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Old 11-23-2019, 09:20 PM   #1
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How would you guys handle this situation?
To explain the site conditions will take time. I will just say it involves a 320 amp residential service, a 45 kva generator, solar panels.
Someone called me to look at a new installation that was 6 months old. The homeowner is a contractor but not an electrician. He was uncomfortable with the installation. Within 4 seconds I saw several major electrical violations. 3R and 4X equipment with holes punched out on the top without the proper water tight hubs. Only PVC terminal adapters. Hole punched in the sides of the transfer switches that prevented to covers from closing. No generator or photovoltaic system disconnect on the house. The generator is about 150 feet from the house and the solar panels and inverters are about 300 feet from the house. I can go on.
The problem is, licensed electricians did the work and the HO has an electrical inspection certificate. The homeowner is going to be spending a lot of money to fix what he already paid for. Here, there are private third party inspectors and there are several companies that do it. Should I call the electrician and educate him? Call the electrical inspector and ask him to do a better job? Mind my own business? In my opinion these electricians are no better than the guy working out of the trunk of his car. There are a lot of generators going in and I wonder how many are done correctly. I have seen a lot of Symphony service rated transfer switches with out the main bonding jumper installed.
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Old 11-23-2019, 09:32 PM   #2
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I doubt you'll get anywhere with the EC and definitely not the inspection service as far as recourse to correct these violations. And I seriously doubt you'll be able to educate that electrician. As the saying goes, "You can't fix stupid."

I am a strong believer in "buyer beware" and there's really no excuse not to do your due diligence with contractors, especially these days.
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Old 11-23-2019, 09:33 PM   #3
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Unless the homeowner is paying you to do it, I don’t see why you would call the electrician or the inspector.
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Old 11-23-2019, 09:45 PM   #4
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Submit the results of your “evaluation” to the customer. He can decide what to do from there. If he wants to phone the AHJ, that’s up to him. If you contact the AHJ, chances are that the inspector you bitched about will be on your next job.

Contacting the EC is pointless.
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Old 11-23-2019, 09:59 PM   #5
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Take pictures. Take them to the building department, and raise holy hell. Tell the homeowner to lawyer up, and sue that electrician. Leave the pictures for discovery. Charge accordingly.
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Old 11-23-2019, 10:05 PM   #6
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Take pictures. Take them to the building department, and raise holy hell. Tell the homeowner to lawyer up, and sue that electrician. Leave the pictures for discovery. Charge accordingly.
Completely disagree. The property owner can be the chit disturber. As a contractor, I wouldn’t be the one taking on city hall.
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Old 11-23-2019, 10:07 PM   #7
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Completely disagree. The property owner can be the chit disturber. As a contractor, I wouldn’t be the one taking on city hall.
Very wise.
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Old 11-23-2019, 10:08 PM   #8
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Take pictures. Take them to the building department, and raise holy hell. Tell the homeowner to lawyer up, and sue that electrician. Leave the pictures for discovery. Charge accordingly.

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Old 11-23-2019, 10:15 PM   #9
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Take pictures. Take them to the building department, and raise holy hell. Tell the homeowner to lawyer up, and sue that electrician. Leave the pictures for discovery. Charge accordingly.
The building department stops caring once the fees are paid. It's nothing more than a revenue stream for them. Oh, once in a while they'll make a show of it with enforcement of some sort, but that's about it.
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Old 11-23-2019, 10:37 PM   #10
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99 cents. I almost always like your comments. They have witt. Must be the Canadian air.
The home owner said he might try to recoup his money. I went through the code sections with him and showed him what I was going to do. I worked with the HO before and he thought he hired the right people. I am getting paid for my work. It is just a shame these nice jobs are are done wrong the first time.
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Old 11-24-2019, 12:59 AM   #11
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99 cents. I almost always like your comments. They have witt. Must be the Canadian air.
The home owner said he might try to recoup his money. I went through the code sections with him and showed him what I was going to do. I worked with the HO before and he thought he hired the right people. I am getting paid for my work. It is just a shame these nice jobs are are done wrong the first time.
Let me clarify. Whoever the inspector was needs to be terminated. The city needs to be informed that this guy is dangerous and is going to cost the city in lawsuits, property damage, life safety issues, injuries, etc. He's a menace. If he was doing his job, these "nice jobs" wouldn't be done wrong, or they would be corrected without costing the customer a fortune. As it is, it's going to cost him in legal fee's because whoever the electrician was that did that shoddy work isn't going to fix it without a legal challenge. And he shouldn't be allowed to continue screwing people, and getting away with it.
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Old 11-24-2019, 08:16 AM   #12
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Let me clarify. Whoever the inspector was needs to be terminated. The city needs to be informed that this guy is dangerous and is going to cost the city in lawsuits, property damage, life safety issues, injuries, etc. He's a menace. If he was doing his job, these "nice jobs" wouldn't be done wrong, or they would be corrected without costing the customer a fortune. As it is, it's going to cost him in legal fee's because whoever the electrician was that did that shoddy work isn't going to fix it without a legal challenge. And he shouldn't be allowed to continue screwing people, and getting away with it.
You seem to live in a fantasy land.
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Old 11-24-2019, 08:22 AM   #13
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Inspectors are humans. There are good ones and there are bad ones. Same goes for anything else involving humans.

Make the guy a punch list and tell him what you'll charge to change it.

To go to war with the inspectors is foolish.
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Old 11-24-2019, 08:26 AM   #14
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Inspectors are humans. There are good ones and there are bad ones. Same goes for anything else involving humans.

Make the guy a punch list and tell him what you'll charge to change it.

To go to war with the inspectors is foolish.
In ways they are like police. They are just humans doing a job, but they have authority over people and can be incredibly detrimental to their lives. And when they do their jobs incorrectly, they are infringing on people's rights. Inspectors making bad calls can cost contractors or homeowners thousands, or tens of thousands. And much like with the police, they cover each other's backs.

When it is shown to the building department that an inspector's wrong call cost a homeowner thousands of dollars more, what happens?

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Old 11-24-2019, 08:45 AM   #15
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Here, there are private third party inspectors and there are several companies that do it.
What connection do they have with the town? Does the town hire them? Maybe the town should be educated on their inspection incompetence?

Can the homeowner file a complaint with the division of consumer affairs? Does the DCA govern the board of electrical contractors in your state?
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Old 11-24-2019, 09:11 AM   #16
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In ways they are like police. They are just humans doing a job, but they have authority over people and can be incredibly detrimental to their lives. And when they do their jobs incorrectly, they are infringing on people's rights. Inspectors making bad calls can cost contractors or homeowners thousands, or tens of thousands. And much like with the police, they cover each other's backs.

When it is shown to the building department that an inspector's wrong call cost a homeowner thousands of dollars more, what happens?
Great points and a very valid question.

I'd suggest the cleanup EC document everything with pictures and notes and identify which items are code requirements and which are best practices or subjective, such as the "neat and workmanship" clause.

Then the homeowner should be the one to attack city hall. It happens all the time.

I'm saying if the cleanup EC attacks city hall, it's going to very possibly be to his detriment in the long run. Humans get defensive and offensive when attacked. Attack the bldg dept and they may attack back. Not saying it's right, just saying the opportunity is there.
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Old 11-24-2019, 09:40 AM   #17
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Let me clarify. Whoever the inspector was needs to be terminated. The city needs to be informed that this guy is dangerous and is going to cost the city in lawsuits, property damage, life safety issues, injuries, etc. He's a menace. If he was doing his job, these "nice jobs" wouldn't be done wrong, or they would be corrected without costing the customer a fortune. As it is, it's going to cost him in legal fee's because whoever the electrician was that did that shoddy work isn't going to fix it without a legal challenge. And he shouldn't be allowed to continue screwing people, and getting away with it.
This might be true but, as a contractor, I don’t want to be the messenger. Property owners do have some clout at city hall. Their name is on title and they pay property taxes. Let the HO fight the fight if he’s so inclined.

I spent two days cleaning up deficiencies on a new house once. I never even thought about contacting the city or the original EC. The owner just wanted it made right.

My relationship with city hall is simple. I buy permits from them and they send out an inspector. I like to keep it that way. No room for drama.

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Old 11-24-2019, 10:21 AM   #18
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In ways they are like police. They are just humans doing a job, but they have authority over people and can be incredibly detrimental to their lives. And when they do their jobs incorrectly, they are infringing on people's rights. Inspectors making bad calls can cost contractors or homeowners thousands, or tens of thousands. And much like with the police, they cover each other's backs.

When it is shown to the building department that an inspector's wrong call cost a homeowner thousands of dollars more, what happens?
I agree totally. That little bit of authority that inspectors have often goes right to their head too. This is why.....always avoid permits whenever possible.
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Old 11-24-2019, 11:00 AM   #19
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Some areas the electrical inspection is not done by the Town.. It is done by private, third party agencies. Here there are seven agencies. This works well most of the time if all agencies are on the same page. You have better service and quicker response time. The downside is if one agency writes too many violations then you switch agencies until you find the weak inspector. How can you inspect a house at the final in 10 minutes?

I was looking at an old forum on electrical violations. Some were from several years ago. I see that I am not alone finding serious installations that passed inspection.
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Old 11-24-2019, 12:13 PM   #20
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I would not hesitate to work as a consultant answering the customer's questions. Your license qualifies you to answer these questions. Correcting non-compliant installations is normal regular electrician work.



However, I would not want to put myself out there as an inspector, there are places where that requires specific licensing etc., not to mention insurance.



I'd be providing a formal, written estimate listing code violations and other deficiencies found at the customer's direction.



If it's a real **** show, I might include a blurb in the estimate indicating that I did not perform an inspection, do not provide that service, and recommend that they have an inspection done, by an inspector, to see if there are other issues that need attention.



Wouldn't even think about dealing with the electrician. Unless it happened to be a friend of mine. That's between them and the homeowner. I would not see that going well.



I'd only go to the AHJ if there was some imminent immediate danger, and the homeowner refused to shut down and get it fixed.
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