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Old 02-26-2010, 10:06 AM   #1
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Does this typically require an inspection??


I'm getting ready to add a few more outlet's to an existing 20amp circuit in my garage. In CA, does this typically require an inspection or permit? Will the City building dept be able to tell me this?

What about adding a few fluorescent light fixtures to an existing chain?

Thanks for the help!!!

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Old 02-26-2010, 06:01 PM   #2
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Does this typically require an inspection??


I live in NJ, so I can't speak to CA's code per se, but I think it is a safe assumption that adding any hard wiring to an existing circuit would require and inspection, especially adding an outlet.

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Old 02-26-2010, 06:04 PM   #3
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Does this typically require an inspection??


Your building Dept will be able to let you know
Usually it does require a permit & inspection
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Old 02-26-2010, 11:07 PM   #4
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Does this typically require an inspection??


Well, I called the city today. They said I had to "draw" a sketch of my garage and where I wanted to add my outlets and light fixtures. They would then review it and give me a permit. Cost of the permit will be based on the extimated value of the materials and my labor. Then after the work is performed, they will send out a person to "inspect" the work.

The whole thing sounds really janky to me. First of all, how are they going to grant me a permit based a hand sketched plan? I've never even done one before. He assured me it wasn't a big deal.

Lastly, how do they plan on inspecting my work afterwards, if everything is hidden behind drywall. After all, I am adding a few outlets and light fixtures to an existing garage wall.

Is this the typical permitting process? I'm starting to feel like I live in Mayberry
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Old 02-26-2010, 11:10 PM   #5
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Does this typically require an inspection??


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Is this the typical permitting process? I'm starting to feel like I live in Mayberry
You'd be surprised to find out what passes inspection and what doesn't ever get inspected period!
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Old 02-26-2010, 11:14 PM   #6
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Does this typically require an inspection??


get a rough in inspection before you hang sheetrock,unless you youre confident enough of your work to do without
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Old 02-27-2010, 12:08 AM   #7
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Does this typically require an inspection??


The sheetrock is already hung. It's a brand new house and the drywall was done before I moved in. I'm just running some 12-2 from one wall to another through the attic above the garage and dropping them down the wall where I want the outlets.
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Old 02-27-2010, 12:37 AM   #8
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Does this typically require an inspection??


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The whole thing sounds really janky to me. First of all, how are they going to grant me a permit based a hand sketched plan? I've never even done one before. He assured me it wasn't a big deal.
Nothing 'janky' about it. The first rule of permitting and inspections is whatever they office/inspector says is rule is the rule. In my jurisdictions you have to do sketches for building permits. For electrical you have to count 'openings'.

Follow the instructions given to the letter. If they tell you it has to be a pen and ink drawing on 8.5 x 11 white paper - give them a pen and ink drawing on 8.5 x 11 white paper. Keep it simple.

I think you will find that the process is way easier than you fear it will be - once you get your first tag, you'll feel like a pro. Good luck.
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Old 02-27-2010, 08:35 AM   #9
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Does this typically require an inspection??


My last house I drew the current roof outline - L shape
I then drew a line straight down the middle showing a new roof that sloped to each side
I then went to the building Inpsector & asked what plans he needed to see so I could put a new roof on

He photocopied my drawing


Draw the garage square
Draw the new lines & approx location, breaker being used
If more then 1 circuit I use different pen colors
Include what wire you will use, GFCI protected...fact that you are fishing wires behind the existing sheetrock
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Old 02-27-2010, 08:52 AM   #10
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Does this typically require an inspection??


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Originally Posted by mopowers View Post
Well, I called the city today. They said I had to "draw" a sketch of my garage and where I wanted to add my outlets and light fixtures. They would then review it and give me a permit. Cost of the permit will be based on the extimated value of the materials and my labor. Then after the work is performed, they will send out a person to "inspect" the work.

The whole thing sounds really janky to me. First of all, how are they going to grant me a permit based a hand sketched plan? I've never even done one before. He assured me it wasn't a big deal.

Lastly, how do they plan on inspecting my work afterwards, if everything is hidden behind drywall. After all, I am adding a few outlets and light fixtures to an existing garage wall.

Is this the typical permitting process? I'm starting to feel like I live in Mayberry
That is a very typical process. I had to do all that, and more, when I redid my kitchen. I needed to do a detailed drawing, as scale as possible, of every appliance, outlet location, light location, wiring location, etc. I had to also explain in written detail my box fill calculations, what size wires I was using, how I was going to secure the wires to the studs/boxes, what kind of receptacles and light fixtures I'd be using, etc. I first got my permit denied because my plans weren't detailed enough. So I elaborated more in my descriptions, then it finally got approved. Then obviously there was a rough-in and final inspection after that, and it was done.

This is why many people don't bother to get a permit, especially if it is a small project and you know what you are doing. A project like adding an outlet that would normally cost about $15 and take an hour suddenly becomes a two week project costing you $100 just for the permit alone and you have to take off from work twice during the two weeks to meet the inspector at your house for 30 seconds each time.

Before you file for the permit, ask the inspector if he is going to make you rip up the drywall where you are going to fish your wires. If he WILL make you cut the drywall out, ask yourself before starting the process if you really want to get into that much hassle.
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Old 02-27-2010, 09:19 AM   #11
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Does this typically require an inspection??


Drywall shouldn't be an issue. Codes generally allow for wires to be fished though finished walls and NOT require the wall ripped open to staple the wires.

As it was once explained to me, one of the primary purposes for the rules on stapling the wire is to make sure it stays out of the way so that it doesn't get damaged by the drywall instilation.

And as you can see from the replies so far, different building departments want different levels of detail. In this case, it sounds like they don't want much detail, just a drawing to know what it is you are installing where.
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Old 02-27-2010, 09:25 AM   #12
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Does this typically require an inspection??


I forgo code-people until I absolutely need them.
I always consider temporary fixes to something - for extra outlets in rooms that had few I have quite a few of these around:

http://www.electriduct.com/Flat-Elec...Cord_p_14.html

They're awesome.
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Old 02-27-2010, 09:35 AM   #13
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Does this typically require an inspection??


Thanks for the rpelies guys! I guess I should just suck it up and get the permit.

Just curious though- What are the ramifications of not obtaining a permit to add a couple outlets and fluorescent light fixtures?
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Old 02-27-2010, 09:49 AM   #14
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Does this typically require an inspection??


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Originally Posted by mopowers View Post
Thanks for the rpelies guys! I guess I should just suck it up and get the permit.

Just curious though- What are the ramifications of not obtaining a permit to add a couple outlets and fluorescent light fixtures?
If the work is done so that it isn't glaringly apparent that extra outlets/lights were added, no one will ever notice and therefore never know that work was done where permits would have been required.

But, so long as you are living in the house and inspectors don't have any other reason to be looking around in your place, then no one will ever know. When you go to sell, the prospective buyers may or may not notice that extra work was done, and therefore may or may not call up the town and see if any permits were pulled for the house. I doubt many potential buyers would go that far for just a couple of outlets in a garage, but you never know. Or, if when you go to sell and the town inspects your place to give a Certificate of Occupancy, they may see work was done, and then check to see if permits were obtained. If permits were not obtained, they would likely require you to get a permit and inspections retroactively, and possibly pay a fine. Worst case scenario, if your house burns down and it ends up being due to faulty wiring that you did on the new outlets, and you didn't get it inspected, your homeowner's insurance could possibly be voided, and you'd be without a house and without insurance to pay for a new one.

In the last town I lived in, the town didn't physically inspect the house prior to a sale. Instead, I (the seller) just had to sign something saying we had properly working smoke detectors. That was it. But the town I moved into, the town physically came to the house to check it over before they would issue a certificate of occupancy to the new buyer (me).

In the end, not getting a permit is a crap shoot. If the work looks like it is/was original to the house, then you will most likely not run into any problems. But if you have a 50 year old house, and a brand spanking new modern kitchen, that will set off flags that a lot of work was done.
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Old 03-01-2010, 11:38 AM   #15
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Does this typically require an inspection??


I've got one last question on this subject.

What all can I expect the inspector to look at since the garage is already sheetrocked?

I shouldn't expect to have to tear out drywall should I?

I just planned on feeding the wires from the attic down to where the outlets will go, so I don't have to take down any drywall. Will this be a problem for an inspector?

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