National Electrical Code question


I'm in a dispute with an electrician, who wired my house with an underground feed. After signing a contract in which he promised to do all work, and supply all parts, to refeed the existing house from a new building, he imposed an additional charge of $350 for an "underground pull box", which is basically a 15" x 24" cement rectangle with a plastic lid. The pull box had to be installed, according to the city, because there were too many 45- and 90-degree turns in the wire run to do it in one single pull.
Does anyone know whether this is mandated by the NEC? It would make resolution of the dispute easier if so.
    thanks,
    Andy Barss
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Regardless, didn't you say it's required by the City? I believe the city can have a stricter code as long as it satisfies the NEC as well. Best to talk to a Professional Electrical Engineer to verify this.
** remove .invalid from my email address to reply by email **
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
DTJ writes:

I think you confuse "contractor liens" with "judgment liens" from losing a lawsuit.
Contractor liens are not judgment liens. In most juridictions contractor liens expire after a year or so. It is just a way for a contractor to encumber your property for the time it takes to negotiate and sue, not forever. And it is nothing more than the contractor's unproven claim; he still has to sue you to get paid. If he wins the suit, then he can use the lien to collect. If you win, or if he just ignores it, then you automatically go back to being unliened.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 1 Jul 2003 19:14:58 +0000 (UTC), Andrew Barss

Check the code directly for the number of turns between pull boxes, it is specified. But if the city requires it, even if NEC doesn't, that's the rule you have to meet.
Jeff
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 02 Jul 2003 22:04:26 -0400, "Thomas D. Horne"
[snip]
|It has to be required by law. The inspector cannot make up rules based |on personal judgment. Some states, such as Virginia, forbid the local |AHJ from enforcing anything that is different from the state wide code. | The city must adopt a code and make that code available if their |state allows it. The inspector say's so is not enough.
Oh, I dunno about that.
I added a 160 sq ft laundry/sewing room and a large garage on my house. The laundry was between the existing structure and the new garage.
Although I plumbed in HVAC from the existing system, the duct was a long way from the plenum and since it's a masonary house with a flat roof and no crawl space I couldn't add a return duct.
Since the garage is also the workshop and it gets hot in Arizona, I added a cooling system to the garage. I also planned to supply additional cool air from this system to the laundry to augment that system.
I designed the addition but had a professional do the drafting and run the plans through the county plans examiners. After approval, I began construction. One of my inspections was for rough framing and mechanical. The inspector blessed the duct that ran from the garage into the laundry.
During the plumbing and electrical inspection, a different inspector looked at the duct and said, "You can't have that duct run from a garage into a living space."
I said, "Huh? This was blessed by the plans examiners and the last inspector."
He said, "I don't give a damn, you either tear it out completely or replace it with a thicker gauge sheet metal and install a heat operated damper, or your project stops here."
I went to the county plans examiners and told them what happened and they were besides themselves. I appealed to the chief inspector and his reply was, "I never overrule the inspector in the field."
I tore it out.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 03 Jul 2003 16:32:22 -0700, Wes Stewart wrote:

You mean you didn't greet him with the obligatory bottle of hooch? No wonder he was snippy ;-)
-Doug
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 04 Jul 2003 00:45:23 GMT, "Doug Winterburn"
[snip]
|You mean you didn't greet him with the obligatory bottle of hooch? No |wonder he was snippy ;-)
Ain't that the truth. I've seen that in action.
Also, I often say that we have a true participatory democracy here in our county. Our Board of Supervisors can be bought so cheaply that anyone can afford it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Wes Stewart wrote:

Please explain how that constitutes "make up rules based on personal judgment." A fire wall between a residence and an attached garage is required by all of the model building codes. A duct that pierces a firewall must meet tougher standards than one that does not. That is to protect you from a fire in your garage spreading so quickly that it cuts off your means of egress before your smoke detector sounds. All plans approvals are subject to verification of their effect by field inspection. The fact that the inspector who actually had to sign off on the job was stricter in his inspection practice than the folks who signed off on the plans is often true. If you had the plans reviewed by a licensed design professional they might have caught that problem before you built the duct. -- Tom
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 02 Jul 2003 22:04:26 -0400, "Thomas D. Horne"

All codes are up to the inspector's interpretation. If there's any ambiguity in the code, then you'll have a hard time challenging the inspector's decision. For example, does two 45 degree truns constitute a 90 degree bend? What if they're a foot apart? Six inches? How about three 22 1/2 degree bends, is that a 45 or a 90?
Keep in mind that in the US. 90% of all law is case law, not statutory. All based on judgement.
Jeff
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I think the key thing is that the Electrician bid the contract to *meet* code. He has to, there's no other way to bid the work. If the Electrician didn't know the code, that would generally be his problem. If he (electrician) added something that he did not plan on originally because he missed it, that would generally be at his own expense. After all, if I took his bid in comparison to others that were higher, the price is the reason he go the job.
Now, I'd cut a guy some slack if he came from out of the area and wasn't familiar with local (non standard) code. I'd also cut a legit guy some slack if he failed to notice an item like this and it was required by code, after he humbly explained that it was his fault and that his kids would not eat this week if he had to do it at the contract amount. In this case he should charge the consumer parts cost and eat the labor.
However, in this case it appears that he was less than courteous about the increase - and that he is claiming that it is *not* required by code, he just decided to add the box for kicks. Very weird, I can't see how the customer should pick up the freight.

He, he, he, how true.
Bob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Les Fingers wrote:

You'll lose, in court. If the extra work needed to be done, then it doesn't matter whether the cost of is was included in the original quote. Only if the original quote was both a firm quote instead of an estimate, *AND* it includes phrasing like "and any other incidental work" that implies doing whatever it takes to get the job finished do you even have an argument. And it's unlikely that both of the above will be true at the same time. Then, given that small claims courts are courts of equity, you're unlikely to be able to get the judge to let you make a profit off of the tradesman's mistake, unless you can show that he did it on purpose, or was exceptionally negligent or incompetent, *AND* that the resulting mistake cost you _extra_ money. Which it didn't, as the additional $350 is just what it would have cost you had he (or some other, smarter electrician) gotten the quote right, the first time. I suppose you might have an argument if you can show that $350 is excessive for a pull-box.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Goedjn wrote:

Utilities can be quite arbitrary in the requirements they impose, it is often up to the field supervisor who thinks he is God and makes up the rules as he goes.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Goedjn wrote:

On what are you basing this position? That would certainly not be the outcome in many states. Home improvement contracting is much more heavily regulated than most other kinds. As a licensed electrician I am responsible for the completeness of the job. If my work fails inspection my residential customer does not have to pay me for the work. State or local law requires that the work be executed to comply with code. It is the contractors responsibility to plan a compliant installation. Because a home owner has no way to judge the completeness of the proposed work the law in most places is that compliance is the contractors responsibility. -- Tom
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thomas D. Horne wrote:

Exactly. If you do this type of work as a contractor, it is your responsibility to make sure your bid/estimate/quote/whatever covers all the code requirements. You can't put the burden on the customer, even if it's just the financial burden ("I have to charge extra because I neglected to design the job up to code").
Maybe if the customer did not provide adequate information, or intentionally withheld something the contractor could not learn on their own, then the contractor could be in the better position. A smart contractor would choose not to do the job if they suspected anything like that was happening.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
It wasn't an estimate -- it was a binding agreement.
He also attempted to overbill in other ways. For example, he installed stove outlets (huge, 30 amp outlets) in a room he knew to be a workshop with 20 amp outlets, then tried to bill me for the cost of changing the outlets to what was specified on the plans *he* wrote up. he also inflated the number of outlets in the building by 30 percent.
: Goedjn wrote: :> :> Les Fingers wrote: :> :> :>>How can an electrician develop a contract to perform electrical work :>>and not understand the local code requirements. He needs to :>>understand electrical work more than he understands contracts. This :>>is called ignorance of the law...on his part.:>> :>>Sounds like you need to take the electrican and the documentation to :>>small claims court. :> :> :> You'll lose, in court. If the extra work needed to be done, then :> it doesn't matter whether the cost of is was included in the original :> quote. Only if the original quote was both a firm quote instead :> of an estimate, *AND* it includes phrasing like "and any other :> incidental work" that implies doing whatever it takes to get the :> job finished do you even have an argument. And it's unlikely :> that both of the above will be true at the same time. Then, :> given that small claims courts are courts of equity, you're unlikely :> to be able to get the judge to let you make a profit off of the :> tradesman's mistake, unless you can show that he did it on purpose, :> or was exceptionally negligent or incompetent, *AND* that the :> resulting mistake cost you _extra_ money. Which it didn't, :> as the additional $350 is just what it would have cost you had :> he (or some other, smarter electrician) gotten the quote right, the :> first time. I suppose you might have an argument if you :> can show that $350 is excessive for a pull-box. : On what are you basing this position? That would certainly not be the : outcome in many states. Home improvement contracting is much more : heavily regulated than most other kinds. As a licensed electrician I am : responsible for the completeness of the job. If my work fails : inspection my residential customer does not have to pay me for the work. : State or local law requires that the work be executed to comply with : code. It is the contractors responsibility to plan a compliant : installation. Because a home owner has no way to judge the completeness : of the proposed work the law in most places is that compliance is the : contractors responsibility. : -- : Tom
--
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
Andy Barss
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.