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As a home owner and hands on guy . I've done lots of work on my own homes and have work done by contractors. When i do the the work the inspector is all over checking everything but when a contractor doing it they seem to get a quick look by the inspector and a pass.. There's the problem.
@Zoltan The inspector did not protect these people.
That’s the main reason why inspections are mandatory. It protects the homeowner (who don’t know anything about code) from bad contractors to have a minimum standards.It’s only secondary to doublecheck DIY work.
You are so right on.
I am a retired electrician with over 50 years in the trade, and I have never seen so much NEC violation in one home as you've shown! And that general needs to have his license revoked or at the least suspended. His job is to check and make sure all subs are licensed.When it comes to electricity, you don't take dangerous short cuts, use untrained help without having a journey man to check the work.That is a scary house to live in. And the local code enforcement needs to be reprimanded for their passing of such dangerous work!Appreciate you uploading and sharing this with the general public to see.
I recently did some remodeling in our kitchen and found an outlet mounted directly to knotty pine paneling that was cut out to fit the outlet with no junction box. Even as an electrical novice I was in shock to say the least. After living in the house 15 years it makes me wonder what else is hiding that we never saw.
I know exactly what you are talking about . . . In fact you can see a similar installation in the cabinet of this video. Thanks for commenting.
I have no electrical background, but I do know that this is beyond insane. I hope you continue to have good work on your horizon.I watch alot of random videos on youtube and this has perhaps been the most informative video without directly meaning too.You seem very educated, skilled, and serious about your work/passion.
Thanks . . . I do care about good workmanship and moral character in all fields. Thanks again.
I've been an AV installation contractor and data cabler for 10+ years, done a lot of residential work so I've been in a lot of roof spaces, and a fair bit on the commercial side too. Seen my fair share of dodgy work (and come close to accidents due to it, more than once) but I've never seen any electrical job done as poorly as this. I feel sorry (and a fair bit worried) for the homeowners. Great video, keep up the good work upholding codes/standards and pro installation practices.
Thanks . . . and I'm sure you have seen much poor workmanship.
Fantastic video.! ...and I thought that the bell transformer in my house wired into the safety switch box for the HVAC system and hanging by its wires into the insulation was one of the worst things I saw done by a licensed electrician and passed by an inspector. Thanks for taking a bad situation and turning it into an educational video for both homeowner and electrician to learn from.
Thanks for the good words.
Reminds me of when I opened up my house like a tin of beans when I first moved in. True story: The electrical socket that powered the cooker hood fan was actually inside the cooker hood, where the steam from the stove runs right in front of it before going back out of the air holes. It was covered in fat from cooking. I still have some issues yet to be resolved, such as when I have my electric blanket on, I feel a tingle when I touch the wall as if I'm making an earth.
STOP! Have an electrician figure out the problem. The fact that you have not been hurt is because your resistance is high. For example, if you were in your bedroom and stepped out on the heat grill, which is probably grounded then your resistance might lower. Remember a bird can land on a live wire, it is when it becomes a resistor in the circuit that there is a problem. Don't help complete the circle back to ground. Thanks for sharing your story about the cooker hood fan.
Very well done video: You did a great job at illustrating every detail without having to degrade others as a method for justification. I wish more people would watch your work and use it as an example.
Thanks, such words encourage me to do better to live up to your standards. Thanks again.
Teaching them how to do it: million and one points for you, that was awesome way to handle that problem. Many would've just mocked them when it is the employer who needs to make sure their workers know their stuff.
Thanks for the video and your concern for people and their homes. C-10 here in California for 28 years now. The overall quality of work being put out by "Generals" has definitely fallen off over my career and many of the "Electricians" I meet would have been eaten alive by any of the old timers who trained me or that I worked with. I quit working in residences 25 years ago because homeowners had become convinced that the kind of work you've shown here was okay and they wouldn't pay for the time and effort it took to do it right. I wouldn't begin a job unless they'd agree to meet applicable code... and definitely don't get me started on inspectors... Thanks again.
The "workmanlike" wording in the National Electrical Code is almost universally ignored by inspectors. If the lights and plugs work, then that is the standard. Most homeowners don't realize that our most important work is that which you don't see.
Hey, man! full credit for doing a good job on documenting the issues. just to "criticize" without the photos could be hard to substantiate. Also, your willingness (heck, eagerness) to teach the GC's guys is a credit to you...as is your assessment of the guys (hardworking, respectful, etc). Please visit the nearest cloning station...we need a lot more people like you.... Cheers!
Thanks . . . I called it as I saw it. I think I'm like many others who don't like those who cheats others.
Most every local residential/commercial fire is blamed on electrical. I've always scoffed at this being a General Contractor for fifty + years. But now I see why! I've ALWAYS inspected my jobs prior to calling for a Local inspection. Over the years I've run a few electrical contractors off along with a few plumbers and a pile of framers. Never have I let a project go past the second screw up. Without a You'er Fired.
All good contractors have repeat clients and referrals from them. I wish you continued success.
I've never had a call back. I've done numerous jobs for many return clients.
Dale Durbin - It sounds like your first priority is doing a good job . . . and then we all have to make a living. This general contractor cared about $$$$$, and that was all. Thanks for commenting.
The "buddy system" was in effect in this picture. The general contractor and inspector were buddies...The inspector asked the general if an electrician had done the work, and the general said "sure" so, without looking at anything, the inspector signed off.It is obvious from these pictures that no licensed electrician did the work, and no actual inspection ever took place.
Samuel T. I think you are on to something . . . or too lazy to look.
I know just enough to get myself in trouble; I've installed light fixtures and run lines for outlets and such a few times over the past couple of decades. That said, how on Earth anyone thought much of this was acceptable is beyond me. Heck, 10 minutes spent googling how to install a light or outlet would have covered most of it. Scary stuff.
You are absolutely right on. Thanks for commenting.
holy hell. This makes me feel way more confident in my DIY jobs. I actually follow the rules and think everything through logically. This video makes me sad for those homeowners and the workers too.
And perhaps more suspicious of general contractors . . . Your logic and study will take you far.
Absolutely unbelievable! I’m a retired electrician after 40 years and I have seen some real nightmares, but never have I seen anything like this. This is downright criminal in my opinion.
I agree that it is criminal because it is stealing. The homeowners paid for something and got something else, which is criminal.
Dude, it is your DUTY to notify the local department of building safety. This is a life safety issue, and this home MUST be condemned until brought up to code. Remember your liability. And let the homeowner settle this with the general contractor in court. They've got themselves a major lawsuit. Kinda makes me wonder what the plumbing looks like.
don't you flush the toilet to turn off the lights? lol
I've done electrical design work for a company out in California before, they wanted us to violate NFPA 30A, 52, and 70E (designs were for fuel dispensing locations) all over to save costs. Also, if I saw this in my house I would be calling a lawyer before calling the third party electrician because that wiring screams future lawsuit. The only way I would feel comfortable with any correction is if it involved tear down the walls and allowing a third party to inspect the work. I don't know a lot about NEC, most of my work is exempt from NEC, but I've read enough to be horrified by that install.
Thanks for sharing your experience. And I too would have insisted that the walls be opened and all of their wiring redone.
Thanks for taking the time to teach the two workers how to do the job properly. You likely saved homes and lives.
Thanks for your comment. I love showing others what I know, and learning from others what I don't know.
I admire your determination, BAE, in keeping on with challenging the work done. It would be immoral to leave people with such a dismal 'installation', or botched job to give a better description. I've seen better workmanship carried out by DIY enthusiasts!The UK system of training and also inspection do seem to have the edge. There's no way the stuff you've showed would pass muster here. Just the sight of that main truss with the huge piece cut out of it was enough to chill the blood of a competent builder.
I know nothing about how work is inspected in the UK, but I do know one English general contractor here and his work is stellar. I also know one French electrician and his training was superb. We don't have trade schools like I've heard about in Europe.
I was an Electrical Inspector in Oregon after working many years as a General Journeyman, and have been retired since 2004. Generally, in Oregon we tried to feed the power to a lighting circuit in at the switch and run the legs up to the various fixtures. We tried to start outlet circuits near the panel and run through the wall, around the house. I avoided putting hot wires in the attic if I could, knowing that if anything went wrong, I might have to get up there to fix it.Generally speaking, lots of California trained Electricians fed the power to the fixture and the switch leg went down to the box containing the switch.I didn't last long as an Inspector because of what I saw going on.
It is now the code that the circuit comes into the switch box because neutrals are required in the switch boxes. I have always come into the switch and ran switch legs to the lights. I hate trouble shooting when I have to remove light fixtures. I would much rather stand up at the switch box and check the wiring. Who wants to be on a ladder, maybe over someone's bed and troubleshoot? I have found in many apartment building all of the circuits run through the light boxes. The wiring is usually 75° C wiring and the insulation is damaged because of too high a wattage of light bulbs, (too high ambient heat) and then you end up having to fix the wires with loom and tape or worse from the attic or open the ceiling. Thanks for sharing your experiences.
I remember doing some really shady work for an outdoor kitchen company in college. They had me going out by myself after like 6 hours of training doing electric, pluming and stonework. I feel really bad for the people who spent upwards of 20 grand on that shitty work. Feel even worse for the people who inevitably tried to repair something 2 years later and found the shit-show that me and those other kids left
It is great to hear someone like you with a conscience. It strengthens my faith in the goodness of most people. We all can reflect back on mistakes we have made for whatever reason, and some people correct themselves and other don't. I believe you are the former . . . Thanks for sharing.
As a 16 year old going for a career in the medical field with no interest in any of the work this video involves, nor knowledge of said work, this video makes me cringe. I don't know how you could possibly go through with such a job like this and not see your own errors! The guys doing this MUST have known what they are doing! I really hope that these people that did the electrical never go near so much as a wire again.
@pogga irl Of course, I understand your position. I met his workers, and they were eager to learn. I doubt that financially these individuals could afford to be fired. This world is filled with moral dilemmas and decisions that reach for our higher selves. The General Contractor is very well off, and continued his greed. His laborers wanted to pay their rent, and buy food. I worked as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer for 4 years and 3 months in the third world, and had to make many decisions that challenged my ideals. If I were to have the power, I would prosecute the General Contractor and train his laborers. His laborers did carpentry, plumbing, sheet metal, insulation, drywall, electrical etc. etc. And I do understand your position, which we could write volumes.
@BayAreaElectric I can agree with you, but I have one problem: if he is a con man, the workers must know this, no? If they have no idea what they're doing, then they're only in it for the money. If they do have an idea what they're doing but they're doing work this poor of quality, then they're also just in it for the money. See where I'm going with this?
il IL. In my opinion the General Contractor was unethical. It was all about the money. He used people who were not trained to make more money. On yelp, he has stellar reviews, because he is a con man. He tried double talking me, but it fell on deaf ears. Believe me it was not the fault of the workers.
Great video! I wish i could say that i cant believe this. NOT that some scab contractor screwed up the job but rather the pensioned and salaried inspector passed the installation. I see it all the time, always on remodels! I feel that if there were some REAL penalties for failing to properly inspect installations these situations could be avoided. The inspector should be investigated and the contractor fined for this. No excuses.
Yes, the fact that inspectors can allow this without consequence is appalling.
Oh brother this brings back memories. in the 80's the city in which I lived had a Mayor and city council which were heavily in favor of development. Developers started building at a higher rate then had ever been seen previously. In this city were many older homes that had been built on spacious lots. Soon multi unit condos projects with 80-120 units stood where previously 1 or 2 single family homes ad been. The building inspectors, as was discovered after the fact, were doing "drive by inspections".Hundreds of these buildings were constructed with a dangerously few good inspections. I came into this after the court settlement was reached. The list of serious decencies was staggering. Shear walls nailing not to code, hold downs, weak concrete footings, insufficient rebar in the rook of underground parking lots the lists went on and on. Total disaster.
Your experience has shown you how important good inspections need to be. Thanks, for sharing your experience.
I was in the same situation in my house. It was inspected and then a few months after buying it I started some basic remodeling. The electrical was a mess. Junction boxes everywhere, including behind walls and in the cold air return of the heating system! My favorite was the switch for the porch light that also operated all of the recessed lights in the living room. There were two switches in a 2-gang box, but only one worked and operated all of the lights just mentioned. When I pulled it apart, there was a mess of wires that made so little sense that I cut the whole thing out and traced the mess back to the panel to start from scratch. They also simply cut out ground wires in many places!
I know what you had to go through. Glad to hear that you have straightened it out. Thanks for your comments.
It's quite sad how true this is, I was an Electrician for 10 years and I seen everything this guy showed just about I never seen the horrible work he showed at the end though and now I work as a Gas Technician and I see even scarier things.... bad wiring will burn your house down but a bad gas piping install can blow up an entire sub-devision
I didn't check to see if he worked on the furnace.
I am shocked to see that & can only imagine someone will be seriously injured or killed. I hope you expressed the dangers & advised them to hire an attorney to look into the practice of the building inspectors as well as the "contractor".
I did do what you suggested, but to no avail.
When I go for my electrical apprenticeship I'll keep this channel subscribed; codes may vary from country to country, but skill, talent and doing the job right is pretty universal.
Zombie1Boy - You can also ask me any questions you like about the code or good electrical practices.
IDK Why this video was recommended to me by youtube, but, that was incredibly generous of you to teach those men how to properly do the job, incredibly respectable.
Thanks . . . I find teaching fun.
Mind boggling. I do most of my electrical work myself, because I know what I'm doing. I'm not a professional, but I guarantee everything I've done would pass inspection (my most common complaint is that I OVER engineer things, really). When I need professional help, I have a select few I call - like when I needed the main breaker panel (circa 1972) replaced. The permit inspector came over, looked at the finished work, and said, "Man... this guy almost needs to be hospitalized he's so anal-rententive!!" I responded, "That's why I use him. Attention to detail is a Good Thing in electrical systems." He laughed, but I don't think he got my point.After seeing your vids, I'd definitely consider contacting you next time I need major work done. Good job!!
Sometimes you have to be assertive with the inspector. Like all of us, they make mistakes too. Once they are shown in a polite manner most will learn how to enforce the code more accurately, though the process is not without . . . well, you know what I am trying to say, "some backlash."
Thanks. The National Electrical Code is the minimum standard by which the installation is judged. I'll bet in school you aspired to get more than a "C-" in your subjects. Doing an electrical installation above the "C-" level is laudatory. Thanks for your comments.
Here in my town, I heard that one of our previous building inspectors would fail a job even if it was above and beyond code because it "wasn't what the code said."
Remember the National Electrical Code is a minimum standard. It is always good to aspire to do "A" work rather than "C-." Thanks for your comments.
I've always done my own electrical work but I also respect electricity. When I bought my first home I bought a book and read it. Every improvement I made was checked and double-checked against that book. The work in this video is unbelievable.
There is no doubt that you did a superior job.
Let me get this straight. You expect a city inspector (who is a government employee) to actually do their job fully and responsibly?
Yes. Decades ago when I was in the Army, I use to hear, "It is good enough for government work." I hate those words and the people who believe in them. Maybe hate is too strong a word, but perhaps you know how I feel about lazy people.
When I started to watch this I thought that the homeowner did the work himself and then tried to deflect the problems to the "contractor". When you said that you asked the owner for the contractor's details, I thought ...here we go. I was surprised that it was an actual contractor. I have to be honest, I have done my own wiring, but I purchase the "Standard" (Australians version of your "code") and follow it to the letter. Then I hire a licensed guy to come and check my work and do the final "hot" connection to the main. When he came to inspect, he was gobsmacked, said he had rarely seen "anyone" follow the standard exactly, he said most tradesmen take some shortcuts because they think they know better than the standard, I did fell a little chuffed, but it probably took me 5 times longer than a tradie, but at the end of the day I got a wiring job done exactly to the AS/NZ wiring standard and a certificate of compliance from a tradie.
Good video. It happens everywhere. My house was built by the builder of the neighborhood for his own home. You would expect it to be better and safer than the others in the neighborhood which only could have passed plumbing and electrical inspection with a bribe. Nope, I hesitate to open a wall for anything as I know I will find at least 2-3 code violations that need to be dealt with and one or two other plumbing issues that are just stupid (like the three "P" traps on my bathroom sink, one under the basin and two under the floor). If I ever meet the county inspector(s) who signed off on my property, I'm going to punch him.
Some builders think first and foremost about money and their work shows it. Others care about the trades and their workmanship is great. It all gets down to character and morals.
I just learned how to rewire my entire kitchen (to the studs) I went slow, read the code, asked when I didn't know and used channels like this to help me understand. By no means could I go solve weird problems, but damn, take pride in your work!
WOW!!!!! I have never.... As a 15 year IBEW journeyman electrician this gives me the shivers. I have seen a lot of bad work, I have even seen someone wire a bathroom fan/light like the can light except even worse because the sheath was stripped back about a foot, but I have never seen that many insane violation and absolutely straight up fire hazards. I guess I'm glad I've been so sheltered.
. . . and you have been well trained. The union provides superior instruction and high standards. I know you have seen much and will see much more.
This is outrageous. I dare say in all probability since it has happened this once, it has probably happened other times. They should find out who inspected and approved this work then audit their history of approvals.
You would think so! I turned in my photos and comments to the building department, and have subsequently been to the home for other issues. Without permission to investigate, I see some of the same code violations I documented. If I were to told to sleuth, I'm sure that many issues still exist.
Dear god, that is horrifying. Thank you for making the effort to bring these types of issues to the public mind.
Thanks . . .
Sometimes, I run into something that makes me want to take apart an entire building just to see how weird it gets. I realized this when I took a wall sconce off and found no box, a hot with like two 4-inch segments added on in different wire sizes with different wire nuts, and a ground with 3 splices (again in different wires and wire nuts) that was just hanging out behind the wall not connected to anything. It was an old hotel that appears to have had many many years of just adding on without actually reworking what was there. So many floors, so many rooms, I can only fantasize how odd it really gets. I really liked finding out theres a chandelier controlled by switches on different floors, that was funny lol.You know itll take a while when you ask if anyone knows where the panels are, and the response is "Uuuuum lemme see if someone knows whether or not someone knows that."And so the hunt begins...Raze it to the ground and START OVER lol.
I too love checking/seeing the history of remodels. The oldest building I have worked on in this area is about 1865 (Vallombrosa Center in Menlo Park) and I found a beautiful fountain under this 1865 mansion.
I worked as an electrician's assistant. I assure you that the whole "out of sight, out of mind" thing happens a lot. I know I wouldn't have been happy to pay the bill for a lot of the work I saw completed.
Absolutely, in attics and crawl space the worse is usually hidden from the eyes of inspectors, but this was an open walls and ceiling inspection, so nothing should have been missed.
Oh I've seen that happen a few times too.
This general contractor should not have been paid, but sued.
Where I live it is required by law that wiring in buildings is made by qualified electricians.This is bit frustrating at times, since the job I do often leads me in to situations where there are minor electric problems which I know how to fix, but I can't.But this is a minor problem, compared to the benefits.Last statistics I could find were from 2014, but there 2 deaths inj that year related to electricity in the whole country with a population of 5.4 million.
Who thinks we in California are the most progressive?
This video keeps showing up in my recommendations for whatever reason, and every time I remember your plight. Keep doing the good work you do by not taking the cheep and/or easy way out.
I rewired my entire house myself, and I had no formal training, just basic instruction from a friend who was training to be an electrical engineer. I did a bunch of home improvement too. But I've never seen anything like this. Not even upgrading work done in the 30's of the last century. What kind of contractor just turns loose unskilled labor on your property? What state and municipality is this? I've seen some shoddy work in the state I currently reside in, but nada even approaching this level of chaos. this is criminal, especially when, not if, it burns down.
Spiffy Turtle. This work was done in California on the Mid-Peninsula south of San Francisco. It was all about making the General Contractor $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. Thanks for your comment.
Reminds me of the house I grew up in before my dad started fixing the electrical. The previous owner had done all the work himself and there was a junction box at the bottom of the stairs leading to the basement that had 3 different circuits running through it with wires terminating in the box. I'm surprised the house didn't burn down.
There is plenty of bad wiring out there produced by people who don't care or are ignorant. Thanks for your post.
I know how you feel, I used to train and certify alarm installers. Although it is mostly low voltage it has to follow very strict rules. I have had the misfortune to inspect some installs done by my "graduates". It's like they switched the do and don't lists. OMG, where did I go wrong.
My worst students were the " I've been doing this for 30 years, there's nothing you can teach me". the younger ones all did well
I'm sure you have been a good teacher. Some students are A students, others C, and lastly some don't make it.
Fire hazards aplenty, and my jaw literally dropped at that hacked rafter!! Gobsmacked that they would potentially compromise the structural integrity of the home rather than move or use a different light fixture... And this passed inspection eh? Wow...
Yes, it passed twice, but by the same inspector. Moving the fan would have been sooooooo easy, but they didn't think about that.
I wired my own home from start to finish, with no training really, but passed inspections admirably.Lack of training is not an excuse for poor workmanship.It is very easy to find the information required to make a good installation.The electrical coeds are available in hard copy and online, and it is relatively cheap for someone doing this as an occupation.Even for my own one off installation it makes sense to purchase a copy of the electrical safety codes and make sure the job is done right the first time."Hard working" and "willingness" should extend to preparation and research in their off hours, learning about the job that they are doing to ensure that they do it right.
Electrician here (Massachusetts) I have seen some crap like this too in attics. I have noticed that this garbage ALWAYS, and I mean ALWAYS, happens in the more expensive homes. I could never understand why. I never knew six 12-2 romex cables can fit inside a 4 inch by 1- 1/2 inch box, each with their own metal connector. Still that recessed can of yours beats mine. I had a happy home-owner simply remove the side of the built-in j-box to make the splices. Did this to ALL of them.As far as old work recessed cans are concerned, those damn things need to be banned.*Cough* I'm guilty of using drywall screws in a blue moon. But only if nothing else worked.*cough cough*
You and I are the same . . . and have seen the same. That recess light entry was my first time and i"ll bet the last. That was one in a billion. Who would ever think to come into the notches?
I used to do some handyman work in a small town where I grew up. There were two building inspectors. One was the former Fire Chief, the other was some woman who I think was a city clerk prior to being the other building inspector. The Fire Chief was a complete ball breaker. He insisted upon everything being done beyond code. She was always kind of a bitch to me, but once I pulled a stump out of the yard of her rental house for free, she let me do whatever I wanted and would sign off on anything, no inspection necessary. I have had to correct some very obvious electrical mistakes that she signed off on, so I have a feeling that sort of craziness occurs a lot.
Something is going on that is no right . . .
Wow... it's amazing to me to see this stuff. I can't believe there are so many wires going into a single junction box. Is that even allowed?
Wow, thanks for this. I've been renovating my home and I've tried to do things using as much common sense and stuff I can find on RUclip. I do have one double-gang plastic box (which I did put a plate on) in the attic, because I wired four recessed 3" LED cans into, and then wired it into a switch. I made sure they were sealed and insulation contact rated. Anyway, I now realize it would have been much better for me to daisy-chain them from the switch, to each LED can. That way I never would have even had to use a box. I think I'm going to go back and re-do it. But good Lord, my stuff didn't look like that. I made sure wires were protected, used the correct wire caps, etc. I'm very impressed with your video. It sounds like you're someone who really cares about your profession. I hope you continue to do well, you deserve it!
No, it is not allowed that is why they couldn't install a cover. I did not remove the cover - there was none. Every junction box has stamped in it the cubic inches that can go inside it. Every wire has a cubic inch rating and it is easy to add, and then decide how many wires can legally be added. For example a #12 is 2.25 cubic inches, a #14 is 2 cubic inches etc. etc. And then you use addition . . .
I went through VOTEC for computer electronics. Our instructor was smart enough to teach us the importance in planning your schematic before doing an install. We went from butts in chairs learning the basics, to wiring and testing with bread boards, to assembling/soldering circuit boards, to designing and installing housing electrical runs based on loads and calculating amperage for circuits, and to running and splicing fibre optic cables. Awesome instructor. Those were the most educational two years of high school I had. He would have kick our asses if he saw wiring installed like that.
Preparation and planning are paramount. Glad you enjoyed learning.
One time I went out to inspect a new construction neighborhood because we energized primary and had a fault. At this time roads had not been laid yet and we saw recently disturbed soil. By hand excavation we discovered the contractor that laid the water mains busted through the conduit. To top off not reporting the damage they even stole a considerable length of primary cable by pulling out of the conduit. No jokes. The whole industry is full of crooks and hack jobs.
I hear you. Good comments.
Wow, I have been a gc in ca for 17 years. Working on historic buildings in the Sacramento and bay area. I wish I could say I have seen worse...As to building inspectors. 50% of the time they do a quick walkthrough, 25% of tge time they look at everything. 25% of the time they don't get out of the truck.Lets just say I have sued local building departments 3 times, been a professional witness, 11 time, not lost yet.Ps, moved out of ca 2 years back. What a shock it was. Go into the building department, not have to wait in line, have questions answered right then and leave with less then $20 spent for the permit. Oh and the inspector show up on time, are polite, carry the code book with them and actually know what they are talking about.
I've seen work like this before. it's a real shame because the home owners aren't required to know all the ins and outs of electrical work, that's WHY they hire someone to do it. From then on it's trust, that it was done right to begin with. junctions in the attic are the worst offenders. I've had one "junction" that was just a spot under the insulation where the wires met.. that was it, me and the home owner were floored. the lack of care in that job frustrated me. yeah, I got paid, but I'd rather be paid to install fixtures and repair old installs that need updating than seeing a family that could have died from a house fire. disgraceful.
No doubt that you are a good electrician and more importantly a moral person. Thanks for sharing.
I restore apartments to a rent-able condition for a living and a couple weeks ago stumbled across an apartment where the crew of people who built it had taken all of their spare bits of un-usable drywall and spare board scraps etc (basically whatever they had left when they where done) and thrown them under the stairs and sealed it off. I thought this was bad but it looks like i'm just scratching the surface of what building contractors do lol.
Yes, you will discover much if you stay in the construction world. They were lazy and wanted to save time and money from disposal fees. Thanks for sharing your experience.
I have been an electrical contractor for over 40 years and I have seen some bad work(usually DIYers) but never anything this widespread.That was an accident waiting to happen.
I'd call it a disaster waiting to happen.
As a cable tech I have run into similar situations, though not as wide spread. I was crawling in an attic one time and came across three 12/2 lines that were spliced together (1 feed + 2 lines) and both the hot and neutral were missing the wire nuts (forget about a j-box). It was a good thing I saw it before as it was right where I was about to place my hand. Another was a duplex I was renting where the builders spliced behind the bathroom outlet to run to the living room and 3rd bedroom. We found this out because one day my wife called and said half the house had no power. I got home and noticed the GFI outlet in the bathroom was blackened. It never tripped, nor did the 20 amp breaker (GFI was rated at 15 amps). In the living room I had a plasma tv, dvr, xbox, and computer. The 3rd bedroom had three computers, two 19" crt monitors, all my chargers for work, a crt tv and another dvr. I calculated over 42 amps was being pulled when everything was running and was like this for almost a year and half. I would have corrected it myself but the house was wired with aluminum wiring and I wasn't going to mess with it. Would have been easy to fix too as the breaker box was on an inside wall in the master closet right next to the bathroom. Yep, 15 years as a cable tech and I have seen quite a bit.
Agreed. I do not understand why all the parts are wrong. Doesn't someone stock their truck with at least the most basic electrical parts / screws / etc? Insane and horrifying!
Did your house burn down due to sad electrical work?
yes, this was one of the worst, and I too have seen many.
While I've done very little commercial electrical, I've been doing industrial electrical troubleshooting and wiring for 5 years and it almost physically hurts to watch what those contractors did with that wiring job.
DevinWxChase - Industrial work I have done is all conduit, and sized properly. Thanks for commenting.
Great job. You're saving lives. What a shame that the city is so corrupt that they would sacrifice lives for money. Someone needs to go to prison for this.
They need to be held accountable.
In high school I did a co-op placement with an electrical company. One day I was brought out to a job where they had to fix another companies mistakes.. The amount of crap that the other company did wrong was amazing. Not just ground wires being unattached, but hot wires were bare in some places... HOT WIRES, WHAT THE HELL.
I was told a long time ago that a smart person learns from his/her their mistakes, but a wise person learns from the mistakes of others. Sometimes being smart pays a high price, good luck on your journey to becoming wise.
In the process to buy a home, we paid an inspector to do a "complete" inspection, which, according to him includes:Electrical, foundation, roof/structure, mold, insulation and the complete plumbing . After giving him over $1500 he gave us the report, which stated that he opened walls and ceiling and reviewed all applicable building codes. He gave us two things that he recommended fixing; windows are the old single pane type and the chimney wasn't sleeved. Fortunately for us, my father in law is an inspector and was visiting us over the holidays, so we asked him to give it a once over, as I have no confidence in an inspector that gives an un renovated, 90+ year old country house a 99.9% pass. Here's what he found: lead pipes, asbestos (inside and outside), exposed live wires surrounded by "horse hair" insulation, 6 meter crack in the foundation hidden behind the styro insulation in the basement and well over a dozen scorch marks in plain sight, where electrical fires tried to catch but somehow didn't burn the house down. When confronted the original inspector who said that he "wasn't obligated to do any more than the minimum of peeking around and passing the inspection so long as nothing is "visibly wrong"". Bear in mind, we paid him for a "full" inspection and not a "visual" inspection, which he also offered for $500. We live in a remote area of Quebec and he is the only inspector. Mercifully, the house burned down before we could even get hold of the agent to tell him to scuttle the paperwork. I can 100% believe that the shoddy work in this video is easy to come by, as most people won't know they are in a death trap until it burns, or someone dedicated, like you, sir, comes along. Please be careful and require that you are present for the inspection and have them show and explain everything they do and do not look at.
Since you obviously know what you're doing, I wonder if you could please settle a question I've had since I helped install a couple circuits in my sister's house? When installing a duplex receptacle in the middle of a run on a 15A circuit, does it matter that I used the two sets of screws on the receptacle - one set for the wire coming from the circuit panel, the other set for the wires running to the next receptacle? After I finished, someone suggested that it would have been better to pigtail in the receptacle rather than having, potentially, 15 amps of current running through that small metal tab that connects the two halves of the duplex receptacle. What are your thoughts? Did I violate any electrical code? Is it worth going back in and pigtailing the receptacles or can those connecting tabs safely handle the full rating of 15 amps?
If it is not a multi-wire circuit, and your connections are tight it sounds okay. Remember a picture is worth a thousand words.
Thanks for the quick reply. The circuit is definitely not sharing a neutral with another circuit. I am not an electrician and would never have attempted something like that without the necessary expertise. Neutral wire goes directly to the neutral bus in the breaker panel.
Great question, and I won't give a definite answer because I don't have enough facts. You may not understand what I am going to say, but here goes. If you are coming off a a multi-wire circuit you committed a code violation. A multi-wire circuit is one that is sharing a common neutral with another circuit. If this is the case, you must have a pigtail splice. If it is not a multi-wire circuit the code allows you to do what you have described, so you can see that I cannot answer your question definitively without knowing this fact. Now lets pretend that it is not a multi-wire circuit, then it is not a code violation and most likely the devise you are using is 15 amp rated, which most of them are so the tabs are not an issue. What do I do? All of my connections are pigtailed. When you change the devise you don't want to disconnect power going down steam, and all of our trouble shooting is done with live power. Going back to the multi-wire issue, it is dangerous to lose the neutral connection before the hot one because high voltage can be sent down stream damaging equipment. So in conclusion to err on the side of safety a pigtail splice is always safer. But I have not said you have violated the code because I do not have enough information about your job. Again, great question and you have proven yourself to be a great student and someone who is to be admired because of your curiosity.
My experience with electrical wiring/routing stops at 36v DC, however even I could tell the way that those fixtures and boxes were wired is ASKING for short circuits, arcing, and, consequently, fires. I'm glad someone was there to fix the problem before it became worse - those electricians were just hacking together 120v AC lines!
True, thanks for your comments.
I flipped out when I saw the grounding put into the wood. I'm 15 years old but damn they really weren't schooled enough for this. This is why I'm careful about contractors and their workers. I'm glad that my dad taught me about construction and electricity at a very young age so now I already have a head start for saving money and for my career job of working in the military as an engineer. Nice video as well, I enjoy watching videos like these because you always learn something from them and how not to end up like that grounding wire.
You sound like a smart kid with standards. I went through cryptography training in the Army, it was excellent training with electronics. No matter your age, the exciting thing about life is there is always more to learn. Your parents should be proud of you.
I think this house should have been classified as "unsuitable for occupancy" until the entire electric system was replaced by qualified electricians. This is a really scary expose.
You and I are on the same page.
I was an electrician for fifteen years, and now am a site super for a general contractor and I'm sad to say that I have seen (and fixed) plenty of work like this. I've even had the contractor who did the work tell me "It passed inspection, therefore this work complies to code". I often wonder which inspectors pass that kind of work, never the ones who inspect my jobs! They used to bust my balls for one lock-nut that wasn't tight enough to suit them!
We have had similar experiences.
Good thing it's hard to start an electrical fire because I've seen so much crap over the years. But that job is the largest amount of crap in 1 place than I've ever seen. Kudos on helping those guys, most would've been spiteful. You may have saved someone's future home if they learned a few things.
Brian 716 - I've seem hundreds of bad jobs, but this is for me too the worse I've ever seen that was inspected and PASSED/SIGNED OFF. Thanks for the comments and your kind words.
This is a very scary situation.The home owner should be taking the contractor to court!
I have to say I laughed so hard at this video. After building for 15 years, and inspecting for 4, I have never seen anything like this in my life. This is HANDS DOWN the worst of worst case scenarios. The city I work at would have fired the inspector, and requested liscensing from anyone working on this house. We don't let contractors or anyone use 14/2 here, it's all 12. If we open an attic access and see Nm run over rafters its red tag city. If we caught something of this nature here we'd issue a stop work order so fast their heads would spin. I bet the home owners were terrified. Sad sad sad.
Until recently Pacifica just south of San Francisco didn't allow 14 AWG, they do now. But for many years electrical contractors were surprised when they used 14 AWG and had to pull it out. The rule never made sense to me, but I worked in Pacifica a few times and I knew the rule, so I only used 12 AWG. I too use 14 AWG for lighting, and use 12 AWG on the receptacles. I guess I'm a bit of a whim because I don't like to fight with #12 in recess lights, so I've always used #14. Speaking of the Zinsco Panel, I didn't mention it in my video, but it is located in a clothes closet downstairs. The general contractor took circuits from it, so it should no longer have been "grandfathered in." It could have been easily reversed into a short section of an "L Shaped" hallway. In addition the panel had burned bussing in several places, which is also common to Zinsco Panels. I think I should have taken more time with this video and mentioned more troubling violations. At least, I told you about the violation of taking circuits from a panel in a clothes closet. I'll bet the inspector never looked in the closet.
Yes, I did notice the Zinsco breakers, and I didn't like it one bit. I am well aware of the issues with Federal Pacific, Zinsco, Pushmatic, and several other decades-old brands. Whenever I encounter an older panel for which breakers are no longer readily available, I will always recommend to the customer that they have me replace it with a new one, and I will give them a fair price for such.The 14AWG comment was directed at another user, Fred, who says that #14 is not allowed in his jurisdiction. I was curious where it was, because I have never had an inspector tell me that #14 was not allowed to be used. I use it only for lighting circuits, which I always wire separate from any receptacle outlets or other loads.
Number 14 AWG is allowed for 15-amp circuits. In this video they used #14 on 20 amp circuits. Did you notice that the circuit breakers are Zinsco? Next to Federal Pacific these are the slowest tripping circuit that I have encountered. Ask any experienced electrician and they will confirm my assessment.
Where are you that they don't allow 14AWG wire for 15-amp lighting circuits? I've never heard of such a thing.
One reason I don't believe in Yelp is because this company has many high ratings. The general contractor came from the software industry with NO previous trade experience. He is a slick talker and could sell sand in the desert. I met with him and I knew within minutes of speaking with him that he knew nothing about construction and blamed "his men." Can you imagine that after the job was signed off and the homeowners were ready to use the master bathroom that there were no receptacles. The general told the lady that this was a common oversight. They went back and fished in a couple of GFCI receptacles. AND how did the inspector miss testing the receptacles at the final?
The homeowner deserves work done to code and should have their own inspections done and pursue the contractor aggressively! Also, the poor work discovered in boxes should be enough for the homeowner to get the walls opened, wiring investigated, and repaired, At the expense of the contractor who did the bad electrical work.
Never depend on the inspector to protect you or your property.
Of course, I agree with you.
All this assuming that the inspector knows anything. The one that did my house did not.Even went so far as to miss a required cold air return on the 2nd floor.
everything in this video reminds me of my house when i bought it. except my house was built in 1880 and the wires were all paper back with cracking rubber. after a few months and 750ft of new wire i finally got it modernized
. . . thanks for commenting . . . it seems we've made little progress in one hundred and thirty-five years.
Thank you for your video. I would do your best to get that GC banished off the face of the planet. You and I both know that's not the first house with that type of work and likely won't be the last despite your inquires. GCs like these are STEALING money from the homeowner and forcing them to live in unsafe conditions.
I agree that contractors like the ones who do this kind of work are thieves. I'm sure it wasn't the first and why would he change now.
Short story told to me by an electrician while he was checking the new wiring I did to my house: He installed all the wiring in a new house. Everything. By the book. The only thing he did not do was to put the lids on the junction boxes in the walls. (here there is usually a small junction box in every room). This was because he was going to do a final checkup after the walls(brick) were plastered with a cement/lime/sand mix. After a while the owner calls him to complain that the house is "energised". Touching the walls would give you a small electric shock and the power meter was spinning wildly. When he went to check the wiring he found NO junction boxes. The idiots had filled them with plaster. Man, the plaster guys almost got their asses kicked. The whole cost of plastering was refunded and they also had to pay for drilling out the junction boxes.
Brandon Francey This general contractor did exactly what you said and did not fix all of his work. But he did smile a lot and assure the homeowners that I was "making this too big of a deal."
sobolanul96 - I wish it would cost this general contractor something other than his smiles and excuses. It must have been an tremendous task to clean out every junction box. Thanks for replying.
Oh most are aware, that is why they do their damnist to not fix their sub par work. They will send out the most useless guy on the crew to poke and prod for a few hours, then when nothing is fixed, complain that it's not costing him money to do anything more so he won't be coming back out.
The plaster is a wet mix. Imagine pouring a watery cement mix in the junction box... From there the electricity traveled through the still wet wall, etc. You are right. The big contractors hire the cheapest workforce available failing to realize that it costs them more to fix after those unskilled workers than to pay for skilled workers from the beginning.
The workers were ignorant (we all come into the world knowing nothing), but the general building contractor was greedy, so he hired people who would cost him less.
I just shake my head sometimes to how some contractors can sleep at night knowing they are or have contributed to a possible life risk to those in residence. I have seen some nasty work in my years of construction but not as bad as I have seen in this video and others similar. The fact that they had passed inspection has me question the initial inspector.
An experienced contractor knows and understands that it's not how much work you do that makes you money, but reputation. If the contractor in question does shoddy electrical work, then they should not be in business. I personally would track them down and show the contractor this video and ask 'How can you walk away from work that you know is a health risk?', then ask if they had children and would the contractor be comfortable with their own children being at risk. That wiring is only 110 but what if it was 220 or the wire that extends from street to the house and fuse box.No lawsuit required just a review of the contractor's certification. I'm not against anyone wanting to make a living. However, there is a right way and a wrong way. This video certainly displays the wrong way.
I prefer a lawsuit, and the necessary corrections. Or just the corrections, and an examination of his other work.
@BayAreaElectric Why do I have the feeling there will either be a lawsuit or a fire somewhere down the road? Possibly both.
Meaning they did all phases of the remodel, which included the electrical. Imagine the other work . . .
You had stated the installer and in their employ wear many hats.
I'm not even an electrician and *I* can see the various issues and violations!I may have done one semester in diesel technology but they made it crystal clear that you DON'T leave electrical cords UNSECURED!tape it up, tie it down, or fit it with plastic hose!also.....we had to mess with a basic electric system: a metal box that has multiple outlets to connect wires to lights or noise makers; my partner and I got a wire backwards and added an electrical current......before we knew it the shop was smoking and the plastic casing was melting!
@BayAreaElectric I've stopped going to college.....once the cops got involved I split the scene and I'm working on independent studies (piano, japanese language, and automotive)
. . . and you are continuing to learn. Thanks for the story . . . and good luck in your future.
If you are not already familiar I suggest you look up the Badger house fire in Stamford Connecticut that occurred on Christmas morning 2012 where three young daughters and the two elderly Grandparents were consumed in a house fire while the mother and the contractor boyfriend were sleeping downstairs A 1920 two-and-a-half story frame house at the end of a cul-de-sac was undergoing complete renovation for quite some time and and with the construction being incomplete they were granted a a temporary Certificate of Occupancy when in the aftermath it was clear to the most untrained eye the house was not in any condition to be occupied with scaffolding still surrounding the house siding unfinished and who knows what else to say the very leastFirefighters on the scene battling the flames attested that the fire was out of control as the balloon frame structure with the wall framing extending from the foundation to the roof line contained no fire stops and none were installed during the recent improvements before the framing were covered that they could see as they open the walls to fight the fire I only bring this up because the next morning news reporters from local papers were on the scene taking pictures and one happened to catch a photograph of the back of the rear entryway vestibule, which they later call the mud room and clearly it was a photograph of a sub panel which appeared to have arcing burn marks emanating from it onto the wood siding.The mother and the contractor told the authorities they had enjoyed a Christmas Eve in front of the fireplace and when the fire was out the contractor boyfriend had swept up the ashes so Santa wouldn't get burned, they told the young girls and putting them in a paper bag he placed them them in a covered metal receptacle in the mudroom claiming that this is where the fire must have started. Though in later depositions the contractor claimed the mother had put the ashes in the mudroom and he had taken the blame originally to protect herThe contractor disappeared himself for a while, then resurfaced though his records were difficult to attain, The mother, Madonna Badger was found to have deleted all records and photographs of the construction project from her ex husband's computer, though he attested she had permission to access his apartment and his computerThe contractor's insurers agreed to settle the lawsuit by paying seven million dollars to the estate of the three little girls.The father of the three girls who lived in Manhattan said publicly to Katie Couric he could not go on living without his three daughters and was determined to bring Justice to those who caused their death and filed suit against the City of Stamford claiming they were responsible[ From The Hartford Courant - Matthew Badger (the father) argued that the city was reckless by giving (the contractor) Borcina , who had no contractor's license, a building permit. He also argued that the city approved plans that didn't include smoke detectors in the girls' third-floor bedrooms, which he said was a statutory requirement.A key issue was the city's decision to demolish the house two days after the fire without telling Madonna Badger. The lawsuit named the city Director of Operations Ernie Orgera and Chief Building Official Robert DeMarco as defendants and alleged that they conspired to illegally demolish the house to spare the city from legal liability.Within a few days the entire house was carted away and destroyed, prohibiting any private investigators or insurance investigators from looking into the cause of the fire. In depositions, the city's two fire marshals acknowledged that the swift demolition of the house and destruction of debris made further investigation impossible ]City officials testified however they all circled the wagons, even one refusing to testify.With neither physical evidence nor testimony to prove liability the court had no choice but to find for the motion to dismiss the case though in it's finding it admonish the city and its employees for its actions. The city did agree to settle the lawsuit for undisclosed amounts to the Estates of the children and the grandparents though public records show that six million dollars was paid to the children's estate with the grandparents estate settlement unknownAnd sadly true to his word Mr Badger one month after his case was disposed passed away from an unknown cause except stated as natural causes. Heartbreaking. And this past October Michael Borcina, passed away from cancer, his years after the fire were spent working for Habitat for Humanity. I'll leave it up to you as to what the total number of victims were as result of this circumstance. As a footnote then-mayor Dannel Malloy is now the governor of the state of ConnecticutSo five lives perished in the fire, two more in the years shortly thereafter when malfeasance, negligence and conspiracy surely seem to be at the root of it all and nobody personally went to jail or lost their job or had to pay out of pocket or had wages garnished. They get to continue on with their lives doing their job as city employees the same way with no accountability, to collect their paychecks and later their pensions with one making it all the way to the State House and as all governors do with hopes and aspirations one day moving to higher office. The only consequence we can hope for is that these people have some kind of conscious and for the rest of their days their sleep will be disturbed by the images of three small girls and two elderly trying to escape the flames of a burning building that they could have prevented and the heartbreak of their loved ones. If not then truly these people truly are sociopaths with no empathy and feeling for the pain of others. So sad there are re these that not only walk among us but are in positions of authority vested with Public SafetyI'm sorry for blowing up your comment box, but your video was diligent thoughtful sincere accurate responsible and spot-on and it triggered this in me, something I've watched from day one and followed every development and in the end has left me disturbed and unsettled over how this could continue in our society todaySeeing what you saw on your video brought back the possibility of this happening over and again to innocent people by negligent people. Thank you and keep on fighting the good fight
Sadness and anger from your accounting strikes me. I loathe incompetency and dereliction of duty. I left two hours ago a city meeting with Jerry Hill our local Senator. I have been trying for almost a year to have a law passed in California, which would make it mandatory for any electrical work to be done by a licensed electrical contractor or a State Certified electrician. In California our State Contractor's License Board allows general contractors to do all of the electrical work without an electrical license or certification, if the general contractor performs two or more unrelated trades to carpentry . . . STUPID! As an electrical contractor (C10) I must used State Certified Electricians, but a general contractor who know far less than myself about electricity can use his laborers or anyone else in his employment . . . STUPID California law. Thanks for your comments. You and I have been cut from the same cloth.
I can't believe this building inspector was so gracious as to instruct workers, however hardworking but nonetheless unqualified, how to perform a job best given to those who were initially prepared. Could the homeowners bring suit against the city for criminal negligence?
Of course, the homeowner could bring suit, but didn't want trouble.
The best thing you did was to educate those workers. It sounds like many workers they are willing to learn and want to learn. Good video.
Such is true. Many people are willing to learn and I love working with anyone who wants to learn. It is plain fun. Thanks!
It reminds me on an "electrician" who did some wiring in my sister apartment: Using PE wire for two pole switches or leaving PE wire floating in a junction box. Quite a combination: When "real" PE and one of the two pole switches were all connected together (he must have forgotten that he used two of the green-yellow wires for lightning circuit) switching on one of the lights switched "live" all electrical appliances in the kitchen :)
We all make mistakes, but when trained we make fewer . . .
I've been out of the electric business for many years and in all my years I have never seen anything so bad and I have seen some pretty bizarre stuff over the years. I have even been correcting stuff in my house since I bought it in 95. House was built in 53 and was wired with 14/2 with a ground and you would not believe how many ground wires were cut off in the box instead of at least being tied around the internal clamp, that way at least the box would be grounded for future grounded receptacle replacement, worst part is they are all wired from above and junctioned in the attic so I really cant rewire from the top, but I have been able to wire a ground from the basement up to many of the boxes and ground them that way, but it is a pain.
14-2 is common and used on 15 amp circuits.
That sucks! 14-2 wire in a 53 house? I've never seen that before. Later than the 1970s I've only seen them use 12-2 wiring.
I'm sure it is not. Imagine cutting away a structural support for a light fixture.
Good comments. It was a pain, but you performed a safety feature for yourself and others.
I'm no contractor, and the only experience I have is by watching my grandparents and parents over the years and ease-dropping on their electrical discussion... But I can easily tell why this is a bad job. Why is the hell wouldn't they just put the damn ground onto a screw or something? just touch it to metal and you're good! (make it a good connection though)
They sure did, haha! They lived in Mexico for 21 years before moving to Arkansas with me and my parents and then a couple months ago moved to New Jersey, In Mexico, they had more than a million dollars worth of property, some of which they're still renting out and selling others. They built their own house there, and it's pretty cool, Hachach on top with a pool, palapa covering the hammock as well as 2 bedrooms, one of which they used for exercise, and they had several hammocks on the wrap-around porch. They're pretty skilled, they know electric, plumbing, and pretty much about everything in between. I bet they would have remodeled the house completely their selves if Arkansas state law would let them. (They bought an 116-year-old home in downtown and remodeled it, it had two homes on the same property, one was 1 story, 1 bed/bath with approx 400 sq ft. The larger house was about 1400 sq ft, two-story, and had the steepest flight of stairs I've ever gone up. They lived in the state of Oaxaca, in Mexico. I won't disclose the city out of respect of the people there, but if +BayAreaElectric would like to know, I'd be happy to tell you. (it's not like you could drive there easily... Their checkpoints are insane! Big, buff guys with fully automatic rifles and drug dogs. If you were to drive there, you'd be stopped by several of these checkpoints. We drove down to Dallas to fly to Oaxaca, a 3-hour plane trip, but let me tell you... The hills and scenery are spectacular! (though burning hot when you land since they rarely have air conditioning at these smaller airports) I've only heard of one large airport, in the capital.
They needed to have had grandparents and parents like yours.
This is an awesome video. Don't expect the inspector to find your problems, hire qualified journeymen to work for you.
You are absolutely correct. Hire qualified people and the inspector is only for show, and he/she can learn something from you.
I see this kind of thing too often myself. It is amazing that there aren't 20x more electrical fires and/or electrocutions than there are. There are electricians, and then there are those who just are not afraid of electricity. And those people scare me.
They scare me too. And how about the young girls who live in the house?
Sir I really like the fact the you helped the guys showing them the correct way, as a former inspector I would find many unsafe projects and would do the same as you did. They won't ever forget that.....
Thanks for you comments.
Once when I was rebuilding a wall, I had to move an outlet. After taking off the metal cover and getting to the outlet, I found that they stripped the wires ~1in down. There is where they attached the wires to the outlet. Oh, and they also forgot that outlets need to be grounded.
Like in every area of life there are standards we all hold ourselves to - some are high and others, well you know.
Great video. I have a home in the north bay with some exposed junction boxes in the attic. These might have been installed in the 70s/80s. What's the best way of making safe?
You give me photos and I'll give you my opinion. The person below said to "Google." Do that and you'll find my company, Bay Area Electric in San Mateo and send photos to my email. I don't want the job, I have too much work anyway and have had for decades. If you read my website you'll understand why I like to teach and do pro bono work.
dancudds first off, you don't go to youtube for answers😂. second, better off with google
"Common oversight" that there was no (grounded) outlets in the bathroom. Jesus wept. I love that this video is calling out the failures one, after another, after another. What upsets me is that this team has to come in and fix the work of a clearly untrained batch of monkeys, at (what is probably) the homeowner's expense, and then the owner is left to fight with the builder! Where is the city's accountability on this? They passed this mess! If you needed proof that the city inspection/permitting process isn't about standards and codes but is really about generating revenue, you need not look any further.Absolutely appalling.
The homeowner (wife) said that when the bathroom was finished there were no receptacles in the bathroom, and when she asked the general contractor his reply was, "this is a common oversight." The receptacles were added. The city has no liability or accountability. Thanks for your comments.
ya i cant believe this all got past the inspector. I help an electrician and we come across questionable things all the time that we end up having to fix that somehow got past previously. the sad thing is i know to some extent, it comes down to pay, but even so, i couldn't knowingly leave a place with a potential fire hazard or any hazard for that matter.
Some cities have good inspections, and others are like this one.
I do all my own work, but I have very high standards. If you came to my house, you'd say my work was done by a very experienced journeyman. When my city inspector came out for my 200amp panel and meter upgrade. I got a stamp of approval in under 3 minutes. It was very clean, correct, and organized (Except I took the arc-faults back out until I put the house up for sale, hate those). That being said, I use some junction boxes in the attic. Normally in a situation where I like lights way too much. I'll use a junction box for sourcing the various lights and only run switch wires down to the light switch box. The reason is to prevent over crowding of the switch box. It's more of a problem as I don't believe in using anything less than 12ga wire for everything other than higher current circuits (above 20 amps). So yes, some people just don't understand professional work. I've had to reinstall entire low voltage installations because experienced electricians often don't understand signal and how it becomes lost, especially in the 3ghz band.
The switch boxes are the best place to bring your wires into, in fact the current code requires you bring the neutral into the switch boxes. There is no problem with box fill if you follow the rules. Every box is stamped with its cubic inches, and the formula to calculate box fill is in the code. For example, 2.25 cubic inch for a #12. Junction boxes are the exception in the attic and should be avoid for good work. I could write pages giving reasons, but suffice to say I would avoid them unless absolutely necessary. It is good that you have learned much, and your learning will continue your whole life. Good luck.
Absolutely shocking. I'm not an electrician or a contractor, and even I could do a far better job than that. Nice grounding system they had there---wood is an insulator, not a conductor lol
justsomeguytoyou. Thanks for commenting . . . I'm sure you could have done a better job.
holy hell! I've done a bit of minor electrical work but am in no way an electrician (my grandad was a lineman and knows a fair bit, and the two of us have repaired and installed a few circuits over the years, both 110 and 240). I don't understand the issue with the recessed lights (having no experience with recessed lights), but everything else is is very clearly... well, words escape me. There's no way these guys can be certified, right? This house is a huge fire hazard, and imo needs to be completely rewired.
Sebastian Hahn - . . . that is a good question. Can a general building contractor do electrical work in Georgia or does it have to be a licensed electrician? I would like to know. California is a large state with a big populations, but that does not mean we have the best building practices.
That doesn't sound like a very responsible law structure. And in California no less? I would have thought that Cali of all places would have very stringent and consistent regulations. I'd like to say that there's no way that something like this would fly here in Georgia, but I don't really know if that's the case.
Sebastian Hahn - You are correct there is no way these guys are certified to do electrical work. In California there is a big loophole in our contracting laws that allows General Building Contractors without any training or certification to do electrical work. On the contrary, I am an electrical contractor and I must be licensed and use certified electricians or apprentices who are enrolled in electrical school. BUT the law allows these GC's to do work without certification or electrical license. Go figure . . . Thanks for commenting.
Oh my God!!!!! As an electrician AND certified electrical safety inspector, I am amazed and disgusted!
They did electrical work, but they were not electricians. The general contractor's men did the work, which is legal where I live. But the inspector was certified and the city inspector.
addressed properly and professionally, much respect for you sir.
I'm actually glad I have 2 uncles who are qualified at most things. Roofing, Plumping, Electricity, and even Gas. One is a maintenance foreman, while the other does air conditioning for major corporate and industrial facilities, ie the big stuff, one of which is now retired. I've helped them a lot over the years with their instruction of course. Even when I was a teenager I could do better wiring than what I saw on this video. They're both home improvement do it your self gurus, and actually get angry when they notice stuff like this. I remember when we help redo my brother's home, roofing, wiring, plumping, even did the gas piping, the roof work. It was pretty bad, but the house was pretty old. One of my uncles was quite mad though that the roof used very thin plywood you couldn't even walk on it, we literally had to replace it all.I can do plumping and wiring, and confidently to boot, but you will not get me to touch gas, nope.... scares me to death. Too many bad Hollywood movies. What really bugs me about this video is, why the general contractor didn't at least provide proper educational materials for his new employees see one of them looked almost right out of school. They sell books on how to do proper wiring, it isn't rocket science.
Kameraden - An experienced electrician can tell much about the electrical system without opening walls. If in doubt, hire one.
Ya, wiring is serious. Improper installation can lead to a house fire, or accidental electrocution. Neither is a good thing, and that is just the serious problems. Let alone minor problems that will drive a home owner mad, when appliances or lights do not work properly. It's the one thing about buying a renovated home that would scare me. Even if it looks fine on the outside, who knows what it's likely behind the dry wall. Incidents like this do not reinforce people's confidence in the system.
Kameraden - Thanks for sharing some of your family history. Construction is fun and enjoyable for many of us. We continue to learn our whole lives and share our skills with family and friends. When I see my neighbors doing their own home projects, it is my pleasure to share tools and give them my thoughts. It is difficult for me to see a General Contractor like this one caring only about $$$$$. He doesn't care about his clients nor the men working for him. In fact, his work could seriously injury or kill those who are paying him, or maybe the next owners of the property. Thanks again.
My grandfather was a electrician at the Detroit opera house, first thing he taught me was never leave a wire exposed, this is just sad, I hope the GC has some sort of repercussions for this
His repercussions on this job have amounted to little. Will his work ever catch up with him, only time will tell.
This is just really sad, that in this day and age such a simple task can't be done properly. I'd expect such installations from the VERY early days of electricity, where NO building codes existed yet, and no one was concerned about safety.
There's no way they've been trained properly. Hell, even by grade 7 science class we learned that *wood is an insulator.* It's unfortunate people with little to no training end up in the field working in people's homes.
@BayAreaElectric I quite enjoyed the video! Entertaining and scary at the same time
Thanks for watching.
Yes this is appalling to say the least, something you might expects to see in a 3rd world country, but not in the USA. To my own dismay I have run across work like this, but not to the existent of this video. Thank you for posting this and showing others what might happen to them with substandard contracting work.
We have licensed electricians, but there is a loophole in the law. A general building contractor who is doing two unrelated trades such as dry wall and flooring is allowed to do the electrical without any training in electrical. This loophole is used all the time. I am a licensed electrical contractor and I must hire state certified electrician, but not a general building contractor. Thanks for your questioning comment.
Don't understand California not having licensed electrricians???
Thanks for your salient comments.
not only is it appalling that the city allow that to pass inspection it's appalling that a contractor would not follow up with his crew to make sure that all connections were done correctly as a handyman I make sure that all my electrical connections are by State Federal and city code I could not walk away from any electrical project without knowing that it is properly done and done the way I would want done I'm glad you brought this to light as people need to see just how bad some shabby contractors are thank you for posting this video it is I opening an alarming at the same time. Handyman247, Beloit, WI
California License law allows general contractors to do electrical work with no license or certification. It is a big loophole in our laws in California. A general contractor did this work without a licensed or certified electrician. Thanks for your comments.
That's nuts. I'm no electrician but I do my own work and am careful to read the code books (I buy new ones when the code changes), I ask the opinion of friends who are licensed when I do something new. It's called wanting to take pride in your work and do things right.If I saw that in a house I was considering buying, I'd walk away immediately. I assume these people will never be able to sell this house unless they find a buyer stupid enough to not use a home inspector, or they hire an idiot to do the inspections.I'd sue the living crap out of that GC, make them pay for remediation until it actually meets code. That probably would involve taking everything down to the studs again.
I know that a lot of code inspectors just assume that a licensed electrician did the job right and don't really look at it. Or maybe he gets paid off, who knows.If I were on the city payroll and I saw that shit, I would immediately call for any future inspections of this guy's work to be carried out by a city inspector and also a 3rd party walk-along. And I'd probably look into whether the city had the authority to re-inspect prior work.
I would sue and agree that everything should be taken down to the studs. A good home inspector will recommend in his/her report that they get an electrician and other specialists to do a further investigation.
wow.. i am untrained but grew up with electricians and i do my own work and have never seen anything that bad in my life.. unreal.
Through osmosis you know what a good job looks like even if you don't know the finer points.