How to Pass 99% of Your Electrical Inspections
By: JADE Learning | Feb 04, 2020
Recently while working as an electrical foreman I was able to pass fifty – yes, fifty!- electrical inspections in a row. I was a rock star to my crew, the GC and my employer. The crew respected me. I was keeping the project schedule on track. I was saving the company money in permitting fees and labor. I didn’t have to work an enormous amount of overtime, and I didn’t have to bring in bags of unmarked bills on inspection day. What I did is simply follow this basic procedure.
Before you begin the rough-in or trim out process it is very important to go over highlights of the National Electrical Code with your crew. Go over the specific details as it applies to your job to ensure they will install all items per code. Explain to the crew exactly what is needed per minimum NEC standards and advise them personally or per company of any other details that are needed to reflect a positive image. If your installation is neat and professional, there is a good chance it is also code compliant.
PREPARING FOR THE INSPECTION
Give yourself enough time to look over the crew’s work. Take your lead man with you as you play inspector and look over the installation. You must briefly look over every last detail just as the inspector is going to do when he arrives. Check the accuracy per plans, per NEC, and per local and state codes. Many jurisdictions and states have codes or interpretations that supersede the NEC and you must be familiar with those. Once you are happy with what you see, make sure the crew does a good clean up of that area. A clean area and an installation completed in a workmanship like manner is going to make the inspector feel good about what he is seeing.
On inspection day be prepared to drop everything and hurry to meet the inspector. Typically, these days the inspector is overworked, irritated, and in a rush, so do not hold him up unnecessarily. You should always bring another person with you that can quickly adjust or fix anything as requested by the inspector. Always have a copy of the current electrical plans with seal and a copy of the National Electrical Code on site at the inspection location. There are many people that like to small talk the inspector in hopes he might shift his attention and possibly perform an easier inspection. Although this may work once in a great while, I would not suggest this tactic since the inspector deals with this play every day of his inspecting life. To be a true and respectable professional you must impress the inspector with talk of his favorite subject, the NEC. Talk about the electrical code, talk about the job, and build a good rapport with him as he inspects. Also be prepared for the inspector to be silent during inspection, and respect that time while the inspector makes certain of a safe installation. A diligent inspector may not carry on a conversation during inspection so that attention stays on the job at hand. This is especially true if the inspector is looking at more than one trade during a single inspection. Take the temperature of the inspector’s approach, and ask what they prefer and how you can be of help. They will appreciate it Make any quick adjustments that he requests, and he will most likely, 99% of the time, pass your inspection.
Be a rock star to the crew, the GC, the company, and to the inspector. Know the NEC, be a trade professional, and keep learning. Go to www.jadelearning.com to continue your education and pass all of your inspections.