'Bizarre' Electrocution In Central Florida

‘Bizarre’ Electrocution In Central Fla. Prompts Home Builder Lawsuit](http://www.local6.com/money/7302637/detail.html#)




"One of the nation’s largest home builders, its electrical subcontractors and a Central Florida county have been named in a wrongful death lawsuit after an appliance deliveryman was electrocuted in a “bizarre accident,” according to a Problem Solvers investigation.

Deliveryman Rafael Ugalde died while on the job at 2777 Shearwater St. in Lennar’s Lost Lake Reserve in Clermont, Fla.

Ugalde was electrocuted even though power to the room had been turned off, the report said."

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This prompted a change to the Florida building code. Now steel studs need to be bonded. Personally I always thoght this should be done.

So what is the accepted method of bonding steel studs? Each one ? Each wall assembly ?

The code allows a metal box or a plastic box with a provision for bonding, properly grounded and attached to a steel stud in every isolated segment of steel framed wall. Alternately you can run a separate bonding conductor. The bonded box method is probably what people will use. In fact there are now plastic boxes with a metal mounting strap which has a bonding screw for the EGC that will meet the objective. You just want to get a path for fault current. In another thread I said this was a medicine cabinet. In fact now I remember it was the metal enclosure for the dryer vent connection that killed the guy.
The medicine cabinet scenario was used in the justification for the code change. Sorry for any confusion.

Doesn’t sound like new rules needed, just enforcing the old ones. 1-1/4" from any ‘nailing’ edge.


Nah, let’s just keep writing new laws. :roll:

Actually I would have you bonding steel studs anyway and call it a 250.104©. You really don’t “need” a new law, just an intrepretation of a very old one. I would give you a break and let you use the EGC of the circuit likely to energize.
All the Florida statute did was make that a direct reference instead of making people think. The cost to the installer is miniscule. I bet all plastic boxes intended for metal studs will have a place to land the EGC on the mounting strap soon anyway. Some do now.

All electrical service should be enclosed, entirely, in metal, with the metal (boxes, EMT, etc) grounded.

Takes more time and costs more, but it works.

Is it about doing the quickest job or making the most money or doing the SAFEST job for the client.

These people are PAYING for the job and deserve to be served.

If it costs more, thems the breaks.,

When a client complains about my prices, I ask them:

a) What to you want me not to inspect?
b) Will you sign this limitation of liability agreement, exempting me from inspecting some thing that might kill you.

People (Read: The General Public) have to be educated that:

a) There are bad GCs and sub-contractors out there. Don’t relay of the local municipality or the “codes” to protect you. They don’t. (Note: Please read the most current Illinois corut rulings.)
b) You get what you pay for. (if you can’t afford the insurance, don’t buy the car.)
c) How much to you want to pay? You are buying a 2.3 Mil house and you want to go cheap on the 10 electrical receptacles you want to add to the 1918 house with friggin’ Knob and Tube in the attic? You don’t want to upgrade 60 amp service just because the house had 2000 SF added to it? Sign this disclaimer, right here, then we can talk.
d) This is what you want to pay for buys you, in terms of safety.
e) Don’t rely on the local codies to protect you.
f) Don’t come back and sue me for you being cheap!


I have had WAY to many clients who want me to recommend the cheapest ‘electrician’ or ‘handy man’ or “Do you know a guy” to do the required work.

I tell them, “How much is your family’s life worth. Give me a ballpark figure. Do you mind getting your dog fried as long as the kids are safe?”

I try to EDUCATE.

Thankfully, most of my clients get it.

Hope this helps;

It is quite a leap to go from wanting a bonding strap on a plastic box to EMT.
I guess Chicago could be right and the other 10,000 jurisdictions in the US are wrong but this sure sounds like the IBEW with a city council in it’s pocket.
I suppose if you really wanted maximum safety and cost was not an issue you could wire the house with MI.

Does anyone has an illustration on how metal studs should be properly grounded?

Here’s some good info on getting zapped from branch wiring…


It’s funny how folks from Chicago are constantly defending or cheering their out of control electrical requirements, and in the process suggesting the whole rest of the country (and Canada) is wrong, or “unsafe” in some way.

Very easy answer Bill. Yes.
Only I have to add one more criteia; Doing the nicest job for the client.