A Couple of Code Questions?


Old 04-11-03, 02:00 PM
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A Couple of Code Questions?

It's me again, trying to finalize my packet to submit in an effort to get my permit which will include a complete rewire for this fixer-upper in addition to several other projects. Once again, life has dealt me a couple of delays, but I'm almost there and now that my wife has relented and let me advertise for a coed to occasionally watch my toddler, the delays should get fewer and further, between.

As I said in my last post, I've got four more questions, two of which will be contained in this message and I'll separate the others out into individual threads to better serve the forum search and because one is fairly deep into the theoretical. All help on any of these matters would be deeply appreciated.

1) I am planning to install a small electric water heater in the crawlspace between two of the baths; I am also planning to hardwire one of those Intermatic Water Heater Timers to the setup, but instead of having the timer under the house, I would like to put it in my wiring closet or distribution center; Is there any part of code or reality which would prevent me from installing the timer at the "head of the run"?

2) I am also planning to install some outlets in a few non-kitchen, built-in cabinets; I am under the impression that code will require me to build a fake wall around the outlets to make them flush, or is there a special box I can use? Would the cable need to be piped in EMT? Is there anything wrong with any of these scenarios?

As a follow-up to that last question; I am going to be hooking equipment to these outlets that one would ordinarily want to connect through a surge protector; This equipment will be permanently installed in so much as once it is in place, it will never move, though it could, it just won't.

In a previous thread, John mentioned that one should ignore the info about isolated grounds in the B&D book, but if I operate under alternate instructions; Would it be incorrect to assume that it would serve the same purpose as a surge protector? Do electricians have their computers plugged into an orange outlet, or do they use a surge protector? I realize that you can buy protectors which are the same sized and would only cover the outlet; I already have a few from TI; But, I'm trying to do this the cleanest and least costly way, available; So any thoughts on the matter would be appreciated.

Thanks in Advance;
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Old 04-11-03, 03:10 PM
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Well for #1, it sounds like it wouldn't be a problem to do as you say. Of course my question would be why the water heater and why a timer? If your worried about capacity go for a larger main water heater, or add a small tankless heater to the line which would boost the hot water temp as needed. Is small 6-10 gallons or 20-30 gallons? I'm guessing you want the timer to turn the heater on only in the morning when deman might be high, then off the rest of the day. In this case your savings may not be that great since you would have to start from scratch each day to bring the water up to the proper temp anyway. Sorry to digress from electrical, but curious to the setup here.

For #2, install an old work box in the cabinet. This will make the outlet flush with the exterior. You'll need to protect the wire on the inside of the cabinet but a short peice of conduit (from the outlet to the floor) should do the trick. I'd use PVC since its DIY freindly.

The bit about the ISO ground was actually started by me, though John and others had the answers. Anyway the big deal about the ISO ground in the B&D book was that it is apparently agaisnt code to relablel the red wire in a cable. So their method was wrong from that point. The second point that came up was that the concept of an ISO ground in an residential setting is moot. Basically it does nothing. If you run a dedicated circuit to this cabinet, you basically have an ISO ground. Add an extra ground and what are you protecting?

Also an ISO ground has nothing to do with surges.... its for noise and harmonics. A surge protector will probably help agaisnt these, but an ISO ground will not stop a surge from blowing up your equipment. I'd bet $100 you will not find an orange outlet in anybody's house. Since I'm guessing your going to be putting computer equipment on these cabinets, or other sensitve electronics, just spend $30 and get the 6 plug surge protector unit, or spen $100 and get a UPS.
Old 04-11-03, 03:12 PM
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BTW, I wish I could get my wife to agree to letting me get a coed to run around.... of course since I don't have any kids it might be a tougher sell

Good luck!
Old 04-11-03, 03:52 PM
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Water Heater) Basically, the hot water system is going to be a loop; A solar breadbox will feed the existing gas, the gas will feed the small electric that came with the attached apartment that I'm bringing into the house and because the small water heater has limited resale value and I already own it; I figured that I'd cut the distance from the heater to the baths and possibly loop some pre-warmed water, back out to breadbox.

As for the flush-box; You're right and I didn't think it all the way, through. There's nothing to prevent me from cutting into the wall behind and mounting the box correctly, except of course the tightness of the space, but I can get around that possibly by coming through from the other side of the wall. So duh, after walking around here for a couple of weeks thinking about surface mounting, I neglected to see the obvious; As long as it is code for outlets to be in a cabinet which I assume it is based on the dishwasher info; I should be good to go on this question; Thanks.

And, you believe that the orange outlets aren't a suitable substitute for a surge protector and I should just stick with these outlet-sized ts-1200's which weren't made by TI, I can see now that I pulled one out and they don't have reset buttons, as I had feared.

I used to have a couple of commercial-sized ups units which could run this entire house, but I sold them and they are too expensive to buy again, especially considering that the ups' that I use on my computers haven't been activated in the six months that I have lived in this part of the world. If the next people want to buy ups' and put them in the cabinets fine, but my goal was to avoid mounting a strip with a reset, if it was possible to still achieve the protection without it.

As for the coed, eventually the delays must've overrun my wife's fear of my midlife crisis; Though thus far, she's only letting me advertise, so we'll have to see how it works out.

Thanks Again;

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