Electrical Codes: What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You…and Worse

“Up to code.” How many times have you heard that expression when talking about electrical work? But do you really know what it means?

Electrical codes are sets of rules and regulations established as minimums to keep you and your property safe and your electrical service reliable. Codes are written and enforced ensure that the electricity you use is safe and reliable.

Modern electrical service delivers at least 220 volts and 200 amperes or more of power to your home or business address. That’s enough “juice” to kill you several times over and turn your property into a smoldering mess. It has more destructive potential than a bolt of lightning.

Codes are adopted as law to make them enforceable. Electrical code typically includes approved ways to avoid short circuits, ground faults, and overheating from inadequate current-carrying capacity. Properly rated circuit breakers and fuses are specified to interrupt an overloaded circuit and avoid overheating of wires or fixtures. Materials and installation techniques are specified for safe and reliable construction.

In the U.S., the National Electrical Code (NEC) states requirements for safe electrical installations in a single, standardized source. It is part of the National Fire Codes and serves as a basis for state and local codes throughout the country. The NEC is not a law in itself, but it is incorporated into local jurisdictional law.

The City and County of Denver code is based on the 2011 National Electrical Code (NEC). An updated version of the NEC was issued in 2014 and any changes will likely be incorporated into the Denver regulations this year. Downloadable copies of the NEC can be found on the Internet. Other Colorado jurisdictions use the NEC as their model. The code is enforced by the building department that issues permits for construction to be performed and inspections to verify that the work is done properly. Enforcement of the codes is done with a system of permits and inspections from a local agency. Your city or county website will list specifics of the local area code.

DIY permits vary. Denver requires homeowners to take an exam demonstrating proficiency in specific building trades to be used in the project. Check your city/county website for information.

Bureaucratic red tape? Maze of rules and regulations? Projects can feel like that to a homeowner. Government agencies might argue that code is needed to protect homeowners and the public.

Allstar Electrical Services offers homeowners, contractors and building managers reliable construction, remodeling and repair work that is safe and up to code. Allstar Electrical has served the Front Range since 2000. Since then, we are proud to have been recognized by the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Independent Electrical Contractors Association with numerous meritorious service awards, and we were named the Front Range Subcontractor of the Year in 2007 by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.

The pros at Allstar Electrical are ready to discuss your needs and help you determine the best solution for your project. Visit our website for complete details about our services as well as timely articles about the latest developments in the ever-changing world of electrical service. Then give us a call at 303.399.7420303.399.7420 or use our handy online forms to request an estimate or set up an appointment.

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