Chapter 15.08


15.08.010    Scope.

15.08.020    Title.

15.08.030    Purpose.

15.08.040    Definitions.

15.08.050    Adoption of the Wisconsin Administrative Code and National Electrical Code.

15.08.060    Application of this chapter.

15.08.070    Electrical inspector—Office established.

15.08.080    Electrical inspector—General powers and duties.

15.08.090    Electrical inspector—Access powers.

15.08.100    Electrical inspector—Police powers.

15.08.110    Electrical inspector’s authority to disconnect.

15.08.120    Electrical contractor’s license.

15.08.130    Electrical permits.

15.08.140    Repealed.

15.08.150    Sale of illegal or unsafe equipment prohibited.

15.08.160    Underground wiring required.

15.08.170    Enforcement responsibility.

15.08.180    Fines generally.

15.08.190    Access to buildings or structures.

15.08.200    Notice and order format.

15.08.210    Emergency orders.

15.08.220    Violations—Penalties.

15.08.230    Other enforcement remedies.

15.08.240    Electrical permit fee schedule.

15.08.250    Appeals.

15.08.010 Scope.

The provisions of this chapter govern the design, construction, installation, alteration, demolition and maintenance of all electrical equipment, apparatus and devices. (Prior code § 15.01(1))

15.08.020 Title.

The provisions of this chapter shall be known and cited as the electrical code of the city of Brookfield. (Prior code § 15.01(2))

15.08.030 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to promote the public health, safety, morals and general welfare of the citizens of the city by providing certain minimum standards, provisions and requirements for the design, methods of construction, installation and operation of all electrical systems, electrical work and electrical wiring. (Prior code § 15.01(3))

15.08.040 Definitions.

For the purpose of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply. Words and phrases not herein defined shall have the meanings assigned them in Chapter SPS 316 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code and any amendments or revisions thereto. Words and phrases not otherwise defined shall have the meanings accepted by common usage.

“Addition” means any new construction performed on a dwelling, building or structure which increases the outside dimensions of the dwelling, building or structure.

“Alteration” means a material change or modification other than an addition or repair to a dwelling, building or structure or to systems involved within a dwelling, building or structure.

“Approved” or “approval” means an approval of the director or his authorized representative. Approval is not to be construed as an assumption of any legal responsibility for the design or construction of the dwelling or building component.

“Building” means any structure built for the support, shelter or enclosure of persons, or property of any kind.

“Building component” means any subsystem, subassembly or other system designed for use in or as part of a structure which may include structural, electrical, mechanical, plumbing and fire protection systems and other systems affecting health and safety.

“Building system” means plans, specifications and documentation for a system of manufactured building or for a type or a system of building components which may include structural, electrical, mechanical, plumbing and variations which are submitted as part of the building system.

“Department” means the department of inspection services of the city.

“Director” means the director of inspection services of the city. He shall be responsible for the operations of the department and shall act as head of the Department.

“Electrical system” means all materials, devices or appliances installed or used for the purpose of conducting or safeguarding electrical current.

“Electrical wiring” includes all material, construction, devices and equipment.

“Electrical work” means any act in connection with the installing, altering or maintaining of an electrical system designed or capable of carrying an electromotive force.

“Emergency work” means electrical work that, due to unforeseen conditions, must be executed to eliminate a life safety hazard.

“Equipment” means any self-contained system or apparatus attached to or built into the building and used for mechanical or electrical processing, comfort, safety, sanitation, communication or transportation within the building.

“Inspector” means any person duly qualified and appointed for the purpose of enforcing the provisions of this electrical code.

“Nonconforming building” means a building, premises, structure, use, materials or equipment which was in compliance with this chapter when erected or completed but which does not presently conform to the requirements of this chapter.

“Occupancy” or “use” means the purpose for which a building, structure, equipment, materials or premises, or part thereof, is utilized or intended to be utilized as regulated by this chapter.

“Other subject chapters” means this chapter and Chapters 15.04, 15.12 and Titles 16 and 17 of this code.

“Owner” means any person having a legal or equitable interest in the dwelling, building or structure.

“Plan commission” means the plan commission of the city.

“Repair” means the act or process of restoring to original soundness, including, but not limited to, redecorating, refinishing, maintenance repair or replacement of existing fixtures, systems or equipment.

“Required” means mandatory under the provisions of this chapter.

“Workmanlike manner” means work of such character so as to meet manufacturer’s specifications, accepted national standards or recognized trade practices and to provide a durable result as intended to insure public safety, health and welfare insofar as they are affected by building construction, use and occupancy. (Ord. 2583-19 § 1, 2019; Ord. 1819 § 1 (part), 2001; prior code § 15.02)

15.08.050 Adoption of the Wisconsin Administrative Code and National Electrical Code.

Chapter SPS 316 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code and the National Electrical Code, and any amendments or revisions thereto, are adopted by reference and shall apply to all electrical installations. (Ord. 2583-19 § 2, 2019: Ord. 1819 § 1 (part), 2001; prior code § 15.01(4))

15.08.060 Application of this chapter.

All buildings and structures hereafter erected, altered, added to, repaired, moved or demolished shall comply with the provisions of this chapter, subject to the following conditions:

A.    Zoning. No provisions of this chapter shall be construed to repeal, modify or constitute an alternative to any lawful zoning regulations, including, without limitation, Title 17 of this code.

B.    Existing Buildings and Structures. This chapter shall apply to existing building or structures as follows:

1.    This chapter shall apply to the entirety of any existing building or structure that is altered or repaired if the cost of such alterations or repairs during the life of the building or structure exceeds fifty (50) percent of the fair market value of the building or structure (such value to be determined as of the time of such alteration or repair), such value to be determined by the director with the assistance of the city assessor.

2.    Additions, alterations, repairs or maintenance, regardless of the cost of same, to a building or structure, whether or not such building or structure is subject to the provisions of this chapter, shall themselves be subject to the provisions of this chapter and the other applicable legal requirements.

3.    If the existing occupancy or use of an existing building or structure is changed to a use not permitted in a similar building or structure hereafter erected, then the entire building or structure shall be made to conform with the requirements of this chapter and the other applicable legal requirements; provided, however, that if the use or occupancy of only a portion of an existing building or structure is changed, only such portion or portions of the building need be made to comply with said requirements so long as the director determines that the same does not pose or otherwise create a threat to the public health and safety and; provided further, that the director may approve any change in occupancy or use of any existing building, even though such building is not made to fully conform to the requirements of this chapter if the director determines that such a change in use or occupancy of the existing building or structure will not extend or increase any nonconformity or hazard of such building or structure and otherwise pose or create a threat to the public health and safety. Any change in use or occupancy shall also comply with all other applicable provisions of this code. (Prior code § 15.01(5))

15.08.070 Electrical inspector—Office established.

A.    Appointment. The electrical inspector shall be appointed by the director of inspection services as designated in Section 15.04.100(B)(1).

B.    Qualifications. The electrical inspector shall be certified by the state as a certified commercial electrical inspector per Wisconsin Administrative Code Section SPS 316.011. (Ord. 2583-19 § 3, 2019; Ord. 1819 § 1 (part), 2001; prior code § 15.03(1) and (2))

15.08.080 Electrical inspector—General powers and duties.

A.    Supervision. The functions of electrical inspection shall be performed under the supervision of the electrical inspector.

B.    Issue Licenses. The inspector shall issue all contractor licenses and maintenance electrician licenses pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.

C.    Issue Permits. The inspector shall issue all permits required by this chapter.

D.    Record Keeping. The inspector shall keep a record of all applications for permits and licenses under this chapter. Each permit issued by the inspector shall be regularly numbered in the order of its issue. The inspector shall also keep a record of all inspections, notices and orders issued and all correspondence, statistics and fees collected pursuant to this chapter, showing the date of receipt of each such fee.

E.    Periodic Inspection. The inspector may periodically inspect public buildings and premises, including theaters, places of amusement and places of assemblage. He shall make a thorough examination of the electrical wires and appliances installed therein and shall require the owner or person in charge of such places to make safe any unsafe or dangerous conditions. (Prior code § 15.03(3))

15.08.090 Electrical inspector—Access powers.

The director and his authorized agents shall have the power, for any proper purpose, to enter upon any public or private premises at all reasonable times and make inspection thereof and to require the production of the permit for any electrical work being done subject to this chapter. (Prior code § 15.03(4))

15.08.100 Electrical inspector—Police powers.

The director and his authorized agents shall each have the powers of a police officer for the purposes of enforcing this electrical code. (Prior code § 15.03(5))

15.08.110 Electrical inspector’s authority to disconnect.

The inspector may turn off and/or disconnect all electrical currents to any system which is found to be in unsafe condition and, in cases of emergency where electrical currents are dangerous to life or property or to the work of the fire department, to cut off or disconnect the electrical current. No system thus disconnected shall be reconnected without a permit issued by the inspector. (Prior code § 15.03(6))

15.08.120 Electrical contractor’s license.

A.    Electrical License Required. No person shall work as a master, journeyman, beginning, or apprentice electrician or as an electrical contractor in the city without first having obtained a license or registration from the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services. Proof of licensure or registration is required to obtain a permit from the city of Brookfield inspection services department. (Ord. 2355-14 § 1, 2014: prior code § 15.04)

15.08.130 Electrical permits.

A.    Required. No electrical equipment or installation shall be installed, altered, renewed, replaced or connected without first obtaining an electrical permit and paying the fee provided in Section 15.08.240.

B.    Issuance. Permits shall be issued by the electrical inspector upon the filing of a proper application describing the nature of the work as well as such other information as may be required for inspection. Permits are valid for a period of twelve (12) months, at which time they will expire and new permits shall be obtained. An extension may be granted by the electrical inspector.

C.    Inspections. All electrical work requiring a permit shall require periodic inspections, as required by the electrical inspector.

D.    Permits Not Required When. No permit shall be required for the following:

1.    The repair and maintenance of portable or stationary electrical appliances and equipment previously installed in compliance with state and municipal codes;

2.    Minor repair work such as repairing drop cords, flush and snap switches, replacing fuses or changing lamp sockets;

3.    In single-family residences only, the extension or alteration of an existing circuit. All circuits, together with extensions, shall not exceed five hundred (500) watts nor shall the circuit exceed two outlets;

4.    Electrical installations of communication systems, security systems and signaling systems not exceeding forty-nine (49) volts electromotive force.

Licensees shall keep a complete separate record of all work for which a permit is not required, which record shall be open for inspection at all times.

E.    Emergency Work. Emergency work may be commenced without a permit provided the licensee reports the same to the electrical inspector within twenty-four (24) hours after commencing such work and thereafter obtains the required permit and pays the proper fee.

F.    Special Permit. Special permits may be issued by the electrical inspector for limited periods of time not to exceed six months for the installation and use of temporary electric wiring and equipment which does not conform with the regulations of this chapter. Such permits may be authorized for buildings were conduit wiring is required for open work and exposed wiring, lights, power for building operations, display and decorative lighting, carnivals, circuses, theatrical acts, exhibitions and all places of temporary outdoor assembly. The person installing such wiring or equipment shall be directly responsible and accountable for the safe condition of the installation at all times and its complete removal at the end of the temporary period, as fixed by the inspector, or as soon as reasonably possible when ordered by the inspector. Such temporary work shall be installed, maintained and operated in a safe and workmanlike manner. All such electric wiring and equipment shall be isolated from the public by proper elevation and guarding, and all electric fuses and switches shall be installed in approved enclosures. Cable laid on the ground in areas traversed by the public shall be buried in trenches or protected by approved covers.

G.    Permit Fees. Before receiving a permit under this chapter, the applicant shall pay to the city a fee therefor as specified in Section 15.08.240. The inspector may charge a fee not to exceed seventy dollars and ten cents ($70.10) for each reinspection. In the event any construction, use or other activity requiring a permit is commenced before obtaining such permit, the fee charged for such permit shall be doubled. The inspector may refuse to issue any permit under this chapter to any person the inspector determines has continually or wilfully violated any of the provisions of this chapter or any other applicable legal requirements.

H.    Revocation of Permits. The inspector may revoke any permit issued under this chapter and may stop construction or use of approved new materials, equipment or methods of construction, devices or appliances in the event any of the following occurs:

1.    There is a violation of any applicable legal requirements.

2.    The continuance of any construction becomes dangerous to life or property, as determined by the inspector.

3.    The inspector determines that there is inadequate supervision provided on the construction or work site.

Such revocation shall be effected by written notice of same delivered to the applicant for the permit, the owner of the subject premises or his agent or the person having charge of the construction or activity which is the subject of such permit. A revocation placard shall be posted on the building or structure, equipment or appliance, as the case may be. After the notice is delivered, it is unlawful for any person to thereafter proceed with any construction or activity which is the subject of the permit and the revoked permit shall be null and void. Before any such construction or activity may resume, a new permit shall be obtained in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 2583-19 § 4, 2019; amended by memo, 12/21/01; prior code § 15.06)

15.08.140 Installation standards.

Repealed by Ord. 2583-19. (Ord. 1819 § 3 (part), 2001; prior code § 15.07)

15.08.150 Sale of illegal or unsafe equipment prohibited.

No person shall keep or offer for sale or sell, for use within the city, any apparatus, equipment or fixture designed or intended to be used for the production, transmission or utilization of electrical current or power if the apparatus, equipment or fixtures, when installed for use, would be in violation of any of the provisions of this code or would be unsafe or dangerous. (Prior code § 15.08)

15.08.160 Underground wiring required.

Unless in conflict with state or federal law or the provisions of Chapters 12.16 and 12.17, all telephone and electric cable, including feeder cables and individual service connections, hereafter installed in the city shall be buried underground and in accordance with the specifications of the State Electrical Code. If the applicant demonstrates by clear and convincing evidence that burying the cable underground will cause additional expense to install and maintain an underground equipment enclosure and effectively prohibit the provision of utility services, the electrical inspector may waive this requirement. (Ord. 2564-19 § 17, 2019: prior code § 15.09)

15.08.170 Enforcement responsibility.

The electrical inspector shall be primarily responsible for enforcing the provisions of this chapter and all other applicable legal requirements relating to matters subject to this chapter. (Prior code § 15.10(1))

15.08.180 Fines generally.

Any person who, in the judgment of the director, uses, occupies or maintains any building, structure or equipment in violation of any provisions of this chapter or the other subject chapters or who the director otherwise determines has violated any of the provisions of this chapter or any other applicable legal requirements shall, upon conviction, be subject to the penalties provided in Chapter 1.12. The offender shall abate any violation which the director determines to have occurred as expeditiously as possible and each day that such asserted violation is permitted to continue shall constitute a separate offense. If, as to any such action, a permit was issued for the construction or other activity which is the subject of such action, neither of the following shall constitute a defense to any such action:

A.    Any error, oversight or dereliction of duty on the part of the director; or

B.    The fact that such permit was issued. (Prior code § 15.10(2))

15.08.190 Access to buildings or structures.

A.    Right of Entry. The director or his authorized representative, upon presentation of proper credentials, may enter, at any reasonable time, any building, structure or premises to enforce this chapter or any other applicable legal requirements.

B.    Special Inspection Warrant. If any owner, occupant or other person in charge of a structure subject to this chapter or the other subject chapters refuses, impedes, inhibits, interferes with, restricts or obstructs entry and free access to any part of the structure or premises where inspection is authorized by this chapter or the other subject chapters is being sought, the director may apply for and obtain a special warrant pursuant to Section 66.0119, Wisconsin Statutes, as more fully provided in Section 15.04.270(J).

C.    Access by Owner or Operator. Every occupant of a dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit or hotel unit shall give the owner or operator thereof or an agent or employee access to any part of such structure or its premises at all reasonable times for the purpose of making such inspection, maintenance, repairs or alterations as are necessary to comply with this chapter or any other applicable legal requirements. (Ord. 1819 § 3 (part), 2001; Prior code § 15.10(3))

15.08.200 Notice and order format.

A.    Content. All notices and orders from the department with respect to any matter under this chapter shall be in writing and:

1.    Shall include a description of the property sufficient for identification;

2.    Shall include a statement of the reason for the action;

3.    Shall specify a reasonable time for correction of violations;

4.    If the director desires, shall contain an outline of remedial actions which, if taken, will effect compliance with the provision giving rise to the violation;

5.    Shall advise the owner, operator or occupant of the right of appeal.

B.    Service. Notices and orders shall be served on the owner, the operator or the occupant or agent; provided, that the notice shall be deemed properly served upon the owner, agent, operator or occupant if served either by delivering a copy to the person or the registered agent personally or, if not found, by leaving a copy at his usual place of abode in the presence of some competent member of the family at least fourteen (14) years of age who shall be informed of the contents thereof or by mailing a copy to the person’s last known address. If the owner has not filed with the director a current address or the name and address of the person empowered to receive service of process, it shall be deemed sufficient notice to the owner that violations have been found if copies of the notice and order are mailed to the last known address of the owner as recorded with the register of deeds for Waukesha County. When service has been completed as prescribed in this subsection, the notice shall be effective notice to anyone having an interest in the property, whether recorded or not, at the time of giving the notice and shall be effective against any subsequent owner of premises as long as the violation exists and there remains an official copy of the notice in a public file maintained by the director. (Prior code § 15.10(4))

15.08.210 Emergency orders.

Whenever the director finds that an emergency exists which requires immediate action to protect the public health, the director may, without notice or hearing, issue an order reciting the existence of such an emergency and requiring that such action be taken as necessary to meet the emergency. Notwithstanding other provisions of this chapter, such order shall be effective immediately. Any person to whom such order is directed shall comply therewith, but upon petition to the Waukesha County circuit court, shall be afforded a hearing in accordance with applicable procedures. After such hearing, depending upon the findings of the court as to whether the provisions of this chapter and all other applicable legal requirements have been complied with, the Waukesha County circuit court shall continue the order or modify it or revoke it. (Prior code § 15.10(5))

15.08.220 Violations—Penalties.

Any person who violates any part of this chapter shall be subject to the penalty and enforcement provisions in Chapter 1.12. In addition, such person shall be subject to an action in injunction, mandamus, abatement or other appropriate action or proceeding as authorized in Section 62.23(8), Wisconsin Statutes. (Ord. 2583-19 § 6, 2019: prior code § 15.10(6))

15.08.230 Other enforcement remedies.

The enforcement remedies described in Sections 15.08.170 through 15.08.230 shall be in addition to all other remedies available to the city under any other ordinances of the city, any applicable state or federal law or regulations, and any other legal or equitable remedies. (Prior code § 15.10(7))

15.08.240 Electrical permit fee schedule.


Light, switch and convenience outlets, lighting fixtures



Fluorescent fixtures, per tube



Range, dryer, dishwasher, disposal (circle)



Water heaters, electric



Central heating unit, gas, oil



Refrigerating, air cooling or similar machine, $0.50 per HP minimum





a. 60 through 100 amps



b. 101 through 200 amps



c. 201 through 400 amps



d. 401 through 800 amps



e. 801 through 1,000 amps



Temporary wiring and carnivals



Temporary service permit, not to exceed six months





a. 0 through 100 amps



b. 101 through 200 amps



c. 201 through 400 amps



d. 401 through 600 amps



e. 601 through 1,000 amps



f. Each additional 1,000 amps or part



Motors over one-fourth HP, $0.50 per HP or fraction

$9.80 each


Fuel-dispensing pumps, per nozzle

$25.00 each


Transformers, rectifiers, generators and capacitors maximum $500.00 (per KW/KVAR)



Electrical heating systems $0.50 per KW

minimum $9.80


Post light, power receptacles/230 volts or over and power poles



Busways, wireways, underfloor raceways or auxiliary gutters

$1.25 per foot


Strip lighting, plug-in strip, Trol-E duct or similar system

$1.00 per foot


Arc, mercury, HID lights, dimmers, photocells, timer clocks

$5.45 each


X-ray machines, motion picture machines, CAT Scan, MRI, etc.

$50.50 each


Dimmers and motion detectors

$4.90 each


Signs, $0.50/socket, plus $2.50 each additional transformer

minimum $80.00


In-ground/above ground swimming pool or hot tub



Hydro-massage whirlpool (bathtub)



Signal or communication device (audible or visible)



Reinspection or failure to call for final inspection



Double permit fee if permit is taken out after installation is started

Minimum charge for any one permit


A minimum refund fee of $82.00 will be charged for all requested refunds for permit fees which have already been processed. (Ord. 2781-22 § 1, 2022)

15.08.250 Appeals.

The administrative appeals board shall act as the hearing board for appeals of administrative decisions made under this chapter, and the provisions of Section 2.08.080 shall apply to any such appeal. (Ord. 2583-19 § 7, 2019: Ord. 1617 § 5, 1997; prior code § 16.01(8))