In reviewing transcripts of several IAEI meetings, local and national, as part of the preliminaries to a possible civil trial I read a comment that really tells the story of closed minds. The comment was “I don’t care if it’s right or wrong, if it’s in the book that’s the way it is.” The gent who uttered this has been presenting seminars (in the southeast) for several years. I shouldn’t be surprised at this as that seems to be the common thread at most seminars, forget common sense, put forth your own interpretation of the code, and be unbending on the subject. I feel that this type of attitude has actually weakened code enforcement in many areas. There are more and more political subdivisions that are modifying the NEC to a great extent due to arbitrary rules that are beyond comprehension by local authorities. What is acceptable in one area may be prohibited in an adjacent county. The NEC needs to be uniformly adopted without local modifications. It would make life much simpler for EC’s who work in various jurisdictions.
Even then you have to deal with how the inspector interprets the code as opposed to your interpretation. That's what gets me.
There is a local inspector here that will tag you on something really obscure and then pass off a blatant violation somewhere else. And if he can't find anything to tag you on he'll spend the whole day there until he can find the smallest little thing. Some of these guys think they are going to save the world...
I guess the obvious response is "If the code is perfect, why does it need a revised edition every three years?" The same could be said of any of the codes we use elsewhere in the world.
Although official inspections for residential wiring don't exist here, I understand fully the point about some people being extremely picky about minor, really unimportant things, while often ignoring something much more serious.