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Thread: JWELECTRIC will not be bullying me into silence!

  1. #16
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    What gets somewhat confusing is what is grandfathered and what level of change triggers the requirement to bring things up to current code. The world didn't jump right from notching sticks to using computers to do accounting, for example...over the years, we've learned from our mistakes and the codes have been adjusted to account for newer materials and previous inadequacies. While the 'older' ways may have worked, they may not be all that safe. Think about knob and tube wiring...technology didn't exist to use stuff like romex...nobody in their right mind would install the stuff today, but it was done, and is still in use in places, but any changes dictate updating things.
    Jim DeBruycker
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  2. #17
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ballvalve View Post
    And most answers, like hers, have a number before them .
    It is the use of these numbers that validate the post as being correct.
    Most of the DIY people are looking for conformation that what they are doing will not burn down their house but could care less about the codes. If they are trying to even be close to right then they will have their work inspected and guess what the inspector is sworn to use during their inspection.
    But then again over 90% of the DIY will neither get a permit nor an inspection and take a chance that their homeowner’s insurance does not have to do an investigation.

    Quote Originally Posted by ballvalve View Post
    Often, inspectors are contractors that couldnt make it. So you get some dopes with attitudes and 'their' law interpetation that can cause you thousands of dollars in grief.
    I can’t say about Ca. but here in NC this is not even close to being true. I work daily with electrical code enforcement officials and I can count on one hand the number that was a contractor that couldn’t make it and of those a couple was due to health problems.
    Here in NC the code enforcement official is required to take and pass a course at a community college before he can get a Standard Certificate in the field of inspection for which they seek employment. They take an oath to enforce the codes as adopted by the state.

    Quote Originally Posted by leejosepho View Post
    So, one dilemma we occasionally see here is that one of us DIYers can occasionally do something (or at least leave something in place) at one of our homes and still be "legal" even when a contractor would find his license to do work for us jeopardized if he or she -- the last plumbing contractor to send her guys to my house is a "she" -- tried to only just leave the same thing in place ...

    ... and that is at least one reason we sometimes get the kinds of answers we get here.
    I believe you will find that this is not true in Arkansas and not true in most states across our nation. I wouldn’t matter who did the work it would be required to conform to the codes. What you are saying is that most licensed people won’t buck the system where a DIYer just aren’t going to get an inspection to start with and their attitude is simple, “if it works it is fine, codes be damned.”

    Quote Originally Posted by leejosepho View Post
    So, one dilemma we occasionally see here is that one of us DIYers can occasionally do something (or at least leave something in place) at one of our homes and still be "legal" even when a contractor would find his license to do work for us jeopardized if he or she -- the last plumbing contractor to send her guys to my house is a "she" -- tried to only just leave the same thing in place ...

    ... and that is at least one reason we sometimes get the kinds of answers we get here.
    One thing to keep in mind here is that if it wasn’t compliant to the standards of the day it wouldn’t have a grandfather clause to protect it. This is one of the biggest things in remodel work is when an inspector finds something that was never compliant and points it our during his inspection

  3. #18
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    Most of the DIY people ... could care less about the codes.
    I doubt that is true. Many of the questions we see right here in this forum are about codes.

    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    If they are trying to even be close to right then they will have their work inspected ...
    I doubt that statement also. Some come here asking questions since they know they can legally do work without having an inspector come out, and yet they still want the work to be done properly.

    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    ... over 90% of the DIY will neither get a permit nor an inspection ...
    Do you happen to know the percentage of that number that is not even required to do so?

    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    ... you are saying ... most licensed people won’t buck the system where a DIYer just aren’t going to get an inspection to start with and their attitude is simple, “if it works it is fine, codes be damned.”
    I am not saying that at all. A licensed contractor will not "buck the system", so to speak, because s/he could lose his or her license to do work for the rest of us if s/he does, and I have never ever heard anyone say "codes be damned". And especially in my own case, I try to be sure I understand the codes so I can do the work properly even though there is no requirement for me to have everything inspected.

    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    ... if [something] wasn’t compliant to the standards of the day it wouldn’t have a grandfather clause to protect it. This is one of the biggest things in remodel work is when an inspector finds something that was never compliant and points it our during his inspection
    Yes, and there is definitely a difference between that and something simply being okay until some later work triggers an update. I recently found some splices inside a wall, and those were never supposed to be there and needed fixing even when first made. On the other hand, the service entrance at my house cannot be updated all by itself unless at least a certain amount of other work gets done at the same time.

    Overall, however, the matter of "by the book" is what is at the core of this discussion. A licensed contractor (such as the electrician coming out to do my service update) will typically do things "by the book" because s/he must in order to be able to work at all, and s/he will typically do that even though s/he might well know something "slightly less", so to speak, would still be mechanically sound and completely safe ... and then for the most part, the informed and capable DIYer -- never mind the ignorant and incapable ones for the moment -- can typically do work that is mechanically sound and completely safe without having to be concerned about "by the book" repercussions from the governmental body established to protect him or her and others from shoddy work from a contractor. But then even beyond all of that, of course, is the matter of location (such as in a suburban neighborhood as opposed to "out on the farm") ... and that is why there are some jurisdictions where DIY work is hardly ever allowed at all, and that is so the codes will protect one's *neighbors* from sub-standard work.

    For yourself, JW, holding to a hard "code" is necessary while training professionals, and it is certainly good when DIYers such as myself have opportunities to listen in ...

    ... and for that, we thank you.

    **tongue-in-cheek**

    To my fellow DIYers: Coming here and asking questions of pros is kind of like riding a Yamaha to a hard-core biker rally, and I have been on both sides of that road. They will help you out because they are people caring about people, but sometimes things can get a bit rough! Like Terry and others have mentioned, they have "paid their dues" during training, and they still keep each other "on their toes" where the rest of us are just trying to make a repair of some kind or do a little home improvement and then get back to do whatever else *we* normally do!
    Last edited by leejosepho; 10-19-2011 at 05:39 AM.

  4. #19
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Q. What kind of motorcycle does a clown ride?

    A. A Yama HA, HA, HA!

  5. #20

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    What is your real gripe here Lee?

  6. #21
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Lee
    Just because a homeowner is allowed to do their own work does not mean that it does not require a permit as well as an inspection. This is an insurance issue not a tax department issue.
    Should you be one of those many people who believe you can do work without permit or inspection call your local inspection department and ask. I do believe you will find that you are required to have a permit and inspection done as outlined in the laws of your state.

  7. #22
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cookie View Post
    What is your real gripe here Lee?
    I do not have any gripe. I am only trying to help keep things in perspective.

    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    Just because a homeowner is allowed to do their own work does not mean that it does not require a permit as well as an inspection.
    I understand.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookie View Post
    Should you be one of those many people who believe you can do work without permit or inspection call your local inspection department and ask. I do believe you will find that you are required to have a permit and inspection done as outlined in the laws of your state.
    Yes, I believe that is true, but I also know the actual application and/or requirement of that is greatly dependent upon actual practices within a given area. For example:

    I *could* (but I will not) go pull my meter and upgrade everything other than the it-would-still-be-hot 60A wire under the eave (between the incoming service line and the meter), and I could then just put the meter back in place and call the power company and let them know I had pulled it to do a some work *safely* -- they like that -- and then they would just come out and place a new seal on the meter with nothing else ever being said or asked. As an aside: Here where I happen to live, leaves still get burned on city streets in residential areas. But in any case ...

    At that point (after having done my own work), the matter of insurance covering a loss after a fire or whatever would be dependent upon the quality of the work, and not upon whether or not the work done had been inspected. If it was found that some kind of mis-wiring or whatever had caused a fire, the DIYer would find himself or herself covering the loss just as the contractor would have had to cover it if the work had been done wrongly by that professional. So then, at least *one* reason the pros do work "by the book" and have that work inspected is to protect themselves from liability ... and DIYers are far from foolish when they do exactly the same.

    I am not in any way advocating bad work anywhere by anyone, of course, and I believe we would agree the codes and inspections are there to help protect everyone from bad work ...

    ... and I can well understand why pros with a conscience are at times hesitant about answering questions when they do not have assurance that their answers, as thereafter actually applied, will then also be inspected to be sure a DIYer has made proper and safe use of them ...

    ... and somewhere within all of that, we find the sometimes-troubled kind of dynamic ever-present here in Terry's forums.
    Last edited by leejosepho; 10-19-2011 at 08:30 AM.
    "Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events and small minds discuss people." --Eleanor Roosevelt

  8. #23
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    Q. What kind of motorcycle does a clown ride?

    A. A Yama HA, HA, HA!
    Yes, and an accelerating Yamaha even sounds like its own name while gears are being shifted ...

    Yaaa--Maaa--Haaa

    I am presently building a power-chair-hauling sidecar for my own Yamaha (now that I can no longer afford another Harley), and the vanity plate I have ordered for that rig or "hack" (in sidecar terms) will display "YMAHAK"!

    ... and then with regular motorcycle seats over on the sidecar fender ...

    Name:  2frames02.jpg
Views: 107
Size:  62.4 KB

    ... this novelty plate will be hanging there ...

    Name:  ridefreeplate.jpg
Views: 105
Size:  38.5 KB

    And of course, also be sure to be safe and only do good work while wiring your own house.
    Last edited by leejosepho; 10-19-2011 at 08:33 AM.
    "Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events and small minds discuss people." --Eleanor Roosevelt

  9. #24
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    I can’t say about Ca. but here in NC this is not even close to being true. I work daily with electrical code enforcement officials and I can count on one hand the number that was a contractor that couldn’t make it and of those a couple was due to health problems.
    Here in NC the code enforcement official is required to take and pass a course at a community college before he can get a Standard Certificate in the field of inspection for which they seek employment. They take an oath to enforce the codes as adopted by the state.
    Seems to me Ca or LA or NC or AK have the same issue addressed by one old adage :

    “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race”

    Kids learn quick who the bad teachers are, and so do the builders of the inspectors faster. The local contractors assoc just had one fired.

  10. #25
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leejosepho View Post
    Yes, I believe that is true, but I also know the actual application and/or requirement of that is greatly dependent upon actual practices within a given area. For example:

    I *could* (but I will not) go pull my meter and upgrade everything other than the it-would-still-be-hot 60A wire under the eave (between the incoming service line and the meter), and I could then just put the meter back in place and call the power company and let them know I had pulled it to do a some work *safely* -- they like that -- and then they would just come out and place a new seal on the meter with nothing else ever being said or asked.
    Lee
    Here is what your state has to say so you do as you please but you can’t say it was out of ignorance.

    A building permit is required for most construction work on a residential property. While this may not have been true in some parishes in the past, all parish and local governments will be issuing building permits for residential work in 2007.

    Generally, permits are required for all permanent alterations to any structure, except for light cosmetic work like painting or the replacement of some finish surfaces like carpeting or counter tops. Even beyond the home itself, permits are often required for gazebos, RV covers and fences.

    These projects typically require a building permit:
    • A new residence
    • Home additions and most renovations
    • Any modification that involves structural work
    • Covered patios
    • Any accessory structure over 100 square feet
    • Roofing & decking that exceeds 100 square feet
    • Solid fencing that is 3 feet or higher
    • Any fencing that is 4 feet or higher
    • Fencing that exceeds 25 feet in length
    • Changing out or relocating a hot water heater
    • Changing out an air conditioning unit or components (excluding window units)
    • Any electrical work
    • Pools; below and above ground
    • Gas line work
    • Sewer line work
    • Relocation of a house or mobile home
    When a permit is required, work should not begin on the project until the permit has been issued. If work has begun, you should stop immediately and obtain a permit before continuing.

    You will need to provide some basic information about the property and about the proposed construction in order to obtain a permit. You can use "Information Needed to Get a Building Permit" as a guide, but it is always a good idea to check with the local governments to find out exactly what they require.


    What all this means is should your seal be broke the utility will require something from the inspection department before a new seal is installed.

  11. #26

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    There is only 2 things I can say, I truly hate, in this world. One is ... mold. And, the second one is, and anyone who knows me, can answer the second one quite easily. Motorcyles.

    In 1981, I had a Harley speed like a rocket through the redlight, he was drunk, and wearing of course, no helmet, and by the time, I saw something coming at me from the side, it was too late. In order to literally save this man's life, age29, I drove my car into a telephone pole. I never hit him straight on, he plowed into me from the side, because I veered away into that pole, and him and his very large, very heavy, very powerful cycle came up onto my windishield, through my windshield with him on it. He flew back off with his bike and went under my wheels. He lost his leg and had massive head injuries. I lost my front teeth, my nose was broken, my left knee cap, and, I was picking out glass in my face for a long long time.

    He didn't have insurance. He was on welfare. And, they were trying to put a lien on me, for 220 grand, because they couldn't believe someone would deliberately drive into a pole, and figured I lost control. I had 2 witnesses, but he had one. A man who was a santa from the salvation army. In that split second, I made a decision. And, it was to save his life. And, that is what I did. I willingly signed over my insurance because, I felt lucky to be alive, was happy this man was, too, and the money, didn't matter to me. Even though I did nothing wrong, because I willingly gave up my insurance money, I was found so much at fault, and that didn't matter, either.

    What mattered to me was we lived.

    I hate motorcycles because I think, they are without a doubt the most dangerous thing anyone could drive.

    Again, this is none of my business, and, I am sure you will not drink and drive, or speed, but, may I ask, just for safety reasons, who is going to ride in that side car.

    In a split second, a life can be changed forever.
    Last edited by Cookie; 10-19-2011 at 10:01 AM.

  12. #27
    DIY Senior Member Chad Schloss's Avatar
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    cookie, i am a biker, and i take offense to you hating motorcycles. it is the rider who was the problem, not the motorcycle. same with guns. it is the person with the gun, who doesn't respect it or life, which causes a fatality. blame the human, not the machine. i hate to say it, but he was riding a hardley, and was drunk, no helmet, and had no insurance.. so typical of a hardley dependable rider, not responsible bikers.

  13. #28
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ballvalve View Post
    Seems to me Ca or LA or NC or AK have the same issue addressed by one old adage :

    “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race”

    Kids learn quick who the bad teachers are, and so do the builders of the inspectors faster. The local contractors assoc just had one fired.
    Am I the only who recognizes these words spoken by our 30th president?
    Albert Einstein said,” You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.”

    I just don’t see how anyone can get anyone else fired. It was what the person being fired done that cost them their job, is this not true?

    Knowing how quickly “kids” learn the bad teachers I chose to have adult students, you know the ones that already know right from wrong. The ones who have already learned responsibility.

  14. #29

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    You should not take offense. It is my opinion which I am entitled to. Like everyone has. My brother and his sons are both bike riders, along with my brother in law, and, they know how I feel and take no offense.

    I love what I love, and I hate what I hate. I am sure as everyone has. I take no offense at what another hates at all. I hate mold and I hate cycles.

    And, I hope Lee is very careful with whom rides in the sidecar. Everyone always thinks, whatever happens, will only be with the next guy. Stuff happens. Accidents with cycles are extremely sad. The protection is so little.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chad Schloss View Post
    cookie, i am a biker, and i take offense to you hating motorcycles. it is the rider who was the problem, not the motorcycle. same with guns. it is the person with the gun, who doesn't respect it or life, which causes a fatality. blame the human, not the machine. i hate to say it, but he was riding a hardley, and was drunk, no helmet, and had no insurance.. so typical of a hardley dependable rider, not responsible bikers.
    Last edited by Cookie; 10-19-2011 at 12:03 PM.

  15. #30
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    Lee
    Here is what your state has to say so you do as you please but you can’t say it was out of ignorance ...

    What all this means is should your seal be broke the utility will require something from the inspection department before a new seal is installed.
    I understand, and I thank you ... and I actually did learn some things there. For example: I had no idea a permit might be needed for setting my "horse tank" (a 9' round stock tank) pool on the ground and filling it with water even though that would be no different (as far as mechanical ability is concerned) than changing out a window-unit AC. In any case, I doubt that even the plumbing contractor that will possibly be installing a new water heater for us (after the electrician has run a wire) will pull a permit for that job. In the final analysis, many people around here (and even in City Hall) just use a lot of common sense and do not bother each other with small stuff. However, I do not say that in any kind of disrespectful way to you as a teacher educating licensees and other people about what they *should* be doing, and for whatever reason/s.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookie View Post
    I hope Lee is very careful with whom rides in the sidecar ...
    You can be sure of that! Way back in '65, I was taught that it would only be my *own* fault if I *ever* got hurt on a bike -- no exceptions -- and I typically ride that way, and even for other people. But, stuff still sometimes "just happens". For example: My bagger bars are not angled well for low-speed maneuvering, but they are how I like them. So, what happens? I was making a hard right turn at less than walking speed in an uphill parking lot and then did a "tank slap" (handlebars just sort of turned themselves all the way to one side), and I ended up dropping the bike on the back of my left leg after trying to step off ... and now I have a bump there that I am beginning to think will never go away!

    I commend you for avoiding that guy on a motorcycle. One of the best teachers I ever had was a Driver's Ed instructor who told us to never swerve for animals, only people, and that bending a little sheet metal was far better than running over a pedestrian.
    Last edited by leejosepho; 10-20-2011 at 04:22 AM.
    "Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events and small minds discuss people." --Eleanor Roosevelt

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