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Old 04-26-2010, 09:47 AM   #16
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I found this post a bit interesting, although the topic has strayed far from the original poster's question to more of an opinion piece.

I think its always important to remember the law of unintended consequences. (something the government rarely does) If it becomes too difficult to get a permit by either making the fees or requirements too high, most homeowners who THINK they know how to do the work will just do it without a permit. And on something like interior wiring, its nearly impossible to prevent this. So what ends up happening, is the community misses the opportunity to have the work checked, and give the homeowner a chance to correct any potential hazards, and over time you develop a community of dwellings even more dangerous than the ones they were trying to protect against. Had an easier inspection process been in place, one where everyone works WITH each other rather than AGAINST, the homeowner, as well as any future homeowners would have been better off.

Just my 2 cents...


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Old 04-26-2010, 10:25 AM   #17
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My 2 cents .... firstly I posted information to help someone like me get through a hurdle on the way to getting to a safe and legal electrical system. Whether the homeowners test made it safer is debatable, whether it is a hurdle to making it legal is not. It is exists (in my country) you gotta get over it, or go the 'illegal path'.

I thought about the 'illegal path' ... the number of people who said "You are out in the country, they will never know..." is large. But I decided that it would be too much of a millstone, given everything I am doing to my house. I expected "the bureaucrats" to me "against me"

... but so far (and I'm still just getting started) all the "bureaucrats" have been very helpful and not against me. Whether that happy situation continues through final inspections, I have yet to find out. But on the hand, all of the interactions I've had with this particular county government have been helpful, or at least positive.

My expectations were low. Example: I needed a new street number for my house, so I started the trek to find the organization, and the person in the organization, who could tell me where to find the form and where to send it. But in one phone call, with one transfer and no holds, I got to the person with whom I jointly decided on the new number; no forms; no fees - and the new number appeared in their on-line database in a few hours.
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Old 04-26-2010, 11:45 AM   #18
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Open book if you ar familiar with the code it should be fairly easy to find the correct section
Of course the code can be confusing as it will have numerous sections that all have to be taken into account
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:20 AM   #19
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Test difficulty can vary.

While I'm sure the original poster resolved his issue years ago, I came across this thread the other day in search of the same type of information. As such, I thought I'd add my experience for the benefit of future readers who may pickup on this thread:

I live in St. Louis and have had to two homeowner electrical tests. The first was a couple years ago when I upgraded my service panel to 200A. That test was focused specifically on 200A service and was pretty difficult. I barely passed. (And for what it's worth, the city of St. Louis no longer allows homeowners to upgrade their own service panels--inspectors found too many safety issues and ended up having to coach hapless homeowners all the way through the project).

This week, I had to take a residential electrical overview test in order to pull a permit for a kitchen renovation. As the last test I took was difficult, I was anticipating the same this time around but was relieved to find the test to be quite easy. General questions about GFCI protection, requisite wire/breaker size, etc. No need to memorize or locate any NEC tables or anything like that. (I waaaay overstudied. I suppose that's a good thing.)

Anyway, judging by the other posts and the sample test questions referenced, it sounds like tests vary wildly in difficulty between municipalities. I'm glad St. Louis does it the way they do. Even though the 200A service upgrade test is now defunct, at least it served as an appropriate, albeit imperfect, roadblock before attempting difficult and dangerous work. Conversely, the general overview test was sufficient to root out the idiots but provide an easy path for generally competent people to do basic, common electrical work.

Another poster made a great comment about unintended consequences of making tests unnecessarily difficult--in particular, it can result unpermitted, uninspected, dangerous work. It seems that these tests should serve primarily to weed out idiots. Anyone who is moderately competent can then work with an inspector pre-project, at rough-in, upon completion, and anywhere in between to ensure the work is completely safely and to code.

I've had surprisingly excellent experience with city inspectors thus far. I hope it continues. I understand my position depends on an agreeable inspector.


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