Electrician vs. Engineer

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kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Right, you mentioned 480 originally. But... after changing to 480v the colors will be wrong!!! (I suppose that actually could be a valid concern, but also one you can work with.)
Even the worst case of resolving this issue (pulling new conductors) probably cost less than what was initially proposed. If identification was done with marking tape then that is probably about the least expensive - just re mark what is necessary.
 
Even the worst case of resolving this issue (pulling new conductors) probably cost less than what was initially proposed. If identification was done with marking tape then that is probably about the least expensive - just re mark what is necessary.

Cables were identified with blue and red tape. The engineer that I was talking to always thought that once a wire is installed, you cannot change the service voltage.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Cables were identified with blue and red tape. The engineer that I was talking to always thought that once a wire is installed, you cannot change the service voltage.
And when that was first mentioned his credibility as an engineer sank pretty fast. If he is not an electrical engineer why is he even involved in elecrical decisions? If he is a mechanical engineer his job should stop at designing mechanical system and let EE decide electrical designs.
 

petersonra

Senior Member
Location
Northern illinois
Occupation
engineer
Years ago, I ran across an article in a publication somewhere that mentioned a company in Japan where when an engineer walks by, the drafters stand and greet the engineer as "honorable engineer". I cut it out and taped it up outside my office where the drafters could see it.

We all got a kick out of it, except one drafter who was very miffed about it.

The article disappeared eventually during the clean police days.
 

Rick Christopherson

Senior Member
Cables were identified with blue and red tape. The engineer that I was talking to always thought that once a wire is installed, you cannot change the service voltage.
And when that was first mentioned his credibility as an engineer sank pretty fast. If he is not an electrical engineer why is he even involved in elecrical decisions? If he is a mechanical engineer his job should stop at designing mechanical system and let EE decide electrical designs.
It's actually a pretty sound philosophy. Unless you can trace the entire length of the conductors to ensure there are no taps, you run the risk of injuring someone or damaging equipment when you change the voltage on an existing circuit.
 

qcroanoke

Sometimes I don't know if I'm the boxer or the bag
Location
Roanoke, VA.
Occupation
Engineering
It's actually a pretty sound philosophy. Unless you can trace the entire length of the conductors to ensure there are no taps, you run the risk of injuring someone or damaging equipment when you change the voltage on an existing circuit.

That is a very good point.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
It's actually a pretty sound philosophy. Unless you can trace the entire length of the conductors to ensure there are no taps, you run the risk of injuring someone or damaging equipment when you change the voltage on an existing circuit.

That is a very good consideration to take into account. When making a change like that you have to look at everything to make sure you are not going to have a direct impact on something unexpected. If there are any taps someplace on that feeder they do have to be accessible wherever they are, and a good study of the installation will likely find that.

It also has nothing to do with whether or not the conductor itself can handle the change of voltage.
 

Rick Christopherson

Senior Member
It also has nothing to do with whether or not the conductor itself can handle the change of voltage.
But that's not what the engineer allegedly said. He allegedly stated that once a circuit is installed, its voltage should not be changed. It would be incorrect in stating it as an absolute, if he did in fact do that. However, as a general guideline, it is a very valid philosophy.

If you cannot trace 100% of that circuit, then you cannot be 100% positive that there are no taps. For example, there could have been an exposed junction box on the original install, but then someone installed a wall partition around that box and did not leave the box exposed. What you may assume is just a simple wall penetration could in fact be a buried junction box with a tap. You viewed 99.9% of the raceway, but that 4.5-inches that you didn't view is enough to kill someone.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
But that's not what the engineer allegedly said. He allegedly stated that once a circuit is installed, its voltage should not be changed. It would be incorrect in stating it as an absolute, if he did in fact do that. However, as a general guideline, it is a very valid philosophy.

If you cannot trace 100% of that circuit, then you cannot be 100% positive that there are no taps. For example, there could have been an exposed junction box on the original install, but then someone installed a wall partition around that box and did not leave the box exposed. What you may assume is just a simple wall penetration could in fact be a buried junction box with a tap. You viewed 99.9% of the raceway, but that 4.5-inches that you didn't view is enough to kill someone.

If it makes you happy we can repull the conductors in the OP and it will still cost a lot less than what was initially proposed. If the existing will not pull out out then we should discover this hidden tap.

If we do what was proposed initially we will be pulling similar sized and length conductors anyway for the second feeder.

When planning this all out you really need to know what loads are all on the feeder and how you are going to deal with them. If you miss something it could come back an bite you even if you did not change the voltage.

I have done enough installs where voltage was changed like this - you do need to consider everything or something will come back and get you. Simple thing to start with is turn off the feeder and find out what does not work. If not done at planning stage should at least be done at start of construction phase, if something unexpected is found make adjustments to the plans.
 

Rick Christopherson

Senior Member
If it makes you happy we can repull the conductors in the OP and it will still cost a lot less than what was initially proposed. If the existing will not pull out out then we should discover this hidden tap.
:cry: Geez! Take responsibility for your own words and quit the whining. You have such a huge chip on your shoulder that you can't stay on the topic you initiated. You posted that the engineer could not be respected because he didn't instantly jump on the short-sighted assumption that voltages can be changed without possible ramifications. The whole reason why the ECO process exists is to minimize how often such things occur.

We're not discussing whether it could or could not be done. We're talking about your lack of foresight that could very well have killed someone.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
:cry: Geez! Take responsibility for your own words and quit the whining. You have such a huge chip on your shoulder that you can't stay on the topic you initiated. You posted that the engineer could not be respected because he didn't instantly jump on the short-sighted assumption that voltages can be changed without possible ramifications. The whole reason why the ECO process exists is to minimize how often such things occur.

We're not discussing whether it could or could not be done. We're talking about your lack of foresight that could very well have killed someone.

I'm not whining, I'm looking for a good reason why a conductor that was used for 208 volts can not be later be used for 480 volts. The possibility of missing something like a hidden tap is another issue unrelated to the fact that this conductor is still good for up to 600 volts. There are possibly hundreds of mistakes that could be made that could get someone killed, they are all outside the issue brought up here but will come up sometime during the project. Same hidden tap you bring up is probably not code compliant or it would not be hard to find, similar issues could exist if we had a case of converting to or from a corner ground or high leg delta, when doing this kind of thing it involves extra work to make sure something like that doesn't happen, it is completely different part of the planning and execution than what was at question here.
 

Rick Christopherson

Senior Member
I'm not whining, I'm looking for a good reason why a conductor that was used for 208 volts can not be later be used for 480 volts.
Let me refresh your memory.........

And when that was first mentioned his credibility as an engineer sank pretty fast.
No one was disputing whether the original conductor can be repurposed. Not even the original engineer. After fruther examination, he later came back and agreed that it was a viable option.

What is at issue here is that the chip in your shoulder prevented you from even considering that initial examination of what could go wrong. You would rather write a letter of condolence to someone's widow than to acknowledge that the engineer was not as much of an idiot as you thought.

The core philosophy of not changing a conductor's voltage once it is installed is a sound philosophy, and you have not contested that. It doesn't mean it can't be done, but you had better make 100% sure that there are no remaining unknown ramifications before you do it. Even if you were the original installer, the instant you leave the project site, you lose chain-of-custody and can no longer provide 100% assurance that there may not be an unknown negative ramification.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Let me refresh your memory.........

No one was disputing whether the original conductor can be repurposed. Not even the original engineer. After fruther examination, he later came back and agreed that it was a viable option.

What is at issue here is that the chip in your shoulder prevented you from even considering that initial examination of what could go wrong. You would rather write a letter of condolence to someone's widow than to acknowledge that the engineer was not as much of an idiot as you thought.

The core philosophy of not changing a conductor's voltage once it is installed is a sound philosophy, and you have not contested that. It doesn't mean it can't be done, but you had better make 100% sure that there are no remaining unknown ramifications before you do it. Even if you were the original installer, the instant you leave the project site, you lose chain-of-custody and can no longer provide 100% assurance that there may not be an unknown negative ramification.
There would have been no further examination if OP did not question it, can he make a mistake, yes. Can Rick be wrong and admit it, no, he will go on and on with technical information hoping he will lose you in it and then he gets his way in the end:happyyes:
 

Rick Christopherson

Senior Member
There would have been no further examination if OP did not question it, can he make a mistake, yes. Can Rick be wrong and admit it, no, he will go on and on with technical information hoping he will lose you in it and then he gets his way in the end:happyyes:
Really? This is your best answer? Where is the technical information in my postings?.......WHERE?

I'm going to walk away at this point, but my comment stands. You have such a massive chip on your shoulder that it clouds your ability to communicate. If you can lose the attitude, I'll re-engage in the discussion.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Really? This is your best answer? Where is the technical information in my postings?.......WHERE?

I'm going to walk away at this point, but my comment stands. You have such a massive chip on your shoulder that it clouds your ability to communicate. If you can lose the attitude, I'll re-engage in the discussion.

Rick I do respect your education, experience, etc., you have brought a lot of good information to this forum, and most of the time is very accurate. When someone doesn't see something the same way you do, you are the one that seems to be condensending and have the attitude that you are never wrong. Nobody is that perfect. I will lose the attitude when you decide to do the same.

You may not have spouted on with technical info as I said in this thread, but you have done so and have accused me of not even having any business understanding electrical theory in the past, pretty unfair thing to say to someone you don't know anything about. I will not forget it.
 

lt2000

Member
There would have been no further examination if OP did not question it, can he make a mistake, yes. Can Rick be wrong and admit it, no, he will go on and on with technical information hoping he will lose you in it and then he gets his way in the end:happyyes:
Well said.
gary
 

ritelec

Senior Member
Location
Jersey
did anyone pick up on this point???




At first the engineer thought I was nuts. Said that THHN in rigid was only good for 225 volts...I asked several times, he was sure it was only good for 225 volts. Also said something to the effect that once cable is installed and used at one voltage, it cannot be used on another.


Personally, I think it's still rated for 600v, but doing some reading and people imply like speakers and things, wire needs to be broken in (????).

Truth or hoggwash? Opinion or fact???

Just wondering. TY.
 

mivey

Senior Member
did anyone pick up on this point???
He was wrong. I have no idea what is special about 225 volts either.

Personally, I think it's still rated for 600v
Agreed.

but doing some reading and people imply like speakers and things, wire needs to be broken in (????).
Not sure what they mean. Of course I don't know everything so if you could post some info it might prove interesting.
 
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