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Electrical permitting question

KarlVP

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May 19, 2020
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381
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1,364
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Crusty's Brewing, Wa
So I'm in my garage today wiring up a generator transfer switch into the main panel. Just my luck the meter lady comes and parks in the driveway. She goes to check the meter and then comes in the garage and asks why I have the power off. I told her what I was doing and she asked if I had a permit to install a new feeder into my system. I said "sure do!" and she promptly fucked off.

I don't have the permit. Now I'm paranoid someone is going to check and I'm going to be in deep shit. FWIW permits are $89 and last for an entire year. I'm wondering if I should buy one and just sit on it?
 
Fuck it.

I've pulled smart meters out of their bases to replace house panels. Reused the old tag and everything. Never once had a problem. Rumor is that they have tilt switches in them, or, being smart would register an outtage.

Nobody cares. The utility isn't any better organized than the government.

What's the worst they could do?
 
Nope the power company lady prob didn’t take any further than what you said to her.

also who said you aren’t fishing a broken lightbulb out of a socket and we’re being extra cautious.
 
The penalty for no permit is meter lockout in all jurisdictions. You have to figure out when they start enforcing.

The way beauracracy works, she may have reported it as a major violation and the wheels are just turning. I'd buy the permit right now so you can post it, at least they may have to look for a posted permit before pulling the meter.

Edit: and that the permit date is before the ticket date. People will choose to not do the work if they can.
 
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I pussed out and got a permit. It was available online instantly. Printed and posted. I need to button up a few things, I'm waiting on an adapter for the generator to ship, and then a test run and I will call for an inspection.
 
Nothing gets the attention of a lineman working an outage more than a generator running in the neighborhood.
This is from the old days where someone got a good deal on a generator and made a male/male plug for the 220 plug in the garage for emergency power.

Usually they find out what house has the generator and pull the meter or take the stinger off the primary for the transformer.

My gut tells me a inspector will be along shortly and if you have your transfer switch wired correctly you have no worries.
 
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If they show up and ask why it was dated after just say you went to look for it and couldn't find the email. Then blame that it took forever when you applied around the start of rona. Most permit offices were a disaster and many pushed half working online permit systems into place to try and not need office visits, but many had some teething issues. Easy excuse right now, lots of messed up permit apps in a lot of jurisdictions
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If they show up and ask why it was dated after just say you went to look for it and couldn't find the email. Then blame that it took forever when you applied around the start of rona. Most permit offices were a disaster and many pushed half working online permit systems into place to try and not need office visits, but many had some teething issues. Easy excuse right now, lots of messed up permit apps in a lot of jurisdictions
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"I was only doing the leg work before connecting it and only after I had the permit in hand".
 
[486 said:
;n306290]90 bucks you didn't have to give them

90 bucks they'll use to cook up new and interesting ways to threaten you for more money

They own it, they get to make the rules.
A transfer switch for a generator isn’t the same as installing a ceiling fan.
 
Nothing gets the attention of a lineman working an outage more than a generator running in the neighborhood.
This is from the old days where someone got a good deal on a generator and made a male/male plug for the 220 plug in the garage for emergency power.

Usually they find out what house has the generator and pull the meter or take the stinger off the primary for the transformer.

My gut tells me a inspector will be along shortly and if you have your transfer switch wired correctly you have no worries.

Lineman will typically apply grounds to the sectionalized line they are working on; coordinated with the Utility's Regional Switching Center, as part of the line clearance procedure . Anything backfeeding on the sectionalized line, will go to ground and trip.

You can't always know who's backfeeding with a gen set, or from where.....
 
They own it, they get to make the rules.
A transfer switch for a generator isn’t the same as installing a ceiling fan.

It is under state law. ALL new wiring installed in the state of Washington now requires a permit...:mad3:

Up to you if you pull one, But in Wa. It is a RCW
 
I had the fire inspector over for the ADU conversion at my folks house today. I told him the 3 items noted on the plan check. He questioned one of them. I said sure, I can do it, but this says "or". He looked at it and said hmm, your right. That guys new where's the permit for me to sign. I said I could add it no problem. He said dont worry about it, signed the permit and left.

I will be doing the same with the building inspector when I get that scheduled.

It doesn't hurt I deal in California state construction codes, not local municipal stuff and state is much better defined and definitely tougher. Everything I've done is to or above code.
 
Does the meter "woman" work for the power company or the Jurisdiction you live in IE the city town or county ?
 
For $89 it's cheap insurance IMHO.

At least you CAN actually pull a permit. Here they woln't issue to a homeowner, only licensed electricians. So I had to pay almost $700 to have an electrician pull the permit and mange that 30 seconds when the inspector showed up to look at my new main panel. Was doing a new meter socket and feeder, so I had to get power co involved and thus had to jump through the hoops. Thought seriously about just waiting for a power outage and doing it then, but the power is too reliable around here.

Surprisingly, this is one of the few things were CA was actually to work with - same project in Monterey country was simple to get a permit myself, cost about 1/3 to money and was far far quicker.

Fawk I hate permits.
 
This is interesting... I have a "Sense" power monitor system installed in the main panel There is a sub panel that supplies most of the house; the main panel supplies a few 220V circuits. I would like to place the C.T.'s on the feed to main panel; but they don't fit; unless I break open a sealed panel next to the meter. The Senses people claim it is a complete crap shoot on how your local utility reacts to cracking seals.

I have been to Portugal and Spain many times in the past; it was a national sport in bypassing meters. Fucking in-laws house was spooky in not knowing if an outlet was protected by a breaker or fuse. :lmao::lmao::lmao:
 
For $89 it's cheap insurance IMHO.
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I didnt even catch that. I think we are around 3k in permit and inspection fees right now. If he has to re-inspect it will be more.

This was on a second story addition that when built in 1979 was prepped to do exactly what we did. Wiring and plumbing are existing. I basically put in floors, cabinets and painted.
 
Nothing gets the attention of a lineman working an outage more than a generator running in the neighborhood.
This is from the old days where someone got a good deal on a generator and made a male/male plug for the 220 plug in the garage for emergency power.

I really wish mythbusters would do an episode on this one. I'd wager there is no way a generator would run if it was trying to energize a single house, let alone an entire neighborhood.
 
I'd be more worried about breaking off one of the lugs in the meter can than building code enforcement.

Now you have to do it right.:homer:
 
I wouldn’t worry about it. Some pawn meter reader at the power company isn’t going to verify if you have an electrical permit.
 
I really wish mythbusters would do an episode on this one. I'd wager there is no way a generator would run if it was trying to energize a single house, let alone an entire neighborhood.

This ^^^^^ Pretty sure the 30A breakers on the generator will pop long before anything downstream is hurt. With the mains off the only way to backfeed is through the common. Which is grounded. A lot of things would need to go wrong to shock someone down the line.
 
I really wish mythbusters would do an episode on this one. I'd wager there is no way a generator would run if it was trying to energize a single house, let alone an entire neighborhood.
not only that, if you’re a lineman you’re pretty much seats geared up like the line is hot anyways so it unlikely they’re going to get hit with anything.
 
Lineman will typically apply grounds to the sectionalized line they are working on; coordinated with the Utility's Regional Switching Center, as part of the line clearance procedure . Anything backfeeding on the sectionalized line, will go to ground and trip.

You can't always know who's backfeeding with a gen set, or from where.....

further more there ain't no household genny gonna power up a neighborhood, if it was hooked to the grid and you engaged it it would most likely die asap.
Unless you have a commercial type Cat diesel 100KW power plant or the like.
That came from a lineman.
 
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