25 Feb Obtaining a Permit for Low Voltage Cabling Telecommunication Points
Getting Started – Permits for Network Cabling Installation in the Philadelphia or New Jersey Areas.
There are a lot of important steps to take when preparing for a new client partnership or revisiting a previous one. Before moving forward with anything, make sure you know the process for receiving a permit in the township that the job site is located. Do not assume that every township is the same, even if they are right down the road from each other.
Discover some of the key questions that I have learned to ask when speaking to anyone in the respective Township building. However feel free to call us directly at 877-832-1206
First tip, each township may call their department something different. Some of the names range from Permit & Inspections, Planning & Zoning or Codes office. Keeps your eyes open for any possibility when visiting their website so you don’t miss anything. However, my recommendation is to grab the main office number and give them a call; they will be more than happy to direct you to the point of contact you need!
Is a Permit Required?
Doing low voltage telecommunication points, there is one question you should ALWAYS start off with:
“Do you require a permit for low voltage work?”
In some townships they don’t require anything or even any type of registrations (I’ll touch on that next). In others it is 100% required. Some may only require it if it is above a certain wattage. The common wattage that I have come across is 25W but make sure you are checking the township’s requirements as it may differ.
At this point you should have your Yes or No answer on if you need a permit. The next question you should ask should occur no matter if you need a permit or not.
“Do you require a Contractor Registration in your township in order for us to perform the work?”
This should be a simple Yes or No answer. If yes, make sure you retrieve the registration form from the representative you are talking to.
In most cases, you will need to provide a copy of your company’s insurance. Some townships just want to see the General Liability and some want to also see the Worker’s Comp.
In addition, you may need to either provide references or if you are already a registered contractor in another township you can provide that instead!
This will be at its own cost but in most cases you can submit this at the same time as any other permit fees so it can be an all-in-one charge, if applicable.
Applications and Supporting Documents
If the township does indeed require a permit make sure that you receive the application from the representative. Most townships will call it an Electrical Application. Do not panic if your company is not Electricians! Some of the information that may need to be provided when filling this out other than your company’s information is:
- Property Owner
- Description of Work
- Cost of the Project (in most cases, this determines how much your permit fee will be)
- Inspection Agency (we will touch on that next!)
I have come across an Electrical Application that requests a ‘Master Electrician’ signature. When talking to the Permit Administration Assistant, she assured me that as long as you indicate that the company is not Electricians and specify that this is strictly for low voltage purposes.
Typically you will be advised if there are any supporting documents that are needed for this application to be completed. The two most common are:
- Two copies of the blueprints
- A copy of the contract between you and the client
Make sure to ask if the blueprints have a size requirement and/or if they need to the Architect, Property Owner, etc data on the side. Make sure that any blueprints that you do submit indicates your network cabling drops!
There are multiple questions you need to ask when it comes to Inspections.
“Do you require inspections?”
If no, GREAT, you are done! If yes, here are some follow up questions that I recommend:
- Do you provide the Inspector or do we?
- Even if the township doesn’t provide the inspector, sometimes they require a specific company to perform it so be on the lookout for that!
- Is the inspector cost a part of the permit cost?
- This is an important question to ask if the township does include an inspector because some of them do already include it in the permit fee while others may have it as a separate charge.
- What do I do when I am ready for the inspection?
- If you are required to get the inspector, after you schedule it the inspector will do everything and there will be no further actions required by you.
- If the township provides the inspector, they will provide you with the number to call when you are ready for inspection.
- How many inspections do you require?
- Don’t just assume that the township only requires a final inspection. Rather be safe than sorry!
There may be other questions that need to be asked based off of the township’s policies and procedures that are not listed above but I hope that this guided you through at least 95% of the process.
Last tip, submit everything in person! Yes, the phone can be more convenient than driving to the Municipal Building, but face-to-face contact is ALWAYS better. Plus if you have any other questions, it is easier to ask! Lastly, please be prepared to pay with either a check or a credit card but be aware that some townships have an additional charge for credit card payments.