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Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,749
Please comment on the Liability/Safety concerns for the following tasks, and whether they should be performed by Licensed or Unlicensed Electricians.

Nailing nonmetallic (plastic) boxes and screwing metal boxes to metal studs.

Drilling wooden studs or punching metal studs for raceways or Nonmetallic Sheathed Cables (Romex.)

Pulling Nonmetallic Sheathed Cable (Romex).

Hanging panelboard cabinets (cans.)

Moving electrical equipment, materials and tools.

Hanging temporary lighting with cord cap end.

Installing cable connectors to metal boxes

Installing equipment bonding (pigtails) in boxes.

Stapling Nonmetallic Sheathed Cables (Romex) to wooden studs.

Installing PVC (RNMC) in trenches.

Unboxing lighting fixtures.

Setting and securing fixtures (lights) in ceiling grids.

Installing seismic wires, and earthquake clips for lay in fixtures.

Nailing recessed lights to joists.

Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 615
I wouldn’t say license or no license is necessarily a criteria for the tasks listed. I think it is more a matter of experience. Obviously a licensed electrician implies experience, but I know unlicensed electricians that have been doing those types of tasks for 10 plus years.

I would like to see most, if not all of those tasks under supervision of a licensed electrician. How close the supervision would depend on how competent the installer is.

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,143
I agree with jps1006 - It depends on the installer. I've also seen unlicensed guys who can do better jobs overall than some "ticket holders" I've followed up on.

My 14 y.o. son knows about unboxing fixtures, and installing connectors. He can also cut EMT to length, and properly ream the ends - things I've seen guys older than me fudge.

Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 35
In my opinion, electrical work should be done by qualified electricians.
I realize that some jurisdictions do not require a license, but the electricians doing the work should be qualified, or under the direct supervision of a qualified electrician.

Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 886
In many if not most jurisdictions this work is commonly done by unlicensed helpers or mechanics under the supervision of a licensed journeyman who might not even be on the job all the time. Why do people assume that every electrical "worker" is licensed or needs to be?


[This message has been edited by hbiss (edited 03-05-2004).]

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,432
Likes: 3
I'd have to go along with jps1006 and Doug.
As long as you know how to do these tasks properly there shouldn't be a problem.
And it is also true, there are Tradespeople out there that regularly muck up the simplest of tasks, just depends on how well you were trained in the first place.
Nailing recessed lights to joists.
Is this true?. [Linked Image]
Over here we have to keep them as far as possible, away from combustable materials.

Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,233

As most of the replies said, most electricians that take pride in their work(License or not) will try to do the best job that they can when doing electrical work. There are people out there that don't care about the quality of the work, they just want to get in and out of the job as soon as they can. They will grap their money and run.
One of the big differences between license and unlicensed people is the fact that the guys with the license have insurance and bonds. (Here in NJ at least)
That would at least give the homeowner some protection from sloopy installers

Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 98
Installing any electrical to ,other than your own house,must be performed by a licenced journeyman,suprevising or an apprentice working under a licenced electrician.That is what qualified means in Oregon.

Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 642
My answer to your questions

Nailing nonmetallic (plastic) boxes and screwing metal boxes to metal studs.

Drilling wooden studs or punching metal studs for raceways or Nonmetallic Sheathed Cables (Romex.)
Moving electrical equipment, materials and tools
Unboxing lighting fixtures

Done by anyone but mostly those starting out in the trade. Shown how to and supervised by the journeyman on the job

The rest belong to the electrician and thier directly supervised apprentices.

I also have seen and have employed those are ere good working electricians who have never held a license. Just supervise them as you would any one else who has shown they can be trusted to do the work correctly.


Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,749
I posted this message for a friend who is an instructor of electricians, and he is concerned about a few items that only a few of you captured.

I will ask him to take over here and explain his problem with the local issues related to the question.

Personally, I see this as a threat to our industry, and to the time we as qualified electricians spent in the field and in an apprenticeship.

Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant
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