Animal House Electric - Electrical - Contractor Talk

Animal House Electric

 
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Old 01-09-2009, 07:41 PM   #1
 
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Animal House Electric


Yes it's true. This place was almost 8,500 sq ft. It's listed as an amusement park on the auditor site (seriously). It's a previous frat house (Phi Theta something?). Built and wired in 1967 with lots of 1/2 conduit and a 2 wire system. One 400 amp underground existing service going into a CT with massive rust everywhere in all panels in utility. Bottom fell out when I opened one of the 200 amp disconnects (wish I had a camera). New owner wants to cut occupancy down to 23 (from 45) with deluxe baths and more amenities. He said college kids today are getting too spoiled. The Architect's electrical load calcs are not even close?? Not sure where he came up with 300 va for a micro/refer?? and multiple more mistakes. Anyhow, haven't really ran upon this yet. Would this be classified Commericial or Residential ?? Our inspector here won't let you use conduit as ground in residential unless you get some sort of third party verification ($1,000). Anyone out there wire a Frat House?? I'm more worried if I took it they would have some wild party and catch the place on fire and of course who will they blame first.

On a side note: Owner said local utility said underground conductor's were too big (as in size big 500MCM) for their jumpers to transformer (not sized in accordance with were their words) and local inspection agency says conductors are too small for calculated load (by idiot). Anyone run into this as well.
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Old 01-09-2009, 07:58 PM   #2
 
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Re: Animal House Electric


oh. There is only 1 meter for whole building. Somewhere around 50% of area is big party rooms.

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Old 01-09-2009, 10:08 PM   #3
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Re: Animal House Electric


Why won't your inspector let you use your conduit as an EGC?

I'm not too familiar with all of these type details, but if the property is listed as an Amusement Park then that's what it is. Wire it up as such then hit 'em with a change order.
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Old 01-10-2009, 10:12 AM   #4
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Re: Animal House Electric


If you can't use the emt as a ground it has to be documented as an amendment to the NEC in their city's building department. I'd ask to see that one in writing.
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Old 01-10-2009, 11:02 AM   #5
 
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Re: Animal House Electric


great idea. I love loopholes. Last night for fun while drinking dark beer. I did a few load calcs on this place. Of course, it did not seem to fit any one form we have here (single family, multifamily, commercial,amusement park,etc...) I would seem to think it would conform more to a really really big single family. Basically, a crap load of bedrooms, a few baths and large common areas (only 1 stove, 2 washers, basically one kitchen). I ran each load calc for fun and it ranged 100 amps. We have to use one of six forms here. I'm meeting with head cheese on monday anyway and I'll let you know what happened on all this.
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Old 01-10-2009, 11:32 AM   #6
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Re: Animal House Electric


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubbles View Post
great idea. I love loopholes. Last night for fun while drinking dark beer. I did a few load calcs on this place. Of course, it did not seem to fit any one form we have here (single family, multifamily, commercial,amusement park,etc...) I would seem to think it would conform more to a really really big single family. Basically, a crap load of bedrooms, a few baths and large common areas (only 1 stove, 2 washers, basically one kitchen). I ran each load calc for fun and it ranged 100 amps. We have to use one of six forms here. I'm meeting with head cheese on monday anyway and I'll let you know what happened on all this.
I am not an electrician and could have misunderstood what you came up with. Are you suggesting 100 amps would be enough? That would be about 4 amps per resident?

I do know collage students I am paying for some right now. Figure Tv, stereo , computer system, a micro/fridge and a couple of gaming systems for each room. Add a few lights and I would think at least ten to fifteen amps per student would just handle it.

Please don't think I am trying to tell you about electrical just what I have seen in dorm rooms.

Jim
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Old 01-10-2009, 11:58 AM   #7
 
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Re: Animal House Electric


nice quick rule of thumb. Actually, I came up with 277 amps on single family form up to 500 by commercial/amusement park method. I think it will be close to 277 for permit depending on how they classify it. I love those quick multipliers for fast crude estimates. nice
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Old 01-10-2009, 08:26 PM   #8
 
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Re: Animal House Electric


I don't understand you guys questioning the "can't use EMT as a ground" I have been licensed in several county in several states in my 25+ years and haven't seen one in years (at least 10) that still allows you to use conduit as a ground. The reason should be obvious to anyone with any experiance as an electrician...first time you get a loose connector/coupling..your ground is gone from that point on. Come on guys...no onder the average consumer doesn't trust contractors....you guys r giving us all a bad name.
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Old 01-10-2009, 08:40 PM   #9
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Re: Animal House Electric


When we install metal conduit systems attached to the building steel, we don't use a separate EGC. Simply put, every piece of conduit is strapped to the building steel, and terminated into metal boxes which are also firmly attached to the same steel. The main service is required to be connected to the building steel as well.

Installing a separate EGC is a waste of resources in buildings like that.
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Old 01-10-2009, 09:05 PM   #10
 
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Re: Animal House Electric


KB Sparky I agree, but I didnt see where he mentioned that "The Animal House" was a metal frame house, if I missed that my bad. Seemed like a frat would be resi. and due to its age I'm guessine wood frame.
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Old 01-10-2009, 10:36 PM   #11
 
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Re: Animal House Electric


"Our inspector here won't let you use conduit as ground in residential unless you get some sort of third party verification ($1,000)"

The bid calls for replacing 70-100 recep./switches not for rewiring an 8,000 square ft. building with walls up. I needed to know whether to use 2 or 3 prong with "no equip ground" label. If he want's us to rewire 8,000 square ft then I'll add 30k to the job.
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Old 01-10-2009, 11:17 PM   #12
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Re: Animal House Electric


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubbles View Post
"Our inspector here won't let you use conduit as ground in residential unless you get some sort of third party verification ($1,000)"

The bid calls for replacing 70-100 recep./switches not for rewiring an 8,000 square ft. building with walls up. I needed to know whether to use 2 or 3 prong with "no equip ground" label. If he want's us to rewire 8,000 square ft then I'll add 30k to the job.
Get the 3rd party verification, and just for safety, GFCI protect everything, and use 3-wire devices with bond jumpers.
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Old 01-10-2009, 11:27 PM   #13
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Re: Animal House Electric


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubbles View Post
"Our inspector here won't let you use conduit as ground in residential unless you get some sort of third party verification ($1,000)"

The bid calls for replacing 70-100 recep./switches not for rewiring an 8,000 square ft. building with walls up. I needed to know whether to use 2 or 3 prong with "no equip ground" label. If he want's us to rewire 8,000 square ft then I'll add 30k to the job.
That would only be legal if you were to GFCI each one. 406.3(D)(3)
And that could get pricey.
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Old 01-11-2009, 09:27 AM   #14
 
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Re: Animal House Electric


yeah. that was the plan. we were gonna gfci at start of each circuit. still way cheaper than rewiring whole house. I really don't like doing that but...
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Old 01-22-2009, 12:44 AM   #15
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Re: Animal House Electric


In my frat house in college (1920's brick house, about 7000sq ft) every room had its own 20amp circuit (light excluded). It had been rewired in the 70's, so no it wasn't the original wiring. We would trip that sometimes because we basically had a small house's worth of appliances in there. I don't remember what the main service was though...
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Old 01-22-2009, 01:37 AM   #16
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Re: Animal House Electric


Use GFCI circuit breakers and put the "no equipment ground" sticker on each of the receptacles that doesn't have an EGC. As I'm sure you already know, some of those old boxes have those pesky little screws that hold in the ears on the box thereby not allowing an actual GFCI device to fit into the box. Been there, done that. The breaker route will probably be much, much cheaper too. You may even get a panel upgrade out of the deal.

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