Electrical Inspection Dilemma

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petersonra

Senior Member
Location
Northern illinois
Occupation
engineer
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.
There is a big difference in having the power shut off to a building that is mostly destroyed in a fire and using that threat over trivial violations.

I can imagine how happy the HO is that you got his power shut off while he was still there.
 

growler

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,GA
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.
I can imagine how happy the HO is that you got his power shut off while he was still there.

Bob I normally wouldn't try to get a homeowner's power shut off if it's safe for them to be there but depending on what types of permits are needed to do the repairs you often don't have a choice in the matter.

After a fire the site is often condemned and needs to have a new certificate of occupancy before anyone can live there. You would be surprised at how little structural damage is necessary before some areas will require a building permit and a GC and a new certificate of occupancy.
 

Strife

Senior Member
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
First I want to ask: are these violations related to the permit?
If they are related to the permit, the HO is not obligated to pay more.
I'm asking this, because I had a few situations where the inspector wouldn't give me a final because (for instance) existing conduits (that were not even close to our scope of work) were not properly supported. or not giving me a final because the receptacles outside did not have bubble covers (when we didn't even come close to those circuits or devices). Or an inspector who wanted me to tamper proof the whole house even though our permit was to remodel the kitchen.



Last, in South Florida if you pull a permit there's certain things that are required to be brought up to code, like SD and GFI in the bathrooms. Every city enforces it differently. For instance Deerfield Beach will require the bathroom receptacles to be replaced with GFI's, but won't enforce the SD requirement. Hallandale beach will MAKE YOU do the smoke detectors.
So which one is it?
1: Electrician failed on the work he did? In this case the owner should not be obligated to pay more money. In our area if an EC doesn't have a final and the permit expires, that said EC can not pull anymore permits with that city(so it's a pretty good deterrant. Not sure if your city has same policy)
2: Are you asking the HO to fix things that are not related to the permit, nor are required to be brought up to code by any state and/or local codes? In this case I believe you should give the EC his final and send code enforcement to write a violation to the HO.
3: Is it because required "up to code upgrades" that the "LOWEST BIDDER" was ignorant about, or thought he'd get away with? In this case I'd say do your worse to the EC. I'm tired of these low bidders thinking they'll make a quick buck, then try to rip off the customer.
 

pfalcon

Senior Member
Location
Indiana
So which one is it?
1: Electrician failed on the work he did? In this case the owner should not be obligated to pay more money. In our area if an EC doesn't have a final and the permit expires, that said EC can not pull anymore permits with that city(so it's a pretty good deterrant. Not sure if your city has same policy)
2: Are you asking the HO to fix things that are not related to the permit, nor are required to be brought up to code by any state and/or local codes? In this case I believe you should give the EC his final and send code enforcement to write a violation to the HO.
3: Is it because required "up to code upgrades" that the "LOWEST BIDDER" was ignorant about, or thought he'd get away with? In this case I'd say do your worse to the EC. I'm tired of these low bidders thinking they'll make a quick buck, then try to rip off the customer.
Indianapolis:
1. Inspector sends a letter to the HO stating that if not corrected within X days then fines of $XXXX.xx will accrue on a daily basis against the HO. HO must arrange to get it remedied, use a different EC if the EC refuses, and go to small claims against the EC to recover damages if need be.
2. Inspector sends a letter to the HO stating that if not corrected within X days then fines of $XXXX.xx will accrue on a daily basis against the HO. HO must arrange to get it remedied.
3. Inspector sends a letter to the HO stating that if not corrected within X days then fines of $XXXX.xx will accrue on a daily basis against the HO. HO must arrange to get it remedied, use a different EC if the EC refuses, and go to small claims against the EC to recover damages if need be.
 

petersonra

Senior Member
Location
Northern illinois
Occupation
engineer
Indianapolis:
1. Inspector sends a letter to the HO stating that if not corrected within X days then fines of $XXXX.xx will accrue on a daily basis against the HO. HO must arrange to get it remedied, use a different EC if the EC refuses, and go to small claims against the EC to recover damages if need be.
2. Inspector sends a letter to the HO stating that if not corrected within X days then fines of $XXXX.xx will accrue on a daily basis against the HO. HO must arrange to get it remedied.
3. Inspector sends a letter to the HO stating that if not corrected within X days then fines of $XXXX.xx will accrue on a daily basis against the HO. HO must arrange to get it remedied, use a different EC if the EC refuses, and go to small claims against the EC to recover damages if need be.
all the more reason not to get a permit in the first place.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
As an inspector, do you fail an installation for 312.2 airspace? I constantly see vinyl siding wrapped around a meter base, and rock facing layed around bases also.
This is a topic that has come up in a recent thread. IIRC many agree that it is not surface mounted and is semi recessed. If sealed correctly the reason the 1/4 inch space is needed no longer exists.
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
This is a topic that has come up in a recent thread. IIRC many agree that it is not surface mounted and is semi recessed. If sealed correctly the reason the 1/4 inch space is needed no longer exists.
So then it isn't code any longer? I didn't see anything about sealing in the article
 

texie

Senior Member
Location
Fort Collins, Colorado
Occupation
Electrician, Contractor, Inspector
As an inspector, do you fail an installation for 312.2 airspace? I constantly see vinyl siding wrapped around a meter base, and rock facing layed around bases also.
"They" knocked me around the other day on that other thread for bringing this up.:) I am of the opinion that this is not compliant, but maybe because of where I came from, this was absolutely taboo.
 

Minuteman

Senior Member
There is a big difference in having the power shut off to a building that is mostly destroyed in a fire and using that threat over trivial violations.

I can imagine how happy the HO is that you got his power shut off while he was still there.
Bob, there was a double tapped meter with an outside GE panel and 4 breakers that was at least 30 yrs old and an inside FP with 8 breakers that was not origanal. No main. 1800 sq ft house built in the 30s. Cotton wraped 2 wire. Once I told the inspector he was all over it. Going to be a total rewire.

Oh, and insurance put the HO up in a hotel.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
So then it isn't code any longer? I didn't see anything about sealing in the article
It is no longer surface mounted. I don't know how to simplify it any more than that. Caulk around the opening it protrudes from and how does rainwater get behind it?

The reasoning for the 1/4 inch space behind surface mounted is to keep dirt buildup minimized and when the dirt gets water in it and just sits there it can be corrosive on the enclosure. In the thread texie refers to I think I said 1/4 inch is not really enough space in many cases.
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
It is no longer surface mounted. I don't know how to simplify it any more than that. Caulk around the opening it protrudes from and how does rainwater get behind it?

The reasoning for the 1/4 inch space behind surface mounted is to keep dirt buildup minimized and when the dirt gets water in it and just sits there it can be corrosive on the enclosure. In the thread texie refers to I think I said 1/4 inch is not really enough space in many cases.
The problem I encounter most of the time is when the base isn't surface mounted, i.e. "wrapped" in wall facing material, is that the knockouts at the bottom get covered up and I have to tell the homeowner to remove the rock facing so I can get the conduit into the bottom of the base for the service.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
The problem I encounter most of the time is when the base isn't surface mounted, i.e. "wrapped" in wall facing material, is that the knockouts at the bottom get covered up and I have to tell the homeowner to remove the rock facing so I can get the conduit into the bottom of the base for the service.
That is a problem. It also has nothing to do with the 1/4 inch air space required for surface mounted enclosures.
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
That is a problem. It also has nothing to do with the 1/4 inch air space required for surface mounted enclosures.
I disagree, but I should have weighed in on the other discussion. Can't find it now...
 

hillbilly1

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,Ga
The problem I encounter most of the time is when the base isn't surface mounted, i.e. "wrapped" in wall facing material, is that the knockouts at the bottom get covered up and I have to tell the homeowner to remove the rock facing so I can get the conduit into the bottom of the base for the service.
Does that mean you can't put sheetrock around a load center because you can't get to the knockouts without removing the Sheetrock?:)
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
Does that mean you can't put sheetrock around a load center because you can't get to the knockouts without removing the Sheetrock?:)
that is a different animal altogether... Unless it is 240.32 I am refering specifically to 312.2. I see this as the enclosure can't be mounted face up, and has to have the airspace. Whether or not it is any good is debatable, but the sentence reads "and shall be mounted so there is at least 6mm(1/4-in.) airspace between the enclosure and the wall..."
Maybe a new thread, or see if I can find the other one?
 
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