Red-tagged out of spite (and maybe has a point on a couple things)

jaylectricity

Senior Member
Location
Massachusetts
Occupation
licensed journeyman electrician
Inspector showed up to inspect my generator and ATS install. He saw the yard sign of the guy who sells and services the equipment and assumed I was operating as that business. Demanded (via online portal) a license with that business name and liability and workman's comp for that business name.

I replied that the business he was referring to was my customer, not me.

He tagged me for the following:
Didn't use listed support for SER cable (I used a strap To hang it from a joist it was passing under)
Equipment grounding conductor requires listed fittings (I think he means grounding electrode conductor that I passed through the connector with the SER, because the equipment grounding conductor is part of the SER)
Surge protection required when replacing service (I didn't replace the service or any of the existing equipment, I added a transfer switch)
Unistrut driven into frozen ground does not constitute a support for conduit (I drove superstrut 30 inches into the ground to support 24" of 1.25" PVC that stuck out from the building)

Maybe he has a couple code violations there, but he's the first to point out any of them. Can't help wonder if he just got infuriated thinking I was somehow trying to trick the town with my journeyman license even though I was running a business that requires a Masters license. MA allows journeyman to work for themselves under their own name.

According to Article 334 the only type of support that is required to be listed is wire ties. The unistrut isn't going anywhere. I suppose I should have punched a separate 1/2" KO for the GEC, but that he has the terminology wrong makes it hard to take him seriously.

This is the first inspector to interpret the new 2020 surge protection requirement to apply to adding a generator and transfer switch.

Any thoughts?
 

tortuga

Code Historian
Location
Oregon
Occupation
Electrical Design
.../.. grounding electrode conductor that I passed through the connector with the SER,
Yeah thats a no no.

.../... (I didn't replace the service or any of the existing equipment, I added a transfer switch)
.../...

Any thoughts?
Did you replace/relocate the grounding electrode conductor into the ATS?
Does the ATS replace a service disconnect or is it ahead of the main?
 

growler

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,GA
Can't help wonder if he just got infuriated thinking I was somehow trying to trick the town with my journeyman license, even though I was running a business that requires a Masters license. MA allows journeyman to work for themselves under
Inspectors can be as human as anyone else. If they get upset about something they have been known to lash out and use their authority.

I once had an inspector write me up a list of gigs on a job because the homeowner made him so mad he couldn't think straight. He even left a message that I was to call him at his home number at the end of the day.

When I got him on the phone he said you just don't understand how that woman treated me. My reply was that he had only been at the job site for a few minutes and I had been there for almost a week so I had a pretty good idea.

He asked me why anyone would take such a job and my reply was there was a recession going on and I have to eat.

Long story made short. After the inspector and I had talked for a few minutes and I agreed to be on the job site for the final inspection so he wouldn't have to deal with the homeowner he said he would go ahead and approve the rough if I would make one small change so he could save face.
 

Jimmy patrick

Member
Location
Massachusetts
Occupation
Electrician
a SPD is required for any modification to the electrical service. And yes the inspector is correct, that company needs a master license if they are offering sales and installation of the generator. That’s why all these solar companies need masters license even tho they sub out the work
 

Eddie702

Licensed Electrician
Location
Western Massachusetts
Occupation
Electrician
I had an inspection once at a television station where I wired some air conditioners. They had done a lot of their own mickey mouse work their which made me think twice, but I took out a permit for my work.

The inspector shows up to look at my stuff and takes off into a different direction and goes in the building and I find him looking up at some old service entrance cable. He says to me"that's been their 30 years and it was temporary and their still using it" "the guy that did that promised me he would fix it"

Of course he flunked my job for no real reason because he was pissed, he had to find something wrong
 

jaylectricity

Senior Member
Location
Massachusetts
Occupation
licensed journeyman electrician
So I called the inspector today. I had to leave a message with the building clerk and he called back from a restricted number. This is usually a red flag to me. Means he doesn't want anybody to be able to reach him without him knowing who it is and what it's about beforehand. I answer:
Me: Hello?
Him: Is this (My first and last name).
Me: Yes, is this (his first and last name).
Him *slight stammer*: Uh, this is the wire inspector of Sharon.

Yeah, obviously I know who he is if I know his first and last name and am expecting a call. Anyway his position is that the generator salesman needs to have a master license because he's doing wiring for hire, then subbing it out to me. I asked if a workaround could be that he sells the equipment, then "refers" the customer to me and the customer pays me directly. He seemed maybe ok with that.

His issue with the ground wire wasn't even something I installed. Somebody had jumped a #10 from the water pipe to the GEC. I told him I could just remove it because it was redundant.

I did not find anything in the code book prohibiting what I used for support of the SER and he didn't argue after I pointed out that only cable ties are required to be listed for cable support.

His response to the unistrut was that he had no way of knowing that I drove it deep enough into the ground and that I should have poured concrete.

As for the SPD, his position is that I "replaced" the main breaker by installing equipment that became the main breaker.

I could see where he was coming from although I disagreed. He kept trying to make the phone call adversarial and I kept trying to make the call cooperative between two professionals.

Eventually he says he's going to call the salesman and asks for his number. I say, "It's on the picture you took of his yard sign". He asks his name, I tell him.

He never called.
 

jaylectricity

Senior Member
Location
Massachusetts
Occupation
licensed journeyman electrician
I can't help but wonder if I had been there the inspection might have gone differently. I almost NEVER let an inspector I've never dealt with inspect my work without being there. Not sure why I did this time.
 

jaylectricity

Senior Member
Location
Massachusetts
Occupation
licensed journeyman electrician
So I talked to the generator salesman and he's pissed. Calling the guy stupid and saying he's opening a can of worms he's going to wish he didn't. I guess the long and short of that situation is that lots of these companies do business this way and no other inspector is interpreting the law this way. He's going to have his attorney do some research on the inspector. Find out if he's currently licensed. I text him the name and he calls me back right away.

Says, "I know this guy. He was in a training class for Briggs and Stratton with me. He was very secretive about who he was. He didn't want anyone to know that he was an inspector, etc.

This sounds like a bit of a stretch, but I'd be interested if it were true.

My thought is that the inspector does generator installations and is giving me an extra hard time because it's "his" town.
 

Jimmy patrick

Member
Location
Massachusetts
Occupation
Electrician
So I talked to the generator salesman and he's pissed. Calling the guy stupid and saying he's opening a can of worms he's going to wish he didn't. I guess the long and short of that situation is that lots of these companies do business this way and no other inspector is interpreting the law this way. He's going to have his attorney do some research on the inspector. Find out if he's currently licensed. I text him the name and he calls me back right away.

Says, "I know this guy. He was in a training class for Briggs and Stratton with me. He was very secretive about who he was. He didn't want anyone to know that he was an inspector, etc.

This sounds like a bit of a stretch, but I'd be interested if it were true.

My thought is that the inspector does generator installations and is giving me an extra hard time because it's "his" town.

The generator sales man is starting a crap show. Look at all the solar companies that just sell and have subs doing installs. They all need a masters license and insurance.

As for blocking the call, the town must not give him a town cell phone. I’m assuming your talking about a small town. Is he a Full time inspector?
 
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jaylectricity

Senior Member
Location
Massachusetts
Occupation
licensed journeyman electrician
As for blocking the call, the town must not give him a town cell phone. I’m assuming your talking about a small town. Is he a Full time inspector?
Not sure. It's possible, but that doesn't stop plenty of inspectors from giving out their cell phone. The good ones want to keep a good dialogue with the electricians working in their town.
 

jaylectricity

Senior Member
Location
Massachusetts
Occupation
licensed journeyman electrician
That is funny. Is the plumbing inspector the "water" inspector.
And that brings up another thing. I get wire inspectors that call out stuff that has nothing to do with me. One failed me because the generator wasn't in the right place for various clearances. Not anything to do with the NEC other than maybe manufacturer's instructions.

The plumbing inspector never fails the plumber for running gas pipe to a generator that is within 18" of combustible material or 5' of an opening to the building.

I'm all for making sure these are installed safely, but why aren't the plumbing inspectors ever calling this stuff out?
 

jaylectricity

Senior Member
Location
Massachusetts
Occupation
licensed journeyman electrician
Also, I got another call from the "restricted" number well after business hours tonight. My first thought is he's on here and saw my posts from when I got home.

So be it. I can't proceed until the sales company figures out their end. I didn't do anything wrong. I just did the work I was hired for.
 

wyreman

Senior Member
Location
SF CA USA
Occupation
electrical contractor
Also, I got another call from the "restricted" number well after business hours tonight. My first thought is he's on here and saw my posts from when I got home.

So be it. I can't proceed until the sales company figures out their end. I didn't do anything wrong. I just did the work I was hired for.
never say anything about anybody behind their back you wouldn't say to their face
 

Eddie702

Licensed Electrician
Location
Western Massachusetts
Occupation
Electrician
Like everywhere else most of the inspectors in MA are fine. There are always a few that cause issues

I did a service change years ago and I ended up with 2 main disconnects adjacent to each other. The inspector didn't like it took a fit over it actually. So I cited the 6 disconnect rule and he said "not in my town". So I called him up and said the code says I can do it in any so if you don't like it I guess were going to Boston. He backed right down and passed it with a "don't do this in my town again"

How can you have any respect for a guy like that. TG he is retired now
 
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