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
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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.
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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.
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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
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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
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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.
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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.
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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
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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.
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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
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