We had a post a little while back about one of the reasons we see so many leaky condos around here: Improper installation of the wrong electrical boxes on exterior walls.
Robert Funk has sent in an updated informational PDF showing a simplified view of the right and wrong electrical boxes for exterior use.
And now he’s requesting pictures of any electrical boxes on exterior walls before lights or plugs are installed. If you can get any shots from construction projects around you he would very much appreciate them before Monday Aug 27th.
Here’s an example of an electrical box installed on an external wall:
The shots he’s requesting are closeup of those installations:
All shots showing how many different ways there are to install electrical boxes are useful:
Even if the stucco, siding, lights and plugs are installed. I just need as many pictures from across Canada and as fast as I can get them.
For years I have been pushing to get the illegal electrical plates off of the market because of the damage that I see.
It was easy to blame these products because they are un-certified. After hundreds of emails and digging deeper into the problem I have come to the root of the problem.
Necessity is the mother of invention and now I understand why these products were introduced to the market and why they were accepted in the first place.
28 years ago the owner of a siding company in Vancouver was sick of trying to install siding around lights and make the installation look good. First he started to take plywood squares, cut circles in them and install Jay-Channels around them.
This was a great fix, the light sat flat and the siding or stucco had a good termination point. Builders liked this idea so much that he ended up with 2 full time employees just making the parts. This gave him an idea and off to the patent office he went. Next to find a tool maker and voila you have a plastic product. He did do his due diligence and went to see a consultant at the Richmond CSA office.
The consultant said that there was not really a standard (CSA C22.2 No.18.2-1987) developed yet for that particular type of product. The law states that if there is a clear and determinable need for a product and no other certified products exist then the next closest product may be used. For 28 years his product has been the industry standard and thereby is Grandfathered, not as a certified product but, the next best thing.
Codes and standards change but no standard has been developed around or for these products. What has changed is the Electrical code, from allowing Type 1 boxes to being used on the exterior walls, to Type 4 boxes being used. There was a need for the code to change so it did change but was never enforced.
Over the years several other companies have come out with cheaper and cheaper products, this combined with Type 1 boxes being installed, is one of the factors in causing damage to buildings.
The real blame falls on the root of the problem, enforcement of the Code. Several Municipalities and Provinces have come back and stated that they don’t think this problem exists in their jurisdiction but will look into it.
Let’s help them look into it, I drove around Vancouver, Burnaby, Surrey and Langley on the weekend to take some pictures and all I saw was Type 1 boxes. I could tell that several of the builders had struggled to make the boxes work. Some didn’t look to bad, still illegal and only a hand full were done well.
So let’s start with the basics, I want as many people across Canada as possible to take pictures of new construction installations and send them to me. Just tell me what city they are coming from. We are so close to solving this problem that I can taste it and soon it won’t taste like rotten wood anymore
Here’s a PDF with the picture request and email address for pictures. Pass this around if you could, I need the pictures by Monday 27, 2012 or sooner. Cheers