Whole-house upgrade required after Sandy?

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  #1  
Old 12-06-12, 11:38 AM
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Whole-house upgrade required after Sandy?

My parent's home in Queens, NYC was flooded with 18" of water in Hurricane Sandy. Many of the circuits in the house were flooded and will need to be replaced.

The first electrician to quote the job is saying that the entire house *must* be brought up to current code, including dozens of new circuits to handle additional switched lighting, dedicated outlets for window AC units, exterior outlets and lighting, etc. He is not citing unsafe wiring -- he is saying he needs to add on to meet all requirements as if the house were built new today.

They had no problem getting permits for a new panel and circuits in 2008, so I'm not sure why those omissions were fine then, but not now.

I understand the need to do work according to NYC code, but wondering if current code truly requires those omissions to be addressed, or if it is acceptable to limit the scope to replacement of the flooded circuits?

Comments, and especially code references, would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Old 12-06-12, 12:03 PM
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Waterside....Have you gotten any other bids for at least 2 other shops ?
 
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Old 12-06-12, 12:18 PM
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Nope, but definitely trying. Everyone is so busy after the storm, it is hard to even get a call back. In the meantime, I'm trying to educate myself about the issues involved.
 
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Old 12-06-12, 01:06 PM
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Just a guess but my guess would be local code requires that if a certain percentage of the wiring is replaced then all wiring must pass current code. This is a common provision often encountered when doing large scale remodeling. In the past when you were just adding one or two circuits or even upgrading a panel it would not have been enough to trigger the requirement.
 
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Old 12-06-12, 01:41 PM
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Waterside:

I would get a couple more bids. Some referrals as well.
There are tons of bad ones out there and good ones. It's hard to decipher between them in this part of town unless you have a recommendation, etc.
 
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Old 12-06-12, 03:22 PM
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I would also recommend checking with your building department. A lot of local departments here (in NJ) are waiving some requirements for upgrades and such to help out homeowners. I would bring some pictures to your building department and ask them exactly what needs to be done.

I question the need to bring all of that up to current code. You may have to replace some wire and receptacles and such, but with only 18" of water, it shouldn't have affected any of your light switches, ceiling lighting, etc.

That said, it is a good time to add circuits and such with the walls open. So many of the recommendations/requirements may be worthwhile doing anyway.
 
  #7  
Old 12-06-12, 04:37 PM
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I would think that only the affected circuits would need to be brought up to code. Definitely get in touch with the building department and find out. The last thing you need is some guy ripping you off like that.
 
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