!-- Facebook Pixel Code -->

Skip to Content

Blog

Electrical Outlets Childproofing and What You Need to Know About It

With the modern electrical outlets used in homes today, the chances of child electrocution are low therefore electrical outlets childproofing should be considered. According to data, there are around 2,400 children suffer from shocks and burns from sticking things in outlets. These shocks and burns can be serious or even deadly. This is why it is so important to take the necessary measures to childproof your electrical outlets. The good news is that several options are available to keep your small children safe.

Why is Electrical Outlets Childproofing Important?

Children are curious by nature, especially once they are mobile and start moving around. As they begin to crawl they come face-to-face with electrical wires and outlets. Their instinct is to poke and prod to learn more about what they are finding. The most common way children do this is by sticking something (be it a utensil or toy) into the opening of the outlet. This is one of the top causes of electrocution in children in addition to biting into electrical cords or sticking things into electric appliances.

Electric outlets have between 120-240 Volts of electricity. The degree of harm that comes from a shock caused by this voltage can vary depending on the length of contact. While sometimes there may be minor injuries or burns, it can be deadly. This is why you need to carefully look at your electrical outlets and choose the best childproofing option available for your family.

Electrical Outlets Childproofing Options

The good news is that there are several options available for childproofing electrical outlets. Each of these options has its own level of safety, with some being better than others.

Outlet Plugs

Outlet plugs are perhaps the most well-known childproofing option for outlets. These are simply plastic plugs that plug into the outlet. They keep small children and toddlers from inserting anything into the outlet and getting shocked. You want to make sure that you purchase plugs that are large enough that should a child find one they do not become a choking hazard. While plugs are the easiest thing to implement, you must be diligent about replacing them once you unplug your appliance.

Outlet Covers

If you’re worried you’ll forget to put the plugs back in, you may want to consider using outlet covers. Two different kinds of outlet covers are helpful for childproofing. Both of these covers require replacing the existing cover plate.

Sliding Outlet Covers

Sliding outlet covers have an interior outlet cover that automatically closes over the socket holes once something is unplugged. This type of cover eliminates any concern over choking hazards or your child getting the plug out on their own.

Box Outlet Covers

This type of outlet cover is good for those appliances that stay plugged in. These covers go over both the plugs and the outlet. They come in different sizes to cover both small and large outlets. Using a box outlet cover means that your child will not mess with the plug itself. However, if the outlet is needed, the cover can be easily removed by an adult.

GFCI Outlets

GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlets do not prevent a child from sticking something inside the outlet like plugs or covers. However, they are designed to shut off the electrical circuit if it detects an imbalance. These outlets should be installed in areas where there is water, such as your kitchen and bathroom. It is important to test these outlets regularly (even monthly) to make sure they are still functioning correctly. If working correctly, GFCI outlets will reduce the amount of shock a child may get from sticking something in the outlet. It is advisable to use GFCI outlets in combination with plugs or covers.

Combination Switch Outlets

Another option to consider when electrical outlets childproofing is a combination switch outlet. These outlets often use a tamper-resistant receptacle in addition to a switch. The switch can be used to turn off the outlet. Meanwhile, the specific type of outlet helps reduce the risk of a child inserting something into the outlet.

Tamper Resistant Receptacles

Even if you don’t use a combination switch outlet, you can install tamper resistant receptacles or outlets. While these outlets look like other outlets in your home, they are equipped with small spring-loaded plates that close the openings on the outlet. To open them, pressure must be applied equally to both sides of the outlet. This works to minimize the chance of a child inserting something in the outlet.

Note: Tamper resistant receptacles do not completely remove the risk of electrical injuries. It is still possible that a small child could receive an electrical shock or burn if they try to insert a plug into the outlet. Additionally, the child could be injured by whatever they plug in such as an iron, curling iron, extension cord, etc.

Safety First

The bottom line is that you want your child to stay safe through. Each of the options available for electrical outlets childproofing has its own benefits and comes with its own risks. It is important to evaluate your habits and to pick the best childproofing option that will work for your family. If you need help getting your home ready for your little one, our team at WireCraft Electric can help you install the new outlets you need to keep your family safe. You can also reach out to us for any electrical outlet repair. Request a services here or give us a call today at 206-542-0208 to get started.

0 0 Continue Reading →

LED Lighting Guide: Do You Really Need It?

Over the last decade, incandescent lights have been replaced with more energy-efficient alternatives, including LED lights. If you haven’t made the switch to LEDs yet, here are some of the key things you need to know to help you decide if you really need LED lighting.

What is LED Lighting?

Unlike incandescent bulbs that use a filament, LED lights use a semiconductor called light-emitting diodes. This process is nearly 90% more efficient than incandescent bulbs. Because LEDs convert energy into light more efficiently, they are much cooler than incandescent. This can be especially important if you have small children or pets that may touch the bulb.

LED lighting also comes in several different shapes and sizes. The inherent nature of LEDs means they can be incorporated into fixtures as permanent light sources or can be retrofitted into existing fixtures. LEDs can be found in the traditional bulb shape, as tube lights, light strips, etc.

Are LED Lights Brighter Than Incandescents?

Brightness depends on how much wattage the bulb takes in and how many lumens it produces. LEDs produce more lumens per watt. This means the same wattage can have very different results with LEDs and incandescent. A good point of reference is that 1600 lumens are nearly the equivalent of a 100-watt incandescent light bulb.

Do LEDs Have Blue Light?

Modern LEDs typically come in 2700 Kelvin, which is a “warm white” similar to traditional incandescents, or in 3000 Kelvin, which is still a warm tone, just slightly whiter. It is possible to get LEDs in 3500 or 4000 Kelvin, which offer a whiter light. However, whiter light means bluer light.

Can I Use LEDs With Any Fixture?

LEDs can be used with most fixtures that have standard E26 (medium base) or E12 (candelabra base) sockets. As LEDs become more popular we will likely see more socket sizes that are compatible.

Can I Use LEDs With a Dimmer Switch?

Not all LEDs are dimmable. If this feature is important you must first check the LED fixture and make sure it is dimmable. You also need to make sure it is compatible with the dimmer you have. Most dimmable LED fixtures require a specific type of dimmer switch.

Most dimming LEDs only adjust the lumen output as opposed to making light warmer. However, “warm dim” LED fixtures are quickly being introduced in the market.

How Long Do LEDs Last?

LEDs last longer than an average lightbulb. An LED’s average lifespan is 20,000 hours versus an incandescent or halogen bulb that lasts, on average, 2,000 hours. This means your LED bulbs could last 20+ years if the bulb is only used a few hours a day.

How Much Can I Save With LEDs?

LED bulbs are more expensive upfront, but cost less to run overtime. LEDs are far more efficient, using fewer watts. This in turn drastically reduces the cost of running the bulb. On average, homeowners could save around $600 a year switching to LEDs.

Are Incandescent Bulbs Legal?

The phasing out of incandescent and halogen lights was to begin being phased out in early 2020 as part of energy legislation implemented under President George W. Bush and finalized under the Obama administration. However, in late 2019 President Trump rolled back this requirement for energy-efficient light bulbs. This means that incandescent and halogen bulbs are still legal, for now.

So, Do You Need LED Lighting?

Currently, nothing is mandating that you switch to LED lights. However, LEDs are becoming increasingly popular and subsequently more affordable. If you are concerned about your electricity bill or the environment, switching to LED bulbs can help you with both. If you are concerned about converting your home from traditional lighting to LED lighting, you don’t have to do it alone. The professionals at Wire Craft can help you come up with the best solutions to make your home’s lighting more efficient. Contact our professionals now.

0 0 Continue Reading →

Space Heater: 8 Home Safety Tips This Winter

While space heaters are an effective way to warm up your room in the winter, the reality is that they can be extremely dangerous and must be used with caution. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), space heaters are responsible for 5 out of 6 home heating fire deaths. To keep your family and your home safe this winter, it’s important to know how to use a space heater safely. Here is a list of precautions and tips to follow when using a space heater in your home:

1. Not all heaters are created equal

You want to make sure the space heater you are using has a tag saying the model has been seen and listed by a big testing lab or agency. Also, it is essential to spend the few minutes it takes to go through the instructions and warning labels.

2. Check your space heater for damage

Every year before you use your space heater inspect it for any signs of damage. You want to check for any loose connections, broken plugs, and any other signs of wear or damage. Don’t try to repair it. It is safer to replace the heater if any damage is found.  or is otherwise worn or damaged.

3. Err on the side of caution

If your space heater is a bit older, seriously consider getting a newer model. As technology improves, new safety features are often included, such as automatic switch off, WiFi connected to Alexa or Google, etc. This provides additional protection and can help prevent fires. The cost of a new heater is far cheaper than your home catching on fire.

4. Never leave the heater unattended

Think of your space heater as a candle with an open flame. You never want to leave it unattended. If you need to leave the room, always shut it off. Yes, the room may cool off in the meantime, but it’s safer than something accidentally catching on fire without you there to act immediately. Staying nearby is also important to keep children and pets away from the heater. If they get too close they could get seriously burnt.

5. Don’t multitask with your heater

Your space heater should only be used to heat your room. It is not meant to warm your bedding or dry your clothes. You should keep the heater at least 3-feet away from anything that could possibly catch on fire. This includes bedding, socks, any items of clothing, rugs, paper, etc. A good rule of thumb is to keep your space heater away from your windows and your bed. This will prevent anything from accidentally getting too close.

6. Installation

Your heater should ideally be on a flat surface. Always plug it directly into the wall socket. Never use an extension cord or power strip for a space heater! Also, make sure you avoid plugging in anything else in the same outlet. Using an extension cord, power strip, or plugging in more than a heater into a single outlet can lead to overheating, blown fuses, and even fires.

7. Use alarms and detectors

If you have any kind of heater or flame in your home you must have a smoke detector. This is your first line of defense in getting out of your home if a fire starts. You can also get smart alarms that alert your phone as well. This can help you stay in touch with your home even if you are not physically there. Smoke detectors and alarms should be installed on every floor (even every room) of the house and test them regularly, even during summer months. Also, have a fire escape plan and make sure every family member knows it.

8. Put it away

Once the warmer weather comes back, unplug your space heater and put it away. You don’t want anyone bumping or turning it on without knowing. Taking care of it right away will help prevent any accidents from happening.

Better Safe Than Sorry

If you are unsure about the safety of your heater you can always contact a professional at WireCraft Electric to check it out for any space or even electric heater repair. Give us a call at 206-542-0208 to talk with our team of professionals about your concerns. With a quick inspection, they should be able to tell you if the heater is safe to use. Otherwise, simply play it safe and invest in a new one.

0 0 Continue Reading →

Electrical Outlets: 9 Types That You Should Know

Ever wondered why the electrical outlets in your bathroom are different from the ones installed in your bedroom? No, it’s not just because they were bought and installed at different times. Each type of electrical outlet has a purpose, with some being more modern and up-to-date than others. Here are ten different types of electrical outlets you should know in your home:

  1. 2 Prong Outlets
  2. 3-Prong Outlets
  3. GFCI Outlets
  4. Switch/Outlet Combos
  5. 20 Amp, 125 Volt Outlets
  6. 20 Amp, 250 Volt Outlets
  7. Tamper Resistant Outlets
  8. Recessed Outlets
  9. USB Outlets

#1 2-Prong Electrical Outlets

Few appliances and electronics use 2-prong plugs anymore. These outlets are typically 15 amp, 125 volts. They are only used with ungrounded circuits. Modern homes no longer use 2-prong outlets due to coding requirements and safety concerns. However, you can still find these outlets in older homes.

#2 3-Prong Outlets

These outlets are some of the most common in modern homes. Like 2-prong outlets, the 3-prong outlet is also 15 amp, 125 volts. 3-prong outlets are far safer than their counterparts with 2-prongs. This added safety comes from the extra slot for grounding. This grounding works to prevent electrical shock from any loose wires.

#3 GFCI Outlets

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets are required in any area that is close to water. This includes bathrooms, kitchens, laundry areas, outdoors, or any other area near water. This is because the outlet automatically trips, cutting off power to equipment, if there is any leak or spike in current. These outlets are easily recognizable by their two different colored TEST and RESET buttons in the center of the outlet.

#4 Switch/Outlet Combos

If you need the functionality of both a switch and an outlet, a switch/outlet combo is the perfect multi-functional solution. Without having to run additional wiring or install a new electrical box, a switch/outlet combo lets you have both a switch and an outlet in a single unit. These combos are especially helpful when you need to keep plugs away from pets and small children.

#5 20 Amp, 125 Volt Outlets

Some appliances require more power than others. This is where 20 Amp, 125-volt outlets come in handy. You can tell these outlets apart from other 3-prong outlets by the small horizontal slot on the top-left vertical slot on the outlet. These outlets are often used with large electrical appliances and are specified by electrical code.

#6 20 Amp, 250 Volt Outlets

When you need lots of power, look for a 20 amp, 250-volt outlet. These outlets are less common in homes, but necessary for high voltage appliances like air conditions and air compressors. You’ll want to make sure you have the proper circuit before installing them. Also, always make sure to check the specifications on your appliance before plugging it in. Some air conditioners require an even stronger 30 Amp outlet. If you’re not sure, always check with an electrician.

#7 Tamper Resistant Outlets

Tamper-resistant outlets or tamper-resistant receptacles (TRRs) have been required by code since 2008. These outlets are some of the safest due to the internal shutters that block foreign objects from being put into the outlet. The internal shutters will only open with a 2-prong or grounded plug. Using TRRs helps prevent children from getting shocked by tampering with the outlet.

#8 Recessed Electrical Outlets

If you’ve ever had to keep a gap between your furniture and the wall because of a plug, you know how frustrating it can be. However, recessed outlets aim to fix this problem. Recessed outlets are newer outlets that are pushed into the wall. This means the space that a plug would normally take is absorbed into the wall. This removes the gap between the wall and furniture and ultimately gives you more space in your room.

#9 USB Outlets

Lastly, USBs are in high demand with all of the different devices that need charging daily. It can often seem like there simply aren’t enough outlets once all of the chargers get plugged in. This can be avoided by using new USB outlets. Instead of the traditional pronged outlets, USB outlets provide several USB ports for your cell phones, tablets, and other electronics to charge.

Which Type of Outlet Do I Need?

You want to make sure that your outlets meet current electric codes. This means that if you are installing new outlets you’ll need GFCI outlets near water sources and TRR outlets. As far as installing combo outlets or USB outlets, it comes down to personal preference and needs. You’ll also want to check your appliances and make sure you have the proper voltage. If you are unsure of whether your outlet will work with a new appliance, check with an electrician. The electricians at WireCraft electric can tell you if your outlet and circuit are strong enough. Before you attempt to replace or change any electrical outlet, please remember that working with electricity can be dangerous. Therefore, unless you are sure of what you are doing, it is always best to work with a trained professional on electrical outlet repair. Call us at 206-542-0208 today to set up an appointment.

0 0 Continue Reading →

What’s Involved in a Home Electrical Inspection 

Most home electrical inspection in the Seattle area requires three safety inspections: cover, service and final. For convenience, we would suggest having your electrician make these appointments for you. However, you can schedule these inspections yourself if you want to undertake the permitting process. 

Cover Inspection

Once all new circuits are wired, schedule the cover inspection. Do not cover any work with insulation, receptacles or wall switches until the work has been approved. Do not cover trenches, ditches or slabs either since cover inspections also include underground installations. 

Service and Feeder Inspection 

This inspection follows the installation of any electrical masts, meter bases, grounding electrode conductors, and branch circuits. 

Final Inspections 

This inspection follows the completion of your electrical work. You must have all equipment and appliances installed, grounded, and energized for final inspection. Make sure all the covers are in place and circuits are labeled. 

What Inspectors Look For 

All electricians must adhere to the National Electrical Code (NEC) as well as any local or state regulations. All states have different codes which is why your electrician needs to be licensed in your state. 

Electrical inspectors look for a plethora of potential safety hazards. You may be able to see some of these issues yourself. The best electricians know how to comply with local standards so the inspections should be straightforward. Some of the things inspectors look for include but are not limited to: 

  • Damaged or frayed wires 
  • Cords are in good conditions and do not show wear and tear 
  • Correct wires are used 
  • Circuit breakers are properly sized 
  • Ensure circuit breaker boxes are not overloaded 
  • Ground fault circuit interrupters are wired correctly 
  • Wiring to the electrical panel is properly grounded 
  • House is compliant with branch-circuit voltage limitations 
  • All conductors of a circuit are grouped together 
  • Switches in wet or damp locations are properly installed in weatherproof enclosures
  • All appliances are grounded 
  • Wiring is suitable for current capacity 
  • Outlets are properly spaced 
  • All light fixtures have diffusers installed 

 

The list goes on! At Wire Craft, our experienced electricians can take the load off your shoulders and make sure your electrical systems are up to local Washington codes. More importantly, your home will be much safer with compliant, up-to-date electrical systems.

0 0 Continue Reading →

Upgrading Electrical Panel 

In a previous post, we took you inside and toured the anatomy of your home’s main electrical panel. This nifty devices controls the power distribution and electricity in your home. 

Upgrading your electrical panel is not something we would ever recommend doing yourself. It’s risky and technical so hiring an electrician is the best way to go. 

Do You Still Have a Fuse Box?

Homes older than the 1960’s operated on fuse boxes instead of circuit breakers. Fuses burn out and have to be replaced, but circuit breakers just need to be switched back on. For safety and convenience, we would recommend upgrading your fuse box to a circuit breaker. 

How Old is your Home? 

Homes that are 20 or 30 years old, typically have lower amperage capacity in their electrical panels. Most homes of this vintage support 60 or 100 amps versus today’s electrical panels which support an average of 200 amps which is more suitable for current lifestyles. 

Does your Panel Feel Warm? 

A panel that feels warm to the touch may be overloaded and could use an upgrade. Ask your electrician for an expert opinion. 

Does your Panel Trip Often? 

If your panel trips often or you hear a crackling noise, this typically means that you have more appliances or devices plugged into a circuit than it can support. This usually means it’s time for an upgrade. If your appliances are not running at capacity this could also be a sign that panels are outdated or overloaded. 

Are You Looking to Make Upgrades? 

If you’re planning to upgrade your appliances, you may want to check if your current electrical panel can support them. If you find yourself using power strips a lot, you may want to add new outlets to your home. In this case, you will also want to consult your electrician if your panel is due for an upgrade. 

Cost of Upgrading an Electrical Panel 

Electrical projects are not usually suitable even for the savviest of DIY-ers. You should hire an electrician to do this kind of work. 

The cost of upgrading your electrical panel, like any contracting project, will vary. This typically depends on the current state of the panel, the age of the home and how many panels require upgrading. According to HomeGuide, the average cost typically ranges between $850 to $3,000. Permits for this kind of project are usually required. At Wire Craft, we can take care of this for you, but it will be a component of the overall cost of the upgrade.

0 0 Continue Reading →

How does an Electrical Panel Work? 

Most of us refer to our home’s main electrical panel as the breaker box. This is because it breaks the circuit which is required to do electrical work. However, it’s technically referred to as the load center. 

Overview of the Main Panel 

The main panel functions like a switchboard for the entire home. Essentially, it takes the power coming from the main utility and directs it toward each of the circuits powering appliances, lights and other devices in the home. 

Most homes function with one main electrical panel, but others will have subpanels that are used to power specific areas like an addition or a detached garage. 

Circuit Breaker Switches 

Open the door of the electrical panel and inside you will see a series of switches for each circuit breaker. Each circuit breaker has an on and off position that allows you to manually control the power to the circuit. 

When a circuit is overloaded, the switch moves to a neutral third position between on and off. This is a good thing and is designed to fail safely to prevent fires. 

Each switch should be clearly labeled depicting which area or appliance it is connected to.

Older homes predating the 1960’s may have fuses versus circuit breakers. 

Beneath the Dead Front Cover  

Most homeowners never go below the layer of the electrical panel where the circuit breaker switches are located. The cover where the switches are is referred to as the dead front cover. This is typically held in place typically by a screw in each corner. 

To upgrade the electrical panel, an electrician first turns off the power to the main circuit breaker, then removes the dead front cover. 

The main circuit breaker is typically located at the top of the panel. It takes the power incoming from the utility and feeds the branch circuit breakers controlling individual circuits. The main circuit breaker also determines the total amperage capacity of the panel. The standard for newer panel is 200 amps. 

Bus Bars 

A bus bar is a metallic strip or bar, housed inside the panel for local high current power distribution. The service wires from the main circuit breaker feed two hot bus bars in the panel. The circuit breakers snap into place onto the bus bars to provide power to the circuits. 

Once power leaves the circuit breaker, provides power to your appliances, lights, etc. it comes back into the breaker via the neutral wire which is connected to a neutral bus bar.

0 0 Continue Reading →

Decoding Electrician Estimates 

Electricity is the lifeblood of the home that most of us take for granted. That’s why decoding electrical estimates is important as electrical work is highly specialized and homeowners rely on electricians often. Thus, it is important to know what to look for especially when decoding electrical estimates and to understand how they are constructed. 

At Wire Craft, we pride ourselves on Straight Forward Pricing. You can approve the cost before we start any project. 

Evaluate the Job in Person 

The most accurate estimates are done in person. While it may be convenient to obtain an estimate over the phone while describing the problem, electrical work can be very technical and it’s best to have an electrician come to your home to evaluate the problem in person. Then, they can obtain a better understanding of what the job entails. 

Project Summary 

The evaluation should start with a project summary detailing the overview of the project. This provides a clear understanding of what the project requires, what the end result should be and what the customer is paying for. A project summary helps avoid miscommunication between the contractor and the client. 

Project Costs 

The body of the estimate lists the project cost line items. Budgeting accurately protects the contractor as well as keeps the customer happy. The more detailed the project costs, the more transparency the contract provides the customer. 

Primary project costs include but are not limited to labor, time, materials and permits. 

Labor Costs 

Labor costs will depend on the experience level of the individuals working the project. Many electrical projects require highly skilled labor, so this is typically the most expensive portion of the estimate. 

Materials 

The estimate should include the materials required for the project. If the client has already purchased some of the materials, the estimate should highlight that as well. 

Permits 

Depending on the project, you may require permits to do the work. These often have some associated costs. In a previous post, we discuss the process of obtaining permits and common projects that require permits in Seattle. Obtaining a permit for electrical work may also require inspections that sometimes incur minor costs. 

Well written, clear estimates set great electricians apart from the beginning. It establishes trust with the customer and lays the foundation for a strong working relationship.

0 0 Continue Reading →

The Basics of Running Solar in Your Home

Going solar is both socially responsible and economically beneficial. Solar home has the potential for long term energy savings and federal tax credits. It’s no wonder so many households in Washington are going solar. Even in our relatively cloudy state, solar panels still harness a considerable amount of energy. 

At Wire Craft, we are not installers but can help our customers navigate, upgrade and maintain electrical work required to support home solar systems.

In this post we will cover the basics of running solar in your home so you can take advantage of one of Earth’s most powerful resources! 

Paying for Solar 

Installing solar panels is a big investment. This is usually the first hurdle homeowners need to figure out. There are multiple ways of going about it in Washington state such as loans, leases and power-purchase agreements. 

Find out what option works best for you with Solar Power Rocks payment tool

Another way to help with the cost is the big incentive most people can get is the Federal Solar Tax Credit that earns you 30% of your costs back after just 1 year.

Bid your Project 

You will want to bid out your solar installation project to multiple companies to ensure you’re getting a competitive rate. When researching installers, be sure to find qualified and insured companies with the proper certification—the solar industry standard certification is from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners.

Make sure company familiar with local permitting and interconnection processes. You will also want to ask if they can refer you to other local customers you can contact for their feedback. 

Solar Installation 

There are five major steps required for solar panel installations after you sign the contract: 

  1. Engineering site visit
  2. Permits and documentation
  3. Ordering equipment
  4. Solar panel installation
  5. Approval and interconnection

 

During the engineering site visit, the engineer will look at your electrical panel to see if you’ll need to upgrade it. If they determine they need to upgrade the electrical panel, that means that your new solar panels will require more amps and the ampere capacity of your electrical box will need to increase. This is something we can assist with. 

On the site visit, the installer will also help you decide on the right size system for your home. They consider four primary factors: solar resources and available sunlight, system orientation and tilt, system efficiency at converting sunlight to electricity as well as other potential utility sources such as wind energy. 

Enhance your Solar System with the Tesla Powerwall 

The Tesla Powerwall is a self-powered home that combines solar energy and Powerwall to power your home day and night independent. 

Powerwall makes up for some of the shortcomings of solar panel technology. During the day, solar panels may produce more energy than your home uses. Powerwall stores that excess solar energy and makes it available on demand, even after the sun has set.

You can determine the number of Powerwall units required for your home along with estimated costs using the Powerwall calculator

0 0 Continue Reading →

How To Get Your Electrical Work Approved in Seattle

In a previous post we explained how to get your electrical work approved in Shoreline. In this post we’ll dive into getting electrical work approved in Washington’s largest city; Seattle.

Determine if you Need a Permit

First you want to determine if you need a permit for your project. The City of Seattle publishes a list of common projects that require permits.

In the City of Seattle you need an electrical permit any time electrical wiring is installed, altered, extended, or connected to any electrical equipment, including signs. You may not need a permit for some residential or minimally-sized low-voltage systems. Special events, such as street fairs, that have temporary power installations do require an electrical permit.

For requirements on low voltage projects, be sure to review this checklist.

Request a Permit

For low voltage projects, you can apply directly online using this link.

You can also call (206) 684-8464 with any permit questions you may have.

Request an Inspection

You can schedule your inspection to get your permit request approved via this link.

Most electrical permits require three inspections: cover, service, and final.

Cover inspection: This inspection is conducted when all new circuits are wired (boxes installed, wires run, grounding conductor connected or made up, nail plates installed in areas as needed). Cover inspections also include underground installations.Don’t cover your work with insulation, receptacles, or wall switches until the inspector has approved it. Don’t cover trenches, ditches, or slabs until the inspector has approved them.

Service and feeder inspection: This inspection is conducted when the service electrical mast, meter base, service panels, grounding electrode conductors, and branch circuits (if possible) have been installed.

Final inspections: This inspection is conducted when the electrical work has been completed. Make sure panel boxes are covered, circuits are labeled in the right spaces on the box, and all cover plates are installed. You must have all equipment and appliances installed, grounded, and energized for final inspection.

A permit may not be approved if the inspector could not get on site, if the work is not yet complete or if there are code violations. When the city has to do more than one re-inspection, they may charge an additional fee.

You can access inspection results at the services portal.

0 0 Continue Reading →