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Old 12-05-2009, 10:10 AM   #1
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Sold condo just realized it had a code violation


7 years ago I owned a condo and I turned an open area loft into a closed room. This required relocation of the electric heat thermostat control. The wiring could not be pulled out so a plywood piece of the floor was lifted and the wire was cut and spliced using a junction box, wire nuts, and electrical tape for redundancy. The job was complete and the plywood screwed down and the floor re-carpeted.

Watching HGTV this morning and seeing them rip apart a house with 18 concealed junction boxes in just one room, makes me realize that the junction box put into my condo was concealed also.


The condo did pass inspection 7 years ago when I sold it, but that doesn't correct this electrical code violation.

I know 7 years is a long time and I wonder if I should send a letter to the person residing in that condo with a diagram of where the junction box is and just informing them and let them proceed as they wish.

I am not too sure where my liability comes in play here. I wouldn't have the slightest idea were to locate the handy man I hired to put in the junction box.

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Old 12-05-2009, 10:20 AM   #2
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Sold condo just realized it had a code violation


Yes the install was Illegal. I don't know if i would claim liability has been 7 years But it would be nice being the new homeowner to know that there is a box under the plywood.kind of a dilemma to do or not ? There are alot of smart people here so wait and see what they think.


Last edited by 300zx; 12-05-2009 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 12-05-2009, 10:24 AM   #3
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Sold condo just realized it had a code violation


I'd send the letter, make sure you state someone was hired to do this (unknown ?) & you just realized it was a code violation after seeing the episode on TV
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Old 12-05-2009, 10:40 AM   #4
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Sold condo just realized it had a code violation


do you guys realize this may make Dave liable for the repair?


Without checking any statutes that may be involved, this would be considered a latent defect and in many states, the statutes of limitations that limit the time a claim can be made are often tolled (put on hold) for latent defects.
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Old 12-05-2009, 10:45 AM   #5
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Sold condo just realized it had a code violation


So y'all are saying that you can't have hidden connections on low voltage devices?
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Old 12-05-2009, 11:14 AM   #6
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Sold condo just realized it had a code violation


Yeah, I don't think it's a problem due to being a thermostat run. Nevertheless, while I appluade your sence of doing the right thing, I would let sleepings dogs stay snoozing... no notification.
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Old 12-05-2009, 11:15 AM   #7
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Sold condo just realized it had a code violation


Quote:
Originally Posted by pyper View Post
So y'all are saying that you can't have hidden connections on low voltage devices?
I am taking it that dave knows that it is illegal but why I believe the install is illegal is:

Quote:
electric heat thermostat control.
many electric heat systems use line voltage thermostats. I presume this was such a situation.
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Old 12-05-2009, 11:47 AM   #8
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Sold condo just realized it had a code violation


Quote:
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This required relocation of the electric heat thermostat control
Electric heat = 240v lines usually - not something I'd want hidden & buried
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Old 12-05-2009, 01:24 PM   #9
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Sold condo just realized it had a code violation


if it was low votage I would not worry about it. Becasuse low votage is not limited to boxes. However if it was high voltage, well not so good.

Last edited by Saturday Cowboy; 12-05-2009 at 02:09 PM.
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Old 12-05-2009, 01:25 PM   #10
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Sold condo just realized it had a code violation


Actually its a baseboard electric heater going off the standard 120 V wit a 20 amp breaker. I was thinking of sending an anonymous letter to the unit. I bought the condo as a foreclosure and maybe the letter could imply that a previous owner installed it if I don't mention the other work and just inform of the junction box.

Dear present unit tenant/owner - there is a electrical junction box at this location etc etc. I'm informing you of this as I understand it should have access. All it will require is pulling up a plywood panel and making an opening with a removable plate. This is your decision if you want to make it accessible but I would like to do my part to inform you. I hired a handyman to do the work and have only learned now via watching a home improvement show that the box should have been made accessible. </p>

Last edited by Dave0009; 12-05-2009 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 12-05-2009, 03:25 PM   #11
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Sold condo just realized it had a code violation


it wouldn't matter if you told them anonymously or not if the latent defect situation applies. What matters is when they found out and what the statute of limitations says to that.

so, if you are going to tell them, you might as well tell them it is you. It really doesn't matter.
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Old 12-05-2009, 05:36 PM   #12
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Sold condo just realized it had a code violation


But I only realized this morning that the installation was defective and would have spent $10 to put in a plate or something to make it right had I known it was a defective. So I wasn't aware of the latent defect.
<b> There is no automatic right for a buyer to claim against a seller for such latent defects when they are discovered, absent an agreement in contract. However, if a latent defect is discovered, there is often a presumption against the seller when a claim is made in misrepresentation that the seller knew about the latent defect. As such, the seller is required to show that he or she could not possibly have known of the defect, rather than the buyer having to show that the seller did know about the defect. However, if it can be shown the seller could not have known about the defect (and was not wilfully blind to the possibility) then the buyer's claim will not succeed.&quot;</br>

Last edited by Dave0009; 12-05-2009 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 12-05-2009, 05:43 PM   #13
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Sold condo just realized it had a code violation


Forget it. Why open yourself up to liablility that may have already been repaired.
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Old 12-05-2009, 05:47 PM   #14
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Sold condo just realized it had a code violation


The sales contracts I signed when we purchased my house basically said I waived my right to sue the previous owners for anything wrong with the place. Check your sales contract.
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Old 12-05-2009, 05:55 PM   #15
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Sold condo just realized it had a code violation


let me take a different tack on this:


are electrical inspections required in your area?

are electrical permits required in your area for the type of work done?

did you have an electrical permit?

did you have an electrical inspection and told the inspector about the hidden box?

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