Development Services

Electrical Code Requirements

General Information

  • Permits are required before starting work.
  • Permits become void if the work authorized is not commenced within 180 days of permit issuance, or if the work is suspended or abandoned at any time for a period of 180 days or more after the work first begins.
  • All work must comply with the National Electrical Code and the Electrical Regulations of the Long Beach Municipal Code.
  • No work is to be covered or energized without first having been inspected and approved by the City.
  • It is recommended that spare electrical capacity be installed initially to allow for the addition of future electrical appliances at minimum costs.
  • California licensed contractors
  • Homeowners of one- or two-family dwellings, accessory buildings, and facilities, if:
    • The owner resides or intends to reside in the dwelling and can show proof of residence
    • The mechanical work is performed by the owner
    • The owner signs a statement that they will not employ an individual who is subject to California workers’ compensation laws

When a permit is issued, the signature and identity of the applicant will be verified — a California Driver’s License, a State of California Identification Card, or other positive identification will meet this requirement.

Contractors working in the City of Long Beach are required to have a Long Beach business license. If a contractor has employees, proof of Workers’ Compensation Insurance must be shown when the permit is issued. Contractors working alone may waive this requirement, but they must show a pocket copy of their State Contractor’s License.

  • You want to make a new electrical installation or make an alteration or addition to any existing wiring
  • You want to install wiring for the installation of any electric light, power or heating device, or any apparatus that generates, transmits, transforms, or utilizes electricity operating at a voltage of more than 25 volts between conductors or is capable of supplying more than 50 watts

Exception: A separate electrical permit will not required for any electrical work involving a Group R, Division 3, or Group M Occupancy for which a combined permit has been obtained, pursuant to Section 18.12.010.

Your work involves any of the following:

  • Electric wiring declared exempt by any other section in the Long Beach Municipal Code
  • Repair or replacement of any fixed motor of the same rating on the same machine or the repair or replacement of any fixed electrical appliance of the same rating in the same location
  • Repair or replacement of current-carrying parts or any switch or control device
  • Reinstallation of attachment wall plug receptacles or wall switches but not the outlet
  • Repair or replacement of any overcurrent device or lamp holder of the same rating and in the same location
  • Repair or replacement of electrodes or transformers for signs or marquees
  • Repair or replacement of cords, cables, or cord pendants
  • Taping of joints
  • Removal of electric wiring
  • Any similar minor repair or replacement determined by the Building Official to involve any hazard to life or property
  • Installation by Southern California Edison Company of radio-controlled relays on privately-owned air conditioning equipment in the company's program of energy conservation through electrical load management, entitled "Air Conditioner Cycling Program," provided that:
    • The relays must be tested and labeled by Underwriters' Laboratories, Inc.
    • The Building Official must approve of specifications for the installation of the relays
    • The relays must be installed and maintained by Southern California Edison Company or its contractors
  • All electrical materials and equipment must be new and approved for the intended use and location by a recognized testing laboratory such as Underwriters' Laboratories, Electrical Testing Laboratories, or Factory Mutual. Used construction materials must not be installed without special permission obtained in advance.
  • Conduits, cable assemblies, boxes, cabinets, and fittings must be securely fastened in place. Conduits and cable assemblies must be continuous from outlet to outlet and from fitting to fitting.
  • If cables run through holes in studs, joists or similar wood members, holes must be bored at the approximate center. Where there is no structural objection, armored cable or non-metallic sheathed cable must be protected against the penetration of driven nails by covering the notch with a steel plate at least 1/16-inch thick before building finish is applied.
  • There must be no splices within the conduits. An approved box must be installed at each outlet, switch, junction of conduit, electrical metallic tubing, armored cable, or non-metallic sheathed cable. At least six inches of wire, measured from the face of the box, must be left at each outlet and switch point for making up joints for the connection of fixtures or devices. Splices must be made electrically and mechanically secure and be covered with an approved insulated solderless connector.
  • Wires must be of adequate size for supplying their connected load. Wires shall be considered as properly protected when the fuse or circuit breaker is set at a rating that does not exceed the allowable current carrying capacity of the wire.
  • Interior wiring systems must be polarized, and all wire must be an approved type having an insulating, flame-retardant covering. Wires used as neutral conductors of circuits must have white insulation. Green insulation must be used for grounding conductors only. Wires must not be smaller than No. 14AWG. Wires used in wet location must be TW, RW or another approved type.
  • Metal raceways, cable armor, and fittings must be grounded. Metallic outlet boxes, lighting fixtures, and appliances with exposed non-current-carrying metal parts must be grounded. These must be mechanically joined together into a continuous electrical conductor so as to provide effective electrical continuity to ground.

For more information, see Conductor Size and Conduit Requirements.

  • All electric wiring for which a permit is required must be inspected and approved before being energized or used.
  • No serving agency shall furnish or supply or cause or permit to be furnished or supplied, electric energy to any such electric wiring until such inspection and approval.
  • Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to prohibit the temporary use of electric energy when and as specifically provided in this chapter.
  • Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to prohibit the inspection of any electric wiring even though no permit is required therefor. If approval is withheld, a written notification showing the date, location of defect in the work, with the signature of the inspector, shall be sent to the permittee or posted on the premises. Failure of the permittee to make such corrections within ten days after notification thereof is sufficient cause for refusal to issue any further permits to the permittee until such corrections have been made.
  • No person shall conceal, enclose or cover, or cause or permit to be concealed, enclosed or covered, any portion of any electric wiring in any manner that will interfere with or prevent the inspection and approval thereof.
  • Any portion of any floor, ceiling, wall, partition, roof, finish or other obstruction whatsoever which renders impracticable the making of a complete and thorough inspection of electric wiring shall be removed upon notice (either verbal or in writing) to do so, and shall be kept removed until such electric wiring has been inspected and approved.
  • The provisions of this section shall not apply to finished work, or to conductors inserted in conduit or other wiring enclosures.
  • Before a final inspection of any electric wiring, all plaster, concrete or other foreign material shall be thoroughly removed from every box and wiring enclosure, and not less than six inches of jointless conductors shall extend out of each lighting outlet box for future connection thereto, except when conductors are intended to loop through the box.
  • In any case where one or more taped joints are found not soldered at the time of inspection, the inspector may require every joint for such electric wiring to be left untaped until the inspection and approval thereof.
  • Fixtures or appliances shall not be connected to electric wiring until the rough wiring has been inspected and approved except as otherwise satisfactory to the Building Official.
  • All such wiring shall be free from grounds, shorts, or other defects, before approval thereof.
  • Whenever any electric wiring has been inspected and found to comply with the provisions of this chapter, the inspector shall leave a notice at the service switch or other suitable place so stating, and the Building Official shall issue a certificate of inspection when requested, or service permit authorizing the connection to the electrical service and the energizing of the installation.
  • Non-metallic sheathed cable may be used where it is totally concealed within wood frame walls or attic spaces. Non-metallic cable shall not be used in cabinets, wet or damp locations, nor as portable cables. In attics, mechanical protection of cables is required within six feet of scuttles and mechanical equipment. Non-metallic sheathed cable shall be secured at intervals not to exceed 4 feet 6 inches and within 12 inches of every outlet box or fitting. A change from non-metallic sheathed cable to a metal-protected wiring system shall be made in an accessible metallic junction box. Non-metallic sheathed cable shall be of the type having grounding wire in addition to the energized wires.
  • Armored cable may be used if properly protected from mechanical injury. Armored cable may be used for both exposed and concealed work in dry locations. At all points where the armor terminates, an approved insulating bushing shall be secured and protected in a manner similar to non-metallic sheathed cable. A change from armored cable to another wiring system shall be made in an accessible metallic junction box.
  • Flexible metal conduit, not less than 1/2-inch electrical trade size, may be used if properly protected from mechanical injury. Flexible metal conduit shall be secured by an approved means at intervals not exceeding 4 feet 6 inches and within 12 inches of every outlet box or fitting. All ends shall be reamed or burred to remove rough edges. Bends of flexible metal conduit shall be made so that the conduit will not be injured. A run of flexible metal conduit shall not contain more than four quarter bends between outlets or fittings. A grounding conductor (green) shall be provided whenever the length of run exceeds six feet.
  • Outlet, switch and junction boxes, fittings and cabinets shall be securely fastened in place. Non-metallic boxes may be used only with a non-metallic wiring system. Metallic boxes used with non-metallic wiring systems shall be grounded.
  • Boxes and fittings installed in damp or wet locations shall be weatherproof. Outlet boxes for concealed work shall have a depth of at least 1-1/2 inches. Conduits or cables entering boxes shall be secured with approved clamps or connectors. Where non-metallic outlet boxes are used with non-metallic sheathed cable, the clamping of individual cables to the box is not required if the cable is secured within 8 inches of the box.
  • Each outlet of the junction box shall be provided with a cover. Metal plugs shall effectively close unused openings in boxes and cabinets. In walls or ceilings constructed of wood or other combustible material, outlet boxes and fittings shall be flush with the finished surface. In walls of non-combustible materials, boxes and fittings shall be installed so that the front edge of the box or fitting will not set back more than 1/4 inch. Junction boxes shall be installed in an accessible location.
  • Each single-family dwelling should be provided with one or more lighting branch circuits of 15 or 20 amperes in rating.
  • In every livable room including kitchen, family, dining, and bedroom, a general use receptacle outlet shall be installed in walls so that no point along the floor line in any wall space is more than 6 feet, measured horizontally, from an outlet in that space, including any wall space 2 feet or more in width and the wall space occupied by sliding panels in exterior walls. A receptacle outlet is required to be located at each kitchen counter 12 inches or more in width and adjacent to each lavatory sink.
  • Each dwelling unit shall have not less than two small appliance receptacle branch circuits for the supply of receptacle outlets located in the kitchen. Small appliance receptacle outlets are those located in the kitchen, service porch, pantry, laundry room or area, dining room or area, breakfast room or area. Receptacle outlets or branch circuits located in other rooms or areas are considered as convenience receptacle outlets. Small appliance branch circuits shall not supply convenience receptacle outlets, lighting outlets, or fixed appliances. A branch circuit supplying only convenience receptacle outlets may also supply lighting outlets and fixed appliances.
  • Each dwelling unit shall be provided with an individual 20-ampere branch circuit for a receptacle outlet installed adjacent to a laundry tray or other plumbing suitable for a washing machine.
  • Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters
  • Receptacles installed above the kitchen sink counter tops shall have ground-fault circuit interrupter protection.
  • Receptacles installed in bathrooms, garages, basements and those installed outdoors shall have ground-fault circuit interrupter protection.
  • A ground-fault circuit interrupter is a device intended for the protection of personnel. It functions to de-energize a circuit, or portion thereof, within an established period of time when a current to ground exceeds some predetermined value that is less than that required to operate the overcurrent protection (circuit breaker) device of the supply circuit. In other words, the ground fault circuit interrupter is a very sensitive device that protects a person from receiving an electrical shock, whereas a circuit breaker is a slower acting device that only protects the electrical circuit from burning up.
All branch circuits that supply 125-volt, single phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacle outlets installed in dwelling unit bedrooms shall be protected by an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter.

Residential Garage & Basements

  • At least one receptacle outlet, in addition to any provided for laundry equipment, shall be installed in each attached garage, basement, and in each detached garage with electrical power.
  • All receptacles located inside and on the exterior wall of the garage or basement shall have ground-fault circuit interrupter protection, except for the laundry equipment receptacle.
  • At least one wall switch-controlled lighting outlet shall be installed in the attached garage or basement and its outdoor entrances.
  • All 125-volt 15-20 ampere receptacles in a basement shall have ground-fault circuit interrupter protection.

 

Minimum Requirements For Individual Appliance Branch Circuits Table

Type of Appliance

Branch Circuit Rating

Electrical range

50 amperes

Kitchen counter top small appliance branch circuit

20 amperes

Counter-mounted electric cooking unit

30 amperes

Dishwasher

15 amperes

Garbage Disposal

15 amperes

Sub Panels

30 amperes

Wall-mounted electric oven

30 amperes

Electric clothes dryer

30 amperes

Washing machine or laundry area

20 amperes

Appliance branch circuits, including conductors, circuit breakers or fuse holders, switches, and the like shall not supply a load greater than 80T of the branch circuit rating.

Minimum Size Service

  • Single-family dwelling with six or more two-wire branch circuits 100 amp, #4 THW copper or #2 THW aluminum wire.
  • Single-family dwelling with 100 amp, #4 THW copper wire.
  • Other loads: 60 amps, #6 THW copper or #4 THW aluminum wire.
  • The service head and meter shall be installed where directed by serving agency and shall be so located that the service drop may be installed with only one point of attachment without crossing over adjacent premises. The service drops for dwellings shall be not less than 10 feet above the ground and provide 12 feet clearance for service drops over private driveways.
  • Service equipment shall be installed at the nearest readily accessible point to the entrance of the service wires. The maximum height of the service switch or circuit breaker handle shall not exceed six feet, six inches above ground and shall have a clear working space of three feet deep and 30 inches wide.
  • The service raceway enclosure and interior wiring system shall be bonded in an approved manner and the grounding shall terminate in an approved accessible ground clamp attached to a continuous cold-water piping system. Bonding jumpers shall be installed where the double lock nut type connection is used. Where cold water system is used as service grounding, a ground rod shall be provided to be driven eight feet vertically into the earth and shall be mechanically bonded to the cold-water system in an approved manner.

Maximum Allowable Current Carrying Capacity in Amperes of Insulated Conductors in Conduits or Cables (TW insulation and not more than three conductors in conduit or cables.)

Size AWG

Amperes (Copper)

Amperes (Aluminum)

No. 14

15

-

No. 12

20

15

No. 10

30

25

No. 8

40

30

No. 6

55

40

No. 4

70

55

No. 2

95

75

No. 1

110

85

No. 0

125

100

Note: When installing more than three conductors in conduit or cables, see Note 8, Table 310-16 for derating factors (National Electrical Code).

Maximum Number of TW Conductors in Conduit or Tubing

Size AWG

Conduit or Tubing Size 

1/2"

3/4"

1"

1-1/4"

1-1/2"

2"

No. 14

9

15

25

44

60

99

No. 12

7

12

19

35

47

78

No. 10

5

9

15

26

36

60

No. 8

2

4

7

12

17

33

No. 6

1

2

4

7

10

16

No. 4

1

1

3

5

7

12

No. 2

1

1

2

4

5

9

No. 1

-

1

1

3

4

6

No. 0

-

1

1

2

3

5