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South Florida 40-50 yr - Electrical Inspection Training

South Florida 40-50 yr - Electrical Inspection Training

South Florida 40-50 yr - Electrical Inspection Training

Hi All,

I am a PE & a GC in South Florida, as you know with the recent Surfside collapse Miami Dade and Broward Counties are enforcing 40 and 50yr inspections urgently. We are getting many requests to do the inspections but I am not too familiar with electrical inspections. I have the checklist requirements but in general I have not done these. I do structural inspections and am more versed with them. I do MEP engineering usually for single fam and condo use (single phase systems). I am familiar with the general requirements on paper, but on site inspections is much different.

Are there any training you all suggest to get caught up? Any advice here, maybe I am over complicating the process?

While I am at it, any SFL electrical PEs want to joint venture on these?

I do not usually go after this type of work but I feel like it is our civic duty to them since there are many desperate buildings to get these done urgently.

Thanks for any advice!

RE: South Florida 40-50 yr - Electrical Inspection Training

As a PE I feel I can observe just about anything and make an "unsafe to use" determination. There are many situations where I need to call in qualified experts to either confirm an unsafe determination, or make a safe to use determination.

As PE's we are supposed to know the limits of our competency, and observe those limits.

RE: South Florida 40-50 yr - Electrical Inspection Training

Thank you FacEngrPE

I agree. I can make a general observation of what is safe and not safe in regards to electrical. But I do not know what the nuances are, if any.

I am reaching out to see if there are any electrical inspections trainings that anyone would suggest to increase my competency in this area.

These 40/50 yr inspections require Structural, Electrical and Fire safety but Architects can do these, I am not sure how qualified they really are. But that might be some insight as to how complicated it is.

Thanks again,

RE: South Florida 40-50 yr - Electrical Inspection Training

I am neither in Florida, or an electrical expert, I get all of my electrical work checked by actual experts. Your concerns seem to be similar to what mine would be.

My approach would be to try to find an electrical codes instruction, I have attached some information I found using the search key "electrical codes instruction Florida", NFPA has some courses, at least some of these can be taken on line. Some will count toward PE continuing education credits.

I would partner either with a electrical PE or a master electrician for the electrical portion of the inspection. These inspections carry enough responsibility, all work should pass through a sanity check, the checker might not need to be a PE, but the responsible PE needs to be confident the checker can perform the Quality Control function needed. The QC requirements for engineering product should be discussed by the Florida PE regulations.

Inspection for service life extension is significantly different from inspecting new build in that
  • Any specific item should be installed to the code in effect at the time of construction or modification.
  • Some items are required to be compliant with current codes others will be OK with the code at the time of construction.
  • Some electrical equipment has service life limitations that need to be identified and potentially tested (and possibly rebuilt or replaced depending on service history). My workplace has some distribution transformers still in service from 1940, well beyond expected service life, you could see this in older buildings. Sometimes old circuit breakers do not trip when needed, depending on size, brand or model, sometimes testing, rebuilding, or replacement will be warranted.
  • The electrical inspection will find some items that interact with the fire/life safety codes, and other codes
  • Larger Buildings have opportunity for more complex situations that can challenge experts
  • The prevalence of over-site by condo association boards with a very wide range of skill level in property management increases the range of possible current conditions.
Now hopefully one of our real experenced electrical experts will weigh in on this subject.

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