I have a residential home where you have to open a door and leave the bedroom and enter a bathroom, you then open another door in the bathroom and exit the bathroom and enter a hallway in the hallway there are a total of 4 doors the one that you just walked thru from the bathroom, one to the right which is a closet and one to the left which is a closet and one straight ahead which is the entrance to another bedroom. My inspector says that the the lights in these closets need to be arc fault because they will use the closets for bedroom closets.... I disagree because you have to open the bedroom door and leave the bedroom to even get acess to the closet door... he says that he asked the owner what they are going to use the closets for and they said as there bedroom closets he now considers them as part of the bedroom suite... i disagree...because you need to open the bedroom door and leave the bedroom to access the door to these closets..... I have circuited the first bedroom on one arc fault the second bedroom on another arc fault and the bathroom lighting, hallway receptacle, hallway light and 2 closet lights as another circuit - non arc fault ... opinion ? code says bedroom, not hallway closet that will be used for a bedroom closet.
Well, there are a couple of things that need explaining...
In coarse terms, it is said that arguing with an inspector can be like wrestling a pig in mud.... sure, you get all sweaty and worked up, but eventually you learn that the pig likes it!
The NEC does not define everything. It is not intended as an instruction manual, or to be applied without a prior education in the trade. Just to make things even more interesting, designers simply delight in makng thing different, in ways that make code application a real challenge!
There's a reason the inspector is called the "Authority having jurisdiction." It's his call to make. Sure, there is sure to be a way to dispute him, have his decision examined. Or, you can even put an AFCI in, then remove it when he leaves. (Edited to add: I am NOT suggesting you do this fraudlent act- just recognising what can happen in 'the real world!)(Thx for letting me know I was not clear here, George!) Just how much time and effort are you willing to invest in disputing a $30 breaker?
Personally, I tend to agree with you- but I've got better things to do than argue over such a small thing.
[This message has been edited by renosteinke (edited 09-14-2006).]
Re: arc fault#99801 09/14/0609:53 AM09/14/0609:53 AM
thank you for your response.. i just get frustrated with this guy because he's always coming up with new interpretations ( my opinion so he can then reinspect and bill the township an extra hour or two)sure $30 breaker plus 20 miles round trip ... he had also gotten me on this house (which gave me another 20 mile round trip) on he claims that on a 200 amp underground service that ( well no public water service ) my #6 copper from the panel to the first ground rod then to the second ground rod 6' away needs to be # 4... he claims that on the first rod its not the sole connection because it jumps to a second rod ( note the # 6 is not even cut, it was stripped off in the middle with one acorn on each rod )
you can even put an AFCI in, then remove it when he leaves.
This shows a lack of good judgment and would be poor advice. I'd like to catch a contractor trying to pull that on me because it would be the last time he tried it on me. Reno- I'm surprised to see you give this kind of advice. I've always had respect for your comments on this board and want to continue to respect you. A better approach would be for the contractor to go to the appeals board and get the inspector to clean up his act or maybe teach him something. Sorry Reno but you pushed my buttons.
Sorry, George... I was NOT encouraging the man to do this. Not at all. I was just referring to some of the shennanigas folks go through over small matters.
I note your comment "that would be the last time..." Well, that's part of the problem right there. A contractor often feels his options are fairly limited when he has a disagreement with an inspector. No matter how wrong, or uninformed the inspector may be, the most likely result is that everybody in city hall decends on the job, nitpicking every detail. I've even seen them pull out micrometers and start checking metal gages!
One of the 'problems' with requiring AFCI's at the panel is that this changes how a home may be wired. The traditional lighting circuit, which loops from room to hall to room, doesn't just confine itself to bedrooms. With the AFCI required for 'bedrooms,' the contractor ends up running more wire, having more circuits..... or by having the lights on the receptacle circuit.... or by extending the AFCI coverage far beyond the bedroom.
Truth be told, I'm surprised the inspector picked up on the lights, or that he wants them on the AFCI. This town follows the NEC, for the most part, as to AFCI requirements- yet the only house I've seen where the bedroom lights were on the AFCI was the one I wired! The inspectors look to see the AFCI's in the panel, maybe plug a 'tester' into a receptacle... and that's it.
My main point is- replacing the breaker is a small thing, not worth getting exercised over- even if the inspector is a bit off base.
(Not that I'm certain the AHJ is wrong; I haven't seen this house, and I've seen too many floor plans where it's not a simple thing to apply the rules!)
Thanks Reno- No hard feelings. And I agree with iWire that the AHJ is not an individual but instead the governing body. The inspector only represents the AHJ and all the more reason for him to be correct with his calls. I've been in court on both sides of the issues so I try and leave my "Vest Pockets" at home.
Iwire, George, I agree with you in theory.. they are but "public servants" representing the government "of, by, and for the people."
Unfortunately, that seems to be a revolutionary idea around here. I have yet to have an inspector introduce himself; he just shows up, starts poking about, and, when asked who he may be, responds with: "I'm the City of Xxxx." I know one guys name only because he's got it embroidered on his jacket!
And, unlike folks is regular jobs, I only make money when I'm actually producing. If I have to spend all day down at city hall, straightening out approvals.... I don't make any money that day. This endless ability to delay, to hold up a job, is no accident; it's not as if you can take your business elsewhere! The result of all this is... lots of $30 errors are allowed to continue, as the contractor just wants to get done, get paid, and move on!