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#153869 - 12/26/03 05:37 AM Old work or new work?
ravin Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/20/02
Posts: 6
Have a 1800's home which HO installed sheetrock over plaster walls prior to electrical upgrades. Original wiring is bx umbrella circuits, with pull chain fixtures in all rooms. Our company ran nm to new swithes/new home runs/ interconnect smokes. Called for inspection prior to device install. Inspector wants all areas with new wiring to be exposed for inspection: Electrical permit specified old work on existing stucture with no service change, but inspector states that our wiring is new and must be exposed for inspection as such. My question is what is the the clasification between old and new install.

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#153870 - 12/26/03 06:23 AM Re: Old work or new work?
Ryan_J Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/19/03
Posts: 1355
Loc: West Jordan, Utah, USA
You might consider asking the AHJ what he/she wants to see or is expecting to see.

In the NM article, it states that NM need not be supported when it is "fished" into a wall. I am assuming this is the case with your installation. Beyond support, what is your inspector trying to see that cannot be seen from within the box?
_________________________
Ryan Jackson,
Salt Lake City

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#153871 - 12/26/03 06:55 AM Re: Old work or new work?
Roger Offline
Member

Registered: 05/18/02
Posts: 1779
Loc: N.C.
Raven, the new sheetrock maybe the downfall here.

I agree that if the permitt was for an "old work" (retrofit) installation to keep from disturbing a historical finish, NEC article 334.30(B)(1) could be used.

By covering over the old finish, the inspector could argue that preservation was not an issue in the project.

Hopefully some others will jump in here and prove me off base.

Roger

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#153872 - 12/26/03 06:58 AM Re: Old work or new work?
Roger Offline
Member

Registered: 05/18/02
Posts: 1779
Loc: N.C.
Hey Ryan, I had my post window open for awhile while I took a phone call and didn't see your post untill I submitted mine.

Roger

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#153873 - 12/26/03 07:22 AM Re: Old work or new work?
ravin Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/20/02
Posts: 6
Thanks for replys, AHJ maintains that new sheetrock on walls creates the stucture as new and wiring must be inspected for support. But why fail electrical, should be fail on building permit inspection not on electrical inspection:again, the electrician is the messenger of bad news to customer.

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#153874 - 12/26/03 08:28 AM Re: Old work or new work?
ElectricAL Offline
Member

Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 615
Loc: Minneapolis, MN USA
I do a lot of work in old dwellings in the inner city of Minneapolis, St. Paul. The destinction of what is old work vs. new work is fairly well described here.

On a room by room basis, if 50% of the wall surface is removed exposing the framing then the room is considered as new construction and is wired to the most current NEC in effect. (since the NEC is adopted on the state level, here, that is the 2002 statewide. . .it may be different in your location)

Applying a new covering over the existing covering is not exposing the framing. . .no economy of effort is introduced. . .especially if the new wall surface is intact (taped and sanded) before I'm allowed to start my wiring.

Arguably, if the electrician can get in before the drywall (panelling, wood, whatever) goes on, then the electrician can hack or beat large holes and not have to finesse as much, but a large part of the run is still fished. It is bad planning on the part of the Home Owner if I can't wire until after the walls are finished. . .the HO has to spend a lot more on my labor to fish the wires in.

If the inspector is arguing that s/he should see the support, as if it were not fished, on the new wire installed because of the new drywall present, then all the wiring should be to new construction standard. . .that is, outlets within 6' of the start of a wall and every 12' after, etc.

Now, since this is plaster (on lathe?), if the plaster is skinned off the lathe before the rock goes on. . .its a little harder to argue. Then it is a matter of showing the inspector proof that the Home Owner was done with the rock before the electrical was started. Who's to say that the plaster was off at the 50% or higher level at any one time. The HO could have done one wall at a time over a long span of time.

The lynch pin is that the wiring did not start until the rock was finished.
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Al Hildenbrand

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#153875 - 12/26/03 08:31 AM Re: Old work or new work?
earlydean Offline
Member

Registered: 12/22/03
Posts: 749
Loc: Griswold, CT, USA
The inspector is being just a little unreasonable. If the sheetrock had been installed with a permit, or the electrical had been installed prior to the new rock, the installation would still meet NEC. Sure, make the HO pull a permit for the GWB, but inspect the NM for supports where none are required???????? He should inspect what he can, maybe ask for a couple of boxes to be opened and check for grounds.
_________________________
Earl

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#153876 - 12/26/03 02:13 PM Re: Old work or new work?
RickG Offline
Member

Registered: 07/04/01
Posts: 37
Loc: South County, R.I. USA
IMO the inspector is asking way too much. NM cable is allowed to be fished in without supports. I do not think any code official can demand that access holes be made for cable support in old walls. Sounds to me like the owner simply covered the existing plaster walls with new wallboard. Is there a rule that this cannot be done? I don't think so.
Is it possible that the owner & code officials have a history? That could explain the torture the owner is being put thru.
Bottom line, fishing of NM is permitted.
Rick

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#153877 - 12/26/03 04:28 PM Re: Old work or new work?
Ryan_J Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/19/03
Posts: 1355
Loc: West Jordan, Utah, USA
Roger: I'm glad we were on the same page. Nothing worse than when someone with more knowledge of the code is answering the same question at the same time as me.
_________________________
Ryan Jackson,
Salt Lake City

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#153878 - 12/27/03 07:01 AM Re: Old work or new work?
Electricmanscott Offline
Member

Registered: 01/12/02
Posts: 1478
Loc: Holden, MA USA
This one is really bothering me. It is perfectly legal to fish romex. That is unquestionable. The building was not gutted therefore the only way to rewire is to fish. The electrical inspector has no authority to burden a homeowner with the incredible added expense of demolition, disposal etc. There is no justification for what he is asking whatsoever. I would make this clear to the inspector. If this is not possible then it is an issue between him and the homeowner. At which point the homeowner should go way above this guy to whomever he can.

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