Electrical Service - Residential

This guideline has been developed to identify the minimal submittal requirements for a permit application to install a new electrical service or upgrade and/or repair an existing service. The information provided contains, and is not all-inclusive to, the City of Wheaton’s adopted Building Codes, Ordinances, and inspections required for this type of project. Please review this information and call the phone numbers provided should you have any questions.

For Emergencies that involve electrical systems, first call 911 for assistance; and then ComEd at 1-800-Edison1. Or 1-(800)-334-7661

WARNING: Work on electrical services could cause accidental contact with energized conductors that may result in personal injury or death. All energized components shall be covered and arranged to prevent accidental contact during installation and after installation. It is required that a licensed and bonded electrical contractor perform the work.

Required Submittals
The following documents, forms, and/or permits must be submitted prior to plan review.

  1. Application for Permit When filling out an application for permit, include all required information that is pertinent to the proposed scope of work such as: site address, description of work, contractors to be used on the job and their respective costs per trade, total cost of work to be performed, complete applicant contact information, etc. Please refer to document titled Application for Permit.
  2. Contractor Registration - See Contractor Registration Guidelines and Contractor Registration Application
  3. Service Calculations for larger homes, a dual 200 amp or a single 200 amp with sub-panels, is the preferred configuration. If greater than 200 amps, a complete load evaluation and, plans by a licensed electrical contractor or engineer is required to verify load requirements.

Current Codes
The City of Wheaton has by ordinance adopted the following Building Codes for all residential construction within the City of Wheaton or has been adopted by the State of Illinois:

  • 2011 National Electrical Code (NEC) NFPA 70 Article 230
  • IRC One and Two Family Code 2012
  • Wheaton City Code with amendments to the NEC
  • Refer to City of Wheaton Codes and Criteria Design

Significant Codes - Electrical
All work is to be done by a registered Electrical Contractor. Along with Contractor Registration, a permit bond for $10,000.00, a current license/registration issued by this City or other approved municipality in Illinois, and an electrical contractor’s license/registration is required. Contractors should apply for and secure permits rather than require the owner do it.
Homeowners may do electrical work only if they reside at and are the owner of the property at the address where the permit is issued. Work on rental property by other than registered and bonded contractors is not permitted.
Homeowners that are issued a permit and then enlist the services of a contractor for help or assistance are required to use a registered and bonded contractor.
Homeowners doing work on their own homes are cautioned to beware of contact with live wiring conductors. Service changes require temporary arrangements and connections to the “live” utility(ComEd) service drops, this is not a procedure to be attempted by unqualified persons.
A service cannot be approved until a safe temporary connection is made to the new service wiring the temporary connections must be made on the exterior of the building only.
All interior circuits must be connected to the new service panel, and no temporary jumpers or temporary wiring is allowed on the interior.
Temporary exterior wiring shall be configured and protected in a manner that will not create a safety hazard to persons or property. An unsafe temporary configuration shall be cause to order disconnection of the power.
A turn-off at the temporary service drop can be set up with ComEd so that the work for temporary un-energized connections can be made. The City does not schedule ComEd turn-offs. Owners are responsible for planning a turn-off with ComEd.
All new and/or revisions made to existing residences must meet with the requirements of the 2002 National Electrical Code and amendments, no “Grandfather clause “ exists to allow less than the current City codes.
Smoke Alarms Detectors are required in all sleeping areas and levels per IRC R313.1.1.

1. Outside Disconnect
An outside disconnect is required on all new and upgraded electrical services. This is an amendment to the NEC 2002 Section 230-70 (a). This City amendment requires that a residential meter cabinet that has been manufactured with a circuit breaker installed in it shall be used to provide an outside location for the main service disconnect means. Outside meter/breakers may be padlocked. A standard meter box with a “sidecar box” cannot be used to provide outside disconnect compliance.
Meter cabinets shall comply with Commonwealth Edison specifications. (“CECHA” labeled).
Meter cabinet shall be mounted in accessible locations and shall not be blocked by outside equipment such as air conditioning units, porches, overhangs, etc.
Meter cabinet should not be mounted higher than 66" or lower than 30" above finish grade and36" clearance from natural gas meters.
Underground type service meter cabinet lower end should extend to a minimum of 18" below finish grade.
Wire size for services may be as per Table 310-15(6) for 120/240 Volts Three Wire Dwelling Services. This allows #4 AWG Copper for 100 amp, 2/0 AWG copper for 200 amp, etc.
Calculations shall be provided for all residential services greater than 200 amps or less than 100 amps to determine the specific total load and branch circuit requirements for the premises. And a utility (ComEd) available fault current study provided. This information shall then be approved by the City and Utility Co. to confirm equipment needed for this size service. A Twin 200 AMP is a recommended service for large homes.

2. Conductors
Copper can be used. Use of aluminum wire has been restricted to sizes greater than #8AWG by amendments to the NEC and City code.

3. Riser Conduit
Conduits shall be supported within 36" of the meter box and 36" of the Service head and at each10' sections. (NEC 230).
Bolts, straps, screws, etc. shall be of corrosion-resistance material. (NEC 230).
Overhead minimum clearances of Service drop, drip loop wires and Service head. 10 ft. clear from finish grade or other accessible surface in pedestrians areas (example: from deck, or stairs, to bottom of drip loops)
12 ft. clear over residential driveways. (Not subject to truck traffic)
18 ft. clear where truck traffic (alleys, streets, parking lots, and other than residential driveways)
3 ft. clear of building openings (windows, doors, etc.) Conduit may pass alongside of openings and over top of windows. See NEC 230-9 exception.
See NEC Article 608 for clearances of service drop conductors over swimming pools, fountains, and spas, hot tubs, etc. (underground lines should be planned to be 5 ft away from a location where a pool might someday be installed, and 10 ft horizontal from the edge of overhead service drop conductors. 18-inch clearance over roofs (where not more than 4 ft. of the service drop conductors pass over the roof). See NEC 230-24(a) ex.1, 2, 3.3 ft clearance of service drop conductors over additions and detached garage roofs with a 4:12 slope shall be as per NEC 230-24 ex.2,3.other roof as per NEC 230-24 (b).
Masts that are extended over tops of roofs to gain clearance requirements shall be of adequate strength and guys and bracing used as per NEC 230-54 (c) ex.
12 inches clear of communications line attachments. Telephone, cable TV(CATV) lines, and communication lines should not cross over or under power lines and shall run parallel with the overhead service drop lines at min. 12" spacing.
12 inches clear of downspouts, overhangs, awnings, soffits, etc. and clear of areas where ice could build up.
A metal flashing device shall be used for thru roof penetrations of service risers to prevent leaking around the pipe (roofing cement or tar around the conduit is not an approved flashing method.)

4. Panel Locations and Clearances
Free access to the panel must be provided for the occupants of the premises and to the living units main disconnect switch.
Panels shall be located and mounted in dry locations (unless listed for wet locations). Panels may be located outside if listed for outside use.
3 ft. clearance is required in front of (NEC 110-26).
An area 30 inches wide and 6'-6" high must be provided and the panel door must be operable to at least 90 degrees. A light shall be provided in the required panel space.

5. Location of panels in older homes
Some homes may have panels located behind items such as washers and dryers furnaces on small utility rooms or similar locations. If space is available to relocate the new panel it shall be used to provide the required clearances.
Using the old panel (box) with the interior removed as a junction box is not an acceptable method to reconnect the existing circuits to the new panel when relocation is required.
Piping or ductwork cannot be installed above or in front of the service panel required clear space.
Service panel spaces shall not be used for storage space with shelving placed in front or located in clothes closets, or in bathrooms, or toilets. Amended Wiring Methods:
Some Wiring methods Sections that are in the NEC (NFPA 70) have been deleted by local amendments and are not approved for use in the City of Wheaton.

Knob and Tube:
A knob and tube are not approved as a wiring method and existing systems may not be reconnected to the new panel when upgrading.

Nonmetallic Sheathed Cable Type NM:
(Generic trade name “Romex”) is not approved for any type of permanent installation.(Temporary wiring can be used during construction and in other dry locations.)

Nonmetallic Rigid Conduit and Tubing:
(Generic name “PVC” or “plastic conduit”) is restricted to outside underground use only and may also be used under concrete slabs of 2" inches.

Type UF Underground Feeder Cable:
Type UF Underground Feeder Cable is restricted to outside underground use only, and temporary use in wet locations.

Type SE Service Entrance Cable:
Type SE Service Entrance Cable is for temporary use only. Flexible Metal and Non-Metallic Tubing: Tubing type grade materials are not approved. (Not to be confused with conduit grade Flexible Metal or Type AC Cable.

Type AC Cable and Type MC Cable:
Type AC Cable and Type MC Cable are approved for use as per the requirements of Article 320 and Article 330, 2002 NEC.

6. Grounding Requirements:
A grounding electrode system shall be made by using the metal water service piping and an 8 ft. in. driven ground rod on the exterior. (The ground rod is required by the code as a supplement to the underground water pipe NEC 250-52.
Connection to the water service piping shall be made at the point near to where the water service enters the building through the foundation wall or floor slab.
Connection to the piping shall be made with a listed pipe clamp connector.
Water pipe connection shall be made on the pipe before and ahead of any water meter and before and ahead of any pipe fittings such as unions or valves.
A bonding jumper shall be placed around all water meters. (This meter jumper should not be confused with the ground electrode conductor attachment to the water service line at the point of entry to the building). An assured bond shall be made to gas piping and hot water piping. The ground rod shall be driven to full 8 ft depth to flush with the existing grade.
No projections of the ground rod shall be left above grade to present a hazard.
Ground rods may be driven at a 45-degree angle to avoid underground obstacles or may be buried in a trench that is at least 2 ft deep.
Connection to the ground rod shall be made using a listed direct burial “acorn” type connector. (Reversed pipe clamp connectors should not be used on ground rods).
Ground Electrode Conductors connections to the neutral from the ground rod may be made to the neutral buss in the outside meter box or the inside panel. The connection from the water pipe may be made to the panel neutral inside at the main panel. Ground Electrode Conductor size AWG #8copper for 100 amp services and AWG # 4 copper for 200 amp services.
Conduit for the grounding electrode conductor to ground rod and water pipe shall be, bonded at each end to the conductor by means of a bonding hub.
Armored Cable, with un-insulated ground wire AWG #8 copper for 100 amps, AWG #4 copper for 200 amps. is approved for use as a ground electrode conductor, when approved clamps are used.
The neutral terminals inside the meter cabinet and inside the main panel shall be bonded by using a bonding screw or using a bonding jumper.

Permit Fees
For associated Planning, Engineering and Building fees, please refer to Appendix B7 Fee Schedule per the Wheaton City Code - "Community Development Fees".
For associated Sewer and Water fees, please refer to Appendix B8 Fee Schedule per the Wheaton City Code - "Public Works/Sewer & Water Fees".

Inspections
1. Interior inspections of panel, branch circuits, and grounding conductors to street side of water service.
2. Exterior inspection of service conductors, overhead clearance of conductors, outside disconnect in meter box and ground rod installation.
3. Schedule inspection 24 hours in advance. (630)-260-2050.
4. Once the new electrical service and panel work is completed, inspected and approved by the City’s Electrical Inspector, staff will send a fax to ComEd confirming our approval of the electrical work. ComEd will not energize any new electrical service without the approval of the City.
5. For additional information, please refer to the document entitled Inspection Scheduling.

To Contact Us
City of Wheaton Building & Code Enforcement Department:
303 W. Wesley Street
Wheaton, IL 60187-0727
Phone: 630-260-2050
Phone Calls:

  • Inspection Scheduling - 630-260-2050
  • Electrical Questions - 630-260-2051
  • Fax - 630-260-2195 (contractor registrations, certificates of insurance & bonds)

Business hours: Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Revised 9/7/18