ECN Forum

Mounting service gear before brick.

Posted By: Trick440

Mounting service gear before brick. - 05/05/07 09:04 PM

Do you guys do anything special when you mount your service equipment to a building that has not been bricked yet?

What we do is stack some 2x4 secure them to the building so it gets us away from the building enough to clear the brick. So its just 2 horizonal rows of stacked 2x4. We haven't had a problem with this... until lately.

2 different brick crews think its ok just to rip our service gear off the wall, brick behind it, then just let the service gear hang from the pvc.

Its not like we can wait for brick to hang our equipment. They need power in these buildings.

So I'm wondering what you guys do. Only thing I can think of is taking a brick and knocking the bricky over the head with it.
Posted By: LK

Re: Mounting service gear before brick. - 05/05/07 10:21 PM

Temp service, then when the building is ready, install new service. Or have the GC schedule an electrician to remove and replace, (Good Luck on that one)But there is alwayt the chance, you may have a GC with all his brain cells firing and he will work with you.
We had a few nice fires in town over the years, from contractors pulling services away from the building.
Posted By: electure

Re: Mounting service gear before brick. - 05/05/07 10:54 PM

This type of thing is just why power isn't released by the AHJ until buildings are completed.
I'm amazed that they'll let you power up a service, much less let some brick yahoo rip it off the wall.
Posted By: LK

Re: Mounting service gear before brick. - 05/05/07 11:26 PM

Scott,
One GC said to me, what do you expect me to do, tell the owner he has to pay for that too, I would not have any work, what do you think all the other contractors do, they don't pay an electrician to do it, they just rip it off the building, and put one of the straps back on, what do you think, it's rocket science to put a strap on.
Then when you explain the dangers, they reply, that a crock, it's a no win, when your dealing with some of these guys, most of them have no formal training, in any of the trades, they letter a truck, print business cards, and bingo instant GC.
In my state all they need to do is register and make a payment, no testing to see if their qualified, just turn them loose. It might be a good idea, to make them attend a CEU class on safety, It's clear they are still not operating on a full 8 when it comes to safety.

I am sorry if I sound a bit rasp on this issue, but we have eniough problem keeping our image as a safe industry, with all the hacks, we don't need the sdditional burden of GC's tearing up our work and leaving it in an unsafe condition.
Posted By: Fred

Re: Mounting service gear before brick. - 05/06/07 01:18 AM

I mount meterbase/service equipment before brick all of the time. I fabricate a mounting bracket from 1/4" x 2" angle iron and bolt it to the plywood/OSB. It stands the equipment off of the sheeting 4-1/2". This allows the brick to be layed up behind the equipment leaving a gap to be caulked when they are finished.
Posted By: LK

Re: Mounting service gear before brick. - 05/06/07 01:46 AM

Originally Posted by Fred
I mount meterbase/service equipment before brick all of the time. I fabricate a mounting bracket from 1/4" x 2" angle iron and bolt it to the plywood/OSB. It stands the equipment off of the sheeting 4-1/2". This allows the brick to be layed up behind the equipment leaving a gap to be caulked when they are finished.


Our uitlity would not accept that, even as a temporary service, only the published specs, in the utility installation handbook are approved.
I tried that stunt once, and the utility cut the service. I can see their issue, a powered up service before the equiment base construction is complete, is asking for an accident.
Posted By: Celtic

Re: Mounting service gear before brick. - 05/06/07 02:20 AM

Originally Posted by LK
Scott,
One GC said to me, what do you expect me to do, tell the owner he has to pay for that too, ...


I've run into that situation a few times.
I gave the GC 2 choices:
1 - Pay me for the temp and maint. of same
2 - Run YOUR job on generators, and I'll have nothing to do with it.

Some comprehend #1 and go with my "suggestion".
Some go with #2 and have "issues".
One such job resulted in EVERY sub suppling their own portable generators. A very loud job to say the least ....until ALL the generators got stolen one night (along with bunches of tools, gang boxes, etc). Could have been angry neighbors...who knows?

Another job...this was a comedy....large diesel genny "ran out of fuel"....the genius who went to get more fuel - ran out of fuel in the truck...LMAO.

I had nothing to do with these "issues".
Posted By: Fred

Re: Mounting service gear before brick. - 05/06/07 03:32 AM

LK, What do you see as a safety issue? The equipment is permanently mounted. The mounting base is complete, it is a steel bracket permanently fastened to the structure. This not a "stunt", it is an engineer approved mounting system. Would you suggest a service be de-energized when masonry is repointed? Same situation. I would like to see PoCo installation specs that prohibit this installation.
Posted By: Samurai

Re: Mounting service gear before brick. - 05/07/07 05:41 AM

most General contractors started out as those guys who rip services off buildings, not as electricians. I agree with most of the others (you don't have to put up with disrespectful GCs)
I gotta side with the temporary "pole"/generator crowd on this one - you want power before the house is completed? - that's how it's gonna BE - putting a service up twice is a service call, and it may be financially more prudent to consider alternative power methods before using destructive force on a completed install. (which YOU had to have immediately)
charge him for reinstalling the service
if he doesn't learn you'll be saved the hassle of working with him again

Posted By: e57

Re: Mounting service gear before brick. - 05/07/07 07:22 AM

Why not just do it by the numbers and have the area where the panel is going to be bricked first? (old panel in old location) Then put up the new one in the new location as the bricklayers move on. Rip out the old one. OH, I forgot bulldogs can't herd cats.... wink
Posted By: Trick440

Re: Mounting service gear before brick. - 05/07/07 09:35 PM

Originally Posted by Fred
I mount meterbase/service equipment before brick all of the time. I fabricate a mounting bracket from 1/4" x 2" angle iron and bolt it to the plywood/OSB. It stands the equipment off of the sheeting 4-1/2". This allows the brick to be layed up behind the equipment leaving a gap to be caulked when they are finished.


We are allowed,and do use brick brackets for small service equipment. This particular equipment is around 150 lbs. I'll see if the supply house can get some heavy duty brick brackets for nexttime.

I see I'm not alone on this... its more common than I thought.

Posted By: ITO

Re: Mounting service gear before brick. - 05/07/07 11:48 PM

On the commercial side:

I run a temporary loop to a meter and panel on a pole, then build the service on the outside of the building after the brick go on. The temporary service is part of an allowance on all my bids, the GCs are free to exclude it from the contract should they choose but if they do then they take care of temp power, not me.

Our local criteria and AJH will not allow the permanent service to be energized as a temporary until certain things have been done; one of which includes an inspection that a service jerry rigged to be hung pre-brick would not be able to pass. Some of the other things they insist on before turning on the permanent power are working toilets in the building (I still have not figured this one out yet), and the job must be 100% dried in.

There have been a few occasions when the sheet rocker or mason has held up my work, and out of defense my scope had to proceed. When this happens I build up a strut rack that suits my needs and meets code and start mounting equipment. This generally makes the sheet rocker or mason curse my name as they work around a struck rack that they cant rip out.
Posted By: LK

Re: Mounting service gear before brick. - 05/08/07 12:45 AM

Originally Posted by Fred
LK, What do you see as a safety issue? The equipment is permanently mounted. The mounting base is complete, it is a steel bracket permanently fastened to the structure. This not a "stunt", it is an engineer approved mounting system. Would you suggest a service be de-energized when masonry is repointed? Same situation. I would like to see PoCo installation specs that prohibit this installation.


What I see is, ongoing construction near an energized unprotected riser, and meter socket, I see the potential for a serious accident. I agree, with putting the supports in before the brick, but not the service riser, and metering equipment, until the building is complete.
Posted By: Trick440

Re: Mounting service gear before brick. - 05/08/07 01:01 AM

I don't see a safety issue. Possibly on a large commercial job, but on a residential or condo setting, I don't think so. Its just brickies and siding guys. I'll give them credit for having half a brain. This is a construction site, we know there are hazards.

Posted By: LK

Re: Mounting service gear before brick. - 05/08/07 01:18 AM

Originally Posted by Trick440
I don't see a safety issue. Possibly on a large commercial job, but on a residential or condo setting, I don't think so. Its just brickies and siding guys. I'll give them credit for having half a brain. This is a construction site, we know there are hazards.



Yes it is a construction site, and on a large commercial job, you may have less of a chance of an accident, where as on a residential or condo setting, your almost sure to have problems, the workers on these jobs usually have little or, no safety training at all.

I have seen so many accidents occur, from just this type operating, on everything from siding contractors, to building remodel work, on a recent one a siding contractor, decided to pull the meter socket and riser away from the building, so he could side behind it, other then his burns, they saved half of the building.
Remember these things will only happen to other people, and they are as rare as the sun rising.
Posted By: ITO

Re: Mounting service gear before brick. - 05/08/07 06:22 PM

Look at this from a business perspective. Why would you want to build the service twice? If you take extra time and material to temp it in, then have to go back and finish it or at the very least make sure your temp job was not reworked by the mason, then who pays for that? Did you put in twice the labor for the service on your bid?
Posted By: Fred

Re: Mounting service gear before brick. - 05/08/07 08:41 PM

ITO, That's exactly my point. What I described is not temporary, it is permanent. Also, what I described in my post(though I left out this detail)is an underground service. An over-head service would be a safety issue for the brick, roofing and siding contractors. I do not see how an underground service installed as I described would present any additional safety issues. Buildings are remodeled, resided, repainted, reroofed and the brick repointed all the time without the service being required to be de-energized when it is an underground fed service. I don't see any need for it to be.
Posted By: ITO

Re: Mounting service gear before brick. - 05/08/07 10:00 PM

The GC has a responsibility to organize the work, in a sequence that allows each trade to perform their specific scope as per the project schedule. When a GC losses control of his own schedule (if he even has one) or allows the work to be performed out of sequence and this impacts you, then you can make a claim for this impact…not that I would recommend doing so.

Sometime GCs can get very pushy and demand that you do out of sequence work, at which point I politely refuse unless they give me a written change order to do so. If I am being held up, I also like to write letters and take pictures noting the status of the job and other trades so later on in the job when they are claiming that you are holding the job up, you can pull out your letters and pictures reminding everyone of how we all got to where we are. Keep it polite, calm and professional and be helpful, but don’t shoot yourself in the foot.
Posted By: hbiss

Re: Mounting service gear before brick. - 05/08/07 10:58 PM

Look at this from a business perspective. Why would you want to build the service twice?

Why don't you do like the morons do here. Early on set a pole out in front of the house and put your meter pan, disconnect and a temp service panel on it. Let them use it for temp power during construction. When you are ready install a panel in the house. When the house is almost completed remove the temp panel out on the pole and run a feeder under ground from the pole disconnect to the panel in the house.

GC gets his temp power and the new homeowner gets a wonderful lawn ornament.

-Hal
Posted By: LK

Re: Mounting service gear before brick. - 05/08/07 11:22 PM

Originally Posted by hbiss
Look at this from a business perspective. Why would you want to build the service twice?

Why don't you do like the morons do here. Early on set a pole out in front of the house and put your meter pan, disconnect and a temp service panel on it. Let them use it for temp power during construction. When you are ready install a panel in the house. When the house is almost completed remove the temp panel out on the pole and run a feeder under ground from the pole disconnect to the panel in the house.

GC gets his temp power and the new homeowner gets a wonderful lawn ornament.

-Hal


Setting a temp pole, and service, is not a choice, it's a utility requirement, here in jersey. It's also not a business decision.
Posted By: ITO

Re: Mounting service gear before brick. - 05/09/07 06:36 PM

Originally Posted by LK
Setting a temp pole, and service, is not a choice, it's a utility requirement, here in jersey. It's also not a business decision.


So you charge for it then right?
Posted By: Fred

Re: Mounting service gear before brick. - 05/09/07 08:57 PM

When I set a temporary service for a construction project, yes, I charge for it. Why wouldn't I? I have several temporary service poles, both UG and OH, and they are all in constant use. Some are on jobs where I am the EC. Others are rented out to jobs I am not contracting.
Posted By: ITO

Re: Mounting service gear before brick. - 05/09/07 09:43 PM

Exactly, it is business.
© 2019 ECN Electrical Forums