of Contents,

* Contacts' List - includes Building Department / Utility contacts, Vendors, and related Contractors,

* Design / Build Declarations and Signatures note field - includes information + signatures for EC "President" (Owner / Licensee) and "Designer" (Me)… this is independent of signature fields in the "Note Blocks" on the Right-Side of each Plan Page,

* More details regarding "Proposed Work Locations" on a given Project,

* Include a "Site Footprint" drawing, and a Street Map image,

* Include Building classifications / types, and relevant codes.

2: Single Line Diagrams + Related Page:

* Single Line Diagrams - in both "Line" (Schematic) and "Riser" (Pictorial) forms,

* Information listed in Schedules (on same page), called-out by note numbers,

* Panelboards, and Switchgear referencable to corresponding Schedules, via "ID tags",

* Voltage Drop + Fault Levels indicated on both 1 Line Diagrams, or in separate databases on same page,

* Load calculations Databases - "Quick View Summary", separate databases showing details of each section's calculations - also on same page,

* Main Service Equipment Schedule - details of Main Service Equipment type, mounting details, OCPD information, SCA data, Circuitry data (similar to "typical" Panelboard Schedules), Service Feeders, etc.,

* Utility Transformer Details (if new Service and/or Transformer, separate plan page containing "Utility design" related information + drawings).

3: Panelboards, Transformers, Service equipment and Feeders Layout:

* Floor Plan showing locations for new, existing to remain, existing to be relocated, relocated, and existing to be removed Panelboards, Transformers, Feeders, and similar Equipment,

* Details for Panelboards + Transformers (ratings, manufacturer info., etc.),

* Referencing "Tags" which correspond to items on Single Line Diagrams, along with individual Panelboard Schedules.

4: Panelboard Schedules:

* Tons of suggestions, but rather like to know - in your words - what would / should be included.

5: Details and Notes:

* Along with "Notes relevant to the Project", would Device specifications + colors be helpful?

* Would "Code Compliant" and "Field-Related" notes and detail drawings be helpful? (referring to items such as Mounting Heights, Box fill Calcs, "Simple" Volt Loss Calcs, Ampacity tables with Derating information, suspended ceiling / light fixture securing details, and other such information),

* Lighting Control details and schematics (per CEC compliance),

* Transformer Termination details + drawings,

* Mounting of Disconnect Switches for roof mounted equipment (Unistrut stands details, etc.),

* Any "Special" or Specific Equipment / Outlets / etc, details and drawings,

* Emergency Lighting details,

* Exterior Lighting + Circuitry details (Pole Bases, Poles, Conduit, Fixtures, etc. - related to the Project),

* Detailed Fixture Schedule - includes all relevant fixture data, location(s) used, total number on plans, etc.

6: Electrical Power Plans:

* Many suggestions (separate pages for HVAC / Specific Equipment, Comm/Data, and such), but would like your input to what would be most helpful,

7: Electrical Lighting Plans:

* Many suggestions here also, but would like your input first!

I will check back periodically for replies, and then add more comments as things progress.
I really appreciate everyone's input and assistance.

As I mentioned before, the overall goal for me is to make my Plansets more effective / efficient, for anyone who will read or use them:

* Easier for Plancheckers to read through, and find the pertinent data required - and hopefully through more precisely compiled / easier to follow Plans, any non-compliant items which made it past my final checkplots reviews, would be caught prior to the set going to the field
(I am creating automated routines, which not only reduce the amount of work required for Planset designs, but dramatically reduce total time and minimize errors during the CAD Drafting part of Planset Creations),

* Easier for the Field Personnel to use and follow the complete Planset - with minimal verification phone calls needed, along with enough relevant + easily understandable details and information, to assist in the overall installations,

* Easier for Estimation (Take-Offs) and Project Management.

Please excuse the lengthy preliminary post, just trying to include enough details possible.
Looking forward to any and all replies.

BTW, if you prefer discussing this topic "Off-Line", or in "real time", let me know.

For "Off-Line" discussions, send me an E-mail.
E-mail = seteng0307 at pacbell dot net
(remove the spaces, and change "at" to the at symbol, and change "dot" to a dot!).

For "Real-Time" discussions, arrange to discuss in the ECN Chatrooms



Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,371
Likes: 7
Based on a lack of time on my part now to read your complete post above, I quickly offer the following:

Existing items are something that should always be indicated; "ETR" (existing to remain"; shows up on few plans, and requires a phone call & revised plans. This may not seem like a big deal, but it confuses device counts on review, and causes unnecessary delays for all.

'One-Lines' are often missing, sometimes incomplete, and "ETR" again, not indicated.

Location of work to be performed should always be indicated; preferrably on the "E" pages, as those are the ones I reference.

Also, though not in your realm, how hard is it to indicate on the Permit card, the tenant name and floor, in multi-story, multi- occupant structures?? That's in the domain of the EC's, but I'm venting!

Circuitry is also an item that is overlooked occasionally. Finally, after many, many phone calls, I have most of the EE/Arch indicating egress lighting on local lighting circuits; either as a note, or indicated on the circuitry traces.

Then, I could rant on the discrepancies between the plans, and the permit application info, but....why 'jack' your thread.

The above are mostly rants during Plan Review.

The Inspection process relies on the Approved Plans here; preserving the Twp signed/approved set; that could go on for a while on some sites/jobs.


Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
e57 Offline
If the job is large enough to justify separate lighting and power plans - at least show receptacle locations faded on the lighting plans. It doesn't have to contain all the information relevant to the recepts, but not having to over-lay the plans constantly helps... And often if you leave a guy on a a D&B you come back and have all of these redundant runs that could have been integrated with other work. Showing the faded icons of sprinkler and HAVC items is not a bad idea either... And likewise for their sets.

Also I find on this on high-end jobs a lot - If there is information relevant to location on other plans, say in elevations and details, that it at least be referenced on the E sheets. As they are often sheets that someone feels are not important to you until all hell breaks loose. And my personal pet peeve on these types of jobs is that sometimes electrical items are only shown in the elevation sheets - a practice that I don't see as just plain ol' laziness, but deceptive! (Not that you would do that Scott - but there are some sneaky people out there.)

Re-publish and distribute to all - a new periodic sheet relevant to SK's and changes, etc showing a list for the area of work with (excuse me I don't know what this it called) a line from the area of work to the list of relevant changes to original plans. I have had GC's who manage these well, but more often than not, they don't even bother, and let/force all the subs find the info on their own.

On that same topic - list the location of any on-line plan room or printing contact info right there next to your stamp... Or a (NTS) pdf file location.

All of the info does not have to be on a single floor plan for that floor, some things like Equipment Rooms and other rooms with a lot of detail can be done on a separate sheet.

As far as CEC and title 24 stuff - I can't believe that most plans make it through "Plan Check" without half of the info relevant to lighting and controls. I've seen nearly empty fixture schedules, and if it is listed, no information to what the fixture is past it's model number. Wattage, lamping and fixture type - empty... Controls are often just air past a note stating compliance with Title 24.

Scott, while some of the items you mentioned in the OP might be seen as over-kill, but I am a firm believer in providing as much information as possible - even if most would end up being boiler plate items. But I think you have been out there with tools in hand at one time or another and appreciate the info. But I think many are of a different school of thought, figure that every bit of info (No matter what it is) drives the price up when it goes out to bid, and think that having as little information, and vague as possible detailed leaves it up to the EC to have the onus of compliance that was only 'implied'...

Last edited by e57; 03/31/07 03:10 PM.

Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 421
I like the plans that use colors for the different types of pipe runs..for Power, Lighting, Comm, Security, FA....although I have no idea what the color code is, except for Red

and maybe .....just once......., show the t-stat locs. on an E print !

Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
e57 Offline
I think we get it.... Having trouble posting?

Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 1,158
Originally Posted by togol
I like the plans that use colors for the different types of pipe runs..for Power, Lighting, Comm, Security, FA....although I have no idea what the color code is, except for Red

and maybe .....just once......., show the t-stat locs. on an E print !

I am not sure why you cant see the edit function but i deleted the multiple posts

Last edited by dougwells; 03/31/07 09:00 PM.
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 421
thank you

all I see are little blank windows at the bottom but have found the smileys and other things by accident and apparently ran out of time...

also the preview won't work for me either

Joined: May 2005
Posts: 41
I see one item omitted from the list. One really big pet peave is Specifications. I think an Engingeer should review the Specs that are being issued for the job and make sure they actually pertain to that Project. These catch all specs refer to everything from Cable Tray for plant applications to grounding for swimming pools in projects that have no relating installations. Most of these Specs are very long and time intensive. If the Engineer would take time to review them, they might get cut down and bidders might actually be able to bid 'according to specs'

Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 348
ITO Offline
Cover Page should include:
1) Project Name
2) Full Address
3) Square footage of building
4) Sheet list of all sheets that should be in plan set

1) Scope list clearly defining EC, GC, LL, and Owners Scope.

2) Coordinated Electrical and Mechanical. This is a hot button for me just tell he who the hell furnishes the starters and disconnects for the Mech equipment, and tell me on an E-sheet. In fact if I am to furnish anything list it on an E-sheet, don’t make me read the M-specs or M-sheet to find out I just got screwed.

3) Coordinate Architectural with Electrical, we should not have to scour the A-sheets for device color.

4) Add this line to your fixture schedule and watch the price for fixtures drop 30%:
“Or Approved Equal”.

5) Panel schedules, fixture schedules and anything else that may be sent off for a quote should be formatted on the plan page so that you can use a copier to make 8.5x11 prints to fax off to supply houses.

6) CLEARLY indicate whether or not multi-wire branch circuits are acceptable.

7) Shade your background to 40% for blue line and 25% for black and white, and keep the electrical at 100%. This makes it jump off the page and is a breeze to see electrical detail.

8) If you put a part number on the plans make sure it’s a good number, the same goes for phone numbers of national accounts. I cant begin to remember how many times this has given me trouble.

9) Don’t ask me to balance your panels; if you drew it, engineered it and sealed it, then you balance it yourself.

10) CLEARLY define who furnishes plywood backboard for the telephone equipment.

11) CLEARLY define who does the Telephone/Data.

12) CLEARLY indicate who does controls, and if it’s a BAS CLEARLY define the responsibilities.

13) Define who does the metering, LL, EC or POCO.

14) PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING GOOD PLEASE CLEARLY Define who furnishes the duct detectors, AND Annunciators.

I could go on...

101° Rx = + /_\
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 348
ITO Offline
Voltage drop is another pet peeve of mine. Don’t put that little note on there saying that voltage drop must not exceed 3% or 5%. If you are the engineer and you seal the plans, then size the home runs accordingly.

First of all voltage drop is not a code mandate, it’s a code suggestion. If the engineer thinks it’s such a good idea let them do the homework; besides they are the ones who have all the information on the loads to be served, and it is the job of he engineer to size pipe and wire.

Also keep in mind because it’s not a code violation, the only one inspecting whether it is done and done correctly would be the engineer, who would have to then do the calculation to verify it is correct, which we all know almost never happens. The note is just a cop out, and most contractors won’t even take it into consideration on bid day.

101° Rx = + /_\
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