International Building Code 2018 (IBC 2018)

Heads up: There are no amended sections in this chapter.
The provisions contained in this appendix are not mandatory unless specifically referenced in the adopting ordinance.

With the exception of Section K111, this appendix contains only administrative provisions that are intended to be used by a jurisdiction to implement and enforce NFPA 70, the National Electrical Code. Annex H of NFPA 70 also contains administrative and enforcement provisions, and these provisions may or may not be completely compatible with or consistent with Chapter 1 of the IBC, whereas the provisions in IBC Appendix K are compatible and consistent with Chapter 1 of the IBC and other ICC codes. Section K111 contains technical provisions that are unique to this appendix and are in addition to those of NFPA 70.

The provisions of Appendix K are specific to what might be designated as an Electrical Department of Inspection and Code Enforcement and could be implemented where other such provisions are not adopted.

A purpose of this code is to establish minimum requirements to safeguard public health, safety and general welfare by regulating and controlling the design, construction, installation, quality of materials, location, operation and maintenance or use of electrical systems and equipment.

This code applies to the design, construction, installation, alteration, repairs, relocation, replacement, addition to, use or maintenance of electrical systems and equipment.

The provisions of this code apply to all matters affecting or relating to structures and premises, as set forth in Section K101.
Except as otherwise provided for in this chapter, a provision in this code shall not require the removal, alteration or abandonment of, or prevent the continued utilization and maintenance of, existing electrical systems and equipment lawfully in existence at the time of the adoption of this code.
Electrical systems, equipment, materials and appurtenances, both existing and new, and parts thereof shall be maintained in proper operating condition in accordance with the original design and in a safe, hazard-free condition. Devices or safeguards that are required by this code shall be maintained in compliance with the code edition under which installed. The owner or the owner's authorized agent shall be responsible for the maintenance of the electrical systems and equipment. To determine compliance with this provision, the building official shall have the authority to require that the electrical systems and equipment be reinspected.

Additions, alterations, renovations and repairs to electrical systems and equipment shall conform to that required for new electrical systems and equipment without requiring that the existing electrical systems or equipment comply with all of the requirements of this code. Additions, alterations and repairs shall not cause existing electrical systems or equipment to become unsafe, hazardous or overloaded.

Minor additions, alterations, renovations and repairs to existing electrical systems and equipment shall meet the provisions for new construction, except where such work is performed in the same manner and arrangement as was in the existing system, is not hazardous and is approved.

Where no applicable standards or requirements are set forth in this code, or are contained within other laws, codes, regulations, ordinances or bylaws adopted by the jurisdiction, compliance with applicable standards of nationally recognized standards as are approved shall be deemed as prima facie evidence of compliance with the intent of this code. Nothing herein shall derogate from the authority of the building official to determine compliance with codes or standards for those activities or installations within the building official's jurisdiction or responsibility.

An owner, authorized agent or contractor who desires to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace electrical systems or equipment, the installation of which is regulated by this code, or to cause such work to be done, shall first make application to the building official and obtain the required permit for the work.

Exception: Where repair or replacement of electrical systems or equipment must be performed in an emergency situation, the permit application shall be submitted within the next working business day of the department of electrical inspection.

The following work shall be exempt from the requirement for a permit:

  1. Listed cord- and plug-connected temporary decorative lighting.
  2. Reinstallation of attachment plug receptacles, but not the outlets therefor.
  3. Replacement of branch circuit overcurrent devices of the required capacity in the same location.
  4. Temporary wiring for experimental purposes in suitable experimental laboratories.
  5. Electrical wiring, devices, appliances, apparatus or equipment operating at less than 25 volts and not capable of supplying more than 50 watts of energy.

Exemption from the permit requirements of this code shall not be deemed to grant authorization for work to be done in violation of the provisions of this code or other laws or ordinances of this jurisdiction.

Construction documents shall be drawn to scale upon suitable material. Electronic media documents are permitted to be submitted where approved by the building official. Construction documents shall be of sufficient clarity to indicate the location, nature and extent of the work proposed and show in detail that such work will conform to the provisions of this code and relevant laws, ordinances, rules and regulations, as determined by the building official.
Construction documents shall indicate where penetrations will be made for electrical systems and shall indicate the materials and methods for maintaining required structural safety, fire-resistance rating and fireblocking.
Where an addition or alteration is made to an existing electrical system, an electrical load calculation shall be prepared to determine if the existing electrical service has the capacity to serve the added load.
The design, documentation, inspection, testing and approval of an alternative engineered design electrical system shall comply with this section.
An alternative engineered design shall conform to the intent of the provisions of this code and shall provide an equivalent level of quality, strength, effectiveness, fire resistance, durability and safety. Materials, equipment or components shall be designed and installed in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
The registered design professional shall indicate on the permit application that the electrical system is an alternative engineered design. The permit and permanent permit records shall indicate that an alternative engineered design was part of the approved installation.
The registered design professional shall submit sufficient technical data to substantiate the proposed alternative engineered design and to prove that the performance meets the intent of this code.
The registered design professional shall submit to the building official two complete sets of signed and sealed construction documents for the alternative engineered design. The construction documents shall include floor plans and a diagram of the work.
Where the building official determines that the alternative engineered design conforms to the intent of this code, the electrical system shall be approved. If the alternative engineered design is not approved, the building official shall notify the registered design professional in writing, stating the reasons therefor.
The alternative engineered design shall be tested and inspected in accordance with the requirements of this code.
The building official, upon notification, shall make the inspections set forth in this section.
Underground inspection shall be made after trenches or ditches are excavated and bedded, piping and conductors installed, and before backfill is put in place. Where excavated soil contains rocks, broken concrete, frozen chunks and other rubble that would damage or break the raceway, cable or conductors, or where corrosive action will occur, protection shall be provided in the form of granular or selected material, approved running boards, sleeves or other means.
Rough-in inspection shall be made after the roof, framing, fireblocking and bracing are in place and all wiring and other components to be concealed are complete, and prior to the installation of wall or ceiling membranes.
It shall be the responsibility of every contractor who enters into contracts for the installation or repair of electrical systems for which a permit is required to comply with adopted state and local rules and regulations concerning licensing.
Prefabricated construction is subject to Sections K107.2 through K107.5.
Prior to the approval of a prefabricated construction assembly having concealed electrical work and the issuance of an electrical permit, the building official shall require the submittal of an evaluation report on each prefabricated construction assembly, indicating the complete details of the electrical system, including a description of the system and its components, the basis upon which the system is being evaluated, test results and similar information, and other data as necessary for the building official to determine conformance to this code.
The building official shall designate the evaluation service of an approved agency as the evaluation agency and review such agency's evaluation report for adequacy and conformance to this code.
Except where ready access is provided to electrical systems, service equipment and accessories for complete inspection at the site without disassembly or dismantling, the building official shall conduct the in-plant inspections as frequently as necessary to ensure conformance to the approved evaluation report or shall designate an independent, approved inspection agency to conduct such inspections. The inspection agency shall furnish the building official with the follow-up inspection manual and a report of inspections upon request, and the electrical system shall have an identifying label permanently affixed to the system indicating that factory inspections have been performed.
Required test and inspection records shall be available to the building official at all times during the fabrication of the electrical system and the erection of the building; or such records as the building official designates shall be filed.
Electrical work shall be tested as required in this code. Tests shall be performed by the permit holder and observed by the building official.
Apparatus, material and labor required for testing an electrical system or part thereof shall be furnished by the permit holder.
Where any work or installation does not pass an initial test or inspection, the necessary corrections shall be made so as to achieve compliance with this code. The work or installation shall then be resubmitted to the building official for inspection and testing.
A person shall not make utility service or energy source connections to systems regulated by this code, which have been disconnected or ordered to be disconnected by the building official, or the use of which has been ordered to be discontinued by the building official until the building official authorizes the reconnection and use of such systems.

Wherever the building official determines that any electrical system, or portion thereof, regulated by this code has become hazardous to life, health or property, the building official shall order in writing that such electrical systems either be removed or restored to a safe condition. A time limit for compliance with such order shall be specified in the written notice. A person shall not use or maintain a defective electrical system or equipment after receiving such notice.

Where such electrical system is to be disconnected, written notice as prescribed in this code shall be given. In cases of immediate danger to life or property, such disconnection shall be made immediately without such notice.

Electrical systems and equipment shall be designed, constructed and installed in accordance with the International Residential Code or NFPA 70 as applicable, except as otherwise provided in this code.
All identified electrical hazards shall be abated. All identified hazardous electrical conditions in permanent wiring shall be brought to the attention of the building official responsible for enforcement of this code. Electrical wiring, devices, appliances and other equipment that is modified or damaged and constitutes an electrical shock or fire hazard shall not be used.
Electrical appliances and fixtures shall be tested and listed in published reports of inspected electrical equipment by an approved agency and installed in accordance with all instructions included as part of such listing.
The use of Type NM, NMC and NMS (nonmetallic sheathed) cable wiring methods shall not be limited based on height, number of stories or construction type of the building or structure.
The cutting, notching and boring of wood and steel framing members, structural members and engineered wood products shall be in accordance with this code.
Single- and multiple-station smoke alarms required by this code and installed within dwelling units shall not be connected as the only load on a branch circuit. Such alarms shall be supplied by branch circuits having lighting loads consisting of lighting outlets in habitable spaces.
Doors into electrical control panel rooms shall be marked with a plainly visible and legible sign stating ELECTRICAL ROOM or similar approved wording. The disconnecting means for each service, feeder or branch circuit originating on a switchboard or panelboard shall be legibly and durably marked to indicate its purpose unless such purpose is clearly evident.
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