I was a electrical inspector for over twenty yrs. I found that 9 out of 10 jobs done by licensed electricans were up to code. On the other hand 9 out of 10 jobs done by unlicensed electricals were not to code. I think all states should require licensing and fines (stiff fines) I;ve seen houses wired with phone wire!!!Licenses do not make all electical jobs 100% proper BUT they sure bring up the odds!!!
Had this come up just a couple of weeks ago. The city requires the GC to list the HVAC, plumber and electrician on the building permit that must be posted on the jobsite. I was finishing the electric on a new house when I noticed someone other than the GC building a storage barn behind the house. The GC told me the homeowner had hired this guy to build the barn on his own. The GC had asked me to stub down a 6-3 w/G from the panel to the crawl during rough-in for future possible use. A few days later I noticed a trench had been ran from the house to this barn and a piece of 1-1/4" PVC stubbed up and LB'd into this barn. I investigated and found #6 AL URD(triplex) with no conduit ran into the barn and into a 100A loadcenter secured with a 2" SE connector. No 4th wire for equipment ground, no ground rod, neutral and EC bars tied together and 5 duplex receptacles and 3 lights on a switch all with the EG cut off in the receptacle and switch boxes. My curiosity got the best of me and I crawled under the house to see how the #6 AL was connected to the 6-3 W/G copper I had stubbed down into a 6x6x4 Hoffman box. I found the AL connected to the CU with big blue wirenuts and the EG from the 6-3 WG left hanging. I called the inspector to let him know I did not wire this barn. He found out who did and made him correct all of it the next day while he watched! If I had let this go the house would have failed final and been denied an occupancy certificate. And I, being the listed EC, would have been subject to reprimand by the city building commissioner's office. The homeowner is mad at me for causing trouble but the GC was very grateful since he doesn't get his final draw until an occupancy cert. is issued. Turns out the barn builder is a city fireman who throws up these barns on his days off. The inspector couldn't pull his license because he doesn't have one.
It depends on the AHJ. One city I work in does not take any effective action against those who were never licensed. Another city has used the laws here to fine the fly by nites. One guess who gets the phone call?
Our State Board of Licensed Electrical Contractors (and the same for Plumbers) is supposed to ferret out the illegal guys, and keep tabs on the licensed guys also. The local AHJ's are supposed to keep there eyes open. Again it's dependent on the geographic area. Some have very dedicated AHJ's, some towns utilize "third party" agencies. Some towns have part time AHJ's, some have full time AHJ's. We are the most densley populated state in the US.
Most of the EC's that I know will "pick up the phone"; it's not being a rat, it's helping to enforce the law.
As to the results, and the penalties...you occasionally read an article of someone being fined ($500 to $5000.00), I wonder is there are any records available as public info?? JOhn
Re: unlicensed electrician /code violations?#17482 11/29/0207:32 AM11/29/0207:32 AM
No time to play electrical cop. We have a pretty good sytem here in MA. I base this on what I read here about other parts of the country. Inspectrors have been known to show up unanounced to check for licenses and permits and they will catch up with the "bad guys". I let them do their job and they let me do mine.