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Old 01-01-2014, 05:55 PM   #1
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wiring basement - what can I do before the electrician?


I live in Maryland and only a licensed electrician can pull an electrical permit. I am finishing my basement and am trying to keep the costs low. I already placed the blue electrical boxes for outlets and switches in the studs and am currently drilling holes to run the wire. Should I run the wire to try and reduce the cost of an electrician? My main reason for the electrician is to ensure they pull the permit, add 2 breakers for the outlets in the basement and then rewire the switches to different lights. Any recommendations to try and reduce the electrical cost?

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Old 01-01-2014, 06:01 PM   #2
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If you are capable of following the information that the code office gave you, on their requirements for how far back on the studs, etc that the holes for the wires need to be, the boxes that they would like to have used for the job, if nailing plates are required, every place that there is a penetration through a stud or joist for the Romex, Conduit, BX, AC, MX, etc as required for your area.

You could have an Electrician come in and tell you what you need to do, inspect the job before the Code officer comes back to check off on the job, and then come back for a pre-inspection when you install outlets, light switches, etc., again before the code officer comes back to sign off.

It will cost you more for doing the job of the Electrician, or it may no, depending on how full their plate is, if you feel like pulling the wires and putting in the boxes yourself.

An Electrician will be cheaper on parts & materials, because they buy the stuff in bulk, not piece meal.

Check with your code office, on what the requirements are for a home owner in performing the work, if you feel that you think it will save you a few dollars.

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Old 01-01-2014, 07:08 PM   #3
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wiring basement - what can I do before the electrician?


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I live in Maryland and only a licensed electrician can pull an electrical permit. I am finishing my basement and am trying to keep the costs low. I already placed the blue electrical boxes for outlets and switches in the studs and am currently drilling holes to run the wire. Should I run the wire to try and reduce the cost of an electrician? My main reason for the electrician is to ensure they pull the permit, add 2 breakers for the outlets in the basement and then rewire the switches to different lights. Any recommendations to try and reduce the electrical cost?
Where I live, a Master electrician with the backing of a licensed EC is required to pull the permit. Only someone employed by that EC is allowed to do the work. It would be against state code for you to do any sort of wiring under their permit.

Do not do anything more. You may think you are saving them time, but in reality they have to double check your wiring/layout meets code and may end up costing you more.

Here's an example...

Many homeowner done basements are furred 2x2 walls. Then they buy those little blue shallow boxes to fit in those furred walls. When in reality, those little blue shallow boxes are not legal to install a device in. The box fill isn't rated for wire and a device. You could make a splice in those boxes, but you wouldn't be able to install the receptacle. So all those boxes are now junk.

Get a licensed EC over there. Talk to them. Ask them if they are willing to do anything to help you keep costs down.
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Old 01-01-2014, 07:53 PM   #4
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wiring basement - what can I do before the electrician?


It depends on the EC. Some will not allow any of the work to be done by others.
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Old 01-01-2014, 07:58 PM   #5
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wiring basement - what can I do before the electrician?


I would not have even set the boxes. You might have saved someone 15 minutes, and I bet some of them are wrong. How did you know where to put them?

Folks think doing the "grunt work" will save all kinds of money when you probably only saved a few dollars and might have even caused more work.

My recommendation to save money? Stay out of his way.
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Old 01-01-2014, 08:20 PM   #6
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I would not have even set the boxes. You might have saved someone 15 minutes, and I bet some of them are wrong. How did you know where to put them?

Folks think doing the "grunt work" will save all kinds of money when you probably only saved a few dollars and might have even caused more work.

My recommendation to save money? Stay out of his way.
Using the 6-12 rule 18 inches from the floor to the top of the box.
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Old 01-01-2014, 08:23 PM   #7
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wiring basement - what can I do before the electrician?


Thanks for the advice everyone, I'll be contacting some electricians to get this basement up to snuff.
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Old 01-01-2014, 08:25 PM   #8
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wiring basement - what can I do before the electrician?


Just make sure the working space is as clean as possible and plenty of temp light set up.
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Old 01-01-2014, 08:45 PM   #9
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wiring basement - what can I do before the electrician?


I can't believe these nanny states that don't allow a homeowner to do any work on their own property! I fully understand the need for inspections to ensure the safety of the work but I don't understand it anyway the need to pay the exorbitant fees required to use a Master Electrician and/or the services of a EC. I wish somebody would please explain the rationale of this type of thinking to me.
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Old 01-01-2014, 09:33 PM   #10
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wiring basement - what can I do before the electrician?


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I I wish somebody would please explain the rationale of this type of thinking to me.
its simple = money. they want as much of yours/mine as they can get. so they pay the politicians to make the rules they want.
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Old 01-01-2014, 09:43 PM   #11
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wiring basement - what can I do before the electrician?


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Originally Posted by Msradell View Post
I can't believe these nanny states that don't allow a homeowner to do any work on their own property! I fully understand the need for inspections to ensure the safety of the work but I don't understand it anyway the need to pay the exorbitant fees required to use a Master Electrician and/or the services of a EC. I wish somebody would please explain the rationale of this type of thinking to me.
My cottage had 3 15a heaters installed with #12 on a 50a breaker, and my old house had both parts on a multiwire circuit on the same leg.

My new house seems to be good electrically, but both the furnace and water heater were installed wrong. I called the building inspector and he apologized as he doesn't know the code very well, and assumes the contractors do. (the HVAC contractor fixed it for free, even though it was 6 years old, because it was so grossly unprofessional. I couldn't find out who the plumber was.)

I am not sure the system is tough enough.
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Old 01-01-2014, 09:53 PM   #12
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wiring basement - what can I do before the electrician?


Suppose a HI does part of an install and an electrician does the rest. If there is a problem, who is on the hook?

Suppose you wire it youself, and then sell it. Who is on the hook?

I'm not saying I agree with it, but I understand some of the thinking.
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Old 01-01-2014, 09:54 PM   #13
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wiring basement - what can I do before the electrician?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Msradell View Post
I can't believe these nanny states that don't allow a homeowner to do any work on their own property! I fully understand the need for inspections to ensure the safety of the work but I don't understand it anyway the need to pay the exorbitant fees required to use a Master Electrician and/or the services of a EC. I wish somebody would please explain the rationale of this type of thinking to me.
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There are many homeowners that shouldn't own a single tool. I just finished a job where I gutted a sun room that was done by homeowners piss poor. Forget that the whole aspect of the job was done like sh@#, but just in the electric part of it! I'm surprised the house hasn't burned down. Abandoned wires hanging in the walls that were still hot, splices consisting of wires twisted together and taped inside the walls, improper sized wire, Romex clamps missing, I could go on and on. This is the third room in this house I've done and I found the same thing in the other two. So here's one example why some cities don't allow homeowners to do their own wiring.
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Old 01-01-2014, 09:55 PM   #14
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wiring basement - what can I do before the electrician?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Msradell View Post
I can't believe these nanny states that don't allow a homeowner to do any work on their own property! I fully understand the need for inspections to ensure the safety of the work but I don't understand it anyway the need to pay the exorbitant fees required to use a Master Electrician and/or the services of a EC. I wish somebody would please explain the rationale of this type of thinking to me.
We've gone over this and over this. There are arguments on both sides that make sense. Personally, I'm against it homeowners doing their own work. The reason is, most, yes I say most do not pull their own permits. Thus their work is not inspected.

Once a homeowner pulls his first permit and passes inspections, they are more likely to not pull permits further down the line.

If a state or community states that a homeowner cannot do electrical work, that doesn't mean it doesn't happen. Of course it does. You will never eliminate it. It does, however, eliminate people thinking they can do it.

I'm against it because no one owns a home forever. It will be sold. Once the drywall goes up, you have no idea what is behind it. When there is a problem with plumbing, you get wet or there is water damage. When there is a problem with electrical, people can die.

I know I'm in the minority with this thinking here on this site and I'm OK with that.
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Old 01-01-2014, 10:02 PM   #15
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wiring basement - what can I do before the electrician?


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Originally Posted by Msradell View Post
I can't believe these nanny states that don't allow a homeowner to do any work on their own property! I fully understand the need for inspections to ensure the safety of the work but I don't understand it anyway the need to pay the exorbitant fees required to use a Master Electrician and/or the services of a EC. I wish somebody would please explain the rationale of this type of thinking to me.
Hang on a second -- no where does the OP say he can't work on his own property. What he says is "only a licensed electrician can pull an electrical permit."

I've discussed this with my local wiring inspector - in MA. He won't issue a permit to a homeowner because he can't. The application (MA state form) requires a licensed electricians signature and he can't change that.

The problem is that without a permit he also won't inspect the work. One would think that most homeowners would really like the opportunity to have their work inspected - if not for insurance purposes but also just for peace of mind. But, no. The law is not written that way.

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