Water Heaters Sold Only to Electricians

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cowboyjwc

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Simi Valley, CA
Might be a little bit of a misunderstanding.

Recently in CA the big box stores won't sell certain appliances to anyone, until that person shows that they have a permit to have it installed.

The reason for that is, the contractor(s) working for the big box stores were charging for permits, but were not getting permits. This came to light when they did a job for the Building Official for the County of Ventura and he asked his guys why none of them had gone out and looked at his water heater.

To remedy this the big box stores fired their contractor(s) and pulled permits for many of the appliances that had been installed (we recieved over 700 permits) then sent a letter to the homeowners and offered them a $25 gift card if they would show that the permit had been signed off.

There's more to the story and if I can track it down, I'll post it.
 

hillbilly1

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,Ga
I think that homeowners should have the right to burn down their own house if they desire.............................................................
The only flaw to that is, with the people flipping houses, the new owners get to have their house burn down. Those riggers seem to be able to get away with it just long enough to get paid. A lot of municipality's make it so hard for even a legitimate contractor to pull a permit, that most avoid it if possible. i pulled a permit the other day that took 3 hours for a two hour job. Had to go through three different offices to get all of the paperwork signed off. It was'nt even a modification, just replacing exsisting wire that was damaged by a car.
 

SAC

Senior Member
Location
Massachusetts
Back in the day, you had to be a licensed plumber to even buy a toilet, or sink, or whatever...
Yeah, I have to say I find it pretty "funny" that I can legally wire my whole house and not have it inspected, but it is illegal (state law) for me to replace a sink in that same house - and this is with a private well and septic. I guess we know who has the better lobbyists!
 

Electric-Light

Senior Member
The only flaw to that is, with the people flipping houses, the new owners get to have their house burn down. Those riggers seem to be able to get away with it just long enough to get paid. A lot of municipality's make it so hard for even a legitimate contractor to pull a permit, that most avoid it if possible. i pulled a permit the other day that took 3 hours for a two hour job. Had to go through three different offices to get all of the paperwork signed off. It was'nt even a modification, just replacing exsisting wire that was damaged by a car.
When people who don't know what they're doing change their tires or do something else, resulting tires or vehicles kill other people.

It doesn't make sense to me why you the same people who aren't allowed to install a water heater is allowed to change a wheel on a car.

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2011/03/01/n-j-man-killed-after-tire-flies-through-windshield-on-gsp/

This isn't the first tire strike related fatality.

If you have to have a water heater inspected, why doesn't tire require a supervised, torquing and sign off by supervising personnel?
 

jmellc

Senior Member
Location
Central NC
The only flaw to that is, with the people flipping houses, the new owners get to have their house burn down. Those riggers seem to be able to get away with it just long enough to get paid. A lot of municipality's make it so hard for even a legitimate contractor to pull a permit, that most avoid it if possible. i pulled a permit the other day that took 3 hours for a two hour job. Had to go through three different offices to get all of the paperwork signed off. It was'nt even a modification, just replacing exsisting wire that was damaged by a car.
Valid point. Inspectors, what can you do to bring your offices up to speed? I've seen that same deal in a nearby county. Ask to wait for permit, they get all confused. I often have to come back or someone calls with a million questions about the job. They have a zoning officer that calls about any lights being installed or any signs; that they have to meet this and that regulation, can't point to the sky (night sky pollution), etc.

While Inspections is a legitimate function, it is still often being managed by bureaucrats. Bureaucrats love making rules; it's what they do. They get a power rush by finding a way to deny something. No skin off their backs.
 

cowboyjwc

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Simi Valley, CA
Valid point. Inspectors, what can you do to bring your offices up to speed? I've seen that same deal in a nearby county. Ask to wait for permit, they get all confused. I often have to come back or someone calls with a million questions about the job. They have a zoning officer that calls about any lights being installed or any signs; that they have to meet this and that regulation, can't point to the sky (night sky pollution), etc.

While Inspections is a legitimate function, it is still often being managed by bureaucrats. Bureaucrats love making rules; it's what they do. They get a power rush by finding a way to deny something. No skin off their backs.
I'll tell you what we can do, we can train you. Now just to clarify you come into our office on any given day and if it's an over the counter item you should be out of here in less than 15 minutes.

If you work in that nearby county, you shouldn't be getting any calls, you should have been providing the information that was needed when you went in and applied for the permit. Giving me only partial information when you come in may get you your permit faster, but it's sure gonna hang you up at the back end when you're looking for final and I'm making you submit as-built plans and proper energy forms (if you're in CA). Always try to "front load" the project.

As for the CA energy forms and regulations, they have been around in some form or another since the 70's, I cannont believe how many times I have to either send plans back or hold up final, because the EC has no idea what I'm talking about.

People tend to look at the people that enforce the codes or regulations and blame them for creating them. Many people tend to overlook the fact that things such as, night sky or building style, comes from the community that asks that something be done, so that people aren't builing some big purple building next to them, but those same people also tend to be the ones that start screaming when thye can't build it, saying "I meant them not me, I didn't know those rules applied to everyone."

For years and years I have pushed for public education, but I find that the public doesn't necessarily want to be educated.

Ok, rant over. Sorry I've been sick for like two weeks and I'm just not feeling well still.:roll:
 

renosteinke

Senior Member
Location
NE Arkansas
Not to worry ... a little rant can be good for the soul!

I mean ... what do they say every time someone 'goes postal?' "He was such a nice QUIET young man ..."

The general discussion of the role government, or regulation, ought to play is a bit beyond the scope of this thread. Yet, it ought to serve as a reminder: every time you add something to a code, that's just one more delay, one more expense. While one grain of sand might be an irritant, and a little sand can help traction .... too much and you're immobile.

What was it Lil' Abner used to say? We have met the enemy- and it is us?
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Valid point. Inspectors, what can you do to bring your offices up to speed? I've seen that same deal in a nearby county. Ask to wait for permit, they get all confused. I often have to come back or someone calls with a million questions about the job. They have a zoning officer that calls about any lights being installed or any signs; that they have to meet this and that regulation, can't point to the sky (night sky pollution), etc.

While Inspections is a legitimate function, it is still often being managed by bureaucrats. Bureaucrats love making rules; it's what they do. They get a power rush by finding a way to deny something. No skin off their backs.
In Nebraska I can get an electrical permit in minutes from my computer at home - or wherever. That is from the State jurisdiction, I can't speak for any cities or counties that have their own inspection programs. Grtting an inspector to show up on site is different but they try to work with you and by their own rules have 5 working days after a request for a rough inspection.
 

gadfly56

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Emergency!!

Emergency!!

The only flaw to that is, with the people flipping houses, the new owners get to have their house burn down. Those riggers seem to be able to get away with it just long enough to get paid. A lot of municipality's make it so hard for even a legitimate contractor to pull a permit, that most avoid it if possible. i pulled a permit the other day that took 3 hours for a two hour job. Had to go through three different offices to get all of the paperwork signed off. It was'nt even a modification, just replacing exsisting wire that was damaged by a car.
Here in New Jersey, you could probably start work like that right away as you are allowed to do emergency work first and follow up with a permit within 72 hours. We usually call the Construction Official and/or the Subcode Official to let them know the scoop. Just don't be late filing :grin:! After that you just let the process work itself out. If Rick Napier is out there, he can provide more details for New Jersey if there are any.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Here in New Jersey, you could probably start work like that right away as you are allowed to do emergency work first and follow up with a permit within 72 hours. We usually call the Construction Official and/or the Subcode Official to let them know the scoop. Just don't be late filing :grin:! After that you just let the process work itself out. If Rick Napier is out there, he can provide more details for New Jersey if there are any.
So how do they prove start time when prosecuting for failing to file within 72 hours.

Some property owners with a lot of properties or industrial places, or any other large scale building maintenance operation may have an inventory of things for emergency replacement purposes, so you can not go by a purchase date of supplies - they may have been in a warehouse for a long time.
 

Besoeker

Senior Member
Location
UK
Somewhat related to the original post about water heaters only sold to electricians...
Last year we bought a gas cooker. It came with no flexible hose to connect the cooker to the gas supply. A job I'm perfectly capable of doing myself and have done so for friends and relatives in the past.
An omission I thought. So I called the supplier.
"We don't supply that. You need to have it supplied and installed by a registered gas fitter."
CORGI in UK.
No choice but to get one in.
More than $200 to fit a 3 foot $10 bit of pipe.
Needless to say, I wasn't best pleased.
But I understand the need for such regulations to be in place.
 

gadfly56

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
So how do they prove start time when prosecuting for failing to file within 72 hours.

Some property owners with a lot of properties or industrial places, or any other large scale building maintenance operation may have an inventory of things for emergency replacement purposes, so you can not go by a purchase date of supplies - they may have been in a warehouse for a long time.
Well, if you're going to sleaze by there's not much anyone can do proactively. I'll send a fax or e-mail to the Building Department, that gets the clock running and is my "proof". If the inspector has already nailed you for work without a permit you're probably SOL, unless you have some proof of the emergency condition - like a tree lying across the house or police or insurance adjustor's report.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Well, if you're going to sleaze by there's not much anyone can do proactively. I'll send a fax or e-mail to the Building Department, that gets the clock running and is my "proof". If the inspector has already nailed you for work without a permit you're probably SOL, unless you have some proof of the emergency condition - like a tree lying across the house or police or insurance adjustor's report.
I will just file for my permit online may or may not be done before work starts on an emergency call.

I can see the headaches that some people may have where they have AHJ that likes to have too much control. How about an accident happening at about 5:00 on a Friday, homeowner will have no power if not repaired - repair only takes about an hour - permit office is closed until Tuesday because Monday is a holiday - Power company will not re-energize without permit. That would be horrible, but I bet some people have run into similar dilemmas.
 

renosteinke

Senior Member
Location
NE Arkansas
I suppose my experiences in Reno of late might be relevant.

Reno was hit sooner, and harder, than most places when the property bubble burst. As a result, just about the entire inspection force was laid off. They want 24 hrs. notice before you call for inspection - call and all you get is an answering machine - and the inspector is likely to be from the parks department. Coincidentally, at the same time the PoCo changed its' rules, and now requires that their guys remove and replace the service drop.

This, of course, makes for a fun service change, especially on Fridays. Going 'by the book,' the PoCo is supposed to do the hook-up these days, and they're supposed to come only at the request of the city. This means a service change would mean at least three days without power.

Well, that's not the way it has worked out. In practice, the PoCo will respond to a licensed EC and reconnect; then the City can inspect at their leisure. The PoCo 'flags' their work order, and will disconnect if they don't hear from the city in a few days.
 
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