Legal Counsel says running conduit is NOT electrical work.

roger

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Fl
Occupation
Electrician
It would only require all that you describe under the rules you (and I) are accustomed to. The NEC itself does not require inspections.
I agree but that was not part of the OP, and in the OP'ers follow up in post #114 it seems as though the "legal counsel" does recognize code (what ever code) compliance inspections are required when the raceways contain electrical wiring.





I have twice, they actually did their own plan reviews, RI inspections, and finals completely independant of the local building department.

Roger
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
And that would take us back to post # 19, once it does contain wires the whole installation would need to be inspected for code compliance which would require openning up walls, ceilings, floors, etc... for a propper inspection.

Let's take a step further, has anyone here worked in jurisdictions where the FD would not accept an Electrical RI inspection for FA wiring and did their own inspections of conduit and tubing?


Roger
Here the EI inspects the wiring methods, but the Fire Marshal inspects placement of devices, functionality and operation of system for fire alarms.

Similar situation is with elevators. Although NEC does cover elevators, EI only inspects supply conductors to the elevator, everything beyond those conductors is the jurisdiction of others.
 

roger

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Fl
Occupation
Electrician
Here the EI inspects the wiring methods, but the Fire Marshal inspects placement of devices, functionality and operation of system for fire alarms.
Which is typical of most areas, but not across the board.

Roger
 

mivey

Senior Member
Direct quote

"It has come to the attention of the general counsels office that there is confusion related to electrical licensing and inspection requirements when working with conduit. It is the opinion of the general counsels office that no electrical license or inspection is required when working with conduit that contains no electrical wiring."
Seems to me a reasonable question to general counsel would be: "Since conduit intended for electrical use is actually going to be an electrical conductor, did you mean conduit that is not intended for electrical use or were you including conduit intended to contain electrical wiring after installation?"

It could be read that counsel was referring to conduit not intended for electrical use.
 

Buck Parrish

Senior Member
Location
NC & IN
We install the little green equipment ground jumper (wire) in boxes during rough in's, in walls and where specs require a wire equipment ground pulled in the conduit.
 

lghtning4u

Member
Location
La Porte, Texas
I've always thought the plumbers ought to be doing this anyway, lmao!




I am absolutely unsure as to why Legal Counsel has determined in my state that installing conduit is NOT electrical work. Somehow they have extrapolated from the code that until conduit has wire in it it is merely tubing and does not require supervision of a licensed electrician or an electrical inspection. I find this decision absolutely ludicrous and quite frankly have no idea as to why they feel qualified to interpret the National Electrical Code in the first place. My question is does anyone else have experience with this happening and also what is your opinion on this issue.
 

johnj

Member
Conduit

Conduit

In NJ our control company employs both electricians and plumbers. The plumbers run pneumatic tubing for air lines to control devices such as damper motors, pneumatic valves, etc. To protect the plastic air lines they would run conduit on the air handlers. If any wires had to be run, it was done by the electricians. Since their conduits were only used for protection, they didn't fall under the same guidelines as the conduits used for electrical work as far as grounding, fill capacity, etc. They still had to run it with the correct straps, connectors, boxes, etc. and be level and square with the building.
 

Wire_nutz

Member
Now days it all comes down to the bottom Dollar and ANYONE can do electrical work; lack of quality and durability is the trend. Normally you are going to get a Quality job if a Journeyman Electrician completes the job start to finish. The term Journeyman and Skilled Tradesman is used loosely today. Normally to be considered a true Journeyman or Skilled Tradesman one completes a qualified 4-5 year apprenticeship program for the particular trade.

When I first started as an electrician rigid and IMC treaded conduit was specified on a lot of jobs even in situations when EMT could have been used. It takes planning and skills to run threaded conduit. You have to plan your bends and measure correctly when installing threaded conduit, it is not like installing EMT if your bend or measurement was wrong EMT can easily be fixed by adding a nipple or cutting off the conduit. When I worked on large Industrial and Commercial jobs if an electrician had to make too many adjustments or use too many unions when running threaded pipe you got a pink slip.

For multiple reasons other trades are performing what should be done by an electrician. Since the invention of PVC and ENT I have seen the following; Outdoor lighting and parking lot lighting raceways and direct burial wire is installed by the outfit auguring and trenching. An electrician is not needed to ?Chasing the Mason? anymore when concrete block is being installed. The consensus this is very easy to install and requires minimal tools. When the conductors cannot be installed due to kinks, sharp bends, to many bends, raceway not connected due to not using glue and coming apart, using tape, or not using the correct fitting, mortar or concrete in the raceway, big rocks on the raceway when backfilling; now the electrician has to deal with it. I have also been on jobs when the HVAC contractor installs the EMT for HVAC equipment and the electrician installs the line voltage wiring.

Electrical work is not only being done by others in private industry, but also in local mucipalities and county governments have general maintenance workers and maintenance mechanics performing electrical work. When it comes to electrical inspections two inspections exist; union and non-union, but that is totally another subject.

Normally you can tell when an amateur did the work because the conduit is not level, not supported properly, many short pieces of conduit (nipples), kinked bends ect. Using FMT or MC Cable in exposed areas that normally a journeyman electrician would have installed EMT. Without proper enforcement including inspections and the increased use of these flexible wiring methods including CORD more and more work will not require an electrician anymore.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
NEC does not determine who is qualified to do specific tasks either, it is just a code that is adoptable by AHJ's.

AHJ determines who can do what. They are publicly regulated entities and if the public does not like their laws they can initiate action to get them changed.

Legal counsel, judges, other legal persons are simply people that look hard at written laws and try to determine methods of interpreting what they mean, and if a client is paying to get what they want they will look for any possible loopholes that favor the clients desires. There can be times the way a law is written that it can be interpreted in a way that was not intended by the original writing of such law.
 
BTW, laws shouldn't be made in order to give our own trade work (although I'll happily take the work if it leads to that! :D).
Why not? don't we pay enough taxes to have the laws protect our jobs and income?

In Chicago it would require a union pipe-fitter to run conduit. Then a union wire-puller to pull the wire. Then if installing a projection TV it would require a union millwright to stand it up, a union electrician to plug it in, followed by a union projectionist to turn it on...:D
 

San -Brooke

Member
Location
USA
NEC does not determine who is qualified to do specific tasks either, it is just a code that is adoptable by AHJ's.
No but the State in question does have electrical licensing laws which are fairly specific as to who must do the work if it is electrical or at least supervise its installation. So the fact that someone with zero experience in the trade and armed only with a degree in law decides to make a determination that running conduit is not electrical until it has wire in it so it neither needs an electrical license present during install nor an inspection till it has wire in it bodes to ask the question is this incompetence or is there an agenda?
 

ramsy

Owner/Operator
Location
LA basin, CA
Occupation
Service Electrician 2017 NEC
Legal Counsel says running conduit is NOT electrical work.

When Legal Counsel says they will advocate on your behalf, what does that mean?

1) They will suck your blood until you win, lose, go bankrupt, or both; they don't care.
2) You believe lawyers are obligated to disclose case precedence that will crush you, long after you're deep into appeals.
3) You believe lawyers are your ally against your opposition, regardless of the clients they led down the same dead-end path.
4) Talking to an appellate attorney first could have saved lots of time & money.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
No but the State in question does have electrical licensing laws which are fairly specific as to who must do the work if it is electrical or at least supervise its installation. So the fact that someone with zero experience in the trade and armed only with a degree in law decides to make a determination that running conduit is not electrical until it has wire in it so it neither needs an electrical license present during install nor an inspection till it has wire in it bodes to ask the question is this incompetence or is there an agenda?
If he has a paying client that wants to see it that way then isn't his job to find legal ways or loopholes to favor the clients view.
 

pfalcon

Senior Member
Location
Indiana
Direct quote

"It has come to the attention of the general counsels office that there is confusion related to electrical licensing and inspection requirements when working with conduit. It is the opinion of the general counsels office that no electrical license or inspection is required when working with conduit that contains no electrical wiring."
The OP and several others are over-reading this statement. Legalese is often over-read. Just like parts of the NEC.

The statement contains nothing about future use nor code compliance. It allows someone to perform or hire a contractor (barring other laws) to make a swing set out of conduit without requiring an electrician or an inspection. The statement expressly (in a weasel-like fashion) limits the statement to the present. It says nothing about what it might be connected in the future.

It would not surprise me to see the same office post tomorrow that "Working with conduit that is intended to contain electrical wiring does require electrical licensing and inspection." or "All conduit containing electrical wiring must have been installed by a licensed contractor and inspected." or some other such weaseling.

Statements such as this are made all the time so that government offices can dismiss trivial cases without review. It's nothing new but it's a terrible practice. Down in the small claims arena the judges are often not the best.
 

San -Brooke

Member
Location
USA
If he has a paying client that wants to see it that way then isn't his job to find legal ways or loopholes to favor the clients view.
I am not referring to a private practice. I am referring to someone whose job it is to provide Legal Counsel to a states AHJ, who has decided to take liberties in making determinations outside the realm of ones expertise without even consulting the top state level AHJ. You could say that it almost done in a "going rogue" fashion. To the point where someone who you had to explain what a four square box is tells you they feel running conduit is NOT electrical work in the same conversation by the span of a few paragraphs.
 
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