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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2answers
396 views

Can I drill a 3 1/2" hole through 5 joists?

I need to move a toilet to the other side of room approx. 6 ft I will have to drill a 3.5 in hole for the waste line in 5 floor joist on the second floor. Can I double them and still drill the 3.5 in ...
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2answers
88 views

For planning interior walls, should I get an architect or interior designer or someone else?

I am thinking of adding interior walls to divide up a large space (a walk-up basement). But I am clueless regarding building codes and I don't know where I can and cannot put walls. I've read a ...
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2answers
390 views

gas line location for natural gas clothes dryer

In the US, what are the usual code requirements governing where you can put a gas clothes dryer relative to the gas line, and governing length and clearance for the flexible gas line between wall and ...
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1answer
752 views

Is there a required spacing between where high and low voltage lines attach to a house?

If both the high and low voltage lines are strung from the pole to the house, is there a minimum spacing required between where they anchor to the structure? The AC lines enter through the ...
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1answer
5k 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 ...
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2answers
51 views

would a bathroom without a gfci outlet be a violation in a rented appartment

Would a bathroom without a GFCI outlet in a rented appartment be a violation? I have section 8 and my apartment failed inspection because of this.
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1answer
68 views

Are licensed electricians required to perform code-compliant repairs?

A California licensed electrician replaced a circuit breaker for a friend. He removed the living room AFCI breaker and replaced it with a used non-AFCI breaker. When I heard this I was upset enough ...
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3answers
338 views

Is a plywood backer required for all breaker panels?

I read online that a plywood backer may or may not be required behind a breaker panel, and that it must be painted black. What are the rules for this? And why must it be painted black? I'm in MI, USA ...
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2answers
181 views

Is it code to have electrical wire going no where?

I have a wall open in the center of my house. I am going to run some 14-2 up it and and to about 5 feet from my panel, leaving plenty of extra wire to hook up in a few months. On the other end I am ...
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2answers
6k views

What is code for installing a dishwasher in the U.S.?

I will be replacing my dishwasher and I am curious what is the current code for the wiring of the dishwasher.
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1answer
60 views

Will roof work done by unlicensed volunteers pass code? [closed]

I go to a church in Chicago that needs a new roof for one of their facilities. For my own home, I can sign a Certificate of Responsibility where it is my job to insure that all the work is up to code, ...
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3answers
63 views

Concrete Footing or Concrete Blocks For Footings

I'm thinking of building a new deck at my new home that I just moved into. It's going to be a two level one. The highest level will be about 3 feet high. I'm not worried about code because its not ...
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1answer
35 views

Code compliance for outdoor 20 amp receptacle?

Looking to add a 20 amp receptacle on the outside of my house, on a separate circuit. I don't know what NEC codes to look out for. It will be on the outside wall of the house, if that helps. The code ...
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2answers
58 views

Testing and proper breakers for a multi wire branch circit?

How do you determine if an outlet is part of a unidentified multi-wire branch circuit? Also, does code say MWBCs need to be on double throw circuit breakers and is it permissible to link CBs with that ...
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3answers
76 views

Do I need a permit to renovate a porch in NYC?

I want to renovate my 2nd floor porch, but I don't know if NYC requires a permit. My house was built in 1901, and I believe a CO is not needed because of the grandfather clause. But if I make any ...
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2answers
119 views

Am I required to have a doorknob lock on my exterior door?

I have both a deadbolt and a doorknob lock on my door (actually, all three of my doors). I've noticed that this is a consistent pattern at most houses and apartments that I've visited in my area (I ...
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1answer
894 views

How to determine what type and gauge of wire should used for underground wiring to a detached subpanel?

I Will be installing a subpanel in a detached garage. The subpanel will be 60 amp. The garage is about 30' from the main-panel in-house, and I will of course get an exact length before selecting the ...
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2answers
141 views

What's the proper procedure for replacing ungrounded circuits?

I have a house that has several ungrounded circuits that uses the older 2 wire romex (pvc insulation, black woven jacket). I'd love to have AFCI protected circuits for the bedrooms, and grounded ...
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2answers
131 views

Is an electrical blank (or anything you have to screw off) an acceptable access panel?

Never installed an access panel that wasn't a lid or door. If we have to screw it off is it code for an access panel? See other question for example: What can I use for a very small access panel?
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2answers
10k views

Can I use these post brackets to attach railing posts on top of decking?

I found a Simpson strong tie product (BC40Z) 4x4 half post base, and it states its intended use is for attaching a 4x4 railing post securely on top of wooden decking. The following picture ...
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2answers
2k 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 ...
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4answers
4k views

Should galvanized steel pipe be used as a tub spout?

I have a 90 degree fitting coming down from my shower valve. Also have a screw on tub spout trim. Right now there is a 6" galvanized pipe that connects the 90 to the tub spout trim. Is the ...
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1answer
1k 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 ...
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3answers
49 views

What are code regulations for stairs off exterior french doors

Do the stair off my frecnh doors need to be the width of both doors or can they be just the width of the most used side?
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1answer
201 views

Framing interior non-bearing wall with 24" on center for sound proofing

I'd like to sound proof a few interior walls in my house using the techniques for the 52 STC here (http://www.soundproofingcompany.com/soundproofing-solutions/soundproofing-walls/) which is basically ...
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3answers
647 views

What NEC requirements apply to installing receptacle next to a tree?

I will install a receptacle next to a tree. I know it must be protected by a GFCI and weatherproof. But my concern is about how to support it and how high it should be from the ground. Where in ...
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0answers
46 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 ...
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0answers
49 views

Does this count as a material alteration or repair for code purposes

Ontario Building Code, 2012 Except as provided in Section 3.17. of Division B, Section 9.40. of Division B and Part 11 of Division B, if an existing building is extended or is subject to ...
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2answers
439 views

When there are multiple circuits in a junction box do all grounds get connected

If I have a junction box where there are splices from several circuits, do I connect all ground wires from all circuits together in one bundle or do I do that for each circuit within the junction box? ...
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0answers
210 views

When did fire-rated Type X drywall become code? [closed]

I have 1/2" drywall in my attached garage. There is living space above it so current code would say to use 5/8" Type X fire-rated drywall. My house was built in 1977 so I was wondering when the ...
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0answers
101 views

Can a water heater be installed overhead?

Sorry for the long preamble: I'm doing a remodel which involves building a new attached garage. At the same time, I'm replacing the water heater because it is ancient. I have considered a ...
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0answers
89 views

Can I attach a metal box for a vanity light to a wood cross?

I am redoing a new bathroom. I have a metal electrical box that I want to replace (because it is an odd size from the 50s). The current one is simply screwed to a wood cross (2x4) running ...
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1answer
660 views

Can I connect the generator neutral to my mains neutral permanently?

I have a 3 phase 15KW generator with four wires. I want to use it as a standby generator for my house. My house uses 1 phase 220 volts on two wires (no ground as the house is quite old). I have a 3 ...
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0answers
133 views

Where can we recycle washing machine and kitchen sink drain water?

I would like to know the best place or method to recycle drain water from the kitchen and washing machine. Can we use it for gardening (as it contains soap and oil)? Or it can be added to a Biogas ...
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0answers
156 views

How do you plug an unused hole as per the NEC for a liquid tight enclosure?

I have been looking for a way to seal a liquid tight product using Listed blanking plugs / Cap-offs or similar to comply with the NEC (US National Electrical Code). We wanted to use Conduit Entry ...
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0answers
159 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 ...
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1answer
55 views

Can you wire a 30A 2P standard circuit breaker “downstream” from a 60A GFCI 2p circuit breaker?

Will this still provide GFCI protection? Is this against code? Does this represent a hazard? I have a subpanel with a 60A GFCI circuit breaker, that I want to use that to feed to 2 30a 240v ...
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1answer
129 views

Add new outlet in pantry to one of the two existing 20 amp small appliance branch circuits

I am doing some remodeling in my kitchen. I currently have the required two 20-amp small appliance branch circuits powering the kitchen counter outlets. I have a small pantry/closet directly off the ...
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2answers
155 views

Are electrical subpanels safe in the bedroom?

If not, how do you correct it, or can it be moved without making too much work?
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2answers
106 views

Is it okay to drill a ground rod through pavement?

All the sides of my house are paved, and I need to drive a new ground rod for an antenna. Would it be against code (NEC) to drill a hole in the concrete to pound in a ground rod? Bonus question: How ...
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1answer
2k views

How to properly ground a subpanel in detached building?

I Will be installing a subpanel in a detached garage. The subpanel will be 60 amp. The garage is about 30' from the main-panel in-house, and I will of course get an exact length before selecting the ...
0
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1answer
157 views

How do I wire a door bell?

Can anyone make an educated guess on how to wire so the door bell rings? The flat used to have door phone entry system, but it doesn't work anymore. So it is used as normal bell. In flat we had a ...
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2answers
184 views

According to NEC 2008 can you use non-metallic boxes in framing that transports environment air?

In the Home Owner's electrical test, the term "environmental air" is used. What does this term mean, and where is it defined? and can you use a non-metallic box? Also when reading the question do ...
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0answers
64 views

What codes are invovled in running an overhead subpanel feeder to a detached garage?

This subfeeder will be going to a detached garage about 30ft away, and powering a 100amp subpanel. I'm not sure what codes are involved in this feat. I'd like to know the codes involved for ...
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2answers
110 views

New residential toilets all so tall?

Are all new toilets high off the ground? Our existing toilets (one 20-year-old Toto and one ancient 5 GPF monster that I am shopping to replace) are around 14.5" from the floor to the rim of the ...
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3answers
985 views

2-wire switch loop controlling 2 outlets - replacing with 3-wire to fix?

I am in nearly this exact situation: Can I use a switch loop to power a ceiling fan? We are trying to install a fan, but instead of having a single duplex outlet on the same wall as the switch, we ...
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0answers
60 views

Replacing drywall above boiler… to Code? Inspection?

I own a mid-1800's house in New England, with a fieldstone foundation and dirt floor basement. I now have a mold problem in the basement. There is lone sheet of drywall above the boiler & water ...
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0answers
45 views

What horizontal clearance is required around a doorway? (Minnesota, if relevant)

My landlord has been working on a lot of improvements around the house, and while he seems to be doing a great job, I know that often he is not completely sure of what he's doing. He is currently ...
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1answer
146 views

Residential electrical installation, at what voltage is a licensed contractor required?

I'm trying to figure out regulatory requirements for residential electrical installations. Specifically, when is a licensed electrician required by code to perform an installation? Obviously you don't ...