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.

Los Angeles Electrical Contractors

local electricianWhen something goes wrong with your electrical system, the first person you consider calling to fix the problem is an electrician.

From homeowners to business owners, the terms electrician and electrical contractor seem like the same thing. However, contrary to this popular belief, an electrical contractor is not the same as an electrician. Read on as we discuss the difference between your Los Angeles electrical contractor and electrician.

An electrician is an individual qualified tradesperson. They may be employed by an electrical contractor or become self-employed as an electrical contractor.

Who is an electrical contractor?

An electrical contractor is a business person or firm that provides specialized electrical construction services. They handle the installation and maintenance of electrical systems and are also responsible for making sure these systems work effectively and safely.

Electrical contractors work in any settings such as a residential, commercial or industrial setting. Their work hours vary widely depending on what is needed for a project. Electrical contractors are classified by the type of work they do. They also hold the required licenses and insurance and can employ an electrician/electrical worker. Electrical contractors can also provide input into the design of a project. It’s crucial to help avoid mistakes during their work.

Electrical workers or electricians are not allowed to perform electrical services for the public unless they are under the employment of an electrical contractor.

Job duties of a Los Angeles electrical contractor.

There are several tasks to be completed by an electrical contractor. The overall tasks include design, installation, maintenance, customer service and administrative work. The customer service and administrative work of an electrical contractor often include scheduling appointments with customers, completing regulatory requirements, taxes and permits applications, and so on.

An electrical contractor is also tasked with inspecting electrical equipment, stringing wire, replacing worn electrical parts, bending conduit, lifting heavy objects, electrical repairs, handling high-voltage power transmission and distribution lines, handling low-voltage installations, such as wireless network, telecommunications, security systems, and more.

Electrical contractors coordinate electrical crews and work with other contractors like home builders. They are reliable and take their work seriously as they represent a business or electrical company.

Electricians are independent

While an electrician and electrical contractor can perform some same functions, an electrician remains an individual worker without the license and insurance to provide his/her service to a community.

Hence, electricians often work for electrical contractors, or directly for individuals or companies. You can hire an electrician directly, but to get a reliable, licensed, and insured electrician, you can always go to an electrical contractor.

The Electric Connection is a leading Los Angeles electrical contractor, we bring you the best electricians who are experienced, licensed, and insured to provide quality electrical services for any electrical needs. Contact us today.

New Home Electrical Wiring Ideas

electrician installing new deviceA new home comes with the excitement of setting up things just the way you like them. You could be eager to try out different colors and textures; explore flooring options, window placement, and so on. Getting everything done to your liking is what makes your new home feel truly yours. But, in all your planning, it’s important to consider creative electrical wiring options that may come in handy sooner than you know.

Some electrical ideas to consider with a professional electrician include;

  • Speakers
  • Solar panels
  • LEDS
  • Electric fireplace
  • Towel warmers
  • Built-in WIFI
  • Security system
  • Remote access to some parts of the home
  • Indoor/outdoor home theater pre-wiring
  • Alarm systems.


Consider the cost

Figuring out your new home electrical wiring can mean looking at several options or ideas. This also means looking at a wide range of costs. The good news is, by making the right choice for new home wiring, you can always enjoy the value when you wish.

Generally, it can cost $100 per run of wire for a new home. The variation in price depends on factors such as the length of the run, the type of project such as rewiring, and more.

With a professional electrician, you can get reasonable prices for a dependable and reliable system.


Terms you should get used to

Electrical wiring can often sound confusing to homeowners. While you might not be able to grasp the entire idea of how home wiring works, it’s possible to get by with some basic knowledge. In wiring your home, a few terms to get used to now include;

  • F connectors – These can be described as screw-type connectors. They are useful for attaching video cables to DVDs, VCRs, and television.
  • Home-run wiring – With home-run wiring, you run a single wire/cable from a central location or panel to a specific outlet. It is the most common wiring scheme in modern homes.
  • Daisy-chain wiring – The daisy-chain wiring scheme runs a single wire from a central location or distribution panel to a series of outlets.
  • Category 5 wire – CAT 5 wire is a high-quality wire used for voice and data transmission.
  • Plain old telephone service (POTS) – POTS is the traditional style wiring used mainly for voice transmission, but it does not work so well for data transmission.

A few tips to guide your new home electrical wiring

You need the service of the right electrical technician to help with suggestions on the best ideas and providing an adequate wiring service. Some tips to help you work through the entire process of new house wiring are listed below.

Decide on a budget and time frame for the wiring you need. Some ideas may be good to incorporate now, and others can wait for later.

Ask for references from the electrician you hope to work with. Find out about his past work with them, how their wiring works, and if the electrician can provide your service.

Identify your wants and needs beforehand but also be open to suggestions on what works from your electrical contractor.

Do I Need A Permit To Replace an Electrical Outlet?

outlet stops workingThis 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.

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.

Wiring For the Future: Audio & Video

For your home wiring system, there is such a thing as pre-wiring or wiring for the future. This simply means applying pre-wiring tips that may become vital in the future for adding categories like audio, video, home security, network & Wifi, cable, satellite, and internet.

In many cases, homeowners who install home wiring themselves or the technicians they hire neglect pre-wiring for the future and this can cause difficulty later on. Pre-wiring is important to do the heavy lifting in your home whenever you need it.

Here are some tips on how to hire a house for the future. If you won’t be carrying out the project, these tips let you know what to look out for with your electrical contractor.

  1. Cover any exposed wiring

In wiring a house, most professional technicians aim to make the system smooth and neat. If you are lucky enough to have this professional approach, that’s great. But with or without this, you can take an extra step to cover any exposed wiring in your home wiring system. Wrap the wiring in plastic bags and hold them firm with a tape. This protects your wiring as other contractors work around the home.

  1. Use low voltage boxes when you can

Although high voltage boxes seem more popular, low voltage boxes are ideal for installing volume controls or when you need to run HDMI cables. They are a more convenient option and suitable for AV wall plates. You should install them where possible.

  1. Install a speaker wire

Good sound is a thing of excitement for homeowners. Audio or speaker systems can be installed in the future easily and affordably by running 4-conductor speaker wire. A 4-conductor wire differs from a 2-conductor wire as it has four separate wires that give you room for up to two speakers. Besides running this wire for whole-house speaker systems, you can keep volume controls in mind too.

  1. Have backup

For modern home theaters, HDMI is the standard connection often used. However, some not so pleasant experiences can show you that it’s always best to have a backup. An HDMI house wiring for the future can come up with issues like not working and that just defeats the whole aim of pre-wiring. The solution is to run two CAT6 cables along with the HDMI cables as a backup for future use.

  1. Install conduits

Cable conduits are not the same as electrical conduits and they often come in handy for running speaker wires, network cables, and cable wires. Install conduits during construction and terminate them into junction boxes. Cover them with faceplates and that’s the end of that until they are needed.

How about going wireless?

There’s nothing wrong with a plan to go wireless in the future. While this is great, wired connections are often faster and suitable for high-traffic applications. To ensure you can enjoy the speed of wired connections and use of applications like Ultra HD use wired connections such as CAT6 or Category 5e for your future proof home wiring.

How To Pull An Electrical Permit In Los Angeles

pulling permit in los angelesAn electrical permit is exactly what it sounds like. It is obtaining permission from the appropriate authorities to perform electrical work. An electrical permit is required for a lot of electrical works and it is the first step towards an electrical service that conforms to safety codes and standards.

When do I need an electrical permit?

You would require a permit for the following electrical tasks:

  • Installation or alteration of low-voltage systems like computer systems, security alarms, or stereos.
  • Installation or alteration of any permanent wiring or electrical device.
  • Running additional wiring, installing an outlet or fixture, converting fuse boxes to circuit breakers or installing a receptacle for a garage door opener.

Hence, electrical permits are necessary for most electrical installations, replacement, or repairs.

Who pulls or buys the permit?

Pulling an electrical permit falls on whoever is performing the electrical work. You cannot use a permit gotten by someone else or obtain a permit for someone else. If the person you hire asks you to purchase the permit for the work they will do, this is wrong and against the law and such permit is invalid. Licensed electricians and building owners are often the parties involved in pulling a permit.

If you are a homeowner who will do the work themselves, you will require a permit through a process slightly different from that acquired by a licensed electrician.

How to get a permit for electrical work?

Building Codes Division (BCD) field offices or the local building department in your location are the authorities who issue permits. To pull an electrical permit in Los Angeles, you will look to the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (LADBS). The LADBS enforces the Los Angeles building code, making sure all buildings are safe when issuing permits for building, repairs, renovation, and even demolition.

To get a permit for residential electrical work, you do not need drawn plans. There is an exception if the service involves up to 400 amps or more. Office staff or an electrical inspector can help determine that you have all the required information for the project. If your request is in order, you can usually leave with your permit. The permit fees are paid when the permit is issued.

According to LADBS, permits involving simple projects can be issued online or in a few minutes at the office; small to medium projects require a counter plan check and can be reviewed from one hour to within the same day; larger projects will be reviewed in weeks after a walk-in submission of the request.

A visit to the LADBS website provides direction on how to obtain the appropriate project permit either online or on a visit to the office.

How about inspection?

Inspections are vital and must be requested before the electrical work or no later than 3 business days after completion. There are penalties for failing to request an inspection. When requesting an inspection, you will have to provide details such as the permit number, homeowner’s name, type of inspection needed, date for the inspection, and project address.

Hiring a Los Angeles Electrician to Pull Permits

The Electric Connection has been in business for over 40 years providing expert electrical services to the Los Angeles area. Our in office staff and electricians work with inspectors every day. We know how to pull permits in Los Angeles and can help out if you need assistance. Give us a call today to start your next electrical project!

How to Wire a House for the Future

wiring home for the futureA lot has changed with the way homes are built and wired. Some decades ago a physical key and a lock was the only way you could go in and out of your home but today we have digital locks and virtual keys. Those who never thought of such possibilities for the future might have had a hard time incorporating changes like this in their home. Hence, as your go-to for all things electrical, we will discuss how to wire your house for the future.

First, it is important to know that wiring your home for the future is a project that requires an expert electrician. It may seem demanding at the time, but you will reap the benefits in a few years or even months.

Future home wiring involves creating a system that allows you to combine the different wiring around the home into a network. It is built to enable the integration of various smart systems and sensors in the home now or at a later date. It also ensures that you can conveniently add more systems such as lighting, security, and internet communication systems for your comfort. When you think about it, wiring the home for the future is something everyone should do.
Learn the basics.

When wiring your home for the future, there are a number of systems that will control various functions across your property. These include:

  • Audio and video
  • Security
  • Heating and cooling
  • Computer and Internet
  • Telephone
  • Smoke detection
  • Irrigation

These systems must be wired to a central location in the house. You must choose the control area wisely with the help of the electrician. The control area should possess the following features:

  • A moderate room temperature
  • Enough physical space for a wall panel and equipment rack
  • Easy access, dust-free location
  • Close to the area where service feeds like the Internet enters the home
  • Lots of outlets

Components for the wiring

  • Infrared (IR) controls
    Infrared is the technology that represents remote control features. Several current homes and those of the future require remotes to control some installed automated systems. IR controls are used to make this possible.
  • Category 5e and Category 6 (CAT-5e AND CAT-6) cables
    These cables are Ethernet cables that future-proof your house for years to come. They connect computers and all computer-based systems to a network.
  • Patch cables and Patch panel
    Patch cables are used to connect devices to each other. They are used with a Patch panel to link all smart home devices. The Patch panel is like an organizer that houses plugged in electrical components and helps to distribute signals.


Ensure your electrician runs three wires to each switch in the home- hot, neutral, and load wires. Although some electricians do this, it is important to state your preference to be sure you have a neutral wire for future home automation installations.

Next is the use of deep junction boxes. Deep junction boxes give you room to work and accommodate new systems. It is worth the peace of mind when you need to install in-wall devices.

Install cable conduits and terminate them into junction boxes. Cover these boxes with a faceplate if there is no urgent use for them. Make sure you have one in each room located at eye level. It is much easier to make this addition during construction than later when it is needed.

Include wiring in the ceiling or in the wall for speakers. This comes in handy when you need a speaker or audio system across rooms. Other variables for this wiring project like size, number, and type of wires can be discussed with your electrician.

If you want to get your home future-ready, give The Electric Connection a call today!

What Do Electrical Contractors Do?

The words ‘electrical contractor and electrician’ are often used interchangeably. Many people do not know the difference between both but assume they mean the same thing. In this article, we will discuss what an electrical contractor does and how they are different from an electrician.

An electrical contractor is a business person or company that performs specialized tasks or construction work in relation to the installation, maintenance, and design of an electrical system. In simpler terms, an electrical contractor can be either a firm or a person who performs electrical tasks. An electrician is a personal tradesman. Electricians are employed by electrical contractors.

Job Duties and Description
The duties of an electrical contractor include the installation and maintenance of electrical systems. These are performed on building wiring, breaker box, switches, light fixtures, and so on. Electrical contractors work on residential, commercial, and industrial setting. Their work hours depend on the task at hand. Electrical contractors work within or outside a home or building, they are not restricted like electricians. For example, they may work on power stations while a regular electrician can’t. There are different types of electrical contractors and this makes their services specialized. Some electrical contractors are skilled in almost all areas.

  • Line Electrical Contractors
    Line or outside contractors work on electrical installations or maintenance which are located outside buildings. This primarily includes working on high-voltage power transmission and distribution lines. They ensure the power plant is functional and distributes power as needed into homes and buildings.
  • Inside Electrical Contractors
    These group of contractors work within the boundaries of a property. They provide cabling, installation, maintenance, rewiring, and repair services within residential, commercial, and institutional buildings.
  • Voice/Data/Video Electrical Contractors
    Also known as Integrated Building System Electrical Contractors, this type of electrical contractors work with low-voltage installations to ensure they are efficient, functional, and energy saving. These include power controls, backup power, wireless networks, energy-efficient lighting, fiber optics, telecommunications, and security systems.

    Becoming an electrical contractor requires an apprenticeship program of 4 years. Electrical contractors learn everything from math, electrical theory, blueprints, work safety, and National electrical codes.

Benefits of Using Electrical Contractors
As a business person or firm, an electrical contractor employs other professional electricians. Hence, work is faster, efficient, and most times affordable. You can also reach out to an electrical contractor for consultation, inspection, and other informational services before hiring to complete the job. They can advise you on the best installations necessary or suitable for your home or building. They can provide energy-saving alternatives and help you establish an overall dependable electrical system. Electrical contractors are experts in troubleshooting services and respond promptly to your needs. With electrical contractors, you are assured of experience, reliability, and professionalism. Unlike an electrician who is an individual tradesman, you can depend on an electrical contractor of a firm. They have integrity and access to all the equipment required for a project. An electrical contractor takes safety seriously. Contact us at The Electric Connection for your outstanding electrical services.

New Lighting Installation in Your Home

recessed lighting installationAn electrical contractor will always tell you that good lighting is everything. These are not empty words as both homeowners and store owners can agree. The benefits and functions of light in any location are numerous. It is one of the primary reasons we use electricity. Lighting illuminates a space to give you clarity and vision, but in contemporary times they do even more. Lights can boost your business in a commercial building. They can improve security, productivity, and efficiency. Also, studies have shown that lights can be associated with good mood and a relaxed mind.

Lighting installations are performed by electrical technicians. These installations range from simple tasks such as light fixtures to more complex installations like recessed lighting. To give you some insight, here are different types of new lighting installations.

Track lighting
Like the name sounds, track lighting involves more than one light installed along a fixture. These lights can be controlled to light up any general direction. This makes them efficient. Track lighting can also add beauty to a place because of their unique placement.

Recessed lights
These lights are installed in the ceiling but are different because the fixtures cannot be seen. You can think of recessed lighting as a bulb pushed into the ceiling till all you can see is the light emanating from a circle above. There are a variety of recessed lights but you should hire a professional electrician to install them.

Wall lighting
Wall light fixtures protrude from drywall. They have to be hard-wired into your home. People mostly use wall lighting for aesthetic purposes. They also offer a wide variety in design.

Pendant lighting and Chandeliers
This is the category for chandeliers and other dropping light fixtures. They light up any space but also have decorative functions. Chandeliers have several forms and are often called premium lights. They might not drop to the ground but their exotic structures add length to these lights. Pendant lighting and chandeliers should be chosen and installed carefully because they are very visible and can set a theme for their location.

Under cabinet lights
You would want under cabinet lights installed in the kitchen to aid you during food preparation. They can also be any size and shape.

Tips for Choosing Lighting Installations in the Home

  • Always consider the ceiling height when deciding what installations to use. Low ceilings work better with recessed lights and not pendant lights.
  • It is important to know your lighting installations plan before construction of your home. This way the structure doesn’t deprive you of the fixtures you desire. However, if you live in a rented apartment, your choices might be limited to following the already provided structure.
  • There is no rule against infusing creativity in your lighting installation plans. Discuss your ideas with the electrical contractor to know if they are possible.
  • Ensure that you think of function before aesthetics. Hence, your first lighting installations should be exterior lights, basement lights, lights in the stairs, and so on.