computer loads and a stickler Inspector

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pfalcon

Senior Member
Location
Indiana
I'm basing my standing right now on

80.1. Scope. The code regulates the design, installation, maintenance, alteration, and inspection of electrical systems including all wiring, fixtures, appliances, and appurtenances in connection with the utilization of electrical energy, within or on a building, structure, or properties, and including service entrance wiring as defined by the code.

If it?s not plugged in he has no Authority over it.

The link is here.
http://www.michigan.gov/documents/d...e_rules_part8_2008_print_version_295688_7.pdf
Scope (8.1) from PDF does not exclude simply because it's not plugged in, especially if the locations are marked for computers on the prints. Once a load is established he is not obligated to forget. More in force is (8.1.1) which clarifies the scope through intent:

80.1.1. Intent. The purpose of the code is to provide minimum standards to safeguard life or limb, health, property, and public welfare by regulating and controlling the design, construction, installation, quality of materials, location, operation, and maintenance or use of electrical wiring and equipment.
So even with the computers plugged in - said design does not impact the intent. Poor design may impact private welfare but that's outside the intent and therefore outside the scope. Unless of course this is a public building.
 

cowboyjwc

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Simi Valley, CA
In our ordinaces which came right from the UAC whic is similar to Article 89.

Electrical pemit exemptions: 1) "Portable motors or other portable appliances energized by means of a cord......having an attachment plug end to be connected to an approved receptacle...."

If it doesn't require a permit, it doesn't require an inspection.
 

Jim W in Tampa

Senior Member
Location
Tampa Florida
There simply are some that should never be allowed to inspect anything. My bet is this inspector failed to make it as an EC and is trying to his best to make your life h---. I truly hope you dont let up on him if he passes the job. What needs be done is pressure him and get him in front of a hearing panel to fire him. Maybe he could get a job on a garbage truck. Hmmmmm maybe not cause he then will inspect your trash.
 

jxofaltrds

Senior Member
Location
Mike P. Columbus Ohio
Occupation
ESI
There simply are some that should never be allowed to inspect anything. My bet is this inspector failed to make it as an EC and is trying to his best to make your life h---. I truly hope you dont let up on him if he passes the job. What needs be done is pressure him and get him in front of a hearing panel to fire him. Maybe he could get a job on a garbage truck. Hmmmmm maybe not cause he then will inspect your trash.
Some people do not like inspectors because they make you follow the rules.

Now see how quickly these same inspectors jump to an electricians defense when an inspector is out of line!
 

Jim W in Tampa

Senior Member
Location
Tampa Florida
Some people do not like inspectors because they make you follow the rules.

Now see how quickly these same inspectors jump to an electricians defense when an inspector is out of line!

I have no issues with following the rules. This is a case of an inspectors that does not know the rules. This is crazy to put a demand on a plug in item. Nothing backs up his call.
Inspectors that call it right have my support.
 

e57

Senior Member
Why is the nameplate rating so high? What kind of computers are these?
I'd typical for a decent CPU and monitor... They are often powering multiple drives, a multitude of cards, fans and have larger processors to cool all of it - therefore have larger power supplies.

Workstations with little processing power tend to be a bit lower load due to smaller power supplies in them.

I usually check with the IT guy of certain types of office I build out to see what people will be using - and sometimes it does break down to 2 stations on a circuit.... I also usually find out about a whole bunch of other stuff that was not on the plans in the same conversation. Like the printers here and there - and plotter here and there...


As for the OP...

(I would suggest documenting your next meeting with him by taping it - something I too am looking at doing for a set of inspectors with just plain bad additude... A seperate topic...) :roll:

The inspector really doesn't have too much control over what would be plugged in apart from fixed in place equipment - which this is not. Just like you don't have any control over it either. In the future just shrug your shoulders and say, "Well what can you do? Design for typical, and atypical shows up at the end... This is a typical install... But it'll hardly be loaded to capacity anyway..."

So now it looks like you're on his side, but not... You offer to check the amperage on a few circuits in this unoccupied office and show it to him... Not the nameplate info (Sizing for the max a power supply will output is simply stupid) - an amp clamp in the panel. All the monitors and CPU's on... Almost all will be in standby mode unless someone is on them a few moments after turning them on... And look and see what you get... (Maybe try this before he's there just to get an idea for yourself....)

And if he 'gets' that the load doesnt match the name plate - have someone go knock some on one circuit out of stand-by and see what you get... and say, 'Well what am I to do - size a circuit for how hard these people are going to actively work on thier computors, or the heat of the day?' After that - go full bore over his head....
 

lakee911

Senior Member
Location
Columbus, OH
Call him down on this one. First tell him you want a code number. Actually if its holding up moving in call his boss and the county lawyer and give them 24 hours before you file law suit at $500 a day for loss of use.
Be careful with your threats. You can 'file suit' for anything, but the judge is going to ask you where you got the figure of $500 from. You'll need to substantiate this. He'll laugh when you say 'I read it on the Internet.' A likely figure might include a penality charged for not being able to move out of a current location into the new one, added rent, additional inspection fees, etc.

The other thing is he might tell you to go ahead. Are you actually prepared to do so?

I would be pleasent about it. It goes a long way. Going to court should be your last resort, not your first.

There simply are some that should never be allowed to inspect anything. My bet is this inspector failed to make it as an EC and is trying to his best to make your life h---. I truly hope you dont let up on him if he passes the job. What needs be done is pressure him and get him in front of a hearing panel to fire him. Maybe he could get a job on a garbage truck. Hmmmmm maybe not cause he then will inspect your trash.
I've ran into this before. I've had inspectors who couldn't make it in college and likes to give the engineer a hard time. I bet he wouldn't have any friends if he then failed at being an EC. :)
 
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Jim W in Tampa

Senior Member
Location
Tampa Florida
It goes like this. He wants to play mr big man and make your job h---. Time to pay him back and if enough of you complain loud enough he will go away either on his own or get fired.
He is trying to force a non code issue on you and your customer and costing money for no good reason. If you want the problem to go away you must remove it. His type give a bad name to the real inspectors.
 

e57

Senior Member
It goes like this. He wants to play mr big man and make your job h---. Time to pay him back and if enough of you complain loud enough he will go away either on his own or get fired.
He is trying to force a non code issue on you and your customer and costing money for no good reason. If you want the problem to go away you must remove it. His type give a bad name to the real inspectors.
Yeah the BIG MAN factor my be at play.... They are not concerned by what it costs you or the customer. People like this you need to nail with writing....

And yes - at 180VA per receptical with non fixed equipment... Which may make him flat out wrong... 220.14A mentioned before - is worded as 'singular' not 'outlet(s)' or 'Appliance(s) or 'Load(s)' - it says "An outlet for a specific appliance or other load." Thats a pretty big reach....

Making 220.14(I) the right one to go for... (After looking at 220.14(K) - because (K)2 would mean very few actual circuits....)

(I) Receptacle Outlets. Except as covered in 220.14(J) and
(K), receptacle outlets shall be calculated at not less than
180 volt-amperes for each single or for each multiple​
receptacle on one yoke.~~~~~~~~~~~~
(K) Banks and Office Buildings. In banks or office
buildings, the receptacle loads shall be calculated to be the
larger of(1) or (2):
(1) The computed load from 220.14(I)​
(2) 11 volt-amperes/m2 or 1 volt-ampere/ft2
If one can prove the above - on top of what I described before of actual use... The Inspector has no grounds - if exceeds that, by all means make a case about it.

Does it fit - 220.14(K) - Yes
Does it fit - 220.14(I) - Yes
Does the use exceed the circuit capacity - ? (This is outside of the code - just common sense.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`


However in my area - I'm concerned they may actually be under direction from above to maximize reinspection fees.... The Mayor gave back all of development money for downtown a while back, and crippled the DBI... Sacked a bunch of inspectors... They raised permit and inspection fees, but also while every inspector has time to whine about thier 'work load' they also go hunting for reinspections on stupid which hunt type stuff so they have more work load... But more fees.... :roll:
 

Jim W in Tampa

Senior Member
Location
Tampa Florida
Unless the print specs a certain make and model number then it is just a computer with no known amps.
But play his stupid game with him and remove the extra computer. Now he is happy. Inspectors like him have a name but we can't say it here.
 

jxofaltrds

Senior Member
Location
Mike P. Columbus Ohio
Occupation
ESI
Correct me if I am wrong!

Doesn't the NEC and an inspectors jurisdiction stop at the premises wiring?

If this is not correct please give me a code reference where an inspector can tell you what you can or can not plug in.

If this was hard wired I would agree. But it is not.

This inspector 'may' believe that he is doing the right thing. If he believes this then he does not understand his job.

Have him what this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tslbXDdKUEg
 

mbaba9999

New member
i want to be inspector for the city i finished mike Holt masters comprehensive i have Dir cert. in california some say iaei cert and c10
 
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George Stolz

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Windsor, CO NEC: 2017
Occupation
Service Manager
Re: computer loads and a stickler Inspector

I'm with pfalcon on this one. If there is a demand factor for receptacles for computers I don't know of one, and the inspector probably doesn't either. I don't see an over-the-top absolutely atrocious misinterpretation of the code here. There are times that the code reaches beyond it's reasonable limits and reaches beyond the receptacle with it's requirements. I don't agree with it, but it happens.

The same people who are calling him names are talking about spaceheaters in the same breath - so why are they so down on the inspector for requiring the circuit to be substantial enough for the load given?

I'd say that the NEC should probably have a demand factor for PCs, but until it does then the engineer has no leg to stand on, as I see it.
 

Jim W in Tampa

Senior Member
Location
Tampa Florida
I'm with pfalcon on this one. If there is a demand factor for receptacles for computers I don't know of one, and the inspector probably doesn't either. I don't see an over-the-top absolutely atrocious misinterpretation of the code here. There are times that the code reaches beyond it's reasonable limits and reaches beyond the receptacle with it's requirements. I don't agree with it, but it happens.

The same people who are calling him names are talking about spaceheaters in the same breath - so why are they so down on the inspector for requiring the circuit to be substantial enough for the load given?

I'd say that the NEC should probably have a demand factor for PCs, but until it does then the engineer has no leg to stand on, as I see it.
Point is just that. We have no idea what will get pluged in. It starts with computer and monitor and then everything from space heater, copy machine ,paper shreder and etc. There is no reason for the inspector to stick his nose into it. Is no hazard of fire or shock. The circuit will perform fine and if it goes over 20 amps for very long the breaker will trip. If it happens too often then a circuit can be added. Does this same inspector add up every load he sees ? They are not fixed loads and are none of his business. We as electricians should not put up with this type of inspector. If this inspector is stupid enough to not know the name plate is just a peak then he needs find another job.
 

e57

Senior Member
IMO the problem is 'empowerment' to totally screw an occupancy over something so trivial - and I'm sure most of us would agree is flat out wrong - 'new JW type' misconceptions about the code. I'm sure we all have been in a hold up of occupancy - and what type of hell that is... This is not some type of issue where life or property is at stake - like say a FA panel malfunction/incompletion.

Since I'll broadly say that it does take a little bit of primadonna to have the will to make it or continue in this trade - lines do need to drawn though.... Once you are pointed out that it is wrong - most fail to be man enough to owe up to it. Instead it becomes a chest beater over what may seem a stupid misinterpretation - but be far more than a roll of dimes to 'correct' - when there was nothing wrong in the first place... If he's nailing the OP for this - odds are he's screwed a dozen or so other guys on the same thing.

There is a culture of some inspectors who fail to debate codes - but go for 'set in stone' interpretations that are often - wrong.... And they just keep going.... Unfortunately, this type of "enforcement" is done by the cop, judge, and jury all rolled up in to what is often one or two guys...
 
While I agree that the equipment plugged in to the fixed electrical system generally should not be the purview of a building department official, there should be a balance to things.

A typical office uses a temporary power tap in order to provide an adequate number of outlets. If an engineer plans out an office space on 180VA per cubicle, I wouldn't defend the position. At 360 or 540VA, you can defend yourself, but today calling a cube 180 you are asking for problems. Doesn't meet intent of code...
 

glene77is

Senior Member
Location
Memphis, TN
Inspector is not giving occupancy until circuits are added
so no more than 2 computers are on any 20A branch circuit.
Mr. Bill,
If this is a residential concern, then:
No Person can know that any computers will be plugged in.
Not Any computers, Not any quantity, Not Any circuit !

No one knows these things, which leads to the predictive solution called Diversity of Load for residentials.

"Lawyers are disbarred,
clergymen defrocked,
electricians are delighted,
inspectors are inspected. "

Good luck,
 
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