I was recently at a code class taught by the senior electrical inspector for the city of Los Angeles. He brought up an interesting point. LA is notorious for being tough. They have had so many amendments to the NEC they have their own City of Los Angeles electric code. What he pointed out, however, is that the California Electric Code now exists and all jurisdictions in California are forbidden by State law to amend the NEC. They must follow the CEC. Has anyone out here run into this?
Nick, I can shed some perspective on your query, but not answer it directly. I have a book called "Legal Aspects of Code Administration" that talks about such preemption by the state over the municipalities (or the Feds over the states): "Preemption allows the..state governments to regulate activities which would otherwise be subject to local control. Usually, there is a strong state..policy being served which cannot be met adequately by the imposition of municipal regulations." As to when this California Code is going to be 100% enforced is anyone's guess. Some inspectors' habits are hard to break, espectially if they aren't challenged..but who wants to rock the boat?
Electures post in this same section "(From the Land of Varying City Codes and Inspector Fetishes)" got me thinking about this. (We work allot of the same areas) Every city around here is different. If this is truly a state regulation, I don't think many cities know about it. Maybe there is a grace period as the book is the 1998 edition. BTW. It is not limited to electrical codes. The complete book incorporates everything from the UBC to OSHPOD. It looks to be a great reference. I just need to find out where to get my hands on it.
I haven't yet run into this. Is this something that begins this year? [01-01-2002]
In a way, we have been using the CEC since 1978 - in the form of the California Energy Conservation Requirements [AKA Title 24, part 6]. The other trades would be doing installs according to the California Codes too, since there installs will fall somehow within either Title 24 or CalDag [California Disabled Accessibility Guidebook] - an ADA thing. These would be CBC [Ca. Building Code], CFC [Ca. Fire Code], CMC [Ca. Mechanical Code], CPC [Ca. Plumbing Code] and The Ca. Elevator Safety Codes.
Track records for projects since last July:
Murrieta, Ca. Using 1996 NEC, Seal Beach, Ca. Using either 1996 or 1999 NEC, Fullerton, Ca. Using 1999 [just adopted], Mission Viejo, Ca. Using 1999 NEC, County of Los Angeles, Ca. Using 1998 CEC / 1999 LA County Elect. Code, Pasadena, Ca. Using 1999 NEC, Azusa, Ca. Using 1996 NEC, Claremont, Ca. Using 1996 NEC.
On the Bank Branch projects we do, there is another compliance issue to be considered - which overrides Title 24's lighting restrictions. It's the lighting around ATMs. Commonly known as "AB-244" from the Assembly Bill # 244, it was passed into law and became FC 13000 [Financial Code 13000].
Lastly, I can think of one common CEC / CBC item that has appeared over the last few years - the Seismic Requirements of new Switchgear and Panelboards [are Transformers Seismic rated too now??? It's been over 3 years since I have landed a brand new Xformer].
City / County of LA has things like Hard Wired Disposals and Dishwashers [I'm talking Commercial installs here], along with the more restrictive installation techniques of items in T-Bar ceilings. Can't think of too many indifferences off hand, maybe since I have done so much work in LA it's almost second nature to install as that code requires.
Scott " 35 " Thompson Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!
The CEC and other California Codes can be amended by city or county, provided the amendment is "reasonably necessary because of local climatic, geological, or topographical conditions" only.(So seismic, corrosion, etc. qualify) A copy of the findings must be filed w/ the State, and local Code amendments are not enforceable unless filed. This is as of 9-01. If you look at most of the local amendments as written, they qualify. MANY DON'T Where do the localities get off with some of the "rogue" calls such as hardwiring appliances?? Don't buy a '98 CEC just yet (only $93 here. '01 (based on '99 NEC) is coming up very soon. You're probably OK with '96 NEC and the CA Title 24 energy requirements.(free download of T24 from the state) Oh yes, be sure to have lots of paper and ink on hand. The Title 24 (although the lighting portion is only 74 pages) non-residential manual is 601 pages long. The residential manual is over 500 pages. (Plus, of course, the errata sheets)