Skip to Content

What to Know About Electrical Code Compliance in Iowa


If you’re remodeling your home or upgrading your electrical system, then you should be aware about electrical code compliance in Iowa. All across the country, communities have electrical codes designed to keep people safe. These codes help minimize injuries and property damage from faults, fires, and electrical shocks. The codes and the buildings following it change along with our technological advancements and growing power consumption. In other words, a newly-built home follows different requirements than a home built in the 1980’s. You aren’t required to change your old home’s wiring, but it’s a lot safer to replace it. If you do any work involving your home’s electrical system, it’s important to know your electrical code’s requirements.

Here’s a brief overview on electrical code compliance for Iowa homeowners.

National and local codes.

  • No matter where you live, there’s a National Electric Code (NEC) that applies to all commercial and residential wiring. This code gets updated every three years and was last updated in 2017.
  • Individual states can choose to amend, alter, or altogether reject the NEC and use local codes. Local building departments determine the exact changes.

Common code requirements.

There are a wide variety of NEC variants in the 50 states. However, there are some general requirements you’ll see in most states. Be aware that local building departments may have different requirements.

  • Boxes: Most municipalities allow plastic electrical boxes, but some will require metal ones.
  • Service panels: These generally don’t need upgrading unless you need to add a new circuit.
  • Circuits: Existing circuits can’t be overloaded by adding a new service. Your average home has 120-volt circuits with 15-volt amps, and lights must be on 15-amp circuits. Areas like kitchens and utility areas may have 20 amps.
  • Cable: Most places accept non-metallic cable. However, armored or conduit cable may be required if the cable is exposed.
  • Receptacles, fixtures, and appliances: All of these must be safely grounded.
  • Wire size: 15-amp circuits require 14-gauge wire while 20-amp circuits use 12-gauge wire. You may need larger wire for cable runs over 500 feet.

In addition to general building-wide rules, there are highly detailed requirements for each room in your house and the outside.

Unsure about the code? Call on us!

Following electrical codes, whether national or local, is very important for your safety, but it’s also pretty confusing. That’s why we suggest you trust Integra Electrical for any electrical job you need done. Our professionals are highly qualified and knowledgeable about electrical code compliance in Iowa. They’ll be able to best advise you on any electrical projects you want done, so call Integra today for all your electrical needs!