Construction Codes and Licensing Division
Minnesota department of labor and industry
Construction Industry Conference slated for Feb. 25, 2016
Following a successful conference in 2014, planning is underway for the 2016 Construction Industry Conference scheduled for Feb. 25, 2016.
The inaugural event drew more than 350 people who heard from experts about an array of construction, safety and business topics. Details about venue, speakers and registration will be finalized soon and available at www.dli.mn.gov/construction.
CCLD Fall Seminars are underway throughout Minnesota
Seminar title: 2015 Minnesota Building and Commercial Energy Codes
When: From now through Dec. 2, 2015, at nine locations throughout Minnesota. Visit www.dli.mn.gov/ ccld/education.asp for dates and locations.
This seminar consists of two sections:
Minnesota Commercial Energy Code: This portion of the seminar will start with an overview of the commercial building radon requirements for Group R occupancies, and will continue by focusing on the amendments and significant changes to and with the adoption of the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) as applicable to commercial buildings and structures based on Minnesota Rules Chapter 1323. The session concludes with a question-and-answer period.
Cost: The cost of this seminar is $85 per person. Payment must be made by credit card.
Registration: Visit www.dli.mn.gov/ccld/education.asp for dates and locations and to register for the seminar.
Additional educational opportunities include:
Annual Institute for Building Officials: Jan. 6-21, 2016 http://cce.umn.edu/annual-institute-for-building-officials.
Midwest Rural Energy Council 2016 Conference: March 2-4, 2016 http://mrec.org/whats-new-calendar-of-events-2/.
2016 ICC Upper Great Plains Region III Educational Institute: Feb. 8-12, 2016 www.iccsafe.org/Training. Educational opportunities
Attendees listen during a seminar at the 2014 Construction Industry Conference. The next conference is Feb. 25, 2016. Page 2 • ccld review • FALL 2015 • minnesota department of labor and industry • www.dli.mn.gov
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Fire Code updates are moving forward
The State Fire Marshal Division has completed updates to Minnesota Rule Chapter 7511 that incorporates the 2012 International Fire Code (IFC). It is anticipated that it will be published in the State Register for public comment on Oct. 19, 2015.
The 2012 IFC is heavily reformatted from the 2006 version, however, chapter nine, “Fire Protection Systems” and chapter 10, “Means of Egress,” have been coordinated with the Minnesota Building Code to promote uniform application and enforcement of those provisions.
The Fire Marshal Division is also working with the International Code Council to produce a Minnesota version of the new Fire Code that will incorporate amendments and new text boxes that will provide explanations and commentary about certain parts of the code. For more information visit https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/sfm/fire-code/Pages/Fire-Code-Homepage.aspx.
CCLD main contact info
Phone: (651) 284-5012
Fax: (651) 284-5749
Visit the Contact Us page
Business/contractor licenses and bonds: (651) 284-5034
(Including: electrical, HPP, plumbing, residential, manufactured structures, mechanical bonds, technology system, water conditioning)
Personal licenses and certificates: (651) 284-5031
(Including: boiler engineers, electricians, plumbers, power limited technicians, pipefitters, unlicensed individuals, building officials)
Phone: (651) 284-5026
Fax: (651) 284-5749
Boiler, high-pressure piping, boats-for-hire inspection
Phone: (651) 284-5544
Fax: (651) 284-5737
Phone: (651) 284-5063 Fax: (651) 284-5748
License enforcement details
Phone: (651) 284-5069 Fax: (651) 284-5746
Phone: (651) 284-5074
High-pressure-piping codes updated
The Board of High-Pressure-Piping Systems recently adopted updated model codes governing the fabrication and installation of high-pressure steam, ammonia-refrigeration and bio-process piping systems. The codes below became effective under Minnesota Rules Chapter 5230 on Sept. 12, 2015.
- ASME B31.1-2012 is the code governing high pressure steam systems (more than 15 psi), and other media used for heating that operate at temperatures more than 250 degrees and 30 psi.
- IIAR 2-2008 (with addenda A and B), and ASME B31.5-2013 are the codes governing ammonia refrigeration systems.
- ASME BPE-2012 is the code governing bioprocess piping systems.
- ASME Section IX is the code for qualifying welding procedures, welders and welding operators for all high-pressure-piping systems.
A copy of the updated Minnesota Rules Chapter 5230 is available at www.revisor.mn.gov/rules/?id=5230&version=2015-09-15T10:00:17- 05:00&format=pdf.
Minnesota Statutes Chapter 326B, including 326B.90-326B.925 (High- Pressure Piping) are available at https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=326B&format=pdf.Fire Code HPP Page 3 • ccld review • FALL 2015 • minnesota department of labor and industry • www.dli.mn.gov Subsurface Sewage Treatment System
Legislation affects building sewers connected to a SSTS
Legislation from 2015 will allow subsurface sewage treatment system (SSTS) professionals to work on building sewers connected to a SSTS.
The legislation includes the definition of “Building sewer connected to a subsurface sewage treatment system” (Minn. Statutes 115.55, subd. 1) as both plumbing and SSTS components. The legislation also gives the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) expedited rulemaking authority to make changes to their codes regarding work on building sewers connected to subsurface sewage treatment systems with respect to the Minnesota Plumbing Code and to increase the MPCA bond dollar amount requirement to mirror the amount of the plumbing bond.
The legislation also:
- Allows SSTS designers to design building sewers connected to a SSTS.
- Allows bonded SSTS installers to install building sewers on a SSTS if they hold a plumbing contractor license or a pipe laying certificate.
- Allows SSTS inspectors to inspect buildings’ sewers on a SSTS when approved by the plumbing program administrative authority.
- Directs the MPCA to oversee licensing, filing of pipe laying certification, filing of $25,000 surety bond and handling of any related application for SSTS professionals who work on building sewers connected to a SSTS.
What has not changed?
- Building sewers connected to a SSTS continue to be plumbing and are subject to the requirements of the Minnesota Plumbing Code and administrative requirements of plan review and inspections.
- Utility contractors with pipe laying certificates and a plumbing bond filed with DLI may continue to install building sewers and water services.
More information about the change is available from the MPCA: http://www.pca.state.mn.us/ index.php/water/water-types-and-programs/ subsurface-sewage-treatment-system-ssts/building-sewers-connected-to-septic-systems.html.
Bonding changes affect SSTS and sewer, water contractors
Legislation from 2015 seeks to simplify how utility and subsurface sewage treatment systems (SSTS) businesses file their required bonds with the state.
In the past, many businesses that held a SSTS license with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) were required to file a “joint bond” with CCLD. Under the new law, businesses that hold an SSTS license with MPCA are only required to file their bond with MPCA as part of their license application or renewal. They will not have to submit anything to CCLD unless they also hold a plumbing contractor license, in which case they must submit their plumbing contractor bond to CCLD and submit a duplicate original bond to MPCA.
Businesses that install or maintain building sewer or water connections but do not perform plumbing work or SSTS work will continue to file a pipelaying bond (www.dli.mn.gov/ CCLD/FormsSurety.asp) with CCLD every two years.
If you have questions about these changes, contact CCLD’s Licensing Unit at (651) 284-5034 or DLI.firstname.lastname@example.org or Jane Seaver at the MPCA at (651) 757- 2711 or email@example.com.
DLI Dashboard shows agency performance indicators
The DLI Dashboard tracks the agency’s progress in key areas. Stakeholders can see where the agency is on track and where it needs to improve.
View the dashboard at www.dli.mn.gov/Dashboard.asp.Page 4 • ccld review • FALL 2015 • minnesota department of labor and industry • www.dli.mn.gov
New Minnesota Plumbing Code takes effect Jan. 23, 2016
Rulemaking for the new Minnesota Plumbing Code, Minnesota Rules Chapter 4714, is complete and the new plumbing code will take effect on Jan. 23, 2016. The new plumbing code is based on the 2012 Uniform Plumbing Code with Minnesota amendments and will replace the existing Minnesota Rules, Chapter 4715.
The new code is expected to be published in late fall 2015 and will also be available online. For more information about the adopted rule, view the Minnesota Plumbing Board rulemaking docket at www.dli.mn.gov/PDF/docket/4715docket3.pdf.
Continuing education required for plumbing renewal
State Board of Plumbing rules require all licensed plumbers take 16 hours of DLI-approved continuing education (CE) in each full two-year license period to renew their licenses.
All journeyworker and restricted journeyworker plumbers must report their first CE at their license renewal by Dec. 31, 2015. The new plumbing CE requirements are similar to the continuing education requirements that electricians and residential building contractors have been fulfilling for many years.
Like electricians, plumbers who are renewing their license for the first time are not required to report CE. Journeyworker and restricted journeyworker plumbers who first obtained their license after Dec. 31, 2013, will report CE for the first time with their 2017 renewal. This means for the December 2015 renewal cycle, only those journeyworker and restricted journeyworker plumbers who obtained their license before Dec. 31, 2013, will need to submit CE this year.
Of the required 16 hours of CE, at least 12 hours must pertain to the State Plumbing Code and at least four hours must pertain to technical topics related to plumbing installations and equipment, the Minnesota State Building Code or the Minnesota statutes governing plumbing work. No more than four hours can be taken online in each license period. Plumbers who hold more than one type of license can apply their CE courses to all of their licenses – only the number of hours required for the license with the highest CE requirement must be fulfilled.
Be sure to take all required CE before you renew your license. Renewing a license without taking all CE is a basis for license suspension and a fine of $1,000. CE course sponsors report attendance directly into our licensing system so you do not have to send us documentation of your attendance.
Medical gas installer certification holders who obtained their certification from DLI after Nov. 27, 2012, are required to take four hours of CE to renew their certification. Approved CE courses that are taken to fulfill the plumber license renewal requirements may also be used to fulfill the medical gas renewal requirement.
Approved continuing education courses https://secure.doli.state.mn.us/ccldcecourses/
- (651) 284-5031
Journeyworker plumbers Journeyworker and restricted journeyworker plumbers licensed before Dec. 31, 2013, must report continuing education with their 2015 renewal. Plumbing Code Page 5 • ccld review • FALL 2015 • minnesota department of labor and industry • www.dli.mn.gov
Installation of ‘trams’ requires permits and inspections
A recent accident in Wisconsin serves as a reminder to other code authorities when they see inclined elevators being installed along the shorelines of Minnesota. Inclined elevators, or “trams,” installed at private residences or commercial settings require elevator installation permits and inspections.
Contractors and their installers performing this type of work are licensed by DLI as elevator contractors and constructors. View more information about the Wisconsin accident from Kare11 news www.kare11.com/story/news/local/2015/08/12/tram-accident-along-st-croix-river-child-and-man-injured/31567801/.
Learn more about elevator installer licensing and permits at www.dli.mn.gov/CCLD/Elevator.asp.
New online renewal process aims to reduce paperwork
CCLD has implemented a new online business license renewal system that will enable business licensees to renew their licenses without having to submit multiple paper forms that were required in the past.
The new system allows contractors to review the information CCLD currently has on file for their business and to make their own changes to basic information like addresses and phone numbers. The only physical documents that business licensees will need to provide are liability insurance certificates and bonds (for those contractors who are required to post a bond). However, another significant CCLD process change allows for continuous bonds, eliminating the need to submit new bond documents at each renewal. See “New continuous bonds simplify license renewals,” Page 6.
To make the license renewal process smoother, business licensees are asked to ensure that an updated liability insurance certificate is submitted to CCLD as soon as you renew or replace your existing liability insurance policy. Since most contractors’ insurance policies are not synched to their license renewal, it is important to have your insurance agent submit an updated liability insurance certificate to DLI at the time the policy is renewed or replaced.
Insurance agents can use CCLD’s certificate form (www.dli.mn.gov/CCLD/FormsCert.asp) or an ACORD form. If the ACORD form is used, DLI must be listed as a certificate holder. The insurance certificate should be emailed to DLI.firstname.lastname@example.org, faxed to (651) 284-5743 or mailed to CCLD.
Changes to a contractor’s workers’ compensation insurance coverage must also be communicated to CCLD through our workers’ compensation insurance compliance form (www.dli.mn.gov/CCLD/FormsWC.asp). This form should also be emailed to DLI.email@example.com, faxed to (651) 284-5743 or mailed to CCLD.
If a contractor makes sure that their insurance information is updated with CCLD in a timely manner, they can renew their license online without having to re-submit insurance certificates.
It is our goal that these license system changes will result in a quick and entirely paperless business license renewal process in the future.Business licenses Elevators Page 6 • ccld review • FALL 2015 • minnesota department of labor and industry • www.dli.mn.gov Contractors
New continuous bonds simplify license renewals
In the 2015 legislative session, DLI was successful in implementing a significant change in how contractors submit required surety bonds.
In the past, contractors who were required to maintain a surety bond as a part of their license were required to submit a new bond form every two years with their business license renewal. As a result of the new legislation introduced by DLI, surety bonds issued for CCLD licensees must now be continuous until canceled by the surety (bonding company). This means that once CCLD receives a bond from a contractor, that bond remains in force until we receive a cancellation notice from the surety. The main effect of this change is that contractors will no longer have to submit a new bond to CCLD every two years when they renew their license.
This change will eliminate one of the most common stumbling blocks to business license renewals and will minimize the effort that contractors and their insurance agents have to put into ensuring compliance with bonding requirements.
Please note this change does not apply to contractors required to file bonds with CCLD but not required to be licensed, including pipelaying contractors, mechanical contractors and sign contractors. These businesses are still required to submit new bonds and renewal forms to CCLD every two years.
The main effect of this change is that contractors will no longer have to submit a new bond to CCLD every two years when they renew their license.
Registered unlicensed workers must report work experience
All registered unlicensed electricians, plumbers, elevator constructors and high-pressure-piping pipefitters must submit a summary of their work experience for the previous year when they renew their registration each year.
Report work experience by completing a work experience form signed by the responsible licensed individual for the worker’s employer. Visit www.dli.mn.gov/CCLD/Forms.asp to download work experience forms. The completed form should be uploaded with the worker’s online registration renewal, sent via email to DLI.firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to DLI.
Failure to report work experience at license renewal time may result in a worker’s experience not being counted toward the minimum work experience required to take a journeyworker license exam.
Registered unlicensed electricians and power limited technicians should also be sure to take their two hours of DLI-approved continuing education before renewing their unlicensed registration. Registered unlicensed electricians and power limited technicians who submit a renewal of their registration without first finishing their continuing education risk the suspension of their registration and a fine of at least $250.
‘Tiny houses’ fact sheet on
“Tiny houses” have received a lot of attention and interest in recent years.
Loosely defined, tiny houses range from about 100 to 400 square feet. To help address questions about the small homes, DLI created a fact sheet to clarify how these structures are regulated by the Minnesota State Building Code.
View the fact sheet at www.dli.mn.gov/ccld/EducationOutreach.aspRegistered unlicensed A new fact sheet created by DLI explains how the small structures are regulated by building codes. Page 7 • ccld review • FALL 2015 • minnesota department of labor and industry • www.dli.mn.gov
Residential building contractor fined $30,250
Some recent CCLD enforcement actions include:
- In July, an unlicensed residential building contractor was ordered to cease and desist from unlicensed activity and fined $30,250 for taking advantage of two elderly Hibbing, Minn., residents. This case was brought to the attention of law enforcement by a concerned bank employee.
- CCLD denied the electrical contractor license application of a company from Rogers, Minn., in July and ordered the company to cease and desist from offering to perform electrical work. The company’s proposed responsible licensed individual lives in Arizona and the company was advertising for electrical work in Minnesota prior to the submission of a license application.
- The residential building contractor license of a contractor from Harris, Minn., was revoked and a fine of $11,000 was assessed in July. The contractor failed to make payments to a supplier, failed to notify CCLD of the entry of a judgment against it and failed to cooperate with CCLD’s investigation.
View enforcement and license actions taken against
Summaries of all final CCLD enforcement actions are available at www.dli.mn.gov/CCLD/Enforcement.asp. Questions about specific enforcement actions should be directed to (651) 284-5069 or DLI.email@example.com.
Planning to hire a contractor? Make sure they are licensed
Before hiring a contractor, visit DLI’s consumer Web page for steps to take before signing a contract. Some of the topics include how to select a contractor, how to solicit bids, what to include in a contract and how to file a complaint against a contractor.
View more information at
Clean Energy Project Builder offers solar, wind resources
The Clean Energy Project Builder was recently added to DLI’s list of online solar photovoltaic resources.
The group connects clients with companies to help plan, implement and manage clean energy projects. It also features an online directory of companies providing products and services for solar and wind energy projects. DLI is a partner with the organization that is managed by Minnesota Clean Energy Resource Teams.
- View more information about the Clean Energy Project Builder at www.cleanenergyprojectbuilder.org/.
- Visit DLI’s solar photovoltaic resources webpage at www.dli.mn.gov/CCLD/ElectricalSolar.asp.
Start a project Page 8 • ccld review • FALL 2015 • minnesota department of labor and industry • www.dli.mn.gov Electrical
New GFCI standard requires auto monitoring
PLT license not a standalone license
A power limited technician (PLT) is a person having the necessary qualifications, training, experience and technical knowledge to install, alter, repair, plan, lay out and supervise the installing, altering and repairing of electrical wiring, apparatus and equipment for technology circuits or systems.
Technology circuits or systems are defined as class 2 or class 3 wiring for, but not limited to, remote control, signaling, control, alarm, audio signal, communication, antenna systems and indoor lighting and outdoor landscape lighting systems operating at 30 volts or less.
Similar to a journeyman license, the PLT license is not a “standalone” license and does not permit the holder to offer or perform technology system work. PLTs are only permitted to perform work when they are IRS W2-type employees of a licensed electrical or technology contractor or registered employer.
- Technology system contractor license application packets are available at www.dli.mn.gov/CCLD/LicElectricalContractor.asp.
- Employer registration packets are available at www.dli.mn.gov/CCLD/PDF/ele_reg_employer.pdf.
Underwriters Laboratories (UL) has revised UL 943 effective June 29, 2015 in response to a request by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) that GFCI devices be equipped with auto monitoring technology.
UL 943 is the standard that is used for the testing and evaluation of ground-fault circuit-interrupters. GFCI devices are supposed to be tested monthly by users, but after they are installed they are often soon forgotten. To ensure that GFCI devices are properly tested on a regular basis after initial installation, the revised standard will require auto monitoring functionality. The revisions will also ensure that miswired GFCI receptacles will deny power to the user.
Some things to know about this important change:
- The revision applies to all Class A residential and commercial grade wallbox mounted GFCI devices and GFCI circuit breakers.
- The auto monitoring function will allow for periodic automatic testing (self-test).
- The self-test will check to make sure the GFCI has the ability to respond to a ground fault condition.
- If a problem is detected the GFCI will deny power to the user and it will present a visual or audible indication.
- GFCI manufacturers are required to comply with the revised standard as of the effective date; only the new self-test devices are allowed to be manufactured.
- GFCI devices manufactured prior to the effective are permitted to continue to be sold and installed.
- There will be a gradual transition in the marketplace as existing supplies of GFCI devices are used up and new devices become available.
- The revision is not applicable to panel mount, in-line and portable GFCI devices.
- GFCI devices that meet the new requirements are already available in the marketplace and readily available.
DLI’s Sampson at conference
Sam Sampson, CCLD senior electrical code representative (front row, fourth from right), attended the annual meeting of the National Electrical Reciprocal Alliance (NERA) Aug. 3-5, 2015. Representatives from the electrical licensing authorities in 17 states participated in the meeting hosted in Santa Fe, New Mexico, by the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department, Construction Industries Division. Discussions at the conference included best practices for electrical licensing and certification, exam development and delivery and the standardization of minimum requirements for journeyman electrician examination applicants.
GFCI changes Page 9 • ccld review • FALL 2015 • minnesota department of labor and industry • www.dli.mn.gov
Brainerd now a state electrical inspection area
Brainerd, one of central Minnesota’s largest cities, became a state electrical inspection area Aug. 1, 2015.
The city of Brainerd previously provided local electrical inspection service for its residents for nearly 60 years. In many ways Brainerd was a pioneer and early adopter of electrical inspections and electrical safety. The transition to state electrical inspections went smoothly and DLI is fully committed to making timely electrical inspections for the city.
Some facts about state electrical inspection:
- The original Board of Electricity was created by the Minnesota legislature in 1899 – the program has been continuously refined throughout the past 116 years.
- Electrical contractors file more than 90 percent of all electrical permits.
- The state electrical inspection program provides electrical contractors with online permit filing and payment, timely inspection service, reasonable inspection fees, uniform and consistent code enforcement and timely compliance and appeal resolution.
- Electrical contractors and homeowners can file and pay for electrical permits online in minutes with eTRAKiT.
- The state electrical inspection program is self-funded through permit fees and does not receive funding from the general fund.
- There are no costs to any of the counties, cities or towns in which the state provides electrical inspection service.
- Same day electrical inspection service is prevalent in the greater metro area and inspections are typically completed within one or two days in greater Minnesota.
- On average more than 100,000 separate electrical inspections are performed annually throughout Minnesota.
- The electrical inspection program is able to provide timely and qualified electrical inspection service for emerging technologies such as wind and solar photovoltaics.
New edition of UL White Book available for download
The Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) White Book is a resource for inspectors, contractors, utilities, installers, designers and others who require detailed information about electrical equipment that is not otherwise found in the National Electrical Code (NEC) and is often considered an essential companion document to the NEC.
The White Book contains detailed electrical information for electrical construction equipment, hazardous location equipment and a selection of other types of equipment, systems or products such as appliances, utilization equipment, fire protection, fire resistance, building materials, HVAC equipment, cooking equipment, mechanical equipment, flammable and combustible liquids and gases and plumbing equipment.
An updated copy of the UL White Book is now available as a free download at www.ul.com/whitebook.
Bulletin: Using service entrance cable for interior installations
A service bulletin outlining the difference between service entrance (SE) cable and a USE cable is available from DLI. The bulletin addresses cable differences and details about whether SE cable can be installed in the interior of a building. Download the bulletin at: www.dli.mn.gov/ccld/pdf/se_bulletin.pdf.Inspections Electrical code Installations