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Re: # of conductors in conduit #74812 02/09/07 08:36 PM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,263
Trumpy Offline
Lets not get too silly here.
Once we start getting into petty insults, things tend to go down-hill.
Please stay on-topic. [Linked Image]

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Re: # of conductors in conduit #74813 02/09/07 09:41 PM
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 29
rat4spd Offline
This is in our city code on discussion of the electrical AHJ. Not sure if it applies to what was asked previously. The chapter it is refferring to is the Electrical Regulations.

D. Interpretation Of Regulations: The electrical inspector shall have full power to exercise judgment in a reasonable and proper manner and rule accordingly on all special cases in regard to any matters in this chapter or not specifically covered thereby, subject to section 9-3B-4 of this chapter, pertaining to appeals.

Re: # of conductors in conduit #74814 02/09/07 11:24 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 345
tdhorne Offline
On the subject of the AHJs employer incurring liability I suspect that is unlikely. When I took my four semesters of fire service law the inspectors acting for local government had the same immunity that the state itself had as long as they were acting in good faith. Has that changed completely in the intervening years. The case we had to study involved a fire inspector ordering the installation of guards over the drying lamps in a auto body paint booth. The result of which was several ruined paint jobs. When the shop owner tried to sue the municipality the case hinged on the inspector being cloaked with his sovereign's immunity as long as he had acted in good faith. The ruling survived that states supreme court and there being no federal question it was considered to be settled law unless some other state supreme court found differently on those same facts. That decision is still taught to new fire marshals in order to impress upon them the need to act as a scrupulously neutral party when responding to public complaints. Taking sides in disputes between citizens can lead a court to conclude you acted in bad faith and are therefor not immune from civil liability.

[This message has been edited by tdhorne (edited 02-09-2007).]

Tom Horne

"This alternating current stuff is just a fad. It is much too dangerous for general use" Thomas Alva Edison
Re: # of conductors in conduit #74815 02/10/07 07:35 PM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 375
George Offline
(Without reading any comments since my last post) copied from another thread on this site ---


I would expect that the moderators and those who claim to be inspectors would have read the local laws that adopt the building codes.

Usually the process is that a national building code is adopted and that building code includes reference to the NEC.

All national building codes allow engineering. That includes engineering of the electrials.

The national building codes and the NEC are prescriptions. That is, based on general assumptions general engineering solutions have been produced and reduced to the tables and text of the codes and the NEC.

The engineering allowed by the national building codes and by included reference by the NEC consists of project specific assumptions and produces project specific engineering solution.

In general, an engineered solution will not "meet" the NEC. It will not "meet" the NEC because the design assumptions more accurately reflect the needs.


I suggest that those of you who hold a differing opinion consult your attornies before you reject an engineer's work.

Re: # of conductors in conduit #74816 02/10/07 07:55 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Well, George, you bring up an interesting set of circumstances.

Let us say, for the sake of discussion, that a man puts 10 wires in a pipe that NEC says is full with 9. And, let's say the AHJ catches it, and refuses to sign off on the C of O.

Lawsuits follow, and it winds up before twelve of your neighbors for decision.

The first issue is one of competence. That is, who is qualified to make the decision. It's pretty hard to convince twelve strangers that YOU know better than a generally accepted code, that was applied fairly. The jury is going to want to hear of your schooling, your licenses, your specific experience. The burden is going to be on you to justify your breaking away from the proven path.

The next hurdle will be to show why there was no code compliant manner in which the job could have been done. Make no mistake - the code, having been accepted, and with a wealth of history behind it, will be presumed correct.

If you take the position that a "Professional Engineer" license, by statute, gives you absolute authority to do as you please, the jury will be shown how neither engineering school curriculum, nor the PE exam, have the slightest aquaintance with the electrical trade. Indeed, you'll be lucky to find a college bookstore that sells the NEC.

This will have you, in effect, making the case that you have superior knowledge in a subject in which you have absolutely no training.

It would help your argument if you could point to other situations that followed your example ... either as to the actual solution, or that supported the assertion that anyone could "engineer" themselves a variance.

It would be a lot like a traffic engineer arguing that speed limits didn't apply to him. I'd like to see the jury that would agree with that.

Re: # of conductors in conduit #74817 02/10/07 08:21 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,429
LK Offline
"I suggest that those of you who hold a differing opinion consult your attornies before you reject an engineer's work."

No need for us to reject anything, thousands of them get rejected at plan reviews every day, were lucky that way the building departments keep most of the poor design work from reaching us.

Re: # of conductors in conduit #74818 02/10/07 08:28 PM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 1,716
Roger Offline
George, we're still waiting.

It's apparent that you have gotten in over your head and simply can not back up your statements can you?

Telling us to contact an attorney is not substantiation to your claims.


Re: # of conductors in conduit #74819 02/10/07 11:44 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,213
SteveFehr Offline
If you take the position that a "Professional Engineer" license, by statute, gives you absolute authority to do as you please, the jury will be shown how neither engineering school curriculum, nor the PE exam, have the slightest aquaintance with the electrical trade. Indeed, you'll be lucky to find a college bookstore that sells the NEC.
Actually... the PE Power exam is HIGHLY specific about power, covering a lot of extremely difficult power engineering principals as well as knowledge of NEC. There are elective EE courses in power engineering, too, that many prospective EEs will take. Not all will, though, just those going into power, just like power EEs don't generally take semiconductor engineering or electromagnetic fields and waves. The principals behind power engineering are a lot simpler than some of the other fields, and are generally covered in basic 1st year circuitry- the math just gets SO much easier when theta is always 60Hz!

Code is not emphisised because it's not as important during education as the engineering principals that underly it when you get to the types of issues the PE will be involved in. Codes differ from locality to locality and can always be looked up- engineers are expected to go far beyond this- and it's not like EEs are thrown right to the jackals; there is mandatory 4+years engineering experience required before one is allowed to even TRY to sit for the PE, ensuring real-world experience is gained in addition to the book learning. If knowledge of code was all that was required to be an EE, you'd see every 20-year master electricians sitting for the PE exam so they could become an EE PE. It's not like that though, there is a completely different skillset involved.

The Inspector and Electrician looks at that conduit with 12 wires in where NEC says only 11 are allowed and says "NO!" The engineer looks at that conduit and says "Why does NEC say only 11 are allowed? Is it because of installation difficulty and risk of damage to the cables? Lets test the cables and see if any are damaged..." and so on.

[This message has been edited by SteveFehr (edited 02-11-2007).]

Re: # of conductors in conduit #74820 02/11/07 02:54 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,720
Scott35 Offline
Broom Pusher and
If it's OK, I would like to add my comments to this thread, regarding my personal experiences in the subject of Power Engineering + Electrical Construction (applied to Commercial and Industrial Projects, as the Residential stuff I have dealt with would not include the same criteria).

First off, I am merely an Electrical Systems Designer - part of a Design/Build approach, Employed by an Electrical Contractor.

In a nutshell, I am nothing more than a glorified Draftsperson - one who compiles a Project's Design Concept into a workable reality, by performing Electrical Engineering to the system(s) and designed loads, then Drafts the compiled Engineered ideas to a Plan Set, which gets Plotted (Printed) in Hard Copy form.

Through the Engineering of the Electrical systems, I compile a set value to each and every Load, Circuit, Panelboard, Transformer, etc., which is a balance of many factors:

* Safe Installations,

* Trade-Specific / Common to the Trade,

* Adequate Capacity,

* Abilities for future loads or expansion,

* Most efficient and lowest losses, with the minimal expense possible,

* Specifically applied to the Client's needs (per specific equipment demands),

* Designed to accommodate the Client's needs, not my feelings (Engineering Ethics),

* Oriented around + related to local codes and ordinances:
Compliance applies to many codes - not just the NEC, but the California version - the CEC, per "Title 24, Part 6 Energy Conservation" codes, per Title 24, part 2 - California Building Codes, per California Mechanical, Plumbing and Fire Codes, along with Local Power Utilities Electrical Service Requirements, sometimes the Local Building Department's Planning Division, and finally - but most specifically, the AHJ and that Local Building Department's requirements for a given Project.

As I said before, I am a glorified Draftsperson that applies Electrical Power Engineering techniques to a design concept, compiles the data to related documents, then produces a visible + workable version of this stuff on hard copy documents, for use in real world applications.

Re: P.E. Certification...

The California version of the "EIT" (Engineer In Training) for Electrical Engineering Discipline, did not contain any NEC references at all.

The "Morning Section" was 4 Hours of "Everything" - all related Engineering principles, some Nuclear Physics, Ethics, etc.
The "Afternoon Section" was Discipline Specific, which was 4 Hours of Electrical Engineering calculations and figures for Power, Signal and anything else related to the field of Electrical Engineering.
The only thing related to the NEC was Ampacity Tables, Voltage Drop, and SCA.

I have not applied for the PE Exam (and I am wondering if I will do in the next 10 years!, but this is another story!),
but have heard that there is little - if any - NEC related stuff involved.
From what I know (and have witnessed many times over the past 25 years), an EIT holding "Green-EE" learns Code related stuff during their Internship with an EE Firm.

Back to my Work Experience:

My Designing experience + applications, is a very unique blend of "In-Field" Work Experience, coupled to Electrical Project Design and Engineering work.
I know of a few, and am sure there are many more Electrical Designers and EEs, whom also have come from the field into the Office, for which the same may be said of them, as well.

Being in the Field at Journeyman and Foreman level for many years, has given me the basis of code compliance, plus trade common design ideals, of which I use during every design task.
In addition to these experiences, having been involved in Management, Estimation and Consultant positions, along with working in conjunction to Communications, Data, Security, CCTV, Mechanical, Plumbing, Structural, Framing Contractors + Vendors, and Architects, has contributed to my designs.

The most basic consept is to design for ease of use and installation, for _ALL INVOLVED_

Re: Engineering Supervision:

The only time Article 310.15 (A)(1) and (C) have ever been applied (or considered) in my designs, were to address something which was _FACTORY ASSEMBLED_, and an Inspector had issues with something in that Equipment.

These issues were between the AHJ (Building Department and/or the Utility Department's Service Engineer), and the Manufacturer - I was only the one granted the lovely task of passing documents back and forth, along with hunting down the responsible personnel of design, following up on things, and all that baloney!.

For example, the most common occurrence was related to Switchgear (Service Equipment) and Factory Installed Conductors which were smaller than expected to see per Table 310.16 or 310.17.

Documentation supplied by the Manufacturer assumed liability per the design (and other disclaimers, which assured Engineered Supervision compliance per the AHJ involved), so the Equipment was finally accepted.

If I had known of the possibility for those issues prior to specifying / ordering the questionable equipment, it would have never been done! (one of those "Learn By Sample" things!).

One other issue involved an UPS Inverter, which had a HUGE label across the front stating:
"Not To Be Used On Systems Having Greater Than 5KAIC RMS SYM. Available", on a system with a listed Fault Value of 35KA at the Service, and 20KA at the UPS - and to make things even more exciting, on a Series Rated System!

The Foreman on the Project accepted the delivery of a non-spec'ed UPS Inverter (the one delivered was not the one specified in the contract documents - not even the specified manufacturer), which was the first mistake.
The Project was a Public Works job, with extreme specifications and little -if any allowed substitutions.

I was given the Project to both Manage (Project Manager) and to work as a Foreman, in order to "Put out the many, many fires lit by the previous Foreman".

The way we got the UPS to be compliant, was by installing a 60KAIR rated Circuit Breaker inside the unit, and terminate the Line Input through it.

Documentation from the Manufacturer, along with an on-site acceptance + certification by an NRTL (CSA to be exact) was required, and was sufficient for the AHJs (Building Department and the Q.C. Inspector for the Client).

These particular scenarios are some great examples of "How to work with everyone" discussions, I commonly discuss with personnel wanting to become either Forepersons, Project Managers, or Designers.

Nevertheless, I would only plan to apply Engineering Supervisions per Conductor Ampacities on something extremely specific - and believe me, just because I compiled documentation supporting it, I would _NEVER_ assume it to be anything definite - UNTIL ACCEPTED BY PLANCHECK + ACCEPTED BY THE INSPECTOR!!!
That just goes without saying!

Sorry, but I just do not have a high enough level of Testosterone, which would be required to tell a Building Department and/or Inspector to simply accept my design data, and forget everything else!
I have heard a few EEs attempting to do this, and the results were heated debates, followed by endless documentation, and eventually complying to the AHJ's NEC based requirements!

But then again, I am only speaking from the viewpoint of a glorified Draftsperson, with around 25 Years trade + Design experience, relating to Commercial and Industrial based Design/Build Projects.
One who not only creates the Plans (drafting and plotting), but submits them to Plan Check, obtains Permits, Meets with Inspectors, deals with Clients + Vendors, Subcontractors, Architects, other Engineers, General Contractors, Equipment Suppliers, Field Personnel, and related documents (faxes, "nasty-grams", E-mail status & discussions, cutsheet searching, yadda-yadda-yadda).

I can't think of anything else to add, as this message is wayyyyyy overblown right now!

Responses would be greatly appreciated!

Departing the proverbial Soapbox...


edited after finding sum spelin airrorrs (corrected spelling)

[This message has been edited by Scott35 (edited 02-11-2007).]

Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!
Re: # of conductors in conduit #74821 02/11/07 07:27 AM
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 4,281
electure Offline
Wow, more than 130 lines of text to say
"I do design/builds". (just teasing) [Linked Image]
I do them too.

(BTW, for the others, a substantiation [Linked Image]
CA Business and Professions Code 6737.3

..........."shall not prohibit a licensed contractor, while engaged in the business of contracting for the installation of electrical or mechanical systems or facilities, from designing those systems or facilities" ............. "to be performed and supervised by that contractor within the classification for which his or her license is issued,....."

We can't design/engineer for jobs others are to perform, otherwise anything other than civil/government projects are fair game for a contractor.

6737.1 Lets "any person" do the engineering for a single family or multi (up to 4) family dwelling up to 2 stories plus basement, so grandma or a 5 yr old can do it.

The plans go through the same review and approval process as those from a PE/EE.

[This message has been edited by electure (edited 02-11-2007).]

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