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Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,749
An Electrical Inspector for a City in California only allots 5 Minutes for most Inspections (rough, and sometimes for a final), and up to 10 Minutes for Smoke Detector/Damper tests, Torque Tests, and Final Inspections on large projects (15,000 square feet and up).

This results in excessive call-backs, along with someone waiting all day for Inspection visit (said person arrives at random times).

One other item to mention is there may be some conflicts with this person creating his own codes, and trying to enforce them.

I wonder what the normal amount of time would be, even for spot checking?

Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 613
Joe...I would hope that an inspector would spend more than 5 minutes looking at an installation that took me days and sometimes weeks to complete.I do make errors on occasion and though that call from the inspector makes butterflys in my stomach,I do learn from my mistakes.
Also I would think that the inspector would be exposing himself and the city he represents to some liability if he blatently overlooked a violation in which a person were hurt or property was damaged.

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 681
Time is precious, but 5 minutes for an average inspection is not enough time.
An 'average' inspection takes me about 15 minutes, when the contractor is there to help answer some questions.
I always prefer the contractor to be present, but that does not always happen. With them being present, it may avoid a red tag, especially when I have inspected their work before.


Pierre Belarge
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
e57 Offline
San Francisco? Most Cities in this area...

Five minutes tops! Any longer than that, and they get ichy for the door. For good work anyway, I know that if the work is really messed up, SF Inspectors will fail you in 30 seconds flat. I've taken on jobs where shoddy work done by hacks, has been rejected, and the customer told to fire the EC for lack of confidence!

( I'll blow my own horn in saying that do very "Inspectable" work. All ground screws are visable. Fill is always ample. Support is always half distance, and suplemented. And if there is something questionable, I will point it out myself. I'm always at the door, with job card in hand. First words, "Where would you like to start?" Yet, still have occasional problems with certain inspectors on a power trip.)

All cities here have ammended codes of thier own for each city... For instance: Hillsborough, NO ROMEX! Conduit and flex only! And you can run 100's of feet of flex! Some other areas of the coast, no emt, or MC/AC or flex. SF no flex longer than 6 feet, and MC and conduit over 3 stories. No PVC, except utility side of the meter underground! No ENT anywhere, except Oakland! Then in Berkley, "YOU CAN DO ANYTHING YOU WANT, IT'S BERKLEY!" (Ah, HA, HA ,HA!)

Atherton, Menlo Park... No comment!

The list can go on, and on.

It can be maddening sometimes........... Cross the border of the next town is like going in to a different universe.

Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,374
For a typical 5,000 sqaure foot house, I take about an hour and a half, but that is for all four trades, which I look at simaltaneously. I look at every inch of the house. I check every box for box fill. I check the circuiting for compliance with the small appliance/laundry/bathroom rules. About two weeks ago I did a house that was about 9,000 sqaure feet and I wrote 93 items, about half of which were the electrician's violations.

On a final the same house takes about a half hour.

Ryan Jackson,
Salt Lake City
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,374
Joe: You bring up permit fees. We charge about $10,000 for an average house. If you added up the time for the plan review and the inspections (total) and they added up to less than an hour like your guy, that would mean that the city is charging $1,000 per hour. Hell, thats more than even you make!!!! ;P Really though, how is a permit fee justified when this type of work is being performed?

Ryan Jackson,
Salt Lake City
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,749

Thanks, and I was sure that the players here would respond, this may be used to show how the rest of the country thinks, at least in the areas you are from.

I wish I could be the tail gunner during these so called inspections by those who are always in a hurry!

Ryan: Per hour! $1000.00, sounds good, when can I start?

PS: Anything in Article 80 applied here? How about local rules as to time spent?

I still can't get over the inspection from the car using binoculars (once was an issue on a hilltop)!

Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,314
Likes: 7
Better late than never???

I average 15 stops a day. Ranging from furnace/hvac replacements to 500K+ buildings.
I ask the EC's on a "large" job to 'book' two or three slots on the schedule to allow enough time. 5 min for a furnace replacement is "more than adequate" plus driving time of course. 5 min for a $750K new resi rough is a joke.

As to fees, 1 to 10 devices is $35, which is also the minimum; $50 for 200 amp service, etc. A 'normal' new house runs $275 to $500 depending on device counts, and toys. Fees are by Twp Ordinance, and in MHO are too low.

Need more??? Give me a EM or call


Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 375
Being an engineer and contractor rather than an instaler ...

If the inspetor takes less time to do his inspection than I take to do my inspection, his boss gets a call and I want my permit money back.

Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,233

When I do a rough inspection it will all depend on the size of the house. A average size house (around here anyway) is about 3,000 to 4,000 sq ft. It will take 15 to 1/2 hour for a rough inspection and about 1/2 to 1 hour for a final inspection. I have done some large homes 6,000 to 8,000 sq ft and I have taken 3 hours for a final inspection. We usually do multible rough inspections. ( 1st floor, 2nd floor, etc.) Again it depends on what is inside of the house. One house I inspected actually had 2 full size bowling alleys in it. Plus a wine cellar, movie theater, pizza oven, I/G pool, putting green, etc. Must be nice.


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