Updating electrical code question

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  #1  
Old 04-21-06, 04:54 PM
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Smile Updating electrical code question

I am rewiring a bedroom in my 1927 home which has original wall receptacles which are located about 3 inches from the floor in the base molding. I am adding additional wall receptacles to bring the room up to code (currently only 2 in the room) but my question is: Can I leave the existing outlets in their present location which does not meet today's code or do I have to abandon these outlets and reinstall them at the required height to meet todays code? Thank you in advance for your help.
-Bill
 
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  #2  
Old 04-21-06, 05:13 PM
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Welcome, Bill.

> original wall receptacles which are located about 3 inches from the floor
> in the base molding. I am adding additional wall receptacles to bring the
> room up to code (currently only 2 in the room) but my question is:
> Can I leave the existing outlets in their present location which does not
> meet today's code

If you want an interpretation, can you give us that code reference?
What locality?


> or do I have to abandon these outlets and reinstall them at the required
> height to meet today's code?

I'm not clear on what you mean by "today's code".
Are you renting this building to a handicapped/disabled person who can't reach them?


If you are happy with where they are, I would insure that the boxes are deep enough for current Code, run new cable to them, and put in grounding receptacles.
 
  #3  
Old 04-21-06, 05:15 PM
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The receptacles may remain in their present location. There is no minimum height for receptacles in today's code, either. Some people like to install their receptacles in the baseboard to this day, to minimize the visual impact.

You just need to be sure that none of the required receptacles are higher than 5.5'. The current code calls for 15A or 20A receptacles every twelve feet, and within six feet of any break in the wall space that is 2' wide or greater.

(Think of an appliance with a six foot cord. You should be able to plug that appliance in at any point along the wall line in any wall space.)

I guess I type slow: I came in second.
 

Last edited by Rocky Mountain; 04-21-06 at 05:20 PM. Reason: Edit in italics
  #4  
Old 04-21-06, 05:34 PM
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(duplicate)
 

Last edited by bolide; 04-21-06 at 05:53 PM.
  #5  
Old 04-22-06, 06:26 AM
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I was under the impression that outlets must be installed 12in from the floor unless installing for ADA requirements to comply with code. I guess that is just a standard, not a code requirement. Perfect! I wanted to leave them as is so that I wouldn't have to replace the original moldings. I will replace the boxes as needed to accommodate box fill requirements. Thank you all for your help.
-Bill
 
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Old 04-22-06, 06:58 AM
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If it's your home put them where you want. In the floor if you like.
ADA has no jurisdiction over your home.
Many folks like to spout ADA codes as if they hold any water in a private residential home.
 
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Old 04-22-06, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by slukster
I was under the impression that outlets must be installed 12in from the floor unless installing for ADA requirements to comply with code. I guess that is just a standard
I don't know whose standard. Anywhere from 4" to 44" bottoms seems to be standard from what I've seen, which to say that there is no standard.

I think higher is usually more convenient for adults and less convenient for small children. (There is a range between 26-36" that I think should be avoided because it is the strike zone for typical chair and sofa backs and table tops.)
 
  #8  
Old 04-22-06, 08:34 AM
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just a question for the pros:

The homeowner says he is "rewiring" his bedroom, not "remodeling".

Obvioulsy, any new work must meet current codes, but would this job trigger a requirement that everything in the room be brought up to meet current requirements, i.e. the 12' rule?
 
  #9  
Old 04-22-06, 08:50 AM
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594, since the original post was looking to voluntarily bring it to current code, I volunteered that info.

IMO, no, adding a receptacle in a room in an old house does not require you to add three more, to meet current codes.
 
  #10  
Old 04-23-06, 07:13 AM
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Many electrical books I have read have illustrated electrical boxes being at 12in or 14in centers. I am rewiring/adding receptacles to bring the bedroom up to code (12' rule), get rid of k&t wiring and make it more convenient for running cords without extention cords. Since it is an old house, I am also looking to the future when I sell the home. Definately a plus to have the house up to a more recent code (who knows what the code will require when I sell the house 10years from now). Thank you again for the help.
-Bill
 
  #11  
Old 04-23-06, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by slukster
I am rewiring/adding receptacles to bring the bedroom up to code (12' rule)...
Bill, one thing to bear in mind as you proceed: All new outlets (meaning lights, receptacles, smokes, anything that consumes power) installed in bedrooms are to have Arc-Fault protection. (Depending on where you live and what code is adopted by the city/state you live in. Call your building department for details.)

If you were to leave the old k&t supplied receptacles alone and add three other receptacles, the new ones would need AFCI protection to be up to current code, if you are under the 2002 or 2005 NEC in your area. If you replace the wiring to a receptacle, it could be argued as "new", requiring the protection. This could be difficult if you have an old panel that is no longer in production - there may be no AFCI breakers available for it.

I would recommend having this work inspected, for your protection and to ensure the work is done correctly. A new buyer will likely hire an electrician or a home inspector to look over the house, and any wiring done wrong will come up in the "deficit" column, regardless of age.

(Off the record: If you decide not to AFCI protect these circuits due to an old panel, be sure to install them in such a way that if the panel is replaced at a future point in time, an AFCI breaker can be installed and will correctly function. This means simple 2-wire plus ground home runs, and no stealing neutrals among circuits.)

Just some peripheral information you might find helpful,
Rocky
 
  #12  
Old 04-23-06, 01:32 PM
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Thanks Rocky. I eventually want to rewire my entire house and this is the second bedroom I am doing (my original post did not come to mind in the first bedroom). I have read several books on electrical work and peruse this forum daily so I feel confident in my abilities although my inexperience sure shows (it took me about 6 hrs to rewire 4 outlets. Had a hell of a time fishing the wire by myself ) I double and triple check everything which might also account for the extremely long time it is taking me. I am running 4 circuits for the 3 bedrooms (3 for receptacles, 1 for lighting/smoke/CO2 detectors) and all will be Arc Fault breakers. Originally my entire upstairs bedrooms and all were on the same circuit along with much of the downstairs so this upgrade is a real necessity. Luckily I have easy access in the unfinished attic and basement. Unfortunately the attic has the remains of a roofing job which seems like they left more in the attic than brought out in a dumpster (at least I have a new roof and sheathing. House was bought this way.)
 
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