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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36
votes
7answers
83k 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 ...
33
votes
12answers
201k 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
3answers
5k views

Why do single electrical receptacles exist?

Given that the following are true. They are the same size. They take the same amount of work to install. Doubles are twice as useful. Double adapters are a thing. Why do single electrical ...
22
votes
5answers
11k 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 ...
20
votes
3answers
3k views

How is DIY done so much on 'fixer uppers' in areas where AHJs demand permits and licenses? [closed]

I see a lot of cases of major 'fixer upper' homes or general home improvement done in an area where the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) requires permits and only offers them to licensed pros. How ...
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 ...
19
votes
3answers
1k views

Is it permissible to have exposed mains conductors in holiday lights?

I've just had a holiday lights company install some outside tree lights, and I found they had done it so that at several places the prongs of mains cable plugs had been left exposed, and carrying ...
16
votes
3answers
8k views

Do new wire runs in an existing ceiling need to be stapled down?

I've heard some people say that code requires wiring in the wall to be stapled to framing every so often (how often?), but when you are doing a remodel, is that necessary? I have a two story house, ...
14
votes
3answers
67k 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
41k 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 ...
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 ...
12
votes
6answers
46k 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 ...
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?
12
votes
6answers
41k 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
12k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
139k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

Why is it OK to put multiple ground wires in the same bus hole in an electrical panel?

It's not clear to me why ground wires aren't subject to the same rules as neutral wires (one per bus bar hole). What's the reasoning here?
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 ...
10
votes
5answers
201k 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 (...
10
votes
1answer
5k views

Is this wiring safe and is it according to code?

A single 12-3 cable was run to a double switch to control individual lights. The white is used as a hot, is this wiring correct/per NEC code?
10
votes
5answers
23k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
69k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
92k 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
288 views

How do I carry electrical power across a pond?

Suppose I need to run power to an outbuilding. The line will run underground. Between the supply and outbuilding is a long, wide pond. Going around the pond isn't really feasible. This is not a ...
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 ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

Do the quick connectors in my new bathroom fan need to be in a junction box?

I recently replaced a bathroom extractor fan. The new model uses "quick connect" electrical connectors, where I stick the house wiring into this little plastic device, and apparently that's all! The ...
9
votes
3answers
8k views

Is the wall between a home and an attached garage built as an “exterior wall”?

I have an attached garage. There is an exterior-rated door between the garage and the living space. Should the entire wall be built as an exterior wall, as far as sheathing, width, etc? Is there a ...
9
votes
5answers
14k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
37k 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, ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Are five conductor wire runs (two neutrals) for two circuits still considered a “multi-wire circuit” for code purposes?

Typically, a multi-wire circuit run has two hots on separate legs, a shared neutral and a shared ground. There are very specific rules (NEC 210.4) about these types of circuits to ensure that the ...
9
votes
2answers
9k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

Why can the connections of a recessed light be buried in drywall, but not junction boxes?

I'm redoing lights in our kitchen and have to splice some lines. I have read numerous threads that all say you cannot bury the junction box in the drywall, it has to be accessible. The recessed lights ...
9
votes
4answers
117k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

What NEC section, if any, covers an owner wiring their own home?

A question answered by Karl Katzke said: you are allowed to pull an electrical permit on your OWN residence Can anyone tell me if there is language in the NEC to this effect and if so what is the ...
8
votes
2answers
447 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
4answers
47k 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: ...
8
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
5k views

Dishwasher electrical connection up to code?

When I removed my dishwasher in order to level the floors and install new flooring, this is what I found: It looks like the electrician just left the wire sticking out of a hole in the wall, but not ...
8
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 (...
8
votes
3answers
39k 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 (...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Electrical outlet in low voltage bracket?

I generally do my own electrical work but needed to upgrade my service from 100A to 200A so I hired someone. I had them add some outlets to my garage while they were at it because I was feeling lazy. ...
7
votes
3answers
23k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
47k 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....
7
votes
2answers
2k 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
2answers
31k 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?
7
votes
1answer
3k views

Are service loops allowed by US electrical code in residential wiring?

I'm about to rough-in my electrical wiring for a remodel of our bedroom and have seen several videos where people leave an extra 6-8 inches of wire looped outside of an outlet box which will allow for ...
7
votes
2answers
501 views

What do I need to provide the cable company with for grounding, when wiring my own house?

I'm planing to do my own electrical wiring for a new house, and the cable company needs something to attach their ground wire to when they mount the demarcation box. I'd like a clean looking install, ...
7
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
733 views

Per IRC, are flexible PVC couplings ever allowed to be used above ground for PVC to PVC connections?

It is my understanding that flexible PVC couplings (e.g. Fernco) meet the definition of Mechanical Joint in the international residential code. The 2015 IRC prohibits the use of Mechanical Joints on ...