Electrician Talk banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

· Registered
Residential and commercial services, troubleshooting , lighting and design
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a problem with a homeowner who doesnt want the old service mast , which was installed through the roof, to be cut off under the roof and the roof patched. He just wants it capped but the building inspector wants it cut and the meter base which is flush with the brick to be sealed. The homeowner now has a lateral service. I pulled the permit. I told the homeowner that this is what is needed as required by code but he still will not pay to have it done.
I have also replaced the load center from an old GE to a new Eaton In the basement. The old GE is next to the new and is rigid metal piped to the outside meter base.
The basement is an electrical nightmare of old extension cords and junction boxes from decades of DIY. I stripped most of it away and now the homeowner wants me to reconnect in the new load center the old branch circuit wires. I had divided the work into two phases; the new service, then rebuild and demolition. The existing circuits are looping through several rooms from the basement, and the attic has junctuon boxes from Hell, and lol snake skins are looped through the insulation. I told him that it is a requirement to have a light and receptacle to service the load center and he referred to my portable light. This man is not in any way strapped to afford quality but it seems that he cant keep a contractor. I know that I will not get a final inspection until that old service is gone.
My problem is this: Isn’t there a code section that states all of the old service entrance and panel be removed to pass inspection? They never lost power to the house, and I am building the new panel schedule with both panels live, then I will remove the jumper and breaker feeding the old one when I have all of the old circuits removed and fed from the new panel.
Did I trap myself? It is common in this area for mechanical and plumbing contractors to come in and do work without a permit.
 

· Registered
Arsholeprentice
Joined
·
7,501 Posts
Sorry, but you won't find an NEC code that requires the old mast and meter be removed. Sealing them off is acceptable to code, and quite a common occurrence in many situations.

Slap cap or weather head on the mast and a seal on the meter and you are done. I the inspector throws a fit, tell him to cite a code, unless it is local, he will be searching for a while.

EDIT: The inspector can request you remove the wires, but not necessarily the mast. The sealing of the meter as he has requested is easy, a $5 plastic meter seal.
 

· Registered
Master Electrician
Joined
·
595 Posts
So you installed a new service and now they want you to patch the roof and fix the brick because there are electrical parts there? It sounds like they are trying to take advantage of you. The furthest I would go is ripping out the old service equipment and leave a gaping hole in the roof and the side of the house. If there is no electrical equipment then there's nothing for you to cap. If they want to play games, play games.
 

· Registered
Residential, lite comm., Industrial
Joined
·
5,490 Posts
I have a problem with a homeowner who doesnt want the old service mast , which was installed through the roof, to be cut off under the roof and the roof patched. He just wants it capped but the building inspector wants it cut and the meter base which is flush with the brick to be sealed. The homeowner now has a lateral service. I pulled the permit. I told the homeowner that this is what is needed as required by code but he still will not pay to have it done.
I have also replaced the load center from an old GE to a new Eaton In the basement. The old GE is next to the new and is rigid metal piped to the outside meter base.
The basement is an electrical nightmare of old extension cords and junction boxes from decades of DIY. I stripped most of it away and now the homeowner wants me to reconnect in the new load center the old branch circuit wires. I had divided the work into two phases; the new service, then rebuild and demolition. The existing circuits are looping through several rooms from the basement, and the attic has junctuon boxes from Hell, and lol snake skins are looped through the insulation. I told him that it is a requirement to have a light and receptacle to service the load center and he referred to my portable light. This man is not in any way strapped to afford quality but it seems that he cant keep a contractor. I know that I will not get a final inspection until that old service is gone.
My problem is this: Isn’t there a code section that states all of the old service entrance and panel be removed to pass inspection? They never lost power to the house, and I am building the new panel schedule with both panels live, then I will remove the jumper and breaker feeding the old one when I have all of the old circuits removed and fed from the new panel.
Did I trap myself? It is common in this area for mechanical and plumbing contractors to come in and do work without a permit.
so the home owner hired you to do XYZ work
the inspector wants TUV work
but you dont work for the inspector

do the work you are already hired for
do what ever you have to to get paid and off of that job without going thru an inspection

yes you trapped your self
you made a mistake when you took the job knowing the HO's reputation

this world has ppl like that, they are not common, but you will find more than one in your career
learn to recognize them before you have to work for them
an early clue is haggling and / or too many questions over the price or the time

when i find one of them, i usually say
"I will agree to XXX dollars, they say thats higher not lower, i say i know! the longer we stand here and talk the more it goes up"
that is normally the end of the conversation
 

· Registered
Joined
·
331 Posts
Did I trap myself? It is common in this area for mechanical and plumbing contractors to come in and do work without a permit.
IT is impossible to answer whether you have trapped yourself or not without reading your contract itself (an possibly the permit itself). It sounds as though you are working T&M (I would on a job like this). If you have a contract and work is required by the AHJ, not included in the wording of the contract then you are not bound to work for free at all. That is a change order!

If you are T&M and the client tells you not to touch what the inspector wanted, then do not touch it. Ask the inspector to buy off your work "less demolition of Blah Blah Blah as required by AHJ". Explain to the inspector that you can NOT touch anything not in the contract because you can not bill for it and have no responsibility or liability for it under the law and contract.

Ask the inspector to show you the specific codes involved so that you can address it with the customer and that if the customer refuses, to buy off all of your contracted work and red tag the rest against the OWNER, not the contractor. As far as you are concerned the inspector can revoke occupancy after that and it is not your problem. Your scope of work is limited by the wording in your contract, period. IF not then you have learned a VERY cheap lesson and will never do that again I bet.

Regardless, finish the contracted work ONLY before anything else. Make sure you are getting approvals for all other work in WRITING and charging by bid or T&M. Close the permit when at impasse, and be sure and submit in writing to the AHJ the limits of your contract forbid further work unless authorized by the client.
 

· Registered
Electrical Inspector
Joined
·
9 Posts
My God son! Just put the GFI in as they want . We make plenty of money in this trade, I'm not worried about 100 here and 100 there losses. Nor should you sir. I was always very friendly with the 12 ft python I watched for 3 months for a friend. You feed it water it and keep it warm, he never bit me. Try doing it for your inspector, he won't bite back.
 

· Registered
Electrical Contractor
Joined
·
5,666 Posts
I do agree, most inspectors can be compared to a snake.
I laughed at that but thank my lucky stars the guy I have now is gold. Very down to earth with a common sense attitude.

Unlike the last guy who knew there was a violation even before he got out of the truck. And his job was to find it, er, something.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
Having come up through the EC ranks (thank God for showers to flush the rank away), I've found 95% of humans in any capacity want to do what is right. But, sadly, determining what is right isn't always simple. Different jurisdictions=different rules, different AHJ = different levels of knowledge, and different people= different personalities. My experience determined that most people respond well IF you are knowledgeable & polite - most, not all. Inspectors that don't know excrement from Shinola, inspectors that are plain Onery, and yes even inspectors showing up under the influence. But 95% are reasonable and can be corrected if done politely. The other 5% ? Had one who resented me for not doing it "his way". I had pointed out the applicable code section - he replied it didn't pertain as I intended to use a non-existent device - showed it to him, he said 'not UL approved ' - showed him the UL printed on the box - "Nope, do it my way"! Next day I called the inspection company Pres. who personally inspected (& approved) the installation. Sadly though, after that any work that I or my employees did was rejected. Still here? He who laughs last, laughs heartiest. I retired and became a Building Dept AHJ. who just couldn't seem to accept his approvals (for just cause) and after a few letters up the line, he was no longer an electrical inspector. I admit that I was lucky, very very lucky. But sometimes an angel looks over our shoulder and seems to intervene. Last - make sure you are correct but if so, stand up against ignorance. Always maintain mental control and don't lose integrity. & keep on smiling. Realize that you may occasionally lose a battle, but that isn't a reason to give up. SMILE !!!
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top