Have a 1800's home which HO installed sheetrock over plaster walls prior to electrical upgrades. Original wiring is bx umbrella circuits, with pull chain fixtures in all rooms. Our company ran nm to new swithes/new home runs/ interconnect smokes. Called for inspection prior to device install. Inspector wants all areas with new wiring to be exposed for inspection: Electrical permit specified old work on existing stucture with no service change, but inspector states that our wiring is new and must be exposed for inspection as such. My question is what is the the clasification between old and new install.
You might consider asking the AHJ what he/she wants to see or is expecting to see.
In the NM article, it states that NM need not be supported when it is "fished" into a wall. I am assuming this is the case with your installation. Beyond support, what is your inspector trying to see that cannot be seen from within the box?
Ryan Jackson, Salt Lake City
Re: Old work or new work?#153871 12/26/0309:55 AM12/26/0309:55 AM
Thanks for replys, AHJ maintains that new sheetrock on walls creates the stucture as new and wiring must be inspected for support. But why fail electrical, should be fail on building permit inspection not on electrical inspection:again, the electrician is the messenger of bad news to customer.
Re: Old work or new work?#153874 12/26/0311:28 AM12/26/0311:28 AM
I do a lot of work in old dwellings in the inner city of Minneapolis, St. Paul. The destinction of what is old work vs. new work is fairly well described here.
On a room by room basis, if 50% of the wall surface is removed exposing the framing then the room is considered as new construction and is wired to the most current NEC in effect. (since the NEC is adopted on the state level, here, that is the 2002 statewide. . .it may be different in your location)
Applying a new covering over the existing covering is not exposing the framing. . .no economy of effort is introduced. . .especially if the new wall surface is intact (taped and sanded) before I'm allowed to start my wiring.
Arguably, if the electrician can get in before the drywall (panelling, wood, whatever) goes on, then the electrician can hack or beat large holes and not have to finesse as much, but a large part of the run is still fished. It is bad planning on the part of the Home Owner if I can't wire until after the walls are finished. . .the HO has to spend a lot more on my labor to fish the wires in.
If the inspector is arguing that s/he should see the support, as if it were not fished, on the new wire installed because of the new drywall present, then all the wiring should be to new construction standard. . .that is, outlets within 6' of the start of a wall and every 12' after, etc.
Now, since this is plaster (on lathe?), if the plaster is skinned off the lathe before the rock goes on. . .its a little harder to argue. Then it is a matter of showing the inspector proof that the Home Owner was done with the rock before the electrical was started. Who's to say that the plaster was off at the 50% or higher level at any one time. The HO could have done one wall at a time over a long span of time.
The lynch pin is that the wiring did not start until the rock was finished.
Re: Old work or new work?#153875 12/26/0311:31 AM12/26/0311:31 AM
The inspector is being just a little unreasonable. If the sheetrock had been installed with a permit, or the electrical had been installed prior to the new rock, the installation would still meet NEC. Sure, make the HO pull a permit for the GWB, but inspect the NM for supports where none are required???????? He should inspect what he can, maybe ask for a couple of boxes to be opened and check for grounds.
Re: Old work or new work?#153876 12/26/0305:13 PM12/26/0305:13 PM
IMO the inspector is asking way too much. NM cable is allowed to be fished in without supports. I do not think any code official can demand that access holes be made for cable support in old walls. Sounds to me like the owner simply covered the existing plaster walls with new wallboard. Is there a rule that this cannot be done? I don't think so. Is it possible that the owner & code officials have a history? That could explain the torture the owner is being put thru. Bottom line, fishing of NM is permitted. Rick
Re: Old work or new work?#153877 12/26/0307:28 PM12/26/0307:28 PM
This one is really bothering me. It is perfectly legal to fish romex. That is unquestionable. The building was not gutted therefore the only way to rewire is to fish. The electrical inspector has no authority to burden a homeowner with the incredible added expense of demolition, disposal etc. There is no justification for what he is asking whatsoever. I would make this clear to the inspector. If this is not possible then it is an issue between him and the homeowner. At which point the homeowner should go way above this guy to whomever he can.