I'm sure most of you are like myself and work with other trade people outside the electrical field. Recently I spent a lot of time working shoulder to shoulder with a plumber while trying to troubleshoot a commercial steam oven. It was a great experience since I was given a bit of an eduction on water flow pressure, control valve troubleshooting, water softening systems, water filtering systems, etc. In exchange he had an interest in what I was doing as far as troubleshooting the electrical components. On top of all that we both had to get up to speed on boilers, steam production, turbulence, pressure differential settings, detection probes, etc.
My typical experience is that when different trades work together they are tolerant of each other but generally try to stay out of each others way and don't care to ask what the other guy is doing unless it might affect his own work. I'm a little different that way because if I have a moment I like to know what the other trades are doing and see if I can gain a better understanding of systems and how it all ties together. Therefore, this job was a great experience because I believe both the plumber and I think the same way. To top it off we solved the problem and the steam oven is back in service.
What has been your experience working with other trades?
Basically, for the most part it was like you described; stay out of each others way, etc.
I now find (as an AHJ) that I ask a few questions to the other inspectors as to what they may be looking for or at. I work with a great 'team'; Administrative, Plumbing, Fire and Building. We all talk to each other!
So, along comes the plumber. Time is money - and the framer is long gone. Out comes the sawzall and the hole hawg. Slap it up and get out of there.
Now the race is on .... as the sparky, the sprinkler guy, the HVAC guy, and the alarm guy all compete for the same spot in the middle of every rooms' ceiling.
Inspector comes, signs, goes. Now the alarm guy, the computer guy, the cable guy all delight in running their stuff with zero attention to any codes or trade standards. Why bother? There will never be an inspection of their work.
Last are the 'finishing' trades. Out comes the magical caulk tube. Get it done, get out, get paid.
That's how we run jobs. Even were the tradesmen all angels, it would be impossible for them to work as a team.
Reno: I have to take exception with your comments.
I have to start out with 'back in the days', as I am not an EC now.
For 20+ years, one of the large property mgt firms used all the same subs on all the commercial projects, and we ALL worked as a team to provide a quality tenant fit-up. It all went smooth and it was rare to have any 'battles', and rare to have anyone 'screw' another. It worked well at most other jobs with the same team.
That said, yes when a sub was brought in by the tenant (data/voice, whatever) there was potential for issues. Good job mgt. keeps projects running smooth and on schedule.
As to the issue of 'work after inspection'...I can tell you unless it is 'done' after 'final', the odds of being discovered are not slim if all the inspectors work as a team.
Now keep in mind I was 95% commercial EC, and really hated resi.
Exception noted ... I'll be sure to remember it the next time I'm in a crawl space.
Why there? Because that's where I can see the framing that has been butchered to allow for pipes - one sure location is the bathtub drain. I've yet to see a properly 'boxed' opening there. Nope, it's just hack away the joist until there's room for the plumbing.
Commercial? I'm thinking back to the gas station / minimart conversion, where the GC simply cut off and removed one of the structural columns that interfered with the proposed counter layout. Or where the (used) vertical furnace was simply laid on it's side to make it fit atop the office.
I think of the local Arby's. A year ago this building suffered a minor fire. Inspection revealed the roof structure totally compromised when the HVAC ducts were run. The place sits vacant now, awaiting a complete rebuild. A nearby Hardees (Carl's Jr.) has the exact same issues- leading to chronic roof leaks. Hardees just built a new place down the road, and is now trying to sell the old place.
I think of a local Cola bottling plant, where one of the functioning boiler flue chases is used to route ALL of the data and automation wiring. Not only is the wire subjected to high temperatures; flammables (wire) are within the required clear space, and the fire integrity of the chase is completely compromised.
I think of a major Hotel/Casino in Reno, where the contractor saw no problem in placing a p-trap within a switchgear room, directly over the gear, even after several breaker failures. Drip. Drip. I recall how one of the owners insisted the breaker failures were to be covered under the EC's warranty - the illegally added bar above notwithstanding.
I think of one of the local mills, where one contractor saw no issues with placing a radiant heater directly behind a plastic fan.
What can't be left out of these tales is the role of the customer. Many times, it is the customer who deliberately creates these issues; there's only so much a contractor can do. You don't succeed in business by arguing with your customers.
Twice I have been asked to hook up illegal equipment. Twice I have refused. In both instances, there was no shortage of reputable contractors who said "no problem."
That's one reason inspections are a sham. Often it seems that passing "final" is when the work really begins.
Casino's are notorious for cutting corners behind all the "glitz and glamor". One owner wouldn't pay for concrete maintenance pads under the switchgear. Within a year a hot water pipe ruptured (forget the fact that the pump should have been on the first floor, not on the second floor, right next to the electrical room). The switch gear is now rusting. They also ran the hot water pipe (24" diameter) through the electrical room because the engineer said that's where the pipe expansion offset had to go. It went right over the top of the switchgear. The inspector made us put drip pans under the pipe and install a leak detection system. Also, the heat from the pipe kept overheating the room and the PLC cabinets kept over heating. The owner bought floor fans and left the cabinet doors open. The list goes on.....