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electure #176752 04/10/08 08:51 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,335
You can fight a AHJ and you may win, but you may likely still be working in their jurisdiction so you must pick your battles wisely. On the otherside of the coin, A "loose cannon" inspector as portrayed in some of these posts are not doing their job. Making up rules on the fly is reckless can put their governing body of the jurisdiction in legal hot water. When a AHJ makes a ruling, they need to back it up with something, not just, "I do not like how it looks." Yes, you may not agree with them and there are gray area's that are open for interpretations. When it comes to interpretation, the AHJ gets to make the call like it or not.

"Live Awesome!" - Kevin Carosa
sparkyinak #176755 04/10/08 09:28 PM
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 4,288

While in may be true that in NJ inspectors are all professionals, the fact of the matter is that there's 49 other States besides Jersey.(I've heard good things about NJ inspectors BTW).

There are some combination inspectors out here in CA that don't know a delta from a doghouse. They interpret the rules as they see fit. Usually a call to their Chief Inspector can get the issue ironed out, but there are some of them that will still resent you for doing so.

No one wants to have any inspector on their back, so to speak. You may have to work in their jurisdiction again someday.

HotLine1 #176757 04/10/08 09:48 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Cat Servant
Here things are a bit simpler ... you have the inspector, then you have the "building official." The BO is an appointed position in the city, and has the final say. This is a single person, not an office or panel.

renosteinke #176758 04/10/08 10:58 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 853
Here, we Have the NEC with amendments.Thats what I wire by.

Some attitudes aswell. Depends on the bottom line.

Whether you "humor" them or fight them.

BTW: I'm paying them, twice. Permit and Taxes!!!.

(speaking of attitudes).:)

renosteinke #176759 04/10/08 11:00 PM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 745
When I was doing electrical work in NJ, each town or borough hired an independent inspection agency. These inspectors were not employees of the town at all. Our permit fees pretty much covered their charges, so it wasn't about the money at all. These guys were true third parties and we got along very well. The inspectors were in a position where they could look at things in an unbiased manner. Those were good times. The state still had the ultimate authoritative power in the event of an impasse, however those rarely occurred.

I have not done electrical work in NJ since the early 80's, so I don't know how things have changed if at all.

I will admit that government employees acting as multi-inspectors are an accident waiting to happen. They hire cheap, pay cheap and we find ourselves paying the price. We have to fight their incompetence, either by doing work over again or sitting through the lengthy protest process. It's cheaper to do the job over.


"But the guy at Home Depot said it would work."
EV607797 #176766 04/11/08 07:32 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,282
Likes: 3
Good things about NJ??? said NJ AHJ's! Thanks.

Yes, 3rd party inspectors are still around, in all trades. The Twp I work for just entered a 3rd party contract for Plumbing AHJ's. We had one resign, and the other one passed away....Twp fathers decided on 3rd party instead of Twp employee.

If you haven;t been working here since '80's...there have been changes, most for the better IMHO.

As a side note..multi-trade lic. inspectors are very much in demand around here. Seems like most job offerings say "multiple lic. are a plus"\

HotLine1 #176779 04/11/08 08:44 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 23
We have an inspector down here that has a limit of eight receptacles/lights on a circuit, in residential.

I will go to the villages website and search for amendments to the NEC. Sometimes I will call the inspector prior to bidding to ask about any amendments he/she may have. I'm not afraid to ask an inspector to backup his requests with actual NEC sections or local amendments, diplomatically of course.

HEI_Inc #176784 04/11/08 09:35 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,335
Originally Posted by HEI_Inc
We have an inspector down here that has a limit of eight receptacles/lights on a circuit, in residential.
Is this a actual ordinance or pet peeve of the inspector? Good as it is, an inspector can not be enforcing personal preferences

I will go to the villages website and search for amendments to the NEC. Sometimes I will call the inspector prior to bidding to ask about any amendments he/she may have. I'm not afraid to ask an inspector to backup his requests with actual NEC sections or local amendments, diplomatically of course.
Good for you. I encourage the same thing everytime it comes up in conversation. It lets you know what you are get yourself into before hand and if done right, it builds a good repore with the officals than money can not buy unless they are on the take. laugh

"Live Awesome!" - Kevin Carosa
HotLine1 #176794 04/12/08 10:25 AM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 399
On small stuff a sit down with the Code book usually resolves the problem. I have a local review board, and there is always the right to appeal to the state.
Big headache comes from the general contractor that doesn't know the electrical code and pushes the electrician to create a violation.
Such as; join two existing buildings together, each with their own 400 amp service, same voltage and phasing. Now make it comply with the code.
I suggested, increase one and back feed the other; put in a single service disconnect and feed both. All rejected as too expensive since the job was done.
Actual solution; appeal to the state for an exception. Both service are fed from the same transformer so that will be the disconnect "point" in case of fire. Put signs at both services.
AHJ (Me) puts a copy of the signed state release in the file and walks away from it.
Kenny Rogers Rule: Know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, know when to run. smile

If it was easy, anyone could do it.
walrus #176804 04/12/08 04:58 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,143
There was an AHJ that refused to sign off on a job my buddy had done because he used drywall multi-purpose screws to mount the various boxes throughout the job instead of #8 wood screws. He refused to OK the job until the guys pulled all the DWS's out and replaced them, claiming that they violated the 1/4" interior obstruction requirement of the Code for mounting hardware.

He's also the same guy who gave a verbal OK to bury an undergound yard lighting circuit as long as there were inspection holes left open along every run longer than 25'. When he was called back for the final he flew into a rage, denied ever approving the "hole" method and demanded that the whole thing be dug up for his viewing.

They called back two days later and the guy OK'd it without even leaving his truck.

In most cases the decision is made to simply abide by the AHJ's decision rather than onject, due to (as others have said) the delay in completion and cost of representation, as well as the
factor on the part of the AHJ that would have every other job in that community gone over with a microscope.

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