TIGERLOOSE

The solar contractor moved the mains because they were in the way of the conduit entry at the bottom rear.

I didn't notice it right away. The owner was with me when I said that solar can't be introduced to this panel because it is center fed and maxed out. He said that he noticed that 3" long pieces of the big red and black wire was laying on the ground and he wondered why. Well there you go, they had to trim the wire to get it back into the breakers.

There was a lot wrong with this job and the contractor has bailed. The contractor talked the owner into getting the permit for the service upgrade, lied to the owner about the solar having passed a final inspection and got all of the money. This is the first time I have been there.       

Here the conduit is snug to the coupling and does not leak .  The offset is threaded into the hub until it became obvious that something might break if it goes any further.  Tool marks indicate that it is tight.  This will leak.  


This fitting is the correct size and is jammed in tight.  Most likely cross threaded.  Notice that the metal finish is dull.....the smaller fittings that will screw all the way in have a shiny appearance.    

The service panel will be removed and a new service has been installed on the other side of the house. Rather than create a J-box out of the existing service enclosure, a 1R panel enclosure has been installed behind the access panel as shown. The contractor tells me that he has done this many times and never gotten any resistance from an inspector. He feels that the access cover provides a 3R rating and therefor the 1R enclosure is legitimate. He also stated that there is no 3R sub-panel available in the marketplace but I found several.

This is part of a $100K addition/remodel on a 2 million dollar house. Now that should not influence a decision but his crying about the cost falls on deaf ears.

Another example of why you must see the top of the service cabinet.  If the stucco has been patched before the inspection, the stucco and lath shall be removed....no exceptions.

This was a service panel ten years ago. The service panel that fed this panel has been replaced. I was not able to access this panel at the first inspection of the new service so out of an abundance of caution I wrote the correction to make sure that the sub-panel has an isolated neutral.

Not only are the bends too tight but there is a conductor against a bolt head that secures the neutral lug.  That is not allowed.

If only they could see what I see.

Another inspector had written a correction about the cross-threaded service entrance conduit but they neglected to fix it.  It was my dumb luck to inspect it a day after a rain storm.

It happens a lot.  This guy did it twice.

There was a complaint about illegal grading.  The electrical service is energized.

This was approved in 2015 as part of an electrical service upgrade. It is exposed now during the course of a kitchen remodel.  There's plenty of time to fix it now.  Some of it belongs to the new contractor but he will be fixing it all.

The enclosure on the right was added to serve a room addition.  Note the meter blank.  The meter and main disconnect is located on the other side of the house. 

That's as close as the dead front gets to fitting because the EMT comes in at the wrong place.  They left it like that and requested an inspection.  That is rude.

It is not uncommon to lose strands.  Here there should be seven.

And it's left up to the inspector to get it right.

The ground rod was was beaten into Earth with a sledge hammer....right next to a gas meter and it's pipe.

This panel is connected to the service drop.  It is the handy work of a house flipper.  He complained that I was too difficult to work with and I was replaced.

Such a small mistake can be difficult to fix.

The job was an electric service upgrade.  The stucco was done when I arrived for the first inspection.  I asked the contractor to remove the stucco and this is what I found.

This was the view from the front.

Two is the maximum number of cables allowed.  Here the cabe is against the screws.  Screws will cut through insulation.

The panel is energized. The owner has no power in the house.

All things considered, I reckon they did a nice tidy job of it.

If it was too easy, it was probably illegal.

I collected samples and I used a worm inflator to apply water at the top of the hub.  At first the water beads up and sits while it soaks in.  

Five wires of various sizes and types secured by an automotive lug that's mounted with a tek screw.

I need to see inside the old service enclosure that has been turned into a junction box but I am not willing to remove the conduit.

Is cross threaded one word or two?

I was sent out to inspect the solar installation.  The contractor was a no show.

The wrong way was way harder to accomplish than the right way.

The Uni-strut is mounted directly on the OSB.  That's a leak.

"Let me see if I understand you.  You're saying that the dish has to be moved?"

This car wash is nearing completion. Yesterday they requested an el inspection of the 800 amp service. There's better than 50 various lugs, bolts and screws with torque settings but they didn't have a torque wrench. Today they had three...all new. They admitted that all of the lugs, bolts and screws were loose. That has happened many times. They are surprised at how loose the connections were.  Several contractors told me that they are losing sleep with the worry of past jobs that they did. The panel board has the torque values on the label.  Loose connections are a particularly dangerous condition. 

I wrote the usual corrections. The contractor requested inspection for today. He called me this morning to get an idea of what time I would be there for a lath inspection. I was expecting a rough inspection and told him to remove the lath.

Here is the owner and the mess. The contractor did remove the lath.

 (G) Insulated Fittings. Where raceways contain 4 AWG or larger insulated circuit conductors, and these conductors enter a cabinet, a box, an enclosure, or a raceway, the conductors shall be protected by an identified fitting providing a smoothly rounded insulating surface, unless the conductors are separated from the fitting or raceway by identified insulating material that is securely fastened in place.
Exception: Where threaded hubs or bosses that are an integral part of a cabinet, box, enclosure, or raceway provide a smoothly rounded or flared entry for conductors.
Conduit bushings constructed wholly of insulating material shall not be used to secure a fitting or raceway. The
insulating fitting or insulating material shall have a temperature rating not less than the insulation temperature rating of the installed conductors.


​So that's the code.  Do you consider the hub to be an integral part of the cabinet?

This job is a Flipper.  It has been going on for several months.  They did a bunch of work and added a bedroom and bathroom.  There has always been 3 to 9 workmen.  A clueless bunch if there ever was one.  Nice guys that haven't complained about the volume of corrections.  I bet that we are over 50.  Today it was the electrical panel.   

This panel does not have a hub for the service entrance conduit.  There is a kit for that but the panel ships without a hub.  So the conduit is through a KO.  The KOs are 1.5" and 2".  If the conduit is 1.5" a bonding bushing is required.  If the conduit is 2" the next picture shows you why you have to remove the cover over the SEC.

Based on the Penetrox, I'm guessing that the SEC is aluminum.  When I see what they did to the wire I am amazed that someone knew about Penetrox. 

The first time out it looked like this. The old service enclosure has been left in the wall and the new enclosure is mounted over it.

I continued to apply water and once it got through, capillary action took over and pulled water through.  It didn't take long to let in a lot of water.  Most enclosures are built in a way that allows water to escape but the water washes over parts to get there.  It gets into connections and causes damage.

Even without the fence this is jacked up.

You can see the water around the nut driver.  There is staining from water that has entered.


I see this a lot. Well not exactly like this.  The offset is usually not that far into the hub.  The hub has tapered threads and the fitting does not.  Notice that the conduit is not threaded entirely into the coupling.  It will leak water.  The offset fitting will sometimes be found fully seated into the hub.  It looks like it was made to be that way when in fact, the offset fitting is a smaller diameter than it should be so it fits in nicely.  There is no effective ground path and it is still a violation.

The contractor was okay with leaving these splices in the wall cavity.  The corrections started with this issue.  This is why I don't allow a rear entry into a surface mounted panel.  And all the while I'm hearing, "There are no splices behind the panel".

And look at that old cable getting crushed in the connector.

Alrighty then I'm listening.  You were telling me how you just bought this wire last week at Home Depot.

A licensed contractor has a permit for PV and a service upgrade.  It was installed months ago.

Chase nipples were installed and pigtails were brought from the old service enclosure into the new enclosure.

They have hot water.

The wood cabinet has to be removed to provide working space at the service equipment.  The conduit and LB should not be embedded in the stucco.  I didn't open the equipment because the owner was upset that I was writing corrections.  He had the impression that I was there to final the house.  The only permit that I had was for solar.  I got lucky.....maybe we both got lucky.

A general contractor did a room addition and electrical service upgrade.  He was okay with the indoor sub-panel outdoors.  The state of California has a law that only state certified electricians are allowed to perform el. work.