Seattle Electrical Code in Effect

The 2014 Seattle Electrical Code is now in effect. We have insert pages for your 5-ring 2014 NEC binder, a Quick Reference containing only Seattle amendments, and a summary of key changes available on the Electrical Code page ( ).

Some of the key 2014 changes are:

  • Plan Review – the Electrical Program has a streamlined intake and review process with no pre-submission quality control screening. If your submittal requires extra reviews before we can issue a permit because it has incomplete and inaccurate information, you may be charged at the DPD base hourly rate for the extra review time. (Section 80.51)
  • Advanced Plan Evaluations – the advance plan evaluation process was deleted from the 2014 Seattle Electrical Code. Applications for plan review may still be submitted by an Electrical Engineer, but we will process your application as a normal application. We will not issue the permit for your project until you have identified an installer meeting the requirements of the Washington State RCW on your application.
  • PV systems – installers of photovoltaic systems under 7 kW must provide the electrical inspector with a line drawing and the manufacturer installation requirement prior to scheduling the first cover inspection. For systems rated over 7 kW you must provide one plan set and specifications at the time of application. For large systems, those over 26 kW, you need to submit two sets of plans and specifications at the time of application. (Section 80.51)
  • Electric vehicle charging –the electrical service of each building must have the capacity to adequately serve the demands of electrical vehicle charging. The demand factor is calculated using the number of parking spaces provided for the structure. A new demand factor table is provided. Additionally, space must be designated and maintained in electrical rooms or panel areas for the addition of electrical vehicle charging equipment and proper working clearances. (Sections 220.57 and 625.27)
  • Feeders in common walls – new language was added to clarify that electrical feeders may not pass through one dwelling unit and into a separate dwelling unit to provide power to a dwelling unit’s electrical panel. The requirement allows feeders to be routed through common areas and walls that are adjacent to the exterior of the structure or through walls that are adjacent to common areas. (Section 215.13)
  • Elevators – branch circuits serving elevator equipment, such as lighting, must originate in a panel located in the elevator machine room where the overcurrent devices are located. There are also a couple of cable and conduit changes. (Sections 620.21- 620.26)
  • Hazardous location – language was added to address below-grade parking garage sump pumps. The language clarifies our current practice and provides for declassification of the area by a licensed professional responsible for the design. (Section 500.5(B)(4)) 

If you are unable to access the 2014 code documents, feel free to call our technical support line, (206) 684-5383, Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Seattle Electrical Code Effective on November 12, 2014

The Mayor and City Council approved the Electrical Code amendments and the new code is effective November 12, 2014.

Highlights of the approved amendments include:

  • Each adopted WAC rule is now found within the new code and informational notes are used to highlight this addition. We hope this will simplify access to all of Seattle’s electrical requirements.
  • Renewable energy applications for mid-sized systems (7-26 kW) now require applicants to provide a line-drawing of the system to the district inspector before calling for an inspection. Large systems still require full plan review.
  • Electric vehicle charging capacity requirements now apply to all occupancies with a revised demand factor table. Electrical equipment rooms must continue to provide space for future installation of a vehicle charging panel and conduit routing.
  • Supplying power to individual dwelling units must be done within common area walls such as hallway ceilings or walls, or within the exterior walls of a structure. Running conduit through a dwelling to serve a different dwelling is not allowed
  • Submitted plans must contain enough detail to ensure compliance with the Code during plan review. Incomplete plans will be returned with a list a corrections. When a third review is required, DPD may charge additional review time fees for that review and subsequent reviews.

We are drafting the insert pages for the 2014 NEC code books. We expect to have it competed prior to the effective date and will post it on the electrical code web page as soon as it is completed.

Any electrical permit obtained on or after November 12 and which does not have an associated building code permit must comply with the new code. The application date of an underlying building permit determines which electrical code must be applied for those projects associated with a building permit.

For questions, please call the technical support line at (206) 684-5383.