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Old 08-18-2010, 09:12 PM
 
1,728 posts, read 2,987,454 times
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Does anyone know if a permit is needed for simple electrical work like adding more outlets and a dedicated line to the circuit breaker for a washer/dryer hookup?

I would also like recommendations for a good and affordable electrician who works in Bergen County.

And here begins the joy of home ownership! Thanks!
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Old 08-19-2010, 04:37 AM
 
9,124 posts, read 34,877,930 times
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Technically, yes- a permit is required for anything other than replacing devices (receptacles, fixtures, etc) in existing boxes.
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Old 08-19-2010, 09:43 PM
 
Location: Westerly, RI
381 posts, read 1,250,247 times
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But most electricians will do the job w/o raising the q of a permit. Often they will offer you the option and IIRC it costs more to do it w/permit ... I think it's their time chasing the paper. The only time you "get caught" is if the electrician or his/her truck is visible from outside. And getting caught means the electrician is told to get a permit. You're not sent to jail or anything. : )

As far as I can see the only point of a permit is to be able to certify to future buyers that the work was done properly... and of course for the town to earn some money. But I don't know how important to buyers that really is... their inspection is supposed to identify problems like faulty wiring.

I would never consider a permit for a little job like outlets or a dedicated line ... or even bigger jobs if time is an issue. The bureaucrats can really drag it out.
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Old 08-19-2010, 10:04 PM
 
Location: Tampa
1,245 posts, read 4,435,052 times
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I did some work without getting the necessary permits as per my town requirements. When we tried to sell the home, the town caught up to us and made us pay for the current prices of getting the permits and work had to be redone because it wasn't up to current standards. If I had gotten the necessary permits, the permit would have been cheaper, electrician would have been cheaper and we would not have had the massive headaches we ended up with.

I think each town has their rules and regulations. You are better off calling them and asking what your town requires.
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Old 08-19-2010, 10:18 PM
 
1,728 posts, read 2,987,454 times
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Thanks for everyone's response. I actually didn't pull a permit when I rewired most of my condo last year but that was in a different town and my electrician didn't think it was necessary. He works under the table so that may factor into it.

But I'm now in a different town and need at least two outlets in the unfinished basement. There are currently none now. The outlet also includes a dedicated circuit breaker for the washer/dryer. I'm not sure if the town will come back and question about those new outles if I decide to pull a permit to get my basement finished in the future.
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Old 08-20-2010, 06:19 AM
PDD
 
Location: The Sand Hills of NC
8,773 posts, read 17,131,146 times
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If you have a fire(and it does happen) the fire inspector who will be there before the smoke clears will determine how the fire started. If it was an electrical fire in new work they will ask for proof of inspection. No inspection and your insurance company will not cover the damage.
You can always sue the electrician because he makes tons of money and always has an extra 100-500K in his bank account.

Of course you can save money by not having work inspected because your electrician is an expert and what could possibly go wrong.

As a side note the majority of house fires are caused by failed electrical systems.

How do I know all this stuff? I was an electrical contractor for 40 years and I just happened to have a fire in my own house. The cause was a lightning strike which the fire inspector determined at about 3:00 am the night of the fire.

If saving $100 for an electrical inspection is more important than piece of mind I say go for the cheap way out.
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Old 08-20-2010, 08:49 AM
 
9,124 posts, read 34,877,930 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PDD View Post
If you have a fire(and it does happen) the fire inspector who will be there before the smoke clears will determine how the fire started. If it was an electrical fire in new work they will ask for proof of inspection. No inspection and your insurance company will not cover the damage.
You can always sue the electrician because he makes tons of money and always has an extra 100-500K in his bank account.

If saving $100 for an electrical inspection is more important than piece of mind I say go for the cheap way out.
Thank you for saying what I preach all the time.

We just got the final inspection on our basement renovation, and you can't imagine the number of times people have said "why did you bother getting a permit"? I'm totally baffled by that statement.

It cost us a whopping $185 for the permit, and now when we sell the house down the road we don't have to lie when we check the "no" box on the real estate disclosure form under "was any work done on the house that required a permit, for which permits were not obtained?" If I was in the market for a house and found one with a finished basement or any other major renovations, it'd be the first question I'd ask, and if the answer was "no, we didn't pull permits", I'd immediately reduce the price I was willing to pay. Why would you want to buy something that was done illegally, and risk problems down the road?
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Old 08-20-2010, 09:09 AM
 
Location: NJ/FL
220 posts, read 715,445 times
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"You can always sue the electrician because he makes tons of money and always has an extra 100-500K in his bank account" copies from PPD post.

Well, that figure must have been back in the day, way back.... Today just keeping head above water for taxes, insurances and economy. No construction or remodeling going on, phone does not ring. Ah the good ole days of price gougeing, good thing consumers have wised up.
Definite get the Permit.... not worth the sleepless nights.
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Old 08-20-2010, 09:14 AM
 
9,124 posts, read 34,877,930 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ~LuLu View Post
"You can always sue the electrician because he makes tons of money and always has an extra 100-500K in his bank account" copies from PPD post.

Well, that figure must have been back in the day, way back.... Today just keeping head above water for taxes, insurances and economy. No construction or remodeling going on, phone does not ring. Ah the good ole days of price gougeing, good thing consumers have wised up.
Definite get the Permit.... not worth the sleepless nights.
I think that was said with quite a bit of sarcasm......
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Old 08-20-2010, 06:13 PM
 
Location: Houston area, for now
948 posts, read 1,337,060 times
Reputation: 449
Quote:
Originally Posted by PDD View Post
If you have a fire(and it does happen) the fire inspector who will be there before the smoke clears will determine how the fire started. If it was an electrical fire in new work they will ask for proof of inspection. No inspection and your insurance company will not cover the damage.
You can always sue the electrician because he makes tons of money and always has an extra 100-500K in his bank account.

Of course you can save money by not having work inspected because your electrician is an expert and what could possibly go wrong.

As a side note the majority of house fires are caused by failed electrical systems.

How do I know all this stuff? I was an electrical contractor for 40 years and I just happened to have a fire in my own house. The cause was a lightning strike which the fire inspector determined at about 3:00 am the night of the fire.

If saving $100 for an electrical inspection is more important than piece of mind I say go for the cheap way out.
Thats some of the best advice that I've ever heard.

Also consider that a man man in CA was arrested for invol man slaughter because he and a buddy changes a water heater w/o permits and they weren't licensed. The fire killed someone. I don't know how the case came out but the whole thing is a lesson.
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