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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1answer
634 views

Do smoke detectors have to be hard wired in New Jersey?

I'm rebuilding after a fire, and I need to know if the new smoke/co detectors need to be hard wired.
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1answer
191 views

Does the NEC limit the maximum size of junction boxes?

In this question, the OP has constructed a large junction box out of several extension boxes attached to a "regular" junction box: Is there any upper limit on the size of a junction box (either ...
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3answers
2k 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
138 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
2k 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
2k 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
47 views

Finished basement outlets, GFCI or AFCI?

I am finishing a basement and I am not sure if I need to install GFCI or AFCI outlets. Is it better to use a GFCI/AFCI breaker instead of the outlets? NOTE: the finished basement will be used as a ...
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1answer
51 views

Is there anything in the NEC that would prevent me from attaching MC cable with ground to EMT with a compression coupling?

Is there anything in the NEC that would prevent me from attaching MC cable with ground to EMT with a compression coupling? I will be skinning the MC cable roughly about 10 to 15 feet where it enters ...
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1answer
140 views

Convert a switched receptacle to a non switched receptacle

This is a code question and I live in the US. Some background. My house originally had no overhead lights except for the bathrooms, kitchen and hallways. The rest of the rooms had just one switched ...
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2answers
212 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
161 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
121 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
2k 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
146 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
233 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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1answer
69 views

Is there anything that forbids an Article 409 industrial control panel within a dwelling unit?

Can an "industrial control panel", complying with NEC Article 409 and constructed with UL 508 listed devices, be used to control loads in a dwelling unit/residential occupancy? It would rely on the ...
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2answers
84 views

Are all of these wirings code-acceptable for 3-way switching overhead lights?

So, i have a single switch by the garage door controlling the overhead lights like so: and i would like to add a switch by the other door (shown) and wire it for 3-way control of the lights. I'm ...
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1answer
95 views

Does a contract to build a deck need an occupancy clause?

I am replacing an exterior deck. I've had several contractors out to give quotes, accepted an estimate from one, and am now in the position of signing (or not) a contract for the work. It's a lump sum ...
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1answer
85 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
1k 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
105 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
146 views

Testing and proper breakers for a multi wire branch circuit?

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
239 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
498 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
4k 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
258 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
22k 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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1answer
2k 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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1answer
99 views

What are the rules for making your own conduit KOs in nonmetallic junction boxes?

Some North American electrical boxes (usually nonmetallic ones) lack conduit knockouts, as they are designed solely to clamp NM cable. Unfortunately, some devices (the RIB series of enclosed, UL ...
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1answer
118 views

Is a plug adapter considered an “extension cord” under the NEC?

Is an adapter from a plug (say a NEMA 14-50) to a different socket (say a NEMA 6-20 or L14-20, or even a NEMA 6-50 for that matter) considered an extension cord by the 2014 NEC? If it isn't, then what ...
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1answer
83 views

dyeing grey water, standerds for how much dye to use

I am looking into grey water systems for a future house. In the course of researching, I learned that in states that have adopted the International Plumbing Code, you can use the water for flushing ...
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2answers
171 views

How should I run stripped cable through conduits?

I have a 6/3 NM-B cable that is to be run through a Southwire Ultratite conduit to an external outlet for a generator. I plan to strip the cable prior to threading through the conduit: 1. for ease of ...
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2answers
114 views

Does anyone have experience with insulating with waste-wool from shearing?

Does anyone have experience with insulating with waste wool from sheep-shearing. I am interested in washing and deodorizing techniques and also in the packing-density requirements. Plan is to use ...
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1answer
431 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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1answer
1k 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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3answers
2k 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
32 views

Can I move well pipe from under front steps and still satisfy Connecticut code?

I have a problem with my well pipe - it leaks in the spring (when snow melts). As you can see from image below - multiple hack repairs were attempted by previous owners. I was going to excavate the ...
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0answers
87 views

Is it OK that my circuit breaker panel does not latch closed

I plan on doing some work and having it inspected. As part of the work I will be switching some normal breakers to AFCI. Before I get started I notice my panel does not fully latch closed. The latch ...
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0answers
75 views

basement bathtub straddling a crater

we got this house recently. i was working on paint and finishing our basement bathroom.. trying to remove the baseboard trim surrounding the the bathroom shower, i noticed that it came out ...
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0answers
42 views

Does the junction between two horizontal spaces need to be fireblocked?

This question is in regard to interpretation of IRC:2012 R302.11 for a single family dwelling. It is clear that junctions between vertical and horizontal framing need to be fireblocked (e.g. between ...
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0answers
107 views

When does a sleeve become a conduit, and how much can I fit in a sleeve?

According to National Electrical Code, the conduit percentage fill table does not apply to sections of conduit used to provide protection from physical damage (sleeve). National Electrical Code ...
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0answers
78 views

Independent circuits on a common trip CB

Is it permissible under the 2014 NEC to feed two independent 120VAC branch circuits from a common trip (aka double pole) circuit breaker? The circuits do not share a neutral wire, and are ordinary ...
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0answers
319 views

Coast 3-way — does this conform with Code?

For those who aren't familiar, the California or Coast 3-way switching arrangement is a method of wiring a three-way switch circuit that is used when both a switched and an unswitched hot are desired ...
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0answers
93 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
1k 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
341 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
200 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
116 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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0answers
141 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
180 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 ...