AL SER through bored holes in ceiling joists

gscottb

Member
Location
Littleton, CO
I failed an inspection this week after running 4/0 AL SER through bored holes in 2x12 ceiling joist of a garage. Myself, and 11 other people have been combing the NEC trying to find the violation and have yet too. This particular inspector is known for being the know it all type, and NEVER lists code articles for areas of concern. If anyone can shed any light on this it would be much appreciated. Thanks.
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
Depending on the size of the hole then you may have committed a building code violation not an NEC violation. Look at art. 338.10(B)(4) which directs you to part II of art. 334. Part II does not disallow running ser thru bored holes in a basement. In fact it allows you to run the SER under the joist but it does not state that you cannot run it thru the joist.
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
How big is the hole and where in the joist is it drilled, directly in the center from top to bottom? Are these joists made of engineered lumber?
 

edward

Senior Member
Did the inspector cite any code section? I know you said he doesn't like to do that but i am sure you like to know what you have violated.

I always, always ask what code section it is that i have violated. Not what the AHJ recommends but what the code section is that i have violated.

Sometimes i will ask the inspector: "how would like to be given a traffic ticket but no explanation of the vehicle code section that has been violated?"
 

gscottb

Member
Location
Littleton, CO
Drilled in the center third vertically, not engineered (dimensional) lumber. The major problem here is that this service change is coming out of my pocket (so far). I installed a subpanel for a neighbor and this inspector couldn't find a code violation on the sub, however, failed me saying the service needed replacing. I mention this to explain there is bad blood here (and getting worse). Is anyone familiar with a law that enables an inspector to inspect and fail work that I never performed? We have yet to identify such a law, although, we do have a US District Judge in the family that has identified a number of issues with this situation at the Federal level, although pressing this would only cost more time and money...
 

GerryB

Senior Member
If the holes are the problem then the holes are still the problem if you pull the wire out. I had an inspector on an addition a while ago that cited all kinds of existing conditions. When questioned by the GC his answer was "Well if I see it I have to write it up". Not to change the subject this is a 200 amp sub panel to the garage?
 

gscottb

Member
Location
Littleton, CO
If the holes are the problem then the holes are still the problem if you pull the wire out. I had an inspector on an addition a while ago that cited all kinds of existing conditions. When questioned by the GC his answer was "Well if I see it I have to write it up". Not to change the subject this is a 200 amp sub panel to the garage?

This property has an attached garage, I put a 200 amp meter/ main on the back of the garage and ran 4/0 from the main, accross the garage ceiling, and into the existing panel. The original project: I installed a 100 amp subpanel in the basement onto existing 2-3 SER. At some point in time, someone else changed the garage panel and ran 2-3 SER into the basement... leaving it capped on both ends, like they were intending on a subpanel in the future

My belief is the inspector thinks it was me that did this.... they could find no record of a permit on this. I have never argued that the service was in need of replacement, however I was not contracted to work on this, and was never answered when I gave the homeowner a bid (the house is a rental and he lives in anther state, 5 hrs away) My family and I are in the process of moving to another state and I was trying to clear the permit was the only reason I shelled out my own money for the service.
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
I still don't understand the issue. Is the #2 aluminum tied to anything? If the wire is run into the basement and capped then that is not an issue.

This thread started with holes but we still don't know what size lumber and what size holes you drilled. What is there that is funstioning at this point?
 

gscottb

Member
Location
Littleton, CO
I still don't understand the issue. Is the #2 aluminum tied to anything? If the wire is run into the basement and capped then that is not an issue.

This thread started with holes but we still don't know what size lumber and what size holes you drilled. What is there that is funstioning at this point?
Appologies, the ceiling joists are 2 x 12 dimensional lumber and the holes are 2 1/2".

The frustrating part is that I was contracted to put a subpanel in the basement on the #2 and install a breaker in the garage panel for the subpanel, inspection went well, other than she failed the rest of the service on my permit, hence the service change. So far, I have spent more than double what I agreed to do the subpanel for with no agreement form the owner to reimburse me for the service change.

I would love to hear from an inspector to gain perspective on this. My inspector on this project does not "tolerate" questions.... never seen anything like it.
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
The problem here is that we're all guessing as to what the problem is with the service. You've stated that the SE cable through the holes is the issue but the inspector has not provided a code reference so, although I can only speak for myself, I don't have a clue as to what the violation is. :?
 

gscottb

Member
Location
Littleton, CO
The problem here is that we're all guessing as to what the problem is with the service. You've stated that the SE cable through the holes is the issue but the inspector has not provided a code reference so, although I can only speak for myself, I don't have a clue as to what the violation is. :?
The service was original from 1957.... a 100 amp meter socket with no disconnect. I am not disputing that the service needed an upgrade, however, I was not contracted to do this (already reccomended it to owner) I intend to get clarification from this inspectors supervisor this week on the issue with the holes, I wanted to be armed if someone had an NEC interpretation We had not thought of. I guess my big question is (other than the holes) can an inspector demand that I upgrade something that i did not work on? At this point, I am not claiming she is in the wrong, but, nobody i have spoken with has run into this issue before to this degree of $.
 

John120/240

Senior Member
Location
Olathe, Kansas
I guess my big question is (other than the holes) can an inspector demand that I upgrade something that i did not work on?
The only things that need inspecting are those items directly releated to whatever your permit

covers. Any prexisting conditions that the inspector notes on the report are a moot point.

Now if there are issues that pose a imienent danger to life or property a certified letter to the

property owner would be in order. The inspector would list the violations & give a 10 day or

two week time period to correct the violations, then direct POCO to disconnect if not fixed.
 

TobyD

Senior Member
As noted in the previous posts there may be an issue within the building code.In our jurisdiction the building inspector is the last person to inspect.I have been faced with certain situations to where if the re-modling project is 49% of the total sq.Ftg.then the job becomes more complex.

With the traditional type framing if I re-call, if a line of bored holes were drilled the pattern wasn't allowed to be over 1.5 times the width of the joist from a load bearing wall.I understand where you're coming from .I just recently faced a similiar situation and submiited the rejection to our Cheif Building official.I recieved the answer much like you were given.I too was trying to econimize so to speak due to the fact that I was only to replace --repair only certain items.
 
I also ran into this once. Drilled 2 1/2 inch holes through 2X12 floor joist. The bottom of my holes where 2" above the bottom of the joist and about two feet from the wall. Ended up having to scab a 2X12X6' and redrill the holes smaller and closer to the wall. Wasnt an NEC violation but a building code violation.
 

TimK

Member
Location
Tacoma, WA
NEC issues

NEC issues

The service was original from 1957.... a 100 amp meter socket with no disconnect. I am not disputing that the service needed an upgrade, however, I was not contracted to do this (already reccomended it to owner) I intend to get clarification from this inspectors supervisor this week on the issue with the holes, I wanted to be armed if someone had an NEC interpretation We had not thought of. I guess my big question is (other than the holes) can an inspector demand that I upgrade something that i did not work on? At this point, I am not claiming she is in the wrong, but, nobody i have spoken with has run into this issue before to this degree of $.
Is what you added overloading the service? In WA i have had many inspectors tell me that if we invite them in and they see a code violation they are allowed to gig the contractor on it to fix it.If you knew the service needed replaced before you started your work maybe that should of been part of your bid? (Just kind of guessing without more info?)
 

Riograndeelectric

Senior Member
The service was original from 1957.... a 100 amp meter socket with no disconnect. I am not disputing that the service needed an upgrade, Why did the service need upgrading? Can you provide more details on the exsting main service and why you knew it needed to be upgraded? You are leaving out a lot of details specifically the exsting service

If the e



however, I was not contracted to do this (already reccomended it to owner) I intend to get clarification from this inspectors supervisor this week on the issue with the holes, I wanted to be armed if someone had an NEC interpretation We had not thought of. I guess my big question is (other than the holes) can an inspector demand that I upgrade something that i did not work on? At this point, I am not claiming she is in the wrong, but, nobody i have spoken with has run into this issue before to this degree of $.
So you added a sub panel in the basement on a 3 wire feed ?

the basement sub panel requires a 4 wire wire feeder circuit neatrual and ground need to be seperated at subpanel. (
I can not find the article # for this though:weeping:)
this could be a reason why the inspector failed the work


 

Riograndeelectric

Senior Member
This property has an attached garage, I put a 200 amp meter/ main on the back of the garage and ran 4/0 from the main, accross the garage ceiling, and into the existing panel. The original project: I installed a 100 amp subpanel in the basement onto existing 2-3 SER. At some point in time, someone else changed the garage panel and ran 2-3 SER into the basement... leaving it capped on both ends, like they were intending on a subpanel in the future

My belief is the inspector thinks it was me that did this.... they could find no record of a permit on this. I have never argued that the service was in need of replacement, however I was not contracted to work on this, and was never answered when I gave the homeowner a bid (the house is a rental and he lives in anther state, 5 hrs away) My family and I are in the process of moving to another state and I was trying to clear the permit was the only reason I shelled out my own money for the service.
was the Electrical inspector Ruth? If so she can be hard to see thing other than her way?

 
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