Call Backs

Originally Posted By: mhenderson
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Recently did an inspection for a couple who were not satified with the way their home was built. They called us for an inspection & quite frankly I dont know what this couple wanted or expected. The home was finished in Dec.2002 & the couple moved in,Now they are Knit picking about everything. We did find paint on the carpet & on the stones over the fireplace..& the only thing I had a problem with was the bathroom on the 1st floor.. the GFCI when tripped the reset was in bathroom on the second floor(it took a while to find it & then I just told customer it was on 2nd floor).It checked out properly, no opens,no reverse polarity & the GFCI tripped when checked ..only that it was inconvenient for them to go up 2 flights of stairs to reset, youd think theyd have a better way of wiring it..Well, they told city inspector that I told them it was wired wrong & it had to be re-done& thats not what I said at all..he starts barking at me before I could talk,as for the paint,I told this couple I didnt know how the paint got there( it was just sloppy work) Contractor said they painted walls before carpeting & stones were installed.This couple calls at least 2xs a week threatening to take builders to court & want us to back them…I think they just want to get some money back!!!I told them NO…1st the outlet is wired properly & thats the end of my scope next the shoddy work is all cosmetic & I didnt see how paint got on those items so I cant verify painters did it.How do you guys get rid of people like this. They are a major pain!!They are just fishing for things!!!


Originally Posted By: mhenderson
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



I received an e-mail from a friend that states that all outlets protected downsteam on a GFCI must be on the same floor level .Can anyone out there verify this,it makes sense.


thanx, Mike H icon_rolleyes.gif


Originally Posted By: Jeffrey Fox
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



I looked through the NEC book and could find nothing about the rest of the circuit through a GFCI. (i could have easily missed it though it’s rather confusing) The fact that two bathrooms are on the same circuit is rather disturbing though. Depending on how the bathroom is wired they could tie all their wires together and put jumpers off to the GFCI and that would just protect that outlet. Then if you put one in the other bathroom that would protect that room. This would only work if there were no lights or anything on the first GFCI. But i guess i didn’t answer your question besides i would never do something like that. Sorry. icon_sad.gif


Originally Posted By: Robert Patterson
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Mike, jeff,


Nothing in the NEC requiring the circuit to be on one floor. However, check the AHJ, may be a local requirement.

Bob


Originally Posted By: jmyers
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



It is common practice for the electrican in our area to place all the bathroom receptacles on the same circuit. You will always find the GFCI receptacle in one of the bathrooms but they are all protected by that one receptacle. Lately they have even added the garage and exterior receptacles to the circuits so they only need one or two receptacles to protect all of them.


I do not personally know of any "floor" limitations on GFCI protected circuits according to the NEC. Maybe you friend in quoting your local code enforcement officer's local preferrence. I have actually come accross this on several other threads and there really is no limitation on the number of receptacles you can place on a circuit.

Bob, do you know of any limitation on the number of receptacles on a circuit according to the NEC? Maybe you know something I don't.

Joe Myers


Originally Posted By: Robert Patterson
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



The only limitation on a general lighting circuit is in commercial installations. But a good electricain will not put more than 10-12 on one circuit, an excellent electrician will do it on a 20A circuit with #12. I despise 15A circuits.


Bob


Originally Posted By: Jeffrey Fox
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



all the bathrooms on one circuit joe?? That’s scary you get two women using different bathrooms at the same with a curling iron,radio going and a 2000 watt hair dryer drying their hair and your just looking for trouble. Some hair dryers out there can max out a 15amp circuit. I also think it’s NEC code to put each full bathroom on a seperate circuit.


Originally Posted By: Jeffrey Fox
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Plus on top of that you can have nuisance trippage caused by to long of a run or to many receptacles on a GFCI circuit. The longer the run you can have voltage drop which would cause the GFCI to trip for no real reason. I think electricians use 75 ft as a rule of thumb for a maximum run.


Originally Posted By: jmyers
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Jeff,


Code referrence please. To my knowledge there is nothing in the code book requiring each bathroom be placed on a seperate circuit. I could not find anything that would require any of the GFCI circuits to be placed on more than one circuit, with exception of the washer. If you know something I don't please share it with us.

Not that I don't agree with you but I couldn't find anything that would make it non compliant.

The only thing I can really do it let the clients know where they have to go to reset it if they trip the circuit.

Joe Myers


Originally Posted By: Robert Patterson
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Jeff,


Nothing in the NEC precludes putting more than one bath on a GFCI or putting the baths on separate floors. In fact you will find some houses with two baths on separate floors and the GFCI in the garage, meets code. Nor is there a limitation on the number of receptacles on a circuit. Not saying it's smart, but need to remember that code is a MINIMUM standard. My favorite example is placing bedrooms on 15A circuits. The sparkys will say "there won't be anything but a TV or light or two". The reality is one bedroom with a TV, several lights, smoke detector and the teenage girl using her blow dryer and curler; the other bedroom with a home office with TV, computer with many peripherals, lights, copier, fax, etc. But, the 15A circuit meets code.

Bob


Originally Posted By: Jeffrey Fox
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



I guess maybe it’s the way we do things in these parts, but we just did a bathroom that had 5 circuits in it. Now granted it had a whirlpool tub, sewage pump station and electric heat that were all on their own circuits but we still had a seperate for the lights and one for the few receptacles. I just can’t imagine putting a garage GFCI on with a bathroom circuit. Just imagine if some yoho had a 15 amp table saw plugged into it running while his wife and daughter were both blow drying their hair in seperate bathrooms. Maybe we are a bit to cautious but i guess i’d rather pull a little more wire and run a few more circuits than have someone’s house burn down cause i was lazy. Sorry for getting everyone on edge for nothing.


Originally Posted By: jremas
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



I agree, I would rather pull a little more cable and set it up right. I hate to skimp on electrical but some of the companies who have contracts doing homes in a development are looking hard at the bottom line. I always separated lighting from receptacles. I hate it when you have something plugged in and when the breaker blows you are left in the dark. Lighting breakers should never have to trip unless there is a major fault occuring. It is nice when you blow a breaker using a saw and the lights are still on for you to go to the panel for a reset. I think I will get carried away now:


A typical residence should be set up for 3 volt-amperes per square foot of home. Basically, you need one 15amp circuit for each 600 square feet of finished living space or one 20 amp breaker for every 800 sq. ft. based on 120 volt lighting. I don’t think that we need to get involved calculating finished footage and doing math to make sure there are enough lighting circuits because lots of contractors still combine lighting with receptacles. This is just not a good practice but there is no code against it. But, for your information if you happen to be building your own home, here is an example. Say you are building a home with 1700 sq. feet of living space. At 3 VoltAmperes per sq.ft, that is a total of 5100 VoltAmperes of lighting. Divide 5100 by 120volt system & you get 42.5 amps of lighting. Now divide that by 15 amp circuits and you get 2.83. This means you need at least three 15amp circuits for finished space lighting to meet code. This is one of the reasons that I separate lighting from receptacles. I hope this shed some light.






Jeff Remas
REMAS Inspections, Inc.
Northeastern PA & the Poconos
www.NEPAinspector.com

570-362-1598

Originally Posted By: Jeffrey Fox
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



I don’t know why but i was told to always put flourescent lights on their own circuit. Something to do with what the balast(sp?) in the light does to the polarity or something like that.


Originally Posted By: jfarsetta
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Harmonics…


Originally Posted By: sfrank
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



I’m just now getting started in this business and have been reading all of the message boards on all of the subjects. I’m just curious about all of the building code talk. I was under the impression that we were supposed to be inspecting for functionality not code enforcement. Were you just getting off track or am I missing something here? icon_rolleyes.gif


Originally Posted By: jmyers
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Scott,


Safety is always our goal, codes provide an excellent point of reference to us for what is acceptable and what is not. How could you possibly know that any receptacle within 6 feet of a water source has to be GFCI protected if you don't know the code that requires it?

To add further to this confusion I do believe I just read the code that requires all the bathroom GFCI circuit to terminate in only the bathroom space so if they are using the bathroom GFCI to protect any receptacle other than the bathroom it would be against codes.

Joe Myers


Originally Posted By: jremas
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Scott, you are correct. We are not code enforcement officials but talking code is fun for us geeks. It is good to have the knowledge of codes but never quote them on an inspection.






Jeff Remas
REMAS Inspections, Inc.
Northeastern PA & the Poconos
www.NEPAinspector.com

570-362-1598

Originally Posted By: sfrank
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Thank you all for the replies. I agree that it is good to know the codes but lets say Joe is right and the gfci circuit in a bathroom is supposed to terminate there. During your inspection you find that it doesn’t. Are you going to report to your client that the bathroom receptacle is gfci protected BUT it doesn’t meet code because the circuit doesn’t terminate there? How are you going to determine that the wiring was done after the code was put into effect? It is not required to replace outlets with gfci’s in homes that were built before the gfci craze.


Just some food for thought icon_eek.gif


Scott


Originally Posted By: dbush
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Scott, the way I always precede it is “Although it may not have been required when this house was built/remodeled” GFCIs are recommended to be installed for all receptacles that are within 6 feet of wet areas…


I don’t remember if the quote was here or on another site but I am stealing it -


“When the house was built GFCIs may not have been required, another couple of hundred people had to die first” - That gets your point across.



Dave Bush


MAB Member


"LIFE'S TOUGH, WEAR A HELMET"

Originally Posted By: jmyers
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Scott,


I do not quote codes in my reports.

In the case of the bathroom GFCI receptacle terminating anywhere except in the bathroom space would be inadequate because if you were to terminate that circuit in the garage and use a 15 amp power saw while the gals were using the hairdryer it would certainly trip the circuit regardless of the GFCI protection.

To take that a step further the bathroom is required to have a 20 amp circuit, so two 1500 watt hairdryers on any combination of that circuit (two hairdryers in two different bathrooms on the same circuit) would be enough to make it trip. To those that are technically challenged that would be 12.5 amps per hair dryer or a total of 25 amps. While it is common practice to run the bathroom receptacles on the same circuit I think the client should know that if they run two hairdryers on that circuit it will trip, don't you?

You are not there to determine if the wiring was installed after the code was placed in effect. You are there to make sure your client will be safe while occupying this house. If the GFCI was missing you would want to point it out, correct? I consider anything above that informing the client of what they can expect from that circuit. That means it comes down to if this house and this circuit meets my clients expectations they will follow through and purchase this property I am just there to inform them of what they have so they can make an informed decision.

BTW...some builders around here are still placing all the GFCI receptacles on one circuit. My personal opinion is that it is poor workmanship because they are trying to save time, money and labor. Would you want to buy a house they have wired knowing that they cut corners? At least if you did decide to purchase this house your expectations of the wiring would be low knowing they cut corners to reduce costs.

Ok, while you may not have to replace the outlets with GFCI receptacles if you are being grandfathered, it depends on your local AHJ, it comes down to whether or not these people will actually want to purchase a home that is not as safe as a new home. The seller will actually have to make a decision if they want to sell this house this buyer wants them to make certain improvements. No they don't have to but most likely the next person will want the same things improved, correct? Here in Phoenixville they would not have a choice, they would have to make the required improvements or they would not be able to obtain Certificate of Occupancy for the new owner. Who wants to buy a house no one can live in?

Is that a little better of an explanation?

Joe Myers