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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

1
vote
1answer
63 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
147 views

Using fire retardant sealant for low-voltage cables through walls

I plan to wire my house with CAT6 cables, running inside the walls (drywall, wood). I would have to drill through the floor and probably through fire blocks in between the studs. Lot of guides advise ...
3
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
323 views

Are there any restrictions on using crimped connections to electrical devices (receptacles, switches)?

As the title states, are there any code restrictions in general on using crimped spade and ring terminal connectors when wiring household electrical circuits? I've actually been doing this for a ...
2
votes
1answer
124 views

When do galvanized pipes in NYC residential water delivery pipes need to be upgraded?

It was suggested that I ask here. Some residential properties in New York City still have galvanized pipes for the inlet water line. Since heavy metals from the galvanization can leach into the ...
0
votes
2answers
38 views

Help with fire code in a condo building

We had a "contractor" come out to bid our project and told me I needed to cut the drywall off one side of our living room wall. (We live on the 15th floor of a condo building in Minneapolis MN.) I did ...
5
votes
2answers
247 views

Is there a limit to the number of holes bored in a joist?

I already know that a hole bored in a sawn lumber joist cannot be within 2" of any edge or any other notch or hole, and that the hole can be a maximum of 1/3 the depth of the member (International ...
4
votes
1answer
107 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
38 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
917 views

What do I need to know before taking the home owner's electrical test?

Inspector came over and checked out my basement today. He suggested that I take the `local home owner's electrical test to sign off on that part of the permit. They give you the NEC 2008 handbook, ...
12
votes
6answers
50k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
20k views

How do I properly ground my subpanel that only has one neutral/ground bar?

I am adding a sub panel in an unattached building. My sub panel has the connection for the 2 hot wires coming from the source panel (a 40 amp double breaker) In addition it has one neutral/ground bar ...
0
votes
2answers
9k 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
votes
0answers
28 views

Super-Insulating a Crawlspace

I am getting ready to have a contractor insulate my crawlspace. The exterior facing walls of my crawlspace are about 2" above grade, with the remaining 2 ft 6 in - 2 ft 10 in below grade. One of the ...
2
votes
1answer
308 views

Is a dryer vent tube being compressed like this up to code?

There's a 4" dryer pipe in my wall that is smashed slightly in order to get it to fit into the wall made with 2v4s. Is this OK?
6
votes
1answer
720 views

What is “code” and what should a DIYer know about it?

I've heard people who work in construction and here on this site discuss "code", and when this happens someone sites a specific document such as the National Electrical Code or International Plumbing ...
2
votes
1answer
52 views

Can I terminate my dryer vent next to my gas meter?

Background I want to move my electric dryer. This involves moving the exhaust vent. This question is about where I can safely terminate the vent duct on the exterior of my home. I already understand ...
1
vote
5answers
7k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
51 views

Is this a compliant way to control three circuits with two switches?

I'm planning to replace two dimmer switches -- but I found the following clever wiring when opening up the junction box. Three circuits where the neutral lines are spliced together, one live line ...
0
votes
1answer
43 views

Electrical Code Clarification

I'd liked to get some insights into how others interpret the code regarding AFCI and the NEC 2015 code. Here's a hypothetical: Arc fault protection is omitted for outlets outdoors, garages and crawl ...
0
votes
0answers
85 views

Deck diagonal bracing alternatives

The IRC prescriptive deck guide calls for decks taller than 6' to have diagonal bracing placed parallel (planar) to the beam from post to beam. My deck, which is built with a beam on one side and a ...
6
votes
1answer
15k views

How can I attach a ledger board to my house?

Spring is here so I finally started to take measurements for materials I will need to build a new deck on my recently constructed home. I just realized that this isn't going to be quite so simple as I ...
0
votes
0answers
23 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
147 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
363 views

Can I use metal masonry device (switch) boxes in a stud wall?

I am installing new wiring and need to place 5 lighting switches in one location (yes, I understand the problems/issues of confusion, etc.). These will all be 3-way switches, non-dimmable. I plan on ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

Proper wiring for dishwasher and GFCI

Can I connect a dishwasher to a GFCI outlet that is part of a 20amp circuit that has a total of 2 GFCI outlets?
2
votes
1answer
99 views

Deck Footing capacity with BigFoot base

I'm planning a new deck (completely replacing and enlarging an existing deck). The deck will be 25'x15' w/25 ft being attached to the house. I'm trying to determine what footings are required. ...
7
votes
3answers
15k 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: ...
1
vote
1answer
86 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
18
votes
7answers
17k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
2k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it ever safe to have 14 gauge wire anywhere on a circuit protected 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
274 views

What are the code regulations for stairs off an exterior french door?

Do the stairs off my french doors need to be the width of both doors or can they be just the width of the most used side? How big does the landing have to be at the top and bottom? Can I just ...
1
vote
1answer
60 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
120 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
2answers
9k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
160 views

What's the difference between “physical damage” and “severe physical damage” in the NEC?

The 2014 NEC uses "physical damage" at various points to refer to well, hard knocks, if you know what I mean. However, certain passages in the NEC, such as 358.12 point 1 on EMT: Where, during ...
3
votes
2answers
124 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
57 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
275 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
2answers
167 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
36 views

How high of a structure can I build for growing hops

I would like to grow hops for home brewing and can't find any information on how high of an agricultural structure I can build without a permit, the people I am getting the rhizomes from say ...
4
votes
2answers
378 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
437 views

What are the code requirements for installing a ceiling fan alongside a fire sprinkler?

I have a fire sprinkler in my bedroom ceiling which is right in the middle. I want to install a ceiling fan. What are code requirements to follow?
1
vote
2answers
108 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
68 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 ...
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
105 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
134 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 ...