Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

LA County Failed Inspection

pa1ntbru5h

Member
Nov 7, 2019
42
26
Southern California
Just wanted to vent and make others aware here of the issues I'm dealing with.

I got my large array with 3 powerwalls installed on Oct 19th.
Took Tesla 2 months to submit revised plans and get approval from city.
Just had my first inspection on Dec 21st.

Tesla rep knew as soon as he took the panels off the boxes. He said LA County has just recently started failing inspections where the installers route the wires behind your walls and come in the back side of the electrical boxes.

Sure enough we failed inspection. Now I have to wait who knows how long to get Tesla to repair the install and schedule another inspection. If the inspection had taken place a month earlier, I most likely would've passed.

I just want to get it over with and be able to utilize my solar.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: cwerdna

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,658
490
auburn, ca
Just wanted to vent and make others aware here of the issues I'm dealing with.

I got my large array with 3 powerwalls installed on Oct 19th.
Took Tesla 2 months to submit revised plans and get approval from city.
Just had my first inspection on Dec 21st.

Tesla rep knew as soon as he took the panels off the boxes. He said LA County has just recently started failing inspections where the installers route the wires behind your walls and come in the back side of the electrical boxes.

Sure enough we failed inspection. Now I have to wait who knows how long to get Tesla to repair the install and schedule another inspection. If the inspection had taken place a month earlier, I most likely would've passed.

I just want to get it over with and be able to utilize my solar.
More details. I have all my wiring in the walls or attic. But, I believe they popped out all the wiring such that they went into the boxes in the sides, so everything is seen. Nothing is snuck into the back, which makes sense to me. So is the issue wiring in the walls, or that they just did not take the wires out of the walls and into the sides of the boxes? Yep, trying to make sure we meet all possible future codes. My building depart just flagged because of AC disconnect, so do not know if this was something new to the design engineers. Last thing I want is to fail my inspection since yep, longer one waits, more possible changes get enforced.
 

mnsweeps

Member
Aug 3, 2019
555
135
Los Angeles
Just wanted to vent and make others aware here of the issues I'm dealing with.

I got my large array with 3 powerwalls installed on Oct 19th.
Took Tesla 2 months to submit revised plans and get approval from city.
Just had my first inspection on Dec 21st.

Tesla rep knew as soon as he took the panels off the boxes. He said LA County has just recently started failing inspections where the installers route the wires behind your walls and come in the back side of the electrical boxes.

Sure enough we failed inspection. Now I have to wait who knows how long to get Tesla to repair the install and schedule another inspection. If the inspection had taken place a month earlier, I most likely would've passed.

I just want to get it over with and be able to utilize my solar.

sorry to hear.. which wires are you referring here? From / To the Tesla energy gateway to/from the electrical panels?
 

pa1ntbru5h

Member
Nov 7, 2019
42
26
Southern California
More details. I have all my wiring in the walls or attic. But, I believe they popped out all the wiring such that they went into the boxes in the sides, so everything is seen. Nothing is snuck into the back, which makes sense to me. So is the issue wiring in the walls, or that they just did not take the wires out of the walls and into the sides of the boxes? Yep, trying to make sure we meet all possible future codes. My building depart just flagged because of AC disconnect, so do not know if this was something new to the design engineers. Last thing I want is to fail my inspection since yep, longer one waits, more possible changes get enforced.

I believe the issue is that the wires are going through the wall and into the back of the box and not in through the sides.

sorry to hear.. which wires are you referring here? From / To the Tesla energy gateway to/from the electrical panels?

Sorry.. I think it's the wires going from the main breaker panel into the smaller, long rectangular electrical box.
I don't know the technical terms. They're both grey boxes. The wires from the white Tesla box (gateway?) is all in conduit.

The Tesla rep was busy getting everything else ready for the inspection so I didn't wanna bug him with too many questions.

My main concern was with the rebates/incentives for 2020.
He assured me that the incentives go by install date and not power on date.
 
Last edited:

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,658
490
auburn, ca
I believe the issue is that the wires are going through the wall and into the back of the box and not in through the sides.



Sorry.. I think it's the wires going from the main breaker panel into the smaller, long rectangular electrical box.
I don't know the technical terms. They're both grey boxes. The wires from the white Tesla box (gateway?) is all in conduit.

The Tesla rep was busy getting everything else ready for the inspection so I didn't wanna bug him with too many questions.

My main concern was with the rebates/incentives for 2020.
He assured me that the incentives go by install date and not power on date.
Since the 26% has been extended for 2 more years, ....
 

pa1ntbru5h

Member
Nov 7, 2019
42
26
Southern California
Apparently its a LA County thing.. He said Orange County is a lot more lenient and wouldn't fail the inspection for this reason.
He said it just happens where one inspector will find fault in it and then it becomes something all the inspectors in this jurisdiction look for.
 

pa1ntbru5h

Member
Nov 7, 2019
42
26
Southern California
Yeah but you lose the time value of money if you get the credit on a 2021 tax filing vs a 2020 filing. And most people should shoot for a personal ROE of 10% to 15%. This will tie up liquidity from the OP a full year without any return.

I'm kind of curious what the installer did that was not ok... like it was just the routing of the wires near the Gateway? Or did they run the wires through an existing box in a non-code-compliant raceway configuration?

That's a good point. Luckily I think I'll be okay as long as I file for the rebate using the install date.

It's the routing of the wires through the back side of the electrical boxes that was not okay. I guess they want to see the wires come through the side of the box.
 

wwhitney

Member
Nov 2, 2017
898
1,184
Berkeley, CA
Apparently its a LA County thing.. He said Orange County is a lot more lenient and wouldn't fail the inspection for this reason.
He said it just happens where one inspector will find fault in it and then it becomes something all the inspectors in this jurisdiction look for.
That's the situation in practice. But I'm curious to know if it's a technical violation that other jurisdictions are letting slide, or a bogus violation because LA is interpreting something in a ridiculous fashion, or an LA amendment. I guess the latter I can look up and check. I looked at NEC Article 312 on Cabinets and didn't find anything that would differentiate between conductors entering the back versus one of the 4 sides.

Cheers, Wayne
 

pa1ntbru5h

Member
Nov 7, 2019
42
26
Southern California
That's the situation in practice. But I'm curious to know if it's a technical violation that other jurisdictions are letting slide, or a bogus violation because LA is interpreting something in a ridiculous fashion, or an LA amendment. I guess the latter I can look up and check. I looked at NEC Article 312 on Cabinets and didn't find anything that would differentiate between conductors entering the back versus one of the 4 sides.

Cheers, Wayne

The Tesla rep made it seem as if it was BS call on LA county's part. Just their own interpretation of code I guess.. I dont know anything about electrical code so I couldn't say for sure. I do remember the Tesla rep saying something regarding moisture...

Anyways.. at this point it is what it is. I'm just going to let Tesla handle it... I'm just bummed because I was really hoping to get the system running.
 

holeydonut

Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
1,821
1,200
East Bay NorCal
That's a good point. Luckily I think I'll be okay as long as I file for the rebate using the install date.

It's the routing of the wires through the back side of the electrical boxes that was not okay. I guess they want to see the wires come through the side of the box.


Maybe I'm just being dense here; but how exactly are they expecting you to run wiring the wiring for stuff that I'm assuming is on either side (inside and outside) of a common wall? Like do they want it so that the only thing penetrating the wall from inside to outside is conduit?

That means all the components have to use the side knock outs; but something still has to let you run wiring through the wall. I'm just trying to understand what the benefit could possibly be for this weird rule. My installers used a gutterbox to consolidate everything, but there's still a hole on the back side of the gutter box to get from the outside wall to the inside wall.

I wonder if they'll bar you from going into the back side of a gutter box too haha.
 

jboy210

Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
5,161
3,210
Northern California
Maybe I'm just being dense here; but how exactly are they expecting you to run wiring the wiring for stuff that I'm assuming is on either side (inside and outside) of a common wall? Like do they want it so that the only thing penetrating the wall from inside to outside is conduit?

That means all the components have to use the side knock outs; but something still has to let you run wiring through the wall. I'm just trying to understand what the benefit could possibly be for this weird rule. My installers used a gutterbox to consolidate everything, but there's still a hole on the back side of the gutter box to get from the outside wall to the inside wall.

I wonder if they'll bar you from going into the back side of a gutter box too haha.
Reading the comment I assume what the inspector was looking for was a box mounted on the wall with conduit running down the wall to the box. And, if you have to go through a wall it has a box on the outside and one on the inside and the wire is routed from inside to outside through a conduit that runs through the wall and connects the boxes. You cannot snake an exposed cable inside a wall cavity. Our cables in the wall were placed in metal flex conduit so the cable cannot easily be drilled into. All conduits terminate into a box.

The only cable that is not in conduit that runs through a wall is Cat 6 Ethernet.
 

wwhitney

Member
Nov 2, 2017
898
1,184
Berkeley, CA
You cannot snake and exposed cable inside a wall cavity. Our cables in the wall were placed in metal flex conduit so the cable cannot easily be drilled into.

A cable is multiple wires with a single flexible outer covering installed as a unit.. A wall cavity would typically not be exposed. You certainly can snake cables inside wall cavities. If you run a conduit system like FMC, then you can pull individual wires into the FMC. FMC itself can be snaked through cavities, but you need to ensure the resulting geometry has no more than 360 degrees between pull points (like all conduit systems).

Cheers, Wayne
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,658
490
auburn, ca
Reading the comment I assume what the inspector was looking for was a box mounted on the wall with conduit running down the wall to the box. And, if you have to go through a wall it has a box on the outside and one on the inside and the wire is routed from inside to outside through a conduit that runs through the wall and connects the boxes. You cannot snake an exposed cable inside a wall cavity. Our cables in the wall were placed in metal flex conduit so the cable cannot easily be drilled into. All conduits terminate into a box.

The only cable that is not in conduit that runs through a wall is Cat 6 Ethernet.
All my romex cabling in my walls is not in conduit?
 

jboy210

Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
5,161
3,210
Northern California
A cable is multiple wires with a single flexible outer covering installed as a unit.. A wall cavity would typically not be exposed. You certainly can snake cables inside wall cavities. If you run a conduit system like FMC, then you can pull individual wires into the FMC. FMC itself can be snaked through cavities, but you need to ensure the resulting geometry has no more than 360 degrees between pull points (like all conduit systems).

Cheers, Wayne

Wayne,

I am probably using the wrong terms. But, when Tesla installed our garage mounted powerwalls they would not just run the cables inside the walls unless they were inside metallic flex conduit (FMC?). That conduit had to terminate inside the garage to the exposed metal conduit. Then ran via an exposed metal conduit to a point on the inside wall. Then they put a short metal conduit through the wall to an external box that had conduit that ran on the outside of the wall to the switch boxes.

Here are some pictures that explain this better than my words. The dashed lines are the relative runs of the flex conduit which house the connections to the powerwalls. I labeled a few things.

Powerwall_connections.jpg External_solar_boxes.jpg flex-conduit.png
 

charlesj

Active Member
Oct 22, 2019
1,181
251
Monterey, CA
Reading the comment I assume what the inspector was looking for was a box mounted on the wall with conduit running down the wall to the box. And, if you have to go through a wall it has a box on the outside and one on the inside and the wire is routed from inside to outside through a conduit that runs through the wall and connects the boxes. You cannot snake an exposed cable inside a wall cavity. Our cables in the wall were placed in metal flex conduit so the cable cannot easily be drilled into. All conduits terminate into a box.

The only cable that is not in conduit that runs through a wall is Cat 6 Ethernet.
That is how my main breaker box outside is passed into the backup panel, back knockout on both boxes as they exist on the boxes with a 3", I think as it is large dia. short conduit. Passed.

By exposed cable do you mean without it's jacket? My 100A cables are in wall cavity in its jacket.
 

Uncle Paul

Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2013
6,296
6,858
Canyon Lake,CA
Is not uncommon for two different inspectors to come to two different conclusions.

Tesla is not foolish. They know their installations will be inspected and take care to see that code is followed, however some inspectors look for different things than others, and it is expected that from time to time an installation will not please any specific city inspector.

In my case, one of the plackards was incorrect. Installers needed to make a running change to fit better on the roof, and inspector noticed it. Tesla made a new plackard and a couple days later 2nd inspector inspector gave approval. EZ fix.

Tesla rep mentioned that they knew customers were interested in gettting their tax credit this year and were moving as fast as they could to get installations before the Christmas time off and EOY.
 

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top