Virtual Inspections

tom baker

First Chief Moderator
Staff member
In the latest Washington electrical newsletter, our state electrical department is now doing virtual inspections, IE you Skype in and show the inspector via video your work. Its been under development for some time, and will allow more inspections with a limited staff. Our electrical department is having a hard time recruiting new inspectors, many are retiring and some they hire don't stay long. IMO, Washington is very progressive on the use of technology. About 98% of electrical certifications are renewed on line, and mailed out with in a few days. A good percentage of the permits are pulled on line.

I don't know much more about the virtual inspections, as I am don't call for inspections being retired
From the newsletter
Electrical Contractors – Virtual Electrical Inspections Are Here You can now request a Virtual Electrical Inspection (VEI) on the same day at least 30 minutes in advance of when you need it. VEI is a dependable inspection process allowing customers on the jobsite to interact with inspectors online using Skype on a mobile device. You can begin using VEI now for any electrical inspections that will take no longer than 15 minutes, and that do not involve service or final approvals.
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Someone will figure out a way to beat that system...

I guess they could double check some things during final though. Still, something could be slipped through.
 

LarryFine

Master Electrician Electric Contractor Richmond VA
"Um, Mr. Fine, why are the last fourteen houses you've wired identical?" :rolleyes:
 

JoeNorm

Senior Member
I'm in Washington and have done a virtual inspection. I think they just have to trust that you're not going to pull a fast one.
 

hillbilly1

Senior Member
I suppose it could be done, we already have customers with IVR apps that give our exact location and time when we log in on site. I use FaceTime all of the time as a troubleshooting tool. I can see in real time what one of my guys is looking at, and cut troubleshooting down from hours to minutes if they don’t know what they are looking at or for. Helps greatly when manually overriding a transfer switch or energy management system. Look forward to call centers full of inspectors as smaller municipalities could sub out inspections. Instead of keeping a full time inspector that inspects all trades, but is just a master of only one or two. On the bright side, inspections should be quicker, because the inspector is not riding around in traffic, scheduled inspections should be on time.
 

Knuckle Dragger

Master Electrician Electrical Contractor 01752
It could be a real helpful tool for a lot of communities.
Depending on how detailed the video is. Could you imagine an AHJ just dissecting it frame by frame if the want to be a PIA?
Not like he could ever find anything on any of my work.;)
 

brantmacga

Senior Member
For the last few years, many of the municipalities I work in have allowed us to send photos of our work for inspection; but that’s usually after at least one site visit for which I imagine they use to gauge whether they can trust you.

I’ve been doing a lot of restoration work in the Florida panhandle since hurricane michael, and almost all inspections down there are via photo. There are several private companies assisting the local govt’s with inspections and even with the added staffing, it’s not enough to keep up.

Funny story, one of the local TV stations in Panama City was doing a story about this very thing a few weeks ago, and I ended up on TV....sorta. I was in town picking up a permit (virtual inspections but you still have to physically go apply and pay for a permit ....smh) and the BO asked if I minded. I’d been waiting in line for an hour; I said as long as I don’t have to give an interview, and please don’t show my face on TV; I’m weird about that. So this was my TV debut 😂

A68AE938-391C-434F-834E-33316124C992.jpeg
 

Coppersmith

Senior Member
Usually I don't attend inspections, but sometimes I wait for the inspector so I can steer him away from a "problem area" I'd rather he didn't see. This is usually followed by a sigh of relief as he leaves. Sounds like virtual inspections would make this a lot easier for me. But I'm at least 99% code compliant all the time. I hesitate to think what many others will be getting away with.
 

480sparky

Senior Member
For the last few years, many of the municipalities I work in have allowed us to send photos of our work for inspection; but that’s usually after at least one site visit for which I imagine they use to gauge whether they can trust you.

I’ve been doing a lot of restoration work in the Florida panhandle since hurricane michael, and almost all inspections down there are via photo. There are several private companies assisting the local govt’s with inspections and even with the added staffing, it’s not enough to keep up.

Funny story, one of the local TV stations in Panama City was doing a story about this very thing a few weeks ago, and I ended up on TV....sorta. I was in town picking up a permit (virtual inspections but you still have to physically go apply and pay for a permit ....smh) and the BO asked if I minded. I’d been waiting in line for an hour; I said as long as I don’t have to give an interview, and please don’t show my face on TV; I’m weird about that. So this was my TV debut 😂

View attachment 2551176

Funny. I didn't think you had shoulder-length blond hair and glasses.
 
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