What happens when you just cannot agree with the electrical inspector or other AHJ? You can appeal the decision if you meet any three conditions:

  1. The inspector's decision doesn't meet the true intent of the Code.
  2. The provisions of the Code do not apply to this specific situation.
  3. The decision is arbitrary or unreasonable (as it applies to alternatives or new materials).
You have 15 days from the AHJ's decision to submit a written appeal to the Electrical Board [80.15(G)]. In this appeal, first summarize the disagreement (preferably in a few clear sentences). Then explain the disagreement in detail in a few pages or less, if possible.

Your explanation should address the following four items:

  1. Explain the conditions.
  2. State the AHJ's ruling.
  3. Briefly explain which of the three conditions that ruling meets and why.
  4. Briefly explain why your alternative makes sense and eliminates the problem(s) you identified in the previous step.
Here are some tips on making a good appeal:
  • Do not argue your case in the appeal. The purpose of the appeal is to show you have a case.
  • If you aren't adept at formal argumentation, consider hiring someone to develop your argument structure.
  • Be respectful to the AHJ and electrical board.
  • Stay factual. If you cannot substantiate a fact, don't present it as a fact. Present it as an idea that merits further investigation (state why it does).
  • Write clearly and remember that less is more. If you can state it in 100 words, aim for 50.