TDLR Arc Flash Newsletter - May 2020

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May 2020  |  Published by the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation

Welcome to the TDLR Arc Flash!

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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. 

Putting Safety First Now More Than Ever

Four months ago, most of us didn't know that COVID-19 existed. Now the virus has spread to almost every country, infecting millions of people whom we know about, and many more whom we do not. It has separated people from their workplaces and their friends, and disrupted modern society on a scale that most living people have never witnessed.

We must put safety first in 2020 and beyond. Life as we knew it has changed everything and safety is a number one priority for each of us. To help keep our licensees ready and available to assist with combating the spread of the COVID-19 virus, TDLR requested authorization and received approval from Governor Greg Abbott to suspend certain regulatory requirements statewide. Waiving strict compliance with these regulatory provisions will alleviate potential burdens and ensure that services are not hindered or prevented during this very critical time.

Here are some of the actions TDLR has taken in response to COVID-19: 

  • Waiving continuing education requirements for all licenses expiring in March, April, and May 2020. Licensees will still submit their renewal applications, pay the required fees, and have their criminal histories checked but they will not need to complete any required continuing education requirements this licensing cycle.(51.405, Occupations Code)
  • Extending by 60 days all building inspection deadlines in the Elimination of Architectural Barriers program for any inspections due in March, April, and May in case any of those buildings need to be used immediately as part of COVID-19 response. (§469.105, Government Code)   
  • Extending inspection times for Boilers and Elevators with permits that expire in March, April and May. Hospitals and other medical facilities will see increased demand in the coming weeks. Temporarily extending required inspections for boilers and elevators will allow healthcare operations to continue. TDLR investigators will respond in case of an accident or emergency.  (§754.019 and §755.025, Health and Safety Code)

To keep up with the latest TDLR actions in response to COVID-19, please see the TDLR COVID-19 web page

May is Electrical Safety Month

May is Electrical Safety Month and includes both Memorial Day and the beginning of summer, which normally means a lot of summer fun in our favorite bodies of water such as pools, lakes and beaches. Of course, these are not normal times, and while the COVID-19 pandemic leaves summer plans uncertain right now, we know for sure that electrical safety is of the utmost importance when there is a body of water within twenty feet of any electrical wiring or equipment.

Always put safety first and look at the requirements in the 2017 NEC, article 553, 555, 680 and 682, depending on the area, then apply the special requirements required for that type of body of water for safety first.

Owners should have a licensed electrical contractor with licensed electricians trained in that area of electrical safety perform an inspection, and complete any electrical work required in the 2020 NEC for electrical safety around that 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 of this type of electrical work until they have had the proper training in the area of 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. 


Arc the Armadillo says, "Be safe this month, and every month!"

Summer Safety Tips

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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

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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.

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!

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SOS: Calling All Electrical Contractors


Throughout Texas, there is a growing need to fill the demand of skilled trades positions opening all throughout our many regions. There are several high school districts that see the need for skilled electricians and are offering students in their school district the opportunity to take an electrical trades/technology class in high school. This includes providing students the ability to gain real-world skills and knowledge as they begin their future careers in the electrical industry. 

Below is the list of current electrical programs across Texas. This list will be updated as more programs develop. Feel free to reach out to these program instructors in your area. By providing assistance and having strong ties with industry partners, these programs will be better able to build and grow. Through the assistance and partnerships we have, and by investing in our future, we will be able to grow our ever-expanding, high-demand electrical industry.

East Texas

Central Texas

West Texas

South Texas

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!

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.

The Board last met on January 8, 2020 in Austin. Watch the meeting here.

At this time, all board meetings are on hold due to COVID-19 in accordance with social distancing and safety guidelines. Watch the TDLR Meetings page for announcements when meetings are scheduled. 

TDLR License Sweeps Postponed


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.

Due to COVID-19, current license sweeps are canceled until further notice.

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

Did You Know?

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NFPA 78, Guide on Electrical Inspections, covers the minimum criteria to aid in organizing and conducting electrical inspections.

NFPA 1078, Standard for Electrical Inspector Professional Qualifications, identifies minimum job performance requirements for electrical inspectors.

Recent TDLR Staff Activities

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


  • Jan. 16-17: Job Sweep of Lubbock county.
  • Jan. 23-24: Taught 2017 NEC electrical requirements for water well installation in San Marcos, TX.
  • Feb. 27: Presented at BPI in Houston, TX.
  • Mar. 5-7: Exam development for ME, JE exams in Austin, TX.
  • Apr. 9: Job Sweep of Galveston county.
  • May 21-22: Presented at BPI in Irving, TX.
  • June 4-6: National job sweep of Travis, Williamson and Hays county.
  • June 10: Speaking engagement with the Texas State Association of Plumbing Inspectors.
  • June 10-12: National job sweep of Travis, Williamson and Hays county.
  • June 16: Electrical Inspector Member Board meeting for NFPA.
  • June 16-20: NFPA conference, expo. and tech meeting in San Antonio
  • June 30: NFPA standard 78, 2020 Electrical Inspections Guide approved
  • June 30: NFPA standard 1078, 2020 Electrical Inspector qualifications approved.
  • July 9: Job Sweep of Irving TX.
  • July 9: IAEI speaking engagement in Irving TX.
  • July 17: TIVA speaking engagement in Corpus Christi TX.
  • Aug. 12-15: NERA meeting in Midvale, Utah.
  • Aug. 25: NFPA standard 70, 2020 National Electrical Code approved.
  • Aug. 27-28: Exam development for ME, JE exams in Austin, TX.
  • Oct. 1-2: Presented at BPI in Lubbock, TX.
  • Oct. 8: Attended an Electrical Shock Drowning (ESD) presentation in Galveston TX.
  • Oct. 24: Presented Electrical program overview to Sunset Commission staff.
  • Nov. 18-20: Presented at BPI in Austin, TX.
  • Nov. 19-21: Exam development for 2020 NEC exams in Austin, TX.
  • Nov. 21: Attended City of Corpus Christi electrical board meeting.
  • Dec. 12: Meet and scoured meeting space, lodging and meals for 2020 Texas NERA meeting.


  • Jan. 16: Speaking engagement with the Leander ISD high school electrical trades program.
  • Jan. 23: NEC training for the Texas Ground Water Association.
  • Feb. 11-13: Exam development for moving from the 2017 NEC to the 2020 NEC exams in Austin, TX.

We Hear You


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 # 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 unlicensed and you cannot offer to preform or preform with an expired license; and
  • A TECL is not valid if there is no Master Electrician attached to the license and cannot offer to preform or preform until a valid Master Electrician is attached to the TECL.

Town Hall Meetings Temporarily Suspended

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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 future “town hall” meeting in your area, please contact Chief Electrical Inspector Jerry Daniel at or (512) 799-1489.

We hope to see you again soon!

Staying in Touch

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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

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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

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Jerry Daniel (left) and Larry Reichle in the time before social distancing.