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Old 12-09-2010, 09:34 AM   #1
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Ontario Electrical - potlights at rough in ???


Hi there folks,

I'm in need of some help and I'm hoping someone out there can help me. I'm finishing my basement (myself) and I've just completed my electrical (or so I thought). I honestly tried to do my due diligence - i.e. - I looked at the ESA site, checked the internet, read the orange book (09-11 edition) and talked to the guys at HD. I did all my wiring (~25-30 devices in total) and I thought all was well. I did the right thing and got a permit and the inspector came the other day. (it ails me to this day why (some)people in positions of authority have to be brash, rude and condescending). I didn't particularly enjoy the treatment at all. Anyway...

He had lots of things to say, quite nastily - at one point, pointing his finger at me and saying "if you were a certified electrical contractor, you would have known that!" Anyway...

On the subject of potlight install in the ceiling in my basement, the inspector told me that they should be COMPLETELY installed and wired - which shocked me. I challenged him, asking how I should install them, when they will sit on a Tbar roof for the tiles, when I need the drywall installed before installing the Tbar, and I need his rough in approval before installing the drywall. I also didn't think I was supposed to wire ANY fixtures/receptacles for rough in. I called ESA back and expressed that he was not very helpful, condescending and contradicted things expressed in the code. They kept telling me to refer to the code, but again, he's contradicting what it says. I pushed and they gave me the number for the senior inspector in my area. That guy answered my questions, but now i'm confused cause I don't know which to believe, cause honestly, it's going to do depend on who comes back to inspect again.

On potlights:
- he said i need to have them completely installed and wired;
- he said i need to use the hangars (metal bars) between the joists, whether I have a suspended ceiling or drywall;
- he said that even if i do suspended, I need to install the hangers on the joists, and then drop them down later when I install the suspended ceiling;
- he said that i need to have an emergency wire on the potlights and pointed his finger at me and loudly said "It's Code!"; (I didn't think it was, though I agree a good idea);
- I really didn't think I should have them wired;
- I didn't think I needed the hangers but could use the springs that come with them that spread above the surface to hold them up.

I'm just trying to do the right thing and get it passed. I know I'm doing it right and safely and it will be fine, but... seems I struck and inspector that believes that NO ONE should be doing their own wiring unless they are an electrician. (despite the fact that my 200$ is paying his salary).

Anyone familiar with Ontario - can help with potlight details - please ???
(i fear that no matter what I do - to code or not, he will pass/not pass at will).

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Old 12-09-2010, 04:56 PM   #2
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Ontario Electrical - potlights at rough in ???


what's an "emergency wire"?

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Old 12-09-2010, 06:10 PM   #3
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Ontario Electrical - potlights at rough in ???


That inspector is out to lunch, I would call and ask for a different inspector to come.

Like you said the rough inspection is for you can cover up your walls. If you had a wall sconce the octogon would have to be mounted for it and wired.

Like you said there is no way to intall the potlights before putting the ceiling in.

Did the inspector pass your work or does he want to come out and see it again before the drywall goes up.
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Old 12-09-2010, 06:11 PM   #4
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Ontario Electrical - potlights at rough in ???


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what's an "emergency wire"?
He is probably referring to a wire or chain used to fasten drop ceiling lights to the stucture above. This is a safety thing for fire. If the ceiling starts buckling and falling down, the lights will be supported by the safety wire.
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Old 12-09-2010, 06:12 PM   #5
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I would worry about the inspector knowing your going to have pot in your basement. Lol we call them can lights here, sounds like he is enjoying his position of power you have to go with it and play his game to get what you want. Your rough in should be good enough for 1st inspection, I would say find a friend or local contractor, speak to them about your situation and ask for there help, people tend to help if they feel someone is being messed with. Good luck ftrr
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Old 12-09-2010, 08:59 PM   #6
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Ontario Electrical - potlights at rough in ???


Hi Folks,

Thanks for your thoughts - you've affirmed for me what I thought - guy is whacked. I really hate the attitude thing. Reminds of going into the place where I work and a security guard... well you get the picture - power trip.

In response:
- no, he didn't pass. in fact, he walked into my basement and said "now this is not even close to ready. do you want to reschedule, or have me tell you your problems now?!" (prior to even LOOKING around the room).
- so will be coming back, yes.
- all I did w.r.t. the potlight was to run the wire to where they would be, tie a loop, and hang it off a nail. is that what electricians normally do?
- i agree - cannot install without the ceiling. his solution to that is that I buy the joist hangers and TEMPORARILY hang them - hangers in joists - the whole 9 yards, AND wire them TOTALLY (for a rough in inspection).

For right or wrong, I guess my problem is that I have to satisfy before he'll sign off, unless of course I can get a different inspector, as you suggest. I really made an effort to do things right too - i.e. - vapour boots on exterior wall boxes, ran cables individually through holes in studs (I know 14/2 is automagically derated, but hey, mutual inductance happens - i had the space and that new bore bit i bought rocks), etc. etc. so it was quite a bashing.

perhaps i'll take your advice all around - solicit a local elec contractor for advice (maybe have him in for a brief consultation?) and ask for a new inspector based on his behavior? (see what ESA says about that).

btw, yep- emergency wire, in case, in the event of the emergency of the ceiling dropping, the lights stay up (supposedly).
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Old 01-04-2011, 03:59 PM   #7
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Ontario Electrical - potlights at rough in ???


Uh oh. I have my ESA inspection scheduled for this Thursday and thought I'd be OK to just leave wire loops where the pots will go.

I'm doing a drywall ceiling and purchased the "pop-in" style pot lights that clip down onto the back side of the drywall. Just figured it would be easier since the drywall has been furred down from the joist space in most areas. They didn't come with the emergency wire either.

I'm not a licensed electrician so I'm expecting some corrections. I'll let you know how it goes.
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Old 01-04-2011, 07:27 PM   #8
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Ontario Electrical - potlights at rough in ???


The emergency wire is only for suspended drop ceiling. It is not required for drywall ceilings.
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Old 01-04-2011, 09:30 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by sdo View Post
Uh oh. I have my ESA inspection scheduled for this Thursday and thought I'd be OK to just leave wire loops where the pots will go.

I'm doing a drywall ceiling and purchased the "pop-in" style pot lights that clip down onto the back side of the drywall. Just figured it would be easier since the drywall has been furred down from the joist space in most areas. They didn't come with the emergency wire either.

I'm not a licensed electrician so I'm expecting some corrections. I'll let you know how it goes.
I would be very interested to hear how your inspection goes. Please do let us know...
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Old 01-04-2011, 09:38 PM   #10
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Ontario Electrical - potlights at rough in ???


Hi Folks,

So my saga continues. Here's a few highlights:
- just before xmas, received a letter from xmas threatening to disconnect my electricity on 28 Dec. (how festive eh?); you'd almost think that wouldn't be legal??
- for clarity: i have run wires, installed boxes etc. etc., all on dead circuits, wire run through studs, all dead, nothing connected to any live source or panel, and yes - threaten to disconnect
- i called ESA to 'inquire' (to put it politely); they said not to worry they wouldn't do that. (so why put it in a letter?)
- after the holidays, still trying to finish this thing off... called ESA today since i have received ANOTHER letter threatening to disconnect my electricity in a week
- guy at ESA suggested i call the senior inspector in the area to discuss, rather than schedule another inspection, so i called the senior inspector [again]
- he did not return my call all day; i called back ESA and he highlighted that most of their people are JUST starting back to work today for the first time since the holidays (I guess that's not including the people that send the threatening letters)
- still haven't heard from him, i know if i call them to come do an inspection, they are just gonna say the work is not complete (the high risk work it is on dead circuits, which obviously justifies the need to disconnect the electricity)
- i really don't have a solution

following this experience, which is not yet over, i now COMPLETELY understand why people don't get permits, call ESA, or have anything to do with them. i can tell you, i won't do it again.

hope you all have better experiences... any further advice always appreciated.

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