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Garage door opener on extension cord narrative


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The garage door opener is plugged into an extension cord. Neither the electrical code or garage door opener manufacturers endorse this practice; extension cords are too easily messed with, and the safety of the door opener could be compromised. For reasons of safety, have an electrician install a receptacle at the door opener. Plug the door opener into the receptacle.

Would anyone care to Katenize this?

Chris, Oregon

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Not Mr Katen by any stretch of the imagination, but here's what I use...

The garage door opener is connected using an extension cord. This is not an acceptable wiring method. A dedicated (GFCI protected) receptacle should be installed in the ceiling or rafters within 3’ of the opener to allow a direct plug-in.

I have a line at the top of my electrical section stating that all repairs or improvements should be performed by a licensed electrician...so I don't have to repeat that for every item. Up to you on the GFCI bit, but they are required nowadays.

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Originally posted by Inspectorjoe

The garage door opener is powered through an extension cord. Extension cords are not intended to be used as permanent wiring. You should have a qualified electrician install a receptacle at the opener.

I like Joe's. It says what's wrong with the power to the door opener, AND what's wrong with using extension cords for anything but temporary use as well. In very few words.

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I like Joe's. It says what's wrong with the power to the door opener, AND what's wrong with using extension cords for anything but temporary use as well. In very few words.

If you notice, Walter took that part out of my version and it's why I posted in the first place because I suspected that was going to happen.

There are a lot of things like this example where sometimes I end up making an "oscar speech". Also I cringe sometimes because I can imagine my version of why something is wrong is indeed the wrong reason something is wrong.

In a recent thread on the subject the seller wanted justification as to why it was wrong to connect a door opener thru an extension cord. It's a reasonable question but how far do you need to go about explaining why something is wrong?

Chris, Oregon

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Originally posted by Inspectorjoe

The garage door opener is powered through an extension cord. Extension cords are not intended to be used as permanent wiring. You should have a qualified electrician install a receptacle at the opener.

The way I write reports and add the comments to the summery, I try to make the first sentence as clear as possible. I would add the word "improperly" before the word "powered" so it clearly reads that something is wrong.

I also don't inform the buyer or seller who should have/get a qualified electrician, just that one should be used.

Just my 2 cents.

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Originally posted by randynavarro

I often use the term "illegal" instead of "improper". Sounds better and gets the point across. At least I think so.

when I moved up here I realized that I couldn't use that word. Even though the word "illegal" can easily be used, too many people around here would use it the wrong way (thinking that the sellers can be fined or put in jail if not corrected.)[:-bigeyes

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Originally posted by SonOfSwamp

Originally posted by randynavarro

I often use the term "illegal" instead of "improper". Sounds better and gets the point across. At least I think so.

I say don't use "illegal" unless you are 110% sure that the thing/act/etc. you're calling illegal is actually illegal. And don't let some tradesman, RE agent or HI from the rubber-chicken dinner tell you something's "illegal."

Look up the law that applies, and make sure you understand the law completely (not an easy task for a regular citizen).

Better yet, ask a lawyer who knows something about HI work.

"Illegal" is a hot-button word. Almost any word that means "wrong" would be better.

WJid="blue">

What's wrong with using the word "Illegal"?

New service electrical panel is illegally installed in main bathroom.

Or

Illigal slope noticed on North side of house.

How about

Installation of roof shingles were illegally installed resulting in water seepage.

Or

TPR valve pipe is illegally installed too high off of floor.

Last one

The Realtor illegally handled that situation.

I think it works.

Note: I couldn't find the wink in the smilies.

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When using the term "illegal" I'm specifically talking electrical stuff (which was the category of this thread.) I don't use illegal for bad roofs, rot, and other house-erly stuff.

Interesting thoughts, Walter.

An open electrical splice is illegal, no?

Over-stuffed j-boxes?

Exposed NM cable?

Extension cord used as permanenet wiring?

One could also apply the illegal word to plumbing systems. . . .I would think.

I can't quite put my finger (or my brain) on it, but it seems using illegal for plumbing and electrical stuff is ok.

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Hi,

I don't think using illegal as a descriptor is proper either. If you say that someone has illegally spliced wires outside of an electrical box you've in essence defamed that person and called him or her a criminal. You could say that someone incorrectly overstuffed J-boxes; or left NM cable exposed to damage, which is wrong; spliced wiring outside of electrical boxes, which is prohibited by the electrical code; or used an extension cord as permanent wiring when there's supposed to be a receptacle within reach of the cord on the appliance; but characterizing it as illegal goes overboard. Yeah, it might be dumb thing to do, it wasn't according to code, and there're lots of reasons why it shouldn't be done that way, but if your client goes around telling everyone not to use ABC electrical service because Randy says they did a bunch of illegal things on a building, and word gets back to ABC, I think you've left yourself wide open for a defamation lawsuit.

OT - OF!!!

M.

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Hi Randy,

Yes, you did complete the job illegally but who is the one that decides that - an private inspector looking at the house, a muni inspector whose been given the authority to make that determination (AHJ), or a judge at trial?

When you accuse someone of breaking the law you are supposed to make that accusation to the authorities in the form of a complaint - you aren't supposed to make it to the public. There's a process; you see something illegal and then you report it to someone in authority. That someone in authority then investigates and determines whether you are correct in your allegation; if you are, then that someone has an obligation to act - to either cite the transgressor or to arrest him or her. At that point, the person has been arrested but still hasn't been accused. The person is taken before a judge and arraigned - that's the formal accusation - and the judge decides whether there is evidence to go forward with a trial. If the judge decides to take it to trial, you'll be called as a witness to support the prosecutor's accusal of the violator.

What happens if you write in your report that ABC Construction illegally built an addition without getting permits and it turns out that where you live it might have been illegal but where the house is located you didn't know that the municipality had a rule in place allowing an addition under a certain square footage to be built without permits? The answer is that, if you cause the buyer to back out of the deal by libeling the seller and the builder, you could find yourself on thin ice.

Call it wrong, call it incorrect, call it jackleg (I do that a lot), call it foolish or illogical, call it poorly thought out, call it idiotic, call it lame, or just call it dumb - here you are simply stating your opinion - but don't use illegal, because illegal it is a term that requires that certain things be proven by those in authority before one can say conclusively that it was in fact illegal.

We give those in authority the power to tell someone that they've done something illegal and to use broad judgment when doing so. For the most part, those in authority are immune from defamation, libel, or slander lawsuits, but you and I don't enjoy the same privilege. If we say something is illegal we in essence are saying that it got that way because someone - either the homeowner or the trade - committed a crime. If we can't prove it we place ourselves in jeopardy.

To answer your question:

I completed a small re-work on the front of my house; I bumped a 10' section of wall out about 3'. I also added some outlets and switches. I didn't get a building or electrical permit.
If Kenmore requires permits for such work, you were wrong to have done so without permits and this could have unforeseen consequences for anyone who buys your home and later applies to the city of Kenmore for permits to do additional work. Whether it's "illegal" or not is for the AHJ and the city of Kenmore and a judge to decide.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

P.S.

Whoops, I see Walter got a better explanation in here before I'd finished typing my tome. Oh well.

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I have, on occasion, said something about really crappy dangerous bsmt. apt's. along the lines of

"the bsmt. apt. has X, Y, and Z defects. I am aware of similar conditions in other buildings that the City Buildings Dept. has declared illegal. You should check w/the City etc., etc..."

Heck, I know I'm illegal a lot of the time on my own remodeling projects. If you look at a lot of muni codes, most of them require permits for something as small as a new device or fixture, window replacement, or new plumbing fixture.

Sorry, not going for that. That's when civil disobedience and I get cozy.......

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