Rough-in Inspection Checklist - Any Available?

Tom PultzJanuary 20, 2010

I should be ready for my wiring rough-in inspection in about a month and would like to know if anyone has a checklist of items that should be, or should not be completed at rough-in. Our local inspection office has a tip sheet but it only covers some of the more obvious items that routinely crop up and is by no means complete.

Thanks for any insight on what's involved with a typical rough-in inspection.

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Ron Natalie

It's highly regional what they look for. Your best guidance is experience (or someone who has the experience).

They are looking in most cases for things they will not be able to see once the finished work is up. That is that the wires are property secured, pass appropriately through framing (with protection if need be). Boxes are mounted securely, provision for bonding if required is in place, etc...

    Bookmark   January 20, 2010 at 7:09PM
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Tom Pultz

Thanks Ron. One thing I wonder about is whether I should or should not apply orange fireblock foam to wire penetrations in top and bottom plates, wall studs and floor joists as indicated by the IRC.

Also, if permitted I would like to wire-nut the neutrals together in those j-boxes that contain switches just to cleanup the mess of wires a bit in the multi-gang boxes.

Before my inspection I think I'll contact someone I know that used to work as a master electrician but now does more general remodeling work and see if he could take a look since he did a lot of work on the home up the street and would be familiar with what's expected in our area.


    Bookmark   January 20, 2010 at 7:22PM
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Tom Pultz

They only do a rough-in inspection without a final. The only time they will come back is if he thinks your work needs more scrutiny.

This really surprised me. Is that normal operating procedure in other jurisdictions?

He also told me they follow the 2008 NEC for the most part except they did not accept the use of AFCIs except for the bedrooms, and then only if you are changing wiring.

I asked about connecting ground wires and he said greenie or regular wire nuts were fine, as well as crimps. I then asked if Ideal push-in connectors were OK and he said as long as they are UL approved they are fine.

One thing that could be a MAJOR pain is the requirement to use tamper resistant receptacles. Over the last few years we've slowly been acquiring Leviton Acenti switches, receptacles, GFCIs, mag LV dimmers, incan. dimmers, dimmer remotes, etc. for the WHOLE house... none of which are tamper-resistant. These items were VERY expensive and I do not want to just trash them and start over.

None of the Acenti items will be installed at the time of rough-in, so if they don't come back for a final inspection I guess they won't know what I install... but it's still a major headache. At this time it does not appear that Leviton makes a tamper-resistant Acenti receptacle, and considering you can not mix and match these with any other units because of the custom size I hope this does not come back to bite me down the road should we eventually sell the house. Would the new owner insist on TR receptacles since the electrical work was done at a time when they were required?

Any thoughts are appreciated.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2010 at 1:04PM
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Ron Natalie

I'm not sure where my other followups went...the board seems to be a bit flakey.

Yes fireblock, no to making any connections here. We leave the wire out of the box, unstripped. If metal boxes are used, the ground pigtail is installed.

Leave it all hanging out until the inspector is done, then fan fold them back into the box so the drywallers/painters don't make a mess. Don't even think about making any connections until they are done.

They do finals here on most major jobs. It's discretionary on the small renovations.

Yeah I hate the TR stuff too, but it's the code and while you may not have an electrical final you better hope a final building inspector doesn't note their absence.

I won't go near Acenti anyhow, they offer nothing other than their nonstandard nature. Much easier finding Decora or Standard form-factor wall plates.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2010 at 3:51PM
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Tom Pultz

My inspector said no fireblock as that was not part of the electrical.

Not sure what I'm going to do about the TR receptacles. I don't really know if a building inspector will ever look at anything since all I have are plumbing and electrical permits. If I had to I could always buy something cheap and switch it out later, which would be a royal pain.

Yes Ron, I am now regretting this Acenti line. We bought it because it was unique and fit in with the high-end look we were after. Functionally it performs very well too. Maybe I'll just sell it all on eBay :-)

    Bookmark   January 26, 2010 at 4:15PM
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personally I like to make up all my boxes on the rough in. I find it's much easier to spot if you've left something out if you make it up right then and there and be done with it. Then on the trim out it makes everything much much faster. Just pull out the wires and put in the devices. I've tried doing the make up on the trims and just found it more tedious. What if someone mis-labeled something? What if they didn't label it at all? I found it was taking too much time to trace stuff out. Personally I also absolutly hate stripping the sheath off romex when it's pulled all the way into the box too. Big pet peeve of mine. I find it so much easier to just take my strippers, score the sheath pop it off and pull it into the box and be done with it.

For single pole switches I twist the switch leg and power together. For three ways I wrap the common around the two travelers. 4-ways I twist the two pairs together. For a GFI I twist the line together.

Just how I do it and found it's easier and faster.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 11:05PM
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Tom, did you have your inspection yet? If so, I would be interested in knowing how it went, any suprises etc. I am in WA and like you I am not sure what I need to take care of before the inspection. I was under the impression that so long as everything is 'visible' I should be fine if I wire everything up (but not put box covers on) - I hope this is the case because I have already connected up most of the devices, but they are hanging out of their boxes so hopefully all I need to do after the inspection is push them in and attach the covers....

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 9:33PM
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Tom Pultz

'ecranny': I have not had my inspection yet since I still need to wire-up the interconnected smoke alarms and a few more receptacle boxes.

From your description of having "everything visible" it sounds like the walls are closed-up and only the receptacle boxes are visible? Can you clarify?

My inspection will be through the local state Labor and Industries office (LNI) since the city I live in, Sammamish, does not issue electrical permits. Is your jurisdiction different?


    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 12:51PM
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Tom, what I mean is that I will not close walls etc, so all the cabling will be visible (except for where I had to fish through existing cielings/walls), but I am not sure if I am allowed to hook up all the outlets, but leave them dangling outside the box so the wiring can be examined, or whether I am supposed to run the wires into the boxes but leave them unconnected (ie not wire the receptacles) until after the rough inspection.

My inspection will be LNI as well.

- Eamonn

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 4:43PM
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