In a given state, the Electrical Board consists of members appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the Senate [80.15(B)]. Some cities also have a city Electrical Board; it consists of members appointed by the mayor with the advice and consent of the Council (or equivalent).
The NEC prescribes:
• Who can and should be on this board [80.15(B)].
• What terms they serve [80.15(C)].
• The compensation (exact pay for board meetings determined by the particular jurisdiction) [80.15(D)].
• That a quorum is required to conduct board business [80.15(E)].
The NEC also lists the five duties of the board [80.15(F)]. These include, for example, establishing the qualifications of electrical inspectors.
One reason the Electrical Board matters to Code users is that any person, firm, or corporation can register an appeal with the board for a review of any decision of any electrical inspector. But it lays out conditions. For example, you must submit a written appeal within 15 days of being notified of the decision.
You may file an appeal based on one or more of three conditions:
1. The intent of the Code has been misinterpreted.
2. The provisions do not fully apply.
3. A decision is unreasonable or arbitrary as it applies to alternatives or new materials.
When you file the appeal, you also must recommend the remedy.
Of course, the ability to appeal isn’t a license to ignore the NEC or pretend the laws of physics behind it don’t exist. It is, however, a way to get past an impasse with a particular inspector.
The best attitude to take when filing an appeal is to think of an inspector as your colleague, albeit one you disagree with. Explain why you disagree, and keep it courteous and factual.
If you are at an impasse with an inspector, hold off on going straight to an appeal. Make sure you have heard and understood the inspector’s position. Ask questions, and show a desire to comply with the intention of the Code. If you handle things right at this stage, you should be able to avoid an appeal. But if things don’t go well, the appeal is an option.