National Electric Code

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  #1  
Old 09-07-06, 05:45 AM
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Cool National Electric Code

Is there a website that I can read the National Electric Code for free? I have only found sites that have charges from $39.00 to $96.00 to download the codes. I purchased a new home in 2002 and have found out that the contractor was under no legal obligation to have ANYTHING he built inspected, welcome to unincorporated Kaufman County Texas! We have also found the bathtubs have a 12"X12" opening through the concrete to the dirt that allows fire ants and someday termites to enter the house. When we moved in I found the dryer was vented into the attic without any protection to keep the lint from building up in the attic, I argued with the builder and after about 45 minuted he agreed to vent the cloths dryer to the outside and he had a roof vent installed. The builder also refused to change the bathroom vents so they exit to the outside air, they too blow into the attic.............. WHAT NEXT!
 
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  #2  
Old 09-07-06, 06:06 AM
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I do not know of any web sites where you can read the NEC for free. It is available at public libraries. However, it is NOT easy to read. A better choice would be one or more books on wiring a house. These books will present the codes that apply to a house (ignoring those that only apply in commercial locations).

Of course, the NEC will not discuss venting of bathroom fans or dryer vents.

You have learned a valuable lesson, which I will summarize for others who may be building a house.

Unless you have it in writing, the builder is responsible for nothing. Many builders can, and will, take the least expensive way out.

Put everything and all specifications in writing, down to the most minute detail. Know exactly what inspections will be required and what inspections will not be required. If a particular inspection is NOT required then add a clause that a private inspection will be done, specifying the agency to perform the inspection, and what standard will apply that the building must pass the inspection to.

Good luck. I think you will need it.
 
  #3  
Old 09-07-06, 06:13 AM
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The National electrical code doesn't apply to venting (dryers or exaust fans), so you won't find any information in it.
Local building codes are what applies and since your county doesn't have any, it's up to you.
It's called "Buyer Beware".
You might do a search of State Building Codes and see if any state wide codes apply to your situation.
There are a few sites where you can read (but not download) the NEC for free. Do a search.
You would be better off to buy a book. That way you won't have to go the computer to get a answer. You can reference it while looking at the problem.
E-bay is a good source.
steve
 
  #4  
Old 09-07-06, 06:21 AM
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Thanks.......

One of my electric concerns is that the builder put the 200 amp Cutler-Hammer panel in the small #4 bedroom closet, there is only a 27 inch wide clearance to get access to the panel. It's hard to get to when cloths are hanging in there. Just seems like the Fire Department would want it in the garage for easy access.
 
  #5  
Old 09-07-06, 06:44 AM
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Red face

That's (breaker panel in clothes closet) a direct violation of the National Electrical code [240.24(D)] 2005 NEC.
The (working room) space needs to be aminumum of 30" wide in front of the panel and 36" from the front of the panel to the opposite wall, and allow the door to be opened at least 90 degrees.
If it's not a clothes closet and the space is not used for storage, the installation would probably be OK if it was wide and deep enough.
steve
 
  #6  
Old 09-07-06, 06:45 AM
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The NEC is available here for free viewing......
http://www.nfpa.org/freecodes/free_access_agreement.asp?id=7005SB&cookie%5Ftest=1

Click agree, then you go to the open NEC page...if it doesnt open when you choose that link and remains on the agreement page hit your back button and redo. For some reason the page doesnt always work for some people on the first try so is necessary to try again.

Roger
 
  #7  
Old 09-07-06, 07:02 AM
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As has been stated, the NEC does not permit the circuit breaker panel to be in a clothes closet. It would permit a utility closet, but not any closet with shelves. A utility closet is not a good idea because it tends to be crowded with "stuff".

If there really are no codes enforced where you live then I would consult your lawyer to see where you go from here.

Clearly, at the very least, you need to find someone to thoroughly inspect the entire house (not just the electrical) and to advise on not only what would be code issues elsewhere, but more importantly on serious safety issues.

Again, I wish you luck.
 
  #8  
Old 09-07-06, 07:07 AM
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In terms of readability, for starters I would recommend a book such as Richter's _Wiring Simplified_ or Mullins' _Electrical Wiring Residential. Also the NFPA's NEC Handbook would be a better resource. Did you check eBay? Try searching for NEC 2002 or NEC 2005.
 
  #9  
Old 09-07-06, 07:38 AM
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Smile

Originally Posted by hillbilly ace
That's (breaker panel in clothes closet) a direct violation of the National Electrical code [240.24(D)] 2005 NEC.
The (working room) space needs to be aminumum of 30" wide in front of the panel and 36" from the front of the panel to the opposite wall, and allow the door to be opened at least 90 degrees.
If it's not a clothes closet and the space is not used for storage, the installation would probably be OK if it was wide and deep enough.
steve
Just a afterthought. See if you can find out what code issue (code year) that the county was under in 2002 (when the home was built) if at all.
In the past, it wasn't forbidden to put the breaker panel in a clothes closet although it's been a long time since it was allowed. I can't remember the year the code changed to forbid it, although I believe it was at least 1993 and more likely earlier than that.
The work space provision has been in the code for a long time.
 
  #10  
Old 09-07-06, 08:07 AM
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"Wiring a House" by Rex Cauldwell is a great book for the home DIYer. You'll find a hard time wading through the NEC on your own, and it's probably unnecessary for small-time stuff.

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbninquiry.asp?ean=9781561585274&z=y
 
  #11  
Old 09-07-06, 08:20 AM
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Keep us posted with how this continues to progress, too.

I'd second the recommendation to find out exactly what building codes you are under. If the county has none, check with the state.

You've learned a lesson the hard way. People don't care anymore. Hiring another person to design the home may have prevented this, because he won't have an interest in how cheaply it gets built, but will work with you to make sure the drawings are detailed with what is required. Of course, this is more money, and you still have to hire a good one, who's not in cahoots with a builder, etc...
 
  #12  
Old 09-08-06, 12:22 PM
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Unhappy Electric Panel In Bedroom Closet

I contacted the contractor by phone yesterday and left a message advising him I was aware of the fact that code was not followed in regards to the placement of the 200 amp circuit breaker placed in the closet of bedroom #4. He has failed to return my call. I did speak with the inspector for the City of Talty and he advised me that inspections had not been required when our home was constructed in 2001, he did state that the code at that time did not allow cloths closet installation. He stated it would be difficult to have the contractor remedy this safety issue, even if we used the services of an attorney.
After speaking with several others this morning it was dicussed that I should contact CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox in Dallas about the breaker box's location. I have also contacted the Texas Attorney Generals office and they are mailing a complaint form. The BBB of Dallas does not have this contractor as a member.
I'll keep ya'll updated as this unfolds. I have fould out this same building contractor has projects in several other northern Texas counties including Collin, Hood, Rockwall and Van Zant, most of his building sites are in areas that do not require inspections, THIS KIND OF PROBLEM HE IS CREATING WILL ONLY CONTINUE FOR OTHERS. Sure would be nice to tell you his name and his companys name, but............
 
  #13  
Old 09-08-06, 12:34 PM
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Did you have the home built? If so, you should have taken this uop long before now. Chances are you will not get it remedied as a warranty situation.

If you recently bought the home, then the seller may be responsible for failing to disclose this problem. The builder is not going to be held liable for much of anything at this point.

So, when did you buy the home?
 
  #14  
Old 09-08-06, 12:45 PM
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If an attorney advises you that you aren't likely to win, then consider small claims court. You might just win in small claims court, and you will get the money to have the problems adjusted.

Small claims court does not require a lawyer, but the amounts claimed must be below a threshold.

In your case, an electrician can quote moving the main panel in a manner that is acceptable to you, and the cost to do so should be below the threshold for court.
 
  #15  
Old 09-08-06, 01:28 PM
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http://www.selfhelpandmore.com/homewiringusa/2002/maindwelling/newdwel/index.htm

Lot of good info here. You'll have to cut and paste address into your browser.
 
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