Electrical Issues and Permit Questions: Seeking Advice for NYC Homeowners


Well-known member
Aug 26, 2023
I found an interesting question on Reddit that I believe would also be an interesting topic for discussion here. A homeowner in NYC is having trouble with their electricity, so they called a top-rated electrician from Angie's List. The electrician said that the problem was with the old 90-amp electrical panel and it needs to be upgraded to solve the problem. According to the electrician, no permits are needed because it is just a "home improvement." and not a full upgrade to a 200-amp panel. However, the homeowner is little cautious so they actually want to now if permits are not needed for home improvements. What do you all think?

If you want, you can check this Reddit's original post.
New York, New York, United States
Keep in mind that permit requirements can vary, especially in many areas, including NYC. They are very strict when it comes to NYC and their permitting rules. When it comes to any significant electrical work, it usually requires a permit. Even if it's just replacing the existing panel without first upgrading the service capacity. I recommend to always check with your local building department or permitting office to better understand what you're required to do.

One good thing, is that in some regions they do allow licensed electricians to self-certify the work themselves. Which means there might not be a need for a separate inspection if they can attest to the compliance and safety of the work. Which is awesome, because it means you might not even need an inspector to come through. But, a permit will still be required.

And the next best thing you can do, is check with local regulations, and the HOA Rules in your area if you are part of one. Check with your local building authority and if applicable, your HOA's regulations. Don't always listen to what your electrician says either, even if they say a permit is not needed, it's still ideal to confirm with your local authorities first before doing anything. This way you can prevent potential legal and safety issues in the long run.