How to Pull an Electrical Permit in Los Angeles

pulling permit in los angelesNot all projects require a permit, but most electrical works do. In Los Angeles, it’s easy to pull an electrical permit if you meet all the requirements. Since pulling permits differ from state to state, we have put together the Los Angeles guide you need.

An electrical permit is an approval you get from your building department to go ahead with electrical projects in a home.

In Los Angeles, you will need electrical permits for any kind of electrical works. These include work related to;

  • All residential and commercial buildings
  • Installing a new electrical panel
  • Installing a new sub panel
  • New buildings or addition to a building
  • Any electrical installations over 600 volts.
  • Installations of lighting including exits lighting and security lighting.
  • Installations in hazardous locations.
  • New, expanded, or replaced electrical items
  • Installation of a complicated electrical system as determined by the Department, such as Emergency, Legally Required Standby, Fire Alarm, and Gas Detection Systems.

The Permit Process

To pull an electrical permit in Los Angeles, you must first file electrical plans with the indicated department. These plans and the first step are referred to as electrical plan check. Only when this plan check has been approved or deemed not required will a permit be issued.

Electrical permits in Los Angeles can also only be issued to an electrical contractor with the appropriate license, the property owner, and or an agent representing either the contractor or the property owner.

Why it’s important to pull a permit when necessary?

Pulling a permit in Los Angeles may seem like a hassle to you, but it’s necessary if you want to avoid certain unfriendly situations. Electrical work carried out without a permit is considered illegal. Such unpermitted work can cause even more problems in the future if the option of a resale comes up. There’s also no assurance that the work was done up to code.

Where can I obtain the permit in Los Angeles and how much time is involved?

You can obtain an electrical permit from the local Building and Safety District Office serving your area. For online permits, you can go through Los Angeles County’s Electronic Permitting and Inspection (EPIC LA).

For simple projects that do not require a plan check, you can get an express permit when you apply online.

For small-medium projects, a plan check can take 45-60 minutes and as the projects get larger, plan checks extend to even weeks.

After obtaining the permit, the permit expires within 12 months if work has not started from the time it was issued.

It’s possible to get an extension on your permit, but that might require an extra fee.

How to make obtaining an electrical permit in LA easy

Start by hiring a professional and licensed electrician for your electrical needs. It’s legal, easier, and safer to let this experienced technician pull the permit for your project. All you will need to do is likely to bear the cost.

Licensed electricians can get permits faster and pass inspections easily too. They are also updated on current codes, and this saves you any future problems.

Electrical Issues in Los Angeles Homes

Some electrical issues are more common than you think. They occur in almost every home with electricity and while they may be no one’s fault sometimes, it’s often because your electrical system is subject to getting worn out. Read on as we discuss the most common electrical issues in Los Angeles homes and how to handle them.

  1. Broken light switch

A broken light switch in your Los Angeles home can be due to any number of reasons. It could be due to damage because the switch is old, improper wiring and circuit faults, or the switch may have been overridden.

To fix this, turn off the circuit breaker and remove the faceplate with a screwdriver. Turning off the circuit breaker earlier would help you identify which one is broken. Ensure there is no electricity in the wires and disconnect the switch to fix it.

Type of electrical issue – Harmless.

  1. Cut extension cords

Extensions often come in handy in your Los Angeles home and can also easily get damaged. To fix a cut or damaged extension cord, cut off the old plug and peel back the insulation jacket to expose the wires. Strip each wire and connect/screw them to the new plug. Twist each wire and screw black to gold, green to green, and white to silver at the back of the plug. Close the plug.

Type of electrical issue – Harmless.

  1. Flickering lights

This horror scene trick can never be good news. Flickering lights often indicate a more serious problem such as poor connections, sparks, overheating, and more. They should be looked at and fixed as soon as possible. Contact an electrician if you experience flickering lights.

Type of electrical issue – Hazardous.

  1. Electric shocks

That unexpected zap when plugging in a device could either be no-problem news or bad news. Test the appliance by plugging into another outlet. A repeated shock indicates the appliance might have a fault or problem with your wiring. Call an electrician when you experience electric shocks to find the cause and solution of the problem.

Type of electrical issue – Possibly hazardous.

  1. Loose outlets

Loose outlets can be easy to spot when you’re trying to plug in something. If it’s bad enough, you might have the outlet hanging out of the socket or wall. Turn off the breaker to stop power from coming through the outlet. Use a voltage tester or power testing tool to confirm there’s no power in the outlet. Remove the cover plate and add new outlet shims until the outlet can fit firmly on the wall. Screw the cover plate back in.

Type of electrical issue – Harmless.

  1. Tripping breakers

Circuit overload is one of the biggest causes of frequent breaker tripping. This means that there are not enough power points in your home electrical system. Overload can lead to more than normal trips, which can be dangerous.

Calling an electrical technician is the best solution, as your electrical system might need an upgrade or repairs.

Type of electrical issue – Hazardous.  

Where To Turn For Electrical Advice in Los Angeles?

electrician los angelesWe all use and love electricity. It keeps us warm, gives us access to entertainment, preserves our food, cooks our food, heats our water, upgrades our security, and so on. The uses and comforts of electricity are endless, but there are just as many risks involved.

More often than you would like, electrical issues might come up in the home or commercial building. These issues may require a professional electrician or could be easily managed by you. It’s also possible to avoid them by taking precautions. Regardless of how your electrical issues should be handled, it’s clear that you would always need a reliable source of electrical advice in Los Angeles.

Naturally, it’s best to turn to a professional electrician for electrical advice. The obvious reason for this is that a professional and licensed electrician is fully equipped and knowledgeable to provide accurate and effective advice.

Anyone else such as a friend who knows as little as you do about electricity is not a reliable source of electrical advice. The wrong information or approach to your home electricity can compromise the safety of lives and property.

The Electric Connection is a reputable electrical company that has served Los Angeles for decades. We make it easy for you to get the electrical advice you need with free of charge consultations via calls.

Our experts are always available to give you the advice you need and even over the phone quotes if a professional electrician is needed to solve the problem.

All electrical technicians with The Electric Connection are trained, licensed, insured, customer-oriented, and courteous. You can count on us for electrical advice in Los Angeles.

Here are some tips to maximize electrical safety in your home.

  • Avoid overloading your outlets. Each outlet in your home is designed to provide a specific amount of electricity, and plugging too many devices at once can lead to a fire or damage to appliances. Use an energy-saving power strip if you have a few things to plug in at once.
  • Extension cords can be helpful but can also become a safety hazard when used wrongly. Do not run extension cords through the house as that could lead to accidents in the home. If you discover you use or need extension cords often, contact a professional electrician to install more outlets in your home.
  • Repair or replace any damaged electrical outlet or component in the home. Don’t push aside any electrical component displaying faults or warning signs such as burning smells, fraying, cracking, and so on. Reach out for electrical advice or a service call.
  • Unplug appliances when not in use. This saves you money on the electric bill and prevents accidents.
  • Always read the instructions for every appliance or electrical component before use.
  • Keep electrical appliances out of reach of kids and teach those old enough to understand the proper way to use them.

For more tips or free electrical advice, see our regular posts and articles.

Relocating a 220 Volt Outlet in Los Angeles

220 volt outletA 220-volt outlet is the most powerful outlet in the home. It is built for power-demanding appliances, like ovens, dryers, and more. You can identify 220-volt outlets as outlets that are larger and different-looking than others. They usually have either 3 prong or 4 prong holes.

If you are renovating, remodeling, or moving any of these power-demanding appliances, you would have to move or install new 220-volt outlets to serve them.

Relocating or installing a new 220-volt outlet is always ideal because it sets the outlet behind the appliance, giving the room a clean look. It also helps to eliminate dangerous situations from using electrical extension cords.

Use the following steps to relocate your 220-volt outlet.

  • Safety first.
    Before you get started with the relocation, shut off the power to the area of appliances. Next, take out the outlet cover and remove the outlet from the box. You can use an electrical tester to confirm that there is no power in the outlet. If possible, let others in the home know you will be working with electricity and the power has to remain off till you are done. Try to use rubber-handed tools and even a high-voltage glove to be sure of safety.
  • Choose and prep your new location
    Choose the new location of the appliance and mark out the spot for the outlet on the wall in that spot. Cut open the drywall using the same dimensions as the existing outlet.
  • Remove the wires
    Run the wires from the existing location to the new one. Ensure you use a stud finder to identify the stud where the outlet will be mounted.
  • Mount the outlet
    Cut a new wire and run it from the old location to the new one. Then cut two inches of sheathing from the ends of the wire. Pull off half-inch of insulation from the black, red, and white leads on both ends. Nail the gang box for the outlet to the stud. Connect the wires that go into the old outlet’s gang box. Cover each with a wire nut and electrical tape. Run the opposite end of the new wire into the gang box, leaving up to 8 inches of wire coming in. Connect the black and red wires to the positive terminals and white wire to the negative terminals. Attach the mud rings to the gang box and slide the outlet in. Make the connection to the mud ring, place the new cover on the outlet, and screw in.
  • You can use drywall patches to patch the old outlet location.

    Before using the outlet you can reach out to an electrician to inspect the installation for safety reasons. You can also contact us for further inquiries.

    Call a Local Electrician

    Relocating a 220 volt outlet requires the help of a local Los Angeles electrician. The Electric Connection is just one phone call away. Give us a call any time Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm PST and one of our dispatchers will be happy to talk with you. They’ll get you on schedule with a professional electrician who can help complete your project in no time at all!

Can I use an extension cord to run power outside?

extension cord legalGetting power within the home is easy. You are already set up with outlets, cables, and extension cords. So, all you have to do when you need to put on the TV, use the microwave, or other appliance is plug in and switch on. However, when you need power outside, it’s different. Running power outside depends on a few factors starting from what you need power for, or rather the duration of use.

Power Outside for Short Term Use

Yes, you can use an extension cord to run power outside if you only need power for a short time. This can include quick activities like trimming the bushes or illuminating a party in your backyard. An extension cord built for outdoor use has you covered from hours to up to two days outside. It’s important you note the use of the term outdoor extension because not all extensions are built for the conditions outside your home. An indoor extension should not be used even for only a few hours outside. Purchase an extension cord identified as an outdoor extension cord.

Also, note that even outdoor extension cords built for use outside should not exceed more than a day or two in use. This is to prevent vital parts of the cord from breaking down and leading to electrical fire or shocks.

Other things to consider when using extension cords for outdoor use

  • After ensuring you use an outdoor extension cord, verify the wattage before purchasing it. The cord should be able to accommodate the wattage needs it will be connected to.
  • Next is the length of the cord. Electricians would often advise on using long extension cords outside the home. However, there’s some discretion to be applied to how long or how short the cord should be. A short cord might not meet your needs and a lengthy cord can easily become a cause for accidents, tripping, and falling. Choose the right length according to your needs and be sure to clip a longer cord or its excess to the ground or tuck it neatly away from sight and foot traffic.
  • Also, ensure that the cord is plugged to a GFCI outlet outdoors. A GFCI outlet grounds the current and protects against shock if the cord is exposed to water.

Power Outside for Long Term Use

When you need power outdoors for more a day or two, an extension cord won’t cut it. Perhaps you need to light up the lawn regularly or something else. In this case, you would need a professional electrician to install outdoor electrical cables and GFCI outlets. This is not a DIY task. The electrician will dig trenches 18-30 inches deep depending on the specifications of electrical code. The cable will be encased in solvent-welded PVC conduit and connected from both ends to GFCI outlets. It requires expertise, tools, and experience. Afterwards, you will have a safe and dependable outdoor source of power.

Contact us at the Electrical Connection for further inquiries or installation of an outdoor power source.

Electrical Cord Safety

Electrical cords are the cause of a lot of accidents and injuries around the home. The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) estimates that about 4000 injuries and about 3300 homes have fire accidents as a result of misusing extension cords. There have been around 50 deaths and 270 people injured because of these incidents.

The most common cause of injuries is from tripping over these wires. This has resulted in fractures, contusions sprains, bruises, and lacerations. There are situations where the victims had to be hospitalized.

You do not want to be part of these statistics and the Electric Connection offers some tips on how to use extension cords properly.

  1. Use extension cords temporarily and not as permanent fixtures. If the cords   are used and taken away, the chances of you or others tripping over them are reduced drastically.
  2. Do not overload an extension cord. The ratings of an extension cord indicate how much load it can carry. Knowing this will guide you on what kind of devices and how many devices you can connect to the cord.
  3. Use the cord for its indicated use alone. An outdoor extension cord should only be used for outdoor purposes and vice versa. Outdoor cords are usually thicker and built to withstand weather conditions. Using the   appropriate cord will help protect you from harm and reduce potential dangers.
  4. Check each cord before you plug it in. You should inspect the cord for damages such as frayed wires or bent plugs. You should also check for anything that could lead to electrical shocks. If a plug is hot, do not plug it in.
  5. Run extension cords in open spaces. When you are passing a cord, avoid running it through walls or ceilings. This will help reduce the chances of the cords overheating and posing a fire hazard.
  6. Avoid placing the cords in places where the insulation might be damaged. There are situations where people run their cords between doors or windows or place them under home furniture. This is wrong as this might cause damage to the wiring and damage the insulation, leading to electrical hazards.
  7. Use cords in areas with the least amount of people. Passing a cord through a door or a walkway poses the threat of someone tripping over it as these are routes people pass through a lot. You should run your cords along paths with the least human traffic.
  8. High power devices are not to be connected to extension cords. Microwaves, heaters and the likes draw a lot of power and should be connected to outlets directly and not through cords. This will ensure your cords do not draw more than their rated power.

You should only buy extension cords suitably rated for the load you want to power. If you are connecting multiple devices to an extension cord, you should ensure that their total load doesn’t surpass the cord’s rating.

The Electric Connection can and will provide professional assistance for electrical situations around the home. You can contact us for additional details and questions.

Are Extension Cords Safe For Permanent Use

permanent use extension cordThe short answer here is: no. But when it comes to convenience, we want more than just a short answer.

Extension cords are built for convenience but also built for temporary use. The problem with extension cords is that they are not listed, labeled, or rated for long-term use. The Uniform Fire Code states that these types of cords are intended for the temporary and immediate use of an appliance and are not to be permanently “installed”.

If you are constantly finding yourself relying on the use of extension cords, your best bet it to have an additional outlet installed where you need it the most.

There may be another option for you if installing new outlets is out of the picture. Power strips with circuit breakers or breaker switches are approved for long-term use. Since these strips have built-in surge protectors, they are safe to use for longer periods of time.

Again, there may be issues when it comes to using power strips — as with all devices. Even though the power strips intended for long-term use have built-in circuit breakers, overloading these devices can cause problems. If you plug in too many devices, especially device varying in power needs, you can find yourself facing a real problem. Overloading the wiring can cause fires. Be sure to inspect your power strips thoroughly to ensure you have the right one for your devices and keep multiple on hand to not overload one.

It’s best to have a professional electrician come to your place to assess your situation. If you find yourself relying more and more on extension cords and power strips, it may be time to add some more outlets in your home or office. An electrician will be able to look at your set up and recommend the best course of action for you.

The Electric Connection of Los Angeles has been providing homeowners and businesses alike with expert electrical services for over 35 Years. We’ve built a company of highly experienced, certified electricians to serve your electrical needs. There’s plenty of competition throughout Los Angeles, but we make it our policy to treat our customers the way we would want to be treated. That has gained us a great reputation. We’ll provide you with quality work at honest prices.

Whole House Rewiring Service Costs

house rewire costThe electrical system to your house can be an expensive thing to upgrade but might be a necessity to help protect your home’s value and your family’s lives.

When you don’t have enough power to run your home, it can be more than just an inconvenience. Tripping breakers can not only just shut off your devices, but it can also cause damage to the more sensitive electric devices. Having enough energy is critical to keeping all the appliances in your home up and running at optimal levels.

Your home may seem like it has enough power, but even if things are running fine, it can use still need an upgrade. Have you ever turned on every device in your home at the same time? This is not recommended but you can truly find out how much your panel can handle when everything is turned on. There is an easier way to find out what amperage your panel is – by inspecting it. A professional electrician can also help you determine the amount of load your panel can handle.

With enough power being supplied to your home, it can still be difficult to find power in different areas of your home. Without sufficient recepticles in your home, you may rely on unnecessary power strips or extension cords. These cords and strips can cause dangerous safety hazards such as trips and falls or even fires. An electrician can help you place additional outlets around your home.

If your home has sufficient power and enough outlets, you may still find yourself needing a house rewire. This is when all or some of the wiring in your home is replaced with new wiring. A house rewire could be necessary for a variety of reasons – age, degrading wiring, hazardous wiring, etc. An electrician can help you determine whether or not you need a whole house rewire.

The cost of a house rewire depends on a lot of different aspects of your home including size, age, and how much of the home needs to be rewired. Again, an electrician can give you a definitive answer on the cost to rewire your home, but you can expect to pay around $3,500 to $8,000 for a full house rewire – especially if all the walls need to be opened up to access the wiring.

A professional electrician should be able to assess your situation and give you an accurate quote for a house rewire. This is a large project so be sure to do research before choosing the best electrician.

If you live in the Los Angeles area and are looking for proficient, understanding and honest electrical experts, we hope you will consider using The Electric Connection of Los Angeles for your electrical work.

Holiday Lighting


LED decorative lights are a fantastic option for your home decorations this Halloween, Thanksgiving and Holiday Seasons. They are safer than non-LED lights, consume less power and produce less heat. There are numerous types for both indoor and outdoor use.


Tips for Your Outdoor Holiday Lighting:


1. Be sure to plug your holiday lights into an outlet that is protected with a GFCI receptacle.

GFCIs are there for safety, they’re particularly important outdoors since rain or any water present where electricity flows can become a serious electrical hazard or safety concern. GFCIs protect anyone who gets anywhere near the lights in wet conditions from the chances of an accidental shock.

2. Consider installing an additional receptacle in a location near to where you plug in your holiday lights.

Many people use extension cords to get power to their holiday lights, which may be hazardous when the extension cords aren’t adequately protected, instead of using extension cords, another option is to add a receptacle or receptacles at the location where the lights plug in so that they can connect directly to a receptacle rather than an extension cord.

3. Consider putting in a switch or time clock for your outdoor holiday lights

Rather than having to plug in and then unplug your Holiday lights each night, it’s a lot easier to set your lights up on either a switch or a time clock that automatically turns them on and off each day. Switches, especially timer switches, can make your holiday lighting easier and pleasant to manage.

Give us a call if you’d like our help with any of you holiday lighting needs. We’re here to help!




Need Your House Rewired? Check These Signs

house rewire signs, outlet fireHow important is it really to make sure your house has adequate wiring? In the United States, fire departments across the country respond to over 25,000 home electrical fires every year. The U.S. Fire Administration has reported that these fires have caused 28- deaths, 1,125 injuries, and over $1 billion in property loss and damage.

The major cause in these house fires? Improperly installed outlets and receptacles, interior home wiring, and other miscellaneous home wirings.

These numbers may seem staggering, but there are simple steps to prevent your home from being another statistic. Schedule an appointment for a professional electrician to visit your home to check out the wiring. It may seem like a big expense to have your home completely rewired with a new panel installed, but considering the alternatives, it’s better to play it safe than sorry.

Fortunately, there are warning signs telling you if you need a house rewire. Your electrical system will often show you in advance that things are wrong. Below we have included a list of the signs to look out for.

  • Frequently blow fuses or breakers tripping
  • Overloaded electrical panel
  • Lights flickering or dimming randomly
  • Discolored or hot to touch switch plates, cords, or plugs
  • Frequently burned out light bulbs
  • Strange noises, such as sizzling or buzzing
  • Strange smells, such as a burning smell
  • Sparks when plugging things into outlets
  • Loose outlets
  • Insulation that is cracked or cut
  • Shocks when touching a cord

Other than warning signs, there are other situations that may call for a house rewire. It’s a good idea to have an electrician come out to check on your electrical system every few years. If your home is older than 40 years old or you have had any major renovations or remodels, you may need to have a new panel upgrade to support the use. Below are some other situations you may need a rewire.

  • Relying on extension cords to supply power
  • The use of ungrounded, two-prong outlets
  • The presence of aluminum wiring

Even if you are not experiencing any of these warning signs or solutions, an electrician can give you more details on the state of your electrical system in your home. If you haven’t had it checked in a while, be safe and call an electrician today.

The Electric Connection has been providing the Los Angeles area with house rewires and panel upgrades for over 30 years. If you are experiencing any issues, please call us today!