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Funny Stories About Code Enforcement

 
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Old 02-16-2014, 05:48 PM   #21
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Re: Funny Stories About Code Enforcement


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Originally Posted by FramingPro View Post
Inspector comes to see footings.. "looks like footings"
I've heard that exact thing before too
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Old 02-16-2014, 06:12 PM   #22
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Re: Funny Stories About Code Enforcement


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Originally Posted by FramingPro View Post
Inspector comes to see footings.. "looks like footings"
I've had 'Hey I got tied up at the office... Did you have the steel in there?'
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Old 02-16-2014, 06:28 PM   #23
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Re: Funny Stories About Code Enforcement


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Originally Posted by TimelessQuality
We have a new hotshot guy that's trying to shake things up. A lot of other contractors have butted heads, but I play his game and he likes me.

He's added a 'drywall screw inspection', which under some remodel situations can be difficult...

I've 'heard' that one can draw screw heads with a sharpie, and he'll be none the wiser..:
We had a guy that came up from California that was/is the same way. He does know his stuff, but he's a real prick about it.

He came out for an inspection on a tri-plex we built and failed the plumbing. I called the plumber to let him know, he calls bs says everything is up to code and calls the inspector.

They both meet back at the job and the inspector tells the plumber he can't run his vent where he did that "that is plumbing 101, etc"

I really don't remember who won, but I was pretty sure someone was going to die that day! Ha ha
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Old 02-16-2014, 09:43 PM   #24
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Re: Funny Stories About Code Enforcement


Here we have 3 code standards.
Most strict, with some made up stuff. Applies to local contractors only
Meets code, mostly. Applies to out of town contractors
What code? Applies to property/business owner doing own work.

The guy who was on the roof making an estimate, reminded me of when I was in a kitchen, making an estimate. B/O shows up and tells me to stop what I am doing. I tell him I am making an estimate and before I can make an estimate, I need to know what nozzles are in the system. He says, I removed the nozzles and therefore I am doing work. And he writes me up.
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:38 PM   #25
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Re: Funny Stories About Code Enforcement


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Originally Posted by tedanderson View Post
He created a big stink over the whole thing by filing several complaints and I discovered that my house was visited by the local code enforcement officials when I got one of those red "STOP WORK" stickers on my window. So I went down to the code enforcement office to explain to them that there isn't any construction going on on my property.

......

Long story short, they dismissed the complaint but I never got any kind of apology for having my time wasted and that was pretty much the end of the issue.
I'd say you wasted your own time. I'd have thrown that "stop work" sticker in the trash since there was no "work" to "stop". If they wanted to call me and see why I never responded, I would have told them, but I'm not purposely taking time out of my day because they're incompetent.
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:19 PM   #26
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Re: Funny Stories About Code Enforcement


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Originally Posted by Dave in Pa View Post
Did a new house a few years back, the local building inspector was also the local Fire Marshal/Inspector. All he got us on was about 10 wires that didn't have the caulking around the openings between floors, and about 3 fire blockings that were missing. Never seen the row of about 16' of joist hangers missing! Hay Dave do ya know who I am referring to? lol His name starts with Jim!

Hey Dave, Yup I know exactly who you are talkin about!! He got me for a couple stupid things that he "liked to see" on an addition I was doing there. I have heard some stories about him


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Old 02-18-2014, 09:43 PM   #27
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Re: Funny Stories About Code Enforcement


I was the zoning administrator in a small town some years ago and it was my unpaid job to issue building permits.

The only thing which I was to ascertain was that the zoning classification allowed the building/use and that the setbacks were observed, etc. The basics.

A building permit at that time came up to about $20 I believe.

I issued a permit for a guy and his wife to bring in a pre-fab house and the wife called me one day and told me that the footings were formed up and ready for inspection.

I explained to her that there would be no inspections performed by any body of government and that if she felt the need to have something inspected, then she could go out and hire someone to do it to her satisfaction.

I think this sort of arrangement can freak out people who are accustomed to more regulations.
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:22 AM   #28
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Re: Funny Stories About Code Enforcement


What a great idea for a thread.

I'm far enough down the chain that I rarely have any interaction with these guys, but I did have a good time with one once. I was doing architectural sheet metal work. We were installing ridge vents, reglet (which served as the mechanical fastener at the top of the TPO around a flat section of the roof), and 6" commercial gutter on a church. Two different roofing companies had been involved (shingle and flat), electricians, plumbers, etc. Even seismic upgrades. Substantial project. We are the last guys on the site buttoning everything down. My partner went to pick up more materials so I was the only one working when the inspector showed up 2 days ahead of schedule.

He looked painfully out of place as he climbed up my ladder on to the roof. He starts walking around with his clipboard and asking me questions about all these different parts of the job. There are at least 3 guys in the chain of command between me and the person he should be talking to. But I know enough about the job and the applications he's asking about to answer the specific questions he was asking at that point so I just kept doing so, rather enjoying the situation he was creating. After a bit, "Why isn't this (TPO) mechanically fastened? This has to be mechanically fastened!" At that point it was basically flapping in the wind. That's what we were there to do. "Because it's Tuesday. And you aren't supposed to be here until Thursday. We're working on that today." Easy mistake, as they both start with T and end with Y.

Finally as he got into questions that I didn't know the answer to I said, "How should I know? I'm just installing the reglet. I work for a subcontractor. You should probably be asking the general contractor. Do you always go around asking these questions before finding out who you're talking to?"

He seemed a little embarrassed, but not as much as I had hoped. Then he decided to impress me with his ability to spot code violations in the neighboring residential yards. "What kind of railing is that?! And that one, that shed shouldn't be touching the property line!" He seriously found or made up a violation in every yard he could see from where we were.

Apparently he didn't have much to do because then he got to telling me about how he installed ridge vent on his mom's house. Something tells me that's also his house...

He kept talking for a while as I worked, but I guess eventually he got the hint and walked off without even saying goodbye. Weird dude.
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:31 AM   #29
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Re: Funny Stories About Code Enforcement


I was wrapping up a large custom home rough-in when the builder had a framing inspection.

This was a very complicated framing job, and in the attic was a huge lam-beam. Half the roof was supported by this beam. Near one end of the beam, on one side, there was a yellow chalk "N" on it. Now, God knows where this N came from. Maybe the factory, maybe the shipper, maybe the yard, maybe the delivery truck...... Anyway, the framing inspector saw it and said the beam was in backwards.

Huh?


The inspector said the "N" was at the south end of the house, and he wanted the beam 180-ed. The builder thought he was joking. He wasn't. He was dead serious..... the "N" is supposed to go on the NORTH end of the structure..... "That's what the "N" stands for!"

After the inspector left, the builder asked if I had overheard their conversation. I said I couldn't miss it. He said, "WTF am I gonna do? I can't pull off the roof (it had been shingled), yank off all those trusses just to end-for-end that friggin' beam!"

I said, "Well, just get yourself a sheet of 220-grit sandpaper and some chalk from the Dollar Store. Rub off that N, and re-write on the other side on the other end.

Honest to God, the next day the inspector came back, looked up, and said, "Yep, looks good. You can cover 'er up!" Seriously.... he thought that beam had been switched around overnight.
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:34 AM   #30
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Re: Funny Stories About Code Enforcement


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Originally Posted by 480sparky View Post
"Yep, looks good. You can cover 'er up!" Seriously.... he thought that beam had been switched around overnight.
That is AWESOME! Don't you love it when some idiot thinks you're the slow one, and it's that easy to nudge him just right so he can do his job? Nice work.
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:55 PM   #31
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Re: Funny Stories About Code Enforcement


I was doing a complete rehab on a house, all the way back to the studs. I have always prided myself for making sure all code requirements were fulfilled before calling for inspections.

We installed new electric and plumbing. When it came time for the code enforcement inspection I failed on the electric / plumbing inspection because I had not installed a by pass ground around the water meter.

Mind you, I did what was requested of me, installing a copper ground from one side of the water meter to the other side. I passed my inspection.

The only problem I saw here was all the pex tubing I used in the house. Even the water line coming into the house was plastic. The only copper on the water line was the meter itself and the adapters and short copper pipe used to attach to the meter.

Maybe I missed something here, and don't understand the reason as we were not using the cold water pipe for a ground. When I asked why the ground was needed; the only response I received from the code enforcement person was " it's required by code ".

Just when you think you have covered all the bases........
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Old 02-19-2014, 09:44 PM   #32
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Re: Funny Stories About Code Enforcement


Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceT
I was doing a complete rehab on a house, all the way back to the studs. I have always prided myself for making sure all code requirements were fulfilled before calling for inspections. We installed new electric and plumbing. When it came time for the code enforcement inspection I failed on the electric / plumbing inspection because I had not installed a by pass ground around the water meter. Mind you, I did what was requested of me, installing a copper ground from one side of the water meter to the other side. I passed my inspection. The only problem I saw here was all the pex tubing I used in the house. Even the water line coming into the house was plastic. The only copper on the water line was the meter itself and the adapters and short copper pipe used to attach to the meter. Maybe I missed something here, and don't understand the reason as we were not using the cold water pipe for a ground. When I asked why the ground was needed; the only response I received from the code enforcement person was " it's required by code ". Just when you think you have covered all the bases........

No electrician but my understanding is you need 2 grounds. So water main and a ground rod. If the main is PVC then you need 2 ground rods 10' apart. I could be wrong though
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Old 02-20-2014, 04:05 AM   #33
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Re: Funny Stories About Code Enforcement


If the main coming into the house was plastic, then you definitely need at least two grounds. Sometimes they will allow a trenched rebar ground in concrete, if you are sitting on bedrock. Ran into that once. 4' down, the rods ran into bedrock, so had to dig a 20' long trench, run a long piece of rebar down the middle of it, bond the ground wire to it, and then fill it with concrete.

That area was bad for no-ground situations. The trench worked perfectly.

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Old 02-20-2014, 04:24 AM   #34
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Re: Funny Stories About Code Enforcement


We had an inspector in our area who was famous for coming up with crazy stuff.

Once, I was doing a small addition with a shed roof. Ledger thru-bolted, tight nailing patterns, rafter ties in place- it was good, clean work. BUT...it was my first job in his jurisdiction, and he felt that he had to find SOMETHING, so I would respect him.

After walking around and scratching his head, he finally told me I needed to add Teko joist hangers to the TOPS of all the rafters, since I had Teko rafter ties on the BOTTOMS of all the rafters at the outer wall. "That way both ends of the rafters would have metal connections."

I decided that it would be faster to add the Tekos, so I did just as he asked. But I followed up with a letter thanking him for his service to our community, but also mentioned that there is no such code for this application. When he came back he was very friendly and gave me no more hassles on that job.

He turned out to be fine to work with, ESPECIALLY if he could go into the construction trailer and grab a mug of coffee and grab a handful of donuts or Little Debbies. We were building houses then, so we saw him weekly, almost daily. Once, there was no coffee or snacks, as I hadn't gotten there yet. He found a number of petty things, wrote us up and barged off.

I had a helper take 5 minutes to fix the little stuff and called for re-inspection. I also bought a box of Krispy Kremes with me the next morning, just for him. He came right in to the trailer, said, "MMMMMM!!!! DONUTS!!!", sat down at the table and started loading up.

After a while I asked if he wanted to re-inspect, and he said, "No, it was piddly stuff that I know you would have caught anyway. I was just mad because my sugar was low, I was hungry, and there was no food here! But these are great!"

Snack foods work wonders on the job.

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Old 02-20-2014, 03:28 PM   #35
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Re: Funny Stories About Code Enforcement


Quote:
Originally Posted by thill View Post
If the main coming into the house was plastic, then you definitely need at least two grounds. Sometimes they will allow a trenched rebar ground in concrete, if you are sitting on bedrock. Ran into that once. 4' down, the rods ran into bedrock, so had to dig a 20' long trench, run a long piece of rebar down the middle of it, bond the ground wire to it, and then fill it with concrete.

That area was bad for no-ground situations. The trench worked perfectly.

-TH
I neglected to mention there was no ground wire to any ground rods at all, only the electric panel had two ground rods to it. Thanks to all that have responded.
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Old 02-21-2014, 12:08 AM   #36
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Re: Funny Stories About Code Enforcement


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Originally Posted by jproffer View Post
If they wanted to call me and see why I never responded, I would have told them, but I'm not purposely taking time out of my day because they're incompetent.
Unfortunately it doesn't work that way around here. If you ignore any kind of charge or accusation from the local municipality, it only escalates.
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Old 02-21-2014, 12:13 AM   #37
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Re: Funny Stories About Code Enforcement


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Originally Posted by jlsconstruction View Post
No electrician but my understanding is you need 2 grounds. So water main and a ground rod. If the main is PVC then you need 2 ground rods 10' apart. I could be wrong though
NEC only requires two rods if you can't prove less than 25 ohms resistance on one rod.

Given the meters needed to do so are around $1000, most of us just install a second rod and call it a day.


Quote:
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I neglected to mention there was no ground wire to any ground rods at all, only the electric panel had two ground rods to it. Thanks to all that have responded.
Huh?
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Old 02-21-2014, 12:24 AM   #38
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Re: Funny Stories About Code Enforcement


Another story:

Working on an older 3-story house that had, over the years, been chopped up into 7 units. It was being converted back to a SFD.

One day, the plumber shows up with a garden hose. I comment about him doing a leak check on the waste & vent. "Yep!" he said.


Next day, I see him walking in with the hose again. "Whatcha doin' that for? Didn't you do that yesterday?"

He replied, "Yes, but I wanted to make sure I didn't have any leaks before I called for an inspection. I don't want to look stupid in front of the inspector."

Oh, I thought.... makes sense. I head on down into the basement to work on the main service.

A couple hours later, here the turdherder and the inspector come through, checking the basement. 2 minutes later, they're on the first floor, and I hear a loud POP and the sound of rushing water. Soon, it was raining in the basement and it was all I could do to get my tools out of the waterfall.

I finally make it upstairs to find out what was going on. The day before, the plumbing waste/vent didn't leak. But after the plumber left, the owner wanted to reroute one of the vent lines over a bathroom. So he naturally just did it himself. And, of course, he failed to mention this to the plumber.

Seems he forgot to glue an elbow. As the plumber and inspector were standing there (and remember, all the weight of the water in the pipe up and out of the roof!), the elbow lets go, immediately drains the system above it.......... and totally soaks the inspector.


I never did let the plumber forget about his "I don't want to look stupid in front of the inspector" episode.
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Old 02-21-2014, 09:28 AM   #39
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Re: Funny Stories About Code Enforcement


Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceT View Post
I was doing a complete rehab on a house, all the way back to the studs. I have always prided myself for making sure all code requirements were fulfilled before calling for inspections.

We installed new electric and plumbing. When it came time for the code enforcement inspection I failed on the electric / plumbing inspection because I had not installed a by pass ground around the water meter.

Mind you, I did what was requested of me, installing a copper ground from one side of the water meter to the other side. I passed my inspection.

The only problem I saw here was all the pex tubing I used in the house. Even the water line coming into the house was plastic. The only copper on the water line was the meter itself and the adapters and short copper pipe used to attach to the meter.

Maybe I missed something here, and don't understand the reason as we were not using the cold water pipe for a ground. When I asked why the ground was needed; the only response I received from the code enforcement person was " it's required by code ".

Just when you think you have covered all the bases........
So to put it in other words, you had to run a ground around a water meter in the middle of a non-conductive line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tedanderson View Post

Unfortunately it doesn't work that way around here. If you ignore any kind of charge or accusation from the local municipality, it only escalates.
What is there to escalate? They ordered you to stop work, which you weren't doing. There is nothing for you to stop so ignoring it has the same effect as obeying.
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Old 02-21-2014, 10:13 AM   #40
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Re: Funny Stories About Code Enforcement


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Unfortunately it doesn't work that way around here. If you ignore any kind of charge or accusation from the local municipality, it only escalates.
They can escalate it all they want. Nothing x something is still nothing. I'm not really one to just bow down to authority. Sometimes that's been a good thing, sometimes not...but that's the way it is.

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