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Old 09-18-2012, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Westchester County, NY
269 posts, read 323,961 times
Reputation: 88
Default Electrical check up in the co-op rules - WTF?

Ugh, my lawyer really screwed up on this one... this should have been handled before the close.

I just recently bought a co-op and the rules state that I have to have an electrical check within 90 days of occupancy. Silly me, I was thinking this was going to be like a home inspection. Not really understanding what they were looking for, I went ahead and had the whole place painted, moved in and la di da, finally got around to bringing in an electrician to get it done (along with a few other things). Of course, the electrician says he needs to pull off every wall plate, socket, light fixture, etc, so he can check the connections. To the tune of approx $400 plus the minor damage to my walls and ceiling and the touch up painting I'll have to deal with. And the management company said yes, this is what they require. To check for "frayed wires."

What steams me even further is that my neighbor who just moved in a few months before me didn't have to do this electrical check.

I can't believe this is even remotely standard in co-ops. And frankly, I don't even understand the rationale - I get making sure you use a certified electrician when you do renovations. But this seems like a very expensive fishing expedition.

Any thoughts on the above? I'm not really sure where to take it next - if I should just suck it up or argue further...
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Old 09-18-2012, 03:31 PM
 
6,231 posts, read 9,801,872 times
Reputation: 3956
Probably a good idea but certainly something that is weird that is mandated. Often times when homes get wired the guys doing it go the cheap/fast/quick/"get it done" route and use push-ins for the wall sockets. Not that it's bad, there are good and bad designs of the above, but rest assured they used the cheap $0.69 builders grade sockets that just push in and aren't secured with screws.

"Frayed wires" makes no sense, the wire is solid not stranded when run in residential applications therefore can't "fray", maybe they are just using a layman's term to dumb it down for folks.

How were your walls damaged though? I'd be more concerned about the electrician damaging your home taking off a cover plate or fan cover.
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Old 09-18-2012, 05:58 PM
 
Location: Westchester County, NY
269 posts, read 323,961 times
Reputation: 88
Perhaps damaged is overstating it - but if the plates have to come off, it will definitely take paint off in the process (Because my painters cut corners and didn't remove all of the plates before painting - I'm learning the hard way what to ask for up front!). The electrician pointed this out. But it does mean that I will have to touch up in every room - which is a huge headache.

I'm wondering if I can have them test using a receptacle tester as a middle ground, without removing all of the plates. I know from reading online it isn't a perfect solution, but it gets at many potential issues. One of the problems I have with this rule is that it is so open ended - there's no guidance for what they are looking for. Which is just asking for the electrician to suggest all sorts of things that the co-op board probably never intended.
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:58 PM
 
Location: On the plateau, TN
13,565 posts, read 6,950,311 times
Reputation: 8498
Quote:
Originally Posted by ehmom View Post
Perhaps damaged is overstating it - but if the plates have to come off, it will definitely take paint off in the process (Because my painters cut corners and didn't remove all of the plates before painting - I'm learning the hard way what to ask for up front!). The electrician pointed this out. But it does mean that I will have to touch up in every room - which is a huge headache.

I'm wondering if I can have them test using a receptacle tester as a middle ground, without removing all of the plates. I know from reading online it isn't a perfect solution, but it gets at many potential issues. One of the problems I have with this rule is that it is so open ended - there's no guidance for what they are looking for. Which is just asking for the electrician to suggest all sorts of things that the co-op board probably never intended.
Take a razor blade and score the paint around the faceplates......
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:06 PM
 
6,231 posts, read 9,801,872 times
Reputation: 3956
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bones View Post
Take a razor blade and score the paint around the faceplates......
Thinking the exact same thing, I think this guy is over thinking this...

edit...just looked at their location...makes sense...
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:13 PM
 
41,713 posts, read 46,254,468 times
Reputation: 27291
Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelsup View Post
Thinking the exact same thing, I think this guy is over thinking this...
Me too. It's not a big deal. Just $400 bucks and a little inconvenience.
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Old 09-18-2012, 09:50 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
11,401 posts, read 25,454,397 times
Reputation: 13828
Last time I checked, Westchester County was a pretty classy area. I knew some people who lived there. If you can afford the taxes there, $400 for the electrician is chump change.

Actually, it is not a bad idea at all to have this done in an older building. The issues are corrosion at the terminals, defective or burnt out sockets, and aluminum wiring. Me, I would have the plates off, breakers off, and sockets hanging out for inspection just so that I saw anything before the electrician came through. He'd probably freak though, since I would also take the cover off the breaker box to inspect there as well.
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Old 09-18-2012, 10:22 PM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
6,584 posts, read 20,210,758 times
Reputation: 5072
Harry, you forgot one thing- union worker!
If you had done all of that before (s)he had arrived, they wouldn't have touched the job!
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Old 09-18-2012, 10:36 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
11,401 posts, read 25,454,397 times
Reputation: 13828
Quote:
Originally Posted by K'ledgeBldr View Post
Harry, you forgot one thing- union worker!
If you had done all of that before (s)he had arrived, they wouldn't have touched the job!
Yeah, probably so. Or... They would stuff the stuff back in, put the plates on, THEN remove the plates, bring out the socket to inspect, and put it back in.
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Old 09-19-2012, 03:40 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
3,766 posts, read 5,407,866 times
Reputation: 4485
You should be more annoyed at your painters for not removing switchplates.

Co-ops are different beasts than other real estate, and frankly are pretty easy to avoid. The bylaws represent the whims of the owners over the years, and should be carefully looked at before buying. Too late for that now.
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