Electrical Inspection what to expect

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  #1  
Old 02-26-14, 02:19 PM
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Electrical Inspection what to expect

Well the usual guys will know we are trying to find someone to replace our service. Well we have found the guy and installation is next week.

Living in an old house with lots of issues, my next concern is the inspection. Can someone describe to me the process, esp. if it fails for either something with the installation or something not covered in estimate/bid?

Can a contractor install the equipment, fail the inspection, a leave us in the dark? Would they shut power off?

Lots of questions for sure, anxiety level is already rising!
 
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Old 02-26-14, 04:50 PM
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Assuming the contractor went to the building department with his proposed layout when he got the permit, he will know whats existing and what needs to be done. That's why you hired him. In most locations the utility company comes out and disconnects the service. After the utility company disconnects the service the contractors removes the old service equipment and installs the new service panel and then calls the city for an inspection. The inspector checks for code and local compliance and tags the service as approved and the utility is called to reconnect service. There should be no problem with the basic service. If there is a problem with something after the service panel and the inspector red tags that, the service can usually still be energized and the item that has been red tagged can be corrected and re-inspected.
 
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Old 02-26-14, 05:06 PM
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Can a contractor install the equipment, fail the inspection, and leave us in the dark? Would they shut power off?
It would have to be a glaring error for them to not reconnect you.

If you've hired a licensed electrician.... he knows what the inspector is looking for. I don't know of any licensed electrician who would bail on the job if he didn't pass inspection.

Also.... be sure the job is not fully paid for before it's completed.

The inspector comes in to inspect whatever is on the permit. If he sees a problem he can and usually will say something about it but it doesn't usually affect the pending inspection.
 
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Old 02-26-14, 06:48 PM
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Can someone describe to me the process, esp. if it fails for either something with the installation or something not covered in estimate/bid?

Can a contractor install the equipment, fail the inspection, a leave us in the dark? Would they shut power off?
It's done differently in different areas, there is no way to tell you exactly how it is done in your area, but the bottom line is, don't pay the bill till the service has been inspected, passed and reconnected. In my area the permits are done electronically or by fax, no plans needed for a simple service change. The electrician cuts the power at the weatherhead to kill the service, installs the new service and then makes a temporary connection back to the utility service drop and calls for inspection. Realistically, you will not get your inspection the same day. This way, the customer is not without power while waiting on the inspector and paper shuffling at the power company. The inspector normally comes on the next work day. Once the inspection has been passed, the AHJ sends a wiring approval to the power company. The power company shuffles the paperwork among several departments and desks and eventually goes out to look at the service. In most cases, they don't do anything more and go ahead and seal the meter, but if there is an increase in load, they send out a crew to replace the drop and seal the meter.

You should ask your contractor exactly how all of this is handled in your area to reduce the anxiety. A reputable contractor will spend the time with you and explain everything in detail and will not demand payment till everything is completed and the inspection has passed.
 
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Old 02-27-14, 04:33 AM
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Very well spoken guys... im still nervous though!!!

contractor requires 1/2 down, but thanks for the tip about the other half.....

So its not the homeowners responsibility to call the inspector and ask him specifics about what he requires? I know slightly more than the average girl about electricity but I cant imagine I am supposed to know whats going to pass or not? After all I am doing the right thing (I think) and hired a licensed contractor.

I keep having a nightmare that the new service is OK but we fail because of some local thing not related to the service, then the contractor has no responsibility there, then we end up either not getting energized or they cut the power. Then the house freezes.

Im overreacting right? They cant just leave you in the dark (literally) like that?
 
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Old 02-27-14, 07:39 AM
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contractor requires 1/2 down, but thanks for the tip about the other half.....
That wouldn't be normal here, but maybe you are hiring a mom & pop shop. Nothing against being a small contractor, sometimes they do the best work.

So its not the homeowners responsibility to call the inspector and ask him specifics about what he requires?
Nope, that's why you are hiring a contractor. Part of his job is to take care of and coordinate all the issues such as permits, scheduling the inspection and followup with both the inspections department and power company and to see that you have power immediately after the job is complete. He should be giving you a turn key job. If there are any issues, the inspections department will contact him.
 
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Old 02-27-14, 11:46 PM
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contractor requires 1/2 down, but thanks for the tip about the other half.....
I mentioned the payment so that the job would be completed but I'm with Joe..... I'm with a small company and we don't ask for any money up front except for generator installations.
 
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