What is the National Electrical Code?
The National Electrical Code (NEC) policy provides safety guidelines for people and property when hazards arise when using electricity. Any Houston electrician understands the NEC is a foundation for electrical safety. Houston residents can make any comments, compliments, suggestions or any other concerns to the city board, which will then forward the concerns to the City Council for implementation. The NEC is usually reviewed and updated every 3 years.
Apart from the National Electrical Code, a Houston electrician is required to be familiar with other codes directly associated with electrical construction. Some of these codes include the up to date edition of International Energy Conservation Code and the City Public Service Standards. Chapter 10 of City Code is a local amendment which provides requirements of license and permits.
Electrician Licensing in Houston
All electrical services should be provided by a certified Houston electrician as is stipulated in chapter 10 of the City Code. All electrical contractors are required to get permits before they start working. They should also request for inspection of their work to ascertain safety and that all requirements of the code are met. It is important to work with a licensed electrician because you will be sure of his or her experience, insurance and warranty.
The only way to know if a Houston electrician is licensed is to check on the side of their business cars. There should be a clear display of the name of the electrical company and license number of the contractor. The lettering should be at least two inches and permanently fixed on the vehicle. Some companies have the displays on both sides of the vehicle. You should also find out whether the electrician, and other people working with him or her, has the necessary permit. If a person or company is working without a proper license, you can launch a complaint with the department of licensing in Houston or with the Electrical Board.
An electrical license is important because it prevents unqualified people from practicing electrical trade and also ensures public safety. Any person who does electrical work in Houston must obtain a license. According to the City Board, electrical work is defined as any activity that involves use of electrical energy including installing, maintaining or improving an electrical system, and all equipment and materials used in the process. Electrical work can be done on a building, structure or premises.
Electrical licenses can be obtained from Houston’s Department of Licensing and Regulation. There are two types of electrical licenses; a Master Electrician License which enables you get electrical permits and go into business, and a Journeyman License which allows a licensed electrical contractor’s employee to work without supervision on the job site. To get an electrical permit in Houston, an electrician needs to have a Master Electrician License, fill the application request, meet all insurance requirements and then register with the City Council. All kinds of electrical works require permits inclusive of circuit installation.
Chapter 10 of the City Code stipulates that all work requiring a permit must be done by a licensed Houston electrician. Electricians are also required to enroll for continuous short training annually before his or her license is renewed. Electrical inspectors and education providers can be found online. An example of a permit is WWCPS (Work with CPS). This City Public Service Energy permit from the Development Services Department requires that only a certified Houston electrician should be contracted to disconnect a building’s electrical equipment.
The WWCPS permit is intended to prevent a contractor from working on energized electrical material or temporary connections. The permit can sometimes authorize a reconnection as soon as the work is finished. Most residential buildings will not require an inspection before scheduling a CPS but electrical contractors working on commercial buildings are supposed to request inspection to determine the amount of work and intended installation. Contractors are usually supposed to schedule disconnection with City Public Service Energy after being issued with a WWCPS permit. The contractors should also obtain a permit to install a solar photovoltaic system and request for inspection.
The city of Houston adopted the 2011 National Electrical Code with Houston’s amendments from September 1, 2011.