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Kevin, Licensed Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 2830
Experience:  29 years as a Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, 5 year college Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma in Digital Electronics, Former Illinois Licensed Home Inspector
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NEC 2008, Low Voltage, 90va or less. what is the scope of

Customer Question

NEC 2008, Low Voltage, 90va or less.

what is the scope of the license ... can I open a 200amp load center and reset a breaker ?
will this licsence make me the fire alarm expert ?

Our Master Electrician of record was fired and now the boss wants/go around code to be able to fuction the facility with out master electrician.... It is smelling fishy right.

I do not want to loose my card (90)va and be on the black list at the electrical inspectors office.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Kevin replied 3 years ago. name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be happy to assist you with your electrical question. My goal is to exceed your expectations on Just Answer!


1) There is nothing within any edition of the National Electrical Code (NEC) that pertains to any type of low or high voltage licensing. The NEC is the recognized code within the United Sates for any electrical distribution system that pertains to installation standards, best practices and approved installations.


2) The NEC does not issue any types of electrical licenses and there is no scope within the code that pertains to a license. The closest that you will find within the NEC is in Article 100 Definitions under a "Qualified Person". Yet the "Qualified Person" definition never mentions a license within the NEC verbiage. The scope of your low voltage license is based upon the agency that issued your license.


Your local electrical commission or electrical board (state level, county level or local municipality level) or the local Authority Having Jurisdiction is in charge of issuing any type of low and/or high voltage electrical license. Of course, all applicants taking such a licensing examination are examined based upon their knowledge of the NEC, local electrical codes as well as education (trade school, IBEW apprenticeship, etc.) and/or related electrical work experience.


3) Depending upon your local area and/or state requirements and how the local electrical commission (state or county or municipality level) has created their rules, licenses come in various forms such as "Low Voltage", High voltage Class "A", Class "B", Class "C", Master Electrician, Electrical Contractor, Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Agricultural, Communications License, Fire Alarm and Signs.


4) To the best of my knowledge, in most states a Fire Alarm license is a separate license from the traditional Master Electrician's license and examination. Typically, a Master Electrician cannot perform maintenance on a Fire Alarm system unless the individual also holds a separate Fire Alarm license. Maintaining and/or activating a Fire Alarm system requires a Fire Alarm license.


5) Resetting a tripped circuit breaker does not require any type of electrical license. A breaker is nothing more than a glorified switch that is expected to trip a circuit upon an overload condition. However, if installing a circuit breaker and/or any related components within the electrical distribution system may be a different story depending upon the local or state or county or municipal requirements. Thus the appropriate electrical license may need to be required in order to perform such work. Typically the only time an electrical inspector becomes involved to inspect a project is if a permit is pulled. Permits are usually pulled only on new construction and/or large remodeling projects. Permits are seldom pulled on routine maintenance jobs or running new circuits or replacing components. Thus a Master Electrician's or Supervising Electrician's license is not always a requirement. However it is highly recommended that a facility that performs daily electrical maintenance or new services within the building that the electrician hold's the appropriate licensing.


6) Unfortunately, there is no uniform electrical licensing throughout the United States and many states or counties or local municipalities have their own rules, regulations, examinations, local electrical codes, criteria, etc. Many states or counties or local municipalities do not recognize licensing reciprocity. Just because an electrician holds a license within a certain county and/or local municipality may not give them the authorization to pull an electrical permit from an adjacent county or municipality. In some cases, the electrician will either need to pass another electrical examination for the particular area. This is very common with states that do not issue an electrical license at the state level. In summary, there are many variables across the United States that pertain to the many types of electrical related licensing. Some states are very strict upon their electrical licensing requirements and rules, other states or counties or local municipalities are more lenient.


7) If you only hold a low voltage type of licensing and you are instructed by your management to perform high voltage work, I would highly recommend that you discuss this with the management team and explain to them that your license is only acceptable for low voltage type of work and not high voltage. I would also recommend that you apply for a high voltage license examination if you have the training and/or qualifications for the exam. If you only hold a low voltage license, probably not a good idea to install a new 277/480 3-Phase panel. If installing this type of high voltage project and the electrical agency that issued your low voltage license may cite you for violations. If you are employed at a union shop, this is most important.



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