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Old 12-05-2009, 06:08 PM   #16
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Sold condo just realized it had a code violation


I'm not trying to bust your balls, dave, and applaud you for wanting to do the right thing. In todays world, most people would simply tell you to not worry about it and realistically, that may be the best thing to do.

You may open a can of worms by saying anything and it may never be a problem.

if you feel guilty enough to want to really tell them, then tell them but understand it could have some legal implications. Just as well, it may not. I obviously do not have all the facts to really give you a unerring answer and never would without a lot of research and info from you and this forum is not the place to get that deep into this type of problem.

One thing you really need to understand about our legal system though:

just about anybody can sue just about anybody else for just about anything. Winning is a different story but it still takes time, effort, and usually money to defend a suit, even when you are 100% in the right.

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Old 12-05-2009, 06:15 PM   #17
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Sold condo just realized it had a code violation


Well I'm in CT and am not sure on wire splices. Its a tough decision as I want to do the right thing without as people mentioned opening a can of worms. I would have never thought of it had I not watched the HGTV show this morning. And half of those hidden boxes were not covered. </br>
FYI the house on HGTV was so much of a mess, they will be continuing the episode on HGTV and it would be worth while to check this out. Sewage, plumbing, electrical is way out of whack and the owners are in a hotel I believe. </br>

Last edited by Dave0009; 12-05-2009 at 06:33 PM.
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Old 12-05-2009, 11:27 PM   #18
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Sold condo just realized it had a code violation


Must be watching Holmes on Homes.
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Old 12-05-2009, 11:48 PM   #19
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Sold condo just realized it had a code violation


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So y'all are saying that you can't have hidden connections on low voltage devices?
Precisely. I was going to jump in and ask the question of whether the thermostat ran on line Voltage (120v.) or low voltage. (Typically 24v. Being below the threshold of 50v. as spelled out in the NEC). If it were the former, then there is a violation, and should be corrected. (The responsible party is to be argued by lawyers.) but if the latter is the case. Then, there's no violation to speak of. And a junction box (for splicing the wire) was not required in the first place. (No matter what) Don't Drink and Drive, Ever!!!
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Old 12-05-2009, 11:59 PM   #20
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Sold condo just realized it had a code violation


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I am taking it that dave knows that it is illegal but why I believe the install is illegal is:



many electric heat systems use line voltage thermostats. I presume this was such a situation.
Yes. But the distinction has to be made between line voltage and low voltage. Presuming that the (buried) cable was line voltage, there is a way to repair this problem without removing that beam. Besides, I don't think the (original) installer (even if he was located) would remember exactly where he put the box. Some jobs I remember from 25 years ago. Most others, I forgot what the place looks like.
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Old 12-06-2009, 12:05 AM   #21
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Sold condo just realized it had a code violation


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Electric heat = 240v lines usually - not something I'd want hidden & buried
Yes. But some (not sure of the percentage, but probably most) heating and cooling control systems run on 24v. Via transformer & relay.
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Old 12-06-2009, 12:16 AM   #22
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Sold condo just realized it had a code violation


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I'm not trying to bust your balls, dave, and applaud you for wanting to do the right thing. In todays world, most people would simply tell you to not worry about it and realistically, that may be the best thing to do.

You may open a can of worms by saying anything and it may never be a problem.

if you feel guilty enough to want to really tell them, then tell them but understand it could have some legal implications. Just as well, it may not. I obviously do not have all the facts to really give you a unerring answer and never would without a lot of research and info from you and this forum is not the place to get that deep into this type of problem.

One thing you really need to understand about our legal system though:

just about anybody can sue just about anybody else for just about anything. Winning is a different story but it still takes time, effort, and usually money to defend a suit, even when you are 100% in the right.
Whereas in the Canadian system (of Justice) and some European courts, the losing party must repay the expenses of the winner. + Court costs. So people are in no rush to bring frivolous lawsuits, thus voiding paying a high price. This is essentially one of the things that "Tort Reform" was going to accomplish here in the Good Ol' USA! (No matter what) Don't Drink and Drive, Ever!!!
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Old 12-06-2009, 07:08 AM   #23
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Sold condo just realized it had a code violation


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Whereas in the Canadian system (of Justice) and some European courts, the losing party must repay the expenses of the winner. + Court costs. So people are in no rush to bring frivolous lawsuits, thus voiding paying a high price. This is essentially one of the things that "Tort Reform" was going to accomplish here in the Good Ol' USA! (No matter what) Don't Drink and Drive, Ever!!!
I am not a big supporter of that. It does prevent frivolous suits but it also prevents a lot of righteous suits as well. A suit does not always have a loser but it always has a plaintiff that either won or didn't win. A lot of suits are righteous but for whatever reason, the plaintiff that truly is in the right does not win. That would mean they pay the losers costs in the Canadian system so in reality, they are punished for not being able to win, even though they truly were an aggrieved party.

We already have an action available to a defendant in many situations if the suit was truly frivolous. If the defendant truly is the subject of a frivolous suit, they can sue the plaintiff for malicious prosecution to recoup their costs. That way, the plaintiff/counter-defendant has to prove there was merit to their original case. If there was but they simply could not sustain the burden of proof required to prevail, they are not penalized for utilizing the courts to attempt to be compensated for their injuries.
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Old 12-06-2009, 07:21 AM   #24
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Sold condo just realized it had a code violation


To elaborate further, the wire was 14 gage and ran through the floor of a small loft to the electric 120 v baseboard heater. Its a small loft about 150 sq ft. The wire goes to the electric heater control switch/thermostat. All thats needed is to lift a piece of plywood, cut a hole in it, and screw a plate over the hole.---- I could also write to someone and simply provide a basic sketch telling them this unit has a concealed junction box at this particular location. Who is to say when it was put in. I did notify the management of the construction but they didn't want to be bothered unless I was doing structural changes.

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Old 12-06-2009, 07:57 AM   #25
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Sold condo just realized it had a code violation


I vote for saying nothing "to nobody" and doing nothing.

In the rare event someone comes after you you have at least two excuses,

1. The statute of limitations has run out,

2. "I did not know it was against code when I sold the condo unit let alone at the time i did it.

There are a lot of situations, including resuming paying off of an old debt, that causes the statute of limitations to start all over from day one. Be careful waking up sleeping dogs or opening cans of worms.
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Old 12-06-2009, 08:19 AM   #26
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Thanks Allan Let me be glad its in a metal junction box fully closed and not over packed (fairly big box for the job). I have done a little research and there are a few houses out there with splices with no junction boxes and hidden at that.

Quite funny how om TV show suddenly jogs my memory and opens a can of worms.


An yes jbfan, I was watching Holmes on Homes. I want to start a real estate career and maybe do home inspection also. It was my first time watching the show and obviously was quite educational.

Last edited by Dave0009; 12-06-2009 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:15 AM   #27
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Sold condo just realized it had a code violation


I would say it depends on you and what you stand for. If you are gonna tell them than tell them. Many say don't wake a sleeping dog and keep your mouth shut, my only question is could you live with yourself if something went bad. I would make them aware of it and offer to pay whatever to make it accessible. You say its only cover by a piece of plywood so it can easily be done. While they may not be able to sue you after so many yrs are you sure they could not charge you in criminal court if something goes wrong?
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Old 12-06-2009, 11:00 AM   #28
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Sold condo just realized it had a code violation


You bring up a good point. I need to know how to go about it. I'm not to sure how to make the approach. I could not live with myself if a problem arose and thats what is bothering me.


Who do I contact and how do I contact them. Do I send a letter to the unit, do I need to contact the city and see if a permit was needed etc.

Do I inform them then haggle with the cost if they try and make an exaggerated claim of exuberant expenses etc.

I could inform them and not offer to pay and let them sue me in civil court if I feel the expenses are too high.

I could also inform them and the city anonymously and not tell them who I am and let them chase me if they want me to pay but at least they are being informed. And contacting both the city and the unit, will prevent them form ignoring the problem.

Last edited by Dave0009; 12-06-2009 at 11:09 AM.
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Old 12-06-2009, 11:06 AM   #29
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Sold condo just realized it had a code violation


To me the best thing to do would be to just call them and say look this was done before i sold you the condo. It may never be a problem but i want to make you aware that i just realized that it is against code. I would be willing to send someone over at my cost to make this box accessible. The may be so impressed that you told them that they don't even want you to cover the cost. We dont know they may have already remodeled this. You will be able to sleep at night and if they want it repaired it won't cost you a ton!
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Old 12-06-2009, 11:22 AM   #30
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Sold condo just realized it had a code violation


Thanks. Well after 7 years I don't know if the original owner who I sold to still lives at the condo. They may be renting it out. I have no idea of the phone number to call them or what their name is.

I may have to travel up to the city and get some land records etc.

But I could write a letter if appropriate. And yes I could hire another handy man to pull up the carpet and plywood and install a plate.

I'm also concerned if a permit was needed as I one was not pulled. I only asked the handyman to reposition the thermostat and wasn't aware he put in a splice and junction box until after I got the bill which I don't have anymore.

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