The other day I took the cover off a 200A Main Breaker panel that had passed inspection months ago. To my surprise, the bonding strap(that's what I call it) that connects the ground bar and neutral bar together was missing. One of our electricians removed the strap when the service was installed. So I said to the mechanic that was with me that day"what's wrong with this picture"..he took a couple of minutes and then I pointed out what I was talking about. I said:"who could have done that"...he said it was him...anyway...
How can this sort of thing get past inspection? I understand that the inspector can't check every single wirenut/splice, ect....but there really isn't much to look for in a new service is there? I mean I can do one myself in about 5 hours if it's back to back..
anyone else notice stuff that should have been pretty obvious to the inspector?
I am sure someone will enlighten me as to why this could have happened.
the most obvious thing I have seen in a residence was when the EC ran to many circuits to fit into the 40 ckt 200A panel they installed. However, they landed all the circuits into this panel - including the neutrals and grounds being tied in. They then ran a piece of SER cable to a sub-panel on an adjacent wall. The also ran a piece of 3/4" PVC between the main and sub. In the PVC they ran extensions for the hots of about 8-10 circuits. No neutrals, No grounds. They simply ran the hot legs from the CB's in the sub panel through the PVC and spliced them to the romex feeding the circuits.
The only reason I can see the inspector missing this, it was a development and they probably did not check every house/panel.
As an aside, a friend who is an inspector in the town that this EC is from, has taken to opening every device and pulling every cover on their jobs that he inspects.
#64196 - 04/01/0611:16 PMRe: Screw Ups that pass inspection
Maybe if the AHJ knew you, he might know what kind of work you do for a living. he might have said to himself, Gee He does good work, I am sure that it is OK. Is that right, well NO, but we are human as John said. If AHJ's are real busy, they might be a little more easy on the good guys that they aready know.
#64197 - 04/01/0611:58 PMRe: Screw Ups that pass inspection
I think most inspectors are overworked. If you have 30-40 a day and you are spread out all over a crowded county (beach traffic and such) you are not going to have the time to do a decent inspection. I won't do it.
#64198 - 04/02/0612:35 AMRe: Screw Ups that pass inspection
I too just left a town because my CO was on my case about doing inspections. He got mad at me because I would leave the town and not finish all of my inspections. The reason I did was because he kept adding more and more inspections on my list when I was in town. I only had 2 hours and I use to get between 4-7 inspections, then he would push it to 8-10 inspections. I finnally told him, that I would not do drive by inspecting. So the Plumbing inspector and I both quit that town. The new guy he got must be better than me, because he has all of the lic. ( plumb, elec, bld, & fire) and he can get all of the same amount of inspection that the Plumbing inspector and I both got in half the time. I can just hear my old boss going crazy right about now! LOL
#64200 - 04/02/0612:40 PMRe: Screw Ups that pass inspection
The reason for having inspectors is that sometimes even good electricians forget something or make a mistake. Sometimes even good inspectors forget something or make mistakes. If inspectors use the NFPA inspection check list, as recommended, each inspection could require about an hour per phase, i.e. service, rough in, etc. I don't think any inspectors working for local government agencies have that amount of time to spend. Alan--
Alan-- If it was easy, anyone could do it.
#64201 - 04/02/0612:52 PMRe: Screw Ups that pass inspection
I will agree with those who say some inspections can be done in a couple minutes. If you are just looking at a few feet of RNC before it is buried, that is fast but when you are looking at an industrial switcboard and the 500 feet of EMT it serves along with all the equipment along the way you have to get out of the car and walk around a while. When an installer has hundreds of man hours in a job since the last time you looked at it you need some time to inspect that work. I did have guys I trusted to do a good job and to believe they were not trying to get over on me but those were usually the same guys who wanted me to give the job a good look. Good tradesmen are proud of their work. Once you get that level of trust they will bring you over to the questionable place and ask you what they should do. I did spray the jobs with my cards and encouraged them to call me anytime if they had any question at all. That was really important when you have park rangers who think they are electricians
#64202 - 04/02/0602:29 PMRe: Screw Ups that pass inspection