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Old 06-12-2008, 05:21 PM   #16
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Shadango...I agree with your contractor for one thing...permits, yechhh! If I can avoid them, I do!

That said, I don't agree with the "emergency" or "service" idea about J boxes. IMHO it's about reliability. All connections can fail and if it's hidden, troubleshooting is going to be a real pain! And NO WAY do I buy your story about keeping the house..blah blah blah... (dude we could all die tomorrow)

oh...crimp connections? nope, I NEVER use them on solid wire! yes, they will fail (thermal cycling).

INSTALL THREE WIRES

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Old 06-12-2008, 05:40 PM   #17
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Simple answer: The day those splices fail, the electrician troubleshooting it is going to cut you another skylight. To find the buried j-box!
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Old 06-12-2008, 05:44 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by shadango View Post
I dont want to come across like I am telling him how to do his job...after all he is the contractor here.
Would you question a surgeon if he was going to be cutting off the wrong limb? Stick with what you KNOW is correct. Codes are minimal precautions based on education and experience. Many electricians will also wire above code, going the extra step to make something better for the enduser. What you are considering is below code-- less than quality work.

While many refer to the national electrical code- do you think it's just a coincidence that it is published by the National FIRE Protection Association? Most insurance companies accept the NEC as a protection of their interests in your property.
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Old 06-12-2008, 05:55 PM   #19
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Why is a roofing contractor doing electrical work, sounds to me, he is not a licensed electrician if anything shorts out and causes a fire he is personally liable, sounds to me he is trying to same some money on the wire. if you decide later to remove a skylight, what are you going to do then leave a live wire buried in the ceiling, Do it by code!
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Old 06-12-2008, 06:36 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by HandyPete View Post
Shadango...I agree with your contractor for one thing...permits, yechhh! If I can avoid them, I do!
Pete, no offense intended, but I wouldn't go around telling people they should avoid permits whenever possible. If the job requires a permit, then GET A PERMIT. In this case, a permit IS required because a branch circuit is being altered. No one on this site should EVER advocate not using a permit.

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Originally Posted by shadango View Post
LOL Please don't kill the messenger. I am not trying to upset anyone here. I apporeciate the advice.

I am very much, at this point, in a situation...and am pretty distraught over it to be honest.

I have a half-done project so ticking off the contractor wont be a good idea by questioning his methods.....but yes, I do recognize that "against code" means just what it says.

What I was looking for is the reasoning behind why it is against code.

There has to be a reason if there is a code/law against it...since I am not an electrician, I am asking the questions to try and figure this situation out.

If it is just "against code" becaise it is inconvenient for future owners, well, i will probably die in this house so I am not too concerned about that honestly.

But , yes, I am concerned about there being an issue later on down the road (ie the circuit stops working)........worst case is that I would take a picture and know where it is...then if there are issues, a piece of the ridge vent would have to be removed to get to it...a pain, yes, but not completely inaccessible I guess.

I was more asking if doing it this way presents any major HAZARD......the arcing thing is true.....arcing wires are a fire hazard. ....but that would be a hazzard whether the box was accessible or not.....and I wouldnt know about a loose wire until I started having either an issue with the skylight or a fire.....no one goes around checking for loose electrical connections in accessible junction boxes pre-emptively...at least no one I know....so it would be an after the fact kind of thing. So whether the box is accessible or not I dont think makes it inherently hazardous.......what I am asking is more about the mechanics of it as far as being a hazard, I guess.....does that make sense?

BTW, just talked to the building inspector and all is well on that front....permit has been taken care of ......he did say that an electrical inspection is another guy and another fee if needed....he didnt seem to push one way or the other....

IT sounds to me like you are intent on the contractor doing it this way. I do not agree with this in any way. Sometimes you have to accept the saying "it is what it is", especially with electrical codes.
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Old 06-12-2008, 08:21 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HandyPete View Post
Shadango...I agree with your contractor for one thing...permits, yechhh! If I can avoid them, I do!
A statement like that is just plain irresponsible.

Even if you don't agree with the codes, the inspectors, or the laws in your area, it is not in the best interest of the readers of this site to publicly advocate avoidance of working with the local jurisdiction's building department.

Code is a minimum standard. Minimum. If that's hard to meet, I'd take a hard look my skills.
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Old 06-12-2008, 10:14 PM   #22
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Well, it worked out pretty well.

When I got home i was ready to assert my thoguhts on the issue, after tormenting myself all dayabout it....in the event that I would "ever" have to get to it, I wanted it accessible, code or no code.....Chances are I never will..but I am very much a "what if" type of person....anal retentive is what I suppose some call it....pain in the but is what others call it...LOL....if later on down the road I had to get to it for "wahetever", I would be facing an expensive proposition...so I wanted him to at least SHOW ME why it couldnt be done...

Anyways, the guys finishing up the roof stuff were ready to close up the roof (and that meant doing the wiring) a couple hours before the main contractor was supposed to arrive...I had the discussion about this issue iwth the foreman and it turns out he agreed 100% with me....we went up on the roof and checked out the situation in the ridge together and lo and behold, there was plenty of room for the 3 cables.....just as i had suggested originally after my own investigation in the attic.

We settled on installing a second J box in the attic, 3 feet closer to the skylights....plenty accessible for any future needs....so that the wire on the furthest skylight wouldnt need to be swapped out....

That is a load off my mind to be real honest....the idea that the foreman agreed with my feelings on it was a real lifesaver.

When the main contractor showed up, he was glad the wiring was done but didn't really acknowledge the fact that I was right all along.....it doesnt matter, I am just happy that I got my 3 wires and an accesible J box....

I still think that it probably would have been ok for practical purposes.....but feel much better doing it the "right" way and now wont have to worry about that aspect of the install.

The skylights work great, by the way!

Thanks to veryone for their imput on this.

Just another note for the contractors out there: You guys hold a special power over the homeowners...I know some of you questioned how I could not be comfortable asserting myself on this....As a homeowner, I know I have to NOT tick you off when their is much project left to be done, or else face a whole mess of other possible issues....As a homeowner, I just want the job done and done well.....I dont want problems and I dont want you to feel like I am hovering, micro-managing your work....I have seen complaints by contractors about that elsewhere..."pain in the butt homeowners think they know how to do it all"...well, I admit that I DONT...I am trusting the contractor....but I know enough about stuff to know when I dont feel right about something....I am 6'3 and 265 lbs...no little flower...but I still hesitate when it comes to telling the contractors what to do....I feel like I am overstepping my bounds.....and maybe thats a personal flaw.....I know what its like to be micromanaged and it sucks...so I avoid doing it.....

Just please keep my story in mind the next time you have a "pain in the butt" homeowner adding his two cents on things...whether a code is being infringed upon or not.

I do plan on "debriefing" the cntractor on this once the job is doen to my satisfaction......I want him to understand that while I think the job is looking GREAT, he gave me a real worry regarding the wiring....and made me question his skills a bit, at least in the electrical end of things.....as a contractor , part of your job is selling peace of mind....he falied on that aspect for the wiringside of things....luckily, the quality of the rest of the job makes up for it....hopefully the rest of the job will go off without a hitch.
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Old 06-12-2008, 11:07 PM   #23
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I'm so glad to hear that this worked out well in the end. I think the vast majority of us applaud you for addressing an issue that concerned you, yet having the professionalism to handle it in a level-headed manner with the contractor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shadango View Post
Just another note for the contractors out there: You guys hold a special power over the homeowners...I know some of you questioned how I could not be comfortable asserting myself on this....As a homeowner, I know I have to NOT tick you off when their is much project left to be done, or else face a whole mess of other possible issues....As a homeowner, I just want the job done and done well.....I dont want problems and I dont want you to feel like I am hovering, micro-managing your work....I have seen complaints by contractors about that elsewhere..."pain in the butt homeowners think they know how to do it all"...well, I admit that I DONT...I am trusting the contractor....but I know enough about stuff to know when I dont feel right about something....I am 6'3 and 265 lbs...no little flower...but I still hesitate when it comes to telling the contractors what to do....I feel like I am overstepping my bounds.....and maybe thats a personal flaw.....I know what its like to be micromanaged and it sucks...so I avoid doing it.....
Just please keep my story in mind the next time you have a "pain in the butt" homeowner adding his two cents on things...whether a code is being infringed upon or not.
I agree with these thoughts. I think it is a good idea to trust your contractor. The vast majority of them really do want to do it right and make you a happy customer with a good product. That is the best advertising there is.

As far as permits go, I suggest people trust their contractor, but insist they pull a permit. That way I (the inspector) can be an advocate for you, should you need one. I wish everyone would see the real benefit to having a good inspector do inspections for them during their projects. We're a good second set of eyes for the good contractors, and we're the leverage you need when dealing with one of the bad contractors. And, either way, you get a safe finished product. For the record, I'll also recognize that just like there are lousy builders there are lousy inspectors that don't know what they're doing, or ones that are like Barney Fife.
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Old 04-08-2010, 02:01 PM   #24
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For safety, keep all junctions in grounded metal boxes and use
undamaged solid wire of the correct wire guage and use cable clamps
that fit.

There are many situations where wiring may be difficult to
access. Most notably, it is difficult to access the wiring inside the
junction boxes normally included several inches behind the can of a
recessed lighting fixture (which itself is behind one or more pieces
of trim mounted on drywall). As another example, wire splice kits
labeled "for use behind drywall" are available at Home Depot. Outlets
in hospitals may be inaccessible due to connected life-saving
equipment. Traffic sensors are sealed underneath the pavement. In all
of these situations, splices should be soldered.

All of these situations can be handled legally and safely. Legally,
NEC accessibility rules concern structural obstructions. Where the law
is vague, many jurisdictions explicitly waive NEC accessibility rules
for light coverings such as drywall, asphalt, etc. As for safety, an
inaccessible box is generally safer than an accessible one. Especially
if small children are around. A metal box is more puncture-resistant
than the cable it replaces, and fire does not care if your box is
accessible to a human or not. Safety is a non-issue, but legal
questions sometimes arise. Ask your lawyer to be sure.

Unfortunately, most electricians only know how to splice wires by
twisting and nutting. Such junctions operate only through exposed wire
surface (while solder forms metallurgical bonds). All exposed wire
surface eventually corrodes. The corrosion is accelerated by sulfur
gases from drywall which gets through openings in the tape. Some
quick-connects used in recessed lighting fixtures are better than
twist-and-nut because they maintain extreme pressure against the
wires, which cuts through the corrosion. But beyond that, most
electricians just twist-and-nut.

Even worse, many electricians will use a very narrow definition of
"buried box" which excludes anything that you might be willing to pay
for (like recessed lights, so that they can steal your business
without soldering), but includes anything that would save you lots of
money (like repairing a small segment of a long buried cable). Report
unscrupulous contractors to all applicable agencies.

When I hire electricians, I first ask if they do high-reliability work
for hospitals. If they say yes but they don't solder, then I just call
their bluff (the county licensing department usually gets very
interested).

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Old 04-08-2010, 02:35 PM   #25
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If your soldering iron is powerful enough (say, 75 watts for 14 guage) and insulate well and don't fatigue the wire then you really will never have any problems.

Granted, most people don't know how to solder. So Jupe's advice to avoid buried boxes is generally a pretty good rule. In the end it depends on overall cost in the given situation.

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Old 04-09-2010, 07:09 AM   #26
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WOW! I never expected to see this thread come back to life! LOL

Wish I could say the project turned out "great" but that would be far from the truth.

Once we got past the electrical issue I figured it was smooth sailing...NOT!

The guy and his crew's work got flakier as time went on. Show up at 10 am and work til 2, with a hour long lunch break , most days.......sloppy detail work which I called him on and he grudgingly fixed.....then the real problems started.....they were in the home stretch, after something like 2 months (all they were doing was replacing three exhisting skylights, wiring them and reroofing my 1400 sq ft split entry, single plane walkable roofed house) and (fortunately for me!) we had some steady rain. I HAD LEAKS and the ridgevents were peeling off! Well, he promised he would fix etc.....we signed an agreement that I would withold $1k in case he didnt show up to fix the leaks, ridge vents, connect the through-the-roof vents and a list of other cosmetic issues, but he guaranteed he would....promised me. Then no one showed up for a full week...no phone calls, nothing....didn't return my calls.....then he magically reappears by himself one day, with a tube of caulk and a used plastic dryer vent hose (to complete the vent ducts he was supposed to do for me)

Long story short, I had leaks and a list of unfinished things and had to shell out $4k to another contractor to rip part of my roof off and redo it. I am still living with sloppy detail work and installation on my gutters/fascia.

I have learned BIG TIME from this --- DAY ONE, make sure that EVERYTHING is in place BEFORE they start ANYTHING. I was afraid to say anything about the permits and stop work for fear of being a "problem homeowner". I should have opened my mouth MUCH MUCH sooner! It would have been better he not do the job at all.

Thankfully, the guy was going thru a divorce.....I say "thankfully" because he was trying to hide his income from his wife and her attorney...so he didint bother to cash my check for part of the balance (I had paid him cash the first two installments per his request)......three weeks after I had given it to him and when they werent showing up I put a hold on it.....and advised him of that in a certifed letter. THAT resulted in a phone call the same day it was delivered. I fired him on the spot and told him I would be getting another roofer to fix his sloppy work. He threatened to put a lein on my house and such but i havent heard from him in almost 2 years now.

THANKFULLY I stopped that check and at least had that money to pay the second roofer.

Also, THANKFULLY the state of PA now requires licensing and registration for roofers and contractors.....hopefully this guy is out of business.
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Old 04-09-2010, 08:10 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
(the inspector) can be an advocate for you, should you need one. I wish everyone would see the real benefit to having a good inspector do inspections for them during their projects. We're a good second set of eyes for the good contractors, and we're the leverage you need when dealing with one of the bad contractors.
One last note: The inspector for our city didnt want to get involved....he even had the city attorney contact me to tell me that the city cannot be involved.

Lets see: The contractor never DID get the proper permits after all, they left me hanging on issues and when I turned back to the city for help they told me to pound salt.

As far as I am concerned all the "city building inspector" in my town is, is a glorified tax collector.....and he didnt even do THAT in this case! AFter talking with neighbors in my ara, turns out the same guy has given them the same run around.

I fell bad for the GOOD contractors and inspectors out there....its the crappy ones like I experienced that have homeowners ignoring permits and losing sleep over jobs that have to be done by a contractor.

If I sent you pictures of some "framing" that the first guy did for me to support the roof of my outbuilding you would be shocked.....I ended up tearing it out and did it myself......and it is SOLID now.

Here is a link to the photos for the outbuilding framing...first his work then mine....

http://s349.photobucket.com/albums/q...hed%20framing/

Here are some photos of the actual roofing issues and the fixes:
http://s349.photobucket.com/albums/q...of%20problems/


I am still not up to the task of re-roofing, and I guess I never will be...but after my experience with the city, itwill be a real decisions whether to apply for a permit for any home projects I undertake myself. Its a real ripoff in my city and all I got was lip service.

Last edited by shadango; 04-09-2010 at 08:20 AM.
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Old 04-09-2010, 03:43 PM   #28
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Those photobucket links are requring a password.
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Old 04-09-2010, 04:49 PM   #29
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Sorry about that! try again now...I removed the locks.

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