code compliance, old house...fix??

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Old 05-22-10, 12:44 PM
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code compliance, old house...fix??

i have recently noticed a couple of code issues in the house (built in) 1985. i am sure the house was compliant when built.

the question is-- if i am NOT remodeling or making any changes, can the things be left as they are or i am required to keep up with the code??

btw, the simple easy things i have fixed....there are a couple that will require major sheet rock work...that is what i will like to avoid.

thanks

ps. i tried to search the forum but could not find the answer...if it has been answered, please point me to it.
 
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Old 05-22-10, 01:22 PM
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The answer is generally no, you do not need to keep to the current code as long as nothing is disturbed. Replacing receptacles is one of the exceptions. If GFI or AFCI protection is required for those areas it is required to be installed if the receptacles are replaced.

If you have a specific situation in mind please follow up.
 
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Old 05-22-10, 02:14 PM
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Some localities require some minor upgrades when selling/buying a house. Things like GFI receptacles in kitchen/bathroom/basement/garage/outside, smoke detectors, CO detectors. But usually not much more than that.

Some insurance companies will not insure houses with fuses or with less than a 100A service.

And lastly, if there's something unsafe, obviously you should be the first to want to fix it... though if it was up to code in 1982, it's likely not unsafe now.

But in general, no one is going to come into your house and tell you that you failed the 6/12 receptacle spacing rule if you're not doing other renovations.

Is there something specific you are concerned about?
 
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Old 05-22-10, 08:22 PM
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the two situations that i am concerned with are listed. unfortunate both will need a lot of rewiring and sheet-rock rework.

1. there are 2 receptacle locations on the kitchen counter, each is in a double box, each has one one duplex outlet and one switch for lights. in both cases, the switch is being powered by a different breaker than the outlet.

2. similar situation in the foyer... there is double box with two switches, but they are powered by different breakers.

thanks a lot for your help

Originally Posted by pcboss View Post
The answer is generally no, you do not need to keep to the current code as long as nothing is disturbed. Replacing receptacles is one of the exceptions. If GFI or AFCI protection is required for those areas it is required to be installed if the receptacles are replaced.

If you have a specific situation in mind please follow up.
 
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Old 05-22-10, 08:27 PM
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It is not a code violation to have multiple circuits in one box. The grounds do need to be tied together and the neutrals for each circuit separate.
1. there are 2 receptacle locations on the kitchen counter, each is in a double box, each has one one duplex outlet and one switch for lights. in both cases, the switch is being powered by a different breaker than the outlet.

2. similar situation in the foyer... there is double box with two switches, but they are powered by different breakers.
Note the ones in the kitchen may be multiwire circuits. In that case they will share a common neutral. The hots must be on opposite legs at the breaker box. To ensure they are they should be on a 2-pole breaker. I'm not saying they are multiwire. Just giving you a heads up if they only have one neutral.
 
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Old 05-22-10, 08:34 PM
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your point on safety is right on...and i have tried to impelemnt common safety features. most of the house is pretty compliant even today. i have upgraded the smoke detectors with co combo & battery back-up, added gfci etc. a couple of boxes did not meet the volume requirements, i fixed that. but there are couple of things (as just posted above) that need too much rework-- primarily, two breakers feeding the same box.

thanks for the detailed response

Originally Posted by Zorfdt View Post
Some localities require some minor upgrades when selling/buying a house. Things like GFI receptacles in kitchen/bathroom/basement/garage/outside, smoke detectors, CO detectors. But usually not much more than that.

Some insurance companies will not insure houses with fuses or with less than a 100A service.

And lastly, if there's something unsafe, obviously you should be the first to want to fix it... though if it was up to code in 1982, it's likely not unsafe now.

But in general, no one is going to come into your house and tell you that you failed the 6/12 receptacle spacing rule if you're not doing other renovations.

Is there something specific you are concerned about?
 
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Old 05-22-10, 08:40 PM
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so relieved to hear that...someone told me each box can have only one breaker feeding it.

the ground and neutrals are proper and properly connected.

thanks again for your speedy response.

Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
It is not a code violation to have multiple circuits in one box. The grounds do need to be tied together and the neutrals for each circuit separate.
 
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Old 05-22-10, 08:42 PM
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We posted about the same time. See my post above yours.
 
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Old 05-22-10, 08:48 PM
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thanks...the double-pole guidance is particularly helpful.

Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
We posted about the same time. See my post above yours.
 
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Old 05-23-10, 05:42 AM
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Originally Posted by dr.gj View Post
thanks...the double-pole guidance is particularly helpful.
The double pole requirement on a mulitwire circuit was not required when your house was built. (2008 code requirement) Nor was the requirement if a mulitwire circuit landing on the same device. (2002 requirement I believe) Of course there would be nothing wrong with updating that as all it would take is swapping out a breaker. That is if it is a multiwire circuit.
 
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Old 05-23-10, 10:51 AM
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Let me clarify my own post: If it is a multiwire circuit In the kitchen it may be. At the switches it is unlikely. As Toylyn said a two pole breaker may not be required depending on codes at time of construction. What is important is the hots are on opposite legs if there is a shared neutral as used in a multiwire circuit..
 
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Old 05-24-10, 09:24 PM
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i am assuming codes are meant to enhance safety. so am trying to fix things that are simple to fix and help safety. i think this may be doable in one of the two situations

Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post
The double pole requirement on a mulitwire circuit was not required when your house was built. (2008 code requirement) Nor was the requirement if a mulitwire circuit landing on the same device. (2002 requirement I believe) Of course there would be nothing wrong with updating that as all it would take is swapping out a breaker. That is if it is a multiwire circuit.
 

Last edited by dr.gj; 05-24-10 at 09:48 PM. Reason: typo and missing word
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Old 05-24-10, 09:46 PM
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here is the situation in the kitchen (based on your description, i don;t think it is multiwire:

cable A (14-2 w/grnd) is connected to the switch, comes from breaker A, has its own neutral, continues to lights..

cable B (12-2 w/grnd) is feeding the duplex outlet, comes from breaker B, has its own neutral

question- i don't think i can use a 2-pole because A, being 14AWG has to come from a 15A breaker and the outlet needs to be a 20A circuit.

the hallway is similar except both cables are 14-2 w/grnd, both have their neutrals, each feeding a different switch & light. here i may be able use a 2-pole 15A

any clarification will be appreciated



Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
Let me clarify my own post: If it is a multiwire circuit In the kitchen it may be. At the switches it is unlikely. As Toylyn said a two pole breaker may not be required depending on codes at time of construction. What is important is the hots are on opposite legs if there is a shared neutral as used in a multiwire circuit..
 
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Old 05-24-10, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by dr.gj View Post
here is the situation in the kitchen (based on your description, i don;t think it is multiwire:

cable A (14-2 w/grnd) is connected to the switch, comes from breaker A, has its own neutral, continues to lights..

cable B (12-2 w/grnd) is feeding the duplex outlet, comes from breaker B, has its own neutral

question- i don't think i can use a 2-pole because A, being 14AWG has to come from a 15A breaker and the outlet needs to be a 20A circuit.

the hallway is similar except both cables are 14-2 w/grnd, both have their neutrals, each feeding a different switch & light. here i may be able use a 2-pole 15A

any clarification will be appreciated

To answer your question on first part on Kitchen circuit it is not a MWBC at all due diffrent conductor size and circuit capacity.

Now for hallway it can be on two pole breaker but due it have it own netural IMO it may not need a two pole breakers but did you map out the layout how it will affected ?

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 05-25-10, 05:48 PM
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the only reason to put a 2-pole will be to make sure there is no juice in that box if someone opens to repair or or replace anything and does not shut off both breaker.

i may be missing be something but the hallway issue seems simple to fix. each of the 2 circuits that feed the box are powering a bunch lights and outlets. the breaker that feed them currently are randomly placed in the panel. all i have to do is remove the two existing breakers, relocate one, add a two 2-pole and connect the hots to the new breaker.

will it work??

thanks

Originally Posted by french277V View Post
To answer your question on first part on Kitchen circuit it is not a MWBC at all due diffrent conductor size and circuit capacity.

Now for hallway it can be on two pole breaker but due it have it own netural IMO it may not need a two pole breakers but did you map out the layout how it will affected ?

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 05-25-10, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by dr.gj View Post
i may be missing be something but the hallway issue seems simple to fix. each of the 2 circuits that feed the box are powering a bunch lights and outlets. the breaker that feed them currently are randomly placed in the panel. all i have to do is remove the two existing breakers, relocate one, add a two 2-pole and connect the hots to the new breaker.
I don't recommend relocating breakers to put them on two poles just because they are in the same box. I can see changing multiwire circuits and when two circuits land on the same device.
Remember that electrical work should be done by people who understand how to do it safely. This would involve making sure all circuits are off in a box before working on it. A $15 non contact voltage tester will do this for you.
 
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Old 05-25-10, 08:11 PM
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You could write the circuit numbers on the back of the trim plate for future reference.
 
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Old 05-25-10, 09:40 PM
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absolutely....the breakers were relocated already once when the central a/c(s) were added requiring 3 22v circuits. a new list was posted on the trim apnel.

Originally Posted by pcboss View Post
You could write the circuit numbers on the back of the trim plate for future reference.
 
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Old 05-25-10, 09:45 PM
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i have all the tools and the testers. safely performing the work is indisputable.

the question is what is the base for your recommendation? (assuming the work is done safely). as posted above, the breakers were once relocated already to accommodate 3 220v lines for central a/c units.
is there any code issue?

Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post
I don't recommend relocating breakers to put them on two poles just because they are in the same box. I can see changing multiwire circuits and when two circuits land on the same device.
Remember that electrical work should be done by people who understand how to do it safely. This would involve making sure all circuits are off in a box before working on it. A $15 non contact voltage tester will do this for you.
 

Last edited by dr.gj; 05-25-10 at 09:45 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 05-26-10, 12:53 AM
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It can be done but before you go that route when you move a bit of breakers the key issue is MWBC if you have them just make a quick look at the conductor colour and the group of conductors.

I will give you a example and it is a common item you will see with MWBC if you see red and black wire on two single pole breakers then a very good chance you may have MWBC the only way you can verfiy it is trace it back to top or bottom of load centre espcally if your house wired with NM cable you can able tell it pretty quick at top of load centre { there is one golden rules with MWBC is never lift or disconnect the netural until both circuits are off }

What brand name load centre and model numbers { the cover model number IMO it will give me a quick guideline but the real numbers will be on side of the tub there is a full catalog numbers on it }

Once I know which brand name and model numbers we can go from there to see if you can use the tandam breaker or not { not all load centre will listed like that }

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 05-26-10, 12:53 PM
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1. there are no MWBC(s)

2. the load center is FPE catalog num L120-40. approved breaker types are: NA NC and NAGF

3. there are 14 spare pole slots.

btw, before starting to post, i did a quick search and could not find any tandem; there are plenty of 2-pole.

so...any problem in using a 2-pole?

Originally Posted by french277V View Post
It can be done but before you go that route when you move a bit of breakers the key issue is MWBC if you have them just make a quick look at the conductor colour and the group of conductors.

I will give you a example and it is a common item you will see with MWBC if you see red and black wire on two single pole breakers then a very good chance you may have MWBC the only way you can verfiy it is trace it back to top or bottom of load centre espcally if your house wired with NM cable you can able tell it pretty quick at top of load centre { there is one golden rules with MWBC is never lift or disconnect the netural until both circuits are off }

What brand name load centre and model numbers { the cover model number IMO it will give me a quick guideline but the real numbers will be on side of the tub there is a full catalog numbers on it }

Once I know which brand name and model numbers we can go from there to see if you can use the tandam breaker or not { not all load centre will listed like that }

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 05-26-10, 05:20 PM
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approved breaker types are: NA NC and NAGF
FPE never made a tandem breaker. The full thickness breakers were Type NA and the thin version (half thickness) was Type NC as I recall. 2 Type NC 1 pole breakers would replace 1 Type NA 1 pole breaker. Thus, no need for a tandem. I am just guessing, but I believe the Type NAGF would be a GFI breaker. The thin Type NC was/is available in both 1 pole and 2 pole.
 
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Old 05-26-10, 06:58 PM
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that figures...thanks...i will stop searching the net.

Originally Posted by CasualJoe View Post
FPE never made a tandem breaker. The full thickness breakers were Type NA and the thin version (half thickness) was Type NC as I recall. 2 Type NC 1 pole breakers would replace 1 Type NA 1 pole breaker. Thus, no need for a tandem. I am just guessing, but I believe the Type NAGF would be a GFI breaker. The thin Type NC was/is available in both 1 pole and 2 pole.
 
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Old 05-27-10, 04:11 AM
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Originally Posted by dr.gj View Post
1. there are no MWBC(s)

2. the load center is FPE catalog num L120-40. approved breaker types are: NA NC and NAGF

3. there are 14 spare pole slots.

btw, before starting to post, i did a quick search and could not find any tandem; there are plenty of 2-pole.

so...any problem in using a 2-pole?
If its not a MWBC then why you are installing a 2 pole breaker? Is the 20A circuit GFCI protected? If there is any updating you should begin there.
 
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Old 05-27-10, 08:14 PM
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locations requiring gfci have gfci.

not sure if you have read the whole string, the issue is the risk of electrocution of someone working on that device box.

Originally Posted by Danny7633 View Post
If its not a MWBC then why you are installing a 2 pole breaker? Is the 20A circuit GFCI protected? If there is any updating you should begin there.
 
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