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Thread: DIY Electrical

  1. #1

    Default DIY Electrical

    The last 3 code inspections that I did for DIY projects all failed. These are the ones that at least got a permit.

    Many times you can get something to work but it does not mean that it is right or safe.

    Even the pros get it wrong. Please watch both.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-5Er...eature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQiMr...eature=related
    http://www.inspectpa.com/forum/forum.php
    My answers are based mostly on the ICC codes. Advice given is my personal opinion and every person performing work should acquire a permit from his/her jurisdiction and get the work inspected. My opinions are not directions to follow for DIYs or professionals

  2. #2

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    Thanks for posting that. Quite a bit of "handiwork" there.

    I've seen that grounding problem before. An entire new addition to a small office building with grounded wiring to everything but they never connected the grounds to the main panel!

    I always say behind every electrical code is a tragic death or fire.

    They should have mentioned GFCI's on the news report...

  3. #3

    Default

    This is an unfortunate preventable tragedy. However, sadly, it illustrates why some people prefer DIY. Even a homeowner with average skill could have done a more competent job than the illegal, shoddy workmanship performed by the licensed electrical contractor.

    -rick

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by drick View Post
    This is an unfortunate preventable tragedy. However, sadly, it illustrates why some people prefer DIY. Even a homeowner with average skill could have done a more competent job than the illegal, shoddy workmanship performed by the licensed electrical contractor.

    -rick

    The problem here was at multi-levels.

    1) The idiot employee who performed the improper job
    2) The employer for not checking the work of the employee
    3) The employer for not pulling an electrical permit
    4) The building inspector who did not bump a note to the electrical department to make them come out and inspect the electrical work being performed.

    If anything, this should teach us all that electricity is dangerous and even the professionals make mistakes, some of them deadly. It is even more dangerous when DIY are involved.

    If I fail a job performed by a licensed electrician I am usually nitpicking as I should be.

    When I fail a DIY job, there are far more dangerous defects that are found.

    This is the simple truth.
    http://www.inspectpa.com/forum/forum.php
    My answers are based mostly on the ICC codes. Advice given is my personal opinion and every person performing work should acquire a permit from his/her jurisdiction and get the work inspected. My opinions are not directions to follow for DIYs or professionals

  5. #5
    DIY Senior Member seaneys's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jar546 View Post
    The last 3 code inspections that I did for DIY projects all failed. These are the ones that at least got a permit.

    Many times you can get something to work but it does not mean that it is right or safe.

    Even the pros get it wrong. Please watch both.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-5Er...eature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQiMr...eature=related
    That is just plain stupid and lazy. I really feel sorry for the guy who was killed.

    Steve

  6. #6
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Ohio
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jar546 View Post
    The problem here was at multi-levels.

    1) The idiot employee who performed the improper job
    2) The employer for not checking the work of the employee
    3) The employer for not pulling an electrical permit
    4) The building inspector who did not bump a note to the electrical department to make them come out and inspect the electrical work being performed.

    If anything, this should teach us all that electricity is dangerous and even the professionals make mistakes, some of them deadly. It is even more dangerous when DIY are involved.

    If I fail a job performed by a licensed electrician I am usually nitpicking as I should be.

    When I fail a DIY job, there are far more dangerous defects that are found.

    This is the simple truth.
    If you inspected and failed that job you wouldn't have been nitpicking...and it wasn't a DIY job. The boy died...you can't get more dangerous than that.

    The boy died because of negligence pure and simple...while there were a few people who should / could have caught something that would have prevented it the majority of fault lies with the...

    Professionally Trained & Licensed Electrical Contractor...this may include his employees.

    It might have been a mistake that the ground was never hooked up before the job was finished...but it wasn't a "mistake" that a GFCI wasn't used and it wasn't a "mistake" that the wrong # of conductors were used and it wasn't a "mistake" that a permit wasn't pulled and the whole job never being tested is just pure neglence...Not installing the GFCI, 4 conductor wire, and not pulling the permit were $$$ saving things that were done purposely...not by "mistake". This is my NSHO.

    I wonder if the contractor will have his license pulled permanently or do any jail time.
    Last edited by Cass; 11-29-2008 at 05:36 AM.

  7. #7

    Default

    The importance of this post is to realize that electricity is not a hobby and that we all make mistakes. It is also important to realize just how critical it is to perform electrical work to a safe, code compliant level.

    Yes, professionals at more than one level made a mistake that costs someone's life.

    Most of the time professionals do work, they pull permits and get the work inspected. If they are true professionals then they have the proper training and experience to perform the work. Like all humans, they too make mistakes.

    Most homeowners never pull permits and rarely get their work inspected. Most homeowners rely on information from people at big box stores or printed DIY books, both of which are full of bad information. Most DIY jobs that I do inspect fail inspection for major violations. Most pro electrician jobs pass with no problems and those that fail, fail for smaller nitpicky violations. Again we are all human.

    I have inspection thousands of homes and this is a sad fact, the DIY electrician is very dangerous.
    http://www.inspectpa.com/forum/forum.php
    My answers are based mostly on the ICC codes. Advice given is my personal opinion and every person performing work should acquire a permit from his/her jurisdiction and get the work inspected. My opinions are not directions to follow for DIYs or professionals

  8. #8

    Default

    Professional Work:



    DIY Work:
    http://www.inspectpa.com/forum/forum.php
    My answers are based mostly on the ICC codes. Advice given is my personal opinion and every person performing work should acquire a permit from his/her jurisdiction and get the work inspected. My opinions are not directions to follow for DIYs or professionals

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jar546 View Post
    The importance of this post is to realize that Again we are all human.

    I have inspection thousands of homes and this is a sad fact, the DIY electrician is very dangerous.
    I think that is one of the reasons why, Terry created this forum, so, DIY'ers can learn how-to-do-it safely. And have discussions. That kind of is the purpose of this all, so DIY'ers can learn from the pro's more than just to change out a light bulb.

    Not all DIY'ers are dumb and not all pro's are the best or the brightest light bulb in the box either. Just the way it is.
    This is DIY'er forum with different interests people can discuss on.
    Electrical is one of them.
    Last edited by Cookie; 11-29-2008 at 07:31 AM.

  10. #10
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Ohio
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jar546 View Post
    The importance of this post is to realize that electricity is not a hobby and that we all make mistakes. It is also important to realize just how critical it is to perform electrical work to a safe, code compliant level.

    Yes, professionals at more than one level made a mistake that costs someone's life.

    Most of the time professionals do work, they pull permits and get the work inspected. If they are true professionals then they have the proper training and experience to perform the work. Like all humans, they too make mistakes.

    Most homeowners never pull permits and rarely get their work inspected. Most homeowners rely on information from people at big box stores or printed DIY books, both of which are full of bad information. Most DIY jobs that I do inspect fail inspection for major violations. Most pro electrician jobs pass with no problems and those that fail, fail for smaller nitpicky violations. Again we are all human.

    I have inspection thousands of homes and this is a sad fact, the DIY electrician is very dangerous.
    When someone dies because of something a professional does it is rarely a mistake...it most times will be something they did deliberately...you see it is very difficult for a professional to make a mistake...that is why he is a professional...

    I dislike the word "mistake" because most times when it is used...it is not...it is mistakenly used to describe things that are deliberate.

  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jar546 View Post
    The importance of this post is to realize that Most DIY jobs that I do inspect fail inspection for major violations. Most pro electrician jobs pass with no problems and those that fail, fail for smaller nitpicky violations. Again we are all human.

    .
    In my books when someone is doing their job to the best of their ability, if they are inspecting accordingly, then their is no nitpicking...

    Nitpicking to me, sounds personal. Business is not personal, business is business.

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cass View Post
    When someone dies because of something a professional does it is rarely a mistake...it most times will be something they did deliberately...you see it is very difficult for a professional to make a mistake...that is why he is a professional...

    I dislike the word "mistake" because most times when it is used...it is not...it is mistakenly used to describe things that are deliberate.
    It then becomes negligence. That is why their are lawyers.

  13. #13

    Default

    Here is a good example.

    If you look at the photo of the Professional job that looks great there are no safety hazards but there are still 3 code violations that caused the job to fail. They are small and not really safety related but still code violations.

    Can any of you DIYrs see the 3 code violations in the professional photo?
    http://www.inspectpa.com/forum/forum.php
    My answers are based mostly on the ICC codes. Advice given is my personal opinion and every person performing work should acquire a permit from his/her jurisdiction and get the work inspected. My opinions are not directions to follow for DIYs or professionals

  14. #14

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    Is a DIY'er supposed to see it on a Professional job?

  15. #15
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    NY State, USA
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    Default

    I was going to say there are several violations in that "professional" install but I didn't want to get flamed for being a jerk.
    Very impressive LOOKING but still not 100% compliant.

    If I do say so, my work is very nice looking. I do get compliments all the time. Even my rough-ins, but my panels DO NOT look as anal as that. Pretty close to as neat, but not so "perfect" looking.

    I HATE bringing that many wires in the side KO's.

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