A new 24-home "McMansion" subdivison is going up down the street from me. The homes start at $500,000. The first one just went up (asking price $750,000) so I went in to check out the wiring. The cable runs are all very neat but upon closer inspection I found numerous violations.
-clamps broken off in multigang plastic boxes. -18 cubic inch boxes with 3 12/2's in them. -other over-filled 18 c.i. boxes (at least 10 of them) -#14 used as "taps" for outlets on 20 amp circuits. -Multiwire circuit neutrals not spliced (ie, outlet will splice the neutral once installed) -Bath outlet tapped off dining room circuit. -2 conductor cable used for travellers. -orange wirenuts used to connect 3 or more #14's.
Other non-violations include no overhead lights in bedrooms (just a few switch controlled outlets) and everything else done to the bare minimum.
I compared the price on a case of 18 ci boxes to 22.5 and the difference is about $15 to $30 depending on the brand.
The sad part is the job passed inspection and they're insulating and sheetrocking now. The inspectors around here just don't care because crap like this passes all the time.
Peter Call the inspector & tell him/her that you are making an anonomous complaint, be specific as to the violations/deficiencies. In my towns I/we will respond to these complaints with a visit to the site. Remember that many cities/towns have the 3 hat inspectors. Most of these 3 hat persons have a building background and no electric, plumbing, mechanical background. It scares the crap out of me that these people are authorized (I did not say qualified ) to perform inspections in areas out of their expertise. I know since "The Station" fire we are spending some more time at inspection sites. Too bad it takes a tragedy like that to make changes. Did you know anyone involved in that? Good luck Rick
Just my 2-cents, from my numbers the 18ci box would not be overstuffed. 6- (no.12s) x 2.25 = 13.5 cu.in 1- ground X 2.25 = 2.25 cu.in 1- receptacle yoke = 2.25 cu.in This is exactly 18 cubic inches.
I know it sounds like Nit-picking but if you take this anywhere, you have to be as right as can be. I was a witness for a plaintiff and was deposed(had to sear under oath) and the whole thing got real nasty. They call their experts, you would call your experts. Because there is a third party that could likely take exception to what you claim and that is the contractor who did the job.
wocolt, The yoke of the receptacle requires a double volume allowance...2.25x2=4.5. This would require a larger box. Not to mention,that the installer may be going to try and cram a GFCI receptacle in there.
TXsparky You are absolutely correct my mistake, and my apologies to CTwireman too. I have been in that situation where a complaint to someone who would, NOT only listen but do something about it, is still valid. And wish him all the luck with this endeavor.
Thanks for the suggestions, guys. I'll see if I can contact the "powers that be" and hopefully something will change. It seems so hard to fight the system sometimes but I sure would like to try.
Kind of a related question: Where has the pride in one's workmanship gone?? The mistakes I saw in that house are the rule, not the exception, I'm sorry to say. Many electricians just don't seem to know the basics. How did this happen???
I used to work for a company that wired homes like this so I know firsthand they won't change until an inpector tells them to. I had it out with the boss one day about a really bad job they did on a service and I quit a day later.
Rick, actually, I did know someone whose friend died at The Station. I was living in RI at the time the fire happened. I'm glad to hear that inpections are getting tougher, but you're right, it takes a pile of bodies before things change.
WmColt, No need to aplogize. I'm just venting some frustration about how how around here most electricians think the 18 cubic inch box is the only one they make.
Peter If you are going to procede, be sure of the code articles, you want to refer the official to the art you are concerned with. If it is over just 2 or 3 overloaded receptacle boxes, I would not bother. If there are a lot of overloaded boxes go for it. As an inspector I generally let a few slightly overloaded boxes go, especially if they are receptacle outlet boxes that are not likely to hold a GFI device later, or a switch box that will not hold a dimmer. If the box is likely to hold a dimmer or a GFI receptacle, I will make them change it. 2 wire travelers do NOT fly with me, rip it out & install the correct cable. It is so easy to mix up the neutrals using this method. Out of couriosity, is it a RI company doing the electric on these shacks? Rick