Questions tagged [code-compliance]

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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Is this ceiling fan wiring code legal?

When I installed ceiling fans many years ago, I wired separate switches for the fan and lights. Instead of using one run of 14/3, I used two runs of 14/2 NM-B cable. At the switch, a single supply ...
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2 votes
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How far can you move the toilet away from the vent stack in NJ?

I plan on moving the toilet bowl to a different spot in the bathroom, further away from the stack. What is the maximum horizontal distance? Is it 9 feet? As per New Jersey Plumbing Code 2018, 12.8.4: ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Why no 4x options for headers in CRC 2019?

The California Residential Code (CRC) 2019 has a table of header sizes for various spans / building widths / roof loads: https://up.codes/viewer/california/irc-2018/chapter/6/wall-construction#R602.7 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Can neutrals be landed in an old panel which acts as a junction box?

I have a metered panel which had been stripped down and wires jumped over to new panel. The feed is still here but also jumped over. Can I land my neutrals from the new panel inside of the old main ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Does NEC require a refrigerator outlet within six feet of a sink to be protected by GFCI?

I'm trying to find out if an outlet for a refrigerator within six feet of the sink requires GFCI outlet. I read somewhere that 210.8 (A) (7) Sinks - where receptacles are installed within (6 ft) of ...
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4 votes
1 answer
186 views

Are these stapled wires behind my basement ceiling tiles against code?

I've taken some ceiling tiles down in prep for running network cables through the house and found some questionable electrical work. As I understand it these wires probably wouldn't be okay even if ...
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1 answer
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Can I install a concealed 120 volt electrical outlet inside of my ceiling for a camera? [duplicate]

Is there a code the prevents me from installing a concealed 120 volt electrical receptacle inside of my ceiling for a camera? The electrical receptacle would be accessible using an access panel ...
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3 votes
2 answers
468 views

Code requirements for wall/baseboard

We are going to install some engineered laminate flooring on the bottom floor of our home. Knowing that baseboards are a requirement for that project, I wondered if I could kill two birds with one ...
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6 votes
3 answers
1k views

Is there any significance to a red machine screw? [closed]

While cleaning the garage I found this red colored machine screw. I know that green screws signify a ground connection but I've never heard specifics about red screws. Is this for any specific common ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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how can i protect my existing exposed romex?

We are updating a basement room. We removed a drop ceiling and instead of replacing it would like to paint the joists and leave them exposed. One issue is existing electrical. There are a couple of ...
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4 votes
1 answer
345 views

In what scenario is it to code to use an 8 cubic inch electrical box?

I am in need of a shallow electrical box. Googling led me to this one, which is 8 cubic inches. Assuming I am using 14 gauge wire, under what scenarios is this even useful, given box fill ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Was it ever correct to wire a NEMA 10-30 dryer outlet with a ground instead of neutral?

So I believe this could be more of a semantic argument than anything, but someone is telling me that old dryer outlets are wired with a ground and no neutral, but its my understanding that a 10-30 has ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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Is UL/NRTL listing the only criterion for permitting direct-wiring into a junction box?

I've been trying to understand the NFPA70/NEC a bit better the last few weeks. If a part or component is UL-listed (or listed by another NRTL), is this the sole criterion for whether that part or ...
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7 votes
3 answers
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Can I mix AV and Power cables in the same raceway?

I've read that you cannot mix power cables and low-voltage cables (in my case: HDMI, CAT6, USB) in the same raceway (that plastic conduit that stick to the outside of the wall) But in every home I've ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Adding switches from different phased circuits to a ganged box

Is there a safety concern or code requirement around mixing circuits from different phases (on different buses) in a single box? I want to pair 2 switches into a 2-gang box where the switches are on ...
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3 votes
0 answers
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How far into a service panel can sheathed cable extend? [duplicate]

Below is a crop of an image posted in this question. Ignoring all the other issues in the original question: Is having the NM-B sheathing running all the way up to the red arrow code legal? If it's ...
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0 votes
4 answers
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Are there rules or gotchas for boxing in a drain riser?

I have a 4 inch cast iron riser in the corner of a room and I'd like to build an enclosure as small as possible. Is it ok to box it in very tightly, as shown, with the studs on one side almost ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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How much clearance is required in front of a toilet in a NJ private home?

As shown, 15 inches from front of toilet to side of vanity. Will that fail inspection in NJ USA? Note, the side to side width of the toilet space is 30 inches, I believe that is sufficient.
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0 votes
2 answers
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How do you know what size anchor bolts to use?

I'm building a workshop in my backyard with 2x4 walls. I put 5/8th J bolts in the slab when I poured it but ended up with break in the bottom plate too far from the anchor bolts so the inspector told ...
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0 votes
3 answers
94 views

Stairway Railing / Banister Code Requirements

I've recently been remodeling my staircase leading upstairs and have a question regarding the necessary alterations to meet code requirements. The goal is to keep the staircase as open as possible to ...
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0 votes
1 answer
82 views

Notching drywall under notched joist for pipe

I am thinking about running some plumbing through the attic. To prevent freezing, I want to run the pipes as close as possible to the ceiling drywall. I have 2x6 joists, which mean I can notch 7/8 ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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Can I retrofit ground under NEC 2008?

The state of Indiana still seems to be (PDF) is (official state link) on NEC 2008. In NEC 2014, the provision to retrofit ground by running a separate ground wire from an outlet back to the panel or ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Are ring-shaped protection plates made?

I know of the flat stud guards for pipes plumbed through studs, but do they have metal ring versions you could place inside the hole in the stud instead? Main reason I am asking is because if I run ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Fire damper required/advised in 2 family brownstone?

TL;DR Does New York building code require fire dampers for partial renovation of four storey brownstone with two family CO? I live in a two family New York brownstone which is undergoing a partial ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Who (what trade/discipline) to contact for fire code remediation approval?

Background: My wife and I are foster parents in Texas (Austin specifically, in case it matters), and one of the requirements for that certification is that our house has to pass a fire inspection ...
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5 votes
1 answer
893 views

Can the bottom stair have a different height than the rest in GA?

Have spiral staircase in which all the riders but the bottom one are the same height. Is that acceptable in GA?
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2 votes
0 answers
77 views

Fixing range hood wiring inside cabinet

We just moved in to a new house and the inspector noted that the wiring above the range hood was done improperly: There appears to be a splice in the cable without a junction box so the inspector ...
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4 votes
1 answer
71 views

NEC Online Access?

I was wondering if there are any free sources to read the current NEC code online? If there is not a free resource, is there a "go to" that electricians subscribe to? I'm not an electrician, ...
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Siemens Replacement Parts to Refurbish old ITE EQ Load Center

I am re-wiring some areas of my new home to install new outlets, receptacles, and replace some fun (by fun I mean terrifying & dangerous) wiring that was installed since the house was built in the ...
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2 votes
2 answers
615 views

Is it okay to have exposed framing on one side of a wall?

We are adding a new closet by cannibalizing space from our rather large lower-level storage room / utility space. I am trying to understand if there are any stipulations around drywalling both sides ...
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0 votes
2 answers
97 views

Do walls and ceiling need to have drywall installed for electrical? Partially finished basement

Background I recently finished most of the basement, making a bedroom and bathroom in the process. This leaves a section of the basement unfinished which consists of a laundry room and storage area. ...
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0 votes
2 answers
308 views

Is a permit required to add a non-load bearing wall in a bedroom?

I am looking to add a non-load bearing wall to a pass-through bedroom in my house to convert it to a standard bedroom (8'x10'), and use the remaining space (3'x10') as a hallway. Would I need a permit ...
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2 votes
1 answer
101 views

Is this elbow coming from toilet a suitable fixture for DWV?

I had new plumbing installed and someone told me the elbow used under my toilet is incorrect. The company says it's fine. I'm trying to determine who is right. Here is the fitting: The manufacturer ...
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3 votes
3 answers
315 views

How do I wire a new duplex GFCI-enabled receptacle to run two 15 amp appliances simultaneously?

Original situation: I have a 14/2 circuit, where the circuit powered 7 lights and 3 outlets. One of those outlets was in the kitchen and was powering a microwave and sometimes an air fryer. During ...
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4 votes
3 answers
1k views

Code-compliant outlet in attic crawl space for ceiling-mounted, USB-powered sensor? What about in-wall?

I have these Aeotec Multisensor 6 devices that are pretty neat, and they have a recess-mounting bracket. They can be battery- or USB-powered. I’d like to USB-power them and recess them in my ceilings, ...
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2 votes
1 answer
114 views

How do I re-route my main plumbing stack to make room for in-the-wall taps?

We're in the middle of renovating our upstairs bathroom. My lovely and amazing wife has bought two vessel sinks and in-wall mounted faucets. After removing the drywall we have sorrowfully discovered ...
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1 vote
4 answers
130 views

Why does plumbing code require supporting max water supply demand?

So when sizing the supply lines for some plumbing, you have to calculate fixture units and then make sure the supply can support the max demand, but is that realistic? It seems pretty case by case, ...
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2 votes
2 answers
67 views

Why might a circuit panel have limited capacity on the labels but full capacity in its hardware?

I am making a breakout box for my portable generator's 120/240 outlet. It is a small GE Powermax load center with added outlets in attached metal boxes. (I will be adding the extra ground bar for ...
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0 votes
1 answer
69 views

Adding 12 gauge wire to 14 gauge circuit

I am converting an existing single switched light/fan combo to separate switches for each function. There is already a light/fan combo on the circuit, wired with 14/2 Romex. Power comes in at the ...
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25 votes
9 answers
6k views

Should my neighbor run their AC refrigerant lines through my garage? [closed]

I live in a 2-unit town home. I have installed an AC on the side of my unit. My neighbor would like to install an AC for their unit. However the city codes will not allow them to install it on the ...
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1 vote
0 answers
85 views

Is this gas line grounding OK?

We had the gas line to our kitchen disconnected and capped off. The gas line for the heating is still connected and in use. The grounding wire for all the gas lines was connected to the kitchen pipe. ...
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1 vote
2 answers
65 views

Can two light sources be on a dimmer within the same 3-panel switch?

Our GC's electrician recently installed a new 3-panel switch in our California bathroom to control two light sources and a dehumidifier/fan. I had wanted both light sources to be on the dimmer, but ...
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5 votes
3 answers
2k views

Why do three-way light switches have a "top"?

Some, but not all, three-way light switches are marked with a "Top". Why? Here are some examples. These pics are all taken from ordinary three-way Decora light switches. Leviton: Cooper: ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Clearance from a bath external vent to a kitchen external vent?

I know that bath and kitchen vents have to terminate outside a building, at least 3' from the operable portion of a window. What if I have two such vents? Can they come out next to each other? Here ...
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2 votes
2 answers
568 views

How do I meet the 7 foot ceiling requirements in my basement when the bottom of my joists are only 81 inches above the floor (3 inches too much)?

As mentioned, local codes state that the ceiling has to be a minimum of 7 feet above the floor (or 84 inches) in at least 50% of each habitable room. My basement ceilings are only 81 inches tall from ...
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4 votes
3 answers
170 views

Must a window in a proposed basement habitable space conform to code even if it is not required to be in the space?

I am looking to create a finished space in my basement. The plans are for a habitable room within my basement (non-sleeping) to be used as an office. The plans exceed horizontal width requirements, ...
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24 votes
9 answers
9k views

Why do electricians in some areas choose wire nuts over reusable terminal blocks like Wago offers?

Why do Americans (and others) choose wire nuts over reusable terminal blocks like Wago offers? Do they offer any benefits? More current, longer lifetime,...? Or are there regulatory restrictions?
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4 votes
3 answers
920 views

Is this type of electrical connection up to US code?

While browsing ceiling lamps on Amazon, I came across a product that seemed a little odd to me. More specifically, the install instructions, which contain this image: Inside of this image, it shows ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Do you have to subtract the skirt board width when measuring stair width?

It's my understanding that if you have 3' wide treads and you put drywall on top you no longer meet code because your stair width is now 2-11". Is that also true for skirt board?
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1 vote
1 answer
117 views

Should I change how this switch is wired for a low voltage light?

In my kitchen I have these three switches. From left to right they are: Cabinet accent lights Under-cabinet task lights Garbage disposal The middle switch no longer functions properly (it looks like ...
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