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ccarlson

electrical inspection

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If the homeowner is doing their own electrical work in a rural area with no requirements specific to the township or county, is an inspection by a state electrical inspector required or just recommended? If it is required, what happens if you fail to do so? What recourse does the state take?

thanks,

ccarlson

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You'll need a permit and follow State codes. Depending on what your doing they'll be given to you when you get your permit. Once your roughed in you'll call the inspector. He comes out and looks it over. If you did something that isn't right you'll correct the problem. Hopefully the correction will be something he can OK when he does a final inspection otherwise you'll have to correct the problem and call him out again. That extra trip might cost you but I don't think its much. Then once you've completed the work you'll call for the final inspection.

No, he won't yell at you if you did something wrong but it will need to be corrected. DO NOT cover up any electrical work or it'll have to come off.

What if you don't get a permit, do the work, and not get it inspected?

Why what are you about to do? smile

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Yes, you need an inspection on any electrical work done in Minnesota. To be honest with you if you didn't pull a permit the chances of them finding out are pretty slim, if you did get a permit they will find out. What can happen if found out is,

A, The inspector has the power to have you remove all wall covering (at your expense) so he can inspect your work. At a minimum he will have you pull apart every j-box to look at.

B, if there ever is a fire and they find uninspected electrical work the insurance company would have the right to refuse payment.

That's pretty much it. If your worried about the inspection maybe a guy should rethink the whole project. I believe the cost for a homeowner is under a hundred bucks.

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You will need a permit AND after talking with our realtor, they are digging much deeper into these issues at sale time. Many people have been cought off guard about this. Usually the inspectors I have dealt with as a homeowner have been quite helpfull. You just have to "play" their game though. Although the guy we had at the cabin in Walker was well....a little ANAL.

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Google MN electrical inspection, on the left hand of the states page click on electrical inspection. They have a good overview of what it takes to get your job inspected and the application is online, fill it out, print it and mail in with your check. Keep copies for your record in case it doesn't make it to your inspector by the time you need the rough-in inspection. If you have questions on the requirements check the site out first, next call your local inspector, most have specific times you have to call them (7:30 -8:30 am) there is a contact list on the site. They also have a good guidelines to go by for installing and what the requirements are. I added 8 circuits to my existing panel and the cost was $77 for the 2 trips and inspections. Pretty cheap if you look at what it would cost to have them come out after the fact and rip the walls open to check your work, or even worse, your place burns down or it is hard to sell later in life.

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Exactly.

People need to understand that these inspections are not just a fund raiser. They are there to make sure things where done right and keep people safe. It's also not just homeowners that get inspected but big jobs too. On larger jobs, due to the size of the project and the compexity of the building, it is not uncommon for me to get inspected over a dozen times. Don't sweat it, he's there for a reason.

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Exactly.

People need to understand that these inspections are not just a fund raiser. They are there to make sure things where done right and keep people safe. It's also not just homeowners that get inspected but big jobs too. On larger jobs it is not uncommon for me to get inspected over a dozen times. Don't sweat it, he's there for a reason.

Well said.

Click Here

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Yes, you need an inspection on any electrical work done in Minnesota. To be honest with you if you didn't pull a permit the chances of them finding out are pretty slim, if you did get a permit they will find out. What can happen if found out is,

A, The inspector has the power to have you remove all wall covering (at your expense) so he can inspect your work. At a minimum he will have you pull apart every j-box to look at.

B, if there ever is a fire and they find uninspected electrical work the insurance company would have the right to refuse payment.

That's pretty much it. If your worried about the inspection maybe a guy should rethink the whole project. I believe the cost for a homeowner is under a hundred bucks.

I'll add one additional possible result.

C. The inspector has the power to have your electricity turned off until it passes inspection. A friend of mine once thought he'd get by. The local inspector learned of his work and he had X number of days to remove his drywall and get it inspected or his power would be turned off. He had his walls taped and painted already but too bad. Could have saved himself a lot of headache and extra work had he done it right the first time.

So many are so anal about getting their work inspected. The cost is really a minimal part of the job. I can't remember for sure but $40 comes to mind plus about $4 per circuit or something like that. Once you have the affidavit filed you have about 18 months I believe to complete the work and have the final inspection done. I'm going a little from memory here so hope I'm right.

It's all about safety. I've found all the inspectors I've worked with to be extremely cordial, helpful, and professional. I've even called them for advice and interpretation during my projects so I know what they'll be looking for.

Do it right. It'll give you a sense of satisfaction knowing you have done a professional job up to code and it is as safe as you can make it.

Bob

Edit: If inspections are a fund-raiser, it's a poor one at best. They are not very expensive.

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Just homeowner here, but I built my garage and had it inspected. As mentioned above, the inspector was great. He gave me advice and I just had one "fix it" and he even gave it a pass on my honor.

I think one reason many don't want the work inspected isn't that they are afraid of inspector or even that they will do poor work. I think (maybe I am wrong) that many don't want the permit to make the assessor come out and raise the taxes on their place. I believe that happens, doesn't it? The county sees a permit pulled, and next thing you know they are there to raise the property value on your newly built bedroom and bath and family room.

Not saying that is "good excuse" at all for not getting permit, but I bet that is an honest reason for many not pulling permits. At least for cabins, etc. and then that can end up being a hassle down the road.

-example - We bought a small cabin (no water) and just used it for years. Last year we built a place with runnin' water wink and are leaving the old cabin there. Well, it ends up the folks we bought it from never got a permit for it (it is basically a big nicely finished shed)... so I had to buy a permit for it - could have cost me 10x the permit fee, but the cnty guy knew we didn't build it, and just charged me the normal permit fee ($125). I asked if I needed an electric permit or inspection on it and he said no.

Anyway, I ramble yet again... smile

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Thanks for the info guys. The reason I ask is because I had called to check on the inspection in my area and it would be $135. I'll have less than that into the wire and boxes and it just seems kind of ridiculous for such a small addition to the existing system. Still, I don't want to deal with having to rip anything apart so I suppose I'll buck up and have it done. Passing is not a concern. I've done other wiring at my place and no problems with inspectors on bigger jobs.

ccarlson

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Just had one of my code update classes tonight and the inspector made a very good point. Most people when they know it will get inspected will do a much better job at it. Something for everyone to think about.

Another thing that was brought up is that if you own a house and a cabin, you as the homeowner can only legally pull a permit on the place that is homesteaded. Just something else to think about.

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How many circuits, lights or outlets are you adding?

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It doesn't matter. Legally, a permit is required if you are replacing a light switch.

edit: Correction. legally, an inspection is required if you are replacing a light switch.

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Bob, I don't believe it gets to that point, since that is considered maintenance, and maintenance has a new deffinition this year (ok, last year).

I could be wrong but I believe it is required anytime you are adding new equipment, such as adding a receptacle in the garage.

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The biggest risk with not getting an electrical inspection done is if you have a fire caused by faulty wiring, and you don't have the sticker in your panel from the inspector for the faulty circuit. Your insurance company could refuse payment because the work wasn't inspected. I'm building a cabin on my lake lot, and have had 3 separate inspections done. One for the original work, one for off peak for floor heat, and now one for the bedrooms I'm adding. FYI: bedroom circuits require a combination Arc Fault Breaker, and tamper resistant outlets. My inspector has been helpful and professional. They just want the work to be safe.

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Bob, I don't believe it gets to that point, since that is considered maintenance, and maintenance has a new deffinition this year (ok, last year).

I could be wrong but I believe it is required anytime you are adding new equipment, such as adding a receptacle in the garage.

If the law has recently changed about that then I may be incorrect. Thanks.

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Quote:
They just want the work to be safe.

And that is the reason for the codes in the first place.

Bob

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I think (maybe I am wrong) that many don't want the permit to make the assessor come out and raise the taxes on their place. I believe that happens, doesn't it? The county sees a permit pulled, and next thing you know they are there to raise the property value on your newly built bedroom and bath and family room.

Brought a chuckle from me. Six years ago when the house was built, it didn't get finished until late in the year. The ground had started to freeze already so we had to wait until spring to put the decks on. Lined up a contractor and then went and applied for the permit. Before you know it the county assessor shows up and takes pictures and measurements where the decks are going. This was about a week before the contractor was to start the job so there wasn't even anything there to take pictures of.

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nope only new instalations are required for inspection, if you add a light switch where their wasnt one b4, yup you need an inspection, but if your replacing a switch/outlet/light fixture that was already their, no inspection is needed

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As a licenced contractor I would strongly advise you to pull

the permit even if you do the work yourself and this is one

example as to why other than the inspector catching a problem

that could protect you and your family.

I recently represented a home owner who recently bought a house

and had a few problems with the outlets in the basement.

After some investigation they found NO permits were pulled for

the basement being finished off and for the deck in the backyard

that the posts have heaved up a 1' to 1'1/2.

The previous homeowner is on the hook for ALL COSTS that are

incured to fix the problems (the whole basement is going to be

gutted)

Proper permits to complete project - 300

Paying someone if you dont pull them - ALOT MORE THAN 300

Peace of mind knowing your work is safe - Priceless

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