Who, ultimately is responsible for an installation meeting code?
Scenario #1- A large facility hires a contractor to install electrical equipment, but doesn't bother to oversee the project. The installation doesn't satisfy code requirements, but is accepted and paid for. Who is (ultimately) at fault?
Scenario #2- A bid is submitted and accepted based on faulty drawings. During construction, the problem is discovered. It will add 10% to the overall cost. Who eats the 10?
Here in NJ the Lic. Contractor is responsible for the installation.
The second issue, depending on the "notes" on the prints, the contractor can be liable for "mistakes" on prints. Notes to the effect of "verify conditions in field" "site inspection required prior to submitting bid", or other legal jargon to this effect. Also, the size of the job has impact, and you may "Change Order". A good relationship with the Project Manager, or GC also helps. But, most of all PLAN REVIEW and read and understand the notes and specs
Scenario #1 The large facility pays for the work, and not many days hence it blows up and kills somebody. If I installed it, I would have to live with the fact that I killed somebody because of my faulty work. The letter of the law doesn't really matter to me, but I would be willing to bet that some "hot shot" smooth talkin' lawyer would "prove" in a court of law that "I done it".
Scenario #2 I look at drawings everyday for the purpose of submitting proposals. If an error in the drawings is found before bid day, submit the problem through the "general" to the architect. The architect works with the consulting engineer, the correction is made, and an addendum to the bid documents is issued. When the proposal is made on bid day, always include the number of addenda that were received, and submit it writing on your propsal. Now, say for example, not one person who looked at the drawings saw any mistakes, and at some point in the construction of the project the mistake is discovered that results in additional cost. They must pay for it. Nothing is free. There is much sculpatory language written into specs that does not amount to a "hill o' beans". If it costs more they must pay, and don't settle for anything less. Electrical Contractors are not design specialists. They are installation specialists, and if the engineer, or whoever, designed the project makes a mistake, the EC is not responsible. Think about it. When was the last time an engineer submited his plans to an EC for review. He calls up and says, "Mr. Electrician, I know that you have a license, and well, I'm a registered professional engineer, with an education in physics, math, etc, etc, etc, but I'm just not sure that I designed the service for that one man crapper correctly. Would you be so kind to sign your name on the drawings, and take responsibility for something that I'm being paid to take responsibility for?" I have no intent of being offensive here, but I've grown weary of these GC's, architects, engineers, etc that think that they can screw up, and place the blame on the EC. I can tell you that if the shoe was on the other foot, and I left something out of my proposal, I wouldn't see a dime for it.
I just vented....... Doc
P.S. What would keep "owners" from paying the engineers to put as many mistakes in the drawings as possible, and then holding the EC resposible for what he doesn't "catch"? It doesn't work that way.
I'm with ya doc', all this 'trade malpractice' rolls downhill & gains speed as it goes....
In our litigate society, there seems a fixation not on who was in the wrong, but who has the $$$. After all, should Homer Simpson fall into the one man crapper ( while eating donuts) his lawyer will focus on the easy kill...
The other vouge thing is disclaimers. "Caution this coffee will boil yer gonads off" " Caution, contains phynetylenaprigummahummanol, do not chew gum & walk" this, to the extent of CYA in every respect.
From the Designer's standpoint: We never design a mistake into the project, intentionally. No one person is perfect, therefore, *&^%$$ happens on a project at some time. Scenario #1- The owner of the facility should provide the contractor with adequate drawings or a well written and defined Scope of Work. If I were in the contracting business, that is what I would expect, otherwise, I would be very hesitant to take the job. Using the drawings or Scope to price the project, any errors would be brought to the attention of the owner. Resolutions and pricing adjustments via change order would follow. Scenario #2- As a licensed electrician, any non-Code items on the drawings would stop the work for clarification using the proper channels. Any changes to the drawings based on the claifications would result in a change order. Bear in mind, ladies and gentlemen, you can make money on the change orders, if handled correctly. Again, the contractor should point out the errors during the bidding or pricing process, if called for on the drawings or specs. For those who like to hammer the engineer- He went to college in electrical engineering, not National Electrical Code. Many are not licensed electricians, but licensed Professional Engineers, even though he should be very knoweledgeable about the Code. I'm not one of them, and have hammered them too, but like all professions, some are smart and others are a little less smart. Whatever you do out there, be safe.
Mr. Warren, Please accept my apologies for coming off harsh on EE's, GC's, A's, but if you'll notice I put a disclaimer in my post. "I have no intent of being offensive here..." The fact is, I have "muy respecticimo" for them all. The problem comes into play when, as Redsy so eloquently stated, someone says, "Don't look at me.... ." On top of that, what really "steams" me is that the spec's are written to "protect" the EE, and architect. Little EC comes along, and thinks that he doesn't have a leg to stand on. I say he does. Spec's, contract language, etc, etc, etc can both help, and hurt everyone. Know where to draw the line in the sand, and stand your ground.
Sincerely, and Respectfully, but not angrily (this time), Doc
No, Watt Doctor, I didn't think you were harsh on PE's. Not as hard as I am, sometimes. I work for a large engineering, procurement, and construction company, and with several PE's. As I stated, many don't have an electrician license and depend on underlings such as myself, and the contractors to catch the uh-ooh's. I do have a journeymans license, but don't know much about the "real" world of installation. Our specs are not necessarily designed to protect anyone, just to get a good installation. Other specifiers may be different. Example: In our specs, we call for Nema 12 cabinets in certain areas, and Nema 1 gasketed in others. We also specify double lock-nuts, and Myers Scru-Tites. Now one would think that the contractor would know automatically which to use where. Well, that didn't happen on the last project. They put double lock-nuts on the Nema 12 cabinets in some places, and Meyers on the Nema 1's in some places. The Owner finally paid for the change, however, I never agreed then or now that he should have. The contractor is a large electrical contractor, supposedly well respected. And I can give you more examples of contractor and designer mistakes. I have been watching this board for a while now, and have a great deal of respect for the posters here, including you, because they know more of the Code than I do. With Much Respect, and work safe.
Quick story, my father worked in prototype dept of a large electrical manufactureing Co. (The first motion detector still turns his porch light on and off), and he got a schematic one time from the ol' EE dept. The 110 came in the cord, through the switch to the fuse and back out the cord. He never did tell me what the EE said when he showed it to him. Trainwire