What to Consider When Applying for a Permit for an Electrical Service Upgrade.

If you have an electrical service upgrade work in your home, you may be thinking whether you will need to get a construction permit for it or not. The answer is that most new electrical services and service upgrades require a permit. There are a few exceptions, which are also discussed here. While it may seem to be a time-consuming task to get the permit, there are conceptual reasons behind it. For one, it ensures the safety of your property and family.

Electrical permits ensure that your project is in compliance with minimum-required standards to keep life and limb safe. It also ensures the safety of your property, public health, and general welfare. A permit is required for the following scenarios:
• Installation of an appliance, device, equipment, or wiring
• Additions, alterations, or replacements in existing appliances, devices, wiring, or equipment

This applies to upgrades or installations within the premises or on any structure.

An electrical service upgrade permit is required when it is required to increase the size of the panel or main service. It is required when the work requires replacing the main service or panel due to damage. There may be a need to relocate it or the equipment may have become outdated.

How Does One Get Started In Applying for a Permit?

The first step is to contact a qualified electrician. If it an underground electric service, you will have to get all the underground utilities marked.
Electrical permits are typically obtained by the electrical contractor. The permit must be taken out by the individual handling the job. This can also be the homeowner. Depending on your state, the law may allow even homeowners of single-family residences to handle their electrical work.
The following information will be required at the time of submitting an application for a permit:
• Your residential address
• Name of the licensed electrical contractor, address, license number, and phone number
• Owner name
Steps for Obtaining a Permit
The steps involved for your electrical service upgrade permit are as follows:
• Present the proof of home-ownership
• File the plans and specifications
• If you are a homeowner, you must meet satisfy the chief electrical code administrator about your ability to make the electrical service upgrade. An oral or written examination may be required.
• A registered electrical contractor can apply for a permit without a test.

Payment will depend on the area in which you live.

The need to submit plans and specifications depends on the type of property you have:
• Single Dwelling Units or Duplexes: You will require electrical plans for your electrical wiring based on your state’s code. Plans will be required if the wiring is connected to on-site alternative power generation.
• Other Buildings & Structures: Electrical plans and specifications are required to be submitted for all buildings and structures other than single or double-family dwellings. The exception is when the building or structure qualifies for a no-plan permit.

Inspection Following the Issuing of A Permit

Once the permit is received and the job is completed , you can schedule an inspection. Only after the inspector has approved the work will your utility company be authorized to power your building.

Exemptions from Getting a Permit

There are situations when you can be exempted from applying for a permit. An exemption doesn’t mean that the work can be handled in ways that may violate the provisions of the electrical regulations or the local code. Some of these situations are as follows:
• Minor jobs including repairing, or replacing switches, replacing fuses, replacing lights, circuit breakers, receptacles, ballasts, or lamp holders. The replacement must be the same type and size as the original equipment. The work must also be completed in accordance with the regulations.
• Installing, repairing, or altering wiring, appliances, devices, or equipment that works at not more than 25 volts between conductors and doesn’t supply over 50 W of energy.
• Replacing lamps or connecting portable appliances to the right receptacles that are permanently installed.
• Installing remote-control switching devices on your appliances.
• Repairing or replacing hardwired appliances including cooking appliances, dishwashers, and other fixed appliances in your home that don’t create additional electrical load to the current circuit that gets affected by the work.

Repairs, maintenance, replacement, or relocation job that doesn’t require any changes to your electrical service or disconnection of service, you may not need a permit. Projects of value not exceeding $1,000 are also usually exempt.

Other Home Improvements that Require Construction Permits

If you are going to make major changes to your home, you are likely to need other permits. This can include additions or remodeling involving bedrooms, garages, decks, walls, porches, balconies, and some types of sheds. If a project involves changing the current support system of your home, it will require a permit.
This can include the following types of projects:
• If you are replacing a window, it will not require a permit. However, if the replacement requires cutting a hole, a permit may be required. This also applies to new doors and skylights.
• All fences may not require a permit, but there are certain limitations on the height of the allowed fences. This limit varies from one city to another. Generally, fences 5 feet or higher require a permit.
• If you are replacing a water heater, you will need a permit. A permit may also be required for making changes to your ventilation system.
• When installing or replacing plumbing, you may require a permit.
A siding project will also most often require a permit.

If you are interested in receiving a quote from Service First Permits with additional info on how we can help manage and streamline the permit issuing process please contact us here. Contact