RCW 19.28.261(1): Under What Conditions Can a Property Owner Do His/Her Own Electrical Work?

Exemptions from RCW 19.28.161 through 19.28.271

If a person owns an existing home, farm, place of business, or some other property (we will call that person the “owner”), the owner can do his or her own electrical work without being a certified/licensed electrician. However, there are stipulations, as listed in the “Property Owner Electrical Work Permit,” and the owner must  complete this work permit application and pay the required fees before starting the work.

Please note that if the city in which the owner is doing the work has its own electrical department, he/she must contact that city’s electrical department.

If an Owner Will Be Renting, Selling, or Leasing a New Building

If the property is a new building that the owner is going to rent out, sell, or lease, the owner must either be a certified electrician or must hire a certified electrician to do the electrical work.

If an Owner Lives in the New Residential Building That Has Up to Four Units

For a new residential building that has up to four dwelling units, the following conditions must be met in order for an owner who is not a licensed electrician to do the electrical work. See Section 2 of the Electrical Work Permit Application.

  • He/she must give the department a signed affidavit stating that he/she will be doing the electrical work.
  • After the electrical work has been completed, he/she must live in one of the units as his/her primary place of residence for 24 months or more.

This is the only way that the owner can be exempt from RCW 19.28.161 through 19.28.271.

Exemption Granted Only Once Every 24 Months

Furthermore, this owner can only receive an exemption once every 24 months. So, if an owner has another new building project he/she wants to undertake and 24 months have not passed since receiving the first exemption, he/she will have to hire a licensed electrician to work on the next building, or will have to become a licensed electrician before he/she can do the next building’s electrical work.

Refer to the Electrical Work Permit Application for more details on exemptions from RCW 19.28.161 through 19.28.271.