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Responsibilty question

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Most states, especially if they have adopted national codes (UPC, IMC, etc.) have regulations requiring licensed electricians to wire any 120 volt wiring. The only exceptions I have seen are if you are strictly swapping parts out, ie. circ pump w/ new circ pump in same location.

The laws in Alaska state that a Mechanical Administrator cannot wire any 120 volt that changes the characteristics of the heating system being installed. If I swap out a boiler with a new one, using the same pigtail then I'm fine. If I have to rewire the boiler, add a Tekmar, change from zone valves to circ pumps, etc. I have to have an Electrical Administrator do the work.

Sometimes that happens, often times it doesn't. It depends on who is the installing contractor. The contractor you are describing is probably trying to follow the letter of the law to prevent an incorrect liability issue (he could lose his license, go to jail, etc.) and is acting responsibly. Unfortunately, there are so many contractors and individuals out there that don't want to be bothered with the law, that when one does follow regulations, it seems odd/wrong.

Knowing how to put a system together, including wiring is different than actually wiring it. I drew up the wiring schematic of a system for a rather large professional electrical outfit a month ago, gave it to the electricians to install and after TWICE incorrectly wiring it, the owner of the company came out. I spent three minutes answering his questions, and when I came back the next morning, it was all correct! It wasn't really a hard system, but I understood it more than his journeyman electricians. I wasn't about to wire it myself and take on that liability though.

Any controls that are running 120 volt power to or through them in your system should be wired by a licensed electrician since your system is being converted/changed. Besides, the electrician has to run power to the area anyway you said, why not have him/her finish it? Or were you planning on doing it yourself and feel a little overwhelmed with the controls side? If that's the case, the plumber should be able to detail what needs to be done, without risking much of a liability for it.

Comments

  • Jay_32
    Jay_32 Member Posts: 4
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    Who does the connections?

    I am currently converting from Oil to Gas. My plumber and I have gone with a Weil McLean but the plumber told me that an electrician has to wire the unit. Yes, I know that AC has to be brought to the unit by an electrician, but the plumber wants the electrician to wire in the damper control, spill switch and low water sensor.

    Is this unusual? Am I way off in expecting the person installing the appliance to know how to put it together? If something is wrong who takes the responsibility? I can see a lot of finger pointing and me with no heat.

    Thanks in advance for the replies.
  • Weezbo
    Weezbo Member Posts: 6,232
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    you better re read that Law :)

    i have an electrical licence as well as a mechanical administrators 's.... and a few others as well... it may be that he simply does not want to incur any additional liability..

    often i am asked to do plumbing or install a heating system in a building my first thought is 'time to Leave ...before the place collapses around my ears and i a m found buried beneath the rubble on Monday morning....

    he just may not want to wire it period. you have old caddy wire and a fuse box or old knob and tube he may simply wish to forego the experience..again..
  • Ragu_5
    Ragu_5 Member Posts: 315
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    It Depends...

    Here in Maine, we do our own line and low voltage wiring. I know that in Mass. an electrician has to do all the wiring.

    P.S. Yes, I did still the "It Depends" thing from Mark Eatherton, as we all have. Good luck.


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  • Jay_32
    Jay_32 Member Posts: 4
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    Clarification

    Thanks to all for the replies. Just so I understand correctly I wanted to clarify my situation. I am a homeowner in New Jersey and the boiler we purchased is a Weil McClein Gold CGa.

    I understand that the electrician has to wire the 120v line to the boiler as well as the safety switches. That makes complete sense. Is the electrician also required by law to make the low voltage connections to the spill switch? It seems like a little thing that a plumbing professional would do upon installation. What does my electrician know about putting together a plumbing device anyway?

    Looking in the appliance it seems like most of the wiring is done at the factory. I believe only the spill switch and the thermostat have to be wired in.

    I am sorry if I am being ignorant about the law, but I have never had to think about this before and it goes against logic as I see it. Of course many laws go against logic, don't they. I tried to look up the codes myself, but it looks like I would have to buy the $65 book to find out. I will try a library if possible over the weekend.

    Thanks again for the help.
  • Steverino
    Steverino Member Posts: 140
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    Electrician

    If he wires the safety controls and you die?,...Not my CO that is responsible.....PERIOD> I don't think the codes clarify that, but then again, They are so different from state to state. And also,..If there is a no heat due to this wiring or other non controllable circumstances, why would I have to warranty that???

    My .02

    Mike T.
  • Jay_32
    Jay_32 Member Posts: 4
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    What about this guy?

    In another thread on this board a heating professional talks alot about the wiring that he keeps doing on projects.

    http://forums.invision.net/Thread.cfm?CFApp=2l.&Thread_ID=42140&mc=20

    Is this guy breaking the law?
  • Jay_32
    Jay_32 Member Posts: 4
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    What about this guy?

    In another thread on this board a heating professional talks alot about the wiring that he keeps doing on projects.

    http://forums.invision.net/Thread.cfm?CFApp=2l.&Thread_ID=42140&mc=20

    Is this guy breaking the law? Does he know what he is doing? Shouldn't he call an electrician for some of these issues?
  • Timco
    Timco Member Posts: 3,040
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    I have a journeyman's in electricity and do all my own wiring. Come on...how hard is it to bond the grounds, use proper connectors and use good strippers. Not sure if the law requires an electrician, but I have never failed an inspection on a boiler install. Just keep it neat. At least you can do all your low voltage wiring. Sounds like the plumber may not have known how to follow the schematics. The LV wiring is usually much more complicated than the line voltage...black to black and white to white and hope like h#ll you got it right!

    Tim
    Just a guy running some pipes.
  • brucewo1b
    brucewo1b Member Posts: 638
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    Jay it all depends on where one lives

    In NH I can wire from the 4x4 box on the cieling down. In Mass on a new install I have to call and electrician to do all wiring, but on burner, control change outs I can wire. in Maine as a Master Heating Tech am responsable for all wiring from the 4x4 box down but I can hire an electrician but if he does it wrong I am held accountable not him. Now I have to remember where I am working to keep it legal. Every state has there own laws.
  • Mark Wolff_2
    Mark Wolff_2 Member Posts: 77
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    license

    In your case the Electrical Administrator card you carry covers you to do 120 volt wiring. Most Mechanical Administrators do not have that.

    I totally agree though with your comments regarding not wanting to work on certain systems and using that as an out for not doing the work.
  • joel_19
    joel_19 Member Posts: 931
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    Here's the deal

    it is differnt in every state We must use Mr.sparky here. however we hire him and we tell him exactly what to do and why. So we have responsability for what is happening even though we don't actually do it. You are right to be concerned but it shouldn't be aproblem because your contractor should have already incuded all of that in his bid. This is a frustrating point for our firm as on some jobs wiring can be a couple thousand and we include it. Then we loose the job to someone who doesn't include it and H.O.s think they can get somebody to do it for a couple hundred. They can and do end up with no heat and spending just as much as if they hired us in the first place.

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  • laurence salvatore_2
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    Here in southern conn no controlling leagle authority realy cares who wires the boiler. I have an electrician who understands the controls(a lot don't) and stands behind his work. I use him to wire 95% of our boilers simply because it is the difference between getting done in 7-8 hours vs. 8-10. Plus its much prettier when he does it.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,839
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    I seriously doubt that "nobody cares" who wires the boiler"
    Connecticut has more licenses than Carter's has pills. I'm sure when their code is read that it is supposed to be done by a licensed electrician.


    ED
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