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I have a 220V 30A dryer line with an outlet plugin for my dryer. The dryer, the outlet, and the circuit box are all in the basement. The circuit box doesn't have room for an additional circuit.

I want to install an electric sauna, which requires 220v 30a, on the second floor. The code requires there to be a disconnect in the same room as the sauna. So I was going to run a wire to the second floor terminated with an outlet as a plugin for the sauna (meeting the disconnect code) terminating in the basement with the same plug configuration as the dryer. Then plug in the appliance I wanted to use as appropriate, meeting the requirement for a dedicated circuit breaker.

The county electrical inspector said I can't do that because the NEC prohibits having a plug-in wire that passes through floors. He went so far as to say that, according to the code, I couldn't run an extension cord from one floor to another via the staircase.

So I thought the way to go might be a switch so the sauna and the dryer outlet would both be hard-wired to the switch, both appliances are 3 wire. Then I could run only one appliance at a time meeting the dedicated circuit breaker requirement. Manual switching is fine.

Any recommendations on an appropriate switch, or a better solution?

Thanks in advance.

Clarification

Harper - Reinstate Monica said, “Are you on NEC 2014? NEC 400.7(A)(11) specifically allows an isolated inter-floor run between an outlet and an inlet.”

The “inter-floor” may be an issue. The inspector specifically said the code didn’t allow crossing a floor. For example, having the outlet on the first floor and the inlet on the second floor. And the example I found, https://www.electricallicenserenewal.com/Electrical-Continuing-Education-Courses/NEC-Content.php?sectionID=111.0 , shows everything on 1 floor, but doesn’t specify it. However, to me “inter-floor” means crossing a floor, whereas “intra-floor” would mean everything within a floor like the example I noted.

Harper - Reinstate Monica said, “All this is beside the point. There is no limit to the allowed number of 30A receptacles on a 30A circuit. Route the new circuit to the breaker panel not the dryer recep. Share the breaker.”

So neither a dryer nor a sauna require a dedicated circuit breaker? I looked through the sauna spec’s and it doesn’t say it needs a dedicated circuit breaker. I’m not sure where I got that idea. Perhaps from the first electrician to look at the project. But there is nothing in the code that requires dedicated circuit breakers?

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    Is your basement finished? In my jurisdiction indoor hot tubs and sauna’s require humidistat exhaust fans for indoor use. – Ed Beal Aug 24 at 22:34
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    Can you post photos of the inside of your dryer receptacle box please? – ThreePhaseEel Aug 24 at 23:03
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Are you on NEC 2014? NEC 400.7(A)(11) specifically allows an isolated inter-floor run between an outlet and an inlet.

However this must be done using normal and proper in-wall wiring methods such as NM-B cable, or THHN in conduit. Your plan, to York-a-dirk it* with an SOOW extension cord, violates 400.8, and the inspector was quite right to nix it.

All this is beside the point. There is no limit to the allowed number of 30A receptacles on a 30A circuit. Route the new circuit to the breaker panel not the dryer recep. Share the breaker.


* thanks for that, autocorrect!

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  • May want to note: Pigtail the wires, not 2-on-a-screw and also GFCI. – manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact Aug 24 at 21:23
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    @mana depends if the breaker accepts two wires. GFCI while wise is a complicated matter where the dryer is concerned. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Aug 24 at 21:48

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