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Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
e57 Offline OP
So what do you think? You show up to start a re-model, and you see things like this:

  • Plastic 4S boxes, with metal mud rings
  • Un-supported Romex everywhere
  • Ground for sub-panel falls out of main panel and hits you in the eye. (never terminated)

You are then told "the place was recently remodeled, and you can keep most of it."

Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 55
I went to look at a job for an acquaintance in Martinez CA. It was an old house converted into a triplex (1studio and 2 x 1bdrm apt). The place had been recently redone, a lot of sheet rock scrap still out back with fresh paint and carpet. The guy wanted to add receptacles for a W/D on a common back porch. While I was there he asked me to look at a receptacle in an un remodeled bdrm that was supposed to come on with the ceiling light. I checked for pwr, none, and pulled the cover plate. Someone had notched the plaster and mudded in a white and black (no ground) #14THHN up and over to the light. There was no box in the wall (the rock was cut just wide enough to accept the receptacle, and plastic anchors were all that held it in the wall. (if he’s gotten it to work, and anyone tried to use it, when they tried to unplug the cord the whole hot mess would have pulled out of the wall)
Out back there was still just one meter and someone mounted 2 50A fused disconnects that fed the pnls in the 2 newly created units, the feeder was #8 SO cord.
When I began talking about the problems with the bedroom the guy kept saying “I know, but this was just supposed to be temporary, we’re gonna redo that unit soon too, so we’ll just leave it that way for now” And when I told him that I couldn’t do anything new till we got rid of the SO cord and made this a legal install. He said,”Oh, well never mind I’ll just have the guy that did it come back and fix it.”
What really was the twist was that the neighbor was all happy and smiles talking about how nice things were now that the place was fixed up and how there were roaches and rats there before the owner cleaned it up.
I don’t believe any permits were ever pulled for that house and I would bet that there were none pulled for the job you looked at.
I went to look at this thing as a friend trying to help the guy out, and then I find out that he’s a schmuck and I’m stuck in a moral dilemma; if I turn him in to the city the place will be red tagged and the elderly couple living there would have to vacate and all that.
I talked to a friend, (an attorney for a neighboring city), and he said that turning him in would be a good thing…the couple living there would get to move into affordable housing at the guy’s expense and the city would offer him a manageable way to convert his property from single to multi family. And even though there might be fines to pay they would turn right around and loan him the money to make the change as long as he would keep it low income housing. The attorney talked to the guy and they got things changed. The old building came down and a 4plex went in with parking. The PO doesn’t talk to me anymore, but that’s cool, I didn’t need the job or the friendship.

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