Electrical Permit


Old 10-03-06, 02:11 PM
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Electrical Permit

I live in MD and am remodeling a basement in my home. I want to install the wiring myself. The electrical inspector told me the only way to do this would be to have a licensed electrician obtain the permit for me and check the work prior to having a formal inspection. Licensed electricians I have contacted want a hefty fee for providing this service (upwards of $500).

Is there any way around this regulation? Possibly taking an abbreviated exam to prove competency in electrical work.
Thanks for any assistance.

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Old 10-03-06, 02:29 PM
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Only your local office can answer this with any certainty.

I do find it surprising that in MD you have rules like this. Usually this is done only in major metropolitan areas. In most places homeowners can do their own work on thier OWN homes.
Old 10-03-06, 04:30 PM
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The only jurisdiction in MD that I am familiar with the used to do this was Howard County.

You are asking a licensed contractor to put their license, insurance and reputation on the line by asking them to connect work that they have had no part in. Many areas consider this to be prostituting the license and fines can be leeveed against contractors that provide this dis-service.
Old 10-03-06, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug P

Is there any way around this regulation? Possibly taking an abbreviated exam to prove competency in electrical work.
Thanks for any assistance.

What the inspector is telling you is probably correct, but you should get the chapter and verse from local and state electrical codes.

For example here homeowners can get a permit to "extend" most branch circuits but as interpreted, may not add any wiring in the load center.

I had the same issue but in my case I had the electrical contractor replace the load center and do some conduit with offset bends, so he added on less than $100 to check my work. He looked in a large j-box and checked a receptacle and said "If it all looks like this you won't have any trouble with the inspector." The inspector only noted a small problem with the work the electrician did, mine was all OK'd. Not that he checked it exhaustively but I did it to commercial standards with all metal boxes, all EMT, rigid and greenfield, and all 12 AWG.

I looked into the mini-license thing and Wisconsin does provide a sort of provisional license, but it is more or less a way for a student to get on the books as beginning an apprenticeship. It does not give the holder any "right" to do their own work. I have heard of some jurisdictions that do give a competency exam for homeowner permits, but I don't have any details.

WI state code leaves it to local authorities whether to require an electrical contractor. WI code also provides equivalencies for related coursework as part of the experience, but I believe some apprenticeship is always required. Licensed electrical contractors can hire anyone they want, whether electricians or people they see walking down the street.

My suggestion would be to find someone who has an electrical contractor sister, brother-in-law or whatever and see what they can do.
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