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Electrical contractor 37 years. Electrical inspector 2 years
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
While I am all for being able to work on your own house, I am also concerned about the dangers of such.
I was just at Home Depot to buy the midrange plates for tomorrow and my big ears picked up on a conversation between a home owner wanting to hook up his hot tub. The Tub was 50 feet from the house. He bought 80 feet of 6/3 NM or Romex to run from the panel to the tub. I just walked away. 20 minutes later I saw them loading up 6/3 Romex.
When I was an electrical inspector I found several people wiring their own tub with directly burying Romex cable.
 

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Bilge Rat
motors and controls.........
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I'm all for homeowners doing their own work but they need to be doing it safely. This is what codes, permits and inspections are all about.

Since the code has gone off-track and become focused mostly on manufacturers profit rather than actual safety and a pretty fair number of inspections have become not much than an ego trip for the inspector, we seriously need to get back to basics.

I can't help but wonder if insanely complex codes are aimed more at making it too difficult for homeowners to do their own work than actual safety.

Electrical is a bit different though......if you screw up building a deck, you've got a bad deck. If you screw up electrical, you've got a fire.....or a funeral.

In my opinion, permits than are incredibly easy to get, reasonable code and reasonable inspections are the best way to ensure that homeowners do not cause a hazard to themselves and anyone else who occupies the property.

The key here is reasonable.......a long way from what we have these days.
 

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Ready Mix concrete plant electrician
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I'm all for homeowners doing their own work but they need to be doing it safely. This is what codes, permits and inspections are all about.

Since the code has gone off-track and become focused mostly on manufacturers profit rather than actual safety and a pretty fair number of inspections have become not much than an ego trip for the inspector, we seriously need to get back to basics.

I can't help but wonder if insanely complex codes are aimed more at making it too difficult for homeowners to do their own work than actual safety.

Electrical is a bit different though......if you screw up building a deck, you've got a bad deck. If you screw up electrical, you've got a fire.....or a funeral.

In my opinion, permits than are incredibly easy to get, reasonable code and reasonable inspections are the best way to ensure that homeowners do not cause a hazard to themselves and anyone else who occupies the property.

The key here is reasonable.......a long way from what we have these days.
MTW [Peter D] was right, we need to return to the 1984 NEC, back when it was rational and made sense.
 

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I'm not a fan of homeowners doing their own work. I installed a new service on a property where they bought their neighbors house and fed a 100 amp sub panel to it from their house - it was a fun job. Everything was nice and neat, I didn't know this particular inspector but he had almost no questions about it. Fast forward six months and the HO wants dimmable LED shop lights. I return to find the HO ran his own home runs for circuits, using jboxes in walls where they'll get buried, no NM connectors in the KOs, no ground pigtails. Instead of pulling two wires through a hole he drilled eleventy holes in each stud for each wire. I told him I won't connect to anything he ran and he paused, then said "well I'm not fixing any of it, so."


I wired his lights to the switches I had already installed and left. I'm sure his garage looks like a bowl of spaghetti right now, but that's NMP. I think I'd care more if the guy wanted to fix his mistakes.
 

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Estwing magic
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I'm all for homeowners doing their own work but they need to be doing it safely. This is what codes, permits and inspections are all about.

Since the code has gone off-track and become focused mostly on manufacturers profit rather than actual safety and a pretty fair number of inspections have become not much than an ego trip for the inspector, we seriously need to get back to basics.

I can't help but wonder if insanely complex codes are aimed more at making it too difficult for homeowners to do their own work than actual safety.

Electrical is a bit different though......if you screw up building a deck, you've got a bad deck. If you screw up electrical, you've got a fire.....or a funeral.

In my opinion, permits than are incredibly easy to get, reasonable code and reasonable inspections are the best way to ensure that homeowners do not cause a hazard to themselves and anyone else who occupies the property.

The key here is reasonable.......a long way from what we have these days.
I like to tell this story. I built a bathroom in my basement once, jackhammered out concrete, did the water and drain lines, everything. I pulled a permit and had it inspected. Stupid me, I put the backwater valve in backwards. It was a major brain fart, there was even an arrow on the valve I missed. Without that inspection, I would have had to deal with a major catastrophe.
 

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I don't think Homeowners ahould be allowed to do their own work when their home is rented to others, or has rentable space like an in-law apartment, or connected in any way to another residence, or within city limits. (City meaning, houses so close that one home on fire will spread to the next. We have some towns on Long Island where houses are that close.) And for that matter, the photos I see of newer developments in the South and the MidWest constitute cities.)
 

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I don't think Homeowners ahould be allowed to do their own work when their home is rented to others, or has rentable space like an in-law apartment, or connected in any way to another residence, or within city limits. (City meaning, houses so close that one home on fire will spread to the next. We have some towns on Long Island where houses are that close.) And for that matter, the photos I see of newer developments in the South and the MidWest constitute cities.)
That's the way the safety authority deals with it here. If it's not your own space or will be rented you can't do your own work with a homeowner's permit.

Sent from my SM-G975W using Tapatalk
 

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That's the way the safety authority deals with it here. If it's not your own space or will be rented you can't do your own work with a homeowner's permit.

Sent from my SM-G975W using Tapatalk
Do you think flippers comply with that? Do you know how many questions I used to see on DIY chatroom (before I was banned) from business owners or their employees or handymen asking how to connect 277/480 volt equipment with posts that start like "I have been tasked with reconfigure this CNC machine..." and when it's pointed out "If you don't know you're not qualified or allowed to do this work in this factory/ place of business" and the response is "Well I own the building so I'm allowed" or "I work for the owner so no license is required."
 

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Electrical and communications contractor, New York NEC 2017
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I suppose I shouldn't have a problem with someone who does work on the house that they and their own family live in. If they are too stupid or don't care that they could be putting their family in danger have at it.

A number of years ago here a house burned to the ground. It was owned by a carpenter who did all his own work. I don't believe any of his family survived- maybe he or a son did, don't remember.

Point also is that at some point most houses will be sold or change hands. My wife and I have been looking around for a another house. My wife can't understand why I give so many a thumbs down when she likes the way something looks. That's because I look at the mechanicals and electrical and can tell who worked on them. And I know from what I can see that what I can't is probably even worse.

I don't think I would be able to sleep at night suspecting that some DIY hack worked on my electrical putting my family in danger. Unfortunately most other buyers wouldn't know the difference.

-Hal
 

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Electrical contractor 37 years. Electrical inspector 2 years
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
MTW [Peter D] was right, we need to return to the 1984 NEC, back when it was rational and made sense.
I always felt when they changed to the bigger book format, that the NEC layout got more complicated. I just wrote it off as my learning curve for the new book.
 

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I make all the electrons line up for their Flu shots
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My state has the most profound rule on homeowner's doing their own electrical work- They need to be licensed electricians if they do any, otherwise its illegal in the State. However as good as that sounds, enforcement is about -0.00
 
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