Omissions and Errors

engineerintraining12

Senior Member
Location
Saint Louis
Hey everyone,

I have kind of a general engineering question that has to deal with not providing conduit from a new main electrical panel out to a concession stand location. So to put things into perspective, when I sent out the construction drawings for this project, we had discussed providing spare breakers in the main panel for what would eventually be a concessions stand located outside and away from the building. The owner never provided any information or location of where the concessions stand was supposed to be so we just ended up showing the spares on the drawing without providing information on conduit size or where to run them. The concrete slab is already poured and now the general contractor is asking what can be done and why we didn't show this on our drawings. In this scenario what would be the best course of action in order to not look foolish and also is there a way to run conduits outside the building without having to drill through the concrete slab?

Best Regards,
Engineer in training
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
The general contract should have thought about this before he poured and perhaps you should have had a conduit from the panel to the outside- in a pull box or somewhere where one could access it for future use.

It is hard to tell you how to do this without knowing what is there. If the panels are on exterior walls then one could just drill thru the wall and then run down and across to the stand. The conduit can come up on the outside of the stand and mount a panel on the outside of the structure.
 

engineerintraining12

Senior Member
Location
Saint Louis
Agreed, it was a little bit of column A (my fault for not showing anything on the drawings) and a little bit of column B (the general contractor should have prepared since they obviously knew about it in the meetings). We do have an exterior 4000 amp switchgear that has 5 services being used and one 800 amp spare. Can you tap off of an existing service?
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
Agreed, it was a little bit of column A (my fault for not showing anything on the drawings) and a little bit of column B (the general contractor should have prepared since they obviously knew about it in the meetings). We do have an exterior 4000 amp switchgear that has 5 services being used and one 800 amp spare. Can you tap off of an existing service?
You could possible do a tap on the service conductors
 

charlie b

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Seattle, WA
Occupation
Electrical Engineer
. . . .when I sent out the construction drawings for this project, . . .
I presume you mean when the licensed PE under whose supervision you were working sent out the construction drawings. Since your topic title was "Omissions and Errors," lets us be clear that it is that other person who would have to answer for any potential omissions (this discussion does not appear to involve errors).
The owner never provided any information or location of where the concessions stand was supposed to be so we just ended up showing the spares on the drawing without providing information on conduit size or where to run them.
The engineer's job is to provide a design that accomplishes what the owner "says" they want. The "says" part means whatever the contract tells you to do. Generally that starts with a Request for Proposal, to which you respond with a Proposal. If those documents instruct you to include the feeder to the concession stand, you should have included it in the drawings. At the very least, given that the owner did not tell you anything about the location or load requirements, you should have included a note on the floor plan, instructing the contractor to coordinate with the owner (prior to pouring the slab) for the exact location of where the feeder conduit should exit from the building.

On the other hand, if you have documented evidence (i.e., meeting notes or email exchanges) showing that you asked the question, and that you never received any information, then the onus lands on the owner. But if you weren't working under a contract, and you don't have a clear description of your work scope, then you are (no, I mean your supervising PE is) in a tenuous position.
 

engineerintraining12

Senior Member
Location
Saint Louis

I presume you mean when the licensed PE under whose supervision you were working sent out the construction drawings. Since your topic title was "Omissions and Errors," lets us be clear that it is that other person who would have to answer for any potential omissions (this discussion does not appear to involve errors).
The engineer's job is to provide a design that accomplishes what the owner "says" they want. The "says" part means whatever the contract tells you to do. Generally that starts with a Request for Proposal, to which you respond with a Proposal. If those documents instruct you to include the feeder to the concession stand, you should have included it in the drawings. At the very least, given that the owner did not tell you anything about the location or load requirements, you should have included a note on the floor plan, instructing the contractor to coordinate with the owner (prior to pouring the slab) for the exact location of where the feeder conduit should exit from the building.

On the other hand, if you have documented evidence (i.e., meeting notes or email exchanges) showing that you asked the question, and that you never received any information, then the onus lands on the owner. But if you weren't working under a contract, and you don't have a clear description of your work scope, then you are (no, I mean your supervising PE is) in a tenuous position.
I'm not looking to play the blame game here to be honest. I agree that a note probably should have been provided instructing them of future provisions for a concession stand, but as you probably know when drafting and designing over 30 plus pages of electrical drawings sometimes things get over looked. The contract for this project was one of our standard contracts that we use for schools and did not provide any specifics on providing feeders for concessions stands. I think there are plenty of solutions to this issue without having to point fingers.
 

charlie b

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Seattle, WA
Occupation
Electrical Engineer
I am never one to point fingers. I prefer to invest my time in finding solutions. But if you are not concerned about having fingers pointed at you, then perhaps you should have chosen a different title for this thread. :happyyes:
 

engineerintraining12

Senior Member
Location
Saint Louis
I am never one to point fingers. I prefer to invest my time in finding solutions. But if you are not concerned about having fingers pointed at you, then perhaps you should have chosen a different title for this thread. :happyyes:
haha, agreed, I was just trying to get something posted quick and I really couldn't think of a good title for this
 

charlie b

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Seattle, WA
Occupation
Electrical Engineer
Am I to understand that the outdoor path from the building to the concession stand is not itself covered in concrete? In other words, once you have a feeder conduit run to the outside of the building, you can run it underground the rest of the way? If so, the two suggestions given in posts 2 and 4 seem most likely to succeed. I would not use an existing spare 800 amp breaker or tap a 4000 amp switchboard to serve a load likely to be under 30 KVA.
 

LarryFine

Master Electrician Electric Contractor Richmond VA
Location
Henrico County, VA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
I would call in a horizontal boring contractor. They should be able to dig a pit in the electrical room, bore to it, and pull in a cable or flexible conduit.
 
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