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    Connecting the dots between Engineers and Electrical Contractors

    I'm starting this thread hoping for the electrical contractors out there to give some critical feed back on their past projects. I recently took on a standards committee role and would like to make our prints as user friendly as possible.

    What are some things you like about certain prints?
    What do you want to avoid seeing (ex:feeder schedule call outs vs noted on prints)?
    Any design practices you see that make your job difficult?
    More or less keynotes?
    Circuiting methods you'd prefer over another method (multiple circuits on one homerun, single circuit homeruns, tagged equip with circuit info)?
    Constructability ideas that lower job cost, save labor time, and still comply to code?

    I know this might be pretty vague but I'm hoping it will make some EC's job easier. Thank you for everyone's input.

    #2
    Personally I would prefer that the plans show more of what needs to happen and let the EC figure out how to make it happen. The EC should be perfectly capable of figuring out the best way to run feeders, branch circuits, and home runs in compliance with codes and industry standards. Unless the job has a really 'on the ball' project manager who is non-negotiable, we usually will run things as the project dictates which is frequently a bit different from the plans anyway.
    Bob on the left coast.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by bkludecke View Post
      Personally I would prefer that the plans show more of what needs to happen and let the EC figure out how to make it happen. The EC should be perfectly capable of figuring out the best way to run feeders, branch circuits, and home runs in compliance with codes and industry standards. Unless the job has a really 'on the ball' project manager who is non-negotiable, we usually will run things as the project dictates which is frequently a bit different from the plans anyway.
      But shouldn't the engineers already have everything "the best way", or "that way for a reason". The contractors are the hands-on folks, the engineers ink the plans.

      I have seen in the past where the engineer tells contractor, "need a post here to support this roof end", so the contractor builds a post 100x stronger than what's actually needed. Contractor did good, built a hefty strong post, but it's what we would call "over engineered", and costs more.

      But to be fair, your skills may be well advanced beyond others. You may know much more than many others on best way to run something, but then the other less skilled EC may not. So is it not just best to "follow the plans"?

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by FionaZuppa View Post

        But shouldn't the engineers already have everything "the best way", or "that way for a reason". ....
        Thirty years in the trades and I have never seen that happen. Not only that have I never seen it happen I consider it an unreasonable expectation.
        If Billy Idol is on your playlist go reevaluate your life.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by WA_Sparky View Post
          I'm starting this thread hoping for the electrical contractors out there to give some critical feed back on their past projects. I recently took on a standards committee role and would like to make our prints as user friendly as possible.

          What are some things you like about certain prints?
          What do you want to avoid seeing (ex:feeder schedule call outs vs noted on prints)?
          Any design practices you see that make your job difficult?
          More or less keynotes?
          Circuiting methods you'd prefer over another method (multiple circuits on one homerun, single circuit homeruns, tagged equip with circuit info)?
          Constructability ideas that lower job cost, save labor time, and still comply to code?

          I know this might be pretty vague but I'm hoping it will make some EC's job easier. Thank you for everyone's input.
          Stop specing things that are over sized, or have no real benefit, minimum size 3/4" conduit and compression only connectors come to mind, and for heaven's sake go through the boiler plate list and question everything on it.
          If Billy Idol is on your playlist go reevaluate your life.

          Comment


            #6
            Perhaps the most useful task engineers provide with plans, is responding quickly to RFI's in writing when needed by contractors or inspectors.
            Roger Ramjet NoFixNoPay

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by ActionDave View Post

              Thirty years in the trades and I have never seen that happen. Not only that have I never seen it happen I consider it an unreasonable expectation.
              And? After all that time things are still the same way?
              I have seen the need for minor changes, but that's expected.

              But then this all comes back to the OP's question at hand, understanding the info from the hands-on folks so that engineering can better understand how to make the hands-on easier/better.

              If contractors think plans are so bad, then the contractors should also try and be involved at getting the engineering aspects of a job. A kinda 1-stop shop from engineering to installation, etc.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by FionaZuppa View Post
                ....If contractors think plans are so bad, then the contractors should also try and be involved at getting the engineering aspects of a job. A kinda 1-stop shop from engineering to installation, etc.
                We're kind of shut out of the process.
                If Billy Idol is on your playlist go reevaluate your life.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by WA_Sparky View Post
                  Any design practices you see that make your job difficult?
                  More or less keynotes?
                  Circuiting methods you'd prefer over another method (multiple circuits on one homerun, single circuit homeruns, tagged equip with circuit info)?
                  Constructability ideas that lower job cost, save labor time, and still comply to code?
                  They could quit their membership to the cult of the green wire.

                  Ethan Brush - East West Electric. NY, WA. MA

                  "You can't generalize"

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by electrofelon View Post

                    They could quit their membership to the cult of the green wire.
                    The dark power of the Cult of the Green Wire has grown so strong that even if the requirement for green wires were removed from specs ECs would pull them anyway.
                    If Billy Idol is on your playlist go reevaluate your life.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Thank you all for providing your opinions on this topic. I got some good feed back from you all. Any know where I can get an application to join this Cult of the Green Wire you're all speaking of?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        You will have to give up any connection to the grounding dirt worshipers.
                        If you don't have a circular slide rule or a Captain Midnight decoder ring, that's one strike against you.
                        Although, owning an operational Curta is a bonus
                        Must understand the difference between "120/208" and "208/120"
                        Never use the phrase "total 3ph amps"
                        I'm certain there are other requirements beyond my ken

                        The Cult of the Green Wire inner circle will allow you to hang around the edges and pay service to the tenents.

                        I have never seen an application. Actual induction is a midnight abduction with blind fold.
                        I can neither confirm nor deny:
                        you will meet the keepers of the 25 ohms of less knowledge
                        you will be given a get-out-of-jail-free card for the smoothing iron cord police

                        More I cannot say
                        Without data you’re just another person with an opinion – Edwards Deming

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by WA_Sparky View Post
                          Thank you all for providing your opinions on this topic. I got some good feed back from you all. Any know where I can get an application to join this Cult of the Green Wire you're all speaking of?
                          The Cult of the Green Wire is my pet term used to describe all those that find it necessary to pull a wire equipment grounding conductor in metallic conduit. There is no application or formal initiation just a slavish faith in the green wire. There are a few of us who have managed to not fall prey but I fear by they will have taken over the electrical world by the next generation.
                          If Billy Idol is on your playlist go reevaluate your life.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by iceworm View Post
                            You will have to give up any connection to the grounding dirt worshipers.
                            If you don't have a circular slide rule or a Captain Midnight decoder ring, that's one strike against you.
                            Although, owning an operational Curta is a bonus
                            Must understand the difference between "120/208" and "208/120"
                            Never use the phrase "total 3ph amps"
                            I'm certain there are other requirements beyond my ken

                            The Cult of the Green Wire inner circle will allow you to hang around the edges and pay service to the tenents.

                            I have never seen an application. Actual induction is a midnight abduction with blind fold.
                            I can neither confirm nor deny:
                            you will meet the keepers of the 25 ohms of less knowledge
                            you will be given a get-out-of-jail-free card for the smoothing iron cord police

                            More I cannot say
                            That's funny stuff right there.
                            If Billy Idol is on your playlist go reevaluate your life.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by iceworm View Post
                              You will have to give up any connection to the grounding dirt worshipers.
                              Why is that? I thought memberships to these two cults often overlapped?

                              I believe membership to CotGW involves the following core beliefs and principles. They should be reviewed and repeated daily.

                              1. Equipment grounding is the panacea of electrical safety. No other aspect of an electrical installation comes close in importance.

                              2. Non wire type EGC's listed in 250.118 are inadequate.

                              3. Fork lifts destroy raceway continuity pretty much all the time, then people die from shocks. It's only a matter of time until a forklift compromises a raceway system.

                              Note I am not a member, there may be other core principles. Find more discussion at your local supply house counter while waiting for your order.


                              Ethan Brush - East West Electric. NY, WA. MA

                              "You can't generalize"

                              Comment

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