PERMITS; Electrical etc.

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  #1  
Old 11-13-06, 07:55 PM
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Wink PERMITS; Electrical etc.

Permits are two fold:

1) A city/Township etc, "Revenue Enhancer" No doubt.
Record for homeowner insurance aswell.
(We all know how they can be)

2) Permits serve an extremely important function.For pros' and DIYrs' alike.
This is a record of work/improvments done.
First, to make sure that the install is safe.
Our families live and work with this eletricity around us every day.
Without thinking, I can find at least 15+ ways to reach an end.
Perhaps only 2 for it to be correct and safe.As DIYers, I strongly recomend a permit be pulled.
We can give advice here but cannot do the job, or Know the exact circumstance of your project. For many reasons,Some info may be omitted or just considerd unimportant/irrelivent. This Info may be very relivent.
This rule is in place to save lives (maybe yours).

I will concede, there are times when we all deviate from the law.
However, With the info we get. We will try to lead you in the right direction.
 
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Old 11-13-06, 07:59 PM
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Don't forget liability- if faulty wiring does burn the house down, insurance might not cover it if it wasn't permitted and inspected.
 
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Old 11-13-06, 09:55 PM
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In the real world your insurance agent would never, ever step foot into your house for any reason other than if it burns down.

If the wiring was faulty, he/she would have no way of knowing if it was installed by you, unless you were stupid enough to tell them.

And if someone is stupid enough to tell them that, then they deserve what they get.

I see your point, but I've asked more than a few insurance agents this question, and the answer is always the same...

Unless there is clearly a 'smoking gun', or the homeowner is dumb enough to confess, the claim will be paid. The burden of proof is on the insurance company, not the homeowner.
 
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Old 11-14-06, 10:52 AM
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permits plus

It is my understanding that in many jurisdictions, homeowners are not permitted to perform any electrical or plumbing work. The requirement to have a permit alerts the municipality to the project, allowing them to ensure that only licensed tradesmen perform the work. The apprentice program ensures that tradesmen are union members.

My question is one of risk / benefit analysis. The benefit is presumably higher quality work and safer installations for plumbing and electrical work. The seldom considered cost is deferred maintenence, or that old and unsafe installations persist because the high cost of this labor system makes necessary repair / improvement work cost prohibitive - especially for those on fixed incomes or with household budgets already strained.

An example: An acquantance of mine recently solicited bids for boiler repair. Replacement of a leaking galvanized elbow via a few union fittings would have in all likelihood ensured heat for his family this winter and protected his home against potentially costly water damage should the pipe rupture. The plumber, adhering to local codes and industry standards, was required to inform this homeowner that major portions of the installation would need to be brought up to current code by replacing a significant run of pipe, several valves etc. The existing install was done by licensed professionals, but was old and thus non-compliant. He was therefore left with only two options: execute the large scale repair for $1k - $2k, or allow a potentially costly and hazardous condition to remain. His municipality expressly forbids him to perform the work himself.

My desire is this: that a balance be found to ensure safe and workmanship like standards are adhered to such that homes and businesses remain safe AND that the cost to preserve the habitability and safety of homes not be artificially inflated by municipalities, unions or special interests.

Submitted for you consideration.
 
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Old 11-14-06, 12:09 PM
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[quote]Don't forget liability- if faulty wiring does burn the house down, insurance might not cover it if it wasn't permitted and inspected.[\quote]

NOT true. Insurance pays off on home owner stupidity. They don't pay off on home owner arson. They need to proove arson or they have to pay off.
 
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Old 11-14-06, 01:30 PM
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Ok, to throw fuel on the fireÖ.why get a permit?

Not for insurance reasons, no matter what the electrical contractors will say. Itís surely not going to cover all aspects of safety, and sometimes no aspects of safety, other then the cursory check. So why do it?
 
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Old 11-14-06, 07:21 PM
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I cant explain why some inspectors do not fulfill the expectations of many people. I'm not exactly sure what one is to expect from the inspector if he comes calling to look at a receptacle addition or branch circuit additon and other minor new wiring. I do agree that giving the 50 or so bucks up for an inspection for such work is pretty ridiculous. Personnally I think it should not cost a homeowner a dime for an inspection of this nature, your taxes and county or city service charges should be enough.
But hey the HVAC guys get 100 bucks just to show up at your house before they touch anything. Same with large appliance repairman. So I think it is a matter of perspective. I'm reasonably sure that the inspector sees what he needs to see...just might not be real straight forward in telling you much about what he sees. I do believe though that if there is something unsafe you will be glad you paid the 50 or so bucks. Maybe one out of a hundred inspections might catch an error that would potentially burn your house down. for this kind of work. Usually the homeowner covers his bases when he knows the inspector is coming.
For instance lets say that the individual who asked if he could use #2 awg for a 300 amp sub-feed in a commercial panel board in a recent thread. If he had actually done that (before WarEagle and Speedy Petey made him aware of a few oversights) and stuck a 300 amp sub-feed OCPD on that #2 feeder rated for only 115 amps or 125 amps (depending on the table you use for copper wire)... you had better hope you get an inspection before you make it hot. Somehow I believe the inspector would catch that issue.
My point being lets dont sell inspections short or simply in place to make money. The permit and inspection process is indeed a revenue maker.... regardless it is also meant for safety of structure and people believe it or not.

Roger
 
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Old 11-14-06, 07:34 PM
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In some instances it is, but in most instances it isn't. Why? Because there is no way the inspector 'saw' what he needed to see. For example, the receptacle I installed was connected to 12 awg romex, as evidenced by the yellow jacket. Did the inspector check to see, or even ask, what size breaker it was on? No. Same thing with my panel install. All he did was open the panel, and make sure things were labeled, and checked the ground wire.

For $50 I expect him to do $50 worth of work. A 30-second inspection is not what I would call 'work'. For new construction it's obviously a different story. Everything is exposed and the inspector doesn't have to get dirty up in the attic on in the crawl space.

I'm not knocking all inspectors, but my research over a few cities and about a dozen electrical inspections tells me that the job they are doing is not making anything safer.
 
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Old 11-14-06, 07:46 PM
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Cool

Unless there is clearly a 'smoking gun', or the homeowner is dumb enough to confess, the claim will be paid. The burden of proof is on the insurance company, not the homeowner.*

How TOTALY NAIVE, You don't realize you carry the risk and insurance Co. Does not. Perhaps you ought deal with them more(car) whatever.

Insurance pays off on home owner stupidity.*

Wrong again, insurance will pay up to ten(10) times the claim not to pay.Then they will raise your rates ,or discontinue service. The only UNACOUNTABLE industry I know of.

The requirement to have a permit alerts the municipality to the project, allowing them to ensure that only licensed tradesmen perform the work.*

The problem with this is..... What?

The apprentice program ensures that tradesmen are union members.*

No. Actualy it provides the ones that want to learn, with the propper training. With that comes the desire to excell,and learn.

I've Been merit my entire carreer. My compensation has been, and is as good or better,than my "LOCAL". (103-check the rates).

My desire is this: that a balance be found to ensure safe and workmanship like standards are adhered to such that homes and businesses remain safe AND that the cost to preserve the habitability and safety of homes not be artificially inflated by municipalities, unions or special interests.*

As Professionals, we (I) would like the same.

Unions and Special intrest, will always rule the day.
Thats Politics. (Trust me I'm not like the others)

(EX: The Govenor "elect" of this state(Commonwealth) Is building his $3.5 Million,house in the Berkshires, With non-union labor. Guess who supported him the most. See Above!!!)


Supply and demand; If demand is high, and the supply of Qualified people drop by a substantial amount , Then costs will rise. Computer repair now is cheap. go back 10 years.

How many Young plumbers, electricians,Etc. do you find (19-25)?

Your prices are only going to go up.
 
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Old 11-14-06, 08:10 PM
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not sure I agree with the insurance not paying off Lee, but to each his own.
 
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Old 11-14-06, 08:14 PM
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Wink

It's all about perspective. No ones right or wrong.

Me, Very skeptical. My liability unscathed. Want to keep it that way.
 
  #12  
Old 11-15-06, 09:36 AM
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trust

How about permits as a method of encouraging trust? As a home owner, I have more trust in the quality/safety of something that was done with a permit. Even if the inspector didn't really serve a useful purpose, whoever did the work is more likely to have done a good job.

With a "new" old house, you need to pick your battles. One of my biggest questions was about the safety of a fusebox in my attic. If there were a permit, I probably would have focussed on other things that needed attention. Since there wasn't, I spent a lot of time and effort learning more about sub-panels (especially here on this forum) and fixing what I needed to.
 
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Old 11-15-06, 09:57 AM
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How about the other side of the coinÖthe perception of trust when there really should be none. In my area, the homeowner can do electrical. And my inspectors donít inspect for @#[email protected] The person buying my house would not know that, so they would trust that because the work was inspected, it must be safe.

This is a dangerous assumption. The problem is that the inspectors donít do their job a lot of the time. A false sense of trust is WORSE then knowing the job wasnít permitted. At least then you would know to be suspicious.
 
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Old 11-15-06, 03:46 PM
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Fuente; Your points are good,valid and well taken (we've all seen it).
As For the homeowner, And tax payer you get something in print. Thats Important and legal.

As Professionals, I would like to beleive (as most pros' do),
The Job is done correctly,safely and within code.With or with out a permit. We All must sleep and live with our actions (DIYers included).

The point to the buyer, Get a qualified home inspectional service. Tested and licensed are best. Permits on file do help with the unseen,down the road.
 
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