Electrician vs. Engineer

shamsdebout

Senior Member
Location
Macon,GA
I agree with you.

I realize all people make mistakes.

I dislike people that think they incapable of being wrong.

I dislike people that hide behind a title, the title is nothing more than an achievement, they still can make mistakes.

The engineers I have worked with it don't think they are incapable of being wrong or hide behind a title. Does that really apply to engineers nowadays? Nowadays people are just tryng to get work wherever they can, I don't think we have time to be getting too prideful.

Many times people expect the engineer to never be wrong or to know all the answer and that is just not possible. Hopefully people don't get duped into thinking they will always have the answwer. It is a heavy burdern to carry such a load if one is indeed carrying that. I know there was one instances where I asked a question and someone immediately shot a replay saying I should know that.
 
I do ALOT of HVAC work. Changing a 208v RTU unit to 460v, requires some serious thought. in fact, too much thought. you must be thoughly familar with the RTU you're working with.

you need to change:
The indoor fan motor (blower motor) should have a diagram on the motor plate
The compressor if even possible to change voltages.
the control voltage transformer tap.
the combustion vent motor.
The disconnect fuses to 1/2 what they were.
all the contactors and relays in the unit.
there is also a compressor lockout sensor with a current transformer looking for spec amperage going to the compressor. That must be changed.

I say the time and labor to deal with this, you might as well rip the unit off the roof, and start over.
Wow, this thread is still going?

These units required very little work to change. All the compressors and condenser fans were internal VFDs. According to the manufacturer, nothing had to be changed. The VFDs were able to be fed by 208 or 480. From what I was told, the nameplate on the motors was stated 208. According to the manufacturer, the VFD uses PWM to allow a wide voltage input range.

I wasn't on the job for the work, just the preliminary "looking over" part when I suggested rewiring for 480 as opposed to the 208 option.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
The engineers I have worked with it don't think they are incapable of being wrong or hide behind a title. Does that really apply to engineers nowadays? Nowadays people are just tryng to get work wherever they can, I don't think we have time to be getting too prideful.

Many times people expect the engineer to never be wrong or to know all the answer and that is just not possible. Hopefully people don't get duped into thinking they will always have the answwer. It is a heavy burdern to carry such a load if one is indeed carrying that. I know there was one instances where I asked a question and someone immediately shot a replay saying I should know that.
I apologize if you took that the wrong way. It was not intended to be a shot at engineers specifically, but at anyone guilty of what I mentioned. The higher the education level necessary to obtain the "title" in question the easier it becomes for some people to become self centered and think they are better than everyone else, and this goes for any position of higher education. There are also many really good people that have higher education, they just don't make themselves stand out in the same ways.
 

ggunn

PE (Electrical), NABCEP certified
Location
Austin, TX, USA
Occupation
Electrical Engineer - Photovoltaic Systems
I apologize if you took that the wrong way. It was not intended to be a shot at engineers specifically, but at anyone guilty of what I mentioned. The higher the education level necessary to obtain the "title" in question the easier it becomes for some people to become self centered and think they are better than everyone else, and this goes for any position of higher education. There are also many really good people that have higher education, they just don't make themselves stand out in the same ways.
I know what you are talking about, but it's not the norm. I have met PhD's who, upon first casual contact, will find some way to work their degree into the conversation within the first few sentences, but they are not typical. It's yet another case where a stereotype emerges from the actions of a relative few.

To be fair, I have known a few blustery know-it-all electricians as well. A-holery is education agnostic.
 

hillbilly1

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,Ga
I know what you are talking about, but it's not the norm. I have met PhD's who, upon first casual contact, will find some way to work their degree into the conversation within the first few sentences, but they are not typical. It's yet another case where a stereotype emerges from the actions of a relative few.

To be fair, I have known a few blustery know-it-all electricians as well. A-holery is education agnostic.
That reminds me of a joke my boss told me,(he's a pilot)" How do you know if there's a pilot in the room? He will tell you!"
 

mivey

Senior Member
That reminds me of a joke my boss told me,(he's a pilot)" How do you know if there's a pilot in the room? He will tell you!"
Now that's funny. I know several and most meetings have something similar to: "yeah, we just flew in this morning". If no newbies are around, don't ask the "expected" follow-ups and see how long it will take them to "elaborate".:D Not really though, there is no harm in letting them have their fun.
 

Wire_nutz

Member
I have worked with engineers that said I cannot use the grounded conductor on a 3 Phase 240 Grounded-B system on equipment that required 240 Volt Single Phase, I must use the two ungrounded phases.

In one of my past posts, I posted 240 volt dryer receptacles wired with high/wild-leg phase. Engineering ordered a 3 phase 120/208 volt 3 phase high/wild-leg transformer to feed a distribution panel. Other engineering personnel and electricians I work with installed this transformer. This transformer also fed an existing panelboard that supplied 120 volt NEMA 5-20 and 208 volt NEMA 6-30 to existing receptacles. After installing this transformer washer and dryers started burning out due to having the high-leg on the neutral terminal of the receptacles.

I could not find any supporting documentation with voltage requirements for terminals on simple 240 volt dryer receptacles. I told engineering and the other electricians 120/240 the ?/? indicates 120 volts to ground not 208 volts to ground. I explained to engineering and the other electricians where ever you are in the U.S. or Canada you should be able to plug electrical devices into general purpose and dryer receptacles without fear of destruction.

I had to actually contact NEMA and UL to verify that the maximum voltage to ground on a NEMA 6-30 is 120 volts.
Some of these engineers do not know how to select a shared printer on a network. The have to contact IT or have someone else do it for them.
 

Wire_nutz

Member
Also a new commercial kitchen appliance was purchased to replace an existing appliance. The existing original appliance was 120/208 volt 3 phase 50-60 amps. When the new appliance arrives I was to just take the cord off the existing appliance and install it on the new appliance. The problem is the new appliance is 208 volt single phase 80 amps. Engineering and the other electricians wanted me to rewire the appliance to accept 3 phase to lower the current draw. The new appliance listing and labeling (including name plate) only stated 208/240 volt single phase. I presented the NEC and OSHA sections that listing and labeling must be followed. I did contact the equipment manufacture for permission to rewire the appliance for 3 phase and was denied. Engineering still wanted me to rewire the equipment, but eventually gave in and new larger wiring was installed.
 

ATSman

ATSman
Location
San Francisco
Occupation
Self Employed
Follow The Money

Follow The Money

Ever run into one that wasn't?:lol:

Most I run into are not too bad, there is usually something that could be done with less expense, but they may have good reasons for doing it the way they specified.

There is one POCO that has engineers that want what I feel are unnecessary things when you want a service on their system. All non residential underground services - need a spare conduit. I have asked why and never get a reason that makes any sense. Anything from if something happens to one of the other raceways and we can't pull new conductor we can use the spare, then I ask what the chance is of something happening to the used raceway and not the spare that is right next to it:slaphead:, or if they ever need to increase service capacity we can pull more through the spare, how do we know how much capacity will be needed when that time comes or if there isn't a lot of excavation done anyway if a major change. You ever try to get 3 - 3 inch raceways into a 400 amp meter socket plus a couple load raceways? It can be a challenge
This is a very interesting thread and quite dear to my heart. I have learned a lot from the different points of view of all the posts and have often wondered why the consulting engineer (CE) had designed a system the way he did. There have been many instances where there was overkill in the design in which the answer always came back as "future expansion."
Although I may have missed it since this is such a long thread I am surprised that nobody has mentioned the subject of money. Depending on how the contract is written, and very common in this area, many CE firms are paid a percentage of the total cost of the project. Ah yes, the great Greenback incentive. ;)
 

suemarkp

Senior Member
Location
Kent, WA
Occupation
Engineer
But it is much more expensive to come back later and add what you didn't do the first time. The requirements/design/build process will have to be started again. For all the labs I've specified, requirements were good for what they knew. The problem is they'll get some new computer or want a bunch of simple 120V stuff (but more than one 20A circuit can serve).

I usually throw in a few extra L21-30 receptacles, as I can serve a lot of different things with that, especially if I can tell them how to order the computer rack PDU instead of having to deal with it after it arrives.
 

hillbilly1

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,Ga
I was used as an consultant to the Orange box engineers years ago because a lot of my control designs were used in their stores, talking with them, they said they would have to guess at what the customer wanted at times because they were given little or no information on the equipment, so I know some engineers err on the side of caution because of this.
 

hillbilly1

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,Ga
I was used as an consultant to the Orange box engineers years ago because a lot of my control designs were used in their stores, talking with them, they said they would have to guess at what the customer wanted at times because they were given little or no information on the equipment, so I know some engineers err on the side of caution because of this.
Boy, this threads old! I read back through it, and I basically re-posted what I said earlier in this thread.
 

ptonsparky

Senior Member
Location
NE (9.06 miles @5.9 Degrees from Winged Horses)
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
We just got done with a job that had very little engineering oversight. The floors are flat. Nice job...but the water kind of meanders throughout the building ignoring the drains, seeping under the walls to the offices. Water plays a major role in production. So do sandbags now.

The lab now has upper cabinets that extend to the ceiling...last the EC knew there were no upper cabinets. Surface mounted fixtures.
 
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