Updated: May 29, 2022
How does someone become a Commercial Electrical Inspector?
ICC certifications are essential for building inspectors, plans examiners, and building officials. Certifications demonstrate that the inspector or plans examiner is properly trained in their field of expertise and can effectively apply the code to construction projects. Becoming a certified commercial electrical inspector requires passing an International Code Council (ICC) certification exam. The entire process requires three basic steps:
1. Learn what the ICC requires for Commercial Electrical Inspectors
The ICC commercial electrical inspector exam requires the applicant to be knowledgeable in the National Electrical Code (NEC). The NEC is the most commonly adopted code for electrical systems and creates minimum standards for commercial electrical systems. It brings together all electrical provisions for commercial buildings into a single book. From this code, an examinee must be able to answer questions from the following categories:
General Requirements 10%
Plan Reading 3%
Verify that the required approved plans and specifications are available on the job site. (Some questions may refer to a set of plans for reading fixture schedules, panel schedules, riser diagrams, etc.)
Code Terminology and Communication 2%
Communicate the intent of the code using proper terminology. Answer questions about general code compliance, procedures, and materials. Identify the suitability of the installation of materials according to the listing, and labeling.
Inspect conductors to verify correct use and installation, type, insulations, markings, and ampacity. Verify that conductor connections, splices, and terminal identification meet code requirements.
Service Size, Rating, and Installations 8%
"Inspect services to verify, required conductor ampacity, clearances, location, materials, equipment, and provisions for installation."
Service and Feeder Grounding and Bonding 9%
Verify size, type of conductors, and electrodes, including location and installation.
Branch Circuit and Feeder Requirements 19%
Branch Circuit and Feeder Installation 5%
Inspect branch circuit and feeder installation to verify conductor size, clearances, location, materials, and equipment grounding conductors.
Branch Circuit and Feeder Calculations 4%
Verify that the load to be placed on branch circuits and feeders meets code provisions for the conductor, devices, materials, and equipment installed.
Branch Circuit Ratings and Overcurrent Protection 5%
Verify correct size, type, location, and installation of overcurrent devices.
Equipment Grounding and Bonding 5%
Verify correct size, type, location, and installation requirements for equipment grounding.
Wiring Methods and Distribution Systems 19%
Branch Circuit Required Outlets 3%
Verify that receptacle and lighting outlets and switches are provided in all required locations. Verify that ground-fault circuit interrupter protection is provided in all required locations.
Boxes, Enclosures, and Conduit Bodies 5%
Verify that boxes, enclosures, and conduit bodies are proper type and correctly sized and installed.
Panelboards and Switchboards 6%
Verify location, clearances, rating, circuit identification, and overcurrent protection.
Raceways, Cables, and Bus Ducts 3%
Inspect conduit raceways, wireways, busways, and cable bus to verify correct use, type, size, support, and installation. Inspect sheathed cable, armored cable, metal-clad cable, to verify correct use, type, support, and installation.
Flexible Cords and Fixture Wires 2%
Verify proper use and sizing of flexible cords.
General Use Equipment 12%
Switches, Receptacles, and Light Fixtures 3%
Verify that light fixtures and fixture wires are of correct type and rating, and are properly installed Verify that switches and receptacles are of the correct type and rating, and are installed properly.
General Use Equipment and Other Appliances 3%
Inspect general use equipment, space heating, and cooling equipment, including air conditioning and refrigeration wiring and equipment, to verify correct type, use, installation, and disconnecting means. Inspect appliance wiring and equipment to verify correct type, use, installation, and disconnecting means.
Motors and Controllers 3%
Inspect motors and phase converters to verify correct use, size, voltage, and type, and inspect motor control circuits to verify correct size, motor protection when required, and wiring.
Transformers, Generators, and Miscellaneous Equipment 3%
Inspect other general use equipment and wiring, including capacitors, resistors, and batteries, to verify correct type, use, and installation. Inspect generators and transformers to verify correct use, size, type, and installation.
Special Occupancies 9%
Hazardous Locations 3%
Inspect materials and equipment required specifically for use in hazardous locations to verify suitability for the intended use, and verify that work is correctly installed and sealed.
Health Care Facilities 2%
Inspect electrical installations in health care facilities to verify compliance with special code requirements.
Miscellaneous Other Special Occupancies 1%
Inspect the electrical installations of other special occupancies to verify compliance with special code requirements.
Commercial Garages, Gas Stations, and Bulk Stations 3%
Verify correct type of wring methods and materials for commercial garages, gas stations, and bulk stations, and similar hazardous locations.
Special Equipment 7%
Swimming Pools, Fountains, and Similar Installations 4%
Inspect electric wiring and equipment installed for swimming pools, spas, indoor installations of decorative fountains, and similar installations to verify correct type, use, bonding, and installation of electrical materials.
Miscellaneous Special Equipment 3%
Inspect electric wiring and equipment for miscellaneous special equipment to verify correct type, use, and installation. Verify correct wiring for computer and data equipment. Inspect electric wiring and equipment installed for electric signs to verify correct type, use, and installation.
Special Systems 7%
Emergency Systems 2%
Inspect emergency system wiring, including legally required and optional standby systems.
Signaling Systems 2%
Inspect low voltage control wiring, Class 1, 2, and 3 circuits; and fire protective signaling circuits.
Fire Alarm Systems 2%
Inspect fire alarm systems for correct use, wire size, type, installation, and operation. Verify correct location, number, and wiring of fire alarm system devices.
Communications Systems 1%
Verify proper type and location of wire installed for communication circuits, including CATV and fiber optics. Verify proper clearances and grounding of conductors for communications systems.
2. How to study for the Commercial Electrical Inspector (E2) exam
Knowing how to tackle answering questions from all of the required sections is a daunting task. Practicing answering commercial electrical code questions is essential for an inspector or someone about to take an exam. In the field, an inspector should be able to answer general questions about services, branch circuits and feeders, equipment requirements and classified location installations. During an exam, test takers must be able to navigate the National Electric Code fast enough to answer all of the questions within the allowed time of 3:30 hours. Building Code Masters has several practice exams for electrical inspectors to test their skills and learn the most essential questions and scenarios they will be presented with. Practice exams for commercial electrical inspectors can be found through the provided links below:
3. How to take the ICC Commercial Electrical Inspector exam
When taking a electrical code examination, it is essential to be able to navigate the code fast enough to find all of the answers. Most ICC examinations are open book and because of this, obscure and hard to memorize material will be included in all of the examinations i.e. large tables and mathematical formulas. The 2018 commercial electrical inspector exam requires applicants to be able to answer the following questions in the allocated time:
Number of questions: 80
Time limit: 3:30 hours
This means that examinees will have roughly two and a half minutes per question. It may appear as a generous amount of time but some questions will be longer and more in depth than others which requires an inspector to be able to have section locations of the book memorized. Having chapter locations memorized and pacing oneself will lead to passing the exam. Practice exams from Building Code Masters prepare test takers for the time crunch and memorization of the most important sections of the code. Whether the exam be focused on building, mechanical, electrical, or plumbing, Building Code Masters has all of the study materials available to help test takers learn how to become better educated building inspectors, plans examiners, and building officials.
For a complete list of practice exams and study materials, CLICK HERE.