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According to my town’s website, it uses 2017 National Electrical Code. I'm in a small incorporated municipality in Maryland.

It also states that:

Plumbing, Mechanical and Electrical Applications shall be completed with the Town prior to commencing any work. If necessary a plumbing, mechanical or electrical permit will be issued outlining the scope covered by the permit and the required inspections. Once a required permit is obtained work may commence.

Other excerpts:

Town Code, Building Codes:

Permit Required. Any owner or authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, 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 these codes, or to cause any such work to be done, shall first make application to the code official and obtain the required permit. A building permit, or application shall not be transferred from one applicant’s name to another’s without express written approval of the code official.

Work Exempt from Permit Electrical Codes: (Ordinance 562 effective November 8th 2009)

  • Installation of one single-phase, 20-ampere or less, electrical branch circuit.
  • Installation or replacement of equipment approved for connection to suitable permanently installed 
> receptacles.
  • Replacement of devices: switches, lamp sockets and receptacles.
  • Repair or replacement of branch circuit over current devices of the required capacity in the same 
> location.
  • Minor maintenance and repairs such as tightening connections on a device.

QUESTION: Am I allowed to do my own electrical work as an owner/homesteader? They specifically mention the owner when it comes to permits, but what about who can perform the work?

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    I would suggest you contact the town to clear up any ambiguities or questions about the code. They're the ones will be issuing any potential penalties if the code isn't followed. Jul 5, 2023 at 16:17
  • Usually it is allowed for single detached owned homes. It is best to ask your local town to be sure, there might be fine print somewhere. It seems from that short piece your town requires permits for any work, since it stops before the good stuff.
    – crip659
    Jul 5, 2023 at 16:21
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    What you posted here says you need to get permits. You are almost certainly allowed to do the work yourself. If the work is extensive or complicated some towns will take steps to make sure you are (at least superficially) knowledgeable before issuing permits. Some inspectors will be harder on DIYers, some will be easier. Good steps to take: Befriend the department secretary and be very kind to all the staff. Talk to friends and neighbors who have pulled permits and undergone inspections. If you don't know any, look on local Facebook chat groups for your town and ask.
    – jay613
    Jul 5, 2023 at 16:37
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    the section headed electrical codes reads like it might be a list of the minor things they might let you do without needing a permit, but any context establishing that it is or isn't that is missing. Yes, seek clarity locally.
    – Ecnerwal
    Jul 5, 2023 at 16:42
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    Quoted text is not making much sense, is missing parts. Unless there are local/state restrictions, standard electrical codes do not specify qualifications for persons performing electrical work.
    – kreemoweet
    Jul 5, 2023 at 16:57

2 Answers 2

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What you quoted does not discuss your question.

It's relevant to whether you need permit/inspection, which has nothing to do with whether you're allowed to DIY it. DIY does not imply "sneaking work" nor does it imply "doing shoddy work that does not pass code".

One of the risks with reading and quoting random bits of law is that you miss other bits of law that are also relevant.

Here, this law is written in plain language and you can trivially see what it's saying once you see the trick: they love to hide lists of things in the middle of a sentence, making a very run-on sentence that is hard to read. You need to parse that, pick any one of the list and ignore the rest. So... read the bold.

Permit Required. Any

owner or authorized agent

who intends to

construct, enlarge, alter, 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 these codes, or to cause any such work to be done,

shall first make application to the code official and obtain the required permit.

OK I am glossing over the fact that it's a compound statement, with nested lists themselves being elements of other lists, but that's the gist.

Well, now you see it's a very simple statement.

"Any owner who intends to alter any electrical shall first make application to the code official..."

So this is only saying you need to come in and talk to them about pulling a permit.

Once you tell them what you're doing, they'll tell you if a permit is even required. For smaller work it often isn't.

It does not address the question of whether you're allowed to DIY.

I think I see an exception for a single 20A circuit, and it doesn't say a thing about voltage - a common error in locally written codes. Since 120/240V is in fact single phase, that means no problem installing a 240V/20A EV charging circuit, which is all you need really.

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  • Thank you for chiming in! I read the entire guideline posted online and copied only relevant information to electrical work
    – Matt
    Jul 5, 2023 at 22:40
  • Forty-five years ago my wife and I bought a house with aluminum wiring in Dallas TX. I took advantage of a provision in the city procedures whereby I got a "home owner's" permit to copper "pigtail" all the terminations of 120 V branch circuits. I had to pass an open book test administered at a city building inspection office. When the work was completed it was inspected and signed off by a city electrical inspector. Jul 5, 2023 at 23:00
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It says an owner can apply, it isn't transferable, and work can commence when issued. So really there is no option except to do it yourself once the owner obtained permit is issued. There would be no point of issuing you a "permit" if you're not permitted to perform the work.

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  • "Any owner of authorized agent" actually. But the owner can be filing for permit for their contractor, right? Copy of the permit application: imgur.com/a/YYmIb8W
    – Matt
    Jul 5, 2023 at 20:11
  • The owner can apply and do the work personally, or apply and hire a licensed electrician, or ask the electrician to do the application. The owner does not apply "for" the electrician. If the job is simple and does not require plans as part of the application, a lot of electricians will refuse to do the application because it's just simple paperwork, every town has its tiny little bureaucratic demands, and If they charge their normal hourly rate it will make the job seem very expensive.
    – jay613
    Jul 5, 2023 at 20:42

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