Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What can I expect during the inspection of my floating cabin?

Answer: A State Electrical Inspector will perform an inspection of your floating cabin to ensure that it is safe to inhabit and operate in the water.

Question: Why do I have to have an inspection of my floating cabin now when I haven’t in years past?

Answer: Beginning July 1, 2022, and every two years hereinafter, floating cabins will be required to be inspected annually.

Question:  What documentation do I need for the electrical inspection?

Answer: The inspection does not require any documentation, however, it would be useful if you have some type of proof that the floating cabin has undergone the required electrical inspections when it was originally wired. Generally, State Electrical Inspectors place a blue sticker in the electrical panel, which contains the State Electrical Inspector’s initials and the date the inspection was performed. 

Question:  What happens if I don’t have proof of prior inspections?

Answer: If you do not have proof of prior electrical inspections on the wiring covered by the interior finish of the walls and ceilings, you will be required to install Dual Function AFCI/GFCI breakers on all 120 volt and 15 or 20-amp circuits.

Question:  What will be inspected on the shore?

Answer: State Electrical Inspector’s will inspect the service connection on shore, or at its point of origin, to confirm the correct cable is installed (G, G-GC, and W only). In doing so, the State Electrical Inspector checks the presence and connection to an appropriate grounding electrode system (ground rod), as well as the installation of an approved system to provide ground fault protection with a maximum threshold of 100 milliamps. The State Electrical Inspector will apply a voltage leakage detector to the cable to ensure that there is an acceptable level of leakage current (to determine if the cable is damaged). If the test is above the allowable threshold, you will need a letter from a professional electrical engineer licensed in the state of Tennessee with the engineer’s seal affixed that states that the cable was tested and determined to be performing within listed and acceptable limits. Alternatively, the cable may be repaired by a listed repair shop according to the manufacturer’s specifications, or the cable may be replaced. The State Electrical Inspector will also check to see if the service disconnect is permanently labeled to identify which cabin it serves.

Question: What will you look at inside the cabin?

Answer:  The State Electrical Inspector will examine the: correct installation of all electrical equipment; polarity of all receptacles; proper separation of all equipment grounds from neutral conductors (at dryers and stoves as well as the feeder panel board); correct size and type of breakers installed. For cabins that have not been previously inspected the presence of Dual Function breakers (AFCI/GFCI breakers). Additionally, the State Electrical Inspector will ensure that all circuits are properly labeled in the floating cabin electrical panel. State Electrical Inspectors will also verify the existence of GFCI protection in all locations required by code (this may already be accomplished by the installation of the Dual Function breakers).

Question:  Do I need to have my floating cabin identified?

Answer: Yes, there must be a correct floating cabin ID (“FCUID”) number issued by the governing authority of the lake on which it sits. FCUID numbers must be posted on each floating cabin to ensure correct identification.

Question: Will I need to provide transportation to my floating cabin for the inspection?

Answer: Yes, your inspection will be by appointment only, and a suitable vessel will be required to transport the State Electrical Inspector to and from the cabin. The transportation vessel must be a boat of suitable size (no canoes, kayaks, or jet skis). If the vessel is determined to be unsafe by the State Electrical Inspector, the inspection will not take place and will have to be rescheduled. The State Electrical Inspector will not operate the vessel.

Question: How do I purchase a permit, how much does it cost, and how do I request my inspection?

Answer: Permits may be purchased by visiting our portal at www.core.tn.gov. Once on the site, navigate to “Registering” and choose “Floating Cabin Permit” in the dropdown box. The cost of the permit is $150.00.

To request the inspection, contact our Floating Cabin Inspection Coordinator by following this link: (https://www.tn.gov/commerce/fire/permits-licensing/floating-cabins.html) or call (615) 741-7170.

Question: What do I do if my electrical inspection fails?

Answer: You will be required to purchase a re-inspection permit by going to the portal, and selecting, “Purchase a Reinspection” from the dropdown menu. The cost of a reinspection is $150.

After the noted corrections are made, you must contact the Floating Cabin Inspection Coordinator and request a follow-up inspection.