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Thread: Do I need a building permit/inspection

  1. #1

    Default Do I need a building permit/inspection

    Howdy folks.

    I am converting a closet in one of my spare bedrooms into an Audio/Video/Network distribution closet. My plan is to run low voltage wiring to this closet myself. This includes CAT5e and RG6 cables. The closet will contain my DSL modem, network switch, PVR, File server and future A/V distribution equipment, etc. Do I need a building permit and inspection for low voltage wiring of this type?

    To support the A/V and network equipment, I will need to have a new outlet installed in the closet. If I was to run the outlet myself (by branching off an available outlet), would I need a permit and inspection? What about if I hire an electrician to do the work?

    I live in Dallas, Texas for those familiar with Dallas code. Thanks!

  2. #2
    In the Trades brownizs's Avatar
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    Check with the City of Dallas's website on the code. In most cities, if you have to move one Outlet, or add another, you need an inspector. As for wiring Low Voltage, no you do not, especially for CATV & Ethernet. If a permit was needed to be pulled everytime new RG-6, LAN or Telco wiring was pulled, it would never get done, and you would never be able to purchase the parts.

    Keep in mind, most A/V & Network Distribution closets look like nightmares. The thing to remember is, Keep it clean and keep it neat. Also, if you are planning on closing the door to this closet, you may want to look at the thought of how you are going to keep the Computer equipment cool, due to the amount of heat given off, can be worst then a Water Heater in a Closet.

    Also, most shelving that is used, is the Wire Shelving for Closets, and create a plan, and label everything.

  3. #3
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    I can't help but wonder why chapter eight is in the NEC if all this low voltage is not required to be inspected.

    ARTICLE 800 Communications Circuits
    ARTICLE 810 Radio and Television Equipment
    ARTICLE 820 Community Antenna Television and Radio Distribution Systems
    ARTICLE 830 Network-Powered Broadband Communications Systems

    I suppose that they could had some extra ink and paper and needed to use it all up.

  4. #4
    In the Trades brownizs's Avatar
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    [Edited to keep from getting bit in the arse on this one]

    LV such as Network or A/V has never been inspected in our town, and even on the jobs that I have done, where we ran over 1000 Ethernet lines. Majority of the home owners are not going to take the time to investigate the NEC, let alone think about it when running a couple of Telco, CATV, or 8 Ethernet lines. Now, when running lines between homes and from outdoors to indoors, follow the guidelines. They are more pointed at Commercial applications when dealing with communication equipment in section 800, then the average homeowner, who let alone knows about them, probably at most, most that do hack jobs, do not care, and will point the blame elsewhere.

    9 times out of 10 A/V & Network wiring jobs would probably fail, if ever inspected for proper install, materials, and termination & grounding.
    Last edited by brownizs; 02-17-2008 at 12:57 PM.

  5. #5

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    Thanks for the help!

    I am also considering using a powerbridge when wall mounting my TV. Its easy to hookup a surge suppressor and UPC to the TV this way.

    http://www.powerbridgesolution.com/a...werbridge.html

    Would I need an inspection/permit when using this type of inlet/outlet?

  6. #6
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qnator View Post
    Would I need an inspection/permit when using this type of inlet/outlet?
    I'd like to know this as well. There's a good argument for each side, but once it's plugged in, I'd say yes. As was pointed out earlier, ask your local building office for the definitive word. Wicked markup, in any case.

  7. #7
    In the Trades brownizs's Avatar
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    A little overkill, when all you need is a standard Clock Outlet. But for the UPC & Surge, you are better getting one that works in a remote location for that outlet, which can raise the total cost.

  8. #8
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brownizs View Post
    [Edited to keep from getting bit in the arse on this one]

    LV such as Network or A/V has never been inspected in our town, and even on the jobs that I have done, where we ran over 1000 Ethernet lines. Majority of the home owners are not going to take the time to investigate the NEC, let alone think about it when running a couple of Telco, CATV, or 8 Ethernet lines. Now, when running lines between homes and from outdoors to indoors, follow the guidelines. They are more pointed at Commercial applications when dealing with communication equipment in section 800, then the average homeowner, who let alone knows about them, probably at most, most that do hack jobs, do not care, and will point the blame elsewhere.

    9 times out of 10 A/V & Network wiring jobs would probably fail, if ever inspected for proper install, materials, and termination & grounding.

    Well I wonder just what is being talked about in these sections?
    800.154(B)(3) One- and Two-Family Dwellings. Type CM and CMX cable shall be permitted in one- and two-family dwellings.

    820.100(A)(4) Length. The grounding conductor shall be as short as practicable. In one- and two-family dwellings, the grounding conductor shall be as short as practicable, not to exceed 6.0 m (20 ft) in length.

    820.154(B)(3) One- and Two-Family Dwellings. Types CATV and CATVX cables shall be permitted in one- and two-family dwellings.

    820.154(D)(4) One- and Two-Family Dwellings. Type CATVX cables less than 10 mm (0.375 in.) in diameter shall be permitted to be installed in one- and two-family dwellings.

    Each of these articles also say that the installation is to conform with 300.4(D) and 300.11 which mandates the installation of conductors in a dwelling unit.

    As to your reference to what a lot of homeownere do it is also true that a lot of these same homeowners speed up and down the highways. Just because a lot of homeowners do something does not make it legal.

    The original question
    Quote Originally Posted by qnator View Post
    Howdy folks Do I need a building permit and inspection for low voltage wiring of this type? Thanks!
    The legal answer to the question is, YES

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey View Post
    I'd like to know this as well. There's a good argument for each side, but once it's plugged in, I'd say yes. As was pointed out earlier, ask your local building office for the definitive word. Wicked markup, in any case.
    I suspect you are right. I'll find out this week and post the answer. Now I have to find a way to explain it :0 Maybe "in-wall extension cord using romex" will do the trick.

  10. #10
    In the Trades brownizs's Avatar
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    Networking, CATV & Telco do not need permits pulled. Only if pulling Electrical & doing major changes to the structure. Again, if a permit needed to be pulled everytime someone had to have the Cable Company come in and pull new wire to outlets, a person had to pull a permit to run a Ethernet wire, it would not get done. Also, you could never buy the parts on the open market.

    There has never been a job that I have done for pulling 1000+ in Cat-5e that needed a permit. If one was needed, the job would of never been done, the Fire marshall & city inspector would of shut everything down, which never happened.

    Also to add, this is what Dallas considers under their code for when you do & do not need a permit http://www.dallascityhall.com/pdf/De...ermitHowTo.pdf
    "WHEN IS A PERMIT FOR ELECTRICAL
    WORK NOT REQUIRED?
    -The restoration on a temporary basis of
    electrical service under emergency conditions
    when approval of the work is obtained from
    the Building Official prior to the commencing
    of the work, inspection of the work is made
    in accordance with Chapter 52 of the Dallas
    City Code, and a permit is obtained as soon
    as practicable.
    -maintenance, repair, relocation or
    replacement of any existing light fixture,
    receptacle, switch, ceiling fan, circuit breaker
    or other electrical device or equipment
    where no change in electrical service or
    service disconnect is involved, if the value of
    the work does not exceed $1,000.
    -Installation of not more than six new 120 volt
    or one new 240 volt electrical outlets or
    devices for any lighting fixture, receptacle,
    switch, ceiling fan, or residential appliance
    within an existing occupied single-tenant
    space or structure, by extension of an existing
    circuit or by installation of not more than one
    new circuit, provided that no change in
    electrical service or service disconnection is
    involved."
    http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=per...p=mss&ei=UTF-8
    Last edited by brownizs; 02-17-2008 at 05:46 PM.

  11. #11

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    Great find brownizs. After reading over the PDF from DallasCityHall.com, I don't think I need a permit for any of the work I am going to do.

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