why do I need a permit

redlegs

Member
I'm changing out t12 for t8 ballast and replacing 250watt MH fixture for led ones. The fire Marshall saw this and said I need a permit and that he was contacting my inspector so I follow with this.why do I need a permit to replace ballast or swap fixture for fixture.I'm not adding to the load,do I have any recourse or do I just ask for more lube
 

John120/240

Senior Member
If you wanted to avoid inspections, You should have done this work Saturday night-Sunday morning.

Municipal Inspectors assure code compliant work to protect the public that uses the facility where the work is located. This should be the sole reason for inspections. Sadly some cities use inspections for a revenue stream. Nearby two small cities were collecting 75% of their revenue from traffic fines.
 

redlegs

Member
It just seems over the top to have to do a load calculation to change out ballast and add a couple of 78watt leds.
 

tom baker

First Chief Moderator
Staff member
Inspection rules are driven by local jurisdictions. Do you have a way to be involved such as a stakeholders meeting, electrical board?
That may be a good venue
 

jaylectricity

Senior Member
I think of all the permits I've ever pulled I've only been asked the actual load calculation twice. A couple of other times the inspector just asked if I had done it when determining the service.

Why would you have to do a load calculation for replacing fixtures?
 

ramsy

Senior Member
why do I need a permit to replace ballast or swap fixture for fixture.I'm not adding to the load,do I have any recourse or do I just ask for more lube
Perhaps a License board campaign, soliciting local fire marshals to help remove unlicensed contractors.

Sad part is, the homeowner will end up kicking out the license guy with the permit, and using a handyman a week later.
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
You need to find a resource for the actually legal requirements for when permits are and aren't required. Here in NJ it specified in the NJ-UCC.
 

chris kennedy

Senior Member
If your state building code is an ICC document you will find the following.

SECTION 105 PERMITS

[A] 105.1 Required.

Any owner or authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by this code, or to cause any such work to be done, shall first make application to the building official and obtain the required permit.
 

Jraef

Moderator
Staff member
If your state building code is an ICC document you will find the following.

SECTION 105 PERMITS

[A] 105.1 Required.

Any owner or authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by this code, or to cause any such work to be done, shall first make application to the building official and obtain the required permit.
In my town, in addition to the permit, anyone other than the homeowner themselves must ALSO possess or obtain a busine$$ licen$e from the City before being allowed to work within the City limits. The city inspectors will look around for work trucks and open garages / exposed work when going to and from other inspections, then call it in to a gal in the office who does nothing but check for permits on file at the addresses, so another inspector can go out and fine anyone caught working without either.

Ka-Ching!
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
I'm changing out t12 for t8 ballast and replacing 250watt MH fixture for led ones. The fire Marshall saw this and said I need a permit and that he was contacting my inspector so I follow with this.why do I need a permit to replace ballast or swap fixture for fixture.I'm not adding to the load,do I have any recourse or do I just ask for more lube
In my area most permit applications have a specific line item for lighting retrofit work and yes a permit is required by most areas around me.
 

ptonsparky

Senior Member
We are supposed to get permits as well. Seems like a waste when the inspector walks in and looks at the fixtures 25' above him, checks OK, asks about business and leaves. Our posteriors are covered, the customer pays. On to the next project.
 

redlegs

Member
I have my contractor license and I'm licensed with the city.Ive been a licensed electrician since 99'.I do tell customers that getting a permit is the way to go but do me this is minor monkey work
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
I have my contractor license and I'm licensed with the city.Ive been a licensed electrician since 99'.I do tell customers that getting a permit is the way to go but do me this is minor monkey work
Ok, let's look at it another way.

Would you as a licensed contractor / electrician be pleased if they let this minor monkey work be done by unlicensed monkeys?
 

growler

Senior Member
I'm changing out t12 for t8 ballast and replacing 250watt MH fixture for led ones. The fire Marshall saw this and said I need a permit and that he was contacting my inspector so I follow with this.why do I need a permit to replace ballast or swap fixture for fixture.I'm not adding to the load,do I have any recourse or do I just ask for more lube
I have my contractor license and I'm licensed with the city.Ive been a licensed electrician since 99'.I do tell customers that getting a permit is the way to go but to me this is minor monkey work

Why do you think that you don't need a permit?

In many areas around here you wouldn't even need to be a licensed electrical contractor to do this minor monkey work. But there is a catch. If the dollar amount of the job is over a certain value ( normally very low $250-$350) a permit would be needed.

Contractors may not get permits for these jobs and not many ever get caught but it still on the books as requireing a permit.

If you think that it's not required to get a permit then you should question the head electrical inspector or the building code official.
 

PetrosA

Senior Member
I agree that some of the newer permit requirements are pretty ridiculous. I've worked in townships where a load calc was needed to do a bathroom remodel or where you needed to get a permit to replace GFCI receptacles, which also included bringing the house up to current requirements regarding hard wired smoke detectors throughout. At this point I just refuse to work in areas like that for smaller jobs. Getting the permit for that bath remodel took me six hours between travel, notarizing papers, getting insurance docs, doing the load calc etc. which ultimately meant an entire day lost and there's no way to charge THAT much extra for such a small job.

A lot of the local AHJs used to use the "permit for work above $XXX" method, but that's been gone for a long time. Now, if they require permits, it's pretty much for anything, including repairs and in-kind replacements. The main difference is whether the AHJ performs the inspection (included in the price of the permit) or whether you have to hire a 3rd party inspector in addition to the cost of the permit. Again, on smaller jobs this can cost as much as the work being performed.

Ultimately, I don't think requiring permits is an effect of bad electricians, I think it's an effect of homeowners hiring low cost people to perform work. As long as homeowners are going to try and get work done below a fair market price, there will be shoddy tradesmen out there that need to be checked on. It didn't used to be like that :(
 

ptonsparky

Senior Member
I agree that some of the newer permit requirements are pretty ridiculous. I've worked in townships where a load calc was needed to do a bathroom remodel or where you needed to get a permit to replace GFCI receptacles, which also included bringing the house up to current requirements regarding hard wired smoke detectors throughout. At this point I just refuse to work in areas like that for smaller jobs. Getting the permit for that bath remodel took me six hours between travel, notarizing papers, getting insurance docs, doing the load calc etc. which ultimately meant an entire day lost and there's no way to charge THAT much extra for such a small job.

A lot of the local AHJs used to use the "permit for work above $XXX" method, but that's been gone for a long time. Now, if they require permits, it's pretty much for anything, including repairs and in-kind replacements. The main difference is whether the AHJ performs the inspection (included in the price of the permit) or whether you have to hire a 3rd party inspector in addition to the cost of the permit. Again, on smaller jobs this can cost as much as the work being performed.

Ultimately, I don't think requiring permits is an effect of bad electricians, I think it's an effect of homeowners hiring low cost people to perform work. As long as homeowners are going to try and get work done below a fair market price, there will be shoddy tradesmen out there that need to be checked on. It didn't used to be like that :(
We do not have to file for repairs, fortunately. I did have a discussion with the nearby city inspector for a small project he looked at. His comment was something along the line "economically feasible" for both the customer and the city. Not sure how it worked for them but the $60 they charged was a stretch for the $200 project. Yes, my min charge is more.
 
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