When To Upgrade Your Electrical System to Current Code

The following is an excerpt from a recent complaint posted on a consumer reporting website by a homeowner regarding an electrician in Atlanta:

He told me (the electrician)  he couldn’t connect the pool pump unless he did all this work and  that the house wasn’t up to code (turns out he meant up to current code, but I later found out from a builder that houses are just suppose to be up to the code at the time they were built so he deliberately misled me). He said he had to rewire the main panel in the house and totally redo the way the pool was set up or we could get electrocuted in the pool or the house could catch on fire from the wiring. He said it would take two days and cost around $3,100. He worked about six hours and then told. me it would cost more money than he thought he said I and I had to pay him the $3,100.

The National Electrical Code is a United States construction standard and is part of the National Fire Codes series published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). While the Code is not itself law, it is used by local inspectors as a guideline for the safe installation of electrical wiring and equipment and many of the requirements are commonly mandated by state or local law.

NEC 2011

NEC 2011

First published in 1897, the NEC is updated and published every three years. The 2011 NEC is the current edition (effective date August 25, 2010).

Most states adopt the most recent edition within a couple of years of its publication; however, a few jurisdictions regularly omit or modify some sections, or even add their own requirements, e.g. Georgia didn’t adopt the 2008 requirement for Arc Fault Interrupters until January of 2010.

Code upgrades are not normally required except in new construction unless significant changes like a panel replacement are made to the electrical system and then the local inspector will normally only require some upgrades to be made.  That’s why it’s important to work with an Atlanta electrical contractor who is familiar with the electrical inspectors in each local county or municipality and is knowledgeable as to which code upgrades will most commonly be required.  Of course, any new wiring or equipment installed in an existing home or business must be completed to current code standards.

Even  if not required, some upgrades like GFCI or AFCI protection are a good idea because they significantly increase the safety of the electrical system and are relatively inexpensive. If someone tells you your electrical system is not up to code contact a qualified electrician who is a Licensed Georgia Electrical Contractor.  Try out our ASK AN EXPERT page if we can help.

2 replies
  1. Jessie Holloway
    Jessie Holloway says:

    I love how you pointed out that upgrading electrical systems is not usually required but can be a great investment. My uncle is working on a new project and he needs to run wiring through the building. We’ve been looking into buying so electrical supplies from a reliable company so he can start that.

  2. Phil ott
    Phil ott says:

    I had a small fire in my garage my home was built in 1956 and I bought it in 2017 inspector city inspector tells me I need to upgrade my electrical panel to a 200 amp because I had a fire the fire was not caused by electrical issues so I’m wondering what upgrades do I need to do I was told by my electrical municipalities that the inspector only needed to inspect my meter base for me to get my meter returned and power reinstated but not according to the inspector city of Durant Oklahoma please help me if anybody hasn’t answered to what I may have to do or may not have to do


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