I have been asked by the Mayor (small town, 5,500 population), to arbitrate a problem between his housing inspector and the installing EC. The inspector does it all, general building, electrical, plumbing, sewage disposal, grading, etc. BTW, there is an animosity between the two that goes back in time. I have known both of them for 10-12 years, and that is why the Mayor requested my assistance. He doesn’t want the city to be involved in litigation which the EC has implied. Here is the gist of the controversy in an unfinished basement: 1. Security system, dedicated circuit, instructions say “Not recommended for GFI protected circuit”. Inspector wants GFI. 2. Satellite TV distribution system, dedicated circuit, again GFI circuit not recommended. Inspector wants GFI. 3. Satellite Internet service distribution center w/wireless network system, dedicated circuit, no GFI. Inspector wants GFI. 4. Water softener, dedicated circuit, no GFI. Inspector wants GFI. 5. Three double-duplex general use recepts on GFI CB. Inspector wants GFI feed-thru outlet in first box. 6. Five duplex on GFI CB. Inspector wants GFI feed-thru outlet in first box. 7. Sump pump, dedicated circuit, no GFI. County health says No GFI. Inspector wants GFI. 8. Central Vacuum system, dedicated circuit, no GFI. Inspector wants GFI. 9. One double duplex for two treadmills and TV. Booklets say no GFI for treadmills. Inspector wants TV removed from recpts supplying treadmills and placed on GFI circuit.
My first opinion is that the housing inspector is incorrect but I would like to get these two gents to an amicable agreement without assigning blame to either. Any ideas would be appreciated. (Meeting scheduled for 29 December @ 2:00 P.M.) Sam
I too think the inspector is wrong, except perhaps for item #9.
There is good reason for much of that stuff not being GFCIed. You don't want the sump pump getting shut off during a storm, for example.
I don't see that there's a lot of room for an "everybody wins" compromise. Somebody needs to straighten out this inspector, or he's just going to keep going around making people do stuff that's not reasonable. Unfortunately, it looks like it's fallen to you to be that "somebody."
I'd think the best way to proceed would be to carefully document each issue with the code sections that permit things to be done the way they've been done. If necessary, you could also illustrate the points with what various handbooks have to say.
I note that many of the points you list are really the same issue, so you can probably get this down to a list of three or four issues that are really under dispute.
I would avoid the "assigning blame" approach, and instead take the approach of, "OK, here's issue #1. The Code says "xxx" about this. So, under the Code, what Mr. EC is doing is acceptable." Then see if you can get the inspector to agree on that point, or get him to prove, from the Code, why you're wrong. (He won't be able to.) Then move on to the next point, and repeat the process.
[This message has been edited by SolarPowered (edited 12-22-2004).]
Dedicated, single - receptacle circuits for all the "no GFI recommended" applications... like I do for sump pumps, and as the Code allows for refrigerators and pumps in otherwise GFI areas.
I'd give him #9, if he'll exclude the treadmills from his GFI requirement.
While I complement the inspector for his safety-mindedness, I think he's a little overboard on this one, especially given the manufacturer installation info that specifically lists "no GFI", and the same safety provided by GFI breaker v. receptacle.
1. Security system, dedicated circuit A1)210.8(A)(5) Exception #3 2. Satellite TV distribution system A2)May meet 210.8(A)(5) Exception #2 3. Satellite Internet service distribution center w/wireless network A3)May meet 210.8(A)(5) Exception #2 4. Water softener, dedicated circuit A4)210.8(A)(5) Exception #2 5. Three double-duplex general use recepts on GFI CB. Inspector wants GFI feed-thru outlet in first box. A5)Code does not specify type of GFCI protection required. 6. Five duplex on GFI CB. Inspector wants GFI feed-thru outlet in first box. A6)Code does not specify type of GFCI protection required. 7. Sump pump, dedicated circuit, no GFI. A7)210.8(A)(5) Exception #2 8. Central Vacuum system, dedicated circuit, no GFI. A8)210.8(A)(5) Exception #2 9. One double duplex for two treadmills and TV. Booklets say no GFI for treadmills. Inspector wants TV removed from recpts supplying treadmills and placed on GFI circuit. A9)This circuit does not meet any of the exceptions and requires GFCI protecion. The manufacturer's instructions not to use GFCIs does not change the code rule.
Note that where Exception #2 is used only a single receptcle is permitted. If the installed receptacle is a duplex, then GFCI protection is required.
[This message has been edited by resqcapt19 (edited 12-22-2004).]
Code issues are not the prime focus. The aim is to get these two to compromise and into an acceptable relationship where both are respected for their expertise. Code paragraphs can be quoted infinitesmilly with no result other than more animosity. Common sense needs to prevail. BTW, this housing inspector refused to inspect my home when I built as he suggested that I was more cognizent of the NEC than he was. That is why the Mayor called upon me. I am a retired EC, Registered Professional Engineer, still hold EC licenses in 17 jurisdictions, and Master Electrician rating in 9 jurisdictions. The Mayor and I met last evening and one proposal the Mayor suggested was that I would inspect installations by the EC in the city. This is due to the animosity between the EC and the inspector. Personally, I don't like this approach. I would like to see these guys work together. I would still appreciate ideas, no matter how far reaching they may appear to you. Sam
Sam, If this is an ongoing issue between the contractor and the inspector, the contractor should sue for economic damages and ask the courts to issue a restraining order so that this inspector is never again permitted to inspect this contractors work. don
my first thought reading this is that the inspector just plain wrong. you would like the 2 men to work this out, but even if they agree on this one at some point, somewhere down the line something else will come up and it'll start up all over again. how can someone be an electrical inspector with little understanding of the NEC. I think you SHOULD be the inspector just for the electrical, if you can. even though this time the inspector is going "over board", who's to say that next time he won't miss a potentially dangerous red tag because of his lack of knowledge. that being said.... maybe there can be a happy medium on some of this stuff. for example, for the security and satellite stuff, have the EC put the outlets at 7'6" or higher, therefore not "readily accessible". that's what I do anyway, because a lot of the security systems have heavy plug-in transformers that are required to be screwed into the center of a duplex outlet. just my thoughts.
So where are all of these recept's? Over a sink between a hot tub, and a pool, outside? In a garage? All of the above? Unless this Inspector has some reason to justify it, he's just throwing his wieght around, and thats not cool!
5,6, and 7 are no brainers! He's wrong! Many of the other items (1-4, and 8) sound like they might be in a garage, and with Ded. circ's and single recept's are fine. And I don't readily see a reason for #9.
Maybe the reason these two dont get along is that this EC wont apease his power-trip. Maybe others are.... I would go and talk to a few other EC's in the area. Maybe he does this with everyone, and this is the only one who has stood up to him.
Mark Heller "Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason