Massachusetts Electrical Code

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Thanks everyone for their help/tips.
I called my town's building inspector and they said only licensed electrcians are allowed to do the work. They also told me that it is at the town/city discretion as whether to require that or not.
Scott

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Whether or not your town or the state allows owner-installed electrical work, your *insurance company* is who you need to worry about. They will be very uncooperative after your house burns down and will be looking for any excuse to deny coverage.
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[original post is likely clipped to save bandwidth] On Tue, 27 Apr 2004 13:06:16 GMT, "William W. Plummer"

A proper permit and inspection solves that.
gerry
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I lived in Massachusetts for years and they didn't allow a homeowner to do any plumbing or electrical. Of course, every Saturday you'd see lines of homeowners at Home Depot and the local hardware stores buying plumbing and electrical. I've heard of electricians that look at the date codes on Romex and for HD stickers on outlets and then report the homeowner. Rural Tennessee is a homeowners dream. No permits, no inspections unless you request one and if you do want an inspection, there is no ball busting. I've met with the building inspector and gotten lots of tips on how to do the job right without fear of having something rejected over nonsense crap that wouldn't be required of a licensed pro. It's not about the money thing here like it is in the Northeast. My town is here to help me. Taxachusetts isn't like that. Worse yet, if the licensed guy you hire is a screw-up you can't even legally straighten out his bad work yourself. His bad work is protected by the Board of Registration in Boston.
Bob

here
done
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[original post is likely clipped to save bandwidth] On Mon, 26 Apr 2004 16:34:27 GMT, "rck"

Wrong on electrical - see my other post.
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You are correct, I should have clarified that by saying "The town in which I lived in Massachusetts". Getting a permit and inspection in Massachusetts will be much more of a hassle for an individual than for a licensed person regardless of the quality of the work done. It helps to have a friend who is licensed to sign off the job before the inspection. The inspector will barely look at the job if a licensed person signs it, but if the homeowner gets the inspection, they'll bust his balls over every nit-picking thing. One time the Roto-Rooter man I hired to clean a sewer drain reported me for having installed a sink in my darkroom. I knew what he was up to and completely disassembled the darkroom and removed the sink. When the inspector arrived, I had no idea what this Roto-Rooter man was talking about. I didn't even have a darkroom. The inspector left thinking the Roto-Rooter man was nuts. Next day the sink was back in and that's the last time Roto-Rooter ever cleaned the sewer pipe. I bought a snake and did it myself from then on. When I sold the house, I again removed the darkroom and sink. Games, games.
Bob
wrote:

do
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.> One time the Roto-Rooter man I hired to clean a sewer drain reported me for

Just curious, how did the RR guy know it was not done with a permit?
Glad you got the last laugh even though you had to go through some extra efforts. Ed
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When the Roto-Rooter guy came in he began a conversation about the darkroom and said he was interested in photography. In the course of the conversation I mentioned I had built it myself. Right then and there his attitude changed and he said it was an illegal installation and probably not done right. What he meant by "not done right" was that I hadn't hired his plumber friends to do it. There are no Massachusetts permits for a homeowner to do his own plumbing so he knew I couldn't have had a permit. As he left he said, "we'll have to see about this....." I understood what that meant.
Bob
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[original post is likely clipped to save bandwidth] On Mon, 26 Apr 2004 17:45:49 GMT, "rck"

Of course, that's why I ended up getting selectmen involved! My permit request was declined, I called a selectman, (selectperson?) who called the town attorney. The town attorney called the inspector and said to stop the BS.
The inspector gave me no grief after that!
gerry

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[original post is likely clipped to save bandwidth]

Been there explicitly. Even involved my town attorney and Selectmen.
MA permits a home owner to do ANY wiring, including service entrances in a single family dwelling unless the locality has a specific, stricter by-law. Some towns and cities do have such by-laws.
All plumbing, including fixing a leaky faucet washer, must be performed by licensed plumbers. So Wallmart and Home Depot only sell to licensed plumbers ;-)
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"So Wallmart and Home Depot only sell to licensed plumbers ;-)"
They do have home depot contractor outlets where they actually do check your licence to buy anything (it's a discount thing not a legal issue here)
Just like cell phone jammers and radar detectors (in some states). You can buy one or sell one but you can't legally use one.
I would expect that there is a distinction between repair of existing equipment and installation of new fixtures. You should be able to rip out your bathroom sink and put in a replacement but apparently you cannot install your own darkroom sink. HD cannot know if the pipe you bought is to repair your sprinkler system or install a bathroom in your garage conversion.
Now we know to treat contractors like cops. Don't let them in your home without probable cause and don't show them anything they don't need to see.
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see.
With the way the 12 inch utility sink upset him, it's probably just as well I didn't mention the installation of the gas hot water heater.
Bob
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replying to Scot, Sully wrote:

In accordance with Massachusetts General law 141, Any person who installs wires, devices, etc FOR HIRE must be licensed, insured, and obtain a permit. MA does not have a Homeowners Permit law, nor is there a Homeowners Permit form
As an Inspector, here in Massachusetts, I will NOT issue a Permit to a Homeowner, however, any wiring performed by a homeowner has to be in compliance with current Electrical Codes. According to the insurance companies. And the Fire Department. If the wiring does NOT comply, insurance companies are able to show cause to NOT cover any incidence that may happen
Tom Sullivan Inspector of Wires
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Short answer is that the only thing a homeowner can't do legally in MA is plumbing.
The earlier answer is deceptive. There is, of course, no such thing as a "homeowners permit". But a homeowner can certainly get a permit themselves. I've had customers do it many times, as I don't work as a general contractor. (I've also had customers, such as architects and designers working on their own home, who want to be their own GC.)
But the procedure can vary from one town to another. In some towns the inspectors are happy to work with homeowners. In other towns they're more likely to go by the book. They don't want to make their own job any harder and don't want to risk liability, so they prefer to deal with contractors they know. It saves them time and work if they know the contractor's work and have a relationship with him/her.
I had a job last year for someone who was *strongly* urged by the inspectors that he shouldn't pull his own permit and that he should hire a known, local contractor. He was told that if he got his own permit he would be unable to sue under the home improvement contractors law. That is true. The law is designed to provide a way for people to recoup their losses when a bad contractor skips out. The state pays the homeowner and then goes after the contractor itself. All contractors have to pay fees to fund that law in MA.
So there are risks in being one's own GC and in getting a permit oneself. But if you understand those risks and want to get your own permit there should be no obstacle in doing so. If it were otherwise then it would be illegal for a citizen to work on their own house.
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On Friday, July 24, 2015 at 6:14:24 PM UTC-4, Mayayana wrote:

Sounds like there is an obstacle. Sully says he's the inspector and he ain't giving out permits to homeowners. It's an interesting position. Seems he wants to force homeowners into doing the work themselves without a permit and without an inspection. Sounds like very bad public policy to me. Glad it doesn't work that way here in NJ or most places.
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In alt.home.repair, on Fri, 24 Jul 2015 18:44:02 +0000, Sully

Interesting. Contrast that with car insurance, where one is insured even for negligence (in fact most injury and damage is caused by negligence).
But wrt electrical work, if a homeowner is negligent to the point of violating code, he loses his insurance? What if the evidence shows he was negligent but was clearly trying to follow code. For example he put in ten outlets, 9 are perfect and one has a wire that is stripped too much and touches something (Ignore that if the rest of the house is properly wired, that won't cause harm.) Find some example where one could know the code and be planning to follow code, and be technically able to follow the code (as evidenced by other work done at the same time in the same house) but was still negligent,. Would insurance be required to pay?
Or what about if a licensed electrician is negligent? What if he wasn't even trying to follow code. (Maybe he was drunk that day) Is the homeowner still insured?

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On 07/24/2015 09:49 PM, micky wrote:

I asked the same question of my insurance agent. Her reply was as follows:
The insurance company will generally pay the first claim but...
Insurance companies have comprehensive computer databases containing social security numbers, addresses and claim history. Reckless folks will find themselves and/or their properties uninsurable. Certainly not where I'd want to be.
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On Saturday, July 25, 2015 at 9:54:22 AM UTC-4, Mayhem wrote:

They will "generally" pay a claim where the licensed electrician was negligent? I'd immediately get a new agent and a new insurance company. That's BS and it would leave homeowners, lenders, open to huge exposure.
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On 7/25/2015 10:25 AM, trader_4 wrote:

Only exception I can see is if they go after the electrician for liability. Usually, the insurance would pay you and then go after reimbursement.
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On Saturday, July 25, 2015 at 10:39:22 AM UTC-4, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

And that's not an *exception*. They can go after the electrician, his insurance etc, but that is separate from your insurance company having to cover the claim.
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