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The state of North Carolina allows homeowners to do their own wiring in their homes, provided the homeowner will personally will reside in the home, and that it is not for rent or intended for sale within one year after you complete the electrical installation. All electrical installations, changes, additions, or modifications to wiring systems are subject to permitting and inspections.
Often, the do-it-yourself books, websites and television shows gloss over the specifics of code compliance. Our staff encourage homeowners to guard against thinking that a project is very simple just because it may appear that way from one of these sources.
Even when issues of code compliance are addressed, it's important to know that the code requirements vary from state to state, and can change over time, so the information homeowners are viewing may not be consistent with the current edition of the National Electrical Code. To be assured the project will pass inspection, homeowners must follow the current edition of the National Electrical Code, with all North Carolina amendments.
87-43. Electrical contracting defined; licenses.
Electrical contracting shall be defined as engaging or offering to engage in the business of installing, maintaining, altering or repairing any electric work, wiring, devices, appliances or equipment. No person, partnership, firm or corporation shall engage, or offer to engage, in the business of electrical contracting within the State of North Carolina without having received a license in the applicable classification described in G.S. 87-43.1 from the State Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors in compliance with the provisions of this Article, regardless of whether the offer was made or the work was performed by a qualified individual as defined in
The provisions of this Article shall not apply:
(5) To the installation, construction, maintenance or repair of electrical wiring, devices, appliances or equipment by persons, firms or corporations, upon their own property when such property is not intended at the time for rent, lease, sale or gift, who regularly employ one or more electricians or mechanics for the purpose of installing, maintaining, altering or repairing of electrical wiring, devices or equipment used for the conducting of the business of said persons, firms or corporations;
(5a) To any person who is himself and for himself installing, maintaining, altering or repairing electric work, wiring, devices, appliances or equipment upon his own property when such property is not intended at the time for rent, lease, or sale;
(7) To the replacement of lamps and fuses and to the installation and servicing of cord-connected appliances and equipment connected by means of attachment plug-in devices to suitable receptacles which have been permanently installed or to the servicing of appliances connected to a permanently installed junction box. This exception does not apply to permanently installed receptacles or to the installation of the junction box.
Obtaining the necessary permits and inspections is not just a critically important step to ensure the work is safe and code-compliant -- it is also required by law.
When is a permit required? Anytime a homeowner alters, changes, modifies, adds to, removes, replaces, or repairs any of the permanent wiring, devices, or equipment in or attached to the home or out-building.
There is an exception that in any one- or two-family dwelling unit a permit shall not be required for
repair or replacement of electrical lighting fixtures or devices, such as receptacles and lighting switches, or for the connection of an existing branch circuit to an electric water heater that is being
replaced, provided that all of the following requirements are met:
a. With respect to electric water heaters, the replacement water heater is placed in the same location and is of the same or less capacity and electrical rating as the original.
b. With respect to electrical lighting fixtures and devices, the replacement is with a fixture or device having the same voltage and the same or less amperage.
The work is performed by a person licensed under G.S. 87-43.
d. The repair or replacement installation
meets the current edition of the State Building Code, including the State Electrical Code.
While a permit is not required, as in the above, it is always a good idea to have the extra assurance that the installation meets the code requirements by another independent source.
How do I get a permit?Homeowner permits can be issued online, but homeowners are first required to set up an account and bond. For information on how to begin this process, call our Customer Service Center at 980-314-CODE or visit our offices at 2145 Suttle Avenue, Charlotte.
County services are operating at a limited capacity. Questions about COVID-19? Call Public Health Hotline: 980-314-9400