As part of remodeling my kitchen I had to redo plumbing on the second
floor bathroom that is just above the kitchen. I was pretty confident
in my plumbing skills and knowledge as I did a bug plumbing project in
my house before. I plumbed full basement bath including underslab
plumbing, installed sewage ejector pump, stand pipe, utility sink. All
work was inspected multiple times and except few issues that I had to
correct everything was fine. Now a new inspector in my township came to
check my new kitchen and upstairs plumbing. He rejected my work due to
several problems to his view:
1. He said my house must have 1 3" vent and two 2" vents. I thought
that vent size is determined by number of fixture units it vents. I
have two 2" vents and that is more then adequate for my house with 2
1/2 bath. Can someone point me to the place in NPC where it states that
house must have these number of vents.
2. He insisted toilet must have a wet vent instead of dry went that I
put. Why does toilet must have wet vent and why dry vent is no good?
3. He insisted that rubber Fernco couplings that I used to connect new
PVC DWV with old copper plumbing are prohibited despite I used them in
my basement and previous inspector approved them .I also cannot
understand if Fernco couplings are prohibited why any HD sells them?
You don't say where you are at. The local code can be different than the
In my state (MA) a homeowner can't do his own plumbing.
I can't recite chapter and verse and I don't have a NPC book (builder not a
plumber), but I can tell you what I think I know:
The inspector has the authority to interpret the code as he sees fit.
What the old inspector allowed is irrelevant. There is a new sheriff in
When you change one thing it opens you up to changing everything to meet the
code currently in force.
Every house must have one 3" vent through the roof.
Toilets are always vented down stream. You don't vent on the upstream side.
You should check to see if there is a NPC on the net. We'll see if any
plumbers come along and can recite chapter and verse. Have you thought about
talking with a pro?
Calling an inspector on some of his decisions can cause problems, make
him lose face and create an enemy which would affect any future
projects. You're the only one that can determine if fighting city
hall, and still potentially losing the battle, makes sense.
Inspectors have agendas, same as anyone else. He might be of the
opinion that it is his duty to take any opportunity to bring the house
closer to being in complaince with the current code. You didn't
mention when exactly you did that basement project, but the new
International Residential Code came out only a couple years ago. Your
township may have adopted it, adopted it with modifications or come up
with one of their own.
Some inspectors hate dealing with homeowners. They feel it's not their
job to teach plumbing/construction to someone who, in their opinion,
knows nothing and is a pain in the ass. If you're run into one of
those, lotsa luck!
If the guy seems reasonably willing to discuss things, but isn't
budging on his requirements, ask him to point out where exactly in the
code that it prohibits certain things (such as Fernco couplings). Be
aware that if you live in a smaller town, your plumbing inspector may
be the final authority - there may be no one to overrule him. Even if
there is, his boss may be unwilling to do so if it's minor stuff and no
one is "harmed". Your concerns are not for life and limb, just some
added expense for you.
Look at the bigger picture before you go making an enemy.
I built a deck at my old house. Replaced this awful concrete patio and iron
railing (complete w/hardware cloth at the top...) that ran right up to about
1 inch from the property line. Setback in Montgomery County was, not
remembering exactly now, 18 inches I think. Doesn't matter exactly. I
accounted for this in the design of the deck but neglected the 3/4 inch
redwood skirting. Thus I was about 1/2 inch in violation of code.
Inspector called me on it. I was polite and asked for suggestions as to
what to do as I felt it was a bit unreasonable to require me to tear down
the deck for 1/2 inch, especially when it was so much closer to compliance
than what was replaced. He didn't really have any suggestions as there
weren't any to be made, except for perhaps lose the skirting. The neighbor
certainly didn't care about the 1/2 inch and was delighted that the old
gulag had been torn down and replaced with a nice deck.
There was an awkward silence for a bit and I got the impression he was
waiting for something. Then he said, ok, fine I'll pass it.
I asked a few folks later, 2 who worked for the county attorney's office,
and one who was a contractor and they were all of the opinion that what that
guy was waiting for in that pause was an offer of a bribe. I have no
evidence that's what he wanted, just the 3 opinions.
Not sure what my point is w/regard to the original post just agreeing
w/RicodJour that inspectors can have all sorts of agendas.
I never gave a bribe to any official, not even when I lived in Russia,
mostly because there was not a chance/need to do it.
I am curious though, how often, practically speaking, are bribes
given/offered here. If I offer a bribe to a low level official, or a
cop, can I go to prison for it, in reality?
On Sat, 2 Jul 2005 00:10:44 +0100, in alt.home.repair RE: Re:
Yes, a lot of the U.S. is like that now.
About 20 years ago I moved from San Diego California to a rural area
in Alabama. We have no building code requirements outside the city
limits where I live. It's like I died and went to heaven.
I can build anything I want however I want. I love it! Nevertheless, I
do pretty much do all my work to codes whereever such codes are good
practice or safety related.
To reply to me directly, remove the CLUTTER from my email address.
OTOH, your neighbor can do the same...if he's as capable as you, that
can be ok...when it's the local county doofus or worse, everything
you've invested can be rendered nearly valueless... :(
While I fully understand the mentality and am glad we're outside the
city 3-mile radius, I'm certainly thankful that Dad was able while on
the City/County Planning Commission some 20-30 years ago to get
reasonable restrictions adopted in the county. Otherwise, it would be a
never-ending plile of trailers w/ open cess pools and worse...
I am extensively familar with the problem...its very very
common in the US particularly with state or federally funded
In some industries in SF I have been asked to quote a $17,000
job (gross profit $3,000) at $40,000 then kick back 20k to
the manager in charge of the business.
Usually graft demand is for 10 to 20% of the total sale.
here is the results of a google search on the issue:
When some states stopped graft and kickbacks in their states
highway construction programs costs typically dropped 50%..
that gives you a clue on how pervasive the problem is.
Its illegal in the US... but the money is too much for many in
management positions to resist.
in other countries its not illegal and businesses there can
write off the cost of paying bribes.
go see the movie "the corporation" you will find that both
funny, terrifying and informative.
Yes, there are laws against it.
Some inspectors will accept a "tip" though. In a large city where I used
to live, my step father was a contractor. He always abided by the codes,
but he always left an envelope someplace in plain view. He'd step out of
the room and the envelope would disappear.
In San Francisco Calif..unless the headlines were all
bogus... the city building dept was one huge bribery
operation... gasp... that couldnt possibly be true
however...these were civil 'servants' all set to retire at
around age 55 with city funded pensions worth 3 to 5 million
I didnt clip them and glue them to my forehead or anything.
It was all over the evenin' nooz in that time frame too.
Possibly you ain't payin' attention?
You might find it on a google news search with the key words
"San Francisco, Building, Inspector, permits, payoffs"
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