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Re: Is "Code Minimum" Really an Option? [Re: Tesla] #196590 10/15/10 06:33 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,235
HotLine1 Offline
Sounds like we may need a furniture placement 'code'?

Seriously, a resi buyer should 'walk' the structure before the 'roughs' of all trades, but that's in a perfect world.

Should the EC of the job talk to the buyer (with the builders permission) and up-sell the job? I sure would hope so; and that should solve the 'added' receptacles, lights, switches, appliance feeds, jacuzzis, and all the other toys.

As an AHJ, the required items must be installed for me to pass a rough.

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Re: Is "Code Minimum" Really an Option? [Re: HotLine1] #196603 10/16/10 01:08 PM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,492
Texas_Ranger Offline
In a perfect world, there wouldn't be any receptacles behind furniture. In reality, specially with rooms larger than a broom closet, no matter how carefully the original layout has been planned, eventually some pieces of furniture will end up in front of one or more receptacle(s). Even if in a total renovation or new construction the customer already planned the whole furniture layout in advance (which is not all that likely), it will very likely change at some point in the future.
What we can do is supply enough receptacles to make sure that at least some of them will (hopefully) stay accessible in the future. However, that's a design choice between the person who is going to live there and the EC. If the EC works for a developer, landlord or whatever absentee owner who will only pay for minimum work, minimum is what we can do. We can pity the future buers or tenants, but that's it.

Re: Is "Code Minimum" Really an Option? [Re: Texas_Ranger] #196608 10/16/10 05:25 PM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 361
mbhydro Offline
And its not only receptacles that get hidden behind furniture. Try looking for phone and cable jacks in some houses.

For some reason my living room phone baseboard jack is dead center on the wall behind my couch.

It does align nicely with the stud bay that the kitchen wall phone jack is on though.

Re: Is "Code Minimum" Really an Option? [Re: mbhydro] #196630 10/17/10 02:57 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 399
Alan Nadon Offline
The electrician is the last to be asked, and then only because the light fixtures are on back order. After the money is all spent on HVAC, woodwork, carpets etc. do they ask about the wiring. Code minimum means that you only need one wall switch in a room regardless of the number of doors and size of the room. I remember the arguement about the receptacle in a hallway. One contractor was losing bids because he included them and they weren't required. The electrical trade has to start selling up their jobs.
The customer needs to decide if they want the bare bones, you won't be happy with this, verses the options that make life comfortable.
I'm still waiting for electricians to get into the maintainence contracts with home owners that the other trades are using. Once or twice a year, test all GFI's AFCI's, smoke detectors, and replace burned out bulbs.
Depending on the size of the house charge for two hours of service work and schedule it for your slow times.
If the devices don't work offer to replace at their special discounted price because they are on the contract.
While you're at it ask the bank why the HVAC guy and the roofing or siding guy can get the bank to finance the project , but won't help a homeowner on the cost of a rewire ?
I appologize for the length, but in a quarter century I haven't seen any change in the way electricians are doing business except to get cheaper and then wonder why they don't make any money.
Sell up or you will always be down.

If it was easy, anyone could do it.
Re: Is "Code Minimum" Really an Option? [Re: Alan Nadon] #196631 10/17/10 05:41 PM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,273
Tesla Offline
The banks consider an upgrade in HVAC to be an improvement. Out my way the H/O gets a Federal tax credit for such.

Our craft is stuck with being considered a repair or a frivolous 'improvement' that uses even more juice.

Obviously, light bulbs make lousy collateral.

And who could forget that our best work is buried. Such is our trade craft.

Re: Is "Code Minimum" Really an Option? [Re: Tesla] #196651 10/19/10 09:09 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 169
ChicoC10 Offline
It's a no win game. Even if you you perfectly customize the electrical to the current owner the next one will come along and assume your a moron for the way you placed things.

The first custom I was responsible for was tailored to exact specs working closely with the owner. It took forever and my boss wanted to know why I was trying to ruin the company by dragging the job out so long.

As it turns out, some years later they sold that house and the new owners call an electrician who happens to be me.
After much explaining myself and delicately stepping around the fact that is was the former owner and not me who is the moron, I was finally allowed to help in the kitchen remodel. The last thing---the floor plug in the concrete slab is in the "wrong" place. It's about 6" "too far forward" to be hidden properly under their couch.
"Could you move the couch forward 6"? "-----"Oh no, that wouldn't look right."

I'm no fan of coercion but I have to say that "code minimum" probably is the only thing that makes some houses livable to future owners.

Last edited by ChicoC10; 10/19/10 09:11 PM.
Re: Is "Code Minimum" Really an Option? [Re: ChicoC10] #196652 10/19/10 11:03 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,235
HotLine1 Offline
Just thought I'd throw this in the mix....

Current condo complex (10 bldgs, 22 units each, 5 distinct models in each bldg), pricing from $350k to $450k. Builders concept is "all inclusive"!

The whole project is 'code' recepts, 'code' lighting, 'code' kitchen, etc. NO "extras" offered or allowed.

The townhomes that are in the same complex (15 bldgs' 6 to 8 units each) are 'code' also!

Site was started in mid '07 and on last two condo bldgs as we speak. This is a major national builder & 'code' works for them.

Re: Is "Code Minimum" Really an Option? [Re: HotLine1] #196693 10/21/10 08:18 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 169
ChicoC10 Offline
And don't forget about the one's who hold a serious grudge with you personally for "ruining" the look of their painstakingly selected and very intricate tile back splash with all of those annoying required small appliance receptacles. Or marring the look of the look of the kitchen island (and the inside of it too) with the required receptacles in it and the necessary boxes and conduit.

And then there are the hours spent, going hoarse at times, explaining why we here in CA have to decide for the owner what type of lighting they are allowed to use and where, where oc sensors have to go and under what conditions, and where they must install dimmers whether they want to pay for one or not. And of course they still don't understand when you are done and "illegal" fixtures show up and must be taken back.

Last edited by ChicoC10; 10/21/10 08:22 PM.
Re: Is "Code Minimum" Really an Option? [Re: ChicoC10] #196694 10/21/10 09:11 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,235
HotLine1 Offline
Yes, the Golden State is way, way ahead of us here in NJ. Energy Code is sitting on the horizon electrically speaking. Rumors on the street are leaning toward 'coming soon'.

Re: Is "Code Minimum" Really an Option? [Re: HotLine1] #196738 10/25/10 09:12 AM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,233
harold endean Offline
Here is my 2 cents on this. I was on a job years ago and wiring up a resi living room. There were 3 entrances to the room and the builder just wanted 1 switch to the room. I asked him if the HO wanted a 3 way. He said what is the Min. code and he just wanted 1 switch. Couple years later the HO asked me why I didn't put in a 3 way and the answer was that since I was working ( and paid) by the GC, I had to follow his orders. I asked the GC if I could ask the HO about the 3 way but was told I couldn't. The HO said that they wished the 3 way went in.

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