ECN Electrical Forum - Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals
ECN Shout Chat
Recent Posts
It's been an interesting career
by Marienauripod - 05/23/22 12:21 AM
Run Cap subsitution question. Two vs. one
by LarryC - 05/20/22 09:01 PM
Material shortages???
by NORCAL - 05/02/22 04:12 PM
New in the Gallery:
240/208 to a house
240/208 to a house
by wa2ise, October 9
Now you know.
Now you know.
by Tom_Horne, September 7
Who's Online Now
0 members (), 43 guests, and 11 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2
#183754 01/21/09 07:28 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 316
I learned a lesson today -
I learned ( or was reminded of) that you should always know who your talking to.
I inspected a job yesterday and turned it down for not having the commercial kitchen receptacles GFCI protected and panel schedules that were not descriptive enough. (They just stated Recepts. and lights.)
The EC said that that's how it's on the drawings.( both the lack of GFCIS & panel schedules) Asked him if he wanted me show it to him in the NEC and he said NO. Told him to correct it and call it in again.
Went there today to look at it again and this time there was more suits running around then I could count. I looked at the panels and was testing the GFCI's in the kitchen when some man came in and started a conversation about the job. He asked me if It was really necessary to have all those receptacles GFCI protected and wasn't what was on the approved drawings good enough? I told him no that the engineer should have known better then to draw it that way and that as far as the panel schedules go, I feel that is were the engineers fail. They know, or should know the NEC therefore they should know to be descriptive when it comes to the panel schedules.
That's when he handed me his card - He was the engineer that drew the drawings. He was on site doing a punch list.
Would I have changed my statement had I known who he was first? Not really, I would like to think I would have found a better way to say it though.

Last edited by luckyshadow; 01/21/09 07:30 PM. Reason: spelling
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 329
Next time you're in this situation, keep in mind the definition of "tact": it's defined as the ability to tell a man to go to h*** and make him look forward to the trip smile

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,296
Likes: 5
Been there, done that! Debates on plan review, or jobsite meetings with architects and/or engineers have resulted in a few situations of unknown identity. The PE who had 6-3phase HVAC feeders in one conduit...asked about derating..he said.."how about a bigger pipe?" LOL

Tact is becoming a second language.

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,412
Likes: 3
Now, I'm not looking to start a flame war here, but,
why should people with trade experience have to bite their lip when things like this happen?.

The reason the "engineer" is drawing the plans, is supposed to be because they know what they are doing??

Is it a requirement that EE's have some time in the field to see what actually goes on, or is it just read out of a book or learned at a university lecture?

Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Cat Servant
Mike, an EE has absolutely no requirement, in any college curriculum, to take any courses related to code requirements .... none at all. Even the courses aimed at 'power distribution' are deemed to be for those not 'good enough' to go into microchip design.

More on-topic, I remember the scene in Henry V, where the king poses as a commoner, to gauge the morale of his troops. It's a good thing for the office folks to get 'the straight dope' once in a while.

As for the contractor ... shame on him! He ought to have been raising cain through the course of the job, calling out those goofs. Playing dumb, then harvesting the change order, just isn't professional, IMO. "just following directions" might pass for the apprentice - but not the master!

Joined: May 2002
Posts: 1,716
I think the engineer will probably come out of this with an education. (at least he should)

It is true that an EE would not have to know much if anything at all the NEC but, when they decide to go into building design things change and it becomes mandatory that they do.

I certainly wouldn't feel bad about the way you said anything.


Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,296
Likes: 5
Yes, I have found over the years that there are some EE's/PE's that have very little knowledge of 'power'. Thet are 'electronics' guys; chips, circuit boards, etc., that type of electrical.

I also have to agree with Roger, many have gained electrical power knowledge from discussions/debates over the years.

Years back, one very knowledgeable EE (a principal at a chip tool facility) had a debate with me as an EC. He insisted that his house had a 120 amp service, 120/240 3-wire. He could not grasp that it was 60 amp max at 240 volt. "Why should I upgrade to 400 amp??" as I proposed a new 200 amp service. That was 3 days of 'debate' until he got it.

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,213
Not every engineer is a smart engineer. I've met some dumb-as-sticks people that I wonder how they managed to graduate college and we all just cringe and feel sorry for anyone working with them. But the vast majority are usually very good, especially those who stick strictly to their areas of expertise.

There's a good bit of overlap of knowledge between engineers and electricians, but each has their own speciality. I mean, an engineer's probably not going to know how to grease a cable, and an electrician's not likely to be able to spec out a K-factor transformer. As I'm fond of saying, engineers know what to do, electricians know how to do it. Makes for a very synergistic team when everyone is involved and leverage off all our strengths and weaknesses. The code is the middle ground, but there's a LOT of code and it's damned hard to know it all.

Besides, y'all are blowing one tiny little problem (like this GFCI thing) out of proportion! After all, it was only one minor mistake, and something like that would be easy for any of us to do wink We learn every day.

Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Cat Servant
You will note that I had some unkind thoughts for the EC .... I know not the 'back story,' but I simply can't understand an EC 'simply following the plans' and not catching the errors.

While I am far from perfect, I can't run a circuit without knowing what that circuit is supoposed to do; if I have reservations (loading, routing, device positioning, etc.), I just HAVE to ask!

Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 482
Oh boy, is this a sore subject.

I think you should ignore tact and give these idiots both barrels - they charge huge sums of money, then expect everyone else to do their job for them. The contractors make about a 5th of what the engineers make, hence the overpriced suits.

In this instance, both the contractor and the engineer are at fault. BOTH the engineer AND the contractor should have know better.

Page 1 of 2 1 2

Link Copied to Clipboard

Tools for Electricians
Tools for Electricians

* * * * * * *

2020 Master Electrician Exam Preparation Combos
2020 NEC Electrician
Exam Prep Combos:
Master / Journeyman


Member Spotlight
Levittown, PA
Posts: 811
Joined: April 2004
Top Posters(30 Days)
LarryC 3
Popular Topics(Views)
291,336 Are you busy
223,828 Re: Forum
209,228 Need opinion
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5