Liability & responsibility of electrician?

I have been asked to offer an opinion in a sensitive situation.
A machinist moved his shop across town and required some rewiring (3-phase
outlets, conduit, etc.) in order to locate some machines where he wanted them.
He hires a guy who's not a pro (and later discovers is not insured) but has done shop wiring before and had a good attitude and track record. The guy does good work. No complaints about the quality of his work.
Owner throws the switch, all works fine.
The story continues 4 weeks later when the very expensive CNC fries its controller PCB to the tune of $4000.
Turns out the voltage in the shop was upward of 245 and the taps in the CNC's power supply were set for 220.
What is the legal and moral responsibility of each party?
What will not be helpful are replies about the character or intelligence of either of the players or their actions.
Thanks.
--
John English


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The "electrician" is culpable as it was found that the wiring was to blame. That proof alone means that he would be culpable, regardless of his credentials, or lack thereof.
The owner should bear some blame (as in be lenient in court) for trying to economize costs in the wrong area (he should have paid the licensed and insured electrician).
Also knowing how to hook up systems well, and knowing how to do a proper requirements analysis are two different things and define some of the differences between the grunt pulling the wires and the supervisor laying out the plan and making sure that the machines and their power sources are matched. Since a failure mode did occur, it would be improper not to make a negative statement about the character of the installer.
Also, though it was not a lack of intelligence that compelled the owner to choose the riskier path, it does indicate a lack of wisdom, which I am sure has received a boost due to these events already.
PS Cross-posting is lame.
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wrote:

Probably a good call, since modern switchers, which the DC supplies for these things usually are, can handle up to about 265 volts. Even a bit more, typically.
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"Archimedes' Lever" "Phil Allison"

** Unlikely it was a SMPS based on the OP's admittedly poor and incomplete info.
Cos SMPS do not have multi-taps for AC input voltage - PLUS if an off-line switcher fails from overvoltage, it just blows the fuse and goes dead.
But losing regulation and over-voltaging the load ( as was alleged by the OP) is another scenario altogether - more often associated with old age or the failure of one of a few critical components in the regulation loop.
..... Phil
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snip----

Nonsense. The voltage at the panel has nothing to do with the wireman. It's a function of the transformer at the pole. The voltage in my shop, wired with three phase delta, is also upwards of 245 volts.
The only way a wireman could be responsible is if the panel was wired three phase delta, with a high leg, and he had assigned the high leg to one of the 120 volt circuits, yielding 208 or more volts.
The voltage declared indicates that the service is, indeed, delta.
Harold
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On Sun, 05 Jul 2009 07:50:13 GMT, "Harold and Susan Vordos"

Nonsense? Take your retarded queries elsewhere, crossposting, idiot, troll fucktard.

When a man wires up a machine, it is his responsibility to make sure that the machine he is connecting to power is set up for the voltage he is providing to it.

He is responsible because he did not perform the requirements analysis.

Doesn't matter. The device to be powered must not be wired up with an inappropriate feed, or fail to be set up to take the feed that is provided.
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StickThatInYourPipeAndSmokeIt wrote:

Well obviously you don't know much about the standards of electrical codes, labeling and so on. 245V is very normal..
I would be a little more worried about voltages running on the low side in shops like that.
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On Sun, 05 Jul 2009 19:22:36 -0400, Jamie

I never said it wasn't.
Hooking up 245 volts on the 220V tap, however, is an error on the installer's part.

The discussion is about proper hook ups and improper hookups, not what you think one needs to worry about or not.
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Nonsense. 245VAC could *easily* be a [nominal] 240V single-phase service.
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wrote:

Yes, it could be, but we're talking about industrial machinery, generally powered by three phase. I have serious doubts that a single phase CNC would contain a $4,000 board when you can buy the machines for that amount of money.
I'm convinced the wiring in question is three phase. The only remaining question is whether it's delta or wye. Considering wye reads 208 volts leg to leg, I'm pretty sure its delta. You?
Harold
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The point is that a measurement of 245V, in and of itself, is not proof of 3-phase delta service. I measure 243V between the two legs of my residential service, and I'm quite sure that it's only single-phase.
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Doug Miller wrote:

What is the voltage at the old location? If it is 240 then there is no issue with anything the electrician did...
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Doug Miller wrote:

How ever, it is most likely originating from a 3 phase source via a single phase xformer.
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On Wed, 08 Jul 2009 18:39:31 -0400, Jamie

What's that got to do with the price of oats in China?
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krw wrote:

I don't know about oats, but I hear the price of rice is up!
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On Wed, 08 Jul 2009 19:51:13 -0400, Jamie

I figured that you were talking through your ass again.
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krw wrote:

That's a matter for opinion and apparently, yours don't count!
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On Thu, 09 Jul 2009 18:14:53 -0400, Jamie

That is a matter of fact, though you wouldn't know a fact if it bit you where you talk.
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wrote:

Not a lot, but it may have a profound effect on the tariff on peanuts in Brazil.
Harold
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wrote:

It is always from a three phase source. That's the way it comes from the generators, although only one leg is generally used for distribution.
Where I live, one leg of the three phase ran the power for everyone on the hill. When they needed to increase capacity, I paid for the third leg to be installed while they were upgrading the service with the second leg. That's how I ended up with three phase service in my shop, having had the primary lines extended for over two miles.
Harold
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