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Old 01-09-2009, 04:48 PM   #1
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Electrical Inspectors...not happy!


Called on Tuesday to see the procedure to schedule my inspection. Was told same day or max 24 hours notice. Called yesterday morning to schedule for today. Was told inspector would call me Friday AM to set time for afternoon. I said that I needed it done Friday and was assured he would call me. No call...he was here to inspect for my new electrical service this summer. Now I am screwed...I needed that ok to get the township framing inspection before I travel for work on Tuesday. I wanted to be able to insulate next weekend and drywall the following...now I am pushed at least 1 week back!!! I understand things come up...the courtesy of a call would have been nice!


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Old 01-10-2009, 06:47 PM   #2
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Please do not repeat this, because I like you, I will tell you a secret. There is a class taken by all inspectors. They must pass this particular class, if they do not pass, they are not issued their license. the class is, not keeping inspections! I have yet to have my local inspectors keep an appointment. The last inspection was not even needed, as the inspector had inspected and passed my job about 8 months earlier. Anyway, I made an appointment, got the resturant ownere to open the store for me. I showed up 1/2 hour early so I could be ready for the 10:00 AM inspection. At 10:30 AM I called the office to find out if hte inspector was going to keep his appointment, or just blow off hte appointment, again. I was told the inspector would be on his way shortly. He shows up and I pass the inspection. then I ask why I had to have another inspection and showed him a copy of the original inspection. I also asked why he was late and if I could charge him for wasting my time. He asked who I made the appointment with adn I told him the appointment was made with him and the date and time I called him. He told me that the fault was all mine, he did not make appointements, because he could not remember to writh them in his appointment book! As bad as that was, I had an inspector make an appointment, which he failed to keep. The reason he did not keep the appointment, he took the day off!

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Old 01-10-2009, 07:51 PM   #3
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Great, here we go spiraling downward into yet another inspector bashing thread. What exactly is the point of this thread?

Gone-fishing, it sucks that the guy did that to you. Too late now since it is the weekend and you're going out of town, but did you call Friday afternoon to follow up since you never heard from him? If not, you should have. The way I see it, they put you in a bad position and would've been obligated to get somebody there for you Friday even if it was after hours. Definately place a call to the building official and voice your dissatisfaction Monday.

Fireguy, your comments are a generalization and are false. Not ALL inspectors take that "class" that you jokingly describe, and as a matter of fact some of us have a habit of being very punctual. I've worked for two jurisdictions and punctuality was/is EXPECTED and REQUIRED of us as inspectors by our supervisors. I take pride in being on time for scheduled inspections that people take time out of their lives to schedule, and if for some reason I'm going to be 10 minutes late I place a phonecall. If a car drives into a building or there's a fire and I have to cancel scheduled inspections, I re-schedule those inspections on the pemit holder's timeframe. Fair is fair!
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Old 01-10-2009, 10:25 PM   #4
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Electrical Inspectors...not happy!


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Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
Great, here we go spiraling downward into yet another inspector bashing thread. What exactly is the point of this thread?

Gone-fishing, it sucks that the guy did that to you. Too late now since it is the weekend and you're going out of town, but did you call Friday afternoon to follow up since you never heard from him? If not, you should have. The way I see it, they put you in a bad position and would've been obligated to get somebody there for you Friday even if it was after hours. Definately place a call to the building official and voice your dissatisfaction Monday.

Fireguy, your comments are a generalization and are false. Not ALL inspectors take that "class" that you jokingly describe, and as a matter of fact some of us have a habit of being very punctual. I've worked for two jurisdictions and punctuality was/is EXPECTED and REQUIRED of us as inspectors by our supervisors. I take pride in being on time for scheduled inspections that people take time out of their lives to schedule, and if for some reason I'm going to be 10 minutes late I place a phonecall. If a car drives into a building or there's a fire and I have to cancel scheduled inspections, I re-schedule those inspections on the pemit holder's timeframe. Fair is fair!

In fairness, not all inspectors are like those I mentioned in the above post. your comments made me stop and think about the inspectors I have worked with in my 30 years as a fire suppression contractor. I made a list of those inspectors. I found the list is split, 50 % I respect and have enjoyed working with. The other 50%, I have not enjoyed working with. Their inability to keep an appointment, their lack of knowledge, their lack of consistant enforcement of the codes, and their god-like attitude of infallibility are my main complaints. Those inspectors who have earned my respect keep appointments, or they call to let me know they will be late and when to expect them. They may not have the knowledge I wish they had, but they will ask questions and they will answer my questions. We do not always agree with each other, but we can discuss the code requirements. Those are also the inspectors who will require the same standard of work from my company and from my competitors, showing no favoritism. I like to have a 2-way relationship with inspectors, we must rely on each other to ensure that my building projects are installed according to codes and are maintained according to codes.

I have read a number of your posts on these boards. Each post has been thoughtfull and well written. The contractors you work with are fortunate to have an inspector of your knowledge and ability. I wish we had more inspectors like you.
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Old 01-10-2009, 11:22 PM   #5
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I was in a meeting so I called once I was out at 3:35. They closed at 3:30. I've left voice mails for other inspection companies to get someone here Monday.
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Old 01-10-2009, 11:53 PM   #6
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In fairness, not all inspectors are like those I mentioned in the above post. your comments made me stop and think about the inspectors I have worked with in my 30 years as a fire suppression contractor. I made a list of those inspectors. I found the list is split, 50 % I respect and have enjoyed working with. The other 50%, I have not enjoyed working with. Their inability to keep an appointment, their lack of knowledge, their lack of consistant enforcement of the codes, and their god-like attitude of infallibility are my main complaints. Those inspectors who have earned my respect keep appointments, or they call to let me know they will be late and when to expect them. They may not have the knowledge I wish they had, but they will ask questions and they will answer my questions. We do not always agree with each other, but we can discuss the code requirements. Those are also the inspectors who will require the same standard of work from my company and from my competitors, showing no favoritism. I like to have a 2-way relationship with inspectors, we must rely on each other to ensure that my building projects are installed according to codes and are maintained according to codes.

I have read a number of your posts on these boards. Each post has been thoughtfull and well written. The contractors you work with are fortunate to have an inspector of your knowledge and ability. I wish we had more inspectors like you.
Thanks for clarifying your thoughts fireguy. Well stated. Also, thanks for your kind words. From an inspector's standpoint, I'd say that 50% of the builders and subs I deal with are just great to deal with and we develop the good working relationship you've talked about. Those are the type that strive to do the best they can, know the code, or at least want to know and understand the code. Probably 40% of the remainder are ok to deal with and do ok work but we just get along and move on. The last 10% make the job really interesting, and have no interest in working together, getting along, or learning anything. That 10% are the ones that really necessitate having someone in my position doing what I do, because they're wrong most of the time.

Sounds bad, but we always remember the bad stories about contractors (or inspectors from your perspective) but don't always remember the guys that do it right!!!

Fireguy, funny story you might appreciate being a fire protection systems contractor. I was inspecting concrete floor penetrations of a 3" or 4" sprinkler riser in a multi-story retirement home/nursing center. The penetration detail consisted of rock wool packed in the annulus with intumenscent firecaulk above and below. I had worked with the fire contractor extensively for months on the project and had developed a trusting working relationship where I didn't feel I had to look at every single penetration...Instead I'd take a random sampling to randomly check to make sure they were done right. The fire penetration contractors got too far ahead of themselves and caulked before I saw the rock wool, so I picked one and had them remove the caulk...If it is good I'll sign off on all of them, if it is bad then they all get openend up...Pretty fair. I picked one and they pulled the caulk back to show me the rock wool. Instead of rock wool they had jammed white cotton rags in the annulus around the pipe! The job superintendent instantly saw red and I honesty thought I would have to physically keep him from killing the fire protection guy. I was pretty disappointed in the fire contractor and instead of acting mad I just acted disappointed and let down, which I was. Needless to say they had to remove all the firecaulk from dozens of penetrations a couple days later and show me that they were done right.

That story illustrates that some people have very important jobs and don't grasp the importance of what they do. Because of what that guy did...If unchecked...A fire would literally race upward through that building via the holes he stuffed with rags instead of fireproofing. Because of what gone_fishing's inspector didn't do, his project is now behind! Guess it is just a fact of life in construction, but we all fight it.
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Old 01-12-2009, 12:33 PM   #7
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Electrical Inspectors...not happy!


All inspectors called this morning. I hired the first company that called. The guy that prompted my venting was the last to call...It was after 10:30am. Should have the inspection done within an hour now.
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Old 01-12-2009, 12:45 PM   #8
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Passed with flying colors...
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Old 01-12-2009, 12:51 PM   #9
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Passed with flying colors...
Glad to hear it. Also glad to hear the guy that stiffed you didn't get the business.

Ahhh, this was a 3rd party inspection firm that screwed you then! Just last week a bunch of people on this site were saying how wonderful 3rd party inspection firms are. Guess that isn't always the case, huh?
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Old 01-12-2009, 07:01 PM   #10
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Electrical Inspectors...not happy!


for what it's worth, here's a good inspection story.....

I'm in the nor cal bay area, and rebuilding my house. I dreaded the inspection process only becuase of the stories I've heard. Boy was I wrong. The inspection process has been the easiest part of the process. The team of guys that have been out to the project have all been extremely friendly, considerate, professional, helpful, and all mixed with just the right amount of hard-a$$ to make sure things are done right. I've made a point on two separate occasions to make a call to the office to make sure the supervisor gets the good word on these guys.

At one check point the guy came out to check the heater / ducting. He found an ommision with the main unit installation. We were under the gun with scheduled insullation guys. Rather than than saying just fix it and call me later, he said he would sign off the ducting, so we could proceed, but he suggested we pull another sub-permit for the heater. He apologized that the additional permit would be $60, but it allowed us to proceed. He said they would come back and inspect the heater under the separate permit when we got it corrected. For me that was a great solution.

With my project, I have not had a bad inspection experience yet....and I'm just about finished.
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Old 01-12-2009, 09:45 PM   #11
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Steve1234, great to hear those postive comments. I assure you that those guys appreciate your phonecall to compliment their work and their demeanor. It is generally a thankless job....If we do our jobs right then nothing ever happens. We don't get to pull people from burning or collapsed buildings, we just keep the building from burning or collapsing. When someone takes the time to call and say thank you, it means the world.

Along those lines, I always take the time to point out to contractors and DIYers if they're doing spectacular work.

I once was in charge of a large apartment complex construction project's inspections. We're talking HUNDREDS of inspections. The superintendent was a Mexican gentleman that I got to know very well. We had good days and bad days, and on a number of occasions I had to be very hard on him or his guys. About a year into the project he ended up leaving his job for another company in another jurisdiction. He was replaced with a new guy and life on the project went on. About two months after he left he called me to let me know that he and his wife had spent the previous evening making me a large container of home-made tamales and that he'd leave them at the job trailer of the apartment job we worked on together. He had absolutely nothing to gain from it, and did it just as a friendly gesture. It was done out of thanks, friendship, and respect, and I've never forgotten it. It was good to know that even though we didn't always get along he respected and appreciated the job I did and took the time to say thanks.
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Old 01-13-2009, 12:42 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
Just last week a bunch of people on this site were saying how wonderful 3rd party inspection firms are. Guess that isn't always the case, huh?

Well at least he had a choice not to deal with the slacker.

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