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Question about required electrical checkup


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The co-op that I just moved into has a rule that all new owners "must have electrical connections within the unit checked for safety by a licensed electrician."

I've asked the co-op for more guidance on exactly what they need - but in the meanwhile, I was wondering what the licensed electricians in this forum think this means I have to have done.

Thanks so much for your help

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My crystal ball tells me without any other info.... [:)]

The building was built between 1966 and 1978 and there are solid Aluminum branch circuits. Connections to outlets and fixtures should be checked thoroughly every 10 years or so.

But since I am neither clairvoyant nor a licensed electrician, this is just a wild guess.

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A co-op is a legal entity, usually a corporation, that owns the building. "Owners" of units are actually share holders in the corporation, with residency rights described depending on the type of cooperative. You don't own your unit; you own shares in the building, or something similar.

The basics are here....

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Very few electricians here, but it sounds simple. Hire an electrician who is willing to inspect and write a letter and invoice stating that your electrical system has been checked for safety. Give him the details of the requirement before he starts.

Yes, basically. I bet the folks asking for the "certification" don't really know what they're asking for; their insurance company told them to get a cert, but only because the actuaries in the insurance company told them to do it.

So, get an electrician to do something and sign a paper that says it's all hunky dory.

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Kurt - I think you've hit the nail on the head. The co-op board has asked for it, but they don't know what they are asking for. Unfortunately, without any guidance, the electrician I called said that means he has to take off every wall plate and fixture to properly inspect. I was hoping I could get away with something a little less disruptive and time consuming (i.e. expensive).

That said, what John said about checking wiring on a somewhat regular basis is probably warranted. Especially since the building is 1920s era, not 1960s (your crystal ball was off).

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Kurt - I think you've hit the nail on the head. The co-op board has asked for it, but they don't know what they are asking for. Unfortunately, without any guidance, the electrician I called said that means he has to take off every wall plate and fixture to properly inspect. I was hoping I could get away with something a little less disruptive and time consuming (i.e. expensive).

That said, what John said about checking wiring on a somewhat regular basis is probably warranted. Especially since the building is 1920s era, not 1960s (your crystal ball was off).

1920's. it was originally knob and tube wiring with fuse panels.

Maybe, hopefully, there have been some upgrades. It would be helpful for everyone involved if you can get a detailed description of what you have there now as far as service panels, subpanels, and branch circuits. The high voltage circuits for ranges and dryers may need to be upgraded. Try to find out what's been done and document all the info.

If the other tenants are clueless, it would be worthwhile to have them all contribute to an overall inspection, with a report from the electrician. You can spread the cost that way.

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No washer/dryers in the units (probably because they do have such a huge energy draw) and the stove/oven is gas. So those aren't issues.

There's a circuit breaker and the kitchens and bathrooms were done over within the last ten years. The co-op rules say that you must use a licensed electrician for renovations, so I'm assuming that those at least were done correctly.

My guess is the new rule was applied only to new owners because the existing owners would have put up a huge fuss. Ah well, let's see if the co-op board can be a little more descriptive in what they want...

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