Electrical work is limited to qualified persons in multi-family dwellings but what is exactly considered electrical work? Can, say, a condo owner replace a light fixture or a receptacle?
Usually not. That rarely stops them though.
Installing fixtures and receptacles IS electrical work.
FTR, my "Usually not" was in reply to the last part of the OP.
In MA you pretty much have to be licensed to wire a nuclear power plant to be able to change a light bulb legally. This doesn't seem to stop the Borg from selling a lot of electrical parts to people who pretty clearly don't know enough about wiring to change a light bulb safely.
I can buy demanding real training for people working on a multi-family dwelling where other people's lives might be at stake, but do I really need a guy who's been to school for a couple of years, done a 5 year apprenticeship and then sat for an exam that covers every conceivable sort of commercial/industrial wiring to put a new switch out in my barn?
"to put a new switch out in my barn?" If that is what the law requires.
It is my belief that we already have laws that make anything and everything illegal-- if the search for the specific law is diligent enough.
Everyone, thanks for the input.
...to put a new switch out in my barn?
I think there's been some discussion of that in the past, maybe not here, but to break out, say, residential and commercial (and maybe industrial) work. Kind of like how there "clinics" in drugstores run by LPN rather than a MD. Do I really need a guy with 8 years of school and two years of residency to tell me I have a sinus infection or jock itch?
Off on an entirely different tangent...do we really need someone with a master's degree teaching the third grade. Let me rephrase that, should we pay someone with a masters degree more than someone with a bachelors degree to teach the third grade?
When I lived in St. Louis county Missouri this was handled very sensibly. You could get a "homeowner electrician" certificate by taking a ~50 question exam covering basics like wire sizes, box fill, gfci rules, anchoring requirements and then doing a 10-15 min interview with the inspector where he quizzed you about your plan and got a good idea whether you knew what you were doing. Once you passed you could pull your own permits to work on your own house and outbuildings, but not on others or multi family units. Seemed like a win-win in terms of getting much more work done under a permit and with inspections while recognizing that many people will choose to do this work themselves no matter the law.
Here (Virginia) you can legally pull permits and do the work yourself on your own single family residential property. Other than that, they expect you to be licensed.
Same here. I built a shop building out in the county (central MO) and had a permit and inspections. Local code allows the owner to do their own work as long as it passes inspection.
I'm curious what "qualified" means. I understand an electrical license? How about a plumber that replaces an electric hot water heater? Should he call a licensed electrician to make the electrical connections or can he do it?
It depends on your local jurisdiction. In some cases, replacing a piece of equipment doesn't require a electrician (even if it involves making wiring connections), in some places it does. Frankly, having seen some real ugly connections done by non-electrician equipment installers (plumbers, hvac technicians, etc...) yeah, it might be a good thing to have an electrician involved.
There's no universal answer. You would have to ask your local authority if you want to know officially. Of course, there are many people who figure it's better not to ask such questions and a lot of work that should be permitted or at least done by qualified people, is casually done by the other trades or by harry homeowner.
Google from Mike Holts pages
The definition of Ã¢ÂÂQualified PersonÃ¢ÂÂ was revised to read:
Qualified Person. A person who has the skill and knowledge related to the construction and operation of the electrical equipment and its installation. This person must have received safety training on the hazards involved with electrical systems. Figure 100Ã¯Â¿Â½"4
Intent: This term Ã¢ÂÂQualified Person(s)Ã¢ÂÂ was used in about 65 Code sections throughout the 1999 NEC and the revision was intended to clarify that a qualified person must have received safety training on the hazards involved with electrical systems. No longer is a person considered qualified simply by being familiar with the construction and operation of the equipment and the hazards involved. See 110.16 Flash Protection, as an example where a qualified person is required. This makes the definition in line with OSHA and NFPA 70E requirements.
AuthorÃ¢ÂÂs Comment: What constitutes safety training?
Note that Qualified just means "capable of being approved,"
the operative word for who can do something is APPROVED and that is solely at the discretion of the AHJ.