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Address

Mailing Address:

Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement
2145 Suttle Avenue
Charlotte, NC 28208

Office Location:


2145 Suttle Avenue
Charlotte,
NC 28208

MAP

Hours: Mon-Fri 8 a.m - 5 p.m.

Contact

Customer Service
980-314-CODE(2633)

Electrical Information for Homeowners

Attention! We do not promote or encourage you to do your own electrical wiring. It is by far the most dangerous home project you can attempt. You could put your family and possessions in danger!The Law   
Tips for the Homeowner

 

The state of North Carolina allows you to personally do your own wiring in your own home provided you 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.

OUR GOAL
Our goal is to protect the public health, safety, and welfare while delivering services that exceed customer's expectations for efficiency, effectiveness, and adaptability. Exceptional quality service is the standard.

KNOW THE CODE
Most often the Do-It-Yourself books, home center stores, HGTV, DYI network television shows are not as helpful as they may seem. They give the impression that many projects are very simple. The information received from the do-it-yourself books, home center stores and TV shows is not always consistent with the current edition of the National Electrical Code. The writers of the shows, the employees of the home center stores, and the authors of these books are not always qualified to give the correct information. To be assured your project will pass inspection, you must follow the current edition of the National Electrical Code.

THE LAW:

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 G.S.87-41.1.

87-43.1. Exceptions.

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.

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ELECTRICAL PERMITS:

Most homeowners DO NOT take out the necessary electrical permits and get an inspection of their work. This is a very important step and is a legal requirement.

When is a permit required?
Anytime you alter, change, modify, add to, remove, replace, or repair any of the permanent wiring, devices, or equipment in or attached to your home or out building.

Except 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.

c. 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?
Call us at 980-3114-CODE or visit us at 2145 Suttle Avenue, Charlotte NC

TIPS FOR THE HOMEOWNER:

1)  Leave enough wire at the outlet boxes. Short wires make it hard to install or replace the switch or receptacle, should the need arise. You must leave at least six inches of wire extending outside of the outlet box.
2)  Properly install the cables in the outlet box. The cable sheath must be inside the box at least 1/4" to 1/2". You should not see the individual conductors outside of the box where the cable enters. If the box has cable clamps, make sure they are snug to prevent the cable from coming out of the box.
3)  Many times, cable is installed where it can be damaged. Anytime NM-B or UF cable is run outside of the framing members, it shall be protected by some type of conduit, either flexible, PVC, or rigid conduit.
4)  If UF is installed feeding a pole light or utility building, it shall be protected by either a metallic or PVC conduit to keep it from being damaged by gardening tools, pets, pests and etc. Schedule 80 PVC conduit must be used to protect the UF down at least 18" into the ground and up to 48" when it emerges from the ground or a slab.
5)  Use a proper connector when inserting the cable into a metal box, light fixture, bath fan or panel board. A proper cable connector must be used to keep the sharp edges of the metal from damaging the cable sheath and causing a short circuit or possibly a fire.
6)  The NM-B should be stapled within eight inches of the box and at least every four feet thereafter. Be careful when stapling that you do not damage the cable with the hammer. Do not drive the staple so tight as to damage the cable. Drive the staple so that it is just snug enough to secure the cable. Be sure to staple cables flat on the framing member (see the following diagram).  diagram.jpg  Be sure to run the NM-B along and parallel to building members in a neat appearing manner. Do not travel diagonally across the attic or under the floor. Stay at least 6 feet away from any access. If you have permanent access to an attic or a crawl space more than 4 feet high, cable shall not be run on the face of the joist.
7)  Be sure to keep the NM-B cable at least 1 1/4" from the finished edges of your framing member. This is to keep the NM-B from being damaged by nails that miss the framing member while the wall or ceiling finish is installed.
8)  Drilled holes in framing members shall be a minimum of 1 1/4 inches from either face of the framing member or shall be protected by using a steel plate 1/16 of an inch thick or a listed, approved steel plate of lesser than 1/16 inch of appropriate length.
9)  Use the proper cable for the job. It is a common mistake using NM-B cable for underground or direct burial use. It may seem to withstand burial because it has a plastic-like coating. But, it will not last long especially if the ground is damp. You must use UF cable.
10)  Homeowners often do not use proper replacement outlet. Always replace a GFCI receptacle with another GFCI receptacle ONLY. It was installed there for a purpose. It could save a life, maybe yours, or a loved one.
11)  NEVER replace a two-wire receptacle with a three-wire receptacle. If you own an older home with ungrounded two slot receptacles, you cannot replace a two-wire receptacle with a three wire-grounding receptacle unless you run a ground wire and attach it to the grounding electrode. There is an exception to this; you may replace a two-wire receptacle with a GFCI receptacle and mark all the outlets replaced as no ground available.
12)  Do not replace light fixtures in older homes without a grounding conductor. Replacement of light fixtures require grounding if a metal fixture is installed or install GFCI protection on the circuit. Nonmetallic fixtures may be replaced without grounding.
13)  It is a common mistake to install ceiling fans without proper support. Be sure that if you are hanging a ceiling fan you have installed a listed ceiling fan box correctly per the manufacturer's instructions before mounting the ceiling fan.
14)  Homeowners get shocked by not turning off power or checking if a circuit is live. Buy a simple voltage detector. Check your voltage tester on a known live circuit to be sure it is working properly BEFORE USING.
15)  Remember the self-help books are not always correct or current. The person who is giving you advice may not know as much as you or maybe only a little more than you about wiring. Most often the advice you get is worth just what you paid for it; as a matter of fact, it most often costs you a lot of money to do a project over to meet the National Electrical Code.

DO YOU REALLY WANT TO DO YOUR OWN ELECTRICAL WORK?ELECTRICITY WORKS WHEN IT IS WRONG!

Nothing else in your home will operate properly if it is installed incorrectly. Just because your ceiling fan or light operates does not mean it is safe. It may take years but eventually it could fail, possibly causing a fire, major damage, or death.
Painting, roofing, floor covering, sheetrock, trim work, landscaping and a host of other projects can be safely performed by the homeowner.

LEAVE THE ELECTRICAL WORK TO A QUALIFIED LICENSED ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR.







Address

Mailing Address:

Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement
2145 Suttle Avenue
Charlotte, NC 28208

Office Location:


2145 Suttle Avenue
Charlotte,
NC 28208

MAP

Hours: Mon-Fri 8 a.m - 5 p.m.

Contact

Customer Service
980-314-CODE(2633)