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#1412 - 05/10/01 12:06 AM City Building Inspector Woes  
sparky66wv  Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,232
West Virginia
Here's the scenario:

From past experience with the local City Building Inspector, who doesn't know NEC from neck, (staples twice as often as needed and put smoke alarms in every bedroom, hallway, floor, and stairwell, you'll pass) he preaches smoke detectors really hard and I have no problem with that. Interconnected, battery-back-up, hard-wired as per the CABO book (is that right?).

So, in an addition to a dwelling, he requires that all bedrooms, hallways, etc. comply, not just the new rooms. Wasn't a big deal in the single-story ranch house, but I'm working on a two-story with dormers and knee walls, and very difficult to access these rooms with continuous cable from detector to detector. Major invasive work (say $1200 or so) especially the down stairs rooms.

The city has no "additional" code book.
Just where is the line drawn in old and new work?
What minimum work requires the addition of these old-work smoke detectors?
What maximum work would not require them?
Just how is he coming to this conclusion that he can insist in invasive work that isn't a part of the addition?

Are there any smoke detectors that interconnect with an FM signal (like wireless doorbell)? If one exists that interconnects via RF, has battery back-up, but then can be attached to any convenient 120V source, it would be a big $$$ saver for my customer.


-Virgil
Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
Member IAEI

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#1413 - 05/10/01 12:23 AM Re: City Building Inspector Woes  
Anonymous
Unregistered

Quote
Just where is the line drawn in old and new work?
What minimum work requires the addition of these old-work smoke detectors?
Do they have an ordinance specifying that renovations over $xxxx must retrofit ... ?


Quote
Are there any smoke detectors that interconnect with an FM signal (like wireless doorbell)?
In fact, this is a fine idea.
The RF signal could even be sent over the electrical wire.

But isn't the inspector going to make you put all the smoke detectors on dedicated circuits too?

A smoke detector in every floor?


[This message has been edited by Dspark (edited 05-10-2001).]


#1414 - 05/10/01 12:24 AM Re: City Building Inspector Woes  
sparky66wv  Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,232
West Virginia
Sorry, every "story" must have at least one detector, not the actual floor...

I don't think that a dedicated circuit is specified, I've shared with the lighting in the past, the interconnecting part pretty much assures that they'll be on the same circuit, so it hasn't been an issue, yet. If the breaker trips on the circuit with the detectors, it would be noticed quicker if it shares a circuit with commonly used devices such as lights, that's the argument presented to me on sharing the circuit with lighting.

I'll have to check on any ordinances, that sound like the right avenue to me, though.

[This message has been edited by sparky66wv (edited 05-10-2001).]


-Virgil
Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
Member IAEI

#1415 - 05/10/01 07:11 AM Re: City Building Inspector Woes  
sparky  Offline
Member
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,303
Another good thread!
I see this alot, NFPA 72 & 101 come into consideration, also i see NFPA 73 used, mostly when a place changes owners or usage.

I have been told to do single station in light of overwelming damage to interconnect, and then told to interconnect in the same situation within a building right next door!


#1416 - 05/10/01 04:01 PM Re: City Building Inspector Woes  
Anonymous
Unregistered

Quote
the interconnecting part pretty much assures that they'll be on the same circuit,
I did not know that this was a requirement.
I run just a single signal wire between them and tap the detector into a convenient box.

Quote
If the breaker trips on the circuit with the detectors, it would be noticed quicker if it shares a circuit with commonly used devices such as lights, that's the argument presented to me on sharing the circuit with lighting.
That's my opinion too. But somewhere I saw a requirement for a dedicated circuit... perhaps along the line that if the lights melt down, start a fire, and blow the breaker, the smoke detector should still be active.

I use dual-powered devices (120 V AC and 9V battery) which avoids that concern.


[This message has been edited by Dspark (edited 05-10-2001).]


#1417 - 05/10/01 04:11 PM Re: City Building Inspector Woes  
sparky66wv  Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,232
West Virginia
Battery back-up is required here too, but I'm only assuming there's a "same circuit" clause.

Do you run just a single THHN out in the open in front of God and everybody, or is it in a raceway, or do you use NM Cable and ignore the unused conductors?

Just how does one legally run this single conductor?

It would seem just as simple to run #14-3-G between them... and it would in this case...


-Virgil
Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
Member IAEI

#1418 - 05/10/01 07:11 PM Re: City Building Inspector Woes  
wayne  Offline
Member
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 54
NC
Sparky66WV,

Its like anything else, reguardless what is required or not new/old work.

That is left up to the LJD.

But by what you are saying I would ask for a second opion, providing there are more than one inspector.

Most of the inspectors will work with you in a lot of situlations. But there are a orange in the bunch every now and then, and tries to show his/her authority.

I commend most of the inspectors, for I personaly would not want nor desire there job. Too us I know its differcult to comprehend.

Sometimes they give a deputy a badge and he/she thinks they are a Sheriff.

Of course I agree when we are doing certain projects we should be able to draw a line to the extent of work that we are going to do.
[Linked Image]
Wayne


#1419 - 05/10/01 07:46 PM Re: City Building Inspector Woes  
Anonymous
Unregistered

I wouldn't typically use #14 on a shared circuit because I am #12 kind of guy. So for me to use 14-3-G, the circuit would have to be dedicated to really small stuff.

Considering the Xc, the smaller gage may be superior too, especially at 75+'. Have to see what Scott says about that. I don't have any instructions handy.

It's not that I didn't read them ever. I think I oversized to #18 solid for strength from what was required.

The signal is very low voltage and limited DC current. I hope it would be hard to make it illegal. When dealing with small, multi-family dwellings, each unit has its own electric service and pays for the energy used by its own smoke detectors. The signal wire runs through the attic or basement to interconnect all the units.

Yes, I've used a #18 THHN and never gotten any grief over it or even an argument (until now). It is pretty obvious that this small, yellow, standalone wire is not 120 V and is not completing a circuit. I label it "fire alarm interconnect" at appropriate places.

What would you cite me for (besides not reviewing the installation directions within the past year)?


#1420 - 05/10/01 08:12 PM Re: City Building Inspector Woes  
sparky  Offline
Member
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,303
Dspark;
i would have to dig into 725, classify your circuit,etc to answer that Q

[Linked Image]


#1421 - 05/10/01 08:14 PM Re: City Building Inspector Woes  
sparky66wv  Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,232
West Virginia
I only said #14 to keep Bill quiet!

I would normaly use #12 myself too...

[Linked Image]


-Virgil
Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
Member IAEI


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