Plastic Boxes on Commercial Jobs

Strathead

Senior Member
That is a bit harsh.



On a technical note the OP states the project was spec'd for MC and EMT and was Quality engineered for NM.

If I were that EC I would argue that the change to go NM came will all the NM methods used for this type of wiring. Would you expect to see Heavy duty one hole straps be used if that was the original plan before the Value engineering took place. Or if the plan spec'd all switch legs to be "Purple" sounds ridiculous doesn't it
Tht is what I was trying to get to back on page one. If the job was VE'd to Romex, then I would assume plastic boxes are OK. Now it would be remiss, but not the end of the world if I forgot to address that one issue specifically, I probably didn't tell them I won't be supplying steel insulated throat connectors either. If the job has specs though, it should have submittals. If I submit on metal boxes only then shame on me, and I would concede that metal was bought and paid for. I wouldn't make that mistake though, I would submit on plastic. If the Engineer kicked it back, I would merely send an additive change order back to indicate the lesser savings of the Value engineering to Romex that I already gave them. I imagine 100 out of 100 customers who accept a VE to Romex are open to saving money by not using metal boxes.
 

Strathead

Senior Member
Probably, but from personal experience true.
Tim, you are being judgmental about a situation that you don't even know all of the details. There are a ton of situations where the change has valid reason and only couple where the contractor is a scumbag who is irreputable. You could be considered just as irruputable if you provided metal boxes and charged the extra markup when the customer was looking for value, and more often than not, an Engineer uses boilerplate specs that they failed to completely modify for any one specific project. So maybe they are the irreputable ones who didn't provide the customer their full service. The thing is you just bandy that around like you are "holier than thou!"

Years ago a training program defined quality as "conformance to requirements" It was concept that took getting used to. But if a person goes to a car dealer and asks for a Pinto, but the salesman delivers a Cadillac, that is NOT a quality product. Especially when the customer is handed a Cadillac bill. Plastic boxes with Romex is a standard installation and there is nothing wrong with the quality of it. You posit that you can crush a plastic box with you hand. I will take your word for it, but on the other hand, drop a plastic box form a ladder and a metal box from a ladder, and the metal boxes are going to be damaged more often, so maybe it is the metal box that is inferior? I prefer higher end electrical installations as well, and am stuck up enough that I avoid romex jobs, but that doesn't make them inferior.
 
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