The waiver indemnifies all parties but the vendor, and it says the vendor will accept all liability if an accident occurs. If your customer decides the installation manual must supercede the Code, you have two final options. This approach allows everyone to save face if the situation is political, and it solves the underlying technical problem. Once your customer understands an unbonded installation is unsafe, the decision requires choosing between insubordination to upper management or insisting the vendor conform to sound engineering practices. Your goal is to provide a safe and reliable installation.
You can do the job right and risk nonpayment. Break a complex problem down into individual components. But now let's use each method to solve the grounding example. This classic technique for managerial and production problems addresses interrelated issues. These techniques are valid for those, too. But first decide whom you need to convince and what issues are important to them.
Ask your customer how to get rid of that potential. Show the inputs and outputs and how these boxes affect each other. View the problem as a part of a larger whole. That handles the technical side of the argument, leaving you with the risk-management question. . If the vendor refuses to budge, work with your customer to force the vendor to change its position. We all have our tools for managing work such as flow charts, decision trees, and punch lists , and you should use yours to manage this problem-solving process.
View the problem in relation to its inputs and outputs. A graphical representation shows the logic behind Art. This classic approach to mathematical problems works well when dealing with technical issues. So analyze the situation with the other techniques and then develop your work plan. Many people who write installation manuals lack the physics or electrical training to understand the implications of what they are writing.
Following a methodical plan allows you to manage the problem without leaving loose ends. The manual says the warranty is void unless we do it this way. This approach has more merit than many people think. This means keeping notes of all conversations, being cautious about written communication especially e-mail , and developing a documentation trail as things develop. It's effective when dealing with ethical issues, which are often choices between two right answers. The manual infers that an unbonded rod is electrically isolated from the rest of the system. You'll run across installation manual errors of other sorts.
If that potential becomes an output to a person, that person can die from electrocution. Point out the Code violation, but don't stop there, because you have a chance to provide a truly value-added service. The holistic approach focuses on fundamental questions. Use authority only if all else fails, but develop your case as you go along. Look for a product to solve your problem. For example, one product uses a spark gap to prevent low-level noise from crossing from one grounding subsystem to another while preventing touch potential from building up. Your knowledge of Ohm's Law and soil resistance tells you this will lead to build-up of a dangerous potential on all equipment served by that rod.
Draw boxes to represent the unbonded electrode, vendor, customer, and an electrocution victim. But, you do have other options. The use of formal problem-solving techniques is an effective way to overcome the installation manual problem. Using the intuitive approach, ask how your customer feels about the situation, but don't get into emotional arguments — those stop progress. You can solve the problem by changing the constrictions that make it a problem. While most vendors abide by the Code, many do not. The manual says this means bonding to a driven electrode, but not to the plant's grounding system.
No single approach fits all customers or all situations. Do you think that could void the warranty? The object is to get the customer to stop justifying an irrational position. Or you could cut your losses and withdraw from the project. You should consult an attorney before drafting or signing such waivers. Then, collect and present the information that will convince them.
Many contractors who operate on razor-thin margins choose to take the risk. The concept of isolating the grounding conductor all the way back to the service never crosses their minds. Use a regulatory body or judge to force compliance. Or you can do it wrong and pray nothing bad happens. This is sometimes the only way to solve a problem with some parties.
You could bond the electrode to the service entrance per Art. Using Ohm's Law, you know these currents can build to a lethal touch potential — because of the high-resistance bond of earth between the electrodes. The manual says this means bonding to a driven electrode, but not to the plant's grounding system. While the vendor claims these are isolated, you can show this is not so. Remember, you are on your customer's side. .