Basement continuity test

TNE

Member
Location
Western NC
Occupation
Electrician
We got called to a job that was a finished full basement apartment that had a sewer back-up that caused damage. When the restoration company went to apply for a demo permit the city realized there was never a permit in the project to begin with. We have been called in to complete a continuity test on all the circuits and devices.

Has anyone ever done this? I have a call in to the inspector to see what all he wants. Is this a matter of removing all devices and checking each wire?
 

James L

Senior Member
Location
Kansas Cty, Mo, USA
Occupation
Electrician
He may not know what he's looking for. I had to have a megger test done on every circuit in a basement I wired, because the GC was supposed to have a building permit that covered all trades, and it turned out he never pulled a permit at all.
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Retired Electrical Contractor
I have seen some areas that required the removal of the sheetrock to see the wiring...

How deep did the sewer water get? I can't imagine it was over the receptacles... If so replace them all.... I bet the wiring is fine
 

Fred B

Senior Member
Location
Upstate, NY
Occupation
Electrician
I have seen some areas that required the removal of the sheetrock to see the wiring...

How deep did the sewer water get? I can't imagine it was over the receptacles... If so replace them all.... I bet the wiring is fine
Depending how long it had standing water, or in this case the effluent, I've seen NM wick that quite a ways up the cable. Seen sometimes more than 6 ft. Deal with a lot of flood mitigation work around here, usual policy is to replace any wire that had terminations below the flood level. I had some criteria from somewhere about this, might have been FEMA would have to look it up.
 

TNE

Member
Location
Western NC
Occupation
Electrician
The sewer back up wasn’t the issue. The issue is the lack of permitting in the original install. I think James L is right in that they don’t really know what they are looking for. What they want is for me to do this testing, send them a certified letter of the testing that was done. This puts it on my license and absolves them of responsibility.

I’m not sure what a continuity test determines. If everything works with no faults then that is most of the testing.
 

petersonra

Senior Member
Location
Northern illinois
Occupation
engineer
Depending how long it had standing water, or in this case the effluent, I've seen NM wick that quite a ways up the cable. Seen sometimes more than 6 ft. Deal with a lot of flood mitigation work around here, usual policy is to replace any wire that had terminations below the flood level. I had some criteria from somewhere about this, might have been FEMA would have to look it up.
I think there is a NEMA publication that directly addresses this issue.
 

augie47

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Tennessee
Occupation
State Electrical Inspector
As mentioned, there is a NEMA standard in regard to the water damage but no "standard" NEC or otherwise to dictate what the AHJ will requires as to covering with no permit.
 

petersonra

Senior Member
Location
Northern illinois
Occupation
engineer
As mentioned, there is a NEMA standard in regard to the water damage but no "standard" NEC or otherwise to dictate what the AHJ will requires as to covering with no permit.
I would probably be looking at a gut job as the owner anyway.

I don't know what the consequences for a project done at some time in the past would be to the current owner.
 

James L

Senior Member
Location
Kansas Cty, Mo, USA
Occupation
Electrician
The sewer back up wasn’t the issue. The issue is the lack of permitting in the original install. I think James L is right in that they don’t really know what they are looking for. What they want is for me to do this testing, send them a certified letter of the testing that was done. This puts it on my license and absolves them of responsibility.

I’m not sure what a continuity test determines. If everything works with no faults then that is most of the testing.
Maybe you could just install dual function breakers on every circuit, and if they all hold then you could say everything is all good. That was trying to be the same effect as a megger test
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
We got called to a job that was a finished full basement apartment that had a sewer back-up that caused damage. When the restoration company went to apply for a demo permit the city realized there was never a permit in the project to begin with. We have been called in to complete a continuity test on all the circuits and devices.

Has anyone ever done this? I have a call in to the inspector to see what all he wants. Is this a matter of removing all devices and checking each wire?
I would have to agree with some of the other opinions here..
A continuity test? That is basically a ring test on a VOM..
really shows very little as far as wire or insulation integrity.

I would ask exactly what test They want performed. If it’s a simple continuity test I doubt I would get involved, or at least do a breaker test as suggested above
 

ritelec

Senior Member
Location
Jersey
We got called to a job that was a finished full basement apartment that had a sewer back-up that caused damage. When the restoration company went to apply for a demo permit the city realized there was never a permit in the project to begin with. We have been called in to complete a continuity test on all the circuits and devices.

Has anyone ever done this? I have a call in to the inspector to see what all he wants. Is this a matter of removing all devices and checking each wire?
What would a continuity test do?

Called into a finished basement wired with no permit on a house sale. Recepts and switches through out, highats, bathroom, living room, bed room, sump pumps etc...There was a hung ceiling. Romex with metal studding. No grommets and too many wires in metal boxes and boxes not grounded correctly. Was basically a rewire (cutting and patching) leaving things open so the inspector was able to see EVERYTHING I did.
Thankfully, he didn't have to rip all the sheetrock out. The owner was from a different state and choked on the invoice not realizing what it took.(and that I saved from a rip out) Especially talking to his buddy from that state saying basement wiring doesn't cost that much. (mentioning numbers like open walls and exposed studs). "FYIW" Talk to the owner up front and through out so they don't get sticker shock. I did that with the job I mentioned but he was still shocked. He paid. House sold. He did say thank you. :- )
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
The sewer back up wasn’t the issue. The issue is the lack of permitting in the original install. I think James L is right in that they don’t really know what they are looking for. What they want is for me to do this testing, send them a certified letter of the testing that was done. This puts it on my license and absolves them of responsibility.

I’m not sure what a continuity test determines. If everything works with no faults then that is most of the testing.
Exactly what they want, to place liability on someone else. They likely have no idea what to specify for tests but are offering said tests as an alternative to uncovering wiring that was not inspected.

Meg test only confirms there is or is not a certain level of resistance between the points being tested. Will not confirm how well a connection will hold up under normal load or when carrying short circuit/ground fault level current.

With no standard mentioned to conduct test in accordance with - I'd say no go.
 

growler

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,GA
How deep did the sewer water get? I can't imagine it was over the receptacles... If so replace them all.... I bet the wiring is fine
I have been thinking about this and even if the sewage back up were only couple of inches deep they will have to remove the baseboard and a couple feet of sheetrock to prevent mold. The moisture will wick up in the insulation and sheetrock if it lasted very long.
 

James L

Senior Member
Location
Kansas Cty, Mo, USA
Occupation
Electrician
I have been thinking about this and even if the sewage back up were only couple of inches deep they will have to remove the baseboard and a couple feet of sheetrock to prevent mold. The moisture will wick up in the insulation and sheetrock if it lasted very long.
Yup, that's standard
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Retired Electrical Contractor
I get that but the wiring should not be affected. I think the op wants to satisfy the inspectors.... It would seem like they are going to have to replace some sheetrock but doing continuity isn't worth a darn. I would energize the circuit and see if everything is grounded and properly wired. I would not take responsibility for wiring inside the walls that cannot be seen.

I literally had a guy ask me to check the wiring he did on his addition. He actually ripped apart the nm cable and had neutral and ground going one place and the hot going somewhere else.... who knows what's behind those walls.
 

Little Bill

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Tennessee NEC:2017
Occupation
Electrician
I have had a couple of instances where some work had been done unpermitted. The inspectors (two different ones) only asked for drywall removal in a few places. They mentioned it was to check for cable securing, but that, to me, is a moot point since the drywall was already up. Stapling is to keep the cables secure and out of the way while drywall is being installed.
Never been asked to do a continuity test. Only thing I see as important with a continuity test would be the EGCs. You could confirm that by powering up the circuit and checking each receptacle with a plug-in tester. I have been asked to do a megger test but that was for possible damage from a storm.
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
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