Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 12-23-2009, 08:45 AM   #31
Electrician
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 105
Rewards Points: 75
Default

Can a homeowner perform electrical work in MA?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
A company only needs one certified electrican & then any yahoo untrained person can work for them
What?! You obviously have no idea what you are talking about! A company has to hire licensed electricians. They need to maintain a 1 to 1 ratio of licensed to non-licensed workers on each job. This means every licensed electrician can only supervise 1 unlicensed apprentice. Some states allow 1 licensed guy on the job and the rest can be unlicensed monkeys, Massachusetts does not. Before making ignorant statements do some research.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
I spent 3 days cleaning up after the "electricians" that installed my new Service Feed & 200a panel
Pathetic job & even the Inspector did not like it after I talked to him & wen over the issues
The fact that you hired an incompetent electrician does not mean that all electricians are incompetent. You can find good and bad in any profession. A doctor who barely passed his board exam is still a doctor. Do some research and check references before hiring someone to work on your house.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
I trust the work I do better then electricians
It's my house that might burn down
Another ignorant statement. Do you honestly think that the little bit of Internet reading and the wiring 1,2,3 book from Home Depot makes you more qualified than the 8000 hr apprenticeship, 600 hrs of code classes, and 12 years of experience doing electrical work everyday that I have. I mean, electrical work isn't brain surgery but, but I would put my qualifications up against yours any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
And refusing to issue permits to homeowners only makes them do it without a permit or inspection
Which is even worse

So they don't have to inspect it.....that's idiotic if they don't
I'd rather have the inspection
This part of your post I agree with, and was what I was trying to convey in my statements a year ago in this thread. I am not against homeowners doing their own electrical work. I am not anti-DIY. I am an electrician, but I do my own plumbing, carpentry, drywall, vehicle repairs, masonry, etc...

My point originally is that whether home owners can do their own electrical work in Massachusetts is a decision of each individual wiring inspector. Some allow it, some don't. My biggest issue in this thread was with the guy who said "home owners don't need to pull permits". That is BS, plain and simple. The permit and inspection process is for everyone, not just licensed contractors. I would argue that inspections are actually more important for DIY projects, because they need their work checked to make sure things were done properly.

I'm not trying to pick on you Scuba Dave but, you said "It's my house that might burn down", while that might be true right now, it is your house, what happens when you sell it in 20 years. Now it's someone else's house, and someone else's family who's lives you are putting in danger. Electrical issues are not always immediately evident. Sometimes it takes years for issues to arise. A staple banged in a little too tight, the wires arc, over years and years of arcing it gets worse and worse, the wire insulation degrades over time until finally the stud catches on fire. This could take 10, 15, 20 years to occur. Yes, AFCI breakers are now required and should prevent this issue. This is just one example of something that could go wrong, there are plenty of other problems that can arise from shoddy workmanship, improper grounding, etc...

This is a touchy subject for me as I had a similar issue last Thursday. I had a chimney fire that spread into my walls. Luckily the fire department got there quickly and the fire was contained to only 3 or 4 stud bays behind the wood stove. The issue was, when the wood stove was installed 20 years ago, by a previous home owner, the stove pipe was not connected to the chimney properly and the fire was able to get out a small space between the thimble and the chimney. I know the previous home owner, I know he did a lot of work on this house himself and I would not be surprised if most of it was unpermitted and not inspected. Because of his shoddy workmanship I could have lost my house a week before Christmas, gee thanks!

My point to this whole rant is, if you're gonna do you're own work (not just electrical, any work) please know what you are doing, pull a permit, and get it inspected. It's not just your families life and property you are putting at risk.

/rant


Last edited by EBFD6; 12-23-2009 at 08:49 AM.
EBFD6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2009, 08:56 AM   #32
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: South of Boston, MA
Posts: 17,248
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Can a homeowner perform electrical work in MA?


Yes I do better work
I've seen to much crap & had too many electricians tell me what they would do & it was "OK"
Many do not keep up with current code, I do

Why should I pay someone to learn electric while working on my house ?
Yes supposed to be 1:1 ...real world - not

I research what I do, so yes I'm confident what I do meets or exceeds code
I don't own a 1-2-3 book from HD, I have the NEC 2005 & access 2008 online
Scuba_Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2009, 09:09 AM   #33
Electrician
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 105
Rewards Points: 75
Default

Can a homeowner perform electrical work in MA?


This guy was pretty proud of himself also.



He was so good, and didn't even need a code book.
EBFD6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2009, 09:21 AM   #34
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: South of Boston, MA
Posts: 17,248
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Can a homeowner perform electrical work in MA?


Yeah go right ahead & take pics of stupid work
Is that all ya got ?
Scuba_Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2009, 12:39 PM   #35
Electrician
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 105
Rewards Points: 75
Default

Can a homeowner perform electrical work in MA?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
Yeah go right ahead & take pics of stupid work
Is that all ya got ?
Dude, don't get yer panties in a bunch. I was just bustin' your chops a little. I'm sure you do great work, and even if you don't I couldn't care less.

My point, and the only reason I'm even involved in this thread, was to encourage everyone to pull a permit and get inspections. The thought that permits and inspections are for professionals only is ridiculous. I think this is a point that you and I are in agreement on.

The rest of post was just me defending my profession a little that's all. I'm real proud of you that you know how to do a little residential wiring. It isn't rocket science, and is about as basic as electrical work gets. Receptacles. and lights, wow, look out!

I don't make my living wiring houses, I am a commercial/industrial service electrician, the only residential work I do are small favors for existing commercial/industrial customers and side work for friends/family.

I just find it funny when weekend warriors tell me all about how much they know about code or think they are master electricians because they have conquered the three way switch. There is much more to being an electrician than wiring houses.

Like I said, I'm sure you're the best thing to happen to the electrical world since the invention of the wirenut. I didn't realize you were so sensitive, and I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings.

Now if you'll excuse me I just watched a couple of episodes of ER and I'm going to run over to the Hospital to tell the doctors all the stuff I know about being a trauma surgeon.
EBFD6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2009, 01:11 PM   #36
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: South of Boston, MA
Posts: 17,248
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Can a homeowner perform electrical work in MA?


Yes, I fully agree on the permits & inspections
Here we have to sign a paper as a homeowner doing our own work
If any issues are found then the Inspector can request an electrician is brought in to remedy the problem
So basically if you know what you are doing no problem
If your work is junk then you have to hire an electrician
Seems fair to me...funny thing is my BIL, who is very detail orientated - had to hire an electrician to finish his work per Inspector
He actually works in electronics ( has (had ?) his own company - but boat repair - radar etc

If you had read some of my other posts you would know that I have admitted that I probably know 10% of what is required to become an electrician
Since that includes commercial - which I have not researched
Could I do it....sure
Yes house wiring is fairly simple...especially if you can do it
I guess you'll be a doctor next....good luck
Scuba_Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2009, 01:29 PM   #37
Electrician
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 105
Rewards Points: 75
Default

Can a homeowner perform electrical work in MA?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
Yes, I fully agree on the permits & inspections
Here we have to sign a paper as a homeowner doing our own work
If any issues are found then the Inspector can request an electrician is brought in to remedy the problem
So basically if you know what you are doing no problem
If your work is junk then you have to hire an electrician
Seems fair to me...funny thing is my BIL, who is very detail orientated - had to hire an electrician to finish his work per Inspector
He actually works in electronics ( has (had ?) his own company - but boat repair - radar etc
That's how it should be. If you are capable of doing your own work, great. If you are going to kill yourself or someone else with your work, hire someone!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
If you had read some of my other posts you woull know that I have admitted that I probably know 10% of what is required to become an electrician
Since that includes commercial - which I have not researched
Could I do it....sure
Yes house wiring is fairly simple...especially if you can do it
I guess you'll be a doctor next....good luck
I have read plenty of your posts, and you are a well informed DIYer. Like I said before, I'm just having a little fun with you.

No hard feelings I hope.

I had an emergency appendectomy on Saturday and have some free time on my hands now since I won't be able to work for a couple of weeks.(actually, can barely move off the couch)

I've been stirring the pot on here and some of the other forums I belong too. You'll probably see a lot of me over the next couple of weeks. (I'm sooooo freaking bored). Don't take anything I say too personally, it's probably the Percocet talking.

Take care, have a good holiday!
EBFD6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2009, 01:31 PM   #38
CodeEnforcer
 
HIVOLT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 125
Rewards Points: 75
Default

Can a homeowner perform electrical work in MA?


LOL!! Being an AHJ you are correct when you stated that a permit has to be pulled for all work. A homeowner cannot be denied a permit to perform work in his own single family home. I issue permits to homeowners but they are told they have one crack at their attempt to do the work. If I am called to inspect the rough and I find a violations they are told to cease all work, get an electrician and I cancel the permit.

My job is to protect the safety of the public. I probably can go into any person's home and find some type of code violation. A simple plate or box cover missing is a code violation. But if a homeowner wants to do their own work and not pull a permit and get the work inspected whose lives are they endangering.

Case in poit, several years ago at 2 AM I got a call from the Fire Department about a house fire. The fire started in the finished basement it was concluded that it was an electrical fire. Several weeks later an Insurance Investgator came into the office and asked to see all permits for the home. There were not any permits for the basement bathroom or the finished basement. The homeowner admitted to the insurance company that other than the plumbing he did all the work. The insurance company did not pay on the claim. So for a simple $50 permit he lost he had an out of pocket expense of 30K.
HIVOLT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2009, 02:57 PM   #39
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: South of Boston, MA
Posts: 17,248
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Can a homeowner perform electrical work in MA?


That's the ONE main reason I always pull a permit
It's the long run you need to worry about
People are worried about paying more taxes when they improve their home
But that's how it works, make your home more valuable you pay more taxes
I thought of not pulling a permit for my 3 story addition...but thought they just might notice

EBFD6 - I guarantee you I am more bored
Now that the cold & snow are in work on the addition has ceased
I've got cabin fever & need to get back into FT work
No hard feelings, I'm very sure that electicians run into LOTS of DIY work that falls well below any Min standard
I experienced it myself at my last house
I've met people that should not even have a drivers permit
Best wishes on a speedy recovery

I almost wish that there was a little test homeowners had to take before being issued a permit
Even as simple as normal colors of wire, gauges to use etc
But more Govt is not always a good thing

I think I am done with the little Christmas shopping I had to do (for wife)
Wife shops for our son
Plus I've reviewed the 2 DVD's players she bought & she can now return them
I did pick one out....she didn't get it...these were $10 less.....
Scuba_Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2009, 11:36 AM   #40
Advice worth 2 cents!
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Quebec, Canada
Posts: 229
Rewards Points: 150
Default

Can a homeowner perform electrical work in MA?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Piedmont View Post
Absolutely the state of MA allows you to do your own electrical work BUT requires a permit for almsot everything. I'm surprised they don't require one for shutting off a breaker or repairing holes in walls with spackle. You do have to make sure your city allows it, that state is very strict. The one thing you can't do is plumbing, as mentioned. That has to do with many streets & houses of that state have 2 drain pipes they connect to in the street... one ends up dumping into a river another a treatment plant. You attach your gutters to the one that dumps into the river, and your bathrooms etc. to the one that goes to the treatment plant. However, many people "added" a bathroom and attached the drainage to the wrong line which dumped their human waste & soaps into the rivers which the EPA has been having a field day with penalty fees to that state. MA has been spending lots of money trying to locate these houses plumbed into the wrong lines. You also have people tying their gutters into the treatment plant line, causing treatment for water which wasn't used. Wasn't just homeowners, builders were also making the mistake but now, no plumbing allowed in that state by the homeowner plumbing in that state has turned into an environmental fiasco. I remember the days in that state the old mills bathrooms "extended" some feet over the rivers. When you wanted to go to the bathroom you could look through the opening of the toilet to see the river some 20 or so feet below. I used to hold going to the bathroom when I was a tiny one, and visit my father at the mill and then excitedly tell him I had to go. I'd yell torpedo away as I watched it drop some many feet into the river and be taken. Ah... the good old days.

Check your city if they allow it, the state does. It goes City codes 1st, State codes 2nd, Federal last for order of priorities. If your city says you can't but your state says you can... you have to follow what your city says. If Federal says you can, but your state says you can't you have to listen to your state. Federal sets the minimums, state can only be more strict, and city more stricter than either of the above.

.
I disagree, The Plumbing Code was written way before the "two pipe system" existed. I'm guessing it's a safety and health reason. First, the code prevents fresh water getting contaminated from the sewer and second, the code prevent dangerous accumulations of sewer gases that could cause health problems and even explosions.

There's also structural issues (weight of piping, water damage), fire prevention, comfort, geee....all kinds of cool stuff.

_pete
__________________
---pete
HandyPete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2009, 11:48 AM   #41
Advice worth 2 cents!
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Quebec, Canada
Posts: 229
Rewards Points: 150
Default

Can a homeowner perform electrical work in MA?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
Yes I do better work
I've seen to much crap & had too many electricians tell me what they would do & it was "OK"
Many do not keep up with current code, I do

Why should I pay someone to learn electric while working on my house ?
Yes supposed to be 1:1 ...real world - not

I research what I do, so yes I'm confident what I do meets or exceeds code
I don't own a 1-2-3 book from HD, I have the NEC 2005 & access 2008 online

Scary, I'm a licensed master electrician and "keeping up with the code" hasn't made me a better electrician what-so-ever. What does qualify me is my 35 years of experience. I have 120 some odd electricians working for me and most are pretty poor when it comes to the nitty-gritty code questions (that's my job) BUT, these guys do great work and I've never had to deal with a fire or electrocution.

Merry Christmas!

_Pete

BTW, Scuba-Dave, you are good, I've read a lot of you post and admire your technical know-how.
__________________
---pete

Last edited by HandyPete; 12-24-2009 at 11:51 AM.
HandyPete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2009, 02:40 PM   #42
Household Handyman
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Albany, Ga.
Posts: 2,284
Rewards Points: 1,020
Default

Can a homeowner perform electrical work in MA?


We are on a subject which is a topic of conversation at least every day during breakfast or lunch between we Licensed Contractors. I will go out on a (probably big/thick) limb and say "Each municipal jurisdiction has it's own codes/requirements as to work done under different trades, while each municipality (probably) cannot violate State Laws". Around here, a homeowner-not renter/leaser's, may do any electrical work on his/her own home. In the county I live in the homeowner does not have to pull any permit for electrical. Withing the City Limits, which are withing the County, a permit must be pulled by the homeowner for doing the work themselves. Hmmm, within the three counties which border ours--The principal homeowner does not have to pull permits and can do the electrical work themselves on their own home. Sound too easy? There is a catch, and a good one--IF either of the three (3) local power companies around here have to pull the meter for any of this work, the meter cannot be replaced without an inspection by a Licensed Electrician and proper paperwork signed off by the L.E. Good deal IMO. Plumbing is a different story-homeowner/renters/leaser's may only do minor interior plumbing repair jobs without pulling permits. We have three (3) real plumbing supply houses here which discourage homeowners from buying from them. But legally they cannot refuse. HVAC is a totally different area here. It's very restricted. I stay confused--which is more dangerous to work with: Electrical, Plumbing, or HVAC? The local HVAC contractors are working together again to have the big apron stores barred from selling any "parts" which would be for HVAC work. The had this done some years ago, and when HD came into town (Yep-across from Lowe's), HD fought and won the right to sell a lot of HVAC type materials. I will go on record as being opposed to "Federal Government Universal Health-Care" but would like to see some type of Universal Language as to proper permitting of trades and some type of Language on "Homeowner's Rights" as to what they can or cannot do on their own primary residence. Merry Christmas, David
Thurman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2010, 10:15 PM   #43
Master sparky
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 9
Rewards Points: 10
Thumbs up

Can a homeowner perform electrical work in MA?


Quote:
Originally Posted by HandyPete View Post
Scary, I'm a licensed master electrician and "keeping up with the code" hasn't made me a better electrician what-so-ever. What does qualify me is my 35 years of experience. I have 120 some odd electricians working for me and most are pretty poor when it comes to the nitty-gritty code questions (that's my job) BUT, these guys do great work and I've never had to deal with a fire or electrocution.

Merry Christmas!

_Pete

BTW, Scuba-Dave, you are good, I've read a lot of you post and admire your technical know-how.
I agree that keeping up with the code in itself doesn't make someone a good electrician, but a good electrician should know how to use the code book. And I don't mean memorizing it. I've come across plenty of inspectors that not only don't know the code book as well as they should, but think that their job is to make up the code instead of enforce it.

As for other postings on this thread, sometimes the answers to questions aren't so complicated. The electrical code book used (NFPA70) is a national code book with few amendments made on a state level. The code is mandatory and inforced uniformly within the state, not county or city. When an article is brought up to vote to become part of the national code there is also a declared reason of intent for the specific article (these are actually recorded and published in a separate publication called either the Green Book or the White Book). This reason of intent actually clarifies what the article addresses, and this is the actual interpretation of the specific adopted article. Yeah I've actually thumbed through this publication. So to cut back to my point, unlike fire prevention jurisdiction (where everything is left up to the local jurisdiction) electrical inspectors don't have the authority or jurisdiction to supersede the NFPA, state amendments or State laws and regulations. Technically and legally they don't and can't call the shots, but they can sure as hell slow things down.

Mass general law pretty much dictates verbaetum that anyone not engaged in the business of installation, maintaining yady yady ya of wiring (not for hire) does not need to follow the same permit and inspection procedure that us pros do. So yes a homeowner legally has the right to pull a permit and do his own work. Mass G.L. c143, s.3L is where to look. Inspectors don't like it, but if your persistent enough they have no choice.
texelect is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2010, 10:35 PM   #44
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: South of Boston, MA
Posts: 17,248
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Can a homeowner perform electrical work in MA?


The problem is you won't get a CO on an addition unless you have the electric inspected
So sort of a Catch 22
Several people have run into an area where they will not issue a permit
I actually welcome the Inspection (sort of)
I know they won't catch everything, but the Inspector around here is pretty good

I think I have a very good Building Dept
I guess maybe they know me better then most homeowners
Scuba_Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2010, 11:00 PM   #45
Inspector/Instructor
 
codeone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: NC
Posts: 369
Rewards Points: 250
Default

Can a homeowner perform electrical work in MA?


Quote:
Originally Posted by EBFD6 View Post
I don't make my living wiring houses, I am a commercial/industrial service electrician, the only residential work I do are small favors for existing commercial/industrial customers and side work for friends/family.
.
In my line of work these make the worst Residential Electricians.
I'm not saying you persay most commercial/industrial electricians dont have a clue about residential code.

Can spot one upon entering a house. Also can spot most homeowners work also.

Life is very interesting in the Code Enforcement field.

codeone is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
complicating-updating new box for client, electrician messed it up-pics included Kraze Electrical 29 11-18-2012 10:14 PM
Just for fun Andy in ATL Electrical 56 10-20-2009 10:33 AM
Electricial/Contractor woes - any advice? arichard21 Electrical 11 11-17-2007 12:56 AM
DIY electrical work questions for finishing a basement. mac41099 Electrical 7 11-16-2007 08:59 PM
Am I being overcharged for general construction work? baloney12 Building & Construction 2 07-11-2007 07:09 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.