#$@! Electrical Specifications #3

Here is another specification I am getting tired of seeing – “EC shall review branch circuit and feeder lengths for compliance with articles 210.9(a)(1)FPN4 and 215.2(a)(3)FPN2 voltage drop requirements.”

And in the same spec, I found this one – “EC to ensure panels will fit in specified spaces before purchase of equipment.”

For the thirty years I’ve been estimating, these tasks have been the engineers job.  Now it’s ours? To me these are just more examples of engineers trying to get away with doing less work, and shifting the burden to electrical contractors.

Let me know what you think, and how you are dealing with this specification.

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10 responses to “#$@! Electrical Specifications #3

  1. I don’t think the Engineers do that for all circuits, they just check when see long run circuit feeders or site wiring.

    By the way, is there any fast different way than to measure them with the wheel – an easy way to “estimate” those lengths?

  2. Kevin Huntzinger

    Fortunately in Florida, they addressed it in the building code, and it is the engineer’s responsibility to insure voltage drop is less than 2% for feeders, 3% for branch circuits. I have seen similar notes a couple of times on plans here, and simply spell out in the scope that I bid what they design, only. I will add a note that the wire size is likely not to meet code.

  3. I agree whole heartedly. Engineers are doing less and less now days. I also see in specs where they state if power or something of that nature is missing for a piece of equipment we are responsible for it.
    I know around here if we put exclusion in our bid the way Kevin stated it above, our bid would be thrown out.

    • BDB – The courts in most states have ruled that those kinds of clauses are exculpatory, and can not be enforced. However, who wants to go to court? Here is a phrase I got from N.E.C.A. about 25 years ago, and it still goes on every proposal I send out:

      “The correctness and completeness of the contract documents is the sole responsibility of those who have prepared them. This proposal covers only that work that is adequately shown, described and/or detailed in the above referenced contract documents.”

      The way this is worded requires that you list the documents included in your bid before this statement, including plans, specifications and addendums. List only the documents you used to prepare the estimate. I use the following format:

      This proposal is based on the following documents:

      Plans
      E1, E2, E3, …..

      Specifications
      16010 1-3, 16050 1-10, …

      Addendums
      1, 2 & 3

      If anyone has other stratagies for fighting these kinds of specs, let us know.

  4. Steven A. Callahan

    I have seen the same phrase for several years now in Massachusetts. It has been getting worse with the new thing is for the EC to complete a short circuit study when a adding a new feeder breaker or panelboard. At this point the projects should be design build!

  5. We are quickly headed for a time where documents will consist of a sheet of paper with a square on it, the requirements will be decided as the owners rep walks through the project, and we will simply be required to supply all whims and wishs that can be fit in the box.

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