That’s A Different State

The NEC (National Electric Code) requires different grounding methods depending on whether or not an addition is attached or separated from the one which has the electrical service.  If a building is separate, a ground rod (or rods)  is required at the point of the disconnect.  If the building or addition is attached, a ground wire is run alongside the wire feeder.

For some time this requirement changed every three years with the code update.  Often there were times that the new code change reverted to a previous requirement.  As a result I was often required to go back to a job site and change the grounding back to the method I had used 4 years before.

I had numerous discussions with inspectors regarding this particular code requirement.  It was particularly aggravating when an inspector had not kept up on the code changes.  I am afraid I sometimes lost patience with them.

There was one particular inspector with whom I had a hard time regarding the code requirement.  So I called up a different inspector to get his input.  The second inspector agreed with me in the way I had done the grounding.  At the next code cycle, the code was clarified to indicate the way I had done the grounding was correct.

When I started my own electrical contracting business, I had to pass a test to be an Electrical Administrator, which is required in the State of Washington.  I took portions of the test 8 different times before I passed all of the sections.  It cost about $500.00 to take and pass all the testing required.

At that time the State of Idaho did not require the same license.  So I also acquired my Idaho license to run an electrical contracting business.  Today the requirements in Idaho are more restrictive than in Washington.  In fact more restrictive than Washington ever was.

At one time most states had a grandfather clause, which stated that if you have passed the testing in a particular state, the licensing would be reciprocal.  By passing the testing in one state you could acquire the licensing for several states.  For instance, for awhile Wyoming was reciprocal with seven other states.

Today that is no longer the case.  Washington is not reciprocal with any other state.