Unusual Permit Requirement For Minor Electrical Work in Florida

Nomad

Well-known member
Aug 26, 2023
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While browsing Reddit, I came across an intriguing query that I believe could benefit our group's collective knowledge. A resident in Florida is in the midst of making minor electrical adjustments to their home, which involve adding and relocating a few outlets. What struck me as peculiar is that their local online permit application is requesting a single-line diagram for this seemingly straightforward project. Typically, such diagrams are associated with more complex electrical systems, making this requirement quite unexpected for a small-scale endeavor.

Has anyone else encountered a similar request for a single-line diagram for minor electrical work in Florida? If so, what approach did you take to address this unusual requirement? Your thoughts and experiences on this matter would be highly appreciated and could provide valuable guidance for our fellow members facing this perplexing situation.
 
Location
Florida, United States
The users who replied to that Reddit thread seem pretty knowledgeable about this, so I would defer to them. As they point out, when it comes to electrical work in residential settings, especially minor tasks like adding or moving outlets, it doesn't seem to be common practice to require a single line diagram. I understand that such diagrams are more typically associated with larger power systems or commercial installations. However, like the Reddit commenters point out, different municipalities can have unique requirements, and it seems there are places in Florida that might ask for this. In this situation, I would personally consult a local electrician about the diagram issue and to ensure I'm adhering to all the applicable codes and standards.
 
What I understand by the requested single-line diagram is for the permit office to see in details how the power is distributed
with the modification. As experienced in the field, I have seen atrocities by home owners doing such "small projects".
For each line of power that enters your home, there is a specific limit of things you can connect to it and many times you should not add an extra outlet to it to be within the safe parameters imposed by code.

They just want to see how much power comes in and what is connected to that line for them to issue the permit or require you to add new lines for the addition of extra outlets. Even if is not a common request, it is a valid one.
 
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What I understand by the requested single-line diagram is for the permit office to see in details how the power is distributed
with the modification. As experienced in the field, I have seen atrocities by home owners doing such "small projects".
For each line of power that enters your home, there is a specific limit of things you can connect to it and many times you should not add an extra outlet to it to be within the safe parameters imposed by code.

They just want to see how much power comes in and what is connected to that line for them to issue the permit or require you to add new lines for the addition of extra outlets. Even if is not a common request, it is a valid one.

Thanks for the perspective, @Mike30. I'll add that even if the electrical work is a simple DIY project for you, it makes sense that the building department may want to see a single-line diagram if that's the level of documentation preferred by staff. If permitting staff and inspectors are accustomed to seeing electrical modifications depicted as single-line diagrams, then that's just how the building department operates, and permit applicants should be prepared to furnish that level of documentation for all electrical projects, no matter how minor.

As you point out, building departments need to be able to conduct a clear evaluation of the power coming in on a line relative to other electrical outlets connected to the same line. If permitting staff need to see single-line diagrams in order to determine that the work complies with code and that no new lines are needed, then so be it.
 
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