Electrical Inspection Dilemma

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smallfish

Senior Member
Location
Detroit
As an electrical inspector, I have written violations on an electrical contractors work and sent them to him. The EC contends that the homeowner will not allow him back in to his house to make these corrections. (I think the HO is unwilling to pay out any more cash, having paid too much already.) Whose responsibility is it to get the ball rolling? Must I do something more or is it the EC responsibility to get the HO to open his door in order to correct the violations?
Thanks
 

jumper

Senior Member
Something is wrong here, if an EC fails an inspection why would a HO finish paying him, fixing violations of an ECs install would not cost the HO more money. I would imagine a HO would be screaming to get them fixed

Were these existing ones not part of the permit? An EC would not be responsible for those.
 

rbalex

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Mission Viejo, CA
Occupation
Professional Electrical Engineer
As a general rule, the owner of a property is responsible for its safety. If it's serious enough, a notice of condemnation might be appropriate to get the HO motivated.

The HO does not necessarily need to let the EC do the work. Who pays for it is between the HO, the EC and possibly the HO insurance.
 

charlie b

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Seattle, WA
Occupation
Electrical Engineer
Just out of curiosity, what happens if the corrections are never corrected? Obviously, there would be some paperwork sitting in Limbo somewhere, but so what? Is there a legal tool with which the inspection authority can compel someone to prove that the work has been completed? Bob's use of the phrase "notice of condemnation" is new to me.
 

rbalex

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Mission Viejo, CA
Occupation
Professional Electrical Engineer
As what was originally a "model code", Annex H has several remedies. Many jurisdictions have the concepts, if not the actual wording. See for example Section 80.13 especially 80.13 (4), (5), (6) and (7).

Basically, if a property is unsafe for habitation, it can be condemed. Another option is to direct the utility to disconnect the service.

They are rarely necessary but if the HO is the real culprit, the threat is usually enough. If the EC is guilty then there appropriate sanctions for them too. Who pays for remediation is not the AHJ's problem. However, if it is serious enough to be done there are means to enforce it.

The key is understanding that a property owner is responsible for its safety.
 

hillbilly1

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,Ga
In commercial it's usually a threat to disconnect utility if it's a serious enough violation. I also have seen fire marshals threaten to padlock the doors if the problem has to do with fire safety.
 

cowboyjwc

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Simi Valley, CA
Someone else mentioned it and I will agree that while the HO may believe that the EC is responsible for the corrections, the correction notice goes to the address and not a person. It the EC were to walk away after doing his due diligance to try and get in, the if something were to happen the onice would be on the HO. We usually send out a letter telling you that we are about to expire the permit and then in 30 days we will send another one saying that it has been expired. Once the permit is expired you would have to pay for a new permit in order to get the work signed off at a later date.

A friend called me yesterday and one of our guys had gone by on a complaint. The home was bought as is and the complaint is from a neighbor saying that the rock pool slide is to close to the property line. Whether it is or isn't I don't know, what I do know is that all of the pool permits were expired because no final inspections were called and this issue could have been taken care of when the pool was being built by the previous owner. Now it's my friends problem and he's the one that has to pay to have it resolved.
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
Worked for a guy once that had a similar situation. The AHJ threatened to pull the meter if the corrections were not made in 10 days. Regardless of who pays.
I always laugh when a AHJ says they will pull the meter. In our company, an AHJ can request we pull our meter that we own, but the request needs to be in writing with reasons for the request. Once we established our position on this matter a few years back, many of the idle threats stopped. We had no choice but to tell the HO (they always call in and ask) that the AHJ cannot actually pull the meter. We had to actually pull the meter, but only after proper notification, and paperwork.
On the other hand, a fire chief only has to verbally request the meter be pulled...

It's unbelievable how much authority a fire chief has
 

Minuteman

Senior Member
I always laugh when a AHJ says they will pull the meter. In our company, an AHJ can request we pull our meter that we own, but the request needs to be in writing with reasons for the request. Once we established our position on this matter a few years back, many of the idle threats stopped. We had no choice but to tell the HO (they always call in and ask) that the AHJ cannot actually pull the meter. We had to actually pull the meter, but only after proper notification, and paperwork.
On the other hand, a fire chief only has to verbally request the meter be pulled...

It's unbelievable how much authority a fire chief has
I'm working a house electrical fire right now where the FD didn't tell the Poco to pull the meter and HO was still in the house. I went to city hall to pull a permit and mentioned it to an inspector. He got twisted off and said he would have it pulled. Don't know if he went through the FD or not, but it was pulled the next day.
 

qcroanoke

Sometimes I don't know if I'm the boxer or the bag
Location
Roanoke, VA.
Occupation
Engineering
Yep. When I worked at a college I dealt with many FMs, ignoring a write up in my case was followed by a massive fine, and if still persisting-you get to meet a judge. I fixed all cited violations promptly needless to say.
Fire marshals around here have just a little less athority than a Game Warden.
Game wardens can shoot you, no questions asked.
Fire Marshals have to at least explain why they shot you.
 

north star

Senior Member
Location
inside Area 51
$ $ $ $

Unless the AHJ specifically adopts Annex H, it cannot be used.....All Annexes [ in the `08 NEC ]
are not part of the requirements of the NFPA [ NEC ]......They are for "informational purposes"
only!


$ $ $ $
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Someone else mentioned it and I will agree that while the HO may believe that the EC is responsible for the corrections, the correction notice goes to the address and not a person. It the EC were to walk away after doing his due diligance to try and get in, the if something were to happen the onice would be on the HO. We usually send out a letter telling you that we are about to expire the permit and then in 30 days we will send another one saying that it has been expired. Once the permit is expired you would have to pay for a new permit in order to get the work signed off at a later date.

A friend called me yesterday and one of our guys had gone by on a complaint. The home was bought as is and the complaint is from a neighbor saying that the rock pool slide is to close to the property line. Whether it is or isn't I don't know, what I do know is that all of the pool permits were expired because no final inspections were called and this issue could have been taken care of when the pool was being built by the previous owner. Now it's my friends problem and he's the one that has to pay to have it resolved.
So the way to get out of having to comply with codes where you live is to never have that final inspection done and let the permit expire?


We have many different opinions on what happens in these situations where there is a code violation. Each and every time there is a violation the appropriate action will depend on the laws of the jurisdiction. If the laws are not well written or enforced then people in that jurisdiction get away with more than those in other jurisdictions.

Most cases the person filing any permits is the one that will receive any correction notifications, if that is the contractor and he is no longer part of the project - he may be off the hook - but the new contractor or owner is likely supposed to either file a new permit or have the original one transferred in some way or they are out of compliance with laws, which gives the AHJ to take whatever steps they have established for the next course of action.

The rare times when a situation has never been encountered before is when AHJ re evaluates their laws and possibly makes changes, even if it means letting something go on this one initial circumstance. Change don't come about if those kinds of things don't happen sometimes.
 

cowboyjwc

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Simi Valley, CA
So the way to get out of having to comply with codes where you live is to never have that final inspection done and let the permit expire?


We have many different opinions on what happens in these situations where there is a code violation. Each and every time there is a violation the appropriate action will depend on the laws of the jurisdiction. If the laws are not well written or enforced then people in that jurisdiction get away with more than those in other jurisdictions.

Most cases the person filing any permits is the one that will receive any correction notifications, if that is the contractor and he is no longer part of the project - he may be off the hook - but the new contractor or owner is likely supposed to either file a new permit or have the original one transferred in some way or they are out of compliance with laws, which gives the AHJ to take whatever steps they have established for the next course of action.

The rare times when a situation has never been encountered before is when AHJ re evaluates their laws and possibly makes changes, even if it means letting something go on this one initial circumstance. Change don't come about if those kinds of things don't happen sometimes.
Not quite that simple, but at one time we had 10 inspectors, and we had over 1.5 million sq ft of commercial building was being built and over 1000 homes going all at the same time. Some things we're just now catching up to.

Just like not being able to pull the meter (which I can sometimes do on a phone call depending on the situation) telling someone that they are going to court is usually just a bluff too. There is a very long process that must be followed, including a very extensive paper trail. We may be able to get an inspection warrant but again. not that easy.
 
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