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Old 08-19-2019, 08:01 PM   #1
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When an HVAC contractor gets an Electrical subcontractor who is responsible


This may be in the wrong place but here goes.. I am sure it will get removed if not in right place...
But I think it will be an interesting topic and can help many of the homeowners on here.. hoping that some commercial electrical tradesman on here may know how it should work..


Let's say you contract with an HVAC company that does not do electrical and they subcontract with an electrical tradesman to run wires and hook up the new system. new install so will need permit...


Normally by DPOR law in VA.. the contractor would get the necessary permits but since he is not qualified for electrical the sub contractor will have to get the permits..


My concern is that when the house burns.. (pray to god that never happens) when the insurance company comes around and tries to blame someone before they pay.... should I have a contract with the elect company and permit to blame.. or does only the HVAC contractor hold the contract that shows the company he subcontracted with to do the job..


Normally when i allow a contractor on my property I must see proof of insurance and workmans comp and insurance for my protection. .but if the HVAC contractor sends out a sub.. I have no idea if he is licensed or not or has workmans comp.. or insurance.. i must depend on the HVAC contractor.


Can i demand the contractor prove his sub is licensed, insured and workman comp covered... so much under the table work going on we just never know what the contractor did or did not verify.


Any ideas or thoughts about how this should go would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-19-2019, 08:17 PM   #2
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Re: When an HVAC contractor gets an Electrical subcontractor who is responsible


The permits and inspections office usually keep a record of who did the job and the permit that was pulled.
If the HVAC guy is paying the electrician. Then it should fall under his responsibility if something should happen.

BTW The hvac guy hiring a licensed electrician is very common.
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Old 08-20-2019, 03:31 PM   #3
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Re: When an HVAC contractor gets an Electrical subcontractor who is responsible


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Normally when i allow a contractor on my property I must see proof of insurance and workmans comp and insurance for my protection. .but if the HVAC contractor sends out a sub.. I have no idea if he is licensed or not or has workmans comp.. or insurance.. i must depend on the HVAC contractor.


Can i demand the contractor prove his sub is licensed, insured and workman comp covered... so much under the table work going on we just never know what the contractor did or did not verify.


Any ideas or thoughts about how this should go would be greatly appreciated.

You're supposed to tell the contractor you hire you want proof of license/insurance/comp as well as any subs they hire.
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Old 08-20-2019, 04:53 PM   #4
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Re: When an HVAC contractor gets an Electrical subcontractor who is responsible


You can make it a part of the contract that any contractors on site must provide this information before they start, no proof no work !
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Old 08-20-2019, 04:53 PM   #5
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Re: When an HVAC contractor gets an Electrical subcontractor who is responsible


Let's be realistic here......you are concerned about who to sue after your house burns down.........


wow...just wow........
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Old 08-20-2019, 05:01 PM   #6
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Re: When an HVAC contractor gets an Electrical subcontractor who is responsible


Interesting legal point....as to who is responsible in a general/sub involved type negligence circumstance.

My standard contract seems silent to that issue....but I suspect that statutory or common law might be readily applicable.

I luckily have not had that issue....but it would be good to know.

(Maybe M Poultan will chime in with some legal insight.)....
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Old 08-20-2019, 06:57 PM   #7
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Re: When an HVAC contractor gets an Electrical subcontractor who is responsible


In most cases, the insurance company should pay the claim to the homeowner. If they determine that negligence or defective workmanship was the cause, they will try and recover the money from the contractors. Whether or not they recover anything doesn't affect the payment to the homeowner.
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Old 08-20-2019, 07:18 PM   #8
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Re: When an HVAC contractor gets an Electrical subcontractor who is responsible


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In most cases, the insurance company should pay the claim to the homeowner. If they determine that negligence or defective workmanship was the cause, they will try and recover the money from the contractors. Whether or not they recover anything doesn't affect the payment to the homeowner.

Not sure about all that.. since most insurance companies will cancel you in a minute if they find you allowed a contractor on the property that was not insured or had workmans comp...
For example my daughter-in-law was a Farmers Insusrance and she would joking tell me.. Tom we have not insured you yet... I say what the heck do I send that chunk of money every year?
She laughs and sez.. well when something goes wroing we send out our team of experts to find someone to blame it on.. and then if we find no one we cover it.. so technically you are not insured till we decide we cannot get ouf of it.. LOL

And I am sure having roofers all over the roof with no workman comp would not go well for the homeowner.. they may cover it but you will no longer be insured by them.. HaHa.
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Old 08-20-2019, 07:40 PM   #9
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Re: When an HVAC contractor gets an Electrical subcontractor who is responsible


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Let's be realistic here......you are concerned about who to sue after your house burns down.........


wow...just wow........

You got it.. and we poor home owners need to stay on our toes.. what got me to thinking about it is First the HVAC guy hooked up the two new systems one trane 2 ton and one Bosch 3 ton which is illegal but is 99% common place.. but this dumb ass had to move the inside split compress to the garage.. and knowing he was not an electrician he did not want me to catch him in my junction box.. so he moved the split unit from under the stairwell to the garage about a hundred feet away.. and so to keep from opening my junction box and connecting the new unit to the box only 10 feet away.. he simply spliced the wires under the stairwell and ran that wire 100 feet to the garage..
So now i have a wire in the jct box in the garage running 100 feet to the center of the house under the stairwell and now spliced and run 100 feet back to the compressor in the garage.. which is only 10 feet from the junction box..
I am ok with the techs doing a basic hook even though they are not legally authorized but to run all new wires is crap... So I asked to see the permit.. (what permit) so I made them get an electrical permit.. and they are HVAC only and do not have the ability to get an electrical permit..
So in a few days someone shows up with a permit.. and in a vehicle unmarked.. my guess not even an electrician.. come with the permit which he showed me .. and I looked up the name of the permit holder in The VA license bureau in Richmond.. and notice he lives in Maryland.. and his license expires at the end of this month.. Makes me nervous for my contractor to subcontract with a master electricin that lives in Maryland..and is permitting in Norfolk..and his tech arrives in an old pickup truck and unmarked and he is wearing unmarked clothing... looks fishy to me...
Looks fishy to me ... I went to code and got a copy of the permit... but believe its some turkey in Maryland that is letting a non electrician work on his license in Norfolk.. and maybe all over the world.. and he gets paid under the table..
I plan to demand proof of that subs insurance coverage in case there is an incident...
My contractor never planned to get a permit until i demanded it...
At least now the 200 feet of wire is gone and I have a short 2 foot piece going direct to the junction box as it should have all along..but i have no faith in these folks anymore..
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Old 08-20-2019, 07:45 PM   #10
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Re: When an HVAC contractor gets an Electrical subcontractor who is responsible


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The permits and inspections office usually keep a record of who did the job and the permit that was pulled.
If the HVAC guy is paying the electrician. Then it should fall under his responsibility if something should happen.

BTW The hvac guy hiring a licensed electrician is very common.

Exactly! and i went to code and got a copy.. which has not been signed off yet.. and is how i found out the permit responsibility is some guy in Maryland according to the Va License folks... Not good my contractor not calling in a local electrician with a well marked Electrical truck with a company name and city license on the truck.... smells really bad... but he can either prove a licensed person did the job with insurance to repay my insurance company if there is an incident... or he can do it again... with a reputable master electrician..
But if its a fly by nighter won't be no money to sue.. so pretty sure they would go after the contractor that hired an unsafe sub...
at least I hope so..


I am finding it very rare that a company subs an electrician unless its a code inspection job like new circuit.. most HVAC folks just do it all them self... and in this case that included running new wires which is a no no. Probably happens all the time unless they have a home owner that know what the law is... and I do..

Last edited by tommytx; 08-20-2019 at 07:48 PM.
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Old 08-20-2019, 07:51 PM   #11
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Re: When an HVAC contractor gets an Electrical subcontractor who is responsible


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You're supposed to tell the contractor you hire you want proof of license/insurance/comp as well as any subs they hire.

Thanks for that .. great idea.. but I was not aware that I have to tell him his job.. but I am learning he never got a mechanical permit or electrical permit until he was done.. and I demanded it...both permits are in place but neither has been signed off..
But now I know... you have to make sure they do not hire unsafe subs... funny but its so true... and tell them when to get permits.. and that is to keep a code guy from seeing their half assed work...
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Old 08-20-2019, 09:22 PM   #12
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Re: When an HVAC contractor gets an Electrical subcontractor who is responsible


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Thanks for that .. great idea.. but I was not aware that I have to tell him his job.. but I am learning he never got a mechanical permit or electrical permit until he was done.. and I demanded it...both permits are in place but neither has been signed off..
But now I know... you have to make sure they do not hire unsafe subs... funny but its so true... and tell them when to get permits.. and that is to keep a code guy from seeing their half assed work...

Now for a dose of reality to counterbalance your victim-esque essay:


Many homeowners don't want permits. They don't want them for a variety of reasons. The most common is the illegally finished unpermitted basement they either orchestrated themselves or knowingly purchased with the property. Or the illegal deck, the illegal shed, the illegal wiring, the knocked-down wall to create the open floor plan, the renovated kitchen, bathroom, or just fear of the unknown. They don't want their tax assessment increased.


Getting an inspection can thwart a contractor from taking code violating shortcuts, but does not prevent a situation like an undersized or poorly designed air conditioning system from being installed. An inspection is not a quality certification or a performance guarantee.



You told your AC contractor to provide documentation. He did. You didn't tell him to direct his sub(s) to provide documentation. That's on you - if you want to play the G.C. then you can't pin your failures or ignorance onto someone else.



Many contractors like plumbers, electrical, carpenters do not mark their trucks because they do not cater to the kinds of customers a rolling billboard would attract. Likely the electrician that wired your system only works through referrals from other contractors and doesn't want calls like "my lights flicker" from Mr. Clueless homeowner who thinks .99 cent LEDS from the dollar store couldn't possibly be defective, or buys a 12.99 switch from Home Depot and wants 4 different contractors to come by the house on a Saturday to give them a free estimate to install it, or fix whatever they screwed up attempting to install it themselves.


This thread has nothing to do with electrical work, or DIY-ing.
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Old 08-20-2019, 09:46 PM   #13
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Re: When an HVAC contractor gets an Electrical subcontractor who is responsible


QUOTE - This thread has nothing to do with electrical work, or DIY-ing.



But it's relevent,
And theres sure to be someone here who knows
Or has been thru such an event
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Old 08-21-2019, 03:58 AM   #14
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Re: When an HVAC contractor gets an Electrical subcontractor who is responsible


Not sure about elsewhere but here in Louisiana if I donít have a license for it my policy wonít cover it. So basically if I installed a new ac system and pulled a wire and the wire caused damages the insurance wouldnít pay period. I just tell the homeowner what we need as far as electric goes and let them handle it. If they donít know an electrician Iíll recommend one.
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Old 08-21-2019, 06:28 AM   #15
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Re: When an HVAC contractor gets an Electrical subcontractor who is responsible


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Thanks for that .. great idea.. but I was not aware that I have to tell him his job.. but I am learning he never got a mechanical permit or electrical permit until he was done.. and I demanded it...both permits are in place but neither has been signed off..
But now I know... you have to make sure they do not hire unsafe subs... funny but its so true... and tell them when to get permits.. and that is to keep a code guy from seeing their half assed work...

The people you describe are known as 'charlatans'. They don't pull permits for their work (even if they say they will and bill you for one), and they cobble and botch everything. As a master electrician, I see this crap all the time at people's houses. And quite frankly, I am tired of it! I would be in favor of a new law that prohibits the sale of certain electrical items to anyone without an electrical license. These items include wire, panels, circuit breakers, conduits, meter bases, and junction boxes.

Whenever I need to shop at Home Depot on a weekend (not my favorite time to go there AT ALL), I see all these "weekend warriors" in there buying electrical materials, and I think to myself.. 'how many of these turkeys actually know what they're doing and intend to do their work to Code?' Oftentimes, these guys come in on weekends, clean the place out, then come Monday morning when licensed electricians actually need parts for a job, the store is out of stock because the weekend warriors cleaned them out.
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Last edited by BluegrassGuy; 08-21-2019 at 06:34 AM.
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