Electrical Code Violations
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Dear Mr. Electrician: I recently purchased my first home and noticed that there are some repairs that need to be done. How well do you think a person such as myself could perform minor electrical repairs and perhaps install some new wiring? Answer: Experience is very important when doing repair work around the house or new installations. Each trade has different challenges and levels of mechanical aptitude to be successful. The electrical trade learning curve is very great with a combination of classroom training and several years of working under experienced people. In addition an investment in specialty tools is required. NOTE: Text links below go to applicable products on Amazon.com Electrical Code and Safety Violations I have made many repairs to DIY wiring and have observed many code violations and poor installation methods. Below is a partial list of common electrical wiring mistakes I have encountered. Not reading or consulting the newest edition of the "National Electrical Code" (NFPA 70). It is imperative that electrical wiring be installed in a safe manner. The NEC is published and updated every three years to stay on top of the ever changing needs of the consumer and industry while providing the latest rules and guidelines for safe electrical installations. Please be advised that in addition to the "National Electrical Code" some towns, cities and states have their own electrical codes that must be followed. It is a good idea to contact your local building department to see what codes are in effect. In many cases other codes may be applicable to electrical installations such as a fire code, energy code, sound code, building code etc. Not considering the safety of your actions. Working with electricity and wiring can be hazardous to your health. At the very least goggles, gloves, and a disposable dust mask should be part of your tool box. Good high back work shoes with steel toes are what many construction workers wear on their feet for comfort and protection. You should consider the same. Consult OSHA Publication #1926 for the guidelines for safety in the construction industry. In addition it is most likely that the wiring that you install will be used by others. It is important to ensure their safety with a minimal of risk by following the building codes. Not getting an electrical permit or having your electrical installation inspected. There are a few arguments for NOT getting a permit or having an inspection performed such as government infringing on the rights of individuals or refusing to pay the cost of the permit and inspection. SAFETY is paramount and quashes all arguments against permits. If you are a non-professional doing an electrical installation in your home, you need confirmation that the work is done in a safe and workmanlike manner. The safety and well being of you, your family, and your home are at stake. Doing the job right includes a permit and inspection by your local building department or whatever authority has jurisdiction on home improvement in your community. Sometimes owners in a community have an...