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Low Voltage Licensing


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#1 mrkenzie

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 11:00 AM

I am starting a new business in MD and for some of the counties, the permits and licensing people for the county are saying that you need to either have a Master Electricians license or be working under a Master Electrician to install low voltage wiring (<50v).

Now, I can not believe that all of the cable installers, DirecTV installers, etc. are either Master Electricians or work under a Master Electrician. So what am I missing? Do they just not care and do the work even though they are not supposed to?

Anyone have any input?

Thanks.

#2 Dan (electron)

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 11:24 AM

Welcome to CT!

Squintz is in MD as well, and managed to get a special low voltage/home automation license. Hopefully he will respond soon, but you can search this forum for his threads, he posted about it.

#3 jlehnert

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 08:34 PM

Master Electrician to install low voltage wiring (<50v).


If that were true, Verizon would be in seriously deep sh**, as their installers are NOT electricians by any means, let alone master electricians. Ditto for Comcast. Sounds like you talked to one of the (far too many) clueless bureaucrats who heard the word "Voltage" and automatically assumed electric. You might want to hit them with the individual types of wiring you intend to do, i.e. computer, TV, phone, security, etc.

#4 mrkenzie

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 08:41 PM

I did ask them specifically. I said "So you mean that if someone installs cable or DirecTV that they have to 1. Be or work under a master electrician and 2. Pull a permit to install it?"

Thier answer - YES!

I can not believe that this is possible, but what was I to say? I could not be more specific than that. So are people installing low voltage wiring and not doing it the way the county requires? I could see maybe some local independent satellite installers doing that, but what about the cable companies as jlehnert mentioned? I doubt that they are not installing to the county specifications, but how is that possible?

Only 1 of the 4 counties I am looking to work in does not require a license or permit to run low voltage wiring. There has to be a way around this and still be legal/ethical. Just need to figure out how.

#5 jlehnert

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 09:12 PM

If you don't mind, what counties have you talked to?

#6 gatchel

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 10:03 PM

MD also requires you to have a license to install security systems. Check with the state police.

http://www.co.ba.md....isteralarm.html


Good luck....$40 later

#7 mrkenzie

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 03:43 PM

I have talked to the Frederick, Montgomery, Howard, and Charles county in MD. They all require a master (or restricted) electrician to pull a permit.

#8 jlehnert

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 06:40 PM

Hmmmm. That's interesting. I used to live in Montogomery, and it was NOT true then. I'll have to dig a little next time I head up to visit friends.

#9 CDC

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 01:34 PM

Its true. In NC any company installing wiring must be qualified by a licensed electrician. I am pretty certain it is the same in MD. NC has different classifications of licensure. From LV which you would want, to unlimited. Higher classifications can do work in the lower classifications but not vice-verse. The cable, Sat. companies only need one qualified person per office. So there are still have plenty of clueless installers out there. Good luck.

CDC

#10 Squintz

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 03:08 PM

Hey,

Sorry it took me so long to see this thread. Not really sure how I missed it.

Anyways, I went in front of the Harford Co board of master electricians and pleeded for them to count my High School and College education as well as my work experience towards the time required to get a license. Altogether I have about 9 years of Electronics and Electrical experience but most of it has been in the class room. Only 3 years of it was on the job training.

The board actually created a test specifically for my needs. It covers me for running low voltage lines such as Cable and Network but it also covers me to replace outlets (switches, receptacles, fixtures) with Z-Wave devices.

I work in Baltimore City a lot for a GC and have been arround guys who run Telephone, Cable, and install security systems without having a license. They are doing it illegally but in those situation the GC does not care as long as the job is getting done to code.

I recently found out that my Harford License can be migrated to Baltimore City simply by filling out a form. So I would not have to take the test again.

If you really want to do this the legit way then you need to either get a license by going in front of the board or track down someone who is licensed and hire them.

If you want to give me a call and chat more about it then shoot me an e-mail or pm through the site and I will give you my number. I am always looking for people to partner with me on jobs also.

#11 jlehnert

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 05:45 PM

Did some research and verified that all of the above is true. From what I'm seeing, the installation does not have to be done by a Master Electrician, just that it must be "under the supervision" of one. Looks like most of the companies seem to think that having a ME on staff qualifies for "under supervision". Of course, I'm not a lawyer, I don't play on on TV, and I no longer do business in MD, so don't start doing things on my advise.. :P

In the past, the electical trades had been making a concerted political effort to force out LV installers by getting these types of laws passed. I used to get regular solicitations from some of the LV industry groups to fight this effort. Pity that MD got snookered into passing such a law.

#12 mrkenzie

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 06:20 PM

Yes, it is true in MD. You don't have to be a ME to do the work, but you do have to be a ME to pull the permit and sometimes the inspector will want the ME there for the inspections.

#13 Zapatogrande

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 10:36 AM

Hey,

Sorry it took me so long to see this thread. Not really sure how I missed it.

Anyways, I went in front of the Harford Co board of master electricians and pleeded for them to count my High School and College education as well as my work experience towards the time required to get a license. Altogether I have about 9 years of Electronics and Electrical experience but most of it has been in the class room. Only 3 years of it was on the job training.

The board actually created a test specifically for my needs. It covers me for running low voltage lines such as Cable and Network but it also covers me to replace outlets (switches, receptacles, fixtures) with Z-Wave devices.

I work in Baltimore City a lot for a GC and have been arround guys who run Telephone, Cable, and install security systems without having a license. They are doing it illegally but in those situation the GC does not care as long as the job is getting done to code.

I recently found out that my Harford License can be migrated to Baltimore City simply by filling out a form. So I would not have to take the test again.

If you really want to do this the legit way then you need to either get a license by going in front of the board or track down someone who is licensed and hire them.

If you want to give me a call and chat more about it then shoot me an e-mail or pm through the site and I will give you my number. I am always looking for people to partner with me on jobs also.



#14 Fiasco

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 02:22 AM

Did some research and verified that all of the above is true. From what I'm seeing, the installation does not have to be done by a Master Electrician, just that it must be "under the supervision" of one. Looks like most of the companies seem to think that having a ME on staff qualifies for "under supervision". Of course, I'm not a lawyer, I don't play on on TV, and I no longer do business in MD, so don't start doing things on my advise.. ;)

In the past, the electical trades had been making a concerted political effort to force out LV installers by getting these types of laws passed. I used to get regular solicitations from some of the LV industry groups to fight this effort. Pity that MD got snookered into passing such a law.



Not sure about MD but there's no conspiracy to get out LV'ers here in MO.

You have to have a master electrician to get licensed as a business and have the ability to pull permits for electrical work. There are valid reasons for it, none of which Include forcing com guys out.

Are you familiar with the nec codes and any county or municipal codes regulating your scope of work?

And those companies are right thinking that having a master electrician on staff is "under supervision". If said company does some half assed non code compliant work the ME's license is on the line.

#15 nov0798

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 03:03 PM

I believe that since you want to run a business, then yes you need a permit. As a homeowner doing work yourself, NO! As for DirecTV, Comcast, etc, Since Cable TV doesnt really use voltage, then no you would not need a license to install it! Also, most likely, those type of companies probably operate under an agreement with the state that as long as they, or a contractor they sub to has a state license as a general contractor, then they are covered. As for the alarm comment, also the same thing. If you are a homeowner then NO, but a business, then YES! The is what I was told when I did my entire home with ethernet, cable, etc. This is what the permit office in Prince William County VA told me. This of course was 5+ years ago, so something may have changed.

Here is what Montgomery County has to say. Read towards the bottom.
http://permittingser...ing/bc/nfmp.asp

DO I NEED A SEPARATE ELECTRICAL PERMIT?

An electrical permit for mechanical equipment and appliance installation is required when new high voltage branch circuit conductors or feeder circuit conductors are installed. An electrical permit is not required to hook-up appliances to existing conductors and to add/replace disconnect switches.

Electrical permits will not be required for low voltage control wiring except when such circuits penetrate fire-rated assemblies, or are installed in an air plenums; provided the voltage does not exceed 30 volts.

Frederick County
http://frederickcoun...AQ.aspx?QID=458

Any new wiring, including low voltage, service work, reintroduction of service, generators, pools/hot tubs, street lighting and illuminated signs require an electrical permit. Replacement of an appliance or a fixture not of the same rating requires an electrical permit.

Charles and Howard county websites appear to be broken. So it looks like a mixed bag!

Edited by nov0798, 12 May 2010 - 03:16 PM.





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