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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's been a while. Retirement is fantastic. I haven't had my tools on in quite a while but I offered to do a service change and it turned into an adventure.

The housing market is recovering here and the house flippers are coming out in full force again.

These guys used a wannabe contractor to install a bunch of new wiring. Wannabe Elec proceeded to install a 120V circuit on a high leg of an old 3 phase Delta FPE panel resulting in the painters airless sprayer and other equipment taking a dump.

Wannabe managed to convince the flipper that it was a faulty service and got paid to replace it Awesome :laughing: He just replaced the load center with a 200A, 40 space unit and left the 100A wiring/meter in place (no permits)



The installation wasn't the worst thing I've ever seen but, after an offer was made, a home inspector noted the 100 feed and the 200A main breaker. The buyers were going to bail so the flippers decided to pay a real contractor $3K to do it right.

POCO wanted the drop raised and relocated a couple feet to get the service drop further from the pool. I used a 2.5" mast to get the additional height without the hillbilly EMT back bracing. They give us 50" on 2.5" as opposed to 36" on 2".







I meet the inspector and she is writing a red tag as I'm walking up. Wannabe Elec added a few new circuits (20A baths, 20A air handler and a couple 15A lighting)

Because of the "new" wiring, Inspector wants (6) smokies installed and AFCI on the lighting circuits.

House is supposed to close tomorrow. :rolleyes:

I tried to talk her out of it but, I had no dog in this fight. My gig was just to change the service equipment.

To bail them out, we rearranged our schedules and will knock out the smokies early tomorrow morning. Decent "attic" access so it's a pretty quick job to cut some holes in the ceilings and string some romex between them for an extra $K.

When the inspector goes into the house to test the smokies, hopefully she will overlook the obviously additional recessed cans everywhere, installed by Wannabe Elec. If not, it aint gonna close tomorrow. :laughing:

Lesson to the flippers?

Use licensed contractors or don't do anything that will absolutely require a permit. If you want to go under the radar, stay under the radar.

Lesson to me? This is a tough way to earn a living.
 

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I'm pretty sure you've already answered this, but in AZ, does the AHJ have an amendment allowing NM outdoors, or do they simply look the other way?

Personally, I see no problem with it in such a dry environment either.
 

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A classic case of if it aint on the signed work order,
Then it's etra money and extra time,
All these extra,s insisted upon by the inspector
are all extra's.

Was there a signed work order ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I'm pretty sure you've already answered this, but in AZ, does the AHJ have an amendment allowing NM outdoors, or do they simply look the other way?

Personally, I see no problem with it in such a dry environment either.
I can't tell you with 100% accuracy. All I know it that it never, ever gets called on rework.



The other NEC non approved thing that is done here 100% of the time is that we run all the cables into the panels without connectors, just bushings of some sort.

It has been that way since WAY before my time. I don't know if anything was ever written to cover it but, that's the way it is done 100% of the time.

When the panels are installed like this, there is really no need for a bunch of connectors. If a panel is installed open, in a basement, I see why you'd want them secured better.

Was there a signed work order ?
Of course :thumbsup: Prepaid in full to expedite :thumbup:

There is also a new signed and prepaid work order for the smokies & AFCI


The thing that drives me nuts is that we never really know what to expect from an inspector. 1 out of 20 time, they will show up, look at the grounding/bonding and write a green tag. That 20th one will make things more difficult.

What that does is:

1) Encourage me to try and hide stuff (that is safe but a technical violation) I could have stripped back the yellow sheath (like the wannabe guy did) and it would have disguised it a bit. but I think it's a better idea to have the sheath come into the box for future troubleshooting issues.

2) Over exaggerate to the client what might happen. I hate to be an alarmist, especially with worrisome people. Most of the time it's simply, do the job, rinse and repeat.

It also unofficially encourages me to avoid inspections.
 

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I'm sure this has been beaten like a dead horse here, but I haven't seen it so here goes: why in the hell would anyone design a service on a home and locate the main panel OUTSIDE??? This just baffles me. I can see changing it out, and keeping it outside since its already there, but who in the world would possibly do this on new construction??? Isn't the inside of that liquid-tite considered a wet location? Pretty sure that makes the Romex illegal....
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Along the same lines, why is the inside a better idea? So you don't have to walk outside twice in your lifetime to reset a breaker? :)


1) The equipment and installation is far less expensive. In new construction, you stub all the home runs out of the exterior wall, pop out a KO, snap in a bushing and screw your panel in place. 200A, 40 space service = $120

2) With slab constructed, no basement houses, indoor real estate is much more valuable than outdoor space.


3) If you have a major meltdown in a panel, at least it is outside :thumbup:





Personally, I haven't tripped a breaker in many, many years so walking outside to the panel is a non issue. I also have never experienced having someone (other than POCO :jester:) shut off my power.


And, don't get me started on the wet location thing :)
 

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220/221 said:
Along the same lines, why is the inside a better idea? So you don't have to walk outside twice in your lifetime to reset a breaker? :)

1) The equipment and installation is far less expensive. In new construction, you stub all the home runs out of the exterior wall, pop out a KO, snap in a bushing and screw your panel in place. 200A, 40 space service = $120

2) With slab constructed, no basement houses, indoor real estate is much more valuable than outdoor space.

3) If you have a major meltdown in a panel, at least it is outside :thumbup:

Personally, I haven't tripped a breaker in many, many years so walking outside to the panel is a non issue. I also have never experienced having someone (other than POCO :jester:) shut off my power.

And, don't get me started on the wet location thing :)
1. How many panels have you changed out that are indoors that are full of rust, been wet, etc. etc. etc.
2. do houses in your area not have garages, mechanical rooms, or utility rooms.
3. Even in the most expensive multimillion dollar homes I've done, there is always a place for a panel or 2 or 6.
4. Service equipment is ugly enough without adding that whole abortion to the outside. That looks like someone's back yard. What if they wanted a deck right there? If I tried to put that on a new home it would be an immediate termination.
5. There is not 1 reason the panel being outside is better than inside. Not safety, not functionality, not appearance, nothing. Outdoor panel are for outdoor items. I'd hate to know I put $350 or more worth of arc fault breakers outside.
6. I don't even put outdoor panels on ag equipment if I can keep from it. Most farmers build a structure to put all the electrical in. Why? Because it lasts 10 times longer.
 

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Inside main panel vs outside main panel= Kentucky- 40ft snow drifts. Arizona- .5 inch snow drifts in places way up there like Payson.

Mostly out here in Waterworld we put main breaker outside and run to a sub panel inside where it is nice and dry. But not always. Some houses get all the breakers outside where they were before the service upgrade.
 

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Along the same lines, why is the inside a better idea? So you don't have to walk outside twice in your lifetime to reset a breaker? :)


1) The equipment and installation is far less expensive. In new construction, you stub all the home runs out of the exterior wall, pop out a KO, snap in a bushing and screw your panel in place. 200A, 40 space service = $120

2) With slab constructed, no basement houses, indoor real estate is much more valuable than outdoor space.


3) If you have a major meltdown in a panel, at least it is outside :thumbup:







Personally, I haven't tripped a breaker in many, many years so walking outside to the panel is a non issue. I also have never experienced having someone (other than POCO :jester:) shut off my power.


And, don't get me started on the wet location thing :)
Yeah I can usually tell if somebody is from the east coast because they tend to put locks on their panel. Most of them also don't like the panel outside and find it strange. I find people from the east coast strange!!:laughing:
 

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Reason # 213.6 A (c) dirt dobbers




Reason # 493.7 D (e)
This isn't but 3 of the 6 panels for this house. 90 +/- circuits. Find room to centrally locate this stuff outside when there is porch 3/4 of the way around it.
 

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Don't get me wrong, I'm in no way bashing your work here. And you did a fine job of turning chicken sh*t into, well chicken liver, and it probably couldn't have been turned into chicken salad anyways, I'm just speaking from my experience. I can only imagine the fun I would have had 20 years ago when I was more mischievous. All it would have took was a couple of screwdrivers (not the OJ and vodka kind) and a fun night could have been had watching the neighbors try to figure out why the lights were flashing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Nice pics and story. I like how you put a ground bar in your j-box.

It came installed.

It's actually a 12 space panel. I just removed the bus and one of the neutral bars.

It was less expensive and looked/fit better than a big JB that I needed, and now I have spare parts :thumbup:


5. There is not 1 reason the panel being outside is better than inside
Never say not :laughing: How about $$$


In new construction, it takes literally minutes to install a service. Ours would be screwed to the wall in the same time as your meter would be.

You still have to run your SE cable or conduit and feed your panel.

Ours would be full of breakers and made up by the time you got around to installing your panel.

You'd still be installing 20 freaking romex connectors and we would be....I don't know....doing something else :laughing:

As far as looking pretty? Your meter is outside. Our box is just a little bigger.:thumbsup:

1. How many panels have you changed out that are indoors that are full of rust, been wet, etc. etc. etc.
Rarely. Hell, until the late 60's, they installed indoor panels outside here :jester: There are tons of them still distributing power after 50 years


What if they wanted a deck right there?
We don't have decks here. We have concrete patios. If you did want a deck, the power would be easy to get :thumbsup:
 

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Brace kit on top no, yes, maybe ,don't care just sayin.another super job $2500 or you get more
 

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Brace kit on top no, yes, maybe ,don't care just sayin.another super job $2500 or you get more
"I used a 2.5" mast to get the additional height without the hillbilly EMT back bracing. They give us 50" on 2.5" as opposed to 36" on 2"."

:thumbsup:
 

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"I used a 2.5" mast to get the additional height without the hillbilly EMT back bracing. They give us 50" on 2.5" as opposed to 36" on 2"."

:thumbsup:
so that's according to the PG&E Green Book well that's good to know
 
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