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I was contacted by a grain elevator last week to come look at some work they would like done. During my site visit I noticed some wiring has been done that is not to code. The work I would perform would be done 100% correctly and inspected. My question is as a contractor if something were to happen due to the incorrect wiring that I have not done can I still be brought into a lawsuit or be held liable for that wiring. I brought it to there attention during the visit and they agreed it needs to be fixed eventually and that would be something they would like me to clean up in the future. My main concern is if something were to happen before that time and obviously there is no guarantee I will be called to fix this.
 

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I was contacted by a grain elevator last week to come look at some work they would like done. During my site visit I noticed some wiring has been done that is not to code. The work I would perform would be done 100% correctly and inspected. My question is as a contractor if something were to happen due to the incorrect wiring that I have not done can I still be brought into a lawsuit or be held liable for that wiring. I brought it to there attention during the visit and they agreed it needs to be fixed eventually and that would be something they would like me to clean up in the future. My main concern is if something were to happen before that time and obviously there is no guarantee I will be called to fix this.
Not unless you must report it to the electrical inspector in your state.

Welcome aboard...:thumbsup:
 

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If you touch it, you own it. Don't touch it. If you do any work on existing installs I would make sure they were brought up to code.
 

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Since you are the "processional" leaving a hazardous installation makes you partially liable once you work there. I used to work for a few auto body shops until I was called in to repair stuff in spray booths or paint storage rooms that was hacked in. Was told "don't worry" just fix the explosion proof lights connected with extension cords. I walked (ran) away and told them "sorry, you'll have to call the electrishun that installed them".
 

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A lot of States do not require permits for repairs or new equipment installs at existing plants. If your State does require permits then would that permit be specific to the work that you are performing? Ask the the EI to make a site visit to review the work you are going to perform so that they are aware of what you will and will not be doing.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
rlc3854 said:
A lot of States do not require permits for repairs or new equipment installs at existing plants. If your State does require permits then would that permit be specific to the work that you are performing? Ask the the EI to make a site visit to review the work you are going to perform so that they are aware of what you will and will not be doing.
We are required to pull permits and get inspection on any circuits we modify or add. It is a class 2 div. 1 or 2. Waiting for clarification on div . # from EI. I will be coming off an existing unused pipe and extending it about 10 feet. Any work that I will perform including any existing wiring/piping that I extend from will meet code or will be brought up to code if is not already compliant. My main concern is when walking through the building I seen numerous other violations that concerned me, but I will not be altering so therefore will not be fixing. That is my concern if an accident/ explosion were to happen due to the faulty wiring not altered by me, would I still be accountable. The elevator could be a great account long term if I were able to get it up to code, but it's not worth putting my business in jeopardy because of it. Nor do I want to be brought into a lawsuit over some hack that thought he could be an electrician for a day.
 

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I do mostly ag, so I've worked on a few grain elevators. I know where you're coming from.

What I would do is tell the customer if you do the work, you will be getting inspections. If the inspector notices the other problems while on site, he may require that they be fixed immediately. This is their only option. If they don't like this, then they will have to find another electrician.

To be honest, personally I don't worry about all the other violations from a liability standpoint. I should also mention I'm only an employee. If I see a huge deathtrap(bare hot wire, etc) then I will tell the customer I'm fixing that before I do any other work.

I figure I can't fix everything, but I can improve it just a little more each time.
 

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Is this a smaller independent grain elevator vs a large corp plant? If so I can understand your caution. Would be a good contract if you got a maintenance and new installs though. Good luck with it and be safe.
 
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