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What are Electrical Codes?

Electricians and Energy Topics
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Electrical codes are uniform safety standards that are designed to ensure that any and all electrical installation is done properly and professionally and safely. Electricity and electrical current can be very dangerous. Improperly installed electrical wiring and faulty wiring can lead to electrocution or to house fires. When installing electrical wiring, the wires must be the proper material to safely conduct electricity. There must also be safeguards in place, such as circuit breakers, to ensure that a given electrical circuit or grouping of wires does not receive more electrical current than it can safely carry. As such, electrical codes exist to ensure that people have these safeguards in place and that people connect wires appropriately.

What Are Electrical Codes

Within the United States, the National Electrical Code (NEC), or NFPA 70, are federal regulations designed to govern how electrical work is done and how wiring is installed. Each individual state may also have its own stringent safety standards, rules and regulations. These electrical codes on a national and state level cover a number of different things. The electrical codes set rules for licensing of electricians in order to ensure that all professionals installing electrical wiring are in compliance with safety standards and are knowledgeable. The electrical codes also set specific limitations on what type of wiring and electrical items are installed and on how those items are installed.

If you wish to rewire your home or make any changes to the electrical system of your home, you must ensure you comply with these electrical codes. Compliance is often enforced by states who require you to get permits to do electrical work in your home. You may need to provide a residential wiring diagram or other schematics of your electrical project in order for the town to review them and ensure you are in compliance with electrical codes.

You may also need to use a licensed electrician for certain wiring projects to be in compliance with electrical codes. There are different levels of licensing established by these electrical codes, each with different experience and education requirements. For example, a master electrician must be very experienced and have several years of practical, hands on work. A journeyman also requires more experience than an apprentice electrician, for example. If you wish to ensure your new addition or wiring project is in compliance with all electrical codes, ensure you ask to see these licenses before hiring an electrician.

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