This question would often come up if you are considering doing some electrical work yourself. While DIY is great and even cost-effective for some tasks around the home, electrical works are very different and some rules apply.
There are several reasons you might need to replace an electrical outlet. From outlets not being installed where you need them to having faulty outlets are all good reasons. However, the first thing to remember is that electrical works are best left to licensed and professional electricians. If you have no experience or skills to perform the work yourself, then do not attempt it at all.
You will require a permit to replace an electrical outlet. Read on to see how this works.
The role of a permit in electrical projects
Permits and building codes are designed to protect you and your home by ensuring that a project is done safely and correctly. An inspection which is the last part of any project involving a permit helps to enhance this safety by spotting mistakes and preventing extensive repairs.
When it comes to electrical work and electrical permits for homeowners going DIY, it’s important to note the following;
- Only the owner and occupant of a home can obtain a permit to do the work themselves. This means as a homeowner looking to DIY you cannot perform any electrical services on a house about to be sold, on rent, lease, or exchange. Only a professional electrician can pull a permit and perform the electrical service in all situations.
When is an electrical permit required?
As a landlord or homeowner, you may not require a permit to replace electrical appliances or perform maintenance on existing installations. Other electrical works that usually require a permit include;
- Install or alter any permanent wiring or electrical device
- Installing a new electrical outlet or light fixture
- Install additional wiring in your home.
- Installation of a receptacle for a garage-door opener
- Converting a fuse box to a circuit breaker
- Installing or altering low-voltage systems such as security alarms
You can always call the local building department in your area to clarify any uncertainty on what electrical projects require a permit.
What do I need to do to get an electrical permit?
An electrical permit is only issued by your local building department. After confirming that your electrical project requires a permit that can be obtained by you, the first step is to complete an application. The permit application is usually offered in-office and some jurisdictions offer it online or via fax.
Next comes the permit fee, which depends on the complexity of your project. After the permit is issued you can perform the electrical work. An inspection should also be scheduled as soon as possible to complete the process.
Electrical codes, restrictions, and rules.
Part of the reasons why hiring a professional electrician for your electrical needs is safer and preferable to DIY is their knowledge of current electrical codes. Before you attempt any electrical work, get updated on the dos and don’ts of the NEC.