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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8
votes
1answer
6k views

How can I replace 2-prong receptacles in a code compliant way?

I have some 2-prong non-grounding type receptacles, and I'd like to replace them with 3-prong grounding type receptacles. According to National Electrical Code, what are my options?
14
votes
9answers
75k 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 ...
23
votes
7answers
31k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
40k views

Is it code-legal to have a circuit breaker box within a storage room?

I am currently in the process of planning a room remodel to convert an existing bedroom into a home office and storage room. One thing that makes this conversion a little bit tricky, is the existence ...
1
vote
3answers
4k views

How do I determine the fill rating of a conduit?

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 ...
1
vote
2answers
179 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
911 views

Can cable splice devices be concealed?

Devices exist that claim to be able to splice nonmetallic sheathed cables together outside of a box, and in concealed locations. Are these types of devices allowed by National Electrical Code? Here's ...
3
votes
2answers
9k 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?
7
votes
5answers
74k views

Can different gauge wiring be used in the same circuit?

I am extending a lighting and outlet circuit in a basement. The current setup has the following characteristics 15 amp. circuit breaker (200 amp service) 4 existing lighting fixtures using CFL bulbs ...
3
votes
1answer
6k 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
34k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
24k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
100 views

Can I run NM wire through this type of flex legally

This flex is sold along other types of NM wire molding, but I can't find anywhere where this product explicitly allows NM or not.
2
votes
2answers
1k views

What type of wiring should bedroom overhead lighting have?

On the phone with a friend in Cali this morning. He said that some municipalities are requiring /4 (12-3 or 14-3 romex) wiring for all new construction or rewiring for overhead lighting components. ...
2
votes
1answer
6k views

What are the codes for electrical wiring in attics?

What is the typical code for wiring in attics? I understand these vary but what's best practice? Can you just have electrical wires exposed with all the junctions, in junction boxes, provided all the ...
6
votes
1answer
20k 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 ...
18
votes
3answers
13k 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What should I do about old cables that have been damaged?

I was replacing some drywall and noticed the wiring underneath has a couple of surface tears. House is from the sixties, but has been rewired with new Romex, except this circuit. Wire seems to be old ...
3
votes
4answers
499 views

Renovation for Dummies

I am about to close on the purchase of a small (1000sqft) cottage which, although it is habitable, is in desperate need of some tender love & care. I am an avid DIY nut and have have already done ...
4
votes
7answers
10k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
7k views

Can I extend the ground/bus bar in a main service to accomodate subpanel equipment ground?

I am about to replace the main service breaker panel in my house. The old panel (a 200amp Siemens 40-circuit) had bus bars that extended the entire vertical length of the box. The new panel I would ...
1
vote
2answers
375 views

Can a white (or other color) wire be remarked to serve as a grounding conductor?

In a question related to plugging in a device with a 6-20P Plug (240V Ground + 2 Hots) into a 10-30R (120/240V Neutral + 2 Hots) receptacle, I suggested replacing the outlet with a 6-20R and using ...
9
votes
2answers
5k views

Any US building codes about a door opening into a hallway near a stairway?

A while ago I changed a door out from my tiny bathroom so that it opens outside of the bathroom and into the hallway. It looks attractive and provides a great deal more room in the bathroom making it ...
8
votes
3answers
19k views

Are generator interlock kits permitted in residential applications?

There have been some questions on the site lately, that reference using interlock kits with portable generators. This has inspired me to read through article 702 Optional Standby Systems of the ...
8
votes
2answers
17k 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, ...
7
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
13k views

How many cables are you allowed to run through a single hole in a wooden floor joist?

How many cables are you allowed to run through a single hole in a wooden floor joist? For example, could I run five 12-2 cables through a 1-1/8" hole? I know they physically fit, but is there a code ...
6
votes
3answers
637 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
449 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 only be a maximum of 1/3 the depth of the member (...
5
votes
2answers
15k views

Can I wire a refrigerator and dishwasher on the same circuit?

Can I wire a refrigerator and dishwasher on the same 20 amp circuit?
5
votes
1answer
836 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
67k views

Under what circumstances is 5/8" drywall required?

From what I understand the code usually discusses things like fire rating (not specific thickness) as they relate to required material, and also the fastener pattern and what thickness to use versus ...
4
votes
1answer
3k 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
2answers
739 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
1k 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
13k 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
1answer
3k views

What is the maximum number of connections to pipes?

Does anyone have a table of the maximum number of connections that drain/vent pipes can have for a given size?
2
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
380 views

Is there a way to extend electrical wire where the splices can be finished over? [duplicate]

I want to extend some wires to relocate some switches. Normally one might do this by splicing new wires in and covering the junction box with a cover plate. Is there a way to permanently splice wires ...
1
vote
1answer
244 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 as-...
1
vote
1answer
191 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Is an explicit ground wire required through steel conduit?

We just bought a Chicago-area house and found that there's no ground wire in some of the recently re-wired areas. I thought that the national electrical code requires a ground wire for new ...
0
votes
1answer
132 views

Why are 3-1/2 (16d) nails so hard to find?

So I'm a little confused. It seems like 21 degree fullhead framing nailers are fairly standard. According to the http://codes.iccsafe.org/app/book/content/2015-I-Codes/2015%20IRC%20HTML/Chapter%...