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Thread: Low Weatherhead

  1. #1
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    Default Low Weatherhead

    I was at an inspection today and observed the electrical service was coming in directly off of the rear porch. Not only could I easily grab the conductors but they were also in contact with the downspout. What was interesting is that the exterior panel had just been inspected and approved by a state inspector.

    I need some ammunition for my report to state why its wrong other than the obvious. My understanding is that the service wired need to be 8-10 ft from porches and walkways. DSCN7006.jpg Help me with some code reference.

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    Rick Bunzel
    WWW.PacCrestInspections.com
    360-588-6956

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Low Weatherhead

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Bunzel View Post
    I was at an inspection today and observed the electrical service was coming in directly off of the rear porch. Not only could I easily grab the conductors but they were also in contact with the downspout. What was interesting is that the exterior panel had just been inspected and approved by a state inspector.

    I need some ammunition for my report to state why its wrong other than the obvious. My understanding is that the service wired need to be 8-10 ft from porches and walkways. DSCN7006.jpg Help me with some code reference.
    MAXIMUM SERVICE ENTRANCE CONDUCTOR SIZE IN RISERS (OVERHEAD)...

    minimum service height above ground; 10.5 feet in residential.

    Areas accessible to Pedestrians only; 12' feet

    Roads, streets, alleys and other areassubject to truck traffic 16' feet

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Low Weatherhead

    Robert,

    Thanks for the reply but this is on a rear porch that is 4' above the ground so its actually more than 10.5' above the ground. The problem is that you can grab the conductors from the porch.

    //Rick

    Rick Bunzel
    WWW.PacCrestInspections.com
    360-588-6956

  4. #4
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    Mar 2007
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
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    2,341

    Default Re: Low Weatherhead

    Is this what you are looking for?

    230.9 Clearances on Buildings. Service conductors andfinal spans shall
    comply with 230.9(A), (8), and (C).
    (A) Clearances. Service conductors installed as open
    conductors or multiconductor cable without an overall
    outer
    jacket shall have a clearance of not less than 900
    mm (3 ft) from windows that are designed to be opened,
    doors, porches, balconies, ladders, stairs, fire escapes,
    or
    similar locations.
    Exception: Conductors run above the top level of a
    window shall be permitted
    to be less than the 900-mm (3-
    ft) requirement.
    (B) Vertical Clearance. The vertical clearance of final
    spans above,
    or within 900 mm (3 ft) measured
    horizontally of, platforms, projections,
    or surfaces from
    which they might
    be reached shall be maintained in
    accordance with
    230.24(8).
    (C) Building Openings. Overhead service conductors
    shall not be installed beneath openings through which
    materials
    may be moved, such as openings in farm and
    commercial buildings, and shall not be installed where
    they obstruct entrance to these building openings.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  5. #5
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    Southern Vancouver Island
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    Default Re: Low Weatherhead

    That would be a no-brainer if it had not already been approved by the state official.
    Good luck with it.
    Any repair to the mast will probably require compliance with new rules, might as well go for a full upgrade.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Low Weatherhead

    Gunnar,

    Thanks - that pretty much what I said. The local power company actually had a PDF on residence installations that I referenced.

    //Rick

    Rick Bunzel
    WWW.PacCrestInspections.com
    360-588-6956

  7. #7
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    Oct 2014
    Location
    Maryland, DC, and Northern Virginia, electrical only
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    Default Re: Low Weatherhead

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Bunzel View Post
    Gunnar,

    Thanks - that pretty much what I said. The local power company actually had a PDF on residence installations that I referenced.

    //Rick
    When the AHJ passes a job, it is legal to use the wiring or plumbing or . . . . It is not necessarily fully Code-compliant, because the AHJ's inspectors have way too little time to check thoroughly. It is on the master tradesman who pulls the permit to do it legally--not necessarily the way the AHJ inspector tells his men to do it, in theory, but actually, fully, in compliance. And I believe the responsibility is on the homeowner to hire someone who will do so. That's why he hires a HI--so he doesn't get stuck with installations by incompetent DIYs--or tradesmen. End of speech.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Low Weatherhead

    Quote Originally Posted by david shapiro View Post
    When the AHJ passes a job, it is legal to use the wiring or plumbing or . . . . It is not necessarily fully Code-compliant, because the AHJ's inspectors have way too little time to check thoroughly. It is on the master tradesman who pulls the permit to do it legally--not necessarily the way the AHJ inspector tells his men to do it, in theory, but actually, fully, in compliance. And I believe the responsibility is on the homeowner to hire someone who will do so. That's why he hires a HI--so he doesn't get stuck with installations by incompetent DIYs--or tradesmen. End of speech.
    Correct.

    The contractor is responsible. Period.

    The AHJ only makes spot checks of the work.

    From the IRC: (underlining is mine)
    - R110.1 Use and occupancy. - - A building or structure shall not be used or occupied, and a cahnge in the existing use or occupancy classification of a building or structure or portion thereof shall not be made, until the building official has issues a certificate of occupancy therefor as provided herein. Issuance of a certificate of occupancy shall not be constructed as an approval of a violation of the provisions of this code or other ordinances of the jurisdiction. Certificates presuming to give authority to violate or cancel the provisions of this code or other ordinances of the jurisdiction shall not be valid.
    - - - (there are two exception which are not worth typing as they do not apply to the photo)

    I.e., the contractor is responsible for correcting their mistake, if after the inspector 'approved it'.

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

  9. #9
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    Maryland, DC, and Northern Virginia, electrical only
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    Default Re: Low Weatherhead

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Issuance of a certificate of occupancy shall not be constructed as an approval of a violation of the provisions of this code or other ordinances of the jurisdiction. Certificates presuming to give authority to violate or cancel the provisions of this code or other ordinances of the jurisdiction shall not be valid.
    - - - (there are two exception which are not worth typing as they do not apply to the photo)

    I.e., the contractor is responsible for correcting their mistake, if after the inspector 'approved it'.
    That why NEC Section 90.4, allowing variance form rules when safety can be ensured by equivalent means, is interpreted as requiring special permission to be in writing. At least in theory. (And possibly in court.)


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Low Weatherhead

    Quote Originally Posted by david shapiro View Post
    That why NEC Section 90.4, allowing variance form rules when safety can be ensured by equivalent means, is interpreted as requiring special permission to be in writing. At least in theory. (And possibly in court.)
    And because it is a residence, and if under the IRC (if adopted locally or as the base code), then Chapter 1, Administration also applies as the IRC addresses electrical too.

    Yes, "special permission" should be in writing, not only for the protection of the contractor and owner, but for the protection of the AHJ (to document what they actually gave special permission to the contractor to do).

    And, no, the code does not specify that special permission 'shall be in writing', but any AHJ worth their job should realize that if special permission is not "in writing", then "anything goes" as they would not have any documentation which says otherwise.

    Yes, there are likely some of those AHJ around ... unfortunately.

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

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