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What Does It Mean to Be “Up to Code” for a House?

proper-electrical-panel-wiringIf you are shopping for a new home or are planning to sell your current one, you may have heard about how important it is for the house to be “up to code” or “code compliant.” What does this actually mean, and how do you find out if the house meets the code?

The best way to explain “the code” of which one must be “up to” or “compliant with” is to go straight to the source. This comes from the Los Angeles Housing + Community Investment Department (HCIDLA):

The purpose of the Los Angeles Electrical Code is to reduce the personnel hazard and the fire hazard from electrical causes. To accomplish this, the requirements set in the electrical code are intended to provide a minimum standard for electrical installations. The City of Los Angeles Electrical Code is codified in the Los Angeles Municipal Code, Chapter IX, Article 3.

And if you want to get extremely in-depth, here is the actual City of Los Angeles Electrical Code. It’s not easy to follow, unless you are a professional electrician. And professional electricians must understand this code so that when they perform repairs and new wiring (especially for construction) that they don’t create any potential hazards that lead to fires or injuries.

Meet the National Electrical Code (NEC)

The basis for the City of Los Angeles’s Electrical Code is something called the National Electrical Code (NEC). Although it has the word National in it, it’s not a federal law. What the NEC does is provide a basis for electrical safety in repairs and installations that different jurisdictions can choose to adopt, revise, or replace entirely with their own code. Basically, it’s a “best practices” template for electricians. The NEC is also being updated on a regular basis, and electricians must keep up to date with the local application of the code.

So the short version of this is that a house is “up to code” if it meets the safety requirements that prevent fires and high voltage shocks to people. The code can require specific types of wiring, updates to outlets (such as GFCI and AFCI outlets), surge protectors, etc. If a house can pass an electrical inspection, it is said to be “up to code.” If you are purchasing an older home, we strongly recommend you commission an inspection to check on code compliance.

Our Los Angeles, CA, electricians are the people you want for any of your electrical services, no matter if it’s a small wiring repair or the installation of appliances like generators and surge protectors. We are older home specialists who can help with the rewiring necessary to see that a house is up to the current code. All of our licensed electricians are familiar with the code and any job they handle they will ensure meets all the current specifications. Plus, we go beyond the “minimum standard” when it comes to electrical installations. We aim to provide the best possible electrical work!

Do you need electrical wiring or new electrical installations? Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical has served Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley since 1990.

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