Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Will the newest version of the NEC tell me when codes have changed? For instance, with gfci requirements will it just tell me they are required now or will it tell me when they became a requirement? I am a new inspector and my area has a lot of older homes. I do not want to write up something as a defect if that was not a requirement when the home was built ,but I do not know where to get that information other than the NEC.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Will the newest version of the NEC tell me when codes have changed? For instance, with gfci requirements will it just tell me they are required now or will it tell me when they became a requirement?

It will tell you where they're required for that edition. If there have been changes since the previous edition, there will be change bars in the margin. It won't give you any indication as to what the previous requirement was, though.

If you're interested in the nature of the changes, there are several entities that publish their own version of "Changes to the 2008 NEC" or something similar. Lots of them are available for free on the 'net.

Alternatively, you can buy old editions of the NEC and simply compare them. That's what I do when I'm interested in the historical minutia of the NEC.

I am a new inspector and my area has a lot of older homes. I do not want to write up something as a defect if that was not a requirement when the home was built ,but I do not know where to get that information other than the NEC.

I would think that something that's a defect would be just as much of a defect regardless of when it was written in the code. I assure you that the electricity won't stop to check the code before it shocks someone or starts a fire.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Link to post
Share on other sites

I always recommend them that was just the first thing that came to mind. I just wanted a reference for when I run into a situation I have something to refer to other than the most current NEC because only the newest of homes will go by that.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

Print out the document below onto a piece of heavy card stock and keep it inside your clipboard.

Then go to this link: https://www.inspectorsjournal.com/forum ... goto&id=89

and print that out as a handout for customers who want information about GFCI's.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Download Attachment: icon_adobe.gif GFCI Locations.pdf

11.21 KB

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would like to go with a comment like: Although this was not required until 19XX, I recommend this. I just need the reference for when it was required. I believe I will try to pick up some of the older editions of the NEC.

So, do you need such a reference for all of the 30,000 items referenced in the NEC?

Will you also be needing a chart of when each town in your area adopted the NEC? (If, in fact, they did.)

How about another chart with the ammendments that they made when they adopted each edition?

- Jim in Oregon

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is the updated AFCI & GFCI template forms. These were refreshed by J.Peck this past year.

Download Attachment: icon_adobe.gif _AFCI_requirement_page-2008.pdf

10.04 KB

Download Attachment: icon_adobe.gif _GFCI_requirement_page-2008.pdf

12.47 KB

They have been very helpful to me and how I've crafted some report comments to help explain GFCI and AFCI dates.

Link to post
Share on other sites

No, baluster spacing is not a big one. It isn't even a medium-sized one. Reread Katen's comment. There is a strong and clear message there.

Don't miss the forest for the trees, folks.

It doesn't matter if they were constructed or repaired in 1609, 1709, 1809, 1909, or 2009, if the spacing is too wide, you tell your client, and get on with things.

Similarly, if you think that upgrading a particular receptacle to a GFI would make things safer, tell your client!

If someone argues, and you think you need a dated code reference to refute your position, then you know less about homebuying, home inspecting, houses and the people who live in them than you think you do.

Link to post
Share on other sites

We should make a chart for baluster spacing.

That way, when parent walks around a corner to find his child's limp body hanging from it's neck between balusters spaced 6" apart, we can hand them the chart and say, "Look at my chart. It says here that this was all that was required when the house was built."

Link to post
Share on other sites

No, baluster spacing is not a big one. It isn't even a medium-sized one. Reread Katen's comment. There is a strong and clear message there.

Don't miss the forest for the trees, folks.

It doesn't matter if they were constructed or repaired in 1609, 1709, 1809, 1909, or 2009, if the spacing is too wide, you tell your client, and get on with things.

Similarly, if you think that upgrading a particular receptacle to a GFI would make things safer, tell your client!

If someone argues, and you think you need a dated code reference to refute your position, then you know less about homebuying, home inspecting, houses and the people who live in them than you think you do.

I don't see where we are in disagreement Jim.

Many times I have the agent standing there saying, "that wasn't code when the house was built"

I say, "I don't do code inspections, I inspect and provide useful information to my client...period"

My clients always seem to appreciate my approach and the agents always back off.

Link to post
Share on other sites

John,

Well, we aren't in direct conflict, but then, you're playing both sides of the fence, aren't you?

First, you posted a link to a CPSC doc about GFCI's containing some NEC dates and say you use it in your reports.

Later you say this practice is unnecessary, but go on to say baluster spacing is another similar and big issue. What does that mean?

I don't have a conflict with you, and I don't mean to pick on you, but it does seem to me that you're having trouble forming an opinion and sticking to it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I surely do not have difficulty sticking to my game plan. Trust me on that please.

More likely, I still need to work on putting my thoughts into words so there is less chance of misinterpretation.

By injecting baluster spacing into the topic, I meant to say that it was one of the things that frequently (big one) gets challenged based on code dating. I shoot that agument down every time, call it out and put it in writing.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Allen,

The role of building codes in the discovery of findings during a home inspection is a volatile topic, even among the most experienced of home inspectors. How then can we expect homebuyers to comprehend the difference between the two? Home inspectors are charged with creating a clear view in the mind of the homebuyer of just what the inspector did and what he found. Confusion and misunderstanding invites complaints and lawsuits. Think of yourself as an educator.

One humble suggestion: When you are engaged in your capacity as a home inspector, regard the word 'code' as a 4 letter word. Don't speak it, don't write it. Study as many codes as you wish. They are excellent for your education as a home inspector, but use them in your report only if based on the original foundation for that code requirement. Do it without speaking or writing the word 'code'.

You may be inspecting a house that is 50 years old but unless you want to give your client a recommendation from 50 years ago, always suggest the GFCI protection.

Marc

Link to post
Share on other sites

Marc,

Building codes are minimum standards designed to prevent property loss, personal injury and death. Complying isn't optional, it's the bare minimum. Hammer home the idea that code equals minimum and there is no argument about whether an $8 GFCI is a good idea or not, who wouldn't want more than the minimum?

If you can't use the minimum standard as a basis for your recommendations, what can you use?

Tom

Link to post
Share on other sites

GFCI's use electronic circuits to detect the flow of low level ground fault currents and respond by opening the circuit before the current can reach higher, more dangerous levels. This helps prevent electrocution and reduces shock intensity to those persons who happen to complete the ground path for fault currents originating from defective appliances or wiring.

How's that for a basis?

Marc

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, the building code is the body of law governing how the things we look at for a living are constructed, so I think it's just fine to use anytime anyone feels like referencing an authoritative source. All other professions use reference material, so I think it's OK if we do too. I kinda think it makes us look smarter, not dumber.

I'll say the words "building code" quite often, then quote specific sections to folks that are listening. The smart folks figure out real quick I'm using one of the fundamental reference sources to make an informed opinion, and the other folks (you know who they are) get all worked up about about me not being a code enforcement official, therefore I'm not allowed to utter the sacred words, and to do so will bring down the wrath of the attorneys who will slice out my gizzard and serve it to me with an onion tart.

So far, I've found out that quoting pertinent codes correctly to attorney's shuts them up faster than anything. In fact, it may be the only thing that shuts them up.

Oh yeah, the thread, I almost forgot..............What coherent argument could anyone even begin to make about not installing GFCI's everywhere the smart people tell us we should be installing them?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh yeah, the thread, I almost forgot..............What coherent argument could anyone even begin to make about not installing GFCI's everywhere the smart people tell us we should be installing them?

None at all, and it's not clear that the original poster was suggesting that. No one else was. The client should be made aware of the safety hazard at every current recommended location where a GFCI is missing. But, part of this thread is about whether we can differentiate between those that should have already been there and those that would be a safety upgrade. I see no harm doing that if your report format allows it. In fact, knowing that the seller would probably refuse to install GFCIs in an older home (assuming no remodeling, etc), it might be better for the client to know up front that GFCIs are a strongly recommended upgrade they will need to do themselves.

Missing GFCIs are commonplace and something we all report, all the time, as we should. I really don't see making sensible use of one particular date chart as a slippery slope to needing to know the dates of every code requirement.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought the original poster was fairly clear.

"I do not want to write up something as a defect if that was not a requirement when the home was built............"

I guess I interpreted that as them saying they didn't want to tell folks to install GFCI's if it wasn't a requirement when the home was built, i.e., they don't want to tell folks to install GFCI's in all the places the smart folks tell us we should be installing them.

There's the semantical interpretation that there are differences between defects, safety concerns, upgrades, and elective improvements, I suppose. Is this what's meant by "rhetorical"?

What report format would prevent someone telling their customer they should do something like install GFCI's in places that safety dictates they should be installed?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I always recommend gfci's. To me this is a safety upgrade, not a defect, if they were not required at the time of construction or remodel. I like to distinguish between the two in my reports. Gfci's, like I said earlier, was just the first thing that came to mind when I first posted. There are many more situations that I will run across in my career. That is why I was looking for a reference on code and the changes through the years to help me make that distinction.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...