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Old 11-20-2009, 08:48 AM   #16
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If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times.... If you do not get permits you are putting your entire investment in your home at risk. Safety issues aside.

When I was an attorney I worked for a firm that did insurance work, the first thing we did when we had a large Home Owners insurance claim was try to find any un-permitted work that we could relate to the damage. Then the insurance company would blame the damage on the un-permitted work, deny the claim and, many times, also cancel the insurance.

No permits = risking the biggest investment of your life. That's some serious gambling.
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Old 11-20-2009, 09:19 AM   #17
 
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but the inspector is dinging him (at least with the free conductor length) for something that is clearly within code.


as to the fire alarm; that is not the electrical code (although the electrical inspector enforces it in many areas). It is a fire code and in many areas they do have rules that require the FA's be brought to current code compliance anytime any structural work is done.


meter inside a house? How does the POCO read the meter?

The meter inside or outside:

since the meter is inside, that means the service conductors are inside as well. Code requires the service conductors be brought to a disconnect as nearly as practical immediately inside the structure. If you have a meter inside, you most likely have a problem with the service conductors being inside as well. That is a serious violation in my eyes.


I am not familiar with code in your area but be sure there is not some state addendum or local addendum to the NEC that is applicable.
I'm aware that fire code isn't in the NEC, it is lumped together for inspections though and is actually in the building code for us at least.

Are electricity is fed through power poles in the alley and it runs to the roof of the house and then down conduit to the meter. Both of my neighbors have their meter in their house as well. The meter is read wirelessly just like the water meter I would assume. It makes me curious though since I believe the addition is fairly old how it was read before things were wireless or if they can pull the usage from the power pole or something.

Well I'm heading into Denver's offices today with code book in hand and pictures to see if I can't get this resolved with the head inspector for all departments. Have a meeting with him this afternoon.
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Old 11-20-2009, 09:24 AM   #18
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Don't take this wrong, but it doesn't surprise me that an insurance company would try to evade responsibility. However, I think in most cases such a strategy would be a stretch and unsupportable. If I file a claim for some damage to my 50-year-old house that could be directly linked to some work that had been done (itself a stretch), how could you prove the work was unpermitted?? Or that a permit was even required at the time the work was done?

BTW, until a year or so ago, I also lived in Easton, on Glebe Road.
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Old 11-20-2009, 09:29 AM   #19
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Zedman - good luck - hope things go your way

All the electric wire & insulation I have installed the past years is date stamped
Possibly other items are date coded
That's a pretty good way to verify when somethig was built/modified
Of course that's assuming that anything is left after a fire

That's why one of my 1st permits (2nd floor dormer) also included "update wiring in house as needed"
That basically covered me



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Old 11-20-2009, 11:00 AM   #20
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The one question I'd like to add to this, is when I get a licensed electrician they DO NOT pull permits unless absolutely necessary. I think it will be hard to say it's the homeowner when the electricians I know don't pull permits and down right get pissed off if you request they do.

My electrician didn't pull permits when he installed my house fan, when I had him add electricals to a bathroom, I had to force him to pull a permit when installing my hydronic solar heating system (it's hard to hide solar panels on your roof which automatically means plumbing & electrical as well as building and for some reason I had to pull a mechanical as well), and when talking to him about renovating my kitchen he wants to avoid pulling one there as well. The plumber didn't pull one redoing my heating system, nor replacing a bathroom, and when I told him I need one for my solar he charged me $40 for permit and $120 in "labor to fill out permit". $120 extra for labor to fill out a piece of paper!!!

Last edited by Piedmont; 11-20-2009 at 11:04 AM.
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Old 11-20-2009, 11:44 AM   #21
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The one question I'd like to add to this, is when I get a licensed electrician they DO NOT pull permits unless absolutely necessary. I think it will be hard to say it's the homeowner when the electricians I know don't pull permits and down right get pissed off if you request they do.

My electrician didn't pull permits when he installed my house fan, when I had him add electricals to a bathroom, I had to force him to pull a permit when installing my hydronic solar heating system (it's hard to hide solar panels on your roof which automatically means plumbing & electrical as well as building and for some reason I had to pull a mechanical as well), and when talking to him about renovating my kitchen he wants to avoid pulling one there as well. The plumber didn't pull one redoing my heating system, nor replacing a bathroom, and when I told him I need one for my solar he charged me $40 for permit and $120 in "labor to fill out permit". $120 extra for labor to fill out a piece of paper!!!
it is usually the homeowners liability to make sure any required permits are pulled. I can assure you, ultimately they are the party that will bear any repercussion from the lack of a permit so it is in their best interest to check with the building department to be sure whether one is required or not.

when you hire a contractor, you need to be sure that, included in the contract, the contractor does obtain any legally required permits before starting work. It is only prudent and it gives you support when you have to sue him for inferior work.
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Old 11-20-2009, 01:51 PM   #22
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My reply is to both, md2lgyk (Poster #13) and nap (Poster #14) I should have clarified my statement. Of course a lot depends on the inspector, personally how they apply the Code. Some inspectors will nitpick and be very difficult. But most inspectors are reasonable. They will look at the greater picture. Quality of work and hardship of correcting relatively minor violations. My point was that in most instances it's much easier to correct a violation than take it to Court. Of course there are some exceptions. Where the the inspector is extremely unreasonable. But then the burden of proof is on the litigant. And Precedent has to be cited, to convince the Court.
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Old 11-24-2009, 10:40 PM   #23
 
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What you don't realize is that the inspector doesn't go by whims. When he makes someone redo part of a job, there's always a code reference. Eventually those shortcomings will be discovered and someone will pay the price in terms of having to correct all outstanding code violations. The NEC itself is not enacted as part of anyone's whim. It's all tested and found to be true over the course of many years. It's all done for the sake of safety. Even if we don't understand the underlying reasons for a particular requirement. Eliminate confusion Through Education!!!
It is hilarious to hear someone suggesting inspectors dont go by whims. That would assume that bureaucrats are motivated by the common good and not by lining the pockets of their friends. In my town the good jobs are doled out to friends and family. And the building inspectors are often motivated by making work for their friends and family. Sure public safety matters to them but as a rule they act as if they are unaccounable to those who pay the taxes that pay their wages. Its who you know that matters here and i believe this is common throughout the USA.
Also hilarious to hear the lawyer reinforcing the " do as your told " line. Next it will be a banker saying that they are going to cancel your morgage for doing your own wiring!!
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Old 11-25-2009, 06:57 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Leah Frances View Post
If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times.... If you do not get permits you are putting your entire investment in your home at risk. Safety issues aside.

When I was an attorney I worked for a firm that did insurance work, the first thing we did when we had a large Home Owners insurance claim was try to find any un-permitted work that we could relate to the damage. Then the insurance company would blame the damage on the un-permitted work, deny the claim and, many times, also cancel the insurance.

No permits = risking the biggest investment of your life. That's some serious gambling.
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Old 11-25-2009, 11:44 AM   #25
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It is hilarious to hear someone suggesting inspectors dont go by whims. That would assume that bureaucrats are motivated by the common good and not by lining the pockets of their friends. In my town the good jobs are doled out to friends and family. And the building inspectors are often motivated by making work for their friends and family. Sure public safety matters to them but as a rule they act as if they are unaccounable to those who pay the taxes that pay their wages. Its who you know that matters here and i believe this is common throughout the USA.
Also hilarious to hear the lawyer reinforcing the " do as your told " line. Next it will be a banker saying that they are going to cancel your morgage for doing your own wiring!!
The funny thing about this entire controversy is that both of us are right. (To some extent). My point was that generally, when an inspector cites a homeowner or contractor it is not just because he/she "feels" like it. It's based on the NEC, in the case of electrical work performed. Of course, common sense has to be applied in all cases. And those that interpret the Code are only human, with shifting tastes and moods. But my experience with Electrical inspectors has been that the overwhelming majority are reasonable people. There is another factor, for example. An Inspector in a particular field probably spent their entire life in that trade. When they walk in on a job site they can spot the quality (or lack thereof) of the work. Especially in large cities like NYC, where the inspections are specialized by trade. a/o to smaller towns, where the Buildings Dep't usually has an Inspector for the entire structure. I'm not knocking that system, but there could be a lot less distinction netween what's important and what could be left to "slide". As far as the case of the lawyer telling the client to "Do as you're told". He was only being realistic.

Last edited by spark plug; 11-26-2009 at 12:24 PM. Reason: extra word; (double adjective).
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Old 11-25-2009, 05:48 PM   #26
 
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If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times.... If you do not get permits you are putting your entire investment in your home at risk. Safety issues aside.

When I was an attorney I worked for a firm that did insurance work, the first thing we did when we had a large Home Owners insurance claim was try to find any un-permitted work that we could relate to the damage. Then the insurance company would blame the damage on the un-permitted work, deny the claim and, many times, also cancel the insurance.

No permits = risking the biggest investment of your life. That's some serious gambling.
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Old 11-26-2009, 12:02 AM   #27
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It is hilarious to hear someone suggesting inspectors dont go by whims. That would assume that bureaucrats are motivated by the common good and not by lining the pockets of their friends. In my town the good jobs are doled out to friends and family. And the building inspectors are often motivated by making work for their friends and family. Sure public safety matters to them but as a rule they act as if they are unaccounable to those who pay the taxes that pay their wages. Its who you know that matters here and i believe this is common throughout the USA.
What a broad, ridiculous generalization you make. What goes on in your town doesn't necessarily apply everywhere else, and asserting so is simply an insult to the building codes community as a whole....A group that works real hard to make sure that people's property and lives are safeguarded from substandard work. Are there bad apples? Sure there are. Do I know any? Yes. But they're few and far between.

As for accountability....Friend, I've been deposed a number of times and have had to defend decisions I've made. I can be held PERSONALLY liable (not the City, ME) if I am negligent and it can be proven. Fortunately I don't have to worry about ethics because I've got them. Being accountable to the taxpayer often means being on the other side of the table from them in a disagreement, for their own good or for that of their neighbors. It doesn't mean that things will always go the taxpayer's way.

Personally I'm proud to work for low pay and very little thanks because I've seen the firewalls I personally inspected save lives and property, the smoke detectors I've mandated save lives, the grounding systems I checked function properly in lightning strikes, the fireblocking I fight so hard to get installed correctly keep buildings from being a complete loss in a fire, and on and on and on. The fact that a few people don't appreciate what I do doesn't keep me up nights.
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Old 11-27-2009, 11:56 AM   #28
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If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times.... If you do not get permits you are putting your entire investment in your home at risk. Safety issues aside.

When I was an attorney I worked for a firm that did insurance work, the first thing we did when we had a large Home Owners insurance claim was try to find any un-permitted work that we could relate to the damage. Then the insurance company would blame the damage on the un-permitted work, deny the claim and, many times, also cancel the insurance.

No permits = risking the biggest investment of your life. That's some serious gambling.
Leah,
I read everything preceding your post. There was no reason to read any further. Your post should be a wake up call to anyone performing or intending to perform electrical work on their home or someone else's.
Bravo!
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