Question about electrical inspections

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  #1  
Old 11-13-14, 07:05 PM
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Question about electrical inspections

Hey Guys

I live in an 80 year old house that is still using 2-wire electricity (no ground). I've decided that I want to slowly replace the wire. My plan is to start in the bedroom and tear down the walls, rewire the room on its own circuit, and put up drywall.

I'm going to pull a permit for this. When the city inspector comes, will he ding me on other things in the house that might not be up to code? It's an 80 yr old house so I'm sure there's code violations going on in some places. Or is it his job to only pay attention to the work that I pulled a permit for? I just bought the house 2 years ago so any other work that has been performed here, was by the previous home owner.

What is your overall experience with inspectors?
 
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Old 11-13-14, 07:20 PM
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I'm not an electrician. But this may help, as I have had inspections done on my house, only for upgrades.
The new wiring (upgrades) you're making will be inspected as normal. Inspector will look at wiring while walls are still open.
Old wiring should not be an issue. One problem you may run into is if your panel can handle the circuits you are adding. No breaks given on this one. Grounding may be an issue also.
Electricians will add better info.
 
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Old 11-13-14, 07:50 PM
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I've decided that I want to slowly replace the wire. My plan is to start in the bedroom and tear down the walls, rewire the room on its own circuit, and put up drywall.
If your intent is to slowly rewire the whole house, room-by-room, will you get one permit for the whole house or a permit for each room. I have seen a few overzealous inspectors in commercial work that would try to look beyond the permitted work and require extra work in other areas, but a call to his boss usually takes care of that.
 
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Old 11-13-14, 08:02 PM
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My plan is to get a separate permit for each room because I will likely take very long breaks in between rooms. I don't want to rush the job.
 
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Old 11-13-14, 10:19 PM
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Most inspectors have enough to do that they don't go looking for things to inspect. One thing that WILL trigger them is smoke detectors so plan on interconnected smoke detectors in every bedroom and the hallway outside of the bedrooms. They also will require a smoke detector on every floor of the house. Just be sure to run the cabling for the next smoke detector before closing up the wall or ceiling.

The other thing is kitchens and bathrooms. Once you open the walls in either ALL the wiring in that area must be brought to current code.

Doing it room-by-room will cost you a fair amount in administrative costs for the multiple permits. I would check to see how long a permit is good for and try to do more than one room during the permit time frame.
 
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Old 11-14-14, 05:26 AM
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So you're saying I HAVE to run wire for smoke detectors? That's news to me. I currently have the kind with the 10-year battery mounted on the walls. I was not aware that current code says I have to hard wire them.
 
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Old 11-14-14, 06:39 AM
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The only codes you MUST follow are the LOCAL codes and their amendments. In my area any major remodeling (this would include electrical) requires that AC powered communicating smoke detectors be installed. I think this is fast becoming standard across the nation. Smoke detectors are generally covered in the building code rather than the electrical code.

If you were to start with a bedroom you would run in the power for the smoke detector, generally 14-2 type NM cable, and then run 14-3 cable to the next position of a smoke detector. You probably do not need to install new smoke detectors at the same time, just as you progress from room to room. Eventually you will have all smoke detectors wired together so that if one goes into alarm ALL will sound the alarm.
 
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Old 11-14-14, 07:26 AM
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In my area, a final inspection will include smoke detectors in all bedrooms and hallway. You also need a CO detector.
This is required for any building permit to be finalized.
Currently, they may be battery operated, but I'm sure they will head towards A/C.
 
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Old 11-14-14, 08:09 AM
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Some areas here a building permit triggers the need for the smoke alarm upgrade .
 
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Old 11-14-14, 08:29 AM
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My plan is to start in the bedroom and tear down the walls, rewire the room on its own circuit, and put up drywall.
That sounds like 2 permits for each room, a building permit and an electrical permit.
 
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Old 11-14-14, 08:33 AM
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Many permits are good for 6 to 12 months..
 
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Old 11-14-14, 08:38 AM
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I think the best course of action is to have a conversation with the local inspector(s) and hammer out a plan. While there are a few jerks out there, in my experience inspectors will be willing to work with your situation. In my opinion the best solution would be to do it under one permit with the understanding that it's going to take you a while to complete the work. Generally permits will "expire" after 6 mo. or a year, but if you're in regular communication with the inspector and let him know you're making progress he'd probably be willing to just keep it open. Of course this depends a lot on if you're in a big city vs. small town or other type of situation where you can meet directly with your inspector.
 
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Old 11-14-14, 10:17 AM
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Definitely agree with Ben, talk to the inspector and explain the project.
 
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Old 11-16-14, 08:02 PM
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Definitely agree, talk to the inspector about the best way to do this upgrade. It will get costly to keep getting permits and inspections.

You can also do most of these upgrades without doing much drywall damage. If you want to remove the drywall for other reasons that of course makes it easier, but it's not necessary.

Also be sure you're doing receptacle spacing and circuits to current code AND where you need them, not necessarily where they are currently.
 
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