Defining NEC code book law: Contractor’s dilemma

If you wish to create your next big idea there is a stringent law you should know. Do you need a Contractors license or C-10 to sell it? 

I’ve thought of this idea for a long time along with asking many of my peers in my electrical classes. When you think of people who have built the greatest inventions known to me EG Wozniak,Edison and Tesla, how many from those 3 people need a contractors license today?

 2 out of the 3 and those two would be Tesla and Edison. Although Wozniak has built a home computer what it does not do is utilize everything within the house. A computer is a Direct current device which actually does not have any risk of destroying everything around it or killing everyone. 

Tesla on the other hand would more likely need a license than Edison because of his dangerous Tesla Coil which would be generating thousands of volts. One slip of this could end in one hell of an explosion. Though Edison would need one more for his other ventures in coal based power plants. 

Another idea I’ve pondered was if you work with a high voltage DC powered electronic such as a vending machine would you need a contractors license?  My answer to that would be Yes and No. Yes because it would make a lot of sense to be able to understand how to keep the AC current from becoming dangerous and No because robotics have not needed a license to make. The other reason why I would say yes to the vending machine is because a vending machine uses the exact same PLC programs like any factory’s motor control such as Allen Bradley or Siemens.

Personally I do not like to call a DC device an electronic due to the fact anything can then be an electronic. An electronic is a microchip or a circuit board. DC devices can be giant apparatuses.

The one rule I have come to believe is completely true is that so long as the device does not operate in your entire house circuitry such as a light, electrical socket or panel board then it does not need a contractors license. That does leave out, of course, refrigerators and toasters. 

Many questions and many ideas to ponder on this subject. The NEC code book is a vast and expansive book that is always changing. For myself I’d love to have a whole row of code books beginning from 2011 to the year of my death. Electrical work is forever and collecting the rules is something magical. 



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