Ross Topliff

Unexpected Code Requests

11 posts in this topic

I was speaking with Bill Owens recently and he mentioned that he has seen some strange requests from officials in order to "comply" with the local building and fire codes. I am working in this area and am interested in collecting information on some of these unusual requests. What have you been asked to do that seemed excessive or was well beyond what the written code required?

Maybe we can help others avoid your situation.

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3 Basin Sink with Grease Trap.  We got them to concede on the grease trap, but we still installed the 3 basin sink.

 

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Minnesota requires all control panels to either be UL approved (with sticker) or be inspected by an electrical engineer and their sticker placed before the state will sign off on it.

Most people don't realize this, and it was the most expensive few minutes of the entire buildout. Engineer opens the panel and writes stuff down for about 3 minutes while he writes stuff down on his paper, says "Yup." while slapping a sticker (probably a mailing label saying John Doe Engineering inspected) on the panel and handing you a bill which ranges from about $1,000-3,000.

I'm in the wrong industry.

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On 1/9/2017 at 11:50 AM, Silk City Distillers said:

3 Basin Sink with Grease Trap.  We got them to concede on the grease trap, but we still installed the 3 basin sink.

 

Did the official provide a rationale for this sink? Was this in your tasting room or where those utensils are washed?

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On 1/9/2017 at 1:44 PM, Skaalvenn said:

Minnesota requires all control panels to either be UL approved (with sticker) or be inspected by an electrical engineer and their sticker placed before the state will sign off on it.  handing you a bill which ranges from about $1,000-3,000.

I agree that costs seems excessive, although it may include travel time and training to become qualified to approve the panel. Unfortunately, some people will charge whatever the traffic will bear, with little connection to actual costs.

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1 hour ago, Ross Topliff said:

Did the official provide a rationale for this sink? Was this in your tasting room or where those utensils are washed?

In the distillery proper.  Local municipal code has a number of health department mandated sanitary codes that apply to any food handling establishment, including manufacturing.  There were a number of other requirements I didn't list.  Separate handwash sink (in the manufacturing area) and a mop sink as well.

The 3 basin would have been a real problem, as it's required to be air gapped into a floor sink - but we were already tearing up the concrete to lay down trench drains anyhow.

Really thought, would be hard to imagine how to operate without them.  FDA would certainly have something to say if they walked into a facility without these things.  I thought the grease trap was excessive, not the sink, god knows I spend half the day cleaning.

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Annual state boiler inspection required a county mechanical permit to do undergo a simple inspection.  $250 job turned into a $2500 job. 

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Ethanol detection system was requested by our local building officials. Also a 3rd party inspection of our still since they didn't understand that it wasn't a pressure system. 

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The city required us to have an RPZ as we had so many water connections throughout the distillery. This also requires an annual inspection and a $150 fee every year.

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