This is a First For Me

Merry Christmas

goldstar

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
Just venting here. :cool:

I've been in the trade since 1971 when I got out of the Marine Corps. Worked for an EC and worked in NYC for 10 years. I got my electrical license in 1973.

Now that that is out of the way, I'm sure we've all had instances or discrepancies with EI's or municipalities and I'm sure the sagas about these can go on and on. I submitted a permit app 2 weeks ago to a municipality in NJ. It was TYPED and perfectly legible. ALL my information was clearly printed on the sheets, including my license #. I placed a call to the town yesterday asking what the status of the permit was. The clerk told me that they are running 20 BUSINESS DAYS for approvals. I mentioned that this was for an electrical service upgrade (pretty basic thing I would guess). She said it didn't matter - it's 20 business days - 20 business days is 4 weeks, last time I checked. I believe the law in NJ is 3 weeks or 15 business days. There is no plan review required. I'm not putting an addition on a house.

With that I contacted the DCA and inquired about this. They advised me to wait another week before filing a complaint.

Low and behold, an hour later the clerk called me and stated that the EI COULD NOT READ THE INFORMATION OF MY PRESSURE SEAL and could I send them a copy of my license and business permit. ARE YOU KIDDING ME !!!

I'm at the point where I'm nearing the end of my career and I'm not one to take any crap. I purposely did not mention the town but has anyone else run into this type of abuse ?

I hope they're prepared for a fight. I'll keep you posted
 

gadfly56

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Professional Engineer, Fire & Life Safety
I am back at the company I left 6 years ago. Back then, we'd get harassed by certain towns regarding the electrical seal. Not that they couldn't read it, but like they didn't believe it was genuine. They insisted on a copy of the license. It got to the point that we just sent in a copy of the certificate holder's license with every single permit, regardless of jurisdiction. In our view, it wasn't worth getting down in the mud with this particular pig.
 

Buck Parrish

Senior Member
Location
NC & IN
has anyone else run into this type of abuse ?
Yes,
These are the same folks that got paid during the entire pandemic. Most of whom were sitting at home on the couch. Of course there were some still working diligently, ... maybe ;) .
They probably were not allowed to go in even if they had wanted to.

The review guys need to split up the large blue prints from a service upgrade.
 

gadfly56

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Professional Engineer, Fire & Life Safety
Yes,
These are the same folks that got paid during the entire pandemic. Most of whom were sitting at home on the couch. Of course there were some still working diligently, ... maybe ;) .
They probably were not allowed to go in even if they had wanted to.

The review guys need to split up the large blue prints from a service upgrade.
Yeah, well... We have a customer trying to get a vehicle spray booth up and running. The town "lost" the entire permit set; electrical, plumbing, mechanical, and fire. We had to resend the fire portion to the expediter.
 

Buck Parrish

Senior Member
Location
NC & IN
Yeah, well... We have a customer trying to get a vehicle spray booth up and running. The town "lost" the entire permit set; electrical, plumbing, mechanical, and fire. We had to resend the fire portion to the expediter.
It's probably at some ones home under the couch. ;)
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
Many of these towns have terrible building departments. They're understaffed, occasionally incompetent, and often just lazy. I waited two weeks for a permit approval to install some downlights in a living room. And they wonder why people do work without a permit.
 

gadfly56

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Professional Engineer, Fire & Life Safety
Just venting here. :cool:

I've been in the trade since 1971 when I got out of the Marine Corps. Worked for an EC and worked in NYC for 10 years. I got my electrical license in 1973.

Now that that is out of the way, I'm sure we've all had instances or discrepancies with EI's or municipalities and I'm sure the sagas about these can go on and on. I submitted a permit app 2 weeks ago to a municipality in NJ. It was TYPED and perfectly legible. ALL my information was clearly printed on the sheets, including my license #. I placed a call to the town yesterday asking what the status of the permit was. The clerk told me that they are running 20 BUSINESS DAYS for approvals. I mentioned that this was for an electrical service upgrade (pretty basic thing I would guess). She said it didn't matter - it's 20 business days - 20 business days is 4 weeks, last time I checked. I believe the law in NJ is 3 weeks or 15 business days. There is no plan review required. I'm not putting an addition on a house.

With that I contacted the DCA and inquired about this. They advised me to wait another week before filing a complaint.

Low and behold, an hour later the clerk called me and stated that the EI COULD NOT READ THE INFORMATION OF MY PRESSURE SEAL and could I send them a copy of my license and business permit. ARE YOU KIDDING ME !!!

I'm at the point where I'm nearing the end of my career and I'm not one to take any crap. I purposely did not mention the town but has anyone else run into this type of abuse ?

I hope they're prepared for a fight. I'll keep you posted
It is, in fact, 20 business days.

 

Frank DuVal

Senior Member
Location
Fredericksburg, VA 21 Hours from Winged Horses wi
Occupation
Electrical Contractor, Electrical Engineer
Interesting. Around here the only pressure seal I have is for Professional Engineering, and that has gone to approved electronic/printed/non-embossed for most uses. Never had to show my license, of course, it is easy to look up at dpor website. Heck, you guys could do it with just the info in this post. :rolleyes:
 

jimport

Senior Member
Location
Outside Baltimore Maryland
Occupation
Master Electrician
Many of these towns have terrible building departments. They're understaffed, occasionally incompetent, and often just lazy. I waited two weeks for a permit approval to install some downlights in a living room. And they wonder why people do work without a permit.

Something that simple needs permit approval? Here it would be fill out permit and pay. Here is your permit.
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
Many of these towns have terrible building departments. They're understaffed, occasionally incompetent, and often just lazy. I waited two weeks for a permit approval to install some downlights in a living room. And they wonder why people do work without a permit.
My guess is the two weeks is the time it took the reviewer to get the code question answers off an electrical forum.
🤔
 

Eddie702

Licensed Electrician
Location
Western Massachusetts
Occupation
Electrician
Many of these towns have terrible building departments. They're understaffed, occasionally incompetent, and often just lazy. I waited two weeks for a permit approval to install some downlights in a living room. And they wonder why people do work without a permit.
Could not have stated it any better!!
 

Eddie702

Licensed Electrician
Location
Western Massachusetts
Occupation
Electrician
Most towns in CT it states on the application that they have 30 days to approve/disapprove application. And their is the whole online permitting thing.

In MA there still are towns that do not issue permits, you pay and walk out of the town hall with nothing even though the state says you must issue a permit.

And the online thing, some towns insist on that the state says you cannot be forced to apply online they have to accept a paper permit. That's not working either
 

goldstar

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
It is, in fact, 20 business days.

The key word here is PLANS. I'm not submitting PLANS. This is a service upgrade. I'd bet they have dozens of these each month. Does the EI have to REVIEW each electrical permit ? Can't a clerk put a dollar value on the permit ? God forbid someone should make a $2 mistake. This is pure crap IMHO.

2. How long will the review of submitted plans take?​

The first review of a complete submittal will be done within twenty (20) business days from the date received. Subsequent reviews for
corrections to the plans in response to comments will be done within seven (7) business days from the date received.

Amended plans (revised after the plans have been released) are treated as new projects and are reviewed within twenty (20) business days.
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
Something that simple needs permit approval? Here it would be fill out permit and pay. Here is your permit.
It requires approval from the sub-code official. Same with a 200 amp service upgrade which also has no plans. All you need is for the paperwork to be correct and the electrical sub-code official to sign off on it. Should be a 5 minute process.
 

Jon456

Senior Member
Location
Colorado
It requires approval from the sub-code official. Same with a 200 amp service upgrade which also has no plans. All you need is for the paperwork to be correct and the electrical sub-code official to sign off on it. Should be a 5 minute process.
But then how would he justify his full-time high-paying government job (with full benefits and pension)? :cautious:
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
But then how would he justify his full-time high-paying government job (with full benefits and pension)? :cautious:
Problem is with many of the samll towns here in NJ the inspector only works part time. It could be as little a 4 hours a week so there is a good possibility that they will be backed up. Many towns do a poor job with staffing.

I agree that a permit that requires 30 seconds of review should go to the top of the pile.
 

augie47

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Tennessee
Occupation
State Electrical Inspector (Retired)
One of the larger (relative) agencies I worked for had an unwritten policy to never do same day inspections or same week review as "the public will think we have ample spare time... we need to let 'them,' know we are way too busy and understaffed to accommodate the urgent needs"...
 

gadfly56

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Professional Engineer, Fire & Life Safety
The key word here is PLANS. I'm not submitting PLANS. This is a service upgrade. I'd bet they have dozens of these each month. Does the EI have to REVIEW each electrical permit ? Can't a clerk put a dollar value on the permit ? God forbid someone should make a $2 mistake. This is pure crap IMHO.

2. How long will the review of submitted plans take?​

The first review of a complete submittal will be done within twenty (20) business days from the date received. Subsequent reviews for
corrections to the plans in response to comments will be done within seven (7) business days from the date received.

Amended plans (revised after the plans have been released) are treated as new projects and are reviewed within twenty (20) business days.
I understand your frustration, but a service upgrade is not part of the exceptions for ordinary maintenance and minor work. My read on that is that the municipality could require drawings and calculations if they wanted to. I realize that most probably don't (I've never heard of one making that request), but they could.

Minor Work:

Plan Review Process:

Note: the plan review process seems geared towards state review, but since the state delegates the same power to municipalities, it's reasonable to believe that they follow the process. See the link to the manual below. Note at 3.1.1.10.a the 20 business day review period.

Municipal Guide for Permits:
 
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