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Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
e57 Offline OP
First off, a disclaimer... Some of you may be Inspectors, and I'll say this... I have the upmost respect for Building Inspectors who actually inspect work, and don't just go for the job card and leave. I also am well aware of, and respect the the "Authority" Having Jurisdiction, and most often will not question that past a simple clarification. That said, this is what did for two hours today.........

Some backround... Boss took a job, 40 miles outside our normal range, that has had two EC's in the past, both could not get through rough. One got fired due to bad attitude, one never returned. I resummed thier work. (Which, was not bad, nothing I wouldn't do... And, it was all done spare a few changes.)Finished and got the rough signed by an "alternate" Inspector for that area, as the the one assigned the are was on vacation.

Had the finish inspection today... Here's how it went. I'm waiting outside, older, mid sixties gent shows up, "Hi I'm..." - "Let's see what you did this time!" (I have never worked in this town except for this job!)I take that with a grain of salt.

"Where would you like to start?"
"The panel!"

We go there, and I am pointing to the one circuit. I start into my shpeal, "This our one circuit..."

He interupts me, with this... "You haven't done anything since the last time I was here, I told you I wanted all this stuff taken care of!" I then politely tell him that this is my first inspection with him, something that he ignores for the rest of the inspection!

(This panel is an existing early 90's homeline, not the prettiest work, but no real obvious code violations.)

I ask, "So what were the items you wanted taken care of?"

Heres some of the items:

"Why are all those neutrals and grounds tied up like that? You can't tell where they're going!" He has me seperate them, I just go with it. We poke around in them making sure no grounds were cut out.

"What gage is that?" We go hunting down heaters, and checking thier wattage.

Now here's where it gets fun! Un-used conductors in the panel marked "Spare in attic" I have to go find it. (In a box)"It's not being used. Pull it out!" It was right above the panel, and I reluctantly agree to pull it out later. The next unused conductor is the red of a 3 wire, I have to go find it. The black is the microwave, and I easily find it in the box behind the microwave. He wants me to change it to a two wire. I tell him I can't without ripping the walls apart. He then suggests I cut it out at the back of the box, and the top of the panel. I refuse! I tell him that we're going to sort this out, and call him back. He leaves.

The Owner then tells me the last two Contractor had the same problem with him.

Did he look at the one landscape circuit he came for? NO!

Not only do I think this guy is got some interpritation issues, I think has past retirement up a little long!

I told the Boss he gets to go for the next one.

(I told the Customer I was going to post this, and agreed not to bring up anything about this job, so don't ask where this guy is.)

Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 697
I had a clueless inspector like this a few years ago. When I asked him what he was talking about (as in a code reference) he yelled "IT'S IN THERE!". I wrote a nice letter to his boss, who probably had some nasty phone calls (he was bragging about another job he had stopped) & the clueless inspector was gone the next year. Maybe he's off to warmer climates!


Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
e57 Offline OP
A little more than clueless! I reminded this guy three times, that we had never met, and never had any instuction from him to "correct" anything.

He claimed, "In my eighteen years as an Inspector I have never seen work this Joe McGee!" (Work I had not done, and for the most part very standard!) And, eighteen years ago, this guy may have been fifty? Not trying to bag on him for his age, but I wonder if he's kept up with the Code since then...

Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,438
Ooooh this sounds sooo familiar from a job I did in Northern Cali... All I did was change the service (100A to 200A) This guy came out & wanted the house more or less rewired! (1925, K&T) If this is where I think it is, & who I think it is (city starts with a "B") Go down to the city building dept with the correction notice & a copy of your permit.. Tell the chief inspector that the corrections are outside your scope of work in your contract & on the permit.. Not to mention there's nothing in the code that says you can't provide for future upgrades anyways... I've had all of 3 "sour grapes" inspectors out of around 50-75 different one's I've come across... It's a shame theres a few that seem to give a bad name to the masses [Linked Image]

Good Luck!

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
Kinda makes me glad we have no inspections in England. [Linked Image]

Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 39
Or indeed Scotland, Wales or Ireland [Linked Image]

Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,749
Call me with him nearby sometime, my number is on my web page! Let's be gentlemen, and find out what is wrong.

Did he ever cite any rules?

Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 751
I am an inspector, and I must apologize for some of my brethern. But, there is always a route to appeal the decisions of any inspector. If more of the contractors would use the procedures (including a complaint to the mayor or board of selectmen) then these types of inspectors would be removed. For the good of the business, it is in everyone's best interest to make bonafide complaints to the powers that be in your area.
Everyone is accountable to someone else in a free country.
Joe's idea may work, but, I would suspect this inspector will refuse to talk to him. I once asked an inspector (years back) if I showed him in the code book that what I had wired was allowed, if he would OK it. His answer: I don't want to see any code book, you will do what I say. I suspect he couldn't read (lol).

Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,749

I know who e57 is dealing with, why he is not even a qualified electrician or electrical inspector, but instead is a triple threat I challenge that person and I too get angry and agree with you. I have experiences when I was the assistant electrical inspector in New Haven and when Jim Meehan said attention everybody stood up Yes Sir! I promised myself that I would be fair and to this day have never acted like someone who was some sort of a king of the code.

I am almost tempted to go the California and wait for the inspection to happen .. reminds me when I once had to get a Los Angeles Plan Review and after I was finished citing the rules turned the red lines into green.

You know as well as I do that some Inspectors don't want to look bad and will say "do it my way" especially when they say I don't want to see the code!

Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,299
Likes: 6
I still am an EC, and I also am a PT AHJ here in NJ, and NO I do not work in the twp, nor any twp that 'touches' it.

I also, have many horror stories, schedules not kept, etc; or 'long' waits for inspections.

I have to say, and I think most of the "Jersey guys' here will's gotten a whole lot better. "My way or the hi-way" type fails are becoming a thing of the past, and the "code kings" are for the most part long gone. For those of you who don't know, NJ AHJ's are State Lic., and require CE time, as well as CE for EC's (34 hours this cycle)

Our UCC has a Board of Appeals, as the process to settle differences between EC's and AHJ's, and each County has a Board. For the most part, issues are settled before that stage.

Serious complaints (allegations) can be addressed by the State DCA, as they are the Lic. Agency.

It is shameful that there are still people who are supposed to be qualified (AHJ's) who insist on doing things "my way", and do not cite NEC Articles when required. Also, it is equally as shameful that SOME EC's don't 'check' the job before they call for inspections!!! Pretty sad when I find the first five recepts have rev. polarity in a 7k SF house; but that's another story.


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