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Thread: Failed electrical inspection

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    Failed electrical inspection

    I just wanted to share my experience with my electrical inspection. I'm getting the final inspections done on my pool now and the city inspector came out and basically made the poolbuilder re-do about half of the electrical service from the pool to the house. It ended up being about 8 hours of additional labor by the electricians (which the pool builder paid for without question).

    The electrical was initially done by a specialist pool electrical contractor that was supplied by the pool builder. To be honest, their work looked fine to me (I have a Master's degree in electrical engineering but I am not trained in home electrical).

    The inspector wanted some of the electrical conduit buried deeper/differently, and they wanted a new electrical socket added that was more than 5 feet but less than 10 feet from the pool. I wasn't about to go digging anywhere near any of the conduit, but nevertheless...

    I can't find their post now but someone was outside the city limits and asking if they should have an independent electrical inspection and from my experience the answer is "yes"... not so much from the perspective of safety, but knowing how fast some cities annex nearby unincorporated areas, it's probably a good idea to have the pool up to the local city code so you don't have a fuss if you need to sell it.

    Hope that helps,

    Marc
    Pool: 16,000 gallons, 16x31, 500SqFt gunite pool, White Pebbletec interior, built by Cody Pools. Pentair Intelliflo VS-3050 pump, Pentair Clean & Clear 420 Cartridge Filter, In-line chlor with Ultra UV, PV3 Infloor cleaning, Pentair Easytouch-P4 control. TF-100
    Spa: 525 Gallons, Coast fiberglass spa of unknown vintage and suspect previous care with a 2-speed main pump and a blower motor, both 4HP. 3-step bromine sanitized.

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Failed electrical inspection

    Marc, glad to hear your perspective on independant inspections when there is no AHJ inspections in an area. But, I will say that for anyone who plans to go that route they should have the specifics of what code will be followed for the installation. Many contracts just say "workmanlike manner" which is difficult to enforce. Saying something along the lines of "all electric will be installed following the 2015 National a Electrical Code". This gives you a specific document to reference as to weather something is correct of incorrect.

    From the sound of it the original electrician just goofed. Depth of conduit and the position of the convenience outlet are identified in the code so it should,have been correct the first time.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Failed electrical inspection

    If it was a final and the conduit was buried how did the inspector know it wasn't deep enough. Generally it has to be 18 inches below final grade but looking at pool builds on here it common that it's not deep enough.

    The outlet is a no brainier. The NEC is clear a GFCI outlet is required between 6 and 20 feet from the pool. Maybe the electrician thought another outlet would qualify?

    Some states have staged inspections so problems are discovered earlier and correction is not as time consuming.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Re: Failed electrical inspection

    ^^^ What Tim said......
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: Failed electrical inspection

    Some may note that a few responses were removed form this thread. They mainly dealt with "government" inspections which can be a controversial topic on the web. Rather than detract from the OP's comment regarding hiring an independent inspector when no inspections are provided by the local jurisdiction they were deleted.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Failed electrical inspection

    Thanks for cleaning up the thread Tim!!

    I'm confused, if the city or municipality provides an inspection and you also hire an independent inspector, then isn't that a failure in the part of the PB? I thought one important role of the PB was to ensure that code is followed and the inspections are passed. It just seems to me like you're paying twice for the same thing.

    I'll admit, I am a noob at the whole build process thing.


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Failed electrical inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    Thanks for cleaning up the thread Tim!!

    I'm confused, if the city or municipality provides an inspection and you also hire an independent inspector, then isn't that a failure in the part of the PB? I thought one important role of the PB was to ensure that code is followed and the inspections are passed. It just seems to me like you're paying twice for the same thing.

    I'll admit, I am a noob at the whole build process thing.
    I think Marc is pointing out that if you live in an area with no, as the code books call them - Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) inspection then it is your choice to provide an independent inspection. While I have never built a pool, I have dealt with construction and contracts in the past. The biggest problem I see (as I noted above) is the lack of clarity in contracts as to the standard to which the contractor will be held, no matter who does the inspection.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Failed electrical inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    I think Marc is pointing out that if you live in an area with no, as the code books call them - Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) inspection then it is your choice to provide an independent inspection. While I have never built a pool, I have dealt with construction and contracts in the past. The biggest problem I see (as I noted above) is the lack of clarity in contracts as to the standard to which the contractor will be held, no matter who does the inspection.
    Ahh, ok. Thanks for the education Tim!! It never fails that I always learn something new on TFP each day...
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Failed electrical inspection

    The problem I regularly see here is new members posting something along the lines of "is this correct?". Unless you and the contractor are on the same page as to what your expectations are you may always be disappointed. Many people get caught up in the excitement of getting a pool and fail to make sure they understand what the contract actually says. I have fallen for this in the past on remodeling projects and now understand that before I sign and give a deposit on any project both the contractor & I are on the same page and it is in writing. I have gone so far in the past as to add language to the contract detailing what code I expect them to follow or add specific language how I expect something to be done.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Failed electrical inspection

    I just don't understand how the conduit depth was not flagged during rough before covering.

    .
    O/B Woodland Hills, CA : O/B12x30 inground with 6x6 10-jet spa, 10,500gal, 6' Baja deck, 42" spillway, All Jandy: 400k heater, 2.7 HP VS pump, 1.5HP booster spa pump, SWG, Intellelink controls, (4) LED lights, cartridge filter and BlueSquareQ360 infloor cleaning system, Eclipse drain, glass tiles, Zanzibar white pebble finish. Broke ground 2/18/2016, completed 8/16/2016. TFT 100 kit.

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    Re: Failed electrical inspection

    These problems were not caught at the rough in stage because this locality does not require interim inspections. Frank, you are used to California. California requires a pre gunite inspection, a pre deck inspection , a pre plaster inspection (actually pre fill ) and a final inspection. Most states do not all those inspections, many states have no inspection requirement whatsoever. And remember even the California inspections are for compliance to code not necessarily to plans or making sure the work is defect free.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Re: Failed electrical inspection

    FWIW, in Austin, you have the choice of going 18" below grade with the conduit or 12" with concrete on top. Because it's hard to dig here, a lot of people elect for the 12" approach. Not sure if that helps you or if it's the same where you live
    Construction underway.

    33x23 freeform 16k gallon IG pool, pebblesheen, SWG in Austin, TX
    Pentair 3HP VS pump, Hayward 30" sand filter
    Build thread: New Austin, TX Owner Build

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    Re: Failed electrical inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by gwegan View Post
    These problems were not caught at the rough in stage because this locality does not require interim inspections. Frank, you are used to California. California requires a pre gunite inspection, a pre deck inspection , a pre plaster inspection (actually pre fill ) and a final inspection. Most states do not all those inspections, many states have no inspection requirement whatsoever. And remember even the California inspections are for compliance to code not necessarily to plans or making sure the work is defect free.
    Then it is wrong that the inspector can retroactively go back and ask to prove compliance. What if he doubted gunite thickness or rebar spacing?

    The one thing I find shocking about building a pool is the vague nature of the construction details. I took two sheets into the City and got a permit. Two sheets! No real details, just a "guideline" what Im going to build. Without detail sheets, Im going to have to put all the verbiage in the individual contracts otherwise I see where this can go....finger pointing.
    Last edited by tim5055; 02-05-2016 at 10:10 AM. Reason: Language
    O/B Woodland Hills, CA : O/B12x30 inground with 6x6 10-jet spa, 10,500gal, 6' Baja deck, 42" spillway, All Jandy: 400k heater, 2.7 HP VS pump, 1.5HP booster spa pump, SWG, Intellelink controls, (4) LED lights, cartridge filter and BlueSquareQ360 infloor cleaning system, Eclipse drain, glass tiles, Zanzibar white pebble finish. Broke ground 2/18/2016, completed 8/16/2016. TFT 100 kit.

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    Re: Failed electrical inspection

    The city of Houston does not require a steel inspection, only plumbing and electrical.
    Marla
    No longer living vicariously through other people's pool builds. Pool build is complete on my IG SWCG pool, approx 10,000 gallons. All Jandy equipment - VS 1.5 hp pump, 580 cartridge filter, AquaPure 1400 salt cell, AquaLink PDA system. Dolphin m500. PebbleSheen Blue Surf with shells and beads added. TF-100 w/ SpeedStir. A Houston Pool Build Inside the Loop

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    Re: Failed electrical inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Marlahoutex View Post
    The city of Houston does not require a steel inspection, only plumbing and electrical.
    It is my understanding that part of the electrical inspection in most areas is actually a pseudo steel inspection. The electrical code has requirements for the connections between the bars to maintain correct bonding in the shell.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Failed electrical inspection

    Tim, according to our PB, the city doesn't require steel inspection. Our pool was gunited before plumbing and electrical. But I think it's odd that the city doesn't require it.
    Marla
    No longer living vicariously through other people's pool builds. Pool build is complete on my IG SWCG pool, approx 10,000 gallons. All Jandy equipment - VS 1.5 hp pump, 580 cartridge filter, AquaPure 1400 salt cell, AquaLink PDA system. Dolphin m500. PebbleSheen Blue Surf with shells and beads added. TF-100 w/ SpeedStir. A Houston Pool Build Inside the Loop

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    Re: Failed electrical inspection

    In California you cannot gunite until after the rough electrical and rough plumbing is complete. The order in which you build a pool varies considerably all over the country.

    Frank: Didn't woodland hills require a engineer's stamp and engineering supplement on your plans? That can add another page or two. Usually California plans have a site plan and a drawing with a standard engineering supplement. The drawing can have a lot of detail or not much. Depending on the designer and the complexity of the pool. You can add a spec sheet to your contracts that lay out all the specs for each contractor. But most of thse guys go on fixed price based off a simple drawing and spec sheet and full payment when the are done with the job. A pool builder may get 30 day terms but not a homeowner.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Re: Failed electrical inspection

    gwegan, Yes - my set is two pages. I picked up the permit yesterday Im still shocked that I can dig hole in the ground and line it with concrete and add electrical appliances inside of a water filled body with so little detail. Im just surprised because after perusing this forum for a while, the amount of O/B problems that could have been avoided by good detail sheets is higher than I would have thought...a lot of these problems are related to miscommunications from vague drawings and specs. I think more details would be better

    Im not worried about me. I can add the details to the contract because I know what and how I want it done. I also won't pay anyone without unconditional lien releases - but everyone will know that as part of my spec sheet addendum. Also several trades will be told that my standard procedure is that they get held back 10% retention until the pool is filled and all inspections passed. Based on the OP's post above - the electrician will be one of them.

    thanks.
    O/B Woodland Hills, CA : O/B12x30 inground with 6x6 10-jet spa, 10,500gal, 6' Baja deck, 42" spillway, All Jandy: 400k heater, 2.7 HP VS pump, 1.5HP booster spa pump, SWG, Intellelink controls, (4) LED lights, cartridge filter and BlueSquareQ360 infloor cleaning system, Eclipse drain, glass tiles, Zanzibar white pebble finish. Broke ground 2/18/2016, completed 8/16/2016. TFT 100 kit.

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    Re: Failed electrical inspection

    I live in Austin. Basically what I have found is there are the following requirements:

    1. For plumbing the only inspection is to determine how you hooked up to the city water supply and what is required. The city requires an inspection for this even if you don't hook up to the city water. They just want to verify and plumbing must pass before you can get final electric. You can pull the permit at the end of the project and get a final pass pretty easily. (That is how mine went) Here are the cases they will pass when they inspect.
    a. No hookup at all (fill with hose).
    b. Hookup with waterfill 1" above waterline and manual valve. Hookup can be either to hose bib, irrigation, or teed off water supply prior to irrigation system.
    c. Autofill or waterfill within 1" of water line. You must have an RPZ backflow installed. The RPZ is expensive and requires yearly inspections/maintenance.
    d. All pool plumbing is ignored. They only care about the water supply and check accordingly. Of course there might be other cases than this but I think this covers probably 95% of pool builds.

    2. For electric there are three inspections. Final electric requires that plumbing permit is pulled and passes prior to them coming out for final electric. I don't know too much but I'll include what was stated above and my additional observances. In Austin there are three inspections for electric in order to pass... Rough, Bonding, and Final. Here are things I know about them checking on...
    a. For rough they come out and verify that the copper wire is tied to the rebar and also I believe they check the conduits for the pool lights and that is it.
    b. For bonding they require all metal within 5' of the pool to be bonded. They will require you to dig up your yard if it is done and they for some reason want to verify this again. In my case they came out when the pool was done and the inspector wasn't the same one I previously had. He was questioning the pool bonding and I knew the previous inspector made my PB dig up the yard to see it so fortunately he took my word or we would have been digging up the yard again. He did fail me because my hand rail which goes to the waters edge wasn't bonded. We had to take grout out of my patio to secretly run a bond wire from the railing down to the ground. Thankfully that was ok and we passed.
    c. For final electric he checked to see that all the equipment was hooked up securely. He shook all electrical connections. He also verified the electric in the box at the pool. In addition to what was mentioned above by burying the electric you can also run the conduit along the house tacked to the side. That is what they did for mine. It is on a side that isn't visible from the front or back yard AND I didn't want them destroying that part of my yard so I went that route.

    3. For final it is basically them checking to make sure you are within the build lines of your lot. Plus you need to have secured perimeter to the pool. That means either an inner fence or having all doors and windows to the yard alarmed and a spring on all gates going into the pool area. In my case they probably will also check to make sure the hand rail covers all areas 30" above the ground. Another member on here also was required to put in pexiglass windows because they had put in steps near a window to the home. He got away with applying a film to his glass. I heard that some inspectors just check the door for an alarm and others want the windows too. In my case my house is so high off the ground I am going to try to just alarm the door and windows going onto the deck. If someone tries the other windows they'll have quite a fall anyway.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh and even though Texas is typically less stringent than Cali, Austin is probably the most like California of any city in Texas. We have pretty strict requirements and inspections compared to say Houston or Dallas. Plus they have the lovely heritage tree thing that causes all sorts of problems for people who want to build on lots with many trees (or even one decent sized one). It is to the point where every builder I interviewd one of their first questions for me was if I was in the city limits or not. I believe it adds quite a bit of cost for them. Not just in the permit costs but the cost of building the pool. For example an auto fill or gas line in Austin probably has double or triple the cost inside the city vs outside. I think the only thing that I have heard on here which seems to be worse is the watershed thing in Houston.
    Pool is done! Only took 17 months! - Natural shape in-ground pool: 37x23, 505sq ft, 96ft perimeter, 7ft deep end, 18,950 gallons, tanning ledge, blue surf pebble sheen/luminous blue blend, Belgard coping, 910 sqft paver deck/walkways, retaining walls out the yinyang. Jandy SWG, 2 LED Color lights, VS 2HP Pump, 460sqft cartridge filter, PDA RS P8 controller. My build

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    Re: Failed electrical inspection

    Hi,

    I was in Japan last week, just getting back to this.

    I'm not sure who specified the original electrical, but either the PB or the electrical was trying to save themselves some digging... the electrical was in conduit alongside the house but our slab bumps out for the hot tub pad, they followed the edge of that and then transitioned to underground at an angle along the back side of the hot tub pad. The inspector wanted it to transition to underground vertically and before they got to the hot tub pad.

    I don't think it was dangerous the way it was, but in my very limited experience with code inspectors my advice is to smile sweetly and say, "yes, sir".

    The distance from the pool to the outlet is controversial. I think the PB and the electrical contractor (and gwegan, above) thought the distance was from 5-20ft, which I think is satisfied by an outlet that is on the side of the pool equipment control box (I haven't measured the distance but it's right around 20' away from the pool). What the electrical contractor told me was that the inspector wanted it from 5-10' away. I didn't argue... free socket

    BTW, when you're in Japan, don't mention that you have your own pool... that's kind of like the ultimate luxury item over there. I was talking to one of my US colleagues about it and the Japan folks picked up on the conversation. There's no way to talk about it that doesn't sound like bragging and that's just not polite in Japan.

    Marc
    Pool: 16,000 gallons, 16x31, 500SqFt gunite pool, White Pebbletec interior, built by Cody Pools. Pentair Intelliflo VS-3050 pump, Pentair Clean & Clear 420 Cartridge Filter, In-line chlor with Ultra UV, PV3 Infloor cleaning, Pentair Easytouch-P4 control. TF-100
    Spa: 525 Gallons, Coast fiberglass spa of unknown vintage and suspect previous care with a 2-speed main pump and a blower motor, both 4HP. 3-step bromine sanitized.

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