Photo of an Electric Outlet

If you need to do electrical work on your home, you will require a permit from the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries. Generally, this will be the responsibility of the electrical contractor who will ensure everything is in order.

Many people like doing home improvement projects themselves. However, electrical work and installation of certain electrical items will usually require permits and inspections. Home Care Contractors is a leading provider of home care services in Washington State, specializing in electrical services including electrical installations, repairs, and maintenance. In this informative blog, we discuss the requirements for permits from the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries when engaging in electrical work.

The Importance of Electrical Permits

You will need to have an electrical permit for most projects involving electrical equipment or significant electrical work. The contractor adding your electrical outlet will get this permit prior to starting the electrical work on your home. 

These permits and inspections are important to protect you, your family, and your property. The law requires that when installing an electrical outlet, you have the proper permit. Every electrical installation will require an electrical permit followed by an electrical inspection. The permit ensures the work is done properly and you have followed all the rules.

When Is an Electrical Permit Required?

If you are adding a new outlet to your home or business, you need to get a permit followed by an inspection. Your contractor will acquire the permit as they will be doing the work. Be cautious of anyone who asks you to purchase the permit as it should be obtained by the person who will install your outlet. In fact, it is against the law to purchase a permit for someone else. They must also request the inspection after the installation within three days of completion.

The permit fees will be included in the costs of hiring a licensed electrician to do the work. Permits are required for all kinds of electrical work, and if you use a reputable electrical contractor, they will ensure they get the permit and arrange the inspection upon completion.

Permits may be required for most electrical projects, but there are a few scenarios where it isn’t necessary. For example, you do not need a permit for travel trailers or plug-in household appliances. 

If you are making a like-in-kind replacement, a permit is not required for lamps; a single battery smaller than 150 amp hour; circuit boards, starters, relays, or similar control components, luminaire ballasts that have the exact same ballast; single-family residential luminaires; heating elements and thermostats; snap switches (up to five) and receptacle outlets; and a single set of fuses.

There are a few more things that are exempt from needing this type of permit. A professional will be able to tell you if they need to pull permits or have inspections done on the work they do before you sign a contract. 

What Happens If You Don’t Get a Permit When You Need One?

If a property owner does not obtain a permit when the project requires one, it is considered a civil penalty. Currently, the penalty for a first violation is $50 but if additional rules are broken, you could face larger fines.

Most electrical work will require a permit followed by an inspection. It is in your best interest to work with a professional who has been trained in the trade of electrical works. Electricity is very dangerous, and while you may be adept with other tools, it takes a deeper understanding of electrical knowledge to install an outlet or other electrical item.

Tips for Hiring a Professional to Install an Electrical Item

Whether you want a new electrical outlet added to your home for greater convenience or to add a charging port for your EV, it is always best to hire an electrical contractor. A good rule of thumb is to look for someone who is local. They will be familiar with the requirements set by the state.

Additionally, you should choose someone who is licensed and insured. It will be even better if the company you hire for this work has been well-established in the area for many years. Once their credentials check out, you can look at reviews or ask friends and family for recommendations. This will give you greater insight into who you hire for this type of work. Home Care Contractors has been serving Washington with reputable electrical work for over a decade and can help you install outlets and much more.

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