Ask Questions, & Get Answers Contact Information 3060 El Cerrito Plaza, #330 El Cerrito, CA 94530 (510) 233-5226 [email protected] Send Us a Message Name* Phone Number*Email* MessagePhoneThis field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Δ FAQs 1). Should I get a permit? The National Electrical Code states that all new electrical installations require a permit. First off, permits are a matter of public record, so it's very easy for, say, a savvy prospective home buyer to see if your work has been inspected. Secondly, you may want to ask your insurance company if you're still covered because you've had unpermitted work done or are considering not pulling a permit. If caught doing work without a permit, you will find that your local building department is not happy. If you still insist on not getting a permit, we would have to pass up on your project. 2). What size of electrical service is best for my home or business? Most states, including California, call for a 100 amp / 240-volt minimum electrical service. In most homes, 1200 square feet or less is adequate. For Larger homes, especially when considering solar panels, Electric vehicles, and multiple large electrical appliances, a 200 amp / 240-volt service will be the minimum size needed. 3). Where should I install GFCI protection? GFCI stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interruptor. GFCI protected receptacles are required for all bathroom receptacle locations, all kitchen general use receptacle / counter area locations. All outdoor locations under 6'-6", and all attic or crawl space locations. 4). What is an AFCI, and where is it required? An AFCI breaker or Arc-Fault Circuit Interruptor was introduced to the Electrical Code in 2001; by 2005, most jurisdictions were requiring them on bedroom receptacle circuits. AFCI breakers are now required on all general use receptacle circuits, all lighting circuits, and for the kitchen counter receptacle circuits. It should be noted that, at this time, the AFCI breaker technology does not work very well on motor loads or on the improperly wired knob and tube circuits. 5). How many receptacles do I need to install in each room? Here are the main receptacle spacing requirements:In every room, receptacle spacing along the walls can be no more than 12'. A receptacle can be no more than 6' from a door, and you will need a receptacle on every wall greater than 2'. 6). How many receptacles and circuits do I need in my kitchen? As a general rule of thumb, every fixed appliance will need a receptacle and its own circuit (check the appliance spec sheet, the local inspector will want the appliance installed to the manufacturer's specifications). Countertop receptacles will need to be spaced every 4', within 2' of the sink and end of the counter. This dimension is measured along with the wall space, not the actual distance! General use wall receptacle needs to comply with walling spacing rule mentioned above in question #5. 7). When should I call an electrician? Do you notice any scorch marks or discoloration on your wall around any of the receptacles? Are you aware of any burning odors you suspect are coming from the electrical system? Do you have more than two devices plugged into one receptacle or have an excess of extension cords? Are your lights dimming when you turn on a large appliance, such as a washing machine or vacuum cleaner? Are your wall switches hot to the touch? Are blowing fuses or tripping breakers? These are all clear signs that you should have your electrical system inspected. 8). How many circuits does a standard home have? While the number of circuits varies greatly, depending on the size of the home and the number of appliances, most older homes (1200 square feet or less) with gas appliances had about 4-6 circuits. This is far too few! Homes of a similar size built today (with gas appliances) range between 16-24 circuits This does not even allow for solar panels, EV charging systems (definitely something to consider in this day and age), or whole house surge protection. 9). I have an FPE panel and breakers in my home; should I replace them? Check out the NBC video on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EADqIrxa5yU 10). How much should I attempt on my own? At the present time, some cities in California allow you to do electrical work on your own home without a license. You would need to check with your local building department. In all cases, permits are required anytime the wiring in your home is altered. Most incorporated cities will not issue homeowners a permit if they are not licensed, contractors. Unincorporated areas are more willing to work directly with homeowners. That said, we would advise you to hire a professional. It takes 4 years of apprenticing and an additional 4 years of documented journeyman-level experience to even apply for an electrical C-10 license. Please do not take electrical work lightly. ** If, despite all warnings, should you choose to do your own electrical work, get a codebook! And, purchase your materials from an actual electrical supply house!