TDLR Arc Flash Newsletter - May 2019

ARC Flash

May 2019  |  Published by the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation

Welcome to the TDLR Arc Flash!

electric logo

The TDLR Arc Flash is here to keep licensed electricians, city officials, and consumers throughout Texas informed about TDLR's Electrician Licensing program and our efforts to enforce the laws and rules associated with the Texas Electrical Safety and Licensing Act. We hope you will find this information useful and informative.

To subscribe to email news and updates about the Electrician program, or to review your email subscription settings, visit the TLDR Email Updates page. 

May is Electrical Safety Month

May is Electrical Safety Month and includes both Memorial Day and the beginning of summer, which means a lot of summer fun in our favorite bodies of water such as pools, lakes and beaches. Electrical safety is of the utmost importance when there is a body of water within twenty feet of any electrical wiring or equipment.

Special safety requirements can be found in the 2017 National Electrical Code (NEC) for each type of body of water, depending on the area:

  • Article 553: Floating Buildings;
  • Article 555: Marinas, Boatyards, and Commercial and Noncommercial Docking Facilities;
  • Article 680: Swimming Pools, Fountains, and Similar Installations; and
  • Article 682: Natural and Artificially Made Bodies of Water.

Building and property owners of the type listed above should have a licensed electrical contractor - with licensed electricians trained in that area of electrical safety - perform an inspection, as well as complete all new electrical work required in the 2017 NEC for electrical safety around a body of water.

New pool electrical installation must be done by a licensed electrical contractor with licensed electricians, and pool electrical maintenance must be done by a licensed electrical contractor with licensed electricians or a residential appliance installer.

Electrical contractors, electricians, and residential appliance installers should not do any water-adjacent electrical work until they have had the proper training for that type of body of water.

With summer here, let’s have fun but always stay safe when it comes to electrical safety and water.

2019 May Safety

Call 8-1-1 Before You Dig

Arc the Texas Electrical Safety Armadillo wants to remind everyone: while he loves to dig a lot, everyone else needs to take precautions and “Call 8-1-1 Before You Dig." 

In addition to underground power lines, there's also the potential danger (especially in Texas!) of hitting pipelines when you dig.

To help protect against personal injury, including loss of life, costly property damage, expensive repairs and legal and civil penalties, TDLR encourages our licensees to follow the guidance provided by the Railroad Commission of Texas through their Pipeline Damage Prevention Program.

Please visit the program homepage at:

Don't forget what Arc says: Call 8-1-1 Before You Dig!

New Sign Requirement in 2017 NEC

Did you know? The following sign requirement is in the 2017 NEC:

555.24 Signage. Permanent safety signs shall be installed to give notice of electrical shock hazard risks to persons using or swimming near a boat dock or marina and shall comply with all of the following:

(1)  The signage shall comply with 110.21(B)(1) and be of sufficient durability to withstand the environment. (2)  The signs shall be clearly visible from all approaches to a marina or boatyard facility. (3)  The signs shall state “WARNING — POTENTIAL SHOCK HAZARD — ELECTRICAL CURRENTS MAY BE PRESENT IN THE WATER.”

Visit the Electric Shock Drowning Prevention website to learn more about safety and to download or order safety signs and brochures. 

no swimming

Coming Soon: 2020 National Electrical Code

NEC photo

The Texas Electrical Safety and Licensing Act requires the TDLR to adopt the revised National Electrical Code (NEC) as the electrical code for the state of Texas. In 2020, TDLR will adopt the 2020 NEC as the electrical code for the state of Texas and establish it as the "minimum standard" for all electrical work in Texas covered by the Act. The proposed effective date will be September 1, 2020.

Chapter 1305.201 of the Act gives municipalities the authority to make local amendments to the 2020 NEC. However, any proposal to amend these standards should be done in accordance with NEC 90.4 which stipulates, "the authority having jurisdiction may waive specific requirements in this Code or permit alternative methods where it is assured that equivalent objectives can be achieved by establishing and maintaining effective safety."

Expectations are that any non-exempt electrical work started on or after September 1, 2020 will have to be installed in accordance with the 2020 NEC. For purposes of clarification, the “start” of electrical work is the day the electrician begins installing electrical materials or equipment within the residential or commercial building structure. Inside the corporate limits of a municipality, electricians must abide by city permitting requirements and adhere to any local code amendments.

Also beginning September 1, 2020, all examinations for state electrical licenses will be based on the 2020 NEC. The state electrical exams are available through PSI, who contracts with TDLR to develop, maintain, and administer the state electrician licensing examinations. It is very important for license candidates to review the Candidate Information Bulletin (CIB) which contains detailed information regarding the examinations and is vital to understanding the process.

If you have questions about the NE, contact TDLR's Chief Electrical Inspector Jerry Daniel at or Deputy Chief Electrical Insepctor Larry Reichle at

Summer Safety Tips

electrical safety pool

Please consider these key safety points to keep everyone safe this summer:

  • Before using an outdoor electrical outlet, check to make sure the receptacle is protected with a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) and that the GFCI is working properly. You can test the GFCI by pushing the test button on the receptacle or on the breaker inside the electrical panel. If the GFCI isn’t working properly, hire a licensed electrician to fix it.
  • Any electrical wiring that is within 20 feet of a swimming pool should have protection from a ground fault circuit interrupter, including underwater luminaries (pool lights).
  • Make sure overhead electrical lines do not pass over the pool. In fact, it’s best to keep a pool at least 25 feet away from power lines in all directions.
  • Allow at least 18 feet of clearance between overhead power lines and a diving board, deck, platform, slide, or observation area. Never build an in-ground pool or set up an above-ground pool over underground electric cables.
  • Pools and pool decking should be installed at least 5 feet away from all underground utility lines.
  • Except for specially designed lighting fixtures, don’t put electrical fixtures or receptacles within 5 feet of a pool.
  • Be sure to comply with any local building codes that may provide more stringent guidelines than the ones that have been listed.

Protect Yourself and Your Family

Electrical safety

For you and your family’s safety TDLR recommends:

  • Visit the TDLR website to find out if an electrician is licensed to perform electrical work. A license is issued only to professionals who have demonstrated the required amount of electrical work experience, successfully completed the TDLR-approved examination, and met all other licensing requirements - including a criminal background check. 
  • Contact a licensed electrical contractor and make an appointment to have their licensed electricians check your home’s electrical wiring/distribution system to reduce the likelihood of electrocution and fires.
  • Leave the electrical work to the professionals. Do not attempt to fix suspected wiring problems yourself. Electrical shocks – even mild ones – are an indication of an electrical hazard. Shut off the circuit and have the electrical system checked by a licensed electrician.
  • If you find a person is offering to perform or performing electrical services without a license, file a complaint online and help make Texas a safer place for all of us.
  • When you have electrical work done on your residence and/or pool, make sure to ask to see the Texas Electrical Contractor License (TECL), or the Residential Appliance Installer Contractor License (TICL), plus the appropriate license(s) that the persons performing the work should carry with them.

Fun & Learning with Sparky


For electrical safety information and fun activities for the kids, be sure to visit 

The Sparky website, sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), features videos, games and apps, activities, and more - all designed to help kids learn about electrical safety and stay safe.

Did you know? The NFPA and Sparky also provide helpful tools and information for educators and parents at:

Electrical safety education for children is very important - let Sparky help to teach them early!


Did You Know?

did you know

In Texas, all non-exempt electrical work must be performed by licensed electricians working through licensed electrical contractors – even if the work is outside of city limits.

See the law: Occupations Code 1305.151

Electrical Safety & Licensing Advisory Board


The nine-member Electrical Safety and Licensing Advisory Board meets at least twice each year in Austin at TDLR's North Campus location. Meeting agendas are posted online prior to each meeting, and email notifications are sent to all Electricians program email subscribers.

The meetings are streamed live online via YouTube, and past meetings of the Board are archived and available on TDLR's YouTube page.

TDLR License Sweeps


TDLR regularly conducts license sweeps to curtail unlicensed activity by establishing a TDLR presence, educating the public on the state electrical licensing requirements, and verifying that electrical work is being performed by licensed electricians in accordance with state law and rules.

If you would like TDLR to coordinate a license sweep in your area, please contact Chief Electrical Inspector Jerry Daniel at or (512) 799-1489.

Recent TDLR Staff Activities

drive friendly

TDLR's Electrician Regulatory Program Management staff have been busy across Texas (and even around the country):


  • 04/04: Job sweep of Hunt County.
  • 04/17: Job sweep of Reeves County.
  • 05/10: Attended Skillpoint pre-AE training program in Austin.
  • 05/22-23: Job sweep of Travis and Williamson counties.
  • 06/05-07: National Job Sweep in Travis, Montgomery and Harris counties.
  • 06/11-14: NFPA’s National Convention and board of electrical inspector member section.
  • 07/11: Electrocution death inspection/investigation in New Boston, TX.
  • 07/17: Electrical Summit III, Voice of the Educator in Irving, TX.
  • 08/13-16: NERA meeting in Eagle, ID.
  • 09/10-12: Exam development for ME, JE and Sign ME & JE exams in Austin, TX.
  • 09/19: Job Sweep of Jefferson and Orange counties.
  • 10/28-11/03: NFPA’s 2020 NEC code hearings for code panel 17 in San Diego, CA.
  • 10/31: Presented at BPI in Austin, TX.
  • 12/04: Electrical Advisory Board meeting in Austin, TX.


  • 01/16-17: Job Sweep of Lubbock county.
  • 01/23-24: Taught 2017 NEC electrical requirements for water well installation in San Marcos, TX.
  • 02/27: Presented at BPI in Houston, TX.
  • 03/5-7: Exam development for ME, JE exams in Austin, TX.
  • 04/09: Job Sweep of Galveston county.

Listening to Your Concerns


We are still hearing concerns from members of the Texas electrical industry that some electrical contractors as well as some electricians may not be abiding by state requirements. 

All licensed contractors and electricians must remember:

  • To display their contractor number and company name on both sides of all vehicles used in conducting electrical work;
  • To include TDLR contact information on all of their invoices and proposals as well as TECL;
  • To “perform or offer to perform electrical work” you must hold the appropriate TECL license;
  • That all electrical equipment must be "listed" per Article 110.3(B) of the NEC unless the local authority having jurisdiction has amendments that would supersede these requirements;
  • An expired license is the same as being unlicensed; you cannot offer to perform or perform electrical work with an expired license; and
  • A TECL is not valid, and a business may not offer to perform or perform electrical work, unless and until there is a Master Electrician attached to the license.

You can find more information (and answers) on the Electrical Safety and Licensing FAQs page on the TDLR website.

Town Hall Meetings

Town hall mic

Did you know? TDLR's Regulatory Program Management Division staff are available for informal “town hall” meetings to touch base with local area contractors, inspectors, and any other interested persons.

These meetings allow us to put some faces to our names (and yours), find out about electrical safety issues and concerns that may be specific to your area, and establish working partnerships with local jurisdictions. We can also answer any “hot topic” questions regarding state electrical requirements, and provide additional education on the state electrical code, law and rules. 

If you would like to invite us to hold a “town hall” meeting in your area, please contact Chief Electrical Inspector Jerry Daniel at or (512) 799-1489.

We hope to see you soon!

Staying in Touch

Contact  symbols

For general questions about the statewide electrical program you may contact TDLR at (512) 463-6599, toll-free in Texas at (800) 803-9202, or email

For the hearing impaired, Relay Texas - TDD is available at (800) 735-2989.  

To file a complaint or report a violation go to:

For more information about the electrical program at TDLR, be sure to bookmark the program homepage.

Are you on social media? Give us a like on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @tdlrlicense

Closing the Circuit

Electrical circuit

Your participation and input is critical to us at TDLR!

If you have any questions, concerns, comments, or observations, please contact us – we want to hear from you.

You may reach Chief Electrical Inspector Jerry Daniel at (512) 799-1489 or e-mail him at:

You may reach Deputy Chief Electrical Inspector Larry Reichle at (512) 779-2857 or e-mail him at:


Please feel free to take this information and PASS IT ON!

Jerry Daniel – Chief Electrical Inspector

Larry Reichle – Deputy Chief Electrical Inspector   

TDLR Regulatory Program Management Division