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  1. #1
    Bob Hunt's Avatar
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    Default Light switch over tub

    First time I have ever seen this. New construction. Two light switches over the outer edge of the bath tub (it is a tub only, not a shower or whirlpool). Contractor says that the switches are not in the wet area of the tub and therefore OK.

    I wrote it up since anyone, including a child, could reach the switches while sitting in the tub. They are not GFCI protected either. Code says no receptacles over tub, but all I can find on switches is what the contractor said, "not in the wet area". Seems awfully dangerous to me.

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  2. #2
    Jeff Remas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    NEC 404.4


  3. #3
    Jeff Remas's Avatar
    Jeff Remas Guest

    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    Is there a shower head?

    Love the window sill if there is a shower too.

    Contractor is wrong.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    Maybe this will help

    2006 IRC
    E3805.11 Damp or wet locations.
    In damp or wet locations,
    boxes, conduit bodies and fittings shall be placed or equipped
    so as to prevent moisture from entering or accumulating within
    the box, conduit body or fitting. Boxes, conduit bodies and fittings
    installed in wet locations shall be listed for use in wet

    location

    E3901.7Wet locations.
    Aswitch or circuit breaker located in a
    wet location or outside of a building shall be enclosed in a
    weatherproof enclosure or cabinet. Switches shall not be
    installed within wet locations in tub or shower spaces unless

    installed as part of a listed tub or shower assembly.


    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    As Jeff and Rick C. said, the contractor is wrong. Kick him in the arse for all of us.

    Rick


  6. #6
    Bob Hunt's Avatar
    Bob Hunt Guest

    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    The contractor's argument is the definition of the wet area of the tub. Common (apparently lacking in this contractor) sense says that this is a wet area. Where is the definition in the IRC or NEC? Then I will happily apply Rick Hurst's version of a dope slap.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    2006 IRC

    LOCATION
    , DAMP.Location protected from weather and
    not subject to saturation with water or other liquids but subject
    to moderate degrees of moisture. Examples of such locations
    include partially protected locations under canopies, marquees,
    roofed open porches and like locations, and interior
    locations subject to moderate degrees of moisture, such as
    some basements, some barns and some cold-storage warehouses.

    LOCATION, DRY.
    A location not normally subject to dampness
    or wetness. A location classified as dry may be temporarily
    subject to dampness or wetness, as in the case of a
    building under construction.


    LOCATION, WET.
    Installations underground or in concrete
    slabs or masonry in direct contact with the earth and locations
    subject to saturation with water or other liquids, such as vehicle-

    washing areas, and locations exposed to weather.


    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  8. #8
    Jeff Remas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    Bob, I posted the NEC and Rick gave you the IRC.


  9. #9
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    Bob:

    404.4 Damp or Wet Locations.
    A surface-mounted switch or circuit breaker in a damp or wet location shall be enclosed in a weatherproof enclosure or cabinet that shall comply with 312.2. A flush-mounted switch or circuit breaker in a damp or wet location shall be equipped with a weatherproof cover. Switches shall not be installed within wet locations in tub or shower spaces unless installed as part of a listed tub or shower assembly.


    Location, Damp. Locations protected from weather and not subject to saturation with water or other liquids but subject to moderate degrees of moisture. Examples of such locations include partially protected locations under canopies, marquees, roofed open porches, and like locations, and interior locations subject to moderate degrees of moisture, such as some basements, some barns, and some cold-storage warehouses.
    Location, Dry. A location not normally subject to dampness or wetness. A location classified as dry may be temporarily subject to dampness or wetness, as in the case of a building under construction.
    Location, Wet. Installations underground or in concrete slabs or masonry in direct contact with the earth; in locations subject to saturation with water or other liquids, such as vehicle washing areas; and in unprotected locations exposed to weather.

    Aaron


  10. #10
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    How that's not in the tub area I can't figure.
    What's the deal with that extra wall lip area? Is that fiberglass part of the tub or is that painted drywall waiting to rot? Just curious.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  12. #12
    Bob Hunt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    Markus: It's part of the tub. The whole silly tub is only 4' long. Big enough for a dog or child--or an adult that likes to soak while sniffing his knees.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Hunt View Post
    Markus: It's part of the tub. The whole silly tub is only 4' long. Big enough for a dog or child--or an adult that likes to soak while sniffing his knees.
    Hi Bob,

    The contractor can argue whatever he wants. Others have already posted code references. It doesn't matter. If you, as the HI (a consultant to your client) believe this is a problem, inform your client and move on. Your client is paying you for your opinion and you have given it to them.

    Sincerely,

    Corey Friedman


  14. #14
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    Quote Originally Posted by Corey Friedman View Post
    Hi Bob,

    The contractor can argue whatever he wants. Others have already posted code references. It doesn't matter. If you, as the HI (a consultant to your client) believe this is a problem, inform your client and move on. Your client is paying you for your opinion and you have given it to them.

    Sincerely,

    Corey Friedman
    Bob: Corey is correct. Tell the contractor to read the codes. If he still disagrees with you, tell him that he is full of s.h.i.t.

    Aaron


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    It's a damp location if not a wet location, regardless whether it is a damp location or a wet location, the code still calls for the switches to be in weatherproof enclosure or cover.

    Thus, it is not that those switches are not allowed there, it is that those switches are not allowed there "like that" (i.e., as they are installed).

    Corey has it right:

    Quote Originally Posted by Corey Friedman View Post
    The contractor can argue whatever he wants. Others have already posted code references. It doesn't matter. If you, as the HI (a consultant to your client) believe this is a problem, inform your client and move on. Your client is paying you for your opinion and you have given it to them.
    Explain it to your client, give them the back-up information, let the builder butt their head against the wall over-and-over-and-over ... if you client wants those switches there, the switches will be left there, if your client is willing to accept a big and ugly weather proof switch cover, so be it, and if your client stands fast and does not want the switches there, let the builder move the switches elsewhere - such as around the corner on the wall the door swings open to.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  16. #16
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    Thus, it is not that those switches are not allowed there, it is that those switches are not allowed there "like that" (i.e., as they are installed).
    JP: I have to disagree and err in my judgement on behalf of the occupant's safety. I think the switches have to go . . ., but, as you say, if they are to stay, they must be installed in a weatherproof enclosure.


  17. #17
    Jeff Remas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    They can install weatherproof covers/assemblies to protect the switches and they can stay there.

    If the work was done recently and inspected by code inspectors then give them a call and have them address the situation.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    JP: I have to disagree and err in my judgement on behalf of the occupant's safety.
    Aaron,

    You are not disagreeing with me, not as regards my opinion as *I* don't like the switches there either, you are disagreeing with the code as 'the code', being the minimum standard that it is, *does not require* the switches to be relocated.

    The original post was not about personal opinion, but about code and what it requires, note the reference to "Code says no receptacles over tub, but all I can find on switches ... ".

    The code *allows* those switches there *provided* weather proof covers are used.

    Are the switches "safe" there with the installation of weather proof covers? Most certainly *safer*, yes, and that is what the minimum requirement code is referencing. Heck, those switches would be even *SAFER* yet installed outside the bathroom rather than in the bathroom, so, where do you stop at ... for "safe"?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  19. #19
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    You are not disagreeing with me, not as regards my opinion as *I* don't like the switches there either, you are disagreeing with the code as 'the code', being the minimum standard that it is, *does not require* the switches to be relocated.
    JP: Maybe.

    The probability of the switches being splashed with water in a tub surround is great, making this, in my opinion, a wet location.

    I know it says, "A location classified as dry may be temporarily subject to dampness or wetness, as in the case of a building under construction". Aside from that sounding a bit salacious at first blush, it does not tell me that this is a dry or damp location.

    Besides, there I do not believe that the intent of the code is to subject the occupants even to temporary periods of electrocution.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Aaron,

    You are not disagreeing with me, not as regards my opinion as *I* don't like the switches there either, you are disagreeing with the code as 'the code', being the minimum standard that it is, *does not require* the switches to be relocated.

    The original post was not about personal opinion, but about code and what it requires, note the reference to "Code says no receptacles over tub, but all I can find on switches ... ".

    The code *allows* those switches there *provided* weather proof covers are used.

    Are the switches "safe" there with the installation of weather proof covers? Most certainly *safer*, yes, and that is what the minimum requirement code is referencing. Heck, those switches would be even *SAFER* yet installed outside the bathroom rather than in the bathroom, so, where do you stop at ... for "safe"?
    Oops , ... I goofed , thus I must correct myself ...

    Those switches *ARE NOT*, repeat, *NOT* allowed there if we presume that is the "tub or shower space". Most of us agree that would be a "wet location" "within" the *intended* "tub or shower space".

    From the 2008 NEC. (underlining and red text mine)
    - 404.4 Damp or Wet Locations.
    - - A surface-mounted switch or circuit breaker in a damp or wet location shall be enclosed in a weatherproof enclosure or cabinet that shall comply with 312.2. A flush-mounted switch or circuit breaker in a damp or wet location shall be equipped with a weatherproof cover. Switches shall not be installed within wet locations in tub or shower spaces unless installed as part of a listed tub or shower assembly.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  21. #21
    Bill Thacker's Avatar
    Bill Thacker Guest

    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    Since it seems everyone thinks "that ain't right".....how would you report it?

    Would you cite code or merely say it is problem that you recommend be corrected?

    This did pass an electrical inspection...right? Who is responsible for code enforcement in your area?

    One thing for certain is it is not the home inspector and I would hope everyone can agree on that.

    Just my 3 cents worth.

    Bill

    AllPro - PA and MD Home Inspection and Radon Test - MD Licensed Home Inspector


  22. #22
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    Since it seems everyone thinks "that ain't right".....how would you report it? Would you cite code or merely say it is problem that you recommend be corrected?
    Both. Quote the code and tell them that it is not intuitively obvious why someone would do something like this. That's the kind way of saying, "what stupid MF installed that there?"

    This did pass an electrical inspection...right? Who is responsible for code enforcement in your area?
    If "there" is anything at all like "here" damn near anything can pass as per the code enforcement guys on any given day. Who is "responsible"? The AHJ.


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Thacker View Post
    Just my 3 cents worth.
    Must think highly of yourself, the rest of us here put in our 2 cents worth, sometimes even less than that, accounting for inflation.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  24. #24
    Bill Thacker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Must think highly of yourself, the rest of us here put in our 2 cents worth, sometimes even less than that, accounting for inflation.

    I did account for inflation.....my 3 cents today is worth far less than 2 cents were just last year.

    COLA adjustment would probably make my 3 cents worth about 1 penny. Soon it will be like the Lira of days past.

    10,000 lira worth about a dime or some such nonsense.

    I do think highly of myself.......but not amongst fellow peers.

    I just like to see what others opinions are.

    Since home inspections are based on the professional opinion of the inspector, how can anyone's opinion be wrong? Someone might not agree....but one's opinion can and often times differ on different topics.

    I like a good conversation involving why someone calls something one way or another, but I never would suggest someone is wrong.

    That is why a forum like this is greatly informative.

    And if 3 cents worth bothers you,......wait until I throw a full nickles worth of opinion at you......


    Bill
    AllPro - PA and MD Home Inspection and Radon Test - MD Licensed Home Inspector
    Home Rite Home Inspector, York, Pa - Real Estate Inspection in PA and Maryland


  25. #25
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    I do think highly of myself.......but not amongst fellow peers.
    One must brag bigger when amongst bigger braggers . . .


  26. #26
    Bill Thacker's Avatar
    Bill Thacker Guest

    Default Re: Light switch over tub



    How can when one not disagree with such impeccable logic.


    Anyway

    I try to check the braggart in me at the door. I like to try to learn and maybe pass on a valid opinion or two...that's all.

    I have seen posts that come off sounding like bragging...."I know all this and more" sorta feeling. But those are limited and not widespread.

    I think code citations open a potential liability myself....if you quote code once and don't everywhere, you'll lose any code related suit down the road wouldn't you?

    "Switches above tub in a wet location are installed improperly, recommend evaluation and correction by qualified contractor."

    Code is implied as well as what stupid MF put it here without stating it. (And without seeing the layout of this bathroom I wouldn't say...framing, hvac and plumbing somtimes interfere with the best of choices. The switches are only inherently dangerous as the persons using them. why it is not GFI'd at the panel is dumb. You would have to be pretty wet to cause a real problem. If you want to whip out the code check book for oral discussion I might if asked but for risk reduction.....I stay away from citing code and speculating in my report. Just my opinion.

    In PA, they only recently adopted the uniform builing code, so until a few years ago, anything went. It would be ill advised to cite any code here. Locally, only York had mandatory inspections. Individual townships controlled things locally.

    In MD, individual counties adopt codes sometimes at different times, making it difficult to keep up with as a contractor, let alone a home inspector.

    I see many references to the NEC, it is adopted at different times in this area anyway, so citing it as gospel would not be wise. And where do you draw the line? Plumbing code, framing code, insulation code.....sometimes, deck codes, landscaping codes, setbacks.....where does it end?

    It is beyond the scope of ant standard home inspection to declare a code violation. These are not code inspections. Is there anybody with me on that?

    Doesn't your pre-inspection agreement state this is not a code compliance inspection?
    Doesn't your SOP state this is not a code compliance inspection?
    That's for liability reduction reasons.

    Hopefully this doesn't make your BS meter on the peg high.

    Bill

    AllPro - PA and MD Home Inspection and Radon Test - MD Licensed Home Inspector
    http://needahomeinpector.com


  27. #27
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    You are forgetting one very important thing.

    Home inspectors base a large amount of their inspection on code even if they are not code inspectors.

    With a builder I quote code. Even if it is not adopted in their area they are building. It is sometimes code and manufacturer installation that they are ignoring. I may add something like it may not be adopted code in the area but common sense makes it worth noting for safety and or operational concerns.


    I state the same thing all the time on this board about particular codes but as I said, home inspection for the most part is based on code. There are some codes that I feel are up for interpretation, quite simply, because they are. You will find certain codes that are bantered back and forth on here all the time.

    As far as any electric in a wet area such as a switch or outlet for plug in it is rather foolish to think not. I write up receptacles that are above a sink counter that is right next to a tub where someone can have something plugged in. It may not be over the tub or in the tub surround but it is right next to it. As I state to builders and clients "would you want to be the one to test that GFCI out when taking a bath and your plugged in item on the sink counter falls in the tub"? Quite frankly I find GFCIs that are not functional all the time, as in trying to trip them and they do not. As far as those switches being protected by GFCI, so what if they were. Same question. Would you want to be the testor in the tub???????? After stating all that to the builder, AHJ, client and no one does anything about it, well, you tried but hey died. who is at fault??? Not you.

    As far as my quotes to builders I will state on many occasions that it is simply poor building and or safety practices. I also notice on here that many inspectors get grief or indifference from builders. Quite frankly, I never do. Sometimes it is all in how you present yourself. I am not saying you did not present yourself properly. He may be, is, a putz.


  28. #28
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    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    As a long time code instructor, inspector and litigant supporter I long ago came to the conclusion that if it quacked liked a duck, walked like a duck, and looked like a duck then it must be a duck. This is a highly overused metaphor for something that is so transparent in our industry I cannot understand why anybody with a modicum of sense would argue against it? We are retained for our experience and knowledge and paid for our opinions and one of the most vital areas of that charge is in recognizing and reporting a safety hazard to occupants. It's like Cory said, screw the code, can it hurt, injure or kill somebody? If you think so report it and move on!

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  29. #29
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    We are retained for our experience and knowledge and paid for our opinions and one of the most vital areas of that charge is in recognizing and reporting a safety hazard to occupants.


    JM: True.

    screw the code
    JM: Here I must disagree for all of the reasons I just agreed with you above. As with anyone in a position to argue a point (or, for the PC among us, to convince someone of the validity of our opinion so that they will take action accordingly), it is the inspector's responsibility to possess and utilize the ability to write his or her opinions so that they will be sufficiently authoritative to gain agreement from all other pertinent entities.

    All of us are aware, or at least should be, that once a report leaves our hands, it is typically viewed by many different people, most of whom do not have our client's best interests in mind. They will then take it upon themselves to discredit our report by whatever means necessary. If we are unable to write using conclusive language with the power to influence agreement or persuade all concerned, we may fail at protecting our clients from those with competing interests.

    Defending our opinions by citing authority such as is embodied in the building code - which has the effect of law - is the optimum way to achieve this. Though there are other tacts to take in any given argument, I find that none is more effective given the circumstances under which our reports are crafted and the types of assault to which they will be subjected.


    can it hurt, injure or kill somebody?
    JIM: If it is not code compliant, it certainly can. If we are unable to effectively translate and communicate this idea to all involved in the process, it likely will.

    Aaron




  30. #30
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    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    Aaron

    As home inspectors we, at least in California, do not use the C word within our reports. There’s good reason for this and I’m sure you’re aware it has legal connotations.

    My diatribe was one of overwhelming impatience with the inevitable dance that goes on with many in our field who are afraid to “make the call” because they may offend, be wrong, look stupid, lack conviction, are invertebrates, or posses other personal reasons. In avoiding the C word we also do our own dance and use expressions like, “does not meet accepted construction practices” and/or “presents potential personal injury” to name a couple.

    Corey’s reply to this thread was “totally-on” in my opinion and basically stimulated my response and although you agree in theory I think you missed the crux of my post and that is that as we age and gain both experience and knowledge we also lose patience with stupidity and I’m a living example of the latter and hopefully the former.


    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  31. #31
    Fred Warner's Avatar
    Fred Warner Guest

    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    Aaron

    As home inspectors we, at least in California, do not use the C word within our reports. There’s good reason for this and I’m sure you’re aware it has legal connotations.

    My diatribe was one of overwhelming impatience with the inevitable dance that goes on with many in our field who are afraid to “make the call” because they may offend, be wrong, look stupid, lack conviction, are invertebrates, or posses other personal reasons. In avoiding the C word we also do our own dance and use expressions like, “does not meet accepted construction practices” and/or “presents potential personal injury” to name a couple.

    Corey’s reply to this thread was “totally-on” in my opinion and basically stimulated my response and although you agree in theory I think you missed the crux of my post and that is that as we age and gain both experience and knowledge we also lose patience with stupidity and I’m a living example of the latter and hopefully the former.
    Very well put! Kudos.


  32. #32
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    Aaron

    As home inspectors we, at least in California, do not use the C word within our reports. There’s good reason for this and I’m sure you’re aware it has legal connotations.

    My diatribe was one of overwhelming impatience with the inevitable dance that goes on with many in our field who are afraid to “make the call” because they may offend, be wrong, look stupid, lack conviction, are invertebrates, or posses other personal reasons. In avoiding the C word we also do our own dance and use expressions like, “does not meet accepted construction practices” and/or “presents potential personal injury” to name a couple.

    Corey’s reply to this thread was “totally-on” in my opinion and basically stimulated my response and although you agree in theory I think you missed the crux of my post and that is that as we age and gain both experience and knowledge we also lose patience with stupidity and I’m a living example of the latter and hopefully the former.
    JM: Understood. Because of my ICC certifications and background I have made a business decision to quote building code in my reports. Granted, someone with no certification may wish, for legal reasons, to avoid this practice.

    I certainly agree with your observation that, for whatever misguided reasons, inspectors often avoid expressing (or at least fully expressing) their opinions regarding their observations. But hey, in a country where more than 80% of the population admittedly believes in philosophical fairy tales which teach you to be as PC as possible, what else can you expect?

    Additionally, I am aware that, in smaller operational areas, that some inspectors find themselves in a quandary where there exists the wrong idea that full disclosure will mean no referrals from the agents they depend on.

    In any event, this is a fear-based reflexive action that can be overcome by simply speaking one's mind. And, this is a very good (and safe) venue in which to practice.

    So, PC folks: stop lurking and grow some huevos!


  33. #33
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    Now Mr Aaron

    Quoting or not quoting code has nothing to do with how big ones manly parts are.

    Quoting code on every item one inspects is absolutely unecessary.

    I quote a code in some instances and most I don't.

    The home inspection business is just that. There is a fine separation between a home inspection and a full cdode (code quotes and explanations).

    Why would one think it is necessary to quote a code on every item thay inspect.

    Why are some so intent on turning home inspection into something it was not designed to be.

    Why not put the official certified stamp of approval on ones forhead.

    A home inspector is an impartial opinion giver that really does not care about the seller or buyer of the property. Everyone always states that they are there to protect their client. Not>>>>>

    You are there to inspect their potential new home and find the items that may be of concern and put those concerns on some paper for them so they no what they are getting into. It does not matter if you just walked in off the street and did a home inspection for no one. You are still inspecting the home to find the potential concerns and put them on paper.

    You are the one following the inspectors (city) the contractors etc. etc. They supposedly built this home on the code standards of whatever time it was built.

    As I mentioned in another post about a water heater. If it is rusted, corroded connections, wrong or just faulty flue, TPR valve does not plumb to the exterior or just not thru proper piping then write it up and state just that.

    That is your opinion. Where in that would code need to be mentioned, for any reason.

    To inspect one would think that one already has enough experience to tell folks that this or that is wrong. Home buyers really are not interested in anything but what may be wrong with their new home purchase.

    Lets face it. To tell a client that the angle of the dangle and the plump of the pumpernickle is why this is wrong. They are not interested. It means nothing to them. A brief explanation of whats going on is all that is necessary.

    I have said this before and many have as well. Keep it simple stupid.

    That buy the way is no knock for you or any ICC certified folks that wish to quote code on every item. That is just my opinion.

    By the way. I am very impressed with certifications that many on this board have and I am not trying to diminish it in the slightest. Some day when I grow up I may get all those certifications.

    For the time being I for one believe that I am far more qualified to inspect ones potential new home than what is needed to inspect ones potential new home.

    We are there to REDUCE the risk in ones home buying process. Do we find every little item. Maybe. Probably not. Do certification and or years of inspection or building play a big role in ones inspecting ability. Yes. Absolutely.

    I believe that if an individual does not have years of building experience or all those wondeful certs then he should absolutely start out having to work under someone else until he is familiar enough with the entire home to write an opinion on all his findings.

    Do I think one can go and take every ICC course and pass it and then step into and inspection field with no practical experience. Absolutely not.

    The time in the field is the absolute most important part of inspecting.

    The initial classes to become a home inspectoir are crutial no matter what your past experience. The idea that those classes are crap is completely rediculous. No matter the exper one has to know what a home inspection is and what it is not and a simple ground up class is vital. Those classes for the most part are based on codes and it gives one a well rounded knowledge. Again, no matter what their experience.


  34. #34
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    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Quoting code on every item one inspects is absolutely unecessary.

    I quote a code in some instances and most I don't.

    The home inspection business is just that. There is a fine separation between a home inspection and a full cdode (code quotes and explanations).
    I started out not quoting code at all, began quoting code as Ted said in "I quote a code in some instances and most I don't.", then ended up quoting code on most things.

    My inspections also progressed from mostly home inspection on resales, to a mix between new construction and resales, to almost entirely new construction inspections (phase inspections to one year warranty inspection).

    One followed (or lead to) the other.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  35. #35
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    Quoting or not quoting code has nothing to do with how big ones manly parts are.
    Ted: Obviously this is an idiomatic expression intended to be interpreted figuratively and not literally. You may have an interest in you "manly parts", where the rest of us certainly do not.

    Quoting code on every item one inspects is absolutely unecessary.
    Ted: That, of course, is your decision. It is not a fact.

    I quote a code in some instances and most I don't.
    Ted: This is called inconsistency and will be noted as a poor business practice which does not work in the interests of your client by a good litigator.

    The home inspection business is just that. There is a fine separation between a home inspection and a full code (code quotes and explanations).
    Ted: In Texas that line has been blurred to the point of eradication. You should not only read the new SOP, you should have your attorney review it and discuss the ramifications with you. The TREC is not your friend. I cannot overly emphasize this last statement.

    Why would one think it is necessary to quote a code on every item thay inspect.
    Ted: In the interest of client protection and consistency.

    Why are some so intent on turning home inspection into something it was not designed to be.
    Ted: Are you the sole arbiter of what and HI is designed to be? No.

    Why not put the official certified stamp of approval on ones forhead.
    Ted: Sure, go ahead. And, thanks for the visual.

    A home inspector is an impartial opinion giver that really does not care about the seller or buyer of the property. Everyone always states that they are there to protect their client. Not>>>>>
    Ted: BULLSHI.T

    You are there to inspect their potential new home and find the items that may be of concern and put those concerns on some paper for them so they no what they are getting into. It does not matter if you just walked in off the street and did a home inspection for no one. You are still inspecting the home to find the potential concerns and put them on paper.
    Ted: You are not the decider (in the parlance of W) of what "may be of concern". You may think you are, but you are not.

    You are the one following the inspectors (city) the contractors etc. etc. They supposedly built this home on the code standards of whatever time it was built.
    Ted: "supposedly" being the key term here.

    As I mentioned in another post about a water heater. If it is rusted, corroded connections, wrong or just faulty flue, TPR valve does not plumb to the exterior or just not thru proper piping then write it up and state just that.
    Ted: Even a cursory glance at the IRC requirements for water heater installations would lead a reasonable person to believe that your description of the "important" items to be addressed concerning these systems leaves a lot to be desired.

    That is your opinion. Where in that would code need to be mentioned, for any reason.
    Ted: In each and every instance where the code applies.

    To inspect one would think that one already has enough experience to tell folks that this or that is wrong. Home buyers really are not interested in anything but what may be wrong with their new home purchase.
    Ted: This assumes many facts not in evidence. You may be a member of the tribe which believes that a diploma from the real estate inspector school and a license to do business from the State makes you an inspector with experience. I am not. How can you say, with any degree of certainty, what your clients is interested in?

    Lets face it. To tell a client that the angle of the dangle and the plump of the pumpernickle is why this is wrong. They are not interested. It means nothing to them. A brief explanation of whats going on is all that is necessary.
    Ted: The briefer the better to receive the demanding letter.

    I have said this before and many have as well. Keep it simple stupid.
    Ted: Your description of yourself, not mine. Though, based upon what I've just read here, I am prone to agree.

    That buy the way is no knock for you or any ICC certified folks that wish to quote code on every item. That is just my opinion.
    By the way. I am very impressed with certifications that many on this board have and I am not trying to diminish it in the slightest. Some day when I grow up I may get all those certifications.
    Ted: No offense taken.

    For the time being I for one believe that I am far more qualified to inspect ones potential new home than what is needed to inspect ones potential new home.
    Ted: Maybe not.

    We are there to REDUCE the risk in ones home buying process. Do we find every little item. Maybe. Probably not. Do certification and or years of inspection or building play a big role in ones inspecting ability. Yes. Absolutely.
    Ted: Agreed.

    I believe that if an individual does not have years of building experience or all those wondeful certs then he should absolutely start out having to work under someone else until he is familiar enough with the entire home to write an opinion on all his findings.
    Ted: Agreed.

    Do I think one can go and take every ICC course and pass it and then step into and inspection field with no practical experience. Absolutely not.
    Ted: Agreed.

    The time in the field is the absolute most important part of inspecting.
    Ted: Wrong. It is the time you spend in preparation.

    The initial classes to become a home inspectoir are crutial no matter what your past experience. The idea that those classes are crap is completely rediculous. No matter the exper one has to know what a home inspection is and what it is not and a simple ground up class is vital. Those classes for the most part are based on codes and it gives one a well rounded knowledge. Again, no matter what their experience.
    Ted: The classes with which I am familiar were taught using curricula written by committees peopled with no-nothings and taught by instructors with less knowledge than the committee members. They give the graduate a false belief that they are somehow qualified to do anything other than stumble out and f.u.c.k. up their first several hundred inspections for lack of both knowledge and experience.

    Aaron


  36. #36
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    Ted: Obviously this is an idiomatic expression intended to be interpreted figuratively and not literally. You may have an interest in you "manly parts", where the rest of us certainly do not.



    Ted: That, of course, is your decision. It is not a fact.



    Ted: This is called inconsistency and will be noted as a poor business practice which does not work in the interests of your client by a good litigator.



    Ted: In Texas that line has been blurred to the point of eradication. You should not only read the new SOP, you should have your attorney review it and discuss the ramifications with you. The TREC is not your friend. I cannot overly emphasize this last statement.



    Ted: In the interest of client protection and consistency.



    Ted: Are you the sole arbiter of what and HI is designed to be? No.



    Ted: Sure, go ahead. And, thanks for the visual.



    Ted: BULLSHI.T



    Ted: You are not the decider (in the parlance of W) of what "may be of concern". You may think you are, but you are not.



    Ted: "supposedly" being the key term here.



    Ted: Even a cursory glance at the IRC requirements for water heater installations would lead a reasonable person to believe that your description of the "important" items to be addressed concerning these systems leaves a lot to be desired.



    Ted: In each and every instance where the code applies.



    Ted: This assumes many facts not in evidence. You may be a member of the tribe which believes that a diploma from the real estate inspector school and a license to do business from the State makes you an inspector with experience. I am not. How can you say, with any degree of certainty, what your clients is interested in?



    Ted: The briefer the better to receive the demanding letter.



    Ted: The classes with which I am familiar were taught using curricula written by committees peopled with no-nothings and taught by instructors with less knowledge than the committee members. They give the graduate a false belief that they are somehow qualified to do anything other than stumble out and f.u.c.k. up their first several hundred inspections for lack of both knowledge and experience.



    Ted: No offense taken.



    Ted: Maybe not.



    Ted: Agreed.



    Ted: Agreed.



    Ted: Agreed.



    Ted: Wrong. It is the time you spend in preparation.



    Ted: The classes with which I am familiar were taught using curricula written by committees peopled with no-nothings and taught by instructors with less knowledge than the committee members. They give the graduate a false belief that they are somehow qualified to do anything other than stumble out and f.u.c.k. up their first several hundred inspections for lack of both knowledge and experience.

    Aaron

    Aaron. The classes are needed for the basis of home inspection. If they have absolutely no experience then they should work under someone.

    I agree that they give the graduate a false belief. I agree with that whole statement. But if someone has never inspected before and has no practical experience then they need at least a basic class and then go work for someone. If they have a lot of field experience and or certifications I still believe that have to take at least the basic home inspection class to know what is (generally rounded) an home inspection.

    For some one to have decades in building knowledge or the other route, vast knowledge in certification and then decide they want to be a home inspector and just step out on the street after buying their shiny new inspection software and lap top with out the basic knowledge of what to do, how to write, give opinion for or for that matter WHAT IS A HOME INSPECTION, is insane.

    So what you may be suggesting is that those classes are completely useless to anyone. What I think you may be suggesting is screw the classes and go to work for someone else for at least their first year.


  37. #37
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    I know a lot of folks will just love this statement.

    I am not doing my inspection or report or verbal for my client to avoid litigation.

    I absolutely positively never think of lawyers while working in the past or present. Whether I was building or inspecting. Whether I was driving or painting a home.

    I am not doing my inspection to try to keep every litigator out of my butt.

    Once I have to start living like that I just will not want to live anymore. I refuse to round around inlife worry about litigation.

    I will not live under fear of a court system. If someones sorry ass wants to sue me then go ahead and do it but I am not going to prepair everyday of my life before walking out the door in what someone may wish to do to me.

    I am just about 55 and have lived that way my entire life. If I had to live any other way life would have sucked.

    I offer my client a good inspection with any easy to read and understand report that reduces their risks as much a possible.

    I see that most folks on this and other sites are concerned on a constant basis more about pleasing litigators/lawyers/courts than they are giving their client an easy to understand and complete report that they do not have to sift thru paragraph upon paragraph upon paragraph of disclaimers and legal dues and do nots and liability issues.

    If you take all that crap away everyones home inspection report would be 25% if less of what it is now.

    Disclaimers about what. You can not see thru walls and predict the future. No kidding. Really ???

    This is an extremely touchy subject for me. I am constantly told by this person or that (lawyers and other inspectors) that first and formost you must protect yourself against this and against that. If you don't put this clause or that clause in there then you are opening yourself up to fall big time.

    Sorry folks. I absolutely refuse to live like that. Come on folks. You miss a minor water leak somewhere that you could not have seen and don't tell someone that the hidden water leak could not be seen and you are not responcible for any found hidden water leaks after the fact, and on, and on, and on.

    I protect myself with blunt, direct and impartial inspection and reporting without trying to protect myself. When I leave the inspection my clients have a perfectly clear understanding with what is goin on.

    I say

    "This is how it is folks."

    They say

    "Why thank you Mr Menelly. Oh I am sorry. I mean Ted. I know how you like to keep it informal."

    They say.

    "Oh Ted would you mind if we give you a big hug. You are such a wonderful man"



    And as Ted wakes up


  38. #38
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    The classes are needed for the basis of home inspection. If they have absolutely no experience then they should work under someone.
    Ted: If they have absolutely no experience, they should either (1) look for another line of work, or (2) go out and get the experience and then come back and tell the feckless SOB teaching the class that he needs to follow suit.

    I agree that they give the graduate a false belief. I agree with that whole statement. But if someone has never inspected before and has no practical experience then they need at least a basic class and then go work for someone.
    Ted: Even with a class and a bit of OJT from some greedy inspector whose only aim is to take as much money from his new trainee as possible, one cannot with a clear conscience say that the newbie is "qualified".

    If they have a lot of field experience and or certifications I still believe that have to take at least the basic home inspection class to know what is (generally rounded) an home inspection.
    For the truly initiated the classes serve only to meet a licensing requirement. Nothing more.

    For some one to have decades in building knowledge or the other route, vast knowledge in certification and then decide they want to be a home inspector and just step out on the street after buying their shiny new inspection software and lap top with out the basic knowledge of what to do, how to write, give opinion for or for that matter WHAT IS A HOME INSPECTION, is insane.
    Ted: This is your way of saying that you did not follow this route of entry into the profession?


    So what you may be suggesting is that those classes are completely useless to anyone. What I think you may be suggesting is screw the classes and go to work for someone else for at least their first year.
    Ted: The classes are not "completely useless". They serve to meet licensing requirements and also put food on the table for the school's owners and employees.
    Working for another inspector may or may not be useful depending on many things, like (1) The skill of the inspector in question, (2) The number of inspections performed in that year. Given the skill level of the average inspector I have encountered and the number of activities in which they involve themselves annually that would meet my definition of inspections, I would say that the OJT, though perhaps better than the schooling alone, is not much of a sure bet.

    Aaron


  39. #39
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    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    Here is today's inspection of a brand new home. Outlet on both sides of the tub and a cable connection. Would you write this up?

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  40. #40
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schulz View Post
    Here is today's inspection of a brand new home. Outlet on both sides of the tub and a cable connection. Would you write this up?
    Yes I would

    Any receptacle/outlet in the tub area/surround no matter how far set back or high up has the possibility of sometning being plugged in that could reach the tub or be close enough to the tub to be a shock hazard. Even if it were GFCI it would not matter. The GFCI could fail. GFCIs for jetted tubs is generally in the masdte rcloset so it cannot be reached from the tub. Why anyone would think this is ok baffles me. some fool stands up out of the tub to reach the plug to push it in etc. Bolted brackets for the TV would be no exception. The outlet itself with no pro[er wet area cover never mind a tub would be a problem etc. etc. To many bad reasons to be allowed. Not one good reason for it to be allowed. To many what ifs.

    Don't need a code book for that.


  41. #41
    Mike Truss Guy's Avatar
    Mike Truss Guy Guest

    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    Come on ted. Lighten up. Where else are you going to be able to plug in your toaster?

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  42. #42
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    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    I did write it up. Just could not understand how the AHJ let it slide.
    The reset for the tub was in the toilet closet but doesn't the pump motor need to be accessible. The other day at another one in a different local the AHJ made the builder cut the sub floor out under the tub to make the pump accessible even thought there was a GFCI rest in the bathroom.

    Mike Schulz License 393
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  43. #43
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schulz View Post
    I did write it up. Just could not understand how the AHJ let it slide.
    The reset for the tub was in the toilet closet but doesn't the pump motor need to be accessible. The other day at another one in a different local the AHJ made the builder cut the sub floor out under the tub to make the pump accessible even thought there was a GFCI rest in the bathroom.
    Half of the homes I inspect, even new homes have no access to the motor/equipment for the tub.

    It has to be accessible. Electric problems, bad motor, leaks (most likely to happen at the motor), motor change out etc.

    I see the GFCI for the tub in the toilet closet as well. I guess that is another questionable spot but from what I see and read and have asked about it is alright.

    If not accessible then it becomes the home owners problem when a few years down the line something happens. I constanly see the side wall of the tub completely framed and tiled in with no area for access at the end of the tub as well.


  44. #44
    Darrel Hood's Avatar
    Darrel Hood Guest

    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    Speaking of tub access openings. I don't know how many times I have removed the access cover, only to discover a solid wall behind the cover. I totally understand the builder's motivation . . . $6 labor to cut the hole times 300 homes per year = $1,800 annual pay raise for me.

    Darrel Hood
    DILIGENT PROPERTY SERVICES
    (936)827-7664


  45. #45
    Richard Stanley's Avatar
    Richard Stanley Guest

    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    P2720.1 Access to pump.
    Access shall be provided to circulation
    pumps in accordance with the fixture manufacturer’s
    installation instructions. Where the manufacturer’s instructions
    do not specify the location and minimum size of field fabricated
    access openings, a 12-inch by 12-inch (304 mm by 304
    mm) minimum size opening shall be installed to provide access
    to the circulation pump. Where pumps are located more than 2
    feet (609 mm) from the access opening, an 18-inch by 18-inch
    (457 mm by 457 mm) minimum size opening shall be
    installed. A door or panel shall be permitted to close the opening.
    In all cases, the access opening shall be unobstructed and
    be of the size necessary to permit the removal and replacement

    of the circulation pump.

    Is caulk an obstruction?



  46. #46
    Darrel Hood's Avatar
    Darrel Hood Guest

    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    I have had some tell me, "To gain access, just remove the grout from around that 12" tile and remove the tile."

    Darrel Hood
    DILIGENT PROPERTY SERVICES


  47. #47
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Stanley View Post
    P2720.1 Access to pump.
    Access shall be provided to circulation

    pumps in accordance with the fixture manufacturer’s
    installation instructions. Where the manufacturer’s instructions
    do not specify the location and minimum size of field fabricated
    access openings, a 12-inch by 12-inch (304 mm by 304
    mm) minimum size opening shall be installed to provide access
    to the circulation pump. Where pumps are located more than 2
    feet (609 mm) from the access opening, an 18-inch by 18-inch
    (457 mm by 457 mm) minimum size opening shall be
    installed. A door or panel shall be permitted to close the opening.
    In all cases, the access opening shall be unobstructed and
    be of the size necessary to permit the removal and replacement
    of the circulation pump.

    Is caulk an obstruction?
    It sure does impede getting to that area when water is spewing out from under it. Sometimes that darn main shut off valve outside just likes to stop working all of a sudden.

    Just a thin beed of caulk. Well, when the home owner has to get to it quickly and it is flooding thru the ceiling of the second floor doing hundreds if not thousands in repairs?? I would certainly write it up.


  48. #48
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    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Stanley View Post
    Is caulk an obstruction?
    Richard,

    Caulk does not have to be an obstruction to be written up.

    From the 2006 IRC. (underlining is mine)
    - E4109.3 Accessibility.
    Hydromassage bathtub electrical equipment shall be accessible without damaging the building structure or building finish.

    "Caulk" is part of the building finish.



    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  49. #49
    Richard Stanley's Avatar
    Richard Stanley Guest

    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    Thanks, Jerry.
    I write them as 'not readily accessible'.
    I had not seen what you posted.
    I seem to remember earlier code versions required readily accessible access.
    The wording changed at some point and referred to manufacturers installation instructions.


  50. #50
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    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Stanley View Post
    The wording changed at some point and referred to manufacturers installation instructions.

    And some manufacturers' installation instructions require two or more access panels.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  51. #51
    John Steinke's Avatar
    John Steinke Guest

    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    I appears that the contractor is arguing that, since there is no shower, the switches are not likely to get wet.

    Within the footprint of the tub, and within reach of the tub's occupant, they'll get wet from the hand of the person using them.

    It comes down to opinion .... yours and his. You have to make this clear, as well as state why you think your opinion should be the one that counts.

    Now, if you were a licensed electrical contractor, or the city inspector, it would be easy .... the law defines you as the one who is qualified to have an opinion. As it stands, neither you, nor the contractor, can make that claim.


  52. #52
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    Default Re: Light switch over tub

    123456789

    Last edited by ken horak; 08-11-2009 at 02:52 PM.

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