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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18
votes
4answers
1k views

Is it OK that the frame of my house doesn't line up with the slab?

My new house is being framed. I saw that the frame extends 1-2" from the foundation: Click photograph for full size The builder told me it happens often and the city inspector will catch it if this ...
15
votes
6answers
8k 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 ...
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 ...
13
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 ...
11
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
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 ...
10
votes
4answers
25k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

Why won't HVAC supply stores sell directly to the public?

I am quite shocked that every store in my very large metropolitan area that sells HVAC supplies requires purchasers to have HVAC contractors license. Which makes it very difficult for a very ...
8
votes
2answers
332 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 ...
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 ...
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, ...
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
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 ...
7
votes
3answers
8k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
331 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
10k 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
1answer
1k 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
2answers
2k views

Is it OK to have a 20 Amp receptacle on a circuit with 12 AWG wiring and a 15 Amp breaker?

I have a hypothetical question: If you have a 15 Amp breaker connected to a 20 Amp T type outlet with (20 Amp) 12 AWG wire, is it within code, below code, or above code, where code means the National ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

Is there any acceptable way to cover a junction box?

The outlet for my range hood was misplaced. It needs to be 4 inches to the side. I can make the junction and move the wiring to the new location but I really don't want to have the empty plate ...
6
votes
1answer
104 views

Can a private electromechanical meter be placed between the utility's meter and the main breaker?

I want to run an experiment which compares the readouts of the newer electronic smart meters against older electromechanical meters. Is there anything in the NFPA 70 or any other law or code which ...
6
votes
1answer
10k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
168 views

Do exterior duplex electrical receptacles have to be on multiwire branch circuits?

I have an exterior receptacle on my house, and it is currently taking up 2 circuits (similar to kitchen counter plugs). Is there any code/regulation that indicates exterior receptacles must be on ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

How can I mount an 12V transformer for LED lighting inside a wall?

The stairs to my basement has one light fixture at the bottom, and that casts a shadow on the rest of the stairs. I want to run a strip of LED lights up the crown molding or on top of the upstairs ...
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 ...
5
votes
5answers
14k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
335 views

Should I be able to just peel tile off the wall by hand if it is installed right?

We hired a contractor to remodel our master bathroom. For the tile installation in the shower, he started with a float-cement backing. To show quick progress, he rushed through this step and the final ...
5
votes
1answer
557 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
2answers
3k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
280 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?
5
votes
1answer
244 views

What is “workmanlike manner”?

I have to ask this because I have been doing a ton of electrical work in my house. Will get inspected soon. I am pretty neat - everything is stapled uniformly and ran at the same height- but I ...
5
votes
2answers
2k 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
2answers
6k 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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
313 views

Can a single metal electrical box use two ground clips?

Inside a metal electrical box, can I use multiple ground clips (one for each conductor), or is it required that all ground conductors be twisted together and pigtailed into the same clip?
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there a correct orientation for hurricane clips?

When installing hurricane clips to joists where it crosses a beam, is there a preference to mounting the clips on the inside or the outside of the beam? And should the ears on the clips point inward ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

How do you secure electrical outlets in a concrete block wall?

I have an old home that has several outlets in the exterior wall. These outlets are not secured to the block, they just dangle in the opening and are only secure (or appear to be firmly in place) due ...
5
votes
1answer
746 views

How can I resheathe behind brick fascia without removing the brick?

The original builders of my house used a material called "Aluma Sheath", also known as Dennyboard, to sheathe my house. Dennyboard is a radiant coating on two sides of a 1/8 sheet of a fiberous ...
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
849 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
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 ...
4
votes
3answers
199 views

Is it okay to protect NM Cable in an unfinished basement with ENT?

Adding a 20 amp subcircuit (120V) to furnace room to turn it into a workshop. Initially it will have one duplex and 2 fourplex receptacles, the fourplex receptacles will be on cement walls, the duplex ...
4
votes
1answer
313 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
466 views

Can I install a receptacle outlet below a window?

I need to add a receptacle outlet to an existing line. I will run the line from an existing receptacle outlet. Is it okay to locate the new outlet below an existing window?
4
votes
1answer
435 views

Is it against code to secure junction box using Liquid Nails?

I need to extend a 14/2 WG wire a few feet. To do this I want to add the extra wire using a junction box. The problem is that I can't get a good angle to nail the junction box down so I was wondering ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the code approved way to cut and patch fire rated drywall hung on the ceiling of a basement?

My new house is still under construction, and for code reasons the builder is required to hang fire rated drywall on the ceiling of the basement. I am sure the situation will arise eventually where I ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

How should I build an exterior door landing pad?

I've got a building with several exterior doors (all opening inward). The slab and walk-up is about 18+" from the ground. Code requires that I have a 36"x36" landing pad outside each exterior door. ...
4
votes
1answer
497 views

Do the guidelines for holes in joists apply to band joists?

This question have a great answer with all the guidelines for drilling holes in joists. The question: Are the guidelines the same for band joists? A bit of context: I'd like to add an exterior ...
4
votes
1answer
923 views

How do I get power into my kitchen cabinet?

I'm trying to run power for some under-cabinet LED strip lighting. I think the easiest way is to tap into the stove hood, so my question is: how do I do this in a way that is legal and meets code ...