12 ft / 6 ft rule

Reply

  #1  
Old 05-17-08, 11:14 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 27
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
12 ft / 6 ft rule

I am rewiring my entire house because it's cloth covered alluminum wiring from the 50's that's in poor condition. Most rooms only have 2 or 3 outlets. I'm not taking down any plaster. Will I be required to add outlets so that I have one 6 ft from each door and no more than 12 feet without an outlet? Or am I grandfathered in because I'm not taking down plaster? I couldn't find a straight answer anywhere. Thanks!
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 05-17-08, 11:54 AM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14,975
Received 35 Votes on 30 Posts
The best bet would be to ask your town inspector if you have one.

If not most would say since you are adding new wires it should be to todays standards including AFCI's and all the other ciruits requirements that have changed since your house was built.
 
  #3  
Old 05-17-08, 11:56 AM
nap's Avatar
nap
nap is offline
New Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: north
Posts: 4,163
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
there is no straight answser because this is up to your local inspector.

In most jurisdictions I work in though, you would be required to update the electrical system to current code based upon what you describe as your current work.
 
  #4  
Old 05-17-08, 12:48 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 27
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks. I'll include extra outlets for todays standards in my wiring plans then. Since I'm running all new wiring I had planned to install everything to current code, like AFCI's and other new changes.
 
  #5  
Old 05-17-08, 01:46 PM
nap's Avatar
nap
nap is offline
New Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: north
Posts: 4,163
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
you really can't have too many receps, in my opinion. It always seems there isn't one where you want it.
 
  #6  
Old 05-17-08, 05:32 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 27
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I'm confused on a couple parts of this rule. Are internal doors and closet doors considered a door, necessitating an outlet within 6 ft on each side? Are open areas between rooms considered? For example do I need an outlet right near an 8 ft wide opening between a living room and dining room, or is the lack of wall a dead space?
 
  #7  
Old 05-17-08, 05:48 PM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14,975
Received 35 Votes on 30 Posts
Is the 8' opening like a arch between rooms? Can you describe this area better?

Also a hallway longer than 10' measured on its ceterline needs at least one receptacle. Dead spaces behind doors count. Any wall 2' or more needs a receptacle.
 
  #8  
Old 05-17-08, 09:48 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Yes, a door is a door. It doesn't matter where it leads.
 
  #9  
Old 05-18-08, 12:34 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 27
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Yes. the 8' opening is an arched plaster opening that joins the living room, dining room and a hallway. Do I measure 12 feet and follow walls around corners or do I need to place an outlet near the opening so that a 6ft appliance cord could be used in the center of an open space joining rooms?

So in a bedroom with a closet door, I need an outlet within 6ft of each side of the entrance door and 6ft of each side of the closet door? The closet seems a little excessive.
 
  #10  
Old 05-18-08, 03:08 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
Posts: 7,009
Received 110 Votes on 100 Posts
If the wall space is greater than 24" you need a receptacle.
Yes you need a receptacle within 6 feet of the closet and entrance doors unless there is a wall shorter than 24" between the closet and the entrance door.
 
  #11  
Old 05-18-08, 03:27 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 6,130
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
12 ft / 6 ft rule

Do you want to by the code - the worst job you can do and be legal or make it useable?

Most people that have code approved outlets do not have enough and use extension cords.

Add as many as you can conveniently - the cost of materials is minimal. Also, consider cable and computer access also.
 
  #12  
Old 05-18-08, 03:58 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 27
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
A book I have doesn't explain this very well and it has a diagram that shows outlets needed on each side of a door at 6ft. From what you said it sounds like just 1 singular outlet is needed within 6ft, right?

What about the open area between living room and dining room. Think of an L where one leg is the living room and the other is the dining room. Is the imaginery line between rooms a dead space?

I want to make sure I plan correctly so I don't waste time redoing rooms or wasting wire.
 
  #13  
Old 05-18-08, 04:22 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
You can put in simplex receptacles if you want, although duplex receptacles are easier to find and usually cost less, so there's little reason not to use them.

It's hard to answer your question about the living room and dining rooms without seeing them. Basically, the code is trying to prevent you from running a cord through a doorway. If there are partial walls between the dining and living rooms, then I believe the code would not want you to run a cord through that opening, so the 6-foot rule would apply. But if there are no partial walls, i.e., the opening is just an uninterruped wall along the side, then the ordinary 12-foot rule would apply and you could measure through the opening.
 
  #14  
Old 05-18-08, 05:50 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
Posts: 7,009
Received 110 Votes on 100 Posts
You need a receptacle within 6 feet of both sides of the door unless something, like another door, breaks the wall space to be less than 2 feet. Then you need a receptacle within 6 feet of the second door.
 
  #15  
Old 05-19-08, 09:21 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,944
Received 42 Votes on 40 Posts
Originally Posted by Nicnatros View Post
Do I measure 12 feet and follow walls around corners
I don't think this one was specifically answered yet. You measure horizontally along the base of the wall, continuing around corners just as if you were measuring to install new baseboard.

So in a bedroom with a closet door, I need an outlet within 6ft of each side of the entrance door and 6ft of each side of the closet door? The closet seems a little excessive.
Yes, that's correct. For the receptacles between the doors: if the doors are >12' apart, two receptacles are required between; 2' - 12' apart, one receptacle; <2' apart, no receptacles.
 
  #16  
Old 05-19-08, 11:21 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 27
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the responses, especially ibpooks as always with a very concise answer that most likely applies to my situation. Now I just question some technicalities.

I have a dining room with a corner that is between an opening into the kitchen and a back sliding patio door. One wall of the corner is 2ft and the other is 3ft. Do I need an outlet on each wall of this corner or is this regarded as one wall "space" since it's not interrupted.

Another questionable area is a fireplace wall in my living room. The fireplace is in the middle of an 11ft wide wall. The bottom 4 feet of the 11ft wide wall is brick and the top portion plaster. One outlet location is embedded in a hole where a brick was ommited, around a foot from one of the edges. No other outlets are nearby on neighboring walls. I've read that fireplaces have special circumstances requiring 6ft on each side. From my understanding I would need to ignore the existing embedded outlet and install 2 outlets at 5ft height within 6ft from each side of the actual fireplace. Is this correct?
 
  #17  
Old 05-19-08, 12:34 PM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 272
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
and as aside....

the fixed pane of a sliding door is considered wall space. So in a 6 ft wide sliding door, only the 3 foot part that opens is considered the door.

Tom
 
  #18  
Old 05-19-08, 12:55 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,944
Received 42 Votes on 40 Posts
Originally Posted by Nicnatros View Post
Do I need an outlet on each wall of this corner or is this regarded as one wall "space" since it's not interrupted.
One receptacle can serve the corner space. Keep in mind that the fixed panel of the slider door is considered a wall, so you'll have to measure your 6' distance from the edge of the sliding panel.

Another questionable area is a fireplace wall in my living room.
Treat the fireplace just like a door for spacing requirements.

I would need to ignore the existing embedded outlet and install 2 outlets at 5ft height within 6ft from each side of the actual fireplace. Is this correct?
The existing location is okay if it's within 6' of the fireplace edge -- sounds like it would be on an 11' wall.

On the other side of the fireplace a new receptacle is required. You could install at a 5' height (no higher than 5-1/2') to avoid the brick, break out a brick and install flush mounted, install a surface mounted box on the brickface (like wiremold), or install a brass floor receptacle as long as it's no more than 18" from the wall.
 
  #19  
Old 05-19-08, 01:17 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 27
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I'm feeling dissapointed in the two highly recommended residential electric books I purchased. They just don't cover these everyday situations as thoroughly as they should.

One last question, I'm pretty sure. This is building on my last post. My fire place is around 2-3 feet wide. From the edge of the fireplace to the corner of the wall is maybe 5 feet. For the side of the fireplace that doesn't have the embedded outlet, could I just place a new outlet in the first foot around the corner? I'm assuming both walls of this corner would be considered a single wall space. This would be within 6ft from the fireplace, but around a corner (to avoid ruining brick, a high outlet, wire molding, or a floor outlet.)
 
  #20  
Old 05-19-08, 01:46 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,944
Received 42 Votes on 40 Posts
Originally Posted by Nicnatros View Post
could I just place a new outlet in the first foot around the corner?
Yes, you may do that.
 
  #21  
Old 05-19-08, 01:47 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
could I just place a new outlet in the first foot around the corner?
Yes............
 
  #22  
Old 05-21-08, 01:28 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 27
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Last one...

Is an opening between two rooms without a door still considered a doorway, requiring outlets at 6ft on both sides? There is no door frame, it's a 6ft to 8ft wide plaster opening that allows travel between rooms.
 
  #23  
Old 05-21-08, 01:31 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,944
Received 42 Votes on 40 Posts
Yes, that's a doorway.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: