TDLR Arc Flash Newsletter - May 2022

Arc Flash

May 2023 / Issue #25 

Welcome to the TDLR Arc Flash!

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Our newsletter is intended to keep city officials, electricians, and consumers throughout Texas informed of the Texas Electrical Safety and Licensing Act and TDLR’s efforts to enforce the associated requirements. 

Please feel free to PASS IT ON!

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

2023 National Electrical Code Is Almost Here!


The Texas Electrical Safety and Licensing Act requires the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) to adopt the revised National Electrical Code (NEC) as the electrical code for the state of Texas. In 2023, TDLR will adopt the 2023 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, 2023.

Chapter 1305.201 of the Act provides municipalities the authority to make local amendments to the 2023 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."

Any non-exempt electrical work started on or after September 1, 2023, must be installed in accordance with the 2023 NEC. To clarify: 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, must abide by city permitting requirements and adhere to any local code amendments.

Also, beginning September 1, 2023, all examinations for state electrical licenses will be based on the 2023 NEC. The state electrical exams are available through PSI, which 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.

Questions? Contact TDLR.

New Electrical Inspection Guidelines Good For Electrical Industry, Electricians And The Public

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Editor's note: Gary Jones, former Chief Electrical Inspector from Fort Worth, has some words of wisdom for us all.

There is a time and place to explore improvements, but blindly following established methods solely because "that's the way we've always done it" is to admit being ruled by inactivity or unawareness. These words may also state either we do not want to deal with an issue or we're not going to address a problem.

Back in 1917 and 1923, the City of Dallas and Fort Worth respectively adopted electrical ordinances to promote the safe use of electricity. The City of Dallas referenced the official to regulate the ordinance as “The Electrician” and Ft. Worth had the position of Chief Electrical Inspector included in the city’s charter along with the Chief of Police and Fire Chief.

However, as we continue to evolve, it is crucial to reflect on our procedures and evaluate how they fit within the bigger picture of an organization and its mission. After all, organizational progress hinges on a willingness to change, innovate, and question old ways of accomplishing tasks.

While it's true that questioning processes and proposing change often comes with experience and wisdom, it’s difficult to understand how an installer with over 8,000 hours of experience would respond with a version of “we’ve always done it” when confronted with a discrepancy of status quo for safety.

Leaders should be cautious when defaulting to changing well thought out methods, as personnel shuffling through their roles need reliable and repeatable performance of duties.

In short, our primary goal should be to get the job done correctly the first time...which leads us to two new guidelines from the National Fire Protection Association for Electrical Inspectors and Electrical Inspection Departments.

Modeled after firefighters and fire departments, these documents challenge the way things are with resources and systematic framework for safer and more accurate electrical inspections and improved on-the-job performance plus minimum job performance requirements for electrical inspectors, as well as criteria for analyzing and establishing their competency and expertise.

It is clear that "the way we've always done it" is not a good enough reason to continue with installations in the electrical industry. As we move forward, we should embrace change, promote innovation, and evaluate our methods regularly to ensure the safety of everyone involved.

With these new documents from the National Fire Protection Association for Electrical Inspectors and Electrical Inspection Departments, we have a great opportunity to set the standard for electrical safety in Texas as well as the Nation."

The Next Electrical Safety And Advisory Board Is June 26: Join Us Online!

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The Electrical Safety and Licensing Advisory Board will meet at 1 p.m. on Monday, June 26. The agenda will be posted online when it is complete. All past meetings are available on TDLR's YouTube page and you can find agendas, staff reports, meeting minutes on the advisory board's web page.

Share The Importance Of Electrical Safety With Children

arc the armadillo coloring page

Electrical safety education for a child is important…teach them early!

Arc The Electric Safety Armadillo has created some special TDLR coloring sheets with specific safety messages related to some of the topics covered in this edition of the Arc Flash. We'd love to see the finished versions!

You can also download additional electrical safety information and fun activities for the little ones from the National Fire Prevention Association.

Always Call 8-1-1 Before You Dig

arc the armadillo call before you dig

Arc the Texas Electric Safety Armadillo reminds us that everyone who isn't an armadillo should always take precautions and “call 8-1-1 before you dig.”

Remember that power lines are underground as well.

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 guidance provided by the Railroad Commission of Texas through their Pipeline Damage Prevention Program. 

Help protect against personal injury, including loss of life, costly property damage, expensive repairs and legal and civil penalties, by contacting Texas 8-1-1 as an excavator.

Be safe out there, y'all!

All Non-Exempt Electrical Work Requires A TDLR License

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Please remember that 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 Administrative Rule 73.70(a).


All Electricians Must Abide By Texas Laws And Rules

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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 electricians must remember:

  • To display their contractor number and company name on both sides of all vehicles used in conducting electrical work and to include “TDLR” contact information on all of their invoices and proposals as well as the TECL number;
  • To “perform or offer to perform electrical work” you must hold the appropriate TECL license; and
  • 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 preform or preform with an expired license.
  • 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.

If You Have Questions, We Have Answers

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Closing the Circuit

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

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