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#53321 - 06/21/05 08:30 PM Inspection woes  
Jps1006  Offline
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 615
Northern IL
We failed inpection today because we ran PVC where we want to pour a slab over. It is for an ice rink. They are upgrading their cooloing equipment. We are supplying 600 amp 480 volt to a new equipment room. We are picking up the old 600 amp feed in the old equipment room. then we punch outside, down over 18" deep with 3" HW, 90 and change to PVC sch. 80 for about 60', enter the new room below grade through the foundation wall and run for 30', go into a HW 90 and emerge through what will soon be a slab.

Well DuPage county first said "no PVC within buildings". That began a flurry of phone calls and now they are saying it's okay if it is 18" below grade. What has me troubled is if they are this incompitent, I'm afraid of whatelse they will come up with on the reinspect tomorrow. They are returning to make sure it is 18" below grade. It is 18" below finished floor height.

So what has me is they keep citing their local ammendment. (not chapter & verse, they say "oh no, we have an ammendment") Well I found the ammendment online:

2) Chapter 3. Wiring Methods and Materials
a) Subsection 352.10 of Article 352, "Rigid Nonmetallic Conduit", to be amended to read as follows:

1) Exterior underground installations.

2) In corrosive or high moisture situations where authorized by the Building Official after sufficient justification as to the special circumstances making necessary such permission.

What do you guys think? If they are considering under the building as interior, do they have a leg to stand on? I personally think the guy that inspected it made a mistake and now they don't want to admit, so now they are going to try to enforce it as if there really was a problem. Any opinions?

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

#53322 - 06/21/05 08:42 PM Re: Inspection woes  
dmattox  Offline
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 265
Anaheim, CA
I think its silly, but it does say "Exterior underground installations."

Since it has that word in it, to me what you did violated their ammendment.

[This message has been edited by dmattox (edited 06-21-2005).]

#53323 - 06/21/05 09:03 PM Re: Inspection woes  
Alan Nadon  Offline
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 399
Elkhart, IN. USA
I'm winging this off the top of my head and will probably get killed for it but there is a FPN somewhere in the Code that conductors under a two inch slab are to be considered OUTSIDE (i.e. exterior) the building.
That would allow you to use # 1 of their local rule.
I need my copy of Ferm's, which is at the office. I'll post again tommorrow.
Alan --an Inspector. CEI-M #138

If it was easy, anyone could do it.

#53324 - 06/21/05 09:07 PM Re: Inspection woes  
iwire  Offline
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
North Attleboro, MA USA
Alan I believe you are thinking of 230.6 which is about service conductors, not raceways.

Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician

#53325 - 06/21/05 09:41 PM Re: Inspection woes  
Jps1006  Offline
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 615
Northern IL
Alan, that is exactly what my local municiple inspector said (I ran the scenario past him because I greatly respect his opinion, and he thinks their way out there). Under slab is outside of building. So now I am thinking we may be having this argument tomorrow morning. I think the installation needn't be touched and should be passed as is. The building department already has a beef with this owner, and I think they are deliberatly messing with his schedule. He already went over heads to get his inspection today, so I think they came out with an attitude.

I was floored when I heard why we failed, and then when I read the ammendment, I became frightened with the incompentancy that we may be up against.

#53326 - 06/21/05 09:53 PM Re: Inspection woes  
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
What we have here is a failure to communicate...

Error #1: You erred in not approaching the bldg dept first, for a friendly chat.
Error #2: You let the first question be raised by an inspector-school all-in-one whiz kid (who doesn't want to look foolish now).

Possible wiggle room, that will let you keep the PVC and make them gracefully avoid looking silly:
Stress that you used sched 80, not 'the cheap stuff.'
Stress that the skating rink uses all sorts of corrosive additives ("just like a swimming pool") to justify the use of PVC.
Show off the liberal use of sand in the trench as reason for the pipe being an inch or so 'high'.
You might also suggest that 300.5 has no depth requirement at all for 'under a building,' and that you were being conservative (by allowing for the zaboni traffic :-) )

#53327 - 06/21/05 10:54 PM Re: Inspection woes  
dmattox  Offline
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 265
Anaheim, CA
If under a 2" slab is exterior underground, where would interior underground be? If there is no such thing as interior underground, why would they add "exterior" to the ammendment? Just to prevent PVC in concrete? There seems to be a billion better ways to say that.

To me it seems clear, they dont want PVC in or under buildings. But like I said, I dont agree with it.

[This message has been edited by dmattox (edited 06-21-2005).]

#53328 - 06/21/05 11:44 PM Re: Inspection woes  
gfretwell  Offline

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,123
"If there is no such thing as interior underground, why would they add "exterior" to the ammendment? "

It is just what happens when polititians write codes instead of electrical professionals.

[This message has been edited by gfretwell (edited 06-21-2005).]

Greg Fretwell

#53329 - 06/22/05 12:05 AM Re: Inspection woes  
dmattox  Offline
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 265
Anaheim, CA
Good point gfretwell [Linked Image]

#53330 - 06/22/05 12:23 AM Re: Inspection woes  
Active 1  Offline
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 687
Grayslake IL, USA
I agree with Dmatox. It seems like they tried to make it simple enough by just saying "1) Exterior underground installations." I don't understand why you think you can use NMC. If corrosion was an issue you should have gotton the permision to use NMC.

Now with all the phone calls it sounds like they will make an exception for your case if it's 18" below grade. I can't tell you if grade is the same as floor hight. But it does sound like they are tring to work with you.

Is it reasonable for some EC to save a fair amount of $$ by not followning the local amendments. IMO I think the county should hold their ground & force you to do the work to meet their rules.

Sorry to hear about your problem,


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