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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

326.244 Inspection.

Subdivision 1. Required inspection. Except where any political subdivision has by ordinance provided for electrical inspection similar to that herein provided, every new electrical installation in any construction, remodeling, replacement, or repair, except minor repair work as the same is defined by the board by rule, shall be inspected by the board for compliance with accepted standards of construction for safety to life and property.

Subd. 1a. Technology systems. (a) The installation of the technology circuits or systems described in paragraph (b), except:

(1) minor work performed by a contractor;

(2) work performed by a heating, ventilating, or air conditioning contractor as described in section 326.245; and

(3) work performed by cable company employees when installing cable communications systems or telephone company employees when installing telephone systems,

must be inspected as provided in this section for compliance with the applicable provisions of the National Electrical Code and the applicable provisions of the National Electrical Safety Code, as those codes were approved by the American National Standards Institute.

(b) The inspection requirements in paragraph (a) apply to:

(1) remote control circuits controlling class 2 or class 3 remote control circuits that control circuits or systems other than class 2 or class 3 and indoor lighting, except circuits that interconnect these systems exempted by section 326.242, subdivision 12, paragraph (b), other than fire alarm; class 2 or class 3 circuits in electrical cabinets, enclosures, or devices containing physically unprotected circuits other than class 2 or class 3; or technology circuits and systems in hazardous classified locations as covered by chapter 5 of the National Electrical Code;

(2) fire alarm systems, other than in one- or two-family dwellings, as defined in articles 100 and 760 of the National Electrical Code;

(3) technology circuits and systems contained within critical care areas of health care facilities as defined by the safety standards identified in section 326.243, including, but not limited to, anesthesia and resuscitative alarm and alerting systems, medical monitoring, and nurse call systems; and

(4) physical security systems within detention facilities.

(c) For the purposes of this subdivision "minor work" means the adjustment or repair and replacement of worn or defective parts of a technology circuit or system. Minor work may be inspected under this section at the request of the owner of the property or the person doing the work.

(d) Notwithstanding this subdivision, if an electrical inspector observes that a contractor, employer, or owner has not complied with accepted standards when the work was performed, as provided in the most recent editions of the National Electrical Code and the National Electrical Safety Code as approved by the American National Standards Institute, the inspector may order the contractor, employer, or owner who has performed the work to file a request for electrical inspection, pay an inspection fee, and make any necessary repairs to comply with applicable standards and require that the work be inspected.

Subd. 2. Procedure. (a) At or before commencement of any installation required to be inspected by the board, the contractor, installer, special electrician, or owner making the installation shall submit to the board a request for inspection, in a form prescribed by the board, together with the fees required for the installation.

(b) The fees required are a handling fee and an inspection fee. The handling fee shall be set by the board in an amount sufficient to pay the cost of printing and handling the form requesting an inspection. The inspection fee shall be set by the board in an amount sufficient to pay the actual costs of the inspection and the board's costs in administering the inspection. All fees shall be set pursuant to the procedure of sections 14.001 to 14.69.

(c) If the inspector finds that the installation is not in compliance with accepted standards of construction for safety to life and property as required by section 326.243, the inspector shall by written order condemn the installation or noncomplying portion thereof, or order service to the installation disconnected, and shall send a copy of the order to the board. If the installation or the noncomplying part will seriously and proximately endanger human life and property, the order of the inspector, when approved by the inspector's superior, shall require immediate condemnation or disconnection. In all other cases, the order of the inspector shall permit a reasonable opportunity for the installation to be brought into compliance with accepted standards of construction for safety to life and property prior to the effective time established for condemnation or disconnection.

(d) Copies of each condemnation or disconnection order shall be served personally or by mail upon the property owner, and the contractor, installer, or special electrician making the installation, and other persons as the board by rule may direct. An aggrieved party may appeal any condemnation or disconnection order by filing with the board a notice of appeal within ten days after (1) service upon the aggrieved party of the condemnation or disconnection order, if this service is required, or (2) filing of the order with the board, whichever is later. The appeal shall proceed and the order of the inspector shall have the effect the order, by its terms, and the rules of the board provides. The board shall adopt rules providing procedures for the conduct of appeals, including provisions for the stay of enforcement of the order of the inspector pending such appeal when justified by the circumstances.

Subd. 3. Duty of electrical utility. No electrical installation subject to inspection by the board shall be newly connected or reconnected for use until there is filed with the electrical utility supplying power a certificate of the property owner or licensed electrician, directing the work that inspection has been requested and that the conditions of the installation are safe for energization, provided further, that in all cases where an order of condemnation or disconnection has been issued against the installation or any part thereof, prior to connection or reconnection there shall also first be filed with the electrical utility supplying the power a copy of an order of the inspector or the board dismissing such prior order of condemnation or disconnection or approving the installation as being in compliance with accepted standards of construction for safety to life and property. With respect to transient projects, the aforesaid certificate shall also contain a certification that the request for inspection has been or will be filed with the board so as to be received by it at least five days prior to the date and time energization of the installation by the utility is to occur, and that the request for inspection states such date and time, and it shall be the responsibility of the board to have inspection of such transient project occur prior to the date and time at which the request states energization is to occur.

Subd. 4. Powers of political subdivisions. Any political subdivision or the University of Minnesota may make provision for inspection of electrical installations within its jurisdiction, in which case it shall keep on file with the board copies of its current inspection ordinances and codes. No political subdivision or the University of Minnesota shall require any individual, partnership, corporation or other business association holding a license from the board under sections 326.241 to 326.248 to pay any license or registration fee, provided however, that any such political subdivision or the University of Minnesota may provide by ordinance a requirement that each individual, partnership, corporation or other business association doing electrical work within the jurisdiction of such political subdivision or the University of Minnesota have on file with said political subdivision a copy of the current license issued by the board or such other evidence of such license as may be provided by the board.

Each electrical inspector of any political subdivision or the University of Minnesota shall be a licensed master or journeyman electrician under section 326.242, subdivision 1, paragraph (1), or 2, paragraph (b), and shall not otherwise engage or be employed in the sale, installing, altering, or repairing of electrical wiring, apparatus, or equipment for light, heat, power, and other purposes and shall have no financial interest in any concern engaged in any such business.

Subd. 5. Exemptions from inspections. Installations, materials, or equipment shall not be subject to inspection under sections 326.241 to 326.248:

(1) when owned or leased, operated and maintained by any employer whose maintenance electricians are exempt from licensing under sections 326.241 to 326.248, while performing electrical maintenance work only as defined by board rule;

(2) when owned or leased, and operated and maintained by any electric, communications, or railway utility, cable communications company as defined in section 238.02, or telephone company as defined under section 237.01, in the exercise of its utility, antenna, or telephone function; and

(i) are used exclusively for the generations, transformation, distribution, transmission, or metering of electric current, or the operation of railway signals, or the transmission of intelligence, and do not have as a principal function the consumption or use of electric current by or for the benefit of any person other than such utility, cable communications company, or telephone company; and

(ii) are generally accessible only to employees of such utility, cable communications company, or telephone company or persons acting under its control or direction; and

(iii) are not on the load side of the service point or point of entrance for communication systems;

(3) when used in the street lighting operations of an electric utility;

(4) when used as outdoor area lights which are owned and operated by an electric utility and which are connected directly to its distribution system and located upon the utility's distribution poles, and which are generally accessible only to employees of such utility or persons acting under its control or direction;

(5) when the installation, material, and equipment are in facilities subject to the jurisdiction of the federal Mine Safety and Health Act; or

(6) when the installation, material, and equipment is part of an elevator installation for which the elevator contractor, licensed under section 326.242, is required to obtain a permit from the authority having jurisdiction as provided by section 16B.747, and the inspection has been or will be performed by an elevator inspector certified by the Department of Administration and licensed by the Board of Electricity. This exemption shall apply only to installations, material, and equipment permitted or required to be connected on the load side of the disconnecting means required for elevator equipment under National Electric Code Article 620, and elevator communications and alarm systems within the machine room, car, hoistway, or elevator lobby.

Subd. 6. Site inspections. The board may, without advance notice, inspect any site at which electrical work is being performed or has been performed or where records concerning the performance of electrical work are kept for purposes of ensuring compliance with sections 326.241 to 326.248 or any rule or order adopted or issued under these sections. With respect to electrical work performed at or records kept in an occupied private dwelling, all inspections permitted by this subdivision shall occur during normal business hours and shall be preceded by advance notice, which need not be in writing. The board shall have the authority to examine and copy all records concerning the performance of electrical work and to question in private all persons employed by a contractor or on the site. No person shall retaliate in any manner against any employee or person who is questioned by, cooperates with, or provides information to the board, its complaint committee, or the attorney general.

HIST: 1967 c 602 s 4; 1981 c 357 s 81; 1982 c 424 s 130; 1985 c 73 s 11-13; 1985 c 248 s 70; 1Sp1985 c 6 s 7-9; 1986 c 373 s 8,9; 1987 c 358 s 117; 1987 c 384 art 2 s 1; 1990 c 422 s 10; 1991 c 289 s 30-32; 1995 c 166 s 16,17; 2002 c 328 s 25-28; 2003 c 58 s 6,7