Homeowner Electrical Permit

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  #1  
Old 10-12-16, 05:33 PM
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Homeowner Electrical Permit

My AHJ (Prince George's Co., MD) legislatively gives homeowners the right to do limited electrical work under a homeowners permit.

https://www.municode.com/library/md/...RIPROWPEWOOWPR

I would like to add a circuit breaker to my main panel along with subsequent branch circuit wiring to a new room that I plan to finish in my currently unfinished basement. In your opinion does this activity fall under the following prohibited categories:

The following electrical work is not permitted to be performed under a homeowners permit:

(1) Installation of New Service;
(2) Service Heavy-Up;
(3) Service Panel Change;
(4) Relocation of Service Panel and/or Meter;
(5) Relocation of Service Drop or Lateral; or
(6) Installation of subpanels.
 
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  #2  
Old 10-12-16, 05:47 PM
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No, I think you are good, assuming by service panel change they mean replacing the service panel, not making a change within the service panel. And I'm pretty sure that's what they mean.
 
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Old 10-12-16, 05:53 PM
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I would agree.
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Old 10-12-16, 07:15 PM
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That's pretty standard in many areas.
 
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Old 10-12-16, 09:05 PM
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Thanks folks. That is what I thought also but when I called the person in charge at the county inspection dept he told me only a licensed electrician could touch the panel. Here is some additional wording in the code. Could he be relying on it somehow to ground his position? I don't see it but maybe you guys do:

"Except as restricted to the type of work as delineated below, the property owner is permitted to perform electrical work on his or her own premises; and the work is limited up to a combination of ten (10) devices or less which includes addition, relocation and replacement of (lights, receptacles and switches), provided, that such premises are used only for a single-family residential dwelling."

Any suggestions on how I should proceed?
 

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Old 10-13-16, 06:36 AM
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Permit

Proceed as outlined in 9-113, 9-114, and 9-115.
 
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Old 10-13-16, 04:59 PM
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Hi Wirepuller,

PG County has moved to an online permitting application system and they explicitly state that they do not grant access to the electrical permitting section (where the electrical permit application would be submitted) unless you are a licensed contractor.

I will follow your suggestion and register online and request access to the electrical section. If they formally deny me (which I fully expect because I have no licensed contractor number to provide) I can at least start asking how am I to exercise my legislative right under section 9-117 using this new online permitting process.

What do you think?
 
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Old 10-13-16, 05:09 PM
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Permit

I think you need to go to the permitting office in person and ask your questions.
 
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Old 10-13-16, 05:26 PM
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In my area (summit county ohio) contractors can apply online. Homeowners have to do it on paper at the building department....
 
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Old 10-13-16, 05:27 PM
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Hi Wirepuller,

Probably so but I have the sneaking suspicion I will get the run around once there. With my luck I'll end up having to talk to the person who told me I needed to be a licensed electrician to do what I wanted to do. I have a feeling when they implemented the new online process they either purposely or inadvertently left out the capability to handle section 9-117 issues. Regardless they are not making this easy.

Now that I think about it they must still have a paper process for those that don't have computers. Maybe that is where the "electrical homeowner permit application" lives. I'll report back what I find.

You and others probably deal with permitting departments all of the time. Any advice on how to approach this matter without ticking folks off when I get there? Ultimately even if I find the path to submit an application under 9-117, they ultimately have the power to make my life easy or hard.
Thanks again.
 
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Old 10-13-16, 06:04 PM
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If the online registration won't work, I found this electrical permit form online: http://www.princegeorgescountymd.gov...Home/View/4360

The code says you can do "addition, relocation and replacement of (lights, receptacles and switches)." In the strictest interpretation, it doesn't say that you may add a circuit breaker to the panel. Perhaps the permitting person interprets the prohibition on "Service Panel Change" to mean any change in said service panel -- including adding a breaker and hooking up the new circuit.

Beyond that, I have no idea. I wish you luck.
 
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Old 10-13-16, 07:01 PM
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thanks for the paper application SuperSquirrel.

Regarding interpretation I feel like I need a lawyer to parse section 9-117.

Here is my attempt. It is kind of weird because I interpreted the "Except as restricted to the type of work as delineated below..." sentence to refer to following list of specifically excluded work:


(1) Installation of New Service;
(2) Service Heavy-Up;
(3) Service Panel Change;
(4) Relocation of Service Panel and/or Meter;
(5) Relocation of Service Drop or Lateral; or
(6) Installation of subpanels.


I interpreted the "...; and the work is limited up to a combination of ten (10) devices or less..." sentence to refer to the quantify of work.

finally I interpreted the "... which includes addition, relocation and replacement of (lights, receptacles and switches)..." sentence which uses the operative word "includes", to not specify an exhaustive list but provide some examples.

Alas I understand the interpretation lies with the inspector but does anyone know if there is an "intrepetation appeals" process?
 
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Old 10-13-16, 08:38 PM
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You could have three lawyers, and they'd probably give you four different opinions.

Problem is, you have to know who you're talking to. Around my parts, for another issue, I talked to the permit clerk (who answers the phone), the plans reviewer (who reviews plans), and the boss. And that was to find out that I didn't need a permit, so the inspector was never even involved. So, did you actually speak to the person in charge, or just the person who answered the phone and said they were in charge?

The clerks who handle this kind of stuff deal with professional contractors on a daily basis. Sadly, they may not even be aware that a homeowner permit process exists.

Unfortunately, your best bet may be what Wirepuller said -- go there in person. (That makes phone tag and "accidental" hang-ups a non-issue). Tell them what you want to apply for, and ask how to go about applying. Take a printout of the law to show them, in case they tell you that you can't do homeowner work. But don't throw it right in their faces. Find out exactly what part of your project requires an electrician, in their opinion. Don't be afraid to politely ask for a supervisor, either. That might be the person who's actually processed a homeowner application before.

If that fails, there's always the County Board of Appeals, I suppose. But the fee to file an appeal might make it worth just paying an electrician. Remember, too, that you have elected legislators who passed the laws you're dealing with, and who, theoretically "work for you." Hopefully it doesn't go that far.
 
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