Wiring mess... need some advice.

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  #1  
Old 03-24-16, 12:45 PM
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Wiring mess... need some advice.

A friend of mine moved into a remodel last summer and decided to buy it at some point from his investor partner, he earnestly began remodeling the house and making it nice. In the process, he had to learn to do a lot of things on his own because contractors are ****. At least the ones he picked. After rebuilding the flooring in 2 new rooms (large 20 by 30 garage was split by a wall forming a 10 by 20 and 20 by 20 separate rooms, the 10 by 20 was raised on the ends to form a bathroom to be floor and laundry room thats raised to the level of the rest of the house, (whereas the garage is about 3-4 feet lower)

yada yada. But then came the electrical. In remodeling, he quickly became comfortable with running basic circuits, and then got lost in replacing the mess he found hidden in the walls, dangerous and illegal splicings etc.

at this point, at the advice of his roommate who has many years electrical experience as a laborer, he rewired half the house in such a way as to connect to junction boxes and then run the TMMN (or whatever its called, not romex) wire through EMT pipes directly from the panel box, for a really solid overkill job)

But hes at the point he really needs to change his panelbox, he bought a shiny new 225 amp 54 circuit panel box and needs to reconnect it with a fresh wire from the meter base, which is currently spliced inside the wall just kinda hanging out...

Hes afraid of getting a permit to do anything at this point cause hes afraid of getting in trouble with the government, BUT the house is much safer than it was before, with many fire hazards being solved.

He wants to install an outside quick disconnect /meter box combo, and then put their meter back on and be done with it.

Any advice. Any. At this point. would help him. Not sure how to weigh the pros and cons, and hes willing to buy rubber mats, linesmen's gloves, whatever. to do it safely.
 
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Old 03-24-16, 12:54 PM
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The only way to do it safely is to have the electric company disconnect the power at the pole. A slight variation on that is to get his new panel set up and ready to tie in then have the electric company move the drop from the old panel to the new. (New panel and mast can be right next to the existing panel.) In this case the old panel either becomes a sub or is gutted and used as a junction box. However all of this must be done under permit.
 
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Old 03-24-16, 12:56 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

We have no idea where you are located but the power company won't just connect or re-connect to a new service. There must be an inspection done and a cut-in card issued to the power company.

He has actually approached this backwards. Normally the service gets upgraded and then you rewire the interior.

You will have to apply for permits for your work. There isn't much of a way around it.
 
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Old 03-24-16, 01:00 PM
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and thanks! A quick and efficient resolution will do wonders for his stress.
 
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Old 03-24-16, 01:03 PM
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if hes already done all this very obvious electrical work and fully rewired the house, wont the inspectors give him problems when inspecting this move to a new panelbox/meterbase?
 
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Old 03-24-16, 01:21 PM
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oh, i forgot to mention. about 8 people live there
 
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Old 03-24-16, 01:25 PM
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Depends on the area, but pretty good chance they will make him get retroactive permits, (which will likely cost double what they would have in the first place). Then they will do all the inspections that were skipped.

Some places will look the other way, especially for minor things, but if he's done extensive work it's going to be time to pay the piper.

I agree with the others that there's no way you want to attempt rewiring meter base without having power cut at the pole. There really is no safe way to do it. The connections that have to be made are little more than an inch from un-fused live wires.

And assuming your buddy gets religion and decides to get a permit, I think he'd be better off going in and pulling the permits for the other work rather than hoping the inspector won't notice.
 
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Old 03-24-16, 01:42 PM
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Your friend needs to bite the bullet and get the permits. Yes then inspectors will look at everything closer since work was done with out permits, but they will at least double check to make sure it is safe. The wires feeding the meter are unfused so there is very little to stop anything that may go wrong.
 
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Old 03-25-16, 08:33 AM
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So no chance of closing everything up (done correctly) and claiming ignorance once hes bought the property etc? He has it under verbal contract now and hasn't closed yet.
 
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Old 03-25-16, 08:56 AM
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There's a chance, sure. Sometimes the inspector will only look at the work listed on the permit. Sometimes they'll look for other stuff. Sometimes you get a jerk. Sometime you get a nice guy. It's a roll of the dice and it's up to you how much risk you're willing to take.

The one thing that is for sure in my opinion is that the power company will not connect a service without an approved inspection of the service entrance. There is far too much danger and liability. The mains are nothing to mess with - they can easily kill someone or burn down the house. It must be done right.
 
  #11  
Old 03-25-16, 09:29 AM
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Honest question - how would the inspector know whether the electrical work that he has already completed was done before purchase or after?

For example - my house I just purchased had a new panel put in when I bought it. Inspector came out, as there is a sticker signed on the box. My town does not require permits for electrical whatsoever (per the lady at city hall permits office). If I then ran some new circuits, but never had them inspected - how would anybody know?
 
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Old 03-25-16, 11:42 AM
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Also being from MN I know for a fact while the city does not do electrical inspections, the state does and requires them for any electricial work done. Everywhere in the state a state permit is required and/or inspections are required.

Go here to find yours: https://www.dli.mn.gov/ccld/PDF/eli_...rDirectory.pdf

How would he know? That is tough to say. Looking at the panel he may find a sticker showing how many open spaces or circuits there was when it was last inspected. Looking at the type of wiring is sometimes can be easy to tell new from old. For example if there is yellow NM-b cable that has only been around for 10 years or so. If the existing panel is wired in greenfield but there is a lot of Romex elsewhere that is also an indication of new wiring.

Some inspectors will let it slide if it is a neat workman like installation. However, if they see a hack job he might be inclined to look a little harder and start flagging things.
 
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Old 03-25-16, 12:01 PM
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Most materials have a date stamped or printed on them somewere -- Romex cable does, EMT conduit usually does. For someone who was really interested they could probably figure it out pretty easily. Other cases may be very obvious -- if the last permit on record was 30 years ago and there's a bunch of modern materials around there has obviously been recent work done. As to who did it, they certainly have legal options to find out, but it's really up to how aggressively your local government pursues this stuff. Some jurisdictions care about previous work, some don't.
 
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Old 03-25-16, 02:28 PM
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Also being from MN I know for a fact while the city does not do electrical inspections, the state does and requires them for any electricial work done. Everywhere in the state a state permit is required and/or inspections are required.
I agree - and the city permit lady did give me a one page "code requirement sheet" with the inspector that serves our county. "When your work is done, just give the inspector a call".

But then again, the State of MN requires persons to pay "use tax" on all online purchases that weren't taxed, and nobody does that either....


But that does answer my original question - if the breaker box has an inspection sticker dated August 2015 and the romex is printed 2016, then the work is obviously done post inspection. I didn't realize that romex had a date stamp.
 
  #15  
Old 04-01-16, 10:21 AM
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he is going to run into all types of problems because not only was electrical work done without pulling a permit first, but it also sounds like a lot of carpentry and plumbing work was done too.

How far is he with the remodel? Drywall and finishes installed? More than likely he is probably past the point in the work where one would normally have a rough inspection performed. Otherwise he could pull the permits (for the work he has already done) as if he has yet to do the work, then schedule to have the rough inspection done.

He also has to think as well, he may never be able to sell the house or even rent it since an inspection is usually performed when doing either. The city will eventually find out. When someone looking to buy the house has an inspection done, they may question the renovations and check to see if a permit was pulled for the work.


Also, from the sounds of it, he doesn't yet own the property? I'm not sure if he'd even be able to pull the permits to do the work. I guess that depends on the city.
 
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