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Old 05-19-2011, 04:58 AM   #1
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Upgrading thoughts


Greetings all. I have run into a situation I never encountered before and would like some advice please. I have been doing remodels in one form or another for over 30 years where I have had the pleasure to be taught by many excellent trades about electrical, plumbing, rough and finish carpentry as well as roofing. I am smart enough to know that some portions of each trade require expert knowledge which I do not have and, as such, have always pulled permits, and have had master tradesmen inspect my work prior to calling the inspectors. I leave things such as the final connections to the panels to the experts.

I recently went to the county administrative offices here in Southern Illinois to pull copies of previous plans to get an idea of what work had been donelegally and what work was not on my 1921 farmhouse. I am in the process of upgrading the electrical from a mish-mash of work done over the past 60 years plus on my 100 amp service. Did the plans, did them calcs and need 200 amps at the house main panel.

The surprise was when the administrive office informed me there were no plans or previous permits as the county doesn't have a planning/zoning department nor does the city I am near. When I asked what needed to be done the assistant told me just try not to burn down the house and barns. The only people who care about the work is the taxing authority and what they can't see don't tell them.

Has ANYONE ever encountered this before. I plan on still doing things my old way but without filing any permits as I couldn't even if I wanted to. Your thoughts?


Last edited by jagrrr; 05-19-2011 at 05:02 AM.
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Old 05-19-2011, 05:47 AM   #2
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Upgrading thoughts


I have of heard of this type of situation, but never had to deal with it.
IMO folllow the NEC code that the area is using. Document all work, Load calcs, pictures of all work before during and at completion. You can have a license electrician check the work. Just make sure cover all bases and you should be fine.

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Old 05-19-2011, 06:57 AM   #3
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Upgrading thoughts


Sounds like a contractors dream..........but what he said. Follow code, even if it is not required. You are still liable if your work causes problems. Just to be on the safe side, I usually follow what is referred to as "code plus". Overkill may cost a bit more, but safer is always better.
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Old 05-19-2011, 12:49 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by NJMarine View Post
I have of heard of this type of situation, but never had to deal with it.
IMO folllow the NEC code that the area is using. Document all work, Load calcs, pictures of all work before during and at completion. You can have a license electrician check the work. Just make sure cover all bases and you should be fine.
As I stated in the 1st paragraph, they always check my work and complete the final cut over. Ever since my neck was completely fused after 3 surgeries my hands are a bit too shaky to be mucking around in the panel!
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Old 05-19-2011, 01:18 PM   #5
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Upgrading thoughts


Aside from not being able to pull permits (I'm able to pull permits) it sounds like my house. Built 1917, the first permit was for a chicken coop, there have been plumbing and building permits - the house had a newer 100 amp service, but never once was any permit ever pulled.

In fact, I have to wonder how the service got connected since my understanding is they won't connect my upgrade until I have a green sticker from inspection on my permit.
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Old 05-19-2011, 07:50 PM   #6
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Yes, up in your state capital. Easiest way, is get the main box & meter up to date, then from there just pull the new wiring as you go to update a section at a time. The hard part, is if you go gung-ho and try to do the whole house in one week, and can't get it done for a couple of months.
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Old 05-19-2011, 09:04 PM   #7
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What's a permit?

Somewhat common in my neck of Oklahoma especially in rural areas. Better to worry about the insurance company...they tend to be the AHJ.
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Old 05-19-2011, 09:32 PM   #8
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In my neck of the woods, our insurance company pretty much states, that as long as you do not have knob & tube, they do not care. Only thing they care about, is that when you do the work, follow the guidelines set forth in the NEC. I even asked my agent if there is a discount if I go through and add AFCI's in the house, and his word was "nope."
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Old 05-19-2011, 09:34 PM   #9
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I was told I didn't need a permit to finish my basement (including electrical) here in Mount Joy, PA (Lancaster County). My house is Brand new. They said I only need one if I was adding on.
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Old 05-20-2011, 05:48 AM   #10
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I have a bit of an OT comment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jagrrr View Post
I leave things such as the final connections to the panels to the experts.
WHY is it that folks think that this is the hard part??? I hear this ALL the time. "I have someone else do the 'final hookups'". Like it is some kind of special job.

Knowing what wires to run, and where, and how many, and for what reason, is the hard part. Making up a panel is more of an artistic thing.
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Old 05-20-2011, 05:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey
I have a bit of an OT comment.

WHY is it that folks think that this is the hard part??? I hear this ALL the time. "I have someone else do the 'final hookups'". Like it is some kind of special job.

Knowing what wires to run, and where, and how many, and for what reason, is the hard part. Making up a panel is more of an artistic thing.
You are spot on correct, sir. But what is an "OT" comment? Over-the-top?
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Old 05-20-2011, 06:04 AM   #12
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Off-topic
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Old 05-21-2011, 09:25 PM   #13
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Upgrading thoughts


Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
I have a bit of an OT comment.


WHY is it that folks think that this is the hard part??? I hear this ALL the time. "I have someone else do the 'final hookups'". Like it is some kind of special job.

Knowing what wires to run, and where, and how many, and for what reason, is the hard part. Making up a panel is more of an artistic thing.
I appreciate your comment and agree with you to a point. In my case I have 2 reasons to have my work double-checked and final hook-up done by a professional. In 1976 I was tasked to write the report on an apprentice electrician airman who was fried to a crisp while working on the main panel for the new commissary. Trust me, not a smell or sight to forget; I also sustained numerous injuries during my miltary service where it just makes sense (to me at least) to have my work double-checked.

I am a firm believer the more I learn the more I realize how little I know. Besides, you've never seen me draw!

Last edited by jagrrr; 05-21-2011 at 09:29 PM.
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Old 05-22-2011, 01:12 AM   #14
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Upgrading thoughts


Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
I have a bit of an OT comment.


WHY is it that folks think that this is the hard part??? I hear this ALL the time. "I have someone else do the 'final hookups'". Like it is some kind of special job.

Knowing what wires to run, and where, and how many, and for what reason, is the hard part. Making up a panel is more of an artistic thing.
I've heard these stories too, but I've never believed them. Why would a EC, or a Master put his neck out, having worked hard to get his license, keep it renewed, and risk his own career to hook up a system of wiring that he didn't do or supervise? Especially on jobs where much of the wiring is now covered by wallboard, why would he risk hooking up what could be bad wiring?

This is no reflection on the OP, just rambling.
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Old 05-22-2011, 08:47 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by sirsparksalot View Post
I've heard these stories too, but I've never believed them. Why would a EC, or a Master put his neck out, having worked hard to get his license, keep it renewed, and risk his own career to hook up a system of wiring that he didn't do or supervise? Especially on jobs where much of the wiring is now covered by wallboard, why would he risk hooking up what could be bad wiring?

This is no reflection on the OP, just rambling.
I agree completely. That is why I make all arrangements prior to beginning the work and we to milestones that must be reached and inspected prior to any coverings being completed. Another reason I do it correctly by doing all calcs and circuit maps for review before I begin doing the work. Once I build a relationship with someone they know my abilities and weaknesses. I believe codes are the minimum standard.

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