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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.

31
votes
12answers
194k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
15k 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?
8
votes
4answers
112k 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 ...
35
votes
7answers
80k 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
194k 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 (...
9
votes
3answers
89k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
29k 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
64k 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
20k 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
545 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
64k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
131k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
4k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
38k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
22k 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?
3
votes
4answers
581 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
44k 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 exposed....
6
votes
4answers
165k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
21k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
8k 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
37k 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 NEC (...
5
votes
2answers
3k 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 (...
4
votes
1answer
12k views

Can Romex (NM-B) be run in conduit for more than 10 ft when starting from the breaker panel?

The answers to this question indicate that NM can be run in conduit: Can Romex (NM-B) be run through conduit? I was hoping to enclose 12-2 NM-B in EMT for about 20 feet from the breaker box up my ...
3
votes
1answer
145 views

Is this the legal and best way to add power for bathroom fans?

Summary: I would like to add bathroom fans in bathrooms #1 and #2 (see drawings). There are currently no fans. I believe the existing bathroom circuit layout is not up to code so I am looking for the ...
3
votes
2answers
237 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.
3
votes
1answer
11k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
2k 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. ...
1
vote
0answers
82 views

Can I fish Romex cable through concealed part of basement ceiling in Canada?

I am running two 2-wire and one 3-wire Romex cables from the panel in the basement to another part of the basement. For most of the run I have access to the ceiling joists, but I need to cross a 2.5 ...
1
vote
1answer
333 views

Is it okay to use an LFNC whip to connect air conditioner where subject to physical damage?

I have seen many air conditioners at ground-level in multiple cities near me that are connected using liquid-tight non-flexible conduit (LFNC) whips. Example: http://www.southwire.com/products/whip-...
19
votes
3answers
23k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
28k 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
1answer
3k 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
3answers
30k views

Is framing with screws legal?

A friend used trim head screws for ALL of the 2x4 framing (including the outer walls) of his 2400 sq. ft. house. The house uses 8x8s to carry the load; none of the 2x4 framing is load bearing. The ...
10
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
11
votes
6answers
44k views

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

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 ...
10
votes
2answers
19k 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
1answer
26k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
662 views

Code: How can a transfer switch not switch neutrals?

I'm looking at this Reliance Controls transfer switch. I certainly won't buy it and don't recommend one, but the huge hank of wires going from switch to panel only has one neutral wire in it. How ...
5
votes
1answer
5k 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
1k views

Dryer Venting Woes - what to do?

I can certainly collect some pictures for this but I'm hoping on sound engineering & design principles I'll get a recommendation worthy of executing to that meets code. I have a vented clothes ...
4
votes
2answers
15k 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 ...
4
votes
7answers
13k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
303 views

How to use the 2015 IRC Chapter 24, G2407.6.2 to determine combustion air?

The 2015 International Residential Code (IRC), Chapter 24 ("Fuel Gas"), Section G2407.6.2 allows for one permanent opening to be used to supply outdoor combustion air into a mechanical room for gas ...
2
votes
2answers
13k 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
1k views

Using 15 amp thermostat on a 20 amp circuit

I've seen this question about receptacles, but what about thermostats? My house in Washington state has really old mechanical thermostats that don't have their rating specified anywhere, but judging ...
1
vote
1answer
10k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
36k 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, ...
8
votes
4answers
5k 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
2answers
30k 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?