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Old 04-30-2012, 02:49 PM   #1
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Exposed WIRING ON BOTTOM OF JOISTS.


I am selling my house and the Home Inspector said that the basement surfaced mounted receptacles needed to be in conduit because the wires were exposed. He didnt say anything about the exposed wiring that was stapled to the bottom of the joists had to be in conduit. Can I just leave the exposed wires on the joist exposed or do I have to but them in conduit too? Could I also just drill the joists out and run the wire inside them? Is there a code about this? Did the Home Inspector forget this? What would happen if I only fixed the receptacles with conduit and nothing else? Thanks In Advance!
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:54 PM   #2
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Exposed WIRING ON BOTTOM OF JOISTS.


Perhaps the HI was considering the cables as subject to physical damage. Was this work inspected when it was installed?

The HI can put anything in their reports, including going above and beyond the actual code requirements. All of these issues are negotiable items to be worked out between the buyers and sellers. The HI cannot mandate anything to be done as they have no enforcement powers.
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:56 PM   #3
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Exposed WIRING ON BOTTOM OF JOISTS.


Pictures would help here.

Where are you located? There are local codes that may dictate what you need to do.

A community where I do work only allowed 18" of exposed romex in a basement for example.

In an open basement romex smaller than 6-3 has to be drilled thru the joists and has to be protected where it comes down a wall per the NEC.

When I have been sent to a customer's house to comply with a home inspector's report, 10 times out of 10 a licensed electrician with benefit of a permit is specifically required.

I wouldn't do anything till you have something in writing.
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Old 04-30-2012, 03:00 PM   #4
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Exposed WIRING ON BOTTOM OF JOISTS.


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I am selling my house and the Home Inspector said that the basement surfaced mounted receptacles needed to be in conduit because the wires were exposed. He didnt say anything about the exposed wiring that was stapled to the bottom of the joists had to be in conduit. Can I just leave the exposed wires on the joist exposed or do I have to but them in conduit too? Could I also just drill the joists out and run the wire inside them? Is there a code about this? Did the Home Inspector forget this? What would happen if I only fixed the receptacles with conduit and nothing else? Thanks In Advance!
i assume we're talking about nm cable here? nm cable on bare concrete walls is a no-no. almost universally considered 'subject to physical damage'. nm on the bottom of floor joists is also a no-no, unless they are 8/3 or 6/2 or larger. not sure when the house was built so maybe that was okay back then. new installations can't do it and haven't been able to for years.

but jim is correct in that the home inspector can only point out problems and make recommendations. they can't dictate anything. only time that can become an issue is if the buyer's mortgage provider won't approve the loan unless the recommendations of the home inspector are implemented.
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Old 04-30-2012, 03:07 PM   #5
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Exposed WIRING ON BOTTOM OF JOISTS.


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but jim is correct in that the home inspector can only point out problems and make recommendations. they can't dictate anything. only time that can become an issue is if the buyer's mortgage provider won't approve the loan unless the recommendations of the home inspector are implemented.
I disagree. They can indirectly dictate you to do something if the sale will fall thru if you don't fix what they want fixed.
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Old 04-30-2012, 03:12 PM   #6
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Exposed WIRING ON BOTTOM OF JOISTS.


I live in New Albany Indiana. The home was built in the 1950's & In the basement it looks like someone 3 yrs ago added some exposed wiring for the surface mounted receptacles on the walls. The wiring on the walls is the same wiring on the basement ceiling but stapled every 2 ft. Surely when he said to put wall plugs in conduit did he mean the ceiling too? The exposed wiring on the ceiling should be in conduit too shouldnt it? Or can I just drill out the joists? What would you do? Yes the wiring is NM romex.

Last edited by pp2815; 04-30-2012 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 04-30-2012, 03:15 PM   #7
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Exposed WIRING ON BOTTOM OF JOISTS.


From what I was told by an electrical inspector here (your mileage may vary) if the NM-B is above the bottom of the joists, it is allowed (i.e. drilled through the joists). Any NM-B below the bottom of the joists is not allowed, and must be protected in-wall or wired in conduit.

(EDIT: I am outside of the crazy-electrical-rules region of Chicago)
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Old 04-30-2012, 03:23 PM   #8
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I'm not an electrician or inspector. But unprotected wires on a wall are much more susceptible to damage than wires on/above the ceiling.
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Old 04-30-2012, 03:29 PM   #9
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Sorry guys. The HI said in writing that the wall receptacles in the basement had to have conduit on the wire (NM) because it is considered exposed. My question is did he forget to mention in writing the ceiling too or did he mean both because the wires (NM) on the celing feed the wall recptacles? What I dont want to happen is that I put wall receptacles in conduit as asked but then he will turn around and say why didnt you drill out studs or put wiring (NM) in conduit too? What to do? Cant call him, no number on report to call.
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Old 04-30-2012, 03:31 PM   #10
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Exposed WIRING ON BOTTOM OF JOISTS.


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(EDIT: I am outside of the crazy-electrical-rules region of Chicago)
Yeah, but if the OP was inside our region, this kind of question would never be asked. The sparkys out in your neck of the woods tell me you at least use conduit in exposed areas.

Even if I moved and built a house somewhere in Romexland, I would still put conduit all through my house. Many of the problems I see here would be either easier to solve or wouldn't be a problem if conduit was installed.
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Old 04-30-2012, 03:34 PM   #11
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Exposed WIRING ON BOTTOM OF JOISTS.


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Sorry guys. The HI said in writing that the wall receptacles in the basement had to have conduit on the wire (NM) because it is considered exposed. My question is did he forget to mention in writing the ceiling too or did he mean both because the wires (NM) on the celing feed the wall recptacles? What I dont want to happen is that I put wall receptacles in conduit as asked but then he will turn around and say why didnt you drill out studs or put wiring (NM) in conduit too? What to do? Cant call him, no number on report to call.
What happened was he didn't/doesn't know what he is talking about. No too uncommon.

NM CAN be exposed, unless it is subject to physical damage. To satisfy the buyers just put a wood running board up next to the wiring and walk away. That will satisfy code and the HI.
He CANNOT dictate HOW you correct something. In fact that is not within the scope of their work. Their job is to point things out, nothing more.
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Old 04-30-2012, 03:48 PM   #12
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I disagree. They can indirectly dictate you to do something if the sale will fall thru if you don't fix what they want fixed.
we're saying the same thing.

the home inspector isn't like an ahj or anything like that with any real power to directly dictate what needs to be done. his recommendations may be required by the mortgage company or insurer or similar and in that way, he is indirectly having power.
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Old 05-01-2012, 02:32 AM   #13
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Exposed WIRING ON BOTTOM OF JOISTS.


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Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
What happened was he didn't/doesn't know what he is talking about. No too uncommon.

NM CAN be exposed, unless it is subject to physical damage. To satisfy the buyers just put a wood running board up next to the wiring and walk away. That will satisfy code and the HI.
He CANNOT dictate HOW you correct something. In fact that is not within the scope of their work. Their job is to point things out, nothing more.
What I did underline this what I do pretty often and that useally take care majorty of the time unless you have bad cable then it will be good time to replace and restring it properly.

Merci,
Marc
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