Virtual Inspections

tom baker

First Chief Moderator
Staff member
In the latest Washington electrical newsletter, our state electrical department is now doing virtual inspections, IE you Skype in and show the inspector via video your work. Its been under development for some time, and will allow more inspections with a limited staff. Our electrical department is having a hard time recruiting new inspectors, many are retiring and some they hire don't stay long. IMO, Washington is very progressive on the use of technology. About 98% of electrical certifications are renewed on line, and mailed out with in a few days. A good percentage of the permits are pulled on line.

I don't know much more about the virtual inspections, as I am don't call for inspections being retired
From the newsletter
Electrical Contractors – Virtual Electrical Inspections Are Here You can now request a Virtual Electrical Inspection (VEI) on the same day at least 30 minutes in advance of when you need it. VEI is a dependable inspection process allowing customers on the jobsite to interact with inspectors online using Skype on a mobile device. You can begin using VEI now for any electrical inspections that will take no longer than 15 minutes, and that do not involve service or final approvals.
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
Someone will figure out a way to beat that system...

I guess they could double check some things during final though. Still, something could be slipped through.
 

JoeNorm

Senior Member
Location
WA
I'm in Washington and have done a virtual inspection. I think they just have to trust that you're not going to pull a fast one.
 

hillbilly1

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,Ga
Occupation
Field coordinator/ technical support
I suppose it could be done, we already have customers with IVR apps that give our exact location and time when we log in on site. I use FaceTime all of the time as a troubleshooting tool. I can see in real time what one of my guys is looking at, and cut troubleshooting down from hours to minutes if they don’t know what they are looking at or for. Helps greatly when manually overriding a transfer switch or energy management system. Look forward to call centers full of inspectors as smaller municipalities could sub out inspections. Instead of keeping a full time inspector that inspects all trades, but is just a master of only one or two. On the bright side, inspections should be quicker, because the inspector is not riding around in traffic, scheduled inspections should be on time.
 

Knuckle Dragger

Master Electrician Electrical Contractor 01752
Location
Marlborough, Massachusetts USA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
It could be a real helpful tool for a lot of communities.
Depending on how detailed the video is. Could you imagine an AHJ just dissecting it frame by frame if the want to be a PIA?
Not like he could ever find anything on any of my work.;)
 

brantmacga

Señor Member
Location
Georgia
Occupation
Electrical Monke
For the last few years, many of the municipalities I work in have allowed us to send photos of our work for inspection; but that’s usually after at least one site visit for which I imagine they use to gauge whether they can trust you.

I’ve been doing a lot of restoration work in the Florida panhandle since hurricane michael, and almost all inspections down there are via photo. There are several private companies assisting the local govt’s with inspections and even with the added staffing, it’s not enough to keep up.

Funny story, one of the local TV stations in Panama City was doing a story about this very thing a few weeks ago, and I ended up on TV....sorta. I was in town picking up a permit (virtual inspections but you still have to physically go apply and pay for a permit ....smh) and the BO asked if I minded. I’d been waiting in line for an hour; I said as long as I don’t have to give an interview, and please don’t show my face on TV; I’m weird about that. So this was my TV debut 😂

A68AE938-391C-434F-834E-33316124C992.jpeg
 

Coppersmith

Senior Member
Location
Tampa, FL, USA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
Usually I don't attend inspections, but sometimes I wait for the inspector so I can steer him away from a "problem area" I'd rather he didn't see. This is usually followed by a sigh of relief as he leaves. Sounds like virtual inspections would make this a lot easier for me. But I'm at least 99% code compliant all the time. I hesitate to think what many others will be getting away with.
 

480sparky

Senior Member
Location
Iowegia
For the last few years, many of the municipalities I work in have allowed us to send photos of our work for inspection; but that’s usually after at least one site visit for which I imagine they use to gauge whether they can trust you.

I’ve been doing a lot of restoration work in the Florida panhandle since hurricane michael, and almost all inspections down there are via photo. There are several private companies assisting the local govt’s with inspections and even with the added staffing, it’s not enough to keep up.

Funny story, one of the local TV stations in Panama City was doing a story about this very thing a few weeks ago, and I ended up on TV....sorta. I was in town picking up a permit (virtual inspections but you still have to physically go apply and pay for a permit ....smh) and the BO asked if I minded. I’d been waiting in line for an hour; I said as long as I don’t have to give an interview, and please don’t show my face on TV; I’m weird about that. So this was my TV debut 😂

View attachment 2551176

Funny. I didn't think you had shoulder-length blond hair and glasses.
 

NTesla76

Member
Location
IA
Bumping this thread a bit. Due to supposed budget restrictions, our city management has tossed up the idea of virtual inspections. Photos, videos, FaceTime, etc. Are any of you out there experiencing this? If so, what is the overall consensus. As an inspector I am not a fan of it.
 

tom baker

First Chief Moderator
Staff member
For contractors, 95% of our permits were taken out on line, now that electrical offices are closed, it must higher. The video inspections are being promoted to minimize contact, they are limited to 15 minutes. Think ditch cover, circuit extensions,
 

Barbqranch

Senior Member
Location
Arcata, CA
Occupation
Plant maintenance electrician Semi-retired
I can image a system where an inspector comes out for a homeowner diy project, and also randomly pull a certain percentage of the contractor inspections for site visits. Each one that passes lowers the probability of the next site visit.
 

brantmacga

Señor Member
Location
Georgia
Occupation
Electrical Monke
Bumping this thread a bit. Due to supposed budget restrictions, our city management has tossed up the idea of virtual inspections. Photos, videos, FaceTime, etc. Are any of you out there experiencing this? If so, what is the overall consensus. As an inspector I am not a fan of it.
What I’ve seen in response to social distancing, is that many offices are reducing hours of staff, and also alternating work days so that the office isn’t full. So the electrical inspector may only work every other day, etc.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

retirede

Senior Member
Location
Illinois
I can image a system where an inspector comes out for a homeowner diy project, and also randomly pull a certain percentage of the contractor inspections for site visits. Each one that passes lowers the probability of the next site visit.
That’s the way it is in my city. There are a couple contractors who never get visited any more.
 

McLintock

Senior Member
Location
USA
Occupation
Electrician
Here in NW Wisconsin it would be hard as cell service is very spotty. The last 4 homes I did I had no cell service at all.


“ shoot low boys their riding shetland ponies”
 

romex jockey

Senior Member
Location
Vermont
Yup, did my first virtual inspection with my 'smart' phone and my AHJ last week, managed to work the phone with some guidance , but it's still smarter than me, and even tells me so.....:cry: ~RJ~
 
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