Code says plug in any wall 24" & longer?

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  #1  
Old 05-23-05, 12:05 AM
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Code says plug in any wall 24" & longer?

Would this apply to a closet wall over 24" on the outside wall of the closet?
 
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  #2  
Old 05-23-05, 05:34 AM
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Jim123,

It does apply if the wall is considered part of the room. I know many that argue that walls leading into a room which are not considered in the room that the rule does not apply.

The rule of thumb we use is if it is considered in the room it has to comply with the ruling that any wall space 2' or more require a recept.
 
  #3  
Old 05-24-05, 01:48 PM
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I had this on a closet wall before, about 36" wide, The builder had installed a pocket door that slides into the wall. Had to put the recep on the floor. You did mention outside closet wall so I assume its in a bedroom or something. No recepts are required in the closet and only one is required in the hallway if it is 10 ft long or longer. the above code is for living areas such as living rooms, kitchens, dining rooms, family rooms, dens, bedrooms. Not for bathrooms, laundry rooms, garages, basements, or hallways.
 
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Old 05-24-05, 04:35 PM
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If the closet wall is into the bedroom it applies....we have it all the time between the entry into the bedrooms and the closet access door which does require a recept if over 24 inches.
 
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Old 05-25-05, 06:13 AM
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How about a specific example:

A bedroom is 14x14. On one side of the room is a large closet and the entrance door. When facing that side, the 11x3 closet is on the left and a 3x3 space is on the right. Entry to the room is in that 3x3 space on the right. When the door entry door is open, it blocks the wall at the back of the space which is the same wall that also is the back of the closet. There is another 3 foot wall between the closet and entry space, which is opposite the entry door and is not blocked by the door.

I think there is no point whatsoever to put an outlet on the back wall that gets blocked by the door. But what about the wall facing the door which is the right side of the closet?

This is the description of my bedroom built in the 1960's. Standing in the middle of the room facing the side with the closet and entry, 2 outlets were on the wall to the right, one on the wall behind (under and to the left of the centered window on that wall), and 2 on the wall to the left. No outlets were placed in the entry area. If built today, I suspect one more outlet would be needed on the window wall. But I see no reason to put an outlet in the entry area (the outlet nearest the door on the right wall would easily serve a vacuum cleaner or any maintenance tools used there).
 
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Old 05-25-05, 06:23 AM
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Skapare,

The issue is not with the BACK of a closet wall...where no recept is required...

I think the issue is wall spaces 24" or more when considered part of the ROOM itself. Many have debated and said if the enterance to the room is extended and narrow or more like a hall than part of the room it could be debated....but every inspector I know and work with would require the layout to be in compliance to the 6 and 12 rule regardless and then they push the same 24" space code rule as well......

You have to consider all spaces and evaluate them, If their is an opening to the room...and their is a space of more than 24" between the opening and the opening to the closet....I am putting a plug in their....WHY not only because of code but from experience....and every area is different I guess but most inspectors I know will demand one......not for convience...not because they are on a power trip....but because they adhere to what they feel is a unbias compliance to the ruling of spacing.

Now I do know a situation where we had bedrooms that had a 3-4 foot enterance hall into the room itself....this was EVEN after walking through the doorway....so their was no way in heck someone could every put anything in the hall/room space......and we did not place a recept in it....started our layout after already into the room and the local inspector THREW a fit but allowed it because we convinced him it was part of a hall entering the room...

Like I said....the AHJ could demand it or understand it's moot use in the hallway area.......
 
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Old 05-26-05, 12:01 PM
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I'm not sure I completely understand the layout but I think the code is very reasonable. It requires a receptacle in any space 24" or more in width (including space measured around corners). That also allows you to measure around corners in determining placement. In your example (if I understand it correctly), I figure you have a couple of inches between the door and the corner, then it turns and goes 36" and then it turns again and goes some distance until you get to the closet door. If this total distance is exactly 12', then you'll need a receptacle exactly in the middle. If it is more than 12', you'll need at least 2 receptacles. If it is less than 12', you can put it anywhere as long at it is no more than 6' from either door (measured around the corner, if necessary).

What often occurs is that even if the receptacles are placed to code, all of them in a room are covered by a piece of furniture. I try to make sure one of the receptacles in a room will remain available for a vacuum cleaner. Sometimes it works out that allowable placement would permit me to put a single receptacle in an 11' wall with doors immediately adjacent to the corners at the each end of this 11' wall. However, I figure that one is sure to be covered by a heavy dresser, so I put two receptacles in such a situation. I intentionally put one just behind the door to keep it from geting covered up.
 
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Old 05-26-05, 01:31 PM
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I'll try again on the layout explanation, this time in terms of looking down on a floorplan. You start with a 14x14 foot square. On the east side put a 4 foot wide window in the middle of the wall. On the west side, remove the entire wall, and put an 11x3 closet outside of the square, shifted to the south edge. Now the south wall is 17 feet long including the closet. This wide closet has a wide double folding pullout door and built-in shelving. North of the closet is the remaining 3x3 space serving as the entrance. The door is on the north of the 3x3 space, and swings open to the west, blocking the entire west wall of the 3x3 space. The 3 foot wide wall between the entrance area and the closet is the point in question as to whether an outlet is really needed.

One argument goes that since it is literally at least 24 inches wide, it needs an outlet (maybe that was not required when the house was built in the 1960's but for argument's sake, let's examine it under the 2005 code). Another argument goes that since it is just part of the entry way, and there is no functional living within that 3x3 space, it is not part of the room and the rule does not apply. The door swings by in such a way that no lamp table or appliance could be located there, anyway. Which argument finally prevails is probably the AHJ's call.

But, I could also argue (not with a basis in code) that there is an outlet along the north wall, just east of the door that is within a 6 foot reach. Of course that reach is NOT along the wall, but rather, would be across the floor and more subject to step-on damage.

In real life, no outlet was ever there or ever needed there as long as I lived there. The north wall had 2 outlets and the south wall had 2 outlets. The east wall had just 1 outlet. I do know that whatever code was in effect at the time only required 1 outlet on each of those walls. I actually asked for north to have one near the door for my desk (so another one was put further away to balance out the wall and this outlet was never used because it was blocked by a bed). The 1 outlet on the east wall was slightly off center because the heater vent was in the center, but it was positioned perfectly between the bed and bedside table. The south wall had 2 outlets by my request for my ham radio and stereo setup. I also got the circuit for these outlets wired separate from everything else (including lights), with ground wire and grounded outlets (the only other grounded outlet in the entire house was the laundry receptacle for the washing machine). I was 14 when all this was done.

Now days those 5 outlets may be required (instead of just 3) to meet the 6/12 rule (if positioned appropriate) plus a possible 6th wasted outlet across from the door where no one would use it.
 
  #9  
Old 05-26-05, 02:04 PM
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I think I got everything except the 17' dimension. Anyway, starting at the entrance door and then going west for a couple of inches, then south for approximately 3' then east for about 3', then around the corner to the north edge of the closet bi-folds comes to 7-1/2' to 8' (right?). The code would require an outlet within 6' of the door and would necessarily be in the wall you are facing as you stand in the doorway. Putting it to the right side of the closet bifolds as close to the corner as possible would put it farther than 6' from the doorway. The outlet on the north wall wouldn't satisfy the requirement since the wall is interrupted by the doorway.
 
  #10  
Old 05-27-05, 03:26 AM
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txdiyguy:

You have it accurate enough for figuring the need for the outlet on the 3 foot wall facing the door. As long as that is considered part of the room, it clearly is needed. Placed almost anywhere along that wall would be within 6 feet of either door as measured along the wall.

In other circumstances, exempting a wall segment just because a door can swing back against the wall might not be valid (to add to the code ... no such rule now exists that I know of) because potentially something can be placed there and the door only swung back enough to hit it. That might be a desk with lamp and computer, for example. But in the case of this entrance square, there is no way to place anything behind the door without impeding access to/from the room. So the space behind this door I think should not be counted because nothing would ever be there.

But along the opposite wall, that's more debatable. In theory I could have hung a Christmas wreath there for decoration (immediately viewable by looking in the open doorway). So I don't think a swinging door argument could ultimately work on that. The only remaining argument would be that the space is not literally in the room, per se, but rather forms (a short) part of the entrance way into the room. Across the hallway and slightly to the west as another door to the parent's bedroom. It had a 9 foot long, 3 foot wide hallway from that door to the wide area of the parent's bedroom. That was more clearly an entrance way to the bedroom and not part of the bedroom itself, even though the door was 9 feet away from the bedroom. It think it is more clear that the room rule would not apply there.

If I were building that today, I would go ahead and just put an outlet on that 3 foot wall. But I'd wire it to the hallway convenience circuit, not the bedroom circuit. The reason for that would be that it's use is more likely to be for a vacuum cleaner, which I know from experience can be troublesome for circuits with a lot of existing load on them.
 
  #11  
Old 05-27-05, 06:36 AM
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That would be O.K., provided the hallway circuit was AFCI protected.
 
  #12  
Old 05-27-05, 12:53 PM
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Ah, yes, AFCI. And that's the other complication. Positioned there, it would look like one so convenient for a vacuum cleaner. Yet, these are notorious trippers of breakers ... worse with AFCI (you have to plug them in somewhere other than a bedroom now days).

Of course, I could change out the outlet once the inspector is gone. Wirenuts and blank face. But what I would more likely do is change the plug on the vacuum cleaners to the twist-lock kind, and put twist-lock outlets where vacuum cleaners are allowed to be plugged in (a specific vacuum cleaner circuit, maybe).
 
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