For questions relating to compliance with laws and ordinances of federal, state/province and local jurisdictions. Questions should also be tagged with the specific area of construction involved.

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5
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2answers
4k views

How do you secure electrical outlets in a concrete block wall?

I have an old home that has several outlets in the exterior wall. These outlets are not secured to the block, they just dangle in the opening and are only secure (or appear to be firmly in place) due ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

How can I resheathe behind brick fascia without removing the brick?

The original builders of my house used a material called "Aluma Sheath", also known as Dennyboard, to sheathe my house. Dennyboard is a radiant coating on two sides of a 1/8 sheet of a fiberous ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Building code requiring rooms to have internal windows?

I am staying at the Radisson in Colorado Springs this evening and I notice that some of the rooms, in an extension built about 15-20 years ago, have large security windows facing into the hallway. The ...
4
votes
7answers
9k views

Can a bathroom vanity be installed higher than 30 inches?

"Standard" bathroom vanities are 30", where as kitchen counter tops are typically 36". For me (6' tall), the 30" vanity is rather low. Is there any reason to leave vanities that height, or can they ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

What is permissible for a breaker box cover?

We're doing some remodeling in our kitchen and unfortunately the breaker box is right in the middle of a wall we are going to cover with tile. My current thought is to replace the existing metal ...
4
votes
3answers
941 views

Code for elevating water heater in garages?

A gas/propane water heater in a garage is elevated. This is to ensure the open flame (at the bottom) is above a certain height (?) to avoid any combustible fuels in the garage from igniting. This all ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Is it okay to protect NM Cable in an unfinished basement with ENT?

Adding a 20 amp subcircuit (120V) to furnace room to turn it into a workshop. Initially it will have one duplex and 2 fourplex receptacles, the fourplex receptacles will be on cement walls, the duplex ...
4
votes
2answers
136 views

Can a 220V US circuit have more than one 220V outlet, by code?

When I move the laundry, I'm considering switching to a gas drier -- but even so it'd be nice to have the 220V drop there for future-proofing. However, if I'm not using it for the drier, I'd like to ...
4
votes
2answers
573 views

Is Schedule 80 PVC Conduit Suitable for Short Directional Boring?

I'm running some electrical wire around where I'm building my house. There are two places that I'd rather not dig through: A driveway and a creek. The creek is the most important, because the state ...
4
votes
2answers
6k views

Can I terminate a ground wire to the neutral bus if the ground bus is full?

I have a Crouse-Hinds main load center. The ground bus is at the top left of panel and the neutral bus is at the bottom right of the panel. I want to add a 15 amp circuit for two outlets in my ...
4
votes
1answer
758 views

Is it against code to secure junction box using Liquid Nails?

I need to extend a 14/2 WG wire a few feet. To do this I want to add the extra wire using a junction box. The problem is that I can't get a good angle to nail the junction box down so I was wondering ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the code approved way to cut and patch fire rated drywall hung on the ceiling of a basement?

My new house is still under construction, and for code reasons the builder is required to hang fire rated drywall on the ceiling of the basement. I am sure the situation will arise eventually where I ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

How should I build an exterior door landing pad?

I've got a building with several exterior doors (all opening inward). The slab and walk-up is about 18+" from the ground. Code requires that I have a 36"x36" landing pad outside each exterior door. ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Do the guidelines for holes in joists apply to band joists?

This question have a great answer with all the guidelines for drilling holes in joists. The question: Are the guidelines the same for band joists? A bit of context: I'd like to add an exterior ...
4
votes
1answer
36 views

What code requirements exist for low-sill, upper-floor windows?

I own a house in Texas (USA), built in 1885. I am renovating, enclosing the second floor back porch; it's essentially an addition, with a bathroom, a storage closet, and a hallway. The area will be ...
4
votes
1answer
252 views

How bad is it to attach a gas water heater to a gas furnace electrical circuit?

I'm looking to replace my existing water heater with a more efficient model. One of the things that makes better models more efficient is the replacement of the thermocouple / pilot control system ...
4
votes
1answer
186 views

Can two ground rods be bonded via a PVC conduit above ground?

According to my understanding, if a supplementary ground rod is installed, it must be bonded to the existing rod via a buried 6 AWG cable (NFPA 70). However, because virtually every side of my house ...
4
votes
2answers
802 views

How should I run cables through interior wall to garage?

Please excuse me if this has been asked before, I searched previous questions but didn't find anything similar... I have my computer in our garage because of less noise, heat, dust, etc... also it's ...
4
votes
2answers
146 views

House has no plumbing vent — is this a solution?

I've been living in a fixer-upper for a while... I've been fixing a lot that was previously done wrong. I've finally gotten around to ripping out our first floor bathroom (two full bathrooms) and ...
3
votes
4answers
104 views

In a secondary panel, are grounding and neutral bus bars required on each side of the hot bus bars?

In a secondary panel (not a service panel), the grounded (neutral) bus bar is to be kept isolated from the grounding conductors (250.24(A)(5)). In article 408, the code has this to say... National ...
3
votes
1answer
11k views

Are there locations in a residence where a non tamper resistant receptacle can still be used?

Assume for a second that my jurisdiction has adopted 2011 NEC code as legally binding without significant amendment. This code requires (406.11) that 120V 15/20A outlets in all areas defined in NEC ...
3
votes
2answers
436 views

Does NEC allow for recessed lighting to be placed in a vertical wall?

I am about to start running electrical in my bathroom remodel and I am considering options for lighting. I have a wall on one side that has 5.75" of space (this was for recessed shelving in an ...
3
votes
2answers
5k views

Can I install lights on a 20 amp circuit that has receptacles already wired?

I have never been able to ask the following question and get a simple straight answer and would like to know why there is a controversy, and what the answer really is. The question: Can a 20 amp 12 ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

What kind of light can I install in a small, low-ceiling coat closet?

Our Northern California house has a small coat closet (really a hallway with 2 doors and hooks for coats) between our front entry-way and our basement. It's a tiny space: 3 feet wide, 5 feet deep, and ...
3
votes
3answers
76 views

Do I have to connect the grounding electrode at a detached garage to the grounding electrode at the main structure?

Article 250.32(A) of the National Electrical Code, tells us that we need a grounding electrode at a detached garage. It also says that it has to be "installed in accordance with Part III of Article ...
3
votes
2answers
652 views

deck railing height with built-in benches?

If a deck (more than 30" off the ground) has a row of benches built-in to the perimeter, do the guard rails need to be measured from the height of the bench? I've been reading building codes they all ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Is there a specific NEC code specifying the distance between water heaters and electrical panels?

I have a condo in a large building with many identical units. Several times other owners have mentioned that the original layout of the utility room isn't up to code due to the proximity of the water ...
3
votes
3answers
203 views

Can I use old style individual faucets on a bathroom vanity?

We have an old home and would like to keep with the period where possible. I have a marble vanity top with individual faucets for hot and cold rather than a single spigot for both. I can buy brand new ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Can I drive a ground rod near a gas meter?

I am redoing the electrical in my 1940s house. The house has no grounding electrodes but the meter and panel are grounded to my water pipe outside in the front of the house. (This actually looks like ...
3
votes
2answers
212 views

What's involved in an electrical inspection to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy?

In an 80 year old house with no original certificate of occupancy (C of O). I have to obtain a C of O, which requires an electrical inspection. What should the inspection involve?
3
votes
2answers
6k views

In what year did venting bathroom exhaust out of the house become a code requirement?

what was the year for code for vented bathroom exhaust fan? What is the code for vented bathroom exhaust fan?
3
votes
2answers
228 views

Locating buried electrical cable/conduit in yard

Our house, which we purchased about a year ago, has a shed in the back of the yard which has electricity and is roughly 100 ft away from the main house. From what I can tell the previous owner had ...
3
votes
2answers
569 views

Legal water heater replacement

I'm looking to replace my water heater. I currently have a 15 year old 40 gallon gas water heater, and it's time to go. I had several quotes from local plumbers, and choked at the prices. I'm going to ...
3
votes
1answer
788 views

Unused electrical duplex box, soon to be hidden behind a bookcase?

I'm getting ready to install bookcases for my home office (SouthWest USA). One wall floor to ceiling consisting of four units screwed together. In one place there is a duplex outlet right behind the ...
3
votes
1answer
259 views

How can I find out if a vapor barrier is requried for finishing a basement to code?

I'm planning out a basement finishing project, and I'd like to do it correctly. I've done a lot of research but what I can't tell is if I do, or do not, require a vapor barrier. I was hoping from a ...
3
votes
1answer
747 views

Can I have a handrail on only one side of the stairs?

Is it legal to have a handrail on only one side of the stairs if it's not continuous? (As shown in the picture below) Or should I remove that small handrail and put a long one all the way down on the ...
3
votes
1answer
634 views

Two switches in same box, on different circuits

Is it acceptable by US NEC standards to have two switches in a double wall box that operate on entirely different circuits in a late 50's house?
3
votes
2answers
97 views

Does conduit terminated in backless gang boxes defeat the purpose of fireblocking?

My understanding for an ENT conduit (other than for future flexibility) was that it was fire-rated, to reduce the spread of fire/air-flow between floors. If the conduit went through fire-blocks or ...
3
votes
2answers
514 views

What are the code requirements for crossing a buried LPG line with an electric line?

Trenching for 1" Non-Metallic Liquidtight Conduit Type LFNC-B with 18" cover (10-3 W/G UF wire installed, 240V with 30A breaker) to serve a well. Just bumped into LPG line crossing conduit's path at ...
3
votes
2answers
15k views

Does it matter if I mix neutrals and grounds in the main panel?

Code question here. I do a lot of electrical and like to follow code exactly. I have done pretty much everything but hook up lines to main box. Taking a stab at it this time. First I see that I ...
3
votes
2answers
78 views

Is rodent damage considered “physical damage” under the NEC?

Does the potential for rodents to access/gnaw on a cable under normal circumstances render it subject to "physical damage" in the sense the NEC intends that term to be used?
3
votes
2answers
131 views

What to do with the wires when removing baseboard heaters

I recently put in a forced-air whole house HVAC system in my old house. I'll be yanking the old electrical baseboard heaters from everywhere in the house soon. I'm wondering what all would be ...
3
votes
1answer
125 views

Does code require the gas line to be replaced when replacing a furnace?

I replaced my 45 year old (still working) original furnace with an American Standard furnace about 5 1/2 years ago. Now I have a gas leak; the Nicor technician sealed a connection in the gas pipe ...
3
votes
5answers
20k views

How can I insulate kitchen vent to prevent cold air blowing through all the time?

Building code requires my kitchen to have a 15cmx15cm vent (besides the kitchen cook-top vent). This vent is basically a hole in the wall that reaches to the outside. The vent has grating on both ...
3
votes
1answer
130 views

Should there be waterproofing between the rim joist and ledger on new construction?

My new house is being built with a deck and I noticed that the framer has fastened the ledger directly to the rim joist without any sort of waterproofing between. The sheathing which is Zip system ...
3
votes
1answer
215 views

ADSL + Ethernet Surge Protection. What is chaining?

I would like to protect my home network setup with surge protectors. The products I am looking at are: APC Essential SurgeArrest 5 outlets 230V APC ProtectNet standalone surge protector for ...
3
votes
1answer
161 views

Listed electric baseboard heaters that permit installation below outlets

Are there UL-listed electric baseboard heaters that do permit being installed below outlets? The FPN in 210.52: Informational Note: Listed baseboard heaters include instructions that may not ...
3
votes
2answers
68 views

Does a 16“W x 13” deep counter space need an electrical outlet?

I have a 15"W x 24" Deep base cabinet. The counter top overhang is 1" on the front and right side. There is no overhang on the left side as there is a gas range there. There is a 15" W x 12" deep ...
3
votes
1answer
755 views

How do I string a low voltage wire between two buildings?

I need to get Cat6A to an outbuilding for network communication; underground is not an option. I think I have an idea on the method: grounded pillars with a guyline and the outdoor cable. What NEC ...
3
votes
1answer
370 views

Are four gang plastic boxes stackable in a wall?

I would even be willing to go side by side but I would like to stay with the four gang sizes. I am hoping this would pass code and would prefer to stack so if there is someone that knows if it is ...