Differing Opinions By Two Electricians - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum


Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-31-2010, 09:03 AM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 137
Rewards Points: 101
Default

differing opinions by two electricians


I hope someone here can help solve a few issues regarding differing opinions from two electricians we’ve had in to rewire a new kitchen. The area needed a complete revamp electrically because it used to be the family room.

We had one guy in to do the electrical work who proved to be a complete pain in the arse regarding his attitude towards turning up for work when stated, wasting an enormous amount of our time, etc. After blowing us off three times, and not even bothering to call on the last occasion to let us at least know he wasn’t going to show (he has a cell phone stuck to his hip that he could have used at any time) we said enough’s enough and decided to dispense with his services. As far as we were concerned it was three strikes and he was out.

The new guy we got in took one look at the work and told us there were a raft of mistakes made by the previous electrician that would have to be rectified, including -

1) the fact that the guy had miscounted the amount of empty slots left on our board to use for the kitchen (factoring in the old ones being transferred across from the old kitchen) meaning that we’d have to amalgamate a couple of the lesser used ones to make it all work.
2) That he’d used the wrong type of cable going to where the new island will be placed. He used standard 10 gauge 20 amp cable - the new guy said islands require a special type of cable.
3) That the four receptacles placed in the walls to house the connections for dishwasher, disposal, cooktop, and wall oven would have to come out. As far as the latter three were concerned, he said the receptacles should go in the associated cabinets once they've been installed, not in the walls.
4) That the first electrician’s idea of threading the wiring that comes with puck lighting (for under cabinet lighting) through the walls and studs is against code, because it’s only meant to be used under or inside the cabinets.
5) That the first guy was a complete idiot because he’d forgotten to allow for a switch for the disposal unit. The new electrician suggested a fix, which was to replace one of the new wall outlet receptacles at counter-top height with a larger box that would allow space for both the double outlet and a switch for the disposal. Thankfully there was enough excess cable hanging out the end that I myself was able to pull enough back into the wall and to the box in question so that the switch could be put in place.

We’ve since paid off the first guy, but when the issues were raised he got hot under the collar and claimed that all his work was fine – didn’t even want to back down on the issue of the missing switch for the disposal unit! Nor of course was any apology proffered for the constant time-wasting and lack of courtesy – this is the only person I’ve ever met who made cable companies look positively considerate by comparison!

So for my clarification, would anyone care to comment on any of the points made above, particularly number 3, because I’d be interested to know.

Thanks for taking the time to read.

PS - I'm in Florida, if that gives people an idea on local codes.

Advertisement


Last edited by timbo59; 08-31-2010 at 09:06 AM.
timbo59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2010, 09:15 AM   #2
Licensed electrician
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Maryland
Posts: 8,004
Rewards Points: 2,806
Default

differing opinions by two electricians


Adding a subpanel might be an option to allow additional circuits to be added instead of combining circuits into one.

About the island cable I am not sure what would be wrong. The cable probably needs to be sleeved to prevent damage and keep it neat. BTW, 10 gauge would be for a 30 amp circuit, #12 is for 20.

Receptacle placement sounds like a matter of choice and convenience. Sometimes the installation instructions tell where the junction boxes can be located.

Low voltage cable is not typically for use in walls. A Chapter 3 wiring method like type NM cable would typically be used.

Advertisement

__________________
Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
Jim Port is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2010, 10:34 AM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Nashua, NH, USA
Posts: 6,976
Rewards Points: 2,048
Default

differing opinions by two electricians


I would say nothing wrong with the receptacle in the wall behind the cabinet, although the outlet cover has to be on the wall and the hole in the cabinet back has to be large enough that the entire cover can be seen.
__________________
Forget super sized fries. The Washington Redskins could promote healthy eating with First Lady Obama by choosing a (red skinned) turnip for a mascot.
AllanJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2010, 10:39 AM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Nashua, NH, USA
Posts: 6,976
Rewards Points: 2,048
Default

differing opinions by two electricians


About the 10 gauge cable: It can be used for 20 amps (20 amp breaker) with no problems, but to use it for 30 amps and ordinary lighting and receptacles you must put a small subpanel at the destination (in the island that is). You can run two 20 amp sub circuits out of the subpanel fed by one 30 amp 120 volt circuit.
__________________
Forget super sized fries. The Washington Redskins could promote healthy eating with First Lady Obama by choosing a (red skinned) turnip for a mascot.
AllanJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2010, 12:13 PM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NW of D.C.
Posts: 5,990
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

differing opinions by two electricians


Quote:
Originally Posted by timbo59 View Post
two electricians
The NEC seems to be ambiguous; otherwise there wouldn't be so many books on how to interpret it.
Mike Holt's forum may be able to help. He seems to make a living decoding this tome.

And I guess you could e-mail the NEC Code Panels directly, if you dare. They may want money for their answers, so decide ahead of time how much this "more nearly correct information" is worth to you.

If the first guy is licensed you can complain to your local licensing agency, but rudeness is not actionable. Incompetence is, I hope.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 08-31-2010 at 12:20 PM.
Yoyizit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2010, 12:35 PM   #6
UAW SKILLED TRADES
 
Stubbie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Kansas
Posts: 5,219
Rewards Points: 2,408
Default

differing opinions by two electricians


Where are you located ? USA, CANADA or elsewhere ?

Quote:
1) the fact that the guy had miscounted the amount of empty slots left on our board to use for the kitchen (factoring in the old ones being transferred across from the old kitchen) meaning that we’d have to amalgamate a couple of the lesser used ones to make it all work.
Generally speaking the 2nd electrician shouldn't really address the other issues by the other contracting electrician. He should give you a design plan for your kitchen ... a print out of what he is going to do along with the applicable requirements by local and national code. He has to pull a permit and submit plans to the local code authority, you should get a copy.

As for the load center not having enough spaces that very well may be true and a sub-panel next the service equipment load center maybe required. As for amalgamating existing circuits to make it all work is rather risky but I'm not sure what the electrician means by that. Kitchens are very specific about the branch circuits "required by code" and what those circuits supply, what amperage rating they must be and which receptacles need gfci protection.

Quote:
2) That he’d used the wrong type of cable going to where the new island will be placed. He used standard 10 gauge 20 amp cable - the new guy said islands require a special type of cable.
What did he use ? Some electricians prefer an armored flex type cable inside the cabinet but there is no required cable. It will depend on the situation and what appliances and receptacles are installed at the island.

Quote:
3) That the four receptacles placed in the walls to house the connections for dishwasher, disposal, cooktop, and wall oven would have to come out. As far as the latter three were concerned, he said the receptacles should go in the associated cabinets once they've been installed, not in the walls.
Location of the cabinets the appliances are to be installed is critical as far as branch circuit routing. You can't locate receptacles if you do not know the exact location of the appliance. The dishwasher is a dedicated circuit and is usually hardwired...but can be cord and plug. Disposals are commonly cord and plug to a receptacle under the sink cabinet and a switch is located on the backsplash area on the countertop.
The wall oven and cooktop will come with appliance whips, not cord and plug, these whips are generally almost always hardwired to the branch circuit at a junction box near the appliance. These are also dedicated circuits. You also need the appliances on hand or access to the electrical specifications to know the specifics for the branch circuit wiring and circuit breaker protection. So I'm not real sure why 4 'receptacles' were chosen for the appliances you list. I would have only installed 1 for the waste disposal and only if it came cord and plug.

Quote:
4) That the first electrician’s idea of threading the wiring that comes with puck lighting (for under cabinet lighting) through the walls and studs is against code, because it’s only meant to be used under or inside the cabinets.
Main reason for not doing this is replacement problems...its a small issue. If the lights are low voltage it's a non issue IMO.

Quote:
5) That the first guy was a complete idiot because he’d forgotten to allow for a switch for the disposal unit. The new electrician suggested a fix, which was to replace one of the new wall outlet receptacles at counter-top height with a larger box that would allow space for both the double outlet and a switch for the disposal. Thankfully there was enough excess cable hanging out the end that I myself was able to pull enough back into the wall and to the box in question so that the switch could be put in place.
Good sign the 1st electrician was not qualified or very green to the trade and had an unfortunate over site. He does not sound like a licensed residential wireman from what you describe...hard to say. The economy is pretty tough right now in the building trades and electrical trades and a lot of hacks are posing as tradesmen, proof of license is important and needed to pull a permit.... but it doesn't always mean quality work. The 2nd opinion is a very common install.

Ask for references you can call in the future or hire a well known local electrical contractor.


Are either of these electricians pulling permits with the city, or county?
__________________
" One nice thing about the NEC articles ... you have lots of choices"

Stubbie

Last edited by Stubbie; 08-31-2010 at 12:40 PM.
Stubbie is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2010, 02:03 PM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 137
Rewards Points: 101
Default

differing opinions by two electricians


Hi again,
Thanks for all those great replies, guys, I really appreciate it.

Just to clarify one point raised, the 1st electrician did know where everything was going to be located, as I outlined on the walls where all the cabinets were going to go to the inch, and actually wrote on the wall where the appliances were going. Also, the GE cooktop and GE wall oven/microwave combo were on hand for him to figure out anything he needed placement wise.

Also, as far as amalgamating circuits, what the second guy suggested was to use the two separate circuits put in place for the counter-top outlets and attach the disposal unit to one, and the extractor fan over the cooktop to the other, thus freeing up the two dedicated they're each supposed to have. That solves the shortage of available circuits. I thought there was something wrong with the first guy's math, but he gave me the 'I'm the electrician, I should know what I'm talking about' attitude, so i didn't argue it with him. The second guy is just trying to get me out of the jam the first guy created, though the ideal route would probably be to replace the circuit board with an entirely new one with all the space we'd ever need, particularly as the existing unit is one of those old FP units I've heard so many terrible things about. If we had the money to spare at the moment to do it we would, trust me, but our rehab money is stretched to the max as it is - having to pay for two separate electricians doesn't help. A couple of years from now we can probably do it all, and the second guy said he'd set the cabling up in such a way that once a new board gets put in the disposal and fan can go back to having their own dedicated circuits without too much trouble.

This has all been a bit of a learning curve for me as well. Where I come from, Australia, no one can call himself a sparky (Aussie slang for an electrician) unless he's served a four year apprenticeship and has the papers to prove it - it's virtually fraudulent to call yourself one otherwise. The same applies to all the trades - bricklayer, carpenter, plumber, etc. Also, when it comes to electrical work, you technically can't do a thing yourself on your own house, at least not unless you get an electirician to come and sign off for the work otherwise. 11 years of living in the States, and I'm starting to realize that all that doesn't necessarily apply here, and that a lot of people go round calling themselves electricians or whatever without the proper background or paperwork. I'm sure there are some people who are otherwise excellent at what they do even if they don't have the proper qualifications, but just as obviously there are those who aren't. Some neighbors recommended the first guy because they said he'd done a decent job on their rehabbed kitchen and had come at a good rate. Only after I'd encountered problems with the guy did they suddenly remember that he was very unreliable as far as showing up (they've apparently been waiting for months for him to come and finish wiring up a generator for them) and that he had a tendency to call on someone else for advice on trickier bits and pieces. Cut a long story short, given my background I assumed when they said he was an electrician that he was fully qualified, licensed, and all. Now I'm guessing he's not.

So just to give me a heads up, if someone's a fully qualified electrician here in the States, should they have paperwork or licensing available to show potential customers - should that be something standard you ask for? Like I said, in Australia if someone says they're an electrician then they're an electrician - they can't get work otherwise, either for someone else or contracting on their own. They have to sign off on everything with their specific trade number and so on.

Lastly, to the person who raised the point about the NEC, you're not kidding, some of their wording is VERY ambiguous - and I'm a professional writer! I grabbed a few books on wiring that included some of the NEC rules, etc, to see if I could do the wiring job myself in the kitchen - NOT! I'm happy doing a few bits and pieces like putting up additional wiring for lighting, replacing switches and outlets, installing new fans, etc, but tinkering around with the main board was not something I considered safe - either for me or the house!
timbo59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2010, 05:35 PM   #8
Electrical Contractor
 
jbfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Newnan GA
Posts: 5,959
Rewards Points: 2,314
Default

differing opinions by two electricians


As far as paper work showing qualifactions, yes and no.
Some states have statewide requirments that must be met in order to contract electrical work, some states leave this to the local level, and some states allow anyone with the money to call themselves an electrician.

GA requires yoou to take and pass atest before you can contract electrical work, I coould hire anyone to work for me without qualifactions(not that I woudl).

The best way to be sure of your contractor( of any trade) is references, but even that sometimes fail
__________________
Yes I am a Pirate, 200 years too late. "Jimmy Buffett"
jbfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2010, 05:59 PM   #9
Licensed electrician
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Maryland
Posts: 8,004
Rewards Points: 2,806
Default

differing opinions by two electricians


The plan to add additional loads like the disposal to the small appliance countertop circuit is not code compliant. Those circuits can only serve the countertops, not appliances below the countertop. The second guy should know this.
__________________
Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
Jim Port is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2010, 06:25 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: South of Boston, MA
Posts: 17,248
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

differing opinions by two electricians


Sounds like both guys do not know the code
Jim's right as far as the dedicated circuits
They are required in order to meet code
Scuba_Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2010, 06:48 PM   #11
Master Electrician
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Indiana
Posts: 2,976
Rewards Points: 2,208
Default

differing opinions by two electricians


I believe you will find that SABC's are allowed to serve other areas such as dining rooms, pantries and breakfast nooks.
brric is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2010, 09:32 PM   #12
" Euro " electrician
 
frenchelectrican's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: WI & France { in France for now }
Posts: 5,369
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

differing opinions by two electricians


Quote:
Originally Posted by brric View Post
I believe you will find that SABC's are allowed to serve other areas such as dining rooms, pantries and breakfast nooks.
They do but you will need AFCI or AFGFCCI { arc fault ground fault combation circuit inturpurpter } both are simauir in pricewise.

Only if in the dinning room or nooks area all other if still in kitchen area you can use the stright RCD { GFCI }.

Merci.
Marc
frenchelectrican is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2010, 09:41 PM   #13
Master Electrician
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Indiana
Posts: 2,976
Rewards Points: 2,208
Default

differing opinions by two electricians


You are correct Marc. However, we are exempt from arc fault requirements in Indiana.
brric is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2010, 09:56 PM   #14
Licensed electrician
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Maryland
Posts: 8,004
Rewards Points: 2,806
Default

differing opinions by two electricians


Quote:
Originally Posted by brric View Post
I believe you will find that SABC's are allowed to serve other areas such as dining rooms, pantries and breakfast nooks.
Correct, but it must only be receptacle loads. No lighting or fixed in place appliances.
__________________
Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
Jim Port is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2010, 10:03 PM   #15
" Euro " electrician
 
frenchelectrican's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: WI & France { in France for now }
Posts: 5,369
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

differing opinions by two electricians


Quote:
Originally Posted by brric View Post
You are correct Marc. However, we are exempt from arc fault requirements in Indiana.
Brric.,

Are you on 2005 or 2008 NEC code cycle { with state modifcation } ??

Merci.
Marc

Advertisement

frenchelectrican is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Looking for opinions on Finishing a Basement canadadiy Remodeling 5 08-12-2010 05:55 PM
Opinions on New Furnace Bids Andiek HVAC 16 03-06-2010 04:11 AM
Help With Differing Opinions Re Prime Or Not By Painting Contractor jaylin Painting 8 11-23-2009 04:42 AM
Seeking Enclosed Trailer Opinions jbaker1516 Building & Construction 4 07-28-2009 02:17 PM
Seed, Sod, or Rock? (opinions wanted) tigerbalm2424 Landscaping & Lawn Care 1 03-23-2007 12:51 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts