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Help Me out here please....


MTL_Inspet_Man
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Was commissioned to do an inspection of Condominium common areas for the new home warranty program by a condo association.

Everything was fine till i went into the attic.

One of the electrical wires for the pot lights for one of the upper level units was saddled over the gas lines feeding the gas furnace for that unit.

Usually these wires are fed between the joists and the ceiling furring strips used to fasten the drywall board for the ceiling making the m a concealed installation.

The gas line is of the 1/2'' flexible ''Parflex'' type. I am not sure if the wire should be in such close contact with the gas line. and since the wire is now exposed should it not be BX?

Although this was not part o the service agreement I fell uneasy having discovered this and would like to advide the condo unit owner if it should be adressed.

Thx

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Just my opinion, nothing to do with codes: So far as the safety factor of wires being on or near gas lines, the gas line is not spewing gas into the attic and the electric line is not throwing off sparks, so I see no safety issue so far as that goes.

And say there was an environment where there was flammable fumes around, the issue with electrical things is primarily switches which "arc" and these sparks can ignite the gas. And electrical connections/splices which can arc if the circuit is overloaded. And fluids or gasses can fill conduit. So for these situations, all the wiring and devices are "explosion proof". Basically sealed air tight - no fumes/liquid can get in, no sparks can get out. You would find this at a gas station around the pumps or industrial sites.

Explosion proof switch...

onoff-lrg.jpg

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My concern was just the fact that if the wires are run in an open space as a minimum should be Bx or protected in a liquid tight conduit and be properly clamped and supported

Poor workmanship on that installation for sure. The wire is supposed to closely follow the framing, and the gas line is supposed to be secured in place every so far. I don't see the need for the exposed wire to be protected by conduit in an attic.

Would I write that issue up in a report? Probably not, but it depends on my mood that day.

Do I think that the installation in question will ever be an issue? No.

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What Brandon said. Neither the gas line nor the cable are properly supported but there's no need for conduit. If anyone really cared about this, he could re-route the cable under the gas line and then secure both items properly.

Frankly, if I were inspecting it, I wouldn't have even paused at seeing that. I'd be looking for bigger fish.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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After thinking about this, about the only time I would write this up would be on a new construction inspection. Professional installers need to learn a lesson-- do it right the first time, or waste half your day driving back out to fix it.

By the way.... I've found electrical issues on 3 new construction inspections in the last week or so: all in different counties(rev. polarity, multiple neutral wires and different size wires to boot under the same lug, 3 way switch issues, under sized wire in panel, etc.). There were other minor issues besides the ones listed above. How is it that electricians are screwing this stuff up, and then code enforcement officials are missing this stuff? It makes me wonder if the code guys are really even looking at what they are supposed to.....

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By the way.... I've found electrical issues on 3 new construction inspections in the last week or so: all in different counties(rev. polarity, multiple neutral wires and different size wires to boot under the same lug, 3 way switch issues, under sized wire in panel, etc.). There were other minor issues besides the ones listed above. How is it that electricians are screwing this stuff up, and then code enforcement officials are missing this stuff? It makes me wonder if the code guys are really even looking at what they are supposed to.....

I wonder the same thing sometimes. Last week I found a panel in a house that had 2 fairly recent (1 year old) inspection stickers from the county, but no one noticed that the house panel was a sub panel fed from another panel in a separate building. That's where the service came in from the pole, and where the meter was. Since I didn't see a meter on the house, I went looking for it.

In the house sub panel, the grounds and neutrals all terminated on the same bus bar. I think the when the municipal inspectors come out, sometimes they only look at the specific thing(s) that the permit was pulled for. Maybe they don't have the time, or aren't supposed to look at the whole system, I don't know.

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thx guys.

This inspection is required on the 1st year anniversary as per the builder's association rules in that area.

I still think it's sloppy - I didn't write it up in the report since anything nor pertaining to common areas is not part of the service agreement.

Yes it is sloppy for sure. and as far as i am concerned nothing electrical should ever come in contact with anything gas. As a minimum proper distances should be maintained.

Last year 2 single family homes and one condo unit were blown to splinters due to faulty gas installations as well as a spark from something electrical setting it off.... all these were less than 5yrs old.............................

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. . . Yes it is sloppy for sure. and as far as i am concerned nothing electrical should ever come in contact with anything gas.

So I guess you have a low opinion of gas furnaces that have electrical controls & blowers? How about gas cooktops with electric controls?

As a minimum proper distances should be maintained.

What's the "minimum proper distance?"

Would an arcing electrical cable that's 3' away from a leaking gas line be safe?

Last year 2 single family homes and one condo unit were blown to splinters due to faulty gas installations as well as a spark from something electrical setting it off.... all these were less than 5yrs old.............................

Were any of those events caused by the condition in your photo? In any of those events, could the situation have been averted by having a "minimum proper distance" between electrical wires and gas lines?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Was commissioned to do an inspection of Condominium common areas for the new home warranty program by a condo association.

Everything was fine till i went into the attic.

One of the electrical wires for the pot lights for one of the upper level units was saddled over the gas lines feeding the gas furnace for that unit.

Usually these wires are fed between the joists and the ceiling furring strips used to fasten the drywall board for the ceiling making the m a concealed installation.

The gas line is of the 1/2'' flexible ''Parflex'' type. I am not sure if the wire should be in such close contact with the gas line. and since the wire is now exposed should it not be BX?

Although this was not part o the service agreement I fell uneasy having discovered this and would like to advide the condo unit owner if it should be adressed.

Thx

Download Attachment: icon_photo.gif IMG_0115.JPG

338.83 KB

Unprotected wiring is allowed to run in attic spaces if the distance between the top and bottom cord of a truss is less than 1m (39.4 in), otherwise a running board is required to protect the loomex or run along the bottom chord.

I don't see ceiling furring strips much anymore, the wallboard is usually screwed directly to the truss. In any event, you need 1 1/4" coverage from backside of finish to comply.

Check out Home Depot and pick up a copy of the Electrical Code Simplified for Quebec. My reference is on page 57.

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