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Does this statement make sense?

Joe Tedesco

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This was posted in response to my question on a forum at www.jlconline.com asking for ballpark sizing for a service for a new building:

"We highly recommend that you obtain the services of a qualified person who is a licensed electrician to deal with this issue.

The Internet is the wrong place to be soliciting advice on any critical major electrical installation.

A qualified person is needed on site to assess the situation, provide the design, and install the components."

Edited by this writer:

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Not if they're asking for a ball park sizing. It's my understanding that you are an electrician, so asking you for a ballpark on service sizing wouldn't be any different, at least in my view, than calling the local sparky and asking, "Hey Sparky, I've got a _______square foot house that's heated with a ______, cooled with a ________, has an _______dryer, a _________water heater, a _________stove and will have X-number of rooms. What's your professional opinion would be an appropriate service size for a house like that?"

The sparky would probably answer something like, "Well, a load calc will need to be done on the actual house to know for certain, but given that information, I think in this area you'd want a service that's not less than _____amps, but to be certain that you never max it out, given what's generally predicted to be the requirements of the future, you'll want to install a _____ service."

As long as you tell 'em that an actual load calc is going to be absolutely necessary before one can be certain, I don't see why asking for a ballpark figure and getting an answer from a real rootin-tootin sparky is so terrible.

Let me guess, it was a certain engineer with the initials G.R. who laid that one on you. If so, Chad and I know that t*****. He's got the franchise on pomposity.



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Well, I certainly don't disagree w/the gentleperson indicating the need for a professional to do a load calc.

But, it's pretty simple high school arithmetic. And, for most properties that someone might be DIY'ing this sort of thing, it pretty much boils down to 100 or 200, no? Yes, I actually had a Chicago union electrician insist that "all I really needed" was 150 amps, and that was all they'd install. (He was shown the door.)

Personally, I can't imagine why anyone would put in <200 amp service in a new single family residence. Sure, run the math & feel smart, but wouldn't any self respecting DIY thinking sort of person just go for the 200 w/a 42 circuit panel?

I mean, what about the arc welder you've always dreamed about? And that boat loft that lingers in my frontal lobe? It's never too late to think one is going to pursue a career in fused glass art, or pottery, right?

I take great comfort in looking over my shoulder @ the too large panel containing 20 slots for additional circuits. It's like a never ending supply of opportunities, waiting for an inspiration; a collection of tomorrows that won't limit what I might do.

I think I'm going to cry now.......

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Originally posted by homnspector

What does it take to be a "qualified person"? Hopefully, most people fit that description.

Qualified Person. One who has skills and knowledge related

to the construction and operation of the electrical

equipment and installations and has received safety training

on the hazards involved.

FPN: Refer to NFPA 70E-2004, Standard for Electrical

Safety in the Workplace, for electrical safety training


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