If a licensed Electrical Contractor designs a project per 6737.3 of the 2007 Professional Engineers Act, is it permissible for another Licensed Electrical Contractor to do the work? If not, what happens if he cannot do the job for some reason? Does a electrical engineer need to be involved at all? Assume the project is in California. I'm not sure if I'm understanding the following wording correctly.
SECTION 6737.3 A contractor licensed under Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 7000) of Division 3 is exempt from the provisions of this chapter relating to the practice of electrical or mechanical engineering so long as the services he or she holds himself or herself out as able to perform or does perform, which services are subject to the provisions of this chapter, are performed by, or under the responsible charge of a registered electrical or mechanical engineer insofar as the electrical or mechanical engineer practices the branch of engineering for which he or she is registered. This section 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 in accordance with applicable construction codes and standards for work to be performed and supervised by that contractor within the classification for which his or her license is issued, or from preparing electrical or mechanical shop or field drawings for work which he or she has contracted to perform. Nothing in this section is intended to imply that a licensed contractor may design work which is to be installed by another person.
A licensed electrical contractor is, in no way, an engineer. The term "professional engineer" has a specific legal meaning, and the PE statute governs those individuals alone.
Contractors are governed by an entirely different set of rules and requirements. While it is common to find instances where the two fields overlap, they are entirely different "trades."
Part of the reason for these differences is the focus of the work. If you want to actually make useful things, become a contractor. If you want to draw pretty pictures, and leave it to others to 'make it happen' - go to engineer school.
In my state, it would not matter, there is no way for an EC to do design work, unless he is a PE and has professional libality insurance, I see so many EC's advertise we do design build. and that is fine as long as they have either a PE engineer on staff, or they retain the services of one.
Every state has different laws for contracting, and engineering.
Last edited by LK; 05/21/0809:47 PM.
#178039 - 05/21/0811:03 PMRe: Electrical Design Build Per Section 6737.3 of PEA
More food for thought... The original EC who designed the project for the owner dropped out for some reason and his design was what the owner wanted. The new EC is not the designer so what happens now? The owner has to change his electrical system? It seems like a new EC should be able to take over the design and approve it. But that's not how it reads. What do you think?
#178046 - 05/22/0807:18 AMRe: Electrical Design Build Per Section 6737.3 of PEA
The owner doesn't have to change the design, he just needs a PE to review and stamp it. Or if it's the type of design that was done IAW codes with no particular engineering required and didn't really need a PE in the first place (which sounds like the case), then the new EC should have just as much authority to approve the design as the one who originally drafted it- the new EC would have to check everything, and would be assuming the liability for the design. Or at least that's how I'd see it logically. Now, legally? ...who the hell knows, everyone's probably liable to get sued if something goes wrong.
...and before you ask, my license is in VA, not CA, so I can't help you, sorry!
The permit is taken out by the guy doing the work. It is his responsibility to prepare any drawings, etc., that the city might need. It's his name on those drawings.
When the job is assumed by a new EC, a new permit is needed .... which means the new guy gets to sign off on the prints. This makes it his "design."
The only way this can become an issue is if the second "contractor" isn't a real contractor at all .... say, a general contractor trying to do electric work, or a homeowner trying to do the work an EC pulled a permit for.
...or a homeowner trying to do the work an EC pulled a permit for.
In Florida it is more likely to go the other way. A homeowner can pull permits and sometime "side jobs" and "handyman" work get permitted that way. In real life, virtually anyone can do the work if a licensed contractor pulls the permits. We don't have state wide journeyman licenses although some municipalities do. The only real requirement when the homeowner pulls the permit is insurance and taxes for the worker. There is also some voodoo in what triggers the need for "engineered" plans here. I really think it is up to the plan review staff in each community but there may be some guidelines.
Another angle to ponder is whether or not the original EC has rights to his electrical design. There may be some proprietary rights there??? If the owner has paid him for the plans and his time, would the owner now have full rights to the documents? Let's say the new EC may be stepping on the original EC's toes by using his plans and bidding against him. If there was no written agreement regarding this issue. Who would you think would be more likely to prevail in the event of a dispute?
#178080 - 05/22/0808:45 PMRe: Electrical Design Build Per Section 6737.3 of PEA
It'd be pretty hard to find anything unique enough in electrical prints for there to be anything justifying copyright protection. Just as you can copyright a song, but not the notes ... the electrical is but one of the 'notes' in the 'song' that is the finished building.