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What are your limits as an inspector?

jar546

Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
Joined
Oct 16, 2009
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Location
Palm Beach County Florida
You are called to inspect a commercial light in a state park that has been retrofitted and rewired. Upon arrival you see that the electrical contractor still has his ladders up as he finishes the job. This is what you see, a 16' step ladder and an extension ladder. How would you proceed in order to inspect this installation?

IMG_1981.JPG
 

steveray

Sawhorse
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Nov 25, 2009
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West of the river CT
We have no authority on State property.....But seriously.....As ugly as that is, I would likely sign off on it....We don't see inside electrical devices typically on finals...Do I have the IECC info? Is the breaker labelled?
 

Pcinspector1

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That ones outside my authority but if its a light fixture replacement my gut tells me it would fall under maintenance similar to allowing a home owner replace a switch or light fixture. IMO

I also would not climb either of those ladders as provided. Where's the boom truck?
 

fatboy

Administrator
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Oct 17, 2009
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6,352
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Northern CO
Same here, no authority. Assuming I did, I sure as heck would not go up either of those ladders, failed. lack of access.

Don't know that I would require a permit at all, as said before, looks like maintenance.

You say rewire....to what extent?
 

jar546

Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
Joined
Oct 16, 2009
Messages
8,521
Location
Palm Beach County Florida
Same here, no authority. Assuming I did, I sure as heck would not go up either of those ladders, failed. lack of access.

Don't know that I would require a permit at all, as said before, looks like maintenance.

You say rewire....to what extent?

I wish you guys would stop looking into things. Does not matter the location, just assume you are there to inspect it officially.

Let's say there was a switch at the base of the pole that was removed, the conduit on the pole was replaced from about 4' above grade on up to the top with new wire pulled and both exterior boxes replaced.

No access? I see access with 2 ladders. As an inspector I have climbed a lot of ladders to get on a roof to do inspections.
 

fatboy

Administrator
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Northern CO
I wish you guys would stop looking into things. Does not matter the location, just assume you are there to inspect it officially.

Let's say there was a switch at the base of the pole that was removed, the conduit on the pole was replaced from about 4' above grade on up to the top with new wire pulled and both exterior boxes replaced.

No access? I see access with 2 ladders. As an inspector I have climbed a lot of ladders to get on a roof to do inspections.
_______________________________________________________________________________

We are usually called out for NOT looking at the details.

I have climbed many a ladder myself over my 21+ years as an inspector, some pretty iffy. But given my older years, I would not want to contort myself to open the j-box right below the fixture, which I would be doing, if I were to inspect it. Is that final connection to the light factory installed? If not, then I need to get the the access cover to see that. Sure the eff not doing that on those ladders.
 

steveray

Sawhorse
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Nov 25, 2009
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West of the river CT
Or to further clarify...Same way I would inspect a ceiling fan at a house with 15' tall cathedral ceilings.....Looks good from here!....Not that I like it, but there are things you will not see and will sign off on. Unless your office has a policy of a "pre-final" for electrical where all of the devices are wired, but not finally installed which would just be insane IMO....
 

ICE

Moderator
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Jun 23, 2011
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9,736
Location
California concrete jungle
The low j-box might not have a rain tight fitting and the same may be true for the upper j-box with a cord hanging out......but the lousy picture makes it tough to say for sure.

The switch needs to be replaced and the fixture is bolted to a rotten pole. I would climb the step ladder and use a mirror on a extension wand to see what I need to see.

Oh and Jeff, that bit about not looking into things. Now that’s a sense of humor I didn’t know you had.
 

Pcinspector1

Platinum Member
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MID WEST
Ladders appear to be unsafe.
Can't do that inspection except the lower portion J-boxes, grounding and conduit. Would note on the inspection report "Inspector did not climb ladder" cuz he's a wuss!

OSHA Portable Ladder Safety .
1. Read and follow all labels/markings on the ladder.
2. Avoid electrical hazards! – Look for overhead power lines before handling a ladder.
3. Avoid using a metal ladder near power lines or exposed energized electrical equipment.
4. Always inspect the ladder prior to using it. If the ladder is damaged, it must be removed from service and tagged until repaired or discarded.
5. Always maintain a 3-point (two hands and a foot, or two feet and a hand) contact on the ladder when climbing. Keep your body near the middle of the step and always face the ladder while climbing (see diagram).
6. Only use ladders and appropriate accessories (ladder levelers, jacks or hooks) for their designed purposes.
7. Ladders must be free of any slippery material on the rungs, steps or feet.
8. Do not use a self-supporting ladder (e.g., step ladder) as a single ladder or in a partially closed position.
9. Do not use the top step/rung of a ladder as a step/rung unless it was designed for that purpose.
10. Use a ladder only on a stable and level surface, unless it has been secured (top or bottom) to prevent displacement. 11. Do not place a ladder on boxes, barrels or other unstable bases to obtain additional height.
12. Do not move or shift a ladder while a person or equipment is on the ladder.
13. An extension or straight ladder used to access an elevated surface must extend at least 3 feet above the point of support (see diagram).
14. Do not stand on the three top rungs of a straight, single or extension ladder.
15. The proper angle for setting up a ladder is to place its base a quarter of the working length of the ladder from the wall or other vertical surface (see diagram).
16. A ladder placed in any location where it can be displaced by other work activities must be secured to prevent displacement or a barricade must be erected to keep traffic away from the ladder.
17. Be sure that all locks on an extension ladder are properly engaged.
18. Do not exceed the maximum load rating of a ladder. Be aware of the ladder’s load rating and of the weight it is supporting, including the weight of any tools or equipment.

Does your insurance provider cover you, would be something to check on.
 

Builder Bob

Sawhorse
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Oct 17, 2009
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2,382
Location
Sunny SC - Coastal (not Charleston or Myrtle Beach
Not to be mean but - any covers would need to be removed by the electrician - don't want to break or lose any screws/ covers/ etc.
Electrician would have to verify power is off.
Installation instructions would have to be on site/ available.

At least the extension ladder is tied off...
 

north star

Sawhorse
Joined
Oct 19, 2009
Messages
4,079
# ~ # ~ #

New conduit needs more clamps to attach to
it to the pole, ...replace Switch at bottom,
...replace or ensure that the J-Box for the switch
has a fully seal-able gasket, ...as others have
stated, ensure that the power is off !

I would use the A-Frame ladder versus the
extension [ personal preference ].

Can't quite tell, but in the lower right of the photo,
it looks like unenclosed NM going to the utility pole.

# ~ # ~ #
 

north star

Sawhorse
Joined
Oct 19, 2009
Messages
4,079
@ ~ @ ~ @

Builder Bob,

I have seen a lot of things, but I reckon I haven't seen one of them
"romex-amander's yet.
:D


They must be as rare as compliant Contractors' in **ICE**' neck
of the woods.

@ ~ @ ~ @
 

Pcinspector1

Platinum Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2009
Messages
3,731
Location
MID WEST
painter_creepy.jpg


No...I don't think so!
 

conarb

Registered User
Joined
Oct 22, 2009
Messages
3,507
Location
California East Bay Area
I have worked for a 3rd party inspection service where we were not allowed to use ladders.

Rick:

Inspectors haven't gone up ladders for years here in the Bay Area, I remember the first time, it was 1978 and I had built a home with high ceilings, when I started to walk the house for final with the inspector I grabbed a 16' step ladder that I had the electrician leave, the inspector said: "Forget about it", I said: "We have several smokes high up back there.", he said; "I'll have to trust you on it, we are not allowed to go up ladders for insurance reasons." Now they won't even go up on a 4:12 if I give them tie-off lanyards for nailing inspections,

Speaking of smokes, I finished a home with high ceilings 5 years ago, I was in there on a leak last week and noticed a dozen smokes all laying on a table, hard wiring them was a good idea but the back-up batteries are such a pain that the people get rid of them, the owner has obviously paid someone with a long ladder to come in and take them all down.
 

JimmyTreeX

Registered User
Joined
Sep 4, 2021
Messages
6
Location
Upstate NY
You are called to inspect a commercial light in a state park that has been retrofitted and rewired. Upon arrival you see that the electrical contractor still has his ladders up as he finishes the job. This is what you see, a 16' step ladder and an extension ladder. How would you proceed in order to inspect this installation?

View attachment 3245
With something like this we wouldn’t inspect, we would request documentation from the licensed electrician/company. We request 3rd party electrical inspections often.
 
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