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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3
votes
2answers
655 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
545 views

Do I need to attach a wire fished through a ceiling?

I have a finished basement and am mounting a flat-screen TV on the wall and I want to put an electrical box behind the TV. The two existing outlets are both two joists over and each separated with a ...
8
votes
3answers
5k views

Why is ENT rarely used for electrical wiring?

As best I can tell, the National Electrical Code 2011 allows electrical non-metallic tubing ("smurf tube" or ENT) to be used for running 120 V electrical wire. But everywhere I look, I see remarks to ...
1
vote
0answers
143 views

How can I confirm the building code limitations for adding a small cabin/cottage/office in my county? [closed]

Aptos, CA (Santa Cruz County - California - US). Hi all, I'm considering building an outdoor shed primarily for a multi-purpose home office. I'd like to know to what codes I'll come up against but ...
3
votes
1answer
628 views

Can a yurt be a dwelling?

Yurts are beautiful, charming, quirky, easy to build, portable, and cheap. I bought a 30' yurt from Pacific Yurts. It includes the insulation kit. Can I use it as a dwelling?
5
votes
1answer
4k views

Running cat 6 networking cable in the attic: what is up to code?

I plan on adding a Cat 6 network in my single-story detached home. It would consist of home runs from each of the 3 bedrooms + TV room to a central patch panel in the garage, which is close to the ...
2
votes
2answers
215 views

Is it code to have a concrete floor in a bedroom? [closed]

For some reason I recall that it is Ohio Building code that a bedroom must have a floor finish material other than subfloor. So if you are in a Slab on Grade (SOG) condo, does the code require you to ...
4
votes
5answers
3k views

Is it safe to run a USB cable inside a wall?

I need to extend a USB device from a corner of my room to the above the fireplace. Since I'm already going to be installing some HDMI and audio cables through the wall, I'd like to have my USB device ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Are tamper resistant outlets required in a cabinet with child proof latches?

Like many people, I have a dishwasher and a disposer, which are plugged into an outlet in the cabinet under the kitchen sink. Also like many, this is where I keep a whole host of cleaning products and ...
0
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
944 views

How do I find out if Air Admittance Valves (AAVs) are allowed in my municipality? [closed]

I saw Richard Trethewey of Ask This Old House install an AAV as part of a kitchen island sink system. I thought I might be able to use one for the water line for my washing machine. I'd like to ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Can you skin over an existing roof deck that is breaking down?

Working on reshingling my roof. The roof deck turned out to be 3/8" plywood which is starting to break down due to the number of times the roof has been replaced. The deck is not rotting out except ...
10
votes
4answers
22k views

Is using 15 amp components on a 20 amp breaker against code?

I have noticed in a few different houses in Oklahoma that 20 amp breakers are used, but all of the outlets and switches only seem to be rated for 15 amps. This goes against everything I know to be ...
2
votes
1answer
213 views

Is Kitchen cooktop venting required?

I'm replacing an electric cooktop with downdraft ventilation. Does building code require that I keep this ventilation, or can it be removed?
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Do I need to “protect” low voltage cables that are run through an insulated wall?

I'm planning to run speaker cables from a new outlet at an uninsulated wall to a new outlet at an insulated wall. I've already run Cat5e and coaxial cable to the uninsulated wall, and am comfortable ...
4
votes
1answer
821 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it ever safe to have 14 gauge wire anywhere on a circuit proected by a 30 amp breaker?

I was doing some work in an old house I recently moved into, and found that my dishwasher and garbage disposal (and some outlets near them) are on a 30 amp breaker. However, some of the electrical ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

Does a bedroom have to have a closet?

I'm finishing my basement (actually its the second basement I've finished). And I've built what I think is a bedroom in the basement. I had the ELECTRICAL inspector in here the other day and as he's ...
2
votes
1answer
481 views

What does the Plumbing Code say about securing a bathtub faucet to the studs?

My son is renting an apartment. It looks as if the bathtub faucet (spout and valvehandle) are only secured by the grout of the tile and haven't been properly secured at all to the studs. I know that ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Would running a new subpanel in parallel meet NEC requirements? If not, what should I do?

Background U.S.A. Voltages/power present. My house has a 125A Power Mains breaker at the street. A buried line runs from the street breaker to my main panel on exterior wall outside of house. The ...
8
votes
2answers
330 views

Is it within code to complete 12g wiring circuit with 10g wire?

In installing a dishwasher on a dedicated 20amp circuit on 12g wiring, I've come short about 5 feet to run a line. I have some surplus, heavier, 10g wire. Would it be safe to install a junction box ...
12
votes
3answers
6k views

Is running ethernet cable through an air return allowed under US code?

I'm looking to wire up the second floor of my house and the cold air return provides a convenient, straight run from the office to the utility room. Is it safe and within code to run ethernet cable in ...
6
votes
3answers
9k views

Can I use 4x4 posts as the primary support for a deck?

I have an old cedar deck, and most of the decking and vertical support posts are rotted out. I'd like to rebuild the deck as-is, just replacing the rotting pieces. The current design is as follows: ...
6
votes
2answers
330 views

How do easements work? Who can use them?

For the sake of clarifying the question, I'll offer this hypothetical. Assume I had a neighbor down the street and I wanted to run a cable between our homes. There is an existing utility easement ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

What are the requirements on buried propane lines?

I haven't been able to find online references to the rules, and I don't own a code book. We have a 300 gallon propane tank, with 5/8" copper line going to a standby generator and into the house for a ...
11
votes
3answers
4k views

How do I meet the 7 feet high ceiling requirement after finishing the basement?

My basement ceiling joists are exactly 7 feet above the concrete slab. The requirement for finished living space is 7 ft from the finished floor to the finished ceiling. Since I'll loose a couple of ...
3
votes
1answer
961 views

Is it OK to have a gas water heater in a bedroom closet?

I have a laundry room with a gas water heater in the closet. I was thinking about taking out the washer and dryer and renting the laundry room as a bedroom because there is a bathroom next to the ...
2
votes
5answers
1k views

Why are there multiple receptacles by amperage?

I could imagine the various receptacle shapes being a tool to protect you from making a mistake about what you plug in. Consider a 15A breaker with 14ga wiring to NEMA 5-15R receptacles. The circuit ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

What is electrical code for number of wires in a breaker?

US, Georgia I am adding some new ciruits to add some additional outlets. The closest place is to run a wire to the main panel box. My question is, can I connect more than one wire to a breaker and ...
2
votes
2answers
199 views

Can PEX be used for the trunk

Currently I have a length of galvanized steel pipe (3/4") from the water meter, which is feeding the main trunk (3/4" copper). The water pressure in the house is very low, and I suspect it is due to ...
14
votes
4answers
7k views

Are push in connectors up to code?

Just came across a neat product at the local hardware store, but I wonder if they are up to code and safe to use. They are a wire nut that allows you to simply push the wires in, instead of twisting ...
7
votes
2answers
7k views

What are the consequences of building without a permit?

Suppose someone decided to build a house without getting the required permits. What are the possible consequences? I'm not talking about slipshod workmanship, or ignoring safety of structure, fire, ...
4
votes
5answers
5k 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 ...