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RE: Porch Concrete Cracking

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Gerard-
You are correct about what the Board should do.  However, THEY get to choose
what THEY do.

The guideline I use in determining whether I would stamp or seal a document
is whether the information prepared is specific to a particular project
(sealable) or whether it is generally available information that does not
draw engineering conclusions, recommend specific actions or otherwise tailor
itself to a particular situation (not sealed).  I do know some young
engineers, proud of their newly gained registered status, who have "sealed"
Christmas cards and the like, but don't think it's really necessary <LOL>.
Emails represent an interesting situation.  I don't have a good answer for
them.

In general, the Board is probably not interested in you giving a friend some
friendly advice.  Where you might get "stuck" is if you get caught up in a
legal dispute over that advice.  The other side will be looking at ways to
discredit you, including contacting and complaining to the Board, about your
"unsealed" engnieering report. My advice to be careful stands.  A better way
might be to lead your friend to some good engineering literature on the
subject and suggest the questions he should ask the builder. Letters have a
way of finding a life of their own.

Regards,
Bill Cain, S.E.
Oakland  CA

-----Original Message-----
From: Gerard Madden [mailto:GMadden(--nospam--at)mplusl.com]
Sent: Friday, June 01, 2001 9:54 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: RE: Porch Concrete Cracking


Bill Cain,

Thanks for the tip, I'll be careful. I don't see the harm in writing a
letter listing why cracks occur in concrete and some methods of avoiding
those cracks. Textbooks written and sold in California contain this
information and are not Stamped and Signed when authored by PE's. By
purchasing the book, I am a client of the Author, aren't I? I wouldn't be
charging my friend as I am not spending hours in preparation of this letter.
Maybe I should just type a list or photocopy a page out of a text and let
him handle it until things get "more serious"

I know Charles Greenlaw used to post quite frequently regarding some of the
policies and trends the CA Board adhered to and planned to implement.

Are proposal letters, emails, Christmas cards all required to be stamped now
so we don't get punished by the Board?  simply because it goes from PE to
Client?   

Do all of you in CA Sign and Seal RFI's ? Do you all really get around to
preparing those As-Builts at the end of the job 100% of the time?

I think I am safe if I address the letter to my friend, disclaim that this
is not an evaluation of his property and specific condition and simply
recommend him to speak with his builder regarding how the porch was
constructed by asking him to show him the site work concrete details in the
construction documents. I will draw no specific conclusions or guesses on
this project.

Seems like the board could spend it's time much better, like going after
people practicing without licenses, and speeding up their PE and SE exam
correction times. California is usually one of the last to report the scores
from the PE exam, but they do have the most test takers and two additional
test to run through the scantron.

Thanks again for the advice- much appreciated.
-Gerard
San Francisco, CA


>>> bcain(--nospam--at)ebmud.com 06/01/01 09:23AM >>>
Gerard-
Bill is correct about California law (How does an opinionated Texan know
these things?  <ROTFL>  ).  It requires you to seal any engineering report
(i.e., letter, report, evaluation or whatever) that you prepare.  If it can
be shown that you prepared the document, and it represents what the Board
views as an engineering report, then they can take action against you. They
have, in the past, even opined that preparing plan check comments was
issuing an engineering report whcih needed to be sealed (although I note
they have removed the opinion from their website.  BE CAREFUL!
Regards,
Bill Cain, S.E.
Oakland  CA

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Polhemus [mailto:bill(--nospam--at)polhemus.cc] 
Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 5:54 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org 
Subject: RE: Porch Concrete Cracking


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Gerard Madden [mailto:GMadden(--nospam--at)mplusl.com] 
> Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 7:13 PM
> To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org 
> Subject: Porch Concrete Cracking
>
>
> Anyway, he asked me what I thought and if I could right him a
> letter. I said hell no to the letter, at least not with my stamp
> on it (I don't enjoy getting into pissing contests), but I did
> say I write him something up letting him know of the possible
> reasons for the cracks.

SNIP!

> Oh yeah, you Texans, that 850k equates to a 4 bedroom, 3000 sq.ft
> house in lovely San Ramon, CA. Now you are really jealous aren't
> you. (grin)

I'm afraid I'm going back to the "sealing" issue. Be VERY CAREFUL that by
drafting such a letter to him, and not sealing it, you aren't violating the
sealing rules in CA. I'll bet a Texas Jalapeno to a California Avocado that
you would be!

Oh, and here in my neighborhood, that 4BR 2 1/2 Bath 3,000 Square Footer
costs a whopping $160,000. Well, it ain't San Ramon, but it DOES come with a
color-coordinated Cottonmouth for your backyard!

William L. Polhemus, Jr., P.E.
Polhemus Engineering Company
Katy, Texas
Phone 281-492-2251
Fax 281-492-8203



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