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#44316 11/01/04 09:43 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 914
Another post brought this up and thought it deserved its own thread.

In your area, what requires a permit and what doesn't?

In my area you are technically required to permit just about anything. However nobody permits the small stuff like changing a fixture or adding a receptacle unless it's part of a larger project. We permit a lot of work, but basically not the service call type work.

Does anybody permit these small things? If so, how much do you have to pay and what do you have to do to get the permit. For many jobs you could spend a lot more time getting a permit than doing the job.

Joined: May 2004
Posts: 697
My understanding is that any electrical work here requires a permit. In reality though only new work like a house, addition, new commercial property, or services get permits. Some carpenters/generals will pull permits for basement remodels, but I'd guess most don't. Service work rarely gets a permit, and sometimes service gets pretty extensive.

It's the owners responsibility to pull the permit, and if I refused to do work without a permit, I would have starved a long time ago.


Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,429
LK Offline
In NJ all new installations require permit,
and yes even one outlet, If you want to gamble that nothing will happen, and you are willing to assume all the liability of any loss. then It's on you.
Remember it's the underwriter that wants the inspections, and the homeowner will be the first to hit you with legal action, when his insurance does not pay, and it could be a total loss or loss of life, pretty serious stuff, and yes there are those, that gamble that nothing will happen, not the crowd to follow.

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 625
LK, I don't understand what you are saying. I don't see how having a permit and inspection is going to protect you if your installation causes a loss. From what I've seen, they're still going to sue you, and the fact that there were permits and an inspection is pretty much irrelevent to the question of whether faulty work on your part caused a loss. (Obviously, a good inspection should catch any problems, so you wouldn't be in court in the first place, but, given a loss, I don't see that the fact that an inspector also screwed up helps you much.)

(Edited to add: Please note that I'm not arguing against premits and inspections. I just don't see how they protect you from liability.)

[This message has been edited by SolarPowered (edited 11-02-2004).]

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,143
Officially, most towns around here want a permit ($$$) for any electrical work.

If you're replacing an existing fixture, you can usually make the successful argument that you aren't adding to or modifying the existing distribution system in any way.

This, of course, doesn't count the "one-wall-left-standing" type of remodel that we've seen elsewhere on this forum!

Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 751
It is the owner's responsibility to pull permits, and it is NOT the electrician's job to make sure that permits have been pulled. If the inspector discovers that there is no permit for a project you are working on, all that can be done is to stop you from working on that job only. No fines, no license penalties.
It is not part of YOUR job to get the permit. If you do voluntarily take on that responsibility, then, yes, you have to show your license, and call for inspections. If you don't, then it is the responsibility of the owner or contractor.
Yes, all towns want permits for all work done in their towns. As responsible contractors, we want our work to be inspected, it is just not our responsibility. That burden belongs to the owner. He has to pay the fines, not us.
Make it clear at the beginning of the job who has this responsibility.
Next time the inspector asks you why there wasn't a permit pulled, tell him: "It's not my job, man. I told the owner, and he decided what he decided."
Of course, you might want to get your money up front, because I don't think the owner will want to pay you for an uncompleted job.

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,429
LK Offline
Has nothing to do with your work, or if it was the cause of any loss. I has to do with you following the law and getting permits for your work.
The loss may have been from oil rags in the garage, and nothing to do with your work.
The problem is, the underwriting company may refuse to pay, on grounds that their contract with the insured states all permits must obtained from local or state agencies when requried.
That little clause lets them off the hook for payment, they usually offer to give back the payments made, and in some states they have to offer a fixed sum like $10,000 on a $300,000 home, And you don't want to be the one, that din't get the permit when required.
Permits do not make money for the city, they usually cost the city money to provide the service, without inspections in force in your town your insurace rating would be much higher, inspections, and fire protection help keep the rates down.
Every city throught the country is rated, these ratings are used to determine insurance rates charged for your area, so good inspections and good fire protection produce good rates for all.

Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 597

Who pulls a permit is a function of the law in effect (if any). For the State of Minnesota, the person(s) who do the work are the ones who must pull the permit.
State of Minnesota Statutes 326.244 Inspection. Subdivision 2. Procedure.
(a) At or before commencement of any installation required to be inspected by the board, the contractor, installer, special electrician, or owner making the installation shall submit to the board a request for inspection, in a form prescribed by the board, together with the fees required for the installation.
State of Minnesota Statute 326.246 Crimes. It is a misdemeanor knowingly and willfully to commit, or to order, instruct, or direct another to commit, any of the following acts:
(3) to fail to file a request for inspection when required;
There are provisions for additional fees, fines and even jail time.

Al Hildenbrand
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 494
You should only need a permit to extend a circuit or replace a panel, service panel or meterbase. Maintenance does not need a permit.

A lot of folks I know dont bother getting permits..I do not see how they get away with it. I get a permit anytime I extend a circuit.

PS..I have seen jobs get shutdown for not having a permit...and especially if you do not have an electrical license...that is valid.



[This message has been edited by mustangelectric (edited 11-02-2004).]

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 518
Out here we have a 10 ft/ one stick of pipe rule; more than that you need a permit- and unless you are working on the house you live in, it has to be pulled by a licensed electrical contractor.

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