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  • PE Electrical Engineering Stamps Needed for Project

    Hello all,
    I am on the hunt for any EE who wants to make a few quick bucks and can stamp some documents for me. Here's some context. I installed some DIY grid tie solar last year (2.5KW) and I am looking to upgrade this year. I have the structural calcs done and stamped but ran into a new problem. I am upgrading the system to 8.5KW total size and I have a center fed panel box. Luckily the changes to the NEC allow the 120% rule to apply to center fed panels now. Still my AHJ says they will not accept load side connections to any center fed panel without a an EE stamp even if we come in well under 120%. I have a 125 amp meter combo panel with a 100 amp breaker and I am looking to install a 40 amp PV breaker. This puts us at 140A between the main feed and the PV feed and the buses are rated at 125A the grand total is 112%. I tell this to my AHJ but they say they want something stamped saying that the buses will not see more that 120% their rating at any point in the panel. No matter what I tell them they are always right (you know how AHJ's are). Its silly because its obvious we wont come near 120%, I even asked if I still needed a stamp if I switch the main to 80 amp to come in under 100% bus rating, still no budging with the AHJ. So its either a panel replacement (very expensive), EE stamps (seem to be difficult to find but potentially cheap and easy), or finally a supply side tap (seems to be very tricky with the type of panel I have). If anyone has any suggestions or could point me in the right direction, your help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you,

    Jacob.

  • #2
    Unless you get real lucky, its going to be cheaper to buy a new panel than to pay a EE to get involved. I have my mechanical PE stamps locked in a strongbox and when asked to use them I ask if the person is willing to pay for my liability insurance payments for the year.

    Comment


    • #3
      Before I retired, I was w/ Peakbagger. Now my stamps are in the safe deposit box.

      Two rules and 1 axiom:

      Rule 1.: The AHJ is always right.
      Rule 2.: If the AHJ is wrong, see rule # 1

      Axiom: Always do what the AHJ says.

      Besides, a P.E. will cost a lot more.

      Comment


      • #4
        Sure I will do it for $5000.
        MSEE, PE

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Sunking View Post
          Sure I will do it for $5000.
          [FONT=comic sans ms]Ya' want nice, ya' pay nice.[/FONT]

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by J.P.M. View Post
            [FONT=comic sans ms]Ya' want nice, ya' pay nice.[/FONT]
            [FONT=comic sans ms]Yeah you know what I mean. We did not spend 6-years in school, plus 5 years documented project work under supervision, take two grueling 8-hour test equivalent to a bar or MD exam, and 2 hours of college level courses every year to hold a PE to work for peanuts. Those stamps we keep locked up are worth a lot of buck$. I do not think folks know when we Stamp a Drawing we are liable for our work. If a shopping mall or bridge collapses, we have to pay for it and make the survivors rich. [/FONT]

            MSEE, PE

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Sunking View Post

              [FONT=comic sans ms]Yeah you know what I mean. We did not spend 6-years in school, plus 5 years documented project work under supervision, take two grueling 8-hour test equivalent to a bar or MD exam, and 2 hours of college level courses every year to hold a PE to work for peanuts. Those stamps we keep locked up are worth a lot of buck$. I do not think folks know when we Stamp a Drawing we are liable for our work. If a shopping mall or bridge collapses, we have to pay for it and make the survivors rich. [/FONT]
              Or if a boiler explodes, etc. Those of us who have ever paid a malpractice insurance premium or sat on a professional organization review committee, or woke up at 0300 with a "WTF did I do" moment may know. It gets pretty humorless sometimes. As the joke goes, glad I'm retired and not required to take my turn in the barrel anymore.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by J.P.M. View Post

                Or if a boiler explodes, etc. Those of us who have ever paid a malpractice insurance premium or sat on a professional organization review committee,
                Fortunately I have never been sued for malpractice, but I have had to sit and judge on a review committee against a another firm from a battery explosion. Damn fool had a Computer & Communication certification and stamped a drawing for Power and Lighting an EIT designed right out of school. His design was hammering a 490 volt 200 AH battery plant with 1000 amps charge current on a UPS system which can be done if you use the right kind of battery which he did not. Happened in the American Airline Data Center in Tulsa OK about 18 years ago. Seriously injured 2 employees, and shut down AA reservation center for 3 days. One of the hardest things I had to do is throw a fellow comrade under the bus. It was open and shut. Cost his firm a lot of money and he lost his job and license.
                Last edited by Sunking; 05-22-2017, 05:33 PM.
                MSEE, PE

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thank you all for your responses. I got structural calculations stamped by a PE for $200 so I thoght I would get a similar case for the electrical. I understand the liability issue. To me it seems silly it even needs a stamp but the city tells me they had lots of center fed panel main breakers melting (even without solar) so the city wants all center fed panels to have a stamp. I suppose it is to release any liability from them if anything were to happen. I am currently an EE student but am about a year or so away from my degree and many years away from beoming a PE or I would have stamped the damn thing myself. I looked into line side taps it seems to be the place to go to keep costs relatively cheap and not have to replace the whole panel. The AHJ said they will take a line sidd tap without a stamp. Only problem is my panel has no spot to make a line side tap. I resubmitted my plans today and will be trying to go for a meter adaptor from SCE. It will cost about $500 installed by edison and will allow us to make a connection after the meter socket but before the main.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jackbob View Post
                    Thank you all for your responses. I got structural calculations stamped by a PE for $200 so I thoght I would get a similar case for the electrical. I understand the liability issue. To me it seems silly it even needs a stamp but the city tells me they had lots of center fed panel main breakers melting (even without solar) so the city wants all center fed panels to have a stamp. I suppose it is to release any liability from them if anything were to happen. I am currently an EE student but am about a year or so away from my degree and many years away from beoming a PE or I would have stamped the damn thing myself. I looked into line side taps it seems to be the place to go to keep costs relatively cheap and not have to replace the whole panel. The AHJ said they will take a line sidd tap without a stamp. Only problem is my panel has no spot to make a line side tap. I resubmitted my plans today and will be trying to go for a meter adaptor from SCE. It will cost about $500 installed by edison and will allow us to make a connection after the meter socket but before the main.
                    You're welcome. FWIW, I never sealed/stamped stuff I didn't do my self or, later as years rolled by, only if I was the responsible lead on a project/contract, in which case I knew, or had hired those doing the engineering work.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jackbob View Post
                      I understand the liability issue. To me it seems silly it even needs a stamp but the city tells me they had lots of center fed panel main breakers melting (even without solar) so the city wants all center fed panels to have a stamp. I suppose it is to release any liability from them if anything were to happen.
                      You got it. nothing more than CYA. When there is an electrical fire, someone has to pay, and it is not going to be the homeowners insurance policy in the end. The Insurance will get their money back from either the city, electrical contractor. PE or HNIC. Someone is going to be at fault. Only exception is lightning or acts of God, and even that can be passed down the line. With a PE sign-off relieves the city of almost all responsibility.

                      I use to do a lot of retainer work with a few Solar Contractors, cookie cutter stuff. The contractor takes the measurements, does the cals blah blah and we did that for $500 a pop with limited liability. My advice take the EIT after you complete your Jr year while all the math and theory is still fresh. Once you are out and in the real world, you never use that stuff. An EIT on the ole Grad Resume gets attention. Be sure to add flip burgers or doing something as a job while in college to add on Resume, and you will have several offers. Working while in college to help pay tuition and EIT is exactly what I looked for. Frat boys with high GPA and rich parents got shown the door. I wanted someone who is hungry, good GPA, and works hard 7 days a week 12 hours a day.

                      Good Luck

                      MSEE, PE

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Sunking View Post
                        You got it. nothing more than CYA. When there is an electrical fire, someone has to pay, and it is not going to be the homeowners insurance policy in the end. The Insurance will get their money back from either the city, electrical contractor. PE or HNIC. Someone is going to be at fault. Only exception is lightning or acts of God, and even that can be passed down the line. With a PE sign-off relieves the city of almost all responsibility.

                        I use to do a lot of retainer work with a few Solar Contractors, cookie cutter stuff. The contractor takes the measurements, does the cals blah blah and we did that for $500 a pop with limited liability. My advice take the EIT after you complete your Jr year while all the math and theory is still fresh. Once you are out and in the real world, you never use that stuff. An EIT on the ole Grad Resume gets attention. Be sure to add flip burgers or doing something as a job while in college to add on Resume, and you will have several offers. Working while in college to help pay tuition and EIT is exactly what I looked for. Frat boys with high GPA and rich parents got shown the door. I wanted someone who is hungry, good GPA, and works hard 7 days a week 12 hours a day.

                        Good Luck
                        Perhaps things have changed, but as I recall, I couldn't take the EIT exam until candidates were in their last yr. of an accredited engineering program. I think that varied by state to some degree.

                        Also, while not needing it every day, over the course of an engineering career, I think I probably used, and in some cases looked for reasons to use, most everything I tried to learn in an undergrad. M.E. program either as a direct application to work or as a stepping stone to more complicated principles needed to get a job done better. That naval officer M.E. mentor I mentioned a few days ago was also my undergrad advisor. He told me long after graduation that what was taught in school, while useful and practical for problem solving, was probably better thought of as a set of tools that needed mastery and facility much like a tool & die maker needs to understand the capabilities of the tools of the trade to make better tools. For engineers, at least in one sense, formal education is no more than a way to produce graduates that think like engineers think, which was always his real goal.

                        So, I guess we'll respectfully disagree on useful practical value of engineering education. Just a different perspective I guess.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by J.P.M. View Post
                          Perhaps things have changed, but as I recall, I couldn't take the EIT exam until candidates were in their last yr. of an accredited engineering program. I think that varied by state to some degree..
                          It has changed just like the test name from FE to EIT. You are correct it varies from state to state exam boards but all states I have looked at allow the student to take the EIT when they have no more than 2 semesters to complete degree, aka final year as a Sr. So once you complete your Jr year, you are qualified to take the Exam. If you look at any of the PE Prep sites, all recommend to take the EIT after you have completed your Jr year. Well that is after you take summer off to complete their course study programs.

                          As for formal education to take the exam, it is required to complete an ABET accredited degree. Like you it has been a while since I last checked today's requirements.
                          MSEE, PE

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Sunking View Post
                            It has changed just like the test name from FE to EIT. You are correct it varies from state to state exam boards but all states I have looked at allow the student to take the EIT when they have no more than 2 semesters to complete degree, aka final year as a Sr. So once you complete your Jr year, you are qualified to take the Exam. If you look at any of the PE Prep sites, all recommend to take the EIT after you have completed your Jr year. Well that is after you take summer off to complete their course study programs.

                            As for formal education to take the exam, it is required to complete an ABET accredited degree. Like you it has been a while since I last checked today's requirements.
                            When I graduated, the P.E. requirement was 12 yrs. of qualifying experience, which meant being in responsible charge of engineering work, corroborated in writing by at least 4 P.E's familiar with your work. where formal education came in: 8 of those 12 yrs. could be off set by an accredited degree. The other 4 yrs. had to come on the job, after the FE exam with the same confirming signoff. The 2d exam - the real part, came after qualification of experience.

                            One engineer I know, in a not entirely humorous manner, suggested that after all the hoops, including a detailed description of what you did as qualifying experience and responsible charge, and the signoffs/corroborating testimony, they ought to give you a license based on persistence.

                            I worked with one and knew another P.E. over the years who were mustangs and got all their qualifying experience on the job without the formal education, a route which was and maybe still is possible, but probably rare. I'm sure the mustang I worked with forgot more about thermal and fluid sciences and particularly heat transfer than I'll ever know. He knew his stuff ice cold, never stopped learning, had the best detailed and current technical knowledge and had everyone's respect, but he sure suffered fools badly.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I picked up a NCEES national record, it definitely saves time when I need a license in many states. On the other hand there are some states where the stack is definitely stacked against letting out of state firms practice. Even with a NCEES record it took me close to 6 months to get Mass PE.

                              lucked out I had boss with a PE but was working in industry so we were under the industrial exemption in our state so I did a lot of designs that I normally would not get to do as a consultant due to liability. No project really kept me up at night and about 10 years ago they demoed to entire plant to the ground so other than some cut off foundations I am clear on those designs

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