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Old 08-17-2011, 08:48 PM   #1
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My inlaws house


My inlaws built a new house 5 years ago and they have never been happy with the wiring. Light switchs arent where they wanted them, lights on the same same switch that shouldnt be and some other complaints and asked for my help. They asked for my help in doing some stuff and i found some things that dont seem right. On one 3way switch 14-2 was used instead of 14-3 and the ground was tied in with the neutral wires. I found 2 light fixtures (the only two i looked at) that didnt have a box to make the connections just connected to the light and screwed the light to the ceiling. Also there were several circiuts that used 14 gauge wire but 20 amp breakers, thats not right is it?

They live out in the country and used someone that was supposed to be a liscensed electrition who always told them he had to do everything to code, but there is no building inspector. surely these arent to code are they? What should be done? these dont seem right to me at all and these are just the few places i looked at, i dont know what other issues there may be.

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Old 08-17-2011, 08:59 PM   #2
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My inlaws house


From what you’ve said, no it doesn’t sound right, and I’d suspect you’ll find more surprises along the way. Light fixtures require boxes unless it’s a fluorescent that allows the wiring to be done inside the fixture. The use of the ground wire of the 14/2 as a current carrying conductor for the 3-way is a BIG NO-NO. You may want to have an electrician look it over and give you a bid. If you want to take on the project and DIY, we’re here to help.

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Old 08-17-2011, 09:07 PM   #3
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My inlaws house


That is a pretty good list of code violations, and you can bet there are many more. The use of 14-2 for a 3-way switch is dangerous. The use of #14 on a 20A breaker is potentially dangerous. Sounds like your in-laws need an attorney. Five years may be too late to file suit, but it may not. That's about the only way they will get the contractor to pay for the cost of fixing the problems with this electrical system (which will probably be very expensive).
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Old 08-17-2011, 09:33 PM   #4
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My inlaws house


Im sure that there are alot of potential other issues, everything i looked at had an issue. The lights without a box were not florcents. my inlaws arent the type to sue but also dont have the funds to get a professional to look at it and fix it. I guess that probably leave me to try and fix it. Where should i start? How could someone that is a lisensed electriction make all of these "mistakes" just because he knew that there isnt a local inspector.
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:34 AM   #5
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My inlaws house


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Originally Posted by eagertolearn View Post
Im sure that there are alot of potential other issues, everything i looked at had an issue. The lights without a box were not florcents. my inlaws arent the type to sue but also dont have the funds to get a professional to look at it and fix it. I guess that probably leave me to try and fix it. Where should i start? How could someone that is a lisensed electriction make all of these "mistakes" just because he knew that there isnt a local inspector.
There's LOTS of people out there that will say whatever it takes to get someones money. Wouldn't be the first time. If you're going to look at it yourself, take your time, work on one thing at a time and slowly get it back to where it needs to be. The easiest thing to start with would be adding octogon boxes for the lights that don't have them. Then go from there.
Good luck!
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Old 08-18-2011, 08:24 AM   #6
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These may not have been "mistakes" by the electrician. He probably cut corners to save money (and thus make a bigger profit) and because there's no inspector he knew he'd likely get away with it. If this guy is still in business your in-laws should go after him. They may not be the type to sue, but they could threaten him with a lawsuit and ask him to reimburse what they paid him. They could then use that to pay for a reputable electrician to fix the mess this guy left behind. If that doesn't work, they'll have to decide whether they want to sue him or not. At a minimum they should report him to the appropriate licensing agency.
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Old 08-19-2011, 04:17 PM   #7
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These may not have been "mistakes" by the electrician. He probably cut corners to save money (and thus make a bigger profit) and because there's no inspector he knew he'd likely get away with it. If this guy is still in business your in-laws should go after him. They may not be the type to sue, but they could threaten him with a lawsuit and ask him to reimburse what they paid him. They could then use that to pay for a reputable electrician to fix the mess this guy left behind. If that doesn't work, they'll have to decide whether they want to sue him or not. At a minimum they should report him to the appropriate licensing agency.
Im quite sure that they werent mistakes but rather shortcuts to save time or money. I have no idea if the electriction is still in business or not because he has left the area. Were going over for dinner tonight and im going to try and talk them into at least reporting him.

It upsets me that a liscensed electriction would do work like this. Stuff like this is exactly why i try to do as much of my own projects as i can, i dont mind spending money if it gets done right, but there are to many people out there just in it for the money.
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Old 08-19-2011, 06:47 PM   #8
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My inlaws house


Go thru everything !
If it doesnt seem right,
write up a list,
Then ask if it is up to code,
Go thru them as you can and correct,
Priorotise the faults.

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