What happens with a failed inspection?

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  #1  
Old 08-21-06, 11:33 AM
wgc
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What happens with a failed inspection?

Trying to cover all the bases here before I jump in... but what happens if there is a failed inspection for work I do? I don't suppose there is any chance of being allowed to "put it back the way it was", right? Does a failure require another permit filing and another fee, or will the inspector be willing to come back? At that point, will an inspector be willing to pass my work or decide to force me to hire someone? In case there is no permit for the existing work, will the inspector look at everything as a new install or just look at changes I make?

I'm trying to rule out any surprise large expenses, and hopefully I'm worried about nothing, but the paperwork part of getting it right worries me a lot more than actually making things better and safer.
 
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  #2  
Old 08-21-06, 11:40 AM
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Obviously, it's going to depend largely on where you live, which you're choosing not to tell us for some reason.

Here, the permit fees include most re-inspections if they are needed.

And yes, if the inspector can clearly see that there had been previously unpermitted work, he can write that up and it can cause problems.

If they are small items, he may not care, especially if he can tell is was done in a clean, workmanlike manner.
 
  #3  
Old 08-21-06, 11:52 AM
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If it is legal, in your area, to do the work yourself, the inspector cannot force you to hire it done. He can no pass the work until it is done correctly. Some inspections depts charge for each visit.

In most places, the inspector can write violations for anything he sees as a consquence of looking at what he was called for. So if he has to walk through the kitchen to get to the addition that you worked on, and sees something, he can write it up.

If you fail, he will write up what failed and why, and you will have to fix it and then call for a re-inspection.
 
  #4  
Old 08-21-06, 11:59 AM
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Generally speaking, an inspector only looks at work done for the permit.

For example, when my pool was inspected, the inspector confirmed GFCI protection, a 20 amp circuit, the wiring and the proper distances, the plug for the pump, and the bonding. He also verified the required convenience receptacle, but since it was pre-existing (on the back deck) he did not inspect it's wiring or installation.

I suppose this might vary from locale to locale, but generally a minor problem or two will only require a correction and a re-inspection. Often, the first re-inspection is covered by the fee for the original inspection. There may be an additional fee if you need to have multiple re-inspections.

A new permit would not be required, since the permit covers the job.

If you are real concerned about this, ask ahead of time.
 
  #5  
Old 08-21-06, 03:14 PM
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In my neck of the woods (extreme SW Michigan) a permit includes 1 rough-in inspect and 1 final inspect. If the inspector has to re-inspect for either, there is a $30 per re-inspect charge. (you can have more than one rough in but not in the same part. if it is a re-inspect of the same work, there is a charge.)


OP- What happens is that if something fails, the inspector tells you what it is (he should give a code cite as well but some don't). You then get to fix it and call for a re-inspect. Apparently in some areas they do not charge for re-inspects but in my area they do. How the heck else is the inspector going to make $150k/yr?
 
  #6  
Old 08-21-06, 04:01 PM
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In my area the inspection is done by a third party. They allow one revisit without a charge. The permit is issued by the town or city.
 
  #7  
Old 08-22-06, 10:17 AM
wgc
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other people's work

I know what I know, but I don't know what I don't know.

I'm worried about some of the previous owner's work that doesn't look unsafe but might not be up to current code and could be expensive and time-consuming to fix.

Yes, I'm also worried that anything I bring it to the attention of the AHJ (or publish worldwide on the internet!), I am committing myself to doing something about. So yes, I try not to mention where I am, but I'll narrow it down to the greater Boston area.
 
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Old 08-22-06, 11:31 AM
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I remember the good 'ol days when a conscience was more powerful than peer-pressure and laws.

If the work is suspect, you need to check it out. Electricity isn't like a bad paint job. It won't just rust in a few years.
 
  #9  
Old 08-22-06, 12:59 PM
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agreed

Originally Posted by MAC702
I remember the good 'ol days when a conscience was more powerful than peer-pressure and laws.
Trying not to start an argument here, since I generally agree, but ... I remember the good 'ol days when trying to do the right thing wasn't punished, either by those with more experience whom you ask an opinion of, or legally.

Right or wrong, my extremely limited experience with city paperwork is a lot more risky and fraught with peril than the actual work. There are plenty of reasons that most homeowners don't go through the permit/inspection process and not all of them have to do with laziness, cheapness or inadequate work ... "A good deed never goes unpunished".
 
  #10  
Old 08-22-06, 01:21 PM
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Around here if you call the inspector he will do a pre-inspection to give you a heads up.
 
  #11  
Old 08-22-06, 01:23 PM
wgc
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"safe"

...Just want to be clear that as far as I know for sure, everything is "safe" (as in I don't see any immediate danger that I haven't already fixed and previous owners' work might have passed whatever permitting process was required at the time).

It's just that if I try to make sure that parts of it are more _safe_, then unrelated and unaffected parts may no longer be "safe".

Those of you who work in the field may know what to expect for the legal stuff and be able to quote for as large a project as you like, but some of us can't. In addition to finding out all the details to do the job right, we have to limit projects to not interfere with the rest of life, get finished in a few minutes of spare time here and there, and we probably have to structure the work as an ongoing series of small projects.
 
  #12  
Old 08-22-06, 02:55 PM
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WGC, In this area (I'm N-W) The local towns/city do the inspections. If you fail, they tell you why. You correct it call them back and give them $25-$50. (depending on the town)
If it is an expensive fix (very) and you don't agree with the reason you can appeal to the state inspector. Typicaly,just do what thay ask.

As far as existing, Don't worry it was most likely ok at the time of ORIGINAL install. However, If it is a flagrant violation and or safety concern, They do have the right to REQUIRE you to correct it.
By and large "most " are reasonable.

RULE #1- DO NOT OFFER INFO! show the job, answer the questions asked! Nothing more. This is not to be secretive, but more to not give them a reason to realy hunt something out. (some do).
 
  #13  
Old 08-22-06, 03:44 PM
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Someone saying to do the right thing is "punishment."

New definitions for a new era I guess.

Maybe I misunderstood when you said you didn't trust the work but didn't want to go through the time/expense of checking it out.
 
  #14  
Old 08-22-06, 05:30 PM
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I recently went through an inspection on my new 200A service.
The inspector dinged me for running my ground wire through a metal conduit without a grounding bushing. *DOH* I didn't know that, but his explantion made perfect sense to me.

He says to me "just change it plastic conduit", and then he went outside and told the crew from the power company (who happened to be there at the same time) to "cut the power on".

Heck the guy could have busted my nu*s and been a jerk about it, but he was not. I changed the conduit before I applied main power and all was well. He did not mention needing to come back to see if I had changed the conduit or not.

Work with your inspector, sometimes they're nice guys!

Joe Michel
 
  #15  
Old 08-22-06, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Mach1
Work with your inspector, sometimes they're nice guys!
Yep. We have several here who are still on their big power trip. But we also have many who feel "Hey, you bought a permit. I'm working for you." You always hope for the latter.
 
  #16  
Old 08-22-06, 08:56 PM
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[QUOTE=MAC702]Someone saying to do the right thing is "punishment."
Face facts, It is a legal transaction. Never say more than you must.
"If you represent yourself, you have a fool for a client".

ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!!! The correct way is the only way!!!!

BUT>>>>>>>< Do you want the power trip to rule your life!!!?
BAHHHHHHHHH, BAHHHH.

Work with the inspector. (as stated) Most are normal people.
BUT>>>>>> Some are NOT. (SEE POWER TRIP).

Never go into battle unless well armed!
That was my only point.
 
  #17  
Old 08-22-06, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by MAC702
Yep. We have several here who are still on their big power trip. But we also have many who feel "Hey, you bought a permit. I'm working for you." You always hope for the latter.

Additionaly your correct aswell......... IT IS ALL ABOUT THE MONEY!! Do you think "Harry Inspector" cares about you?
1st, he has NO acountability, " I can't see everything". Secondly if they FAIL you the first time, (here) they keep the entire reinspection FEE ( TAX). So you do the MATH, Code or finances,
What comes first?
 
  #18  
Old 08-23-06, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by wgc
Trying to cover all the bases here before I jump in... but what happens if there is a failed inspection for work I do? I don't suppose there is any chance of being allowed to "put it back the way it was", right? Does a failure require another permit filing and another fee, or will the inspector be willing to come back? At that point, will an inspector be willing to pass my work or decide to force me to hire someone? In case there is no permit for the existing work, will the inspector look at everything as a new install or just look at changes I make?

I'm trying to rule out any surprise large expenses, and hopefully I'm worried about nothing, but the paperwork part of getting it right worries me a lot more than actually making things better and safer.
I had an inspector let me fix things while he was there and they never went on the report. Some will even show you how, but dont count on it. Its not there job. Ask a few questions and you may get some really good info, ask too many and he will suggest you get professional help.
 
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