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The San Francisco Electrical Code is current through Ordinance 266-19, File No. 190136, approved November 21, 2019, effective December 22, 2019, operative 1/1/2020.
Includes legislation adopted by the Board of Supervisors through December 31, 2019
Copyright © 2020
THE CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO
A Municipal Corporation
THE CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO
A Municipal Corporation
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed by any means or stored in a database or retrieval system without prior written permission of the City and County of San Francisco.
The full 2019 San Francisco Electrical Code consists of the 2017 National Electrical Code, as amended by the 2019 California Electrical Code, and as further amended by these San Francisco amendments.
The San Francisco Electrical Code amendments contained herein are designed to be used in conjunction with the 2019 California Electrical Code.
The San Francisco Electrical Code amendments contained herein were adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco on November 21, 2019, by Ordinance 266-19,, effective December 22, 2019, and operative January 1, 2020.
2019 California Electrical Code
(Which incorporates the 2017 National Electrical Code)
2019 San Francisco Amendments
Supplements to this Code and complete copies of all seven
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The text in this publication is formatted to allow the user to quickly and easily determine the source of the included material. Language derived from the 2019 California Code that is unchanged by local amendment is printed in shaded text (see below). Language constituting San Francisco amendments to the California Code is printed in unformatted (or “plain”) text. In either case, bold and/or italic typefaces may be used as appropriate for emphasis, etc. See below for examples.
To further simplify use of the San Francisco amendments with corresponding sections of the 2019 California Code, explanatory remarks appearing in italics are provided (in boxes at the beginning of affected provisions) indicating whether the San Francisco amendment to the California Code is adding, revising, or replacing a section or portion of a section.
Explanatory remarks are boxed and italicized.
Unchanged language from the 2019 California Code is shaded, and may include bold and/or italicized formatting.
San Francisco amendments are printed in unformatted ("plain") text, and may include bold and/or italicized formatting.
An arrow represents the location of language that has been deleted by San Francisco from the 2019 California Code.
A solid line represents a change from the original published edition of the 2019 San Francisco Electrical Code.
Language which has been added, amended, or deleted from the 2019 publication of the San Francisco Electrical Code is indicated with an historical notation, setting forth the ordinance number and date of adoption.
Additionally, a table is included below that lists and summarizes all legislation that has affected this Code and the other Building Inspection Commission codes after their initial enactment.
GENERAL CODE PROVISIONS
GENERAL CODE PROVISIONS
89.101.1 Replace the first sentence of this section with the following:
89.115 Add the following section:
89.115 Suppression. This code shall supersede all previous Electrical Codes and ordinances in the City and County of San Francisco. Nothing herein shall require the revision of electrical installation plans submitted prior to the adoption date of this code. Electrical permits obtained prior to the effective date of this code shall comply with the provisions of the Electrical Code, ordinances, regulations and rulings in effect when the permit was granted.
89.116 Add the following section:
89.116 Maintenance. All electrical equipment, wiring and systems and installations shall be maintained in a safe operating and code-complying condition. The owner or the owner’s designated agent, or both, shall be legally responsible for the maintenance of all electrical wiring systems and installations.
Nothing contained in this code shall be construed to require any existing electrical equipment, wiring or systems regulated by this code to be altered, reconstructed, removed or demolished, providing such existing electrical equipment, wiring or system was installed and maintained in accordance with the adopted code in effect at the time of installation or subsequent alteration.
Unused conductors and cables shall be either removed or suitably identified and terminated in an approved manner.
89.117 Add the following section:
(A) Alternates Require Approval: The provisions of this code are not intended to prevent the use of a product or method of construction not specifically prescribed by this code, provided any such alternate has been approved and the use authorized by the Building Official.
(B) Equivalency of Alternates. The Building Official may authorize an alternate, provided the Building Official finds the proposed design is satisfactory for the intended use and complies with the provisions of this code and that the product, method or work offered is, for the purpose intended, at least equivalent to that prescribed by this code in suitability, strength, effectiveness, fire resistivity, durability and safety.
(C) Evidence Required. The Building Official shall require sufficient evidence or proof be submitted to substantiate any claims made regarding the use of alternates. The details of any action granting approval of an alternate shall be recorded and shall be entered in the files of the Department of Building Inspection.
89.118 Add the following section:
89.118 Change in Occupancy. Electrical equipment, wiring and systems which are part of any building or structure, or portion thereof, undergoing a change in occupancy or use, as defined in the Building Code, shall comply with all requirements of this code which may be applicable to the new occupancy or use.
Exception: The provisions of this section shall not require the change of existing electrical equipment, wiring and systems where such electrical equipment, wiring and systems are deemed adequate for the new occupancy involved.
89.119 Add the following section:
89.119 Modifications. When there are practical difficulties involved in carrying out the provisions of this code, the Building Official may grant modifications for individual cases. The Building Official shall first find that a special individual reason makes the strict letter of this code impractical and that the modification is in conformance with the intent and purpose of this code and that such modification does not lessen health, life-safety and fire-safety requirements. The details of any action granting modifications shall be recorded and entered in the files of the Department of Building Inspection.
89.120 Add the following section:
(A) General. It shall be unlawful for any person to install, construct, alter, move, add to or replace any electrical installation regulated by this code, except as permitted in Section 89.121, without first obtaining a permit from the Department of Building Inspection.
(B) Nonliability of City and County of San Francisco. Permits issued under the provisions of this code shall contain or be construed to contain an agreement by the owner of the building, structure or premises, or the owner’s authorized agent, to save City and County of San Francisco officials and employees harmless from all costs, liability and damages resulting, whether directly or indirectly, from anything in connection with the work included in the permit, including equipment, methods of construction, inspections and approvals.
(C) Application For Permit. Permit applicants shall file with the Department of Building Inspection an application form furnished for that purpose. The permit application shall show a complete itemization of the proposed electrical installation and the correct address of the job site. Electrical permits may be issued to duly licensed contractors who have registered with the Central Permit Bureau by having their state contractor’s license verified by the Department of Building Inspection, or issued to a homeowner subject to Section 89.120(E). A separate permit shall be obtained for each separate building or structure.
See Section 110A, Table 1A-E – Electrical Permit Fees – of the Building Code for the applicable fees.
(D) Illegal Use of Permit. No person, firm, corporation, or state licensed contractor shall file an application for a permit to install any electrical wiring system unless such person, firm, corporation, or state licensed contractor shall perform such work. The Building Official or the Building Official’s authorized representative shall have the authority to cancel any permit upon finding that it is contrary to this section. The permittee shall be responsible for all work performed.
(E) Homeowner’s Permit. A permit for electrical work in or about a single-family dwelling may be issued by the Building Official to a homeowner, provided the work to be done will be performed by the homeowner. If the electrical work performed under the homeowner’s permit does not comply with the requirements of this code and if the corrections are not made as required by the Department of Building Inspection, then the deficiencies shall be corrected by a State licensed electrical contractor under a separate permit.
Note: LCC’s are not eligible for an Electrical Homeowner’s Permit
(F) Emergency Work. Emergency electrical work for the protection of persons or property shall have a permit obtained within one business day of commencing such work.
89.121 Add the following section:
(A) Repair or replacement of Broken or Damaged luminaires where:
(1) the luminaire(s) are not installed to provide emergency illumination required by San Francisco Building Code, and
(2) no change in existing wiring is involved, and
(3) the luminaires weigh 22.68 Kg (50 pounds) or less.
(B) Repair or replacement of a domestic appliance where no change in existing wiring is involved.
(C) Replacement of fuses, controls, motors of less than 2 horsepower, and switches and receptacles of not more than 20 amperes rating, where no change in existing wiring is involved.
(D) Replacement of circuit breakers, externally operated switches and fuse holders of the same type and rating as the defective unit or component, if not rated in excess of 100 amperes. Exception: Replacement of main service disconnecting means are subject to permit and inspection regardless of rating.
(E) Wiring for temporary theater stages and platforms, motion picture and television studio sets supplied from approved electrical outlets installed for the purpose.
(F) Replacement of component parts for electric signs or gas-tube lighting systems of the same size and rating.
(G) Installation of data/communications cable and/or outlets in R-3 occupancies and within individual residential units (3000 Square Feet or Less), provided they do not monitor or control electrical utilization equipment and/or life safety functions.
89.122 Add the following section:
(A) General. An issued permit entitles the permittee to proceed with the installation described therein. Work done in excess of that shown on the application will be subject to extra permit fees as set forth in Section 110A , Table 1A-F – Specialty Permit Fees – of the Building Code. The issuance of a permit does not constitute an approval or an authorization of the work specified therein. Neither the issuance of a permit, nor the approval by the Building Official of any document, shall constitute an approval of a violation of any provision of this code or any law or ordinance. A permit or other document purporting to give authority to violate any code, law or ordinance shall not be valid with respect thereto. Permits shall not be transferable. Proposed electrical installations delineated on a permit application shall be performed only by the permittee or bona fide employee thereof in accordance with the California Code of Regulations, Title 8, Chapter 2, Part IV. The permit shall be posted on the job site where the work is to be done.
(B) Permit Expiration. Electrical permits expire per Section 106A.4.4 of the San Francisco Building Code. Permit fees may be partially refunded if cancellation request is made to the Building Official prior to commencement of the permitted work and within 90 days of the date of permit issuance. See Section 110A , Table 1A-R – Refunds – of the Building Code for refund.
(C) Commencement of Work on Permit Expired Due to Work Not Started. Before work may be commenced on an expired permit on which no work was performed, a new permit shall be obtained.
(D) Recommencement of Work on Permit Expired Due to Work Not Completed. The applicant shall secure a new permit for the work not completed. The permit fee shall be based upon items or work remaining to be done.
(E) Cancellation of Permit: Permits may be canceled by the Building Official:
(1) If after inspection, it is judged by a senior inspector that the permit holder is unable or unwilling to correct an unsafe condition or Code violations.
(2) If the permit was obtained fraudulently or under false pretenses.
89.123 Add the following section:
(A) General. Permit and inspection fees, as set forth in Section 110A, Table 1A-E – Electrical Permit Fees – of the Building Code, shall be paid prior to permit issuance. When additional permit or inspection fees are due, they shall be payable prior to issuance of Permission to Connect Current, Certificate of Occupancy, or Declaration of Inspection.
(B) Other Fees. A standard hourly inspection fee shall be charged for services provided by Electrical Inspection Division personnel which are not otherwise detailed. See Section 110A, Table 1A-G – Inspections, Surveys and Reports – of the Building Code.
(C) Work Without Permit – Investigation Fee. If the Building Official finds that a person, company or entity has performed electrical installation work for which a permit is required, without first obtaining an electrical permit and payment of fees, the Building Official shall require the payment of an investigative fee in addition to the prescribed permit fee. See Section 110A, Table 1A-K – Penalties, Hearings, Code Enforcement Assessments – of the Building Code for the applicable fees. The payment of such investigation fee shall not exempt any person from compliance with all other provisions of this Code, nor from any penalty prescribed by law. The Building Official may reduce the investigation fee to two times the amount of the permit fee as called for in Section 110A, Table 1A-E – Electrical Permit Fees – of the Building Code for work that was constructed prior to the current building ownership if the owner files with the Building Official a notarized affidavit together with documents substantiating such dates of work.
Appeal of such investigative fee may be filed with the Board of Appeals in the manner provided in Section 8 et seq. of the Business & Tax Regulations Code. Such filing shall be subject to the fees and rules of the Board of Appeals. The Board of Appeals, in reviewing the appeal, may reduce the appealed amount to not less than two times (2x) the permit fee as set forth in Section 110A, Table 1A-E – Electrical Permit Fees – of the Building Code.
89.124 Add the following new section:
(A) General. The Building Official is hereby authorized and directed to enforce all the provisions of this code. For such purposes, the Building Official shall have the powers of a law enforcement officer. The Building Official, when necessary, may call upon the Police Department and other city agencies for aid or assistance in carrying out or enforcing any of the provisions of this code.
(B) Right of Entry. When it is necessary to make an inspection to enforce the provisions of this code or other codes or ordinances, or when the Building Official has reasonable cause to believe that there exists in a building or upon a premises a condition that is contrary to, or in violation of, this code or other codes or ordinances that makes the building or premises unsafe, dangerous or hazardous, the Building Official may enter the building or premises at reasonable times to inspect or to perform the duties imposed by this code or other codes or ordinances, provided that if such building or premises be occupied, credentials be presented to the occupant and entry requested. If such building or premises be unoccupied, the Building Official shall first make a reasonable effort to locate the owner or other person having charge or control of the building or premises and request entry. If entry is refused, the Building Official shall have recourse to the remedies provided by law to secure entry.
(C) Stop Orders. Whenever any work is being done contrary to the provisions of this code, or other pertinent laws or ordinances implemented through the enforcement of this code, the Building Official may order the work stopped by notice in writing served on any persons engaged in the doing or causing such work to be done, and any such persons shall forthwith stop such work until authorized by the Building Official to proceed with the work.
(D) Temporary Use of Electrical Energy. The Building Official may permit the temporary use of electrical energy by any person, firm or corporation in cases where it does not create a hazard to life or property.
(E) Building Official may adopt rules and regulations. The Building Official shall have the power to render interpretations of this code and to adopt and enforce rules and supplemental regulations to clarify the application of its provisions. Such interpretations, rules and regulations shall be in conformance with the intent and purpose of this code. Such rules and regulations, commonly referred to as Code Rulings and Administrative Bulletins, supplemental to this code, shall not take effect until approved by the Building Inspection Commission and signed by the Building Official except in unusual circumstances where the Building Official has determined there is an immediate need to protect the public health and safety. When the Building Official finds that such circumstances exist, the Building Official may order immediate enforcement of a particular rule or regulation. The Building Official shall arrange for a subscription service to such rules and regulations, the entire cost of which is to be borne by the subscribers.
(F) Code Revisions. The Building Official shall transmit to the Building Inspection Commission, at intervals not exceeding three years, recommendations for changes to this code, based on studies of the following:
(1) Requests of the Board of Examiners for variances from this code, and for approvals of alternate materials, alternate designs and methods of construction.
(2) Code changes recommended by the Board of Examiners.
(3) Code changes recommended by the Code Advisory Committee or other bodies subordinate to the Building Inspection Commission.
(4) Results obtained and problems encountered from legal actions taken to correct code violations.
(5) Changes or improvements in materials, methods of construction or design, and changes proposed by interested persons.
(6) Investigations of fire and structural damage to buildings, and of complaints of unsatisfactory electrical system performance.
(7) Periodic changes to the California Electrical Code and other State regulations which may affect this code.
(8) Administrative Bulletins and Code Rulings currently in effect.
(9) Violations of this code found on inspections and investigations.
(G) Disconnection of Electric Service Due to Serious and Imminent Hazards. The building Official shall have the authority to disconnect electric service to a building, structure, property or equipment regulated by this code when it is necessary to abate a serious and imminent hazard to the life, health or safety of the occupant or other persons, or such building, structure or property. See Section 102A of the Building Code. Persons shall not reconnect such electrical supply until authorized in writing by the Building Official.
89.125 Add the following section:
89.125 Violation. Any person, the owner or the owner’s authorized agent, who violates, disobeys, omits, neglects, or refuses to comply with, or resists or opposes the execution of any of the provisions of this code, shall be liable for a civil penalty, not to exceed $500 for each day such violation is committed or permitted to continue, which penalty shall be assessed and recovered in a civil action brought in the name of the people of the City and County of San Francisco by the City Attorney in any court of competent jurisdiction. Any penalty assessed and recovered in an action brought pursuant to this paragraph shall be paid to the City Treasurer and credited to the Department of Building Inspection’s Special Fund.
Any person, the owner or the owner’s authorized agent, who violates, disobeys, omits, neglects, or refuses to comply with, or who resists or opposes the execution of any of the provisions of this code, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $500, or by imprisonment not exceeding six months, or by both such fine and imprisonment, unless otherwise provided in this code, and shall be deemed guilty of a separate offense for every day such violation, disobedience, omission, neglect or refusal shall continue. Any person who shall do any work in violation of any of the provisions of this code, and any person having charge of such work who shall permit it to be done, shall be liable for the penalty provided.
It shall be unlawful for any person to interfere with the posting of any notice provided for in this code, or to tear down or mutilate any such notice so posted by the Department of Building Inspection.
89.126 Add the following section:
(A) Electrical equipment, wiring and systems deemed hazardous to human life or structure safety;
(B) Electrical equipment, wiring and systems that are in violation of the code that was in effect at the time of construction or installation or such work was performed without permit or approval;
(C) Change in occupancy without complying with the provision of Section 89.118 of this code.
Such unsafe building, structure, property or portion shall be vacated, repaired, altered or demolished, and violations of this code abated, in accordance with Section 102A of the Building Code, including, but not limited to, Sections 102A.3 through 102A.8.
89.127 Add the following section:
(A) General. All electrical equipment, wiring and systems, regulated by this code and for which a permit is required, shall be subject to inspection to insure compliance with this code. Upon the completion and final approval of the permitted installation and payment of all permit and inspection fees, a Declaration of Inspection shall be issued. Said declaration shall indicate in concise terms the electrical installation thus approved and the date of approval.
(B) Unlawful Use of Electrical Energy. It shall be unlawful to energize an electrical installation in, on or about any building, structure or property in the City and County of San Francisco unless a Certificate to Connect Current (Green Tag) has been issued. The Certificate to Connect Current authorizes the owner of the structure to energize the permitted installation.
(C) Inspection Requests. It shall be the responsibility of the permit holder to notify the Electrical Inspection Division orally or in writing when the permitted installation will be ready for inspection. Such notification shall be given at least 24 hours before any inspection is desired. Inspections may be performed outside of normal inspection hours by prior arrangement and prepayment. See Section 110A, Table 1A-G – Off-hours Inspections – of the Building Code for the applicable fees.
(D) Required Inspections. Required inspections shall include:
(1) Pre-Cover Inspection. Electrical equipment, wiring and systems authorized by permit shall be inspected for code compliance prior to covering or concealing.
(2) Final Inspection. Final inspection and demonstration of satisfactory operation shall be made after the installation authorized by permit has been completed.
(3) Other Inspection. As may be required to insure compliance with the provisions of this code.
(E) Electrical Wiring or Installation Unlawful to Conceal. It shall be unlawful to conceal, cover, or put into use electrical wiring, installations, or parts thereof, until such has been inspected and accepted as prescribed in this code. Whenever such work is concealed or covered before first having been inspected and approved, or whenever electrical wiring or systems are installed and concealed or covered without a permit, the Building Official may require, by written notice to the responsible person(s) that such wiring or installation be exposed for inspection. The work of exposing and reconstructing portions of a structure for such work shall not entail expense to the City and County of San Francisco or any of its officials or employees.
(F) Reinspections. Reinspections shall be required when any of the following conditions occurs:
(1) When the portion of the work for which inspection is requested is incomplete or not code complying.
(2) When previously identified deficiencies in the work are not properly corrected.
(3) When the approved construction documents are not available to the inspector.
(4) When access is not provided on the date and time of the inspection appointment.
(5) When there are deviations from the approved construction documents.
The first reinspection for failure to comply with code requirements shall not be assessed a reinspection fee. All subsequent reinspections on a job for the same or subsequent errors or omissions shall be charged with a reinspection fee. A Certificate of Final Completion and Occupancy or final approval shall not be granted until the required fees are paid. See Section 110A, Table 1A-G – Inspections, Surveys and Reports – of the Building Code for applicable reinspection fees.
89.128 Add the following section:
89.128 Survey. An electrical survey may be requested when an electrical inspector’s assistance is desired to establish code compliance of existing or proposed electrical equipment, wiring and installations. See Section 110A , Table 1A-G of the Building Code for applicable fees.
89.129 Add the following section:
89.129 Board of Examiners. Application may be made to the Board of Examiners for approval of alternate materials, methods and types of construction and for variances from the provisions of this code. See Building Code, Section 105A.1.
ARTICLE 90 – INTRODUCTION
No San Francisco Electrical Code Amendments.