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  1. #1

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    Default Help with electrical outlets/building codes

    My buddy is finishing his basement and I'm over his house right now. I'm helping him draw and lay out where to run the wire from his breaker box and where to place the electrical outlets. Isn't there some sort of builder's code that lays out what's required when running electrical wire/outlets. I know there's some sort of code requiring x number of outlets every x feet.

    If anyone can shed some light on the situation, or provide a website that lays everything out I'd really appreciate it.

    We're in Columbus, OH, if that's relevant.

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    I think it is 6 feet in both the NEC and IBC, depending on what your local "authority" uses.

    BTW, I work on the other side of the meter, so be careful with what I tell you. :)

    Wes
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    Code does vary by area, and technically, to do any electrical mod's, you have to get a permit I believe.......
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  4. #4

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    The sites I've checked say you must be within 6 feet of an electrical outlet, at any point, along the base of the wall. Does this mean, technically, that you could space the outlets 12 feet apart, having the midpoint be 6 feet?

    Hook a brutha up!

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    Yes, you may space outlets up to 12 feet apart on an unbroken wall. But do your friend a favor and tell him to go 10 feet or less ( you will ALWAYS need an extension cord at some point!). Unless his room is the size of a gym, it won't drive the cost up much.
    Also, you may want to check local codes to determine if GFCI outlets are required; basements with concrete floors usually need them.
    I don't think you need a permit, as long as the person performing the work is the owner of the house. Again, I would check local codes for the area though.
    I would also check with his homeowners insurance company as well. My .02

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    It hasn't been said yet, but don't forget to use the propper size and type wire. And don't forget about lighting and switching.

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    Personally I'd go with an outlet every 10 feet, max. Keep them at least 12 inches off the floor and have the first one from the box a GFCI.

    Wire size is load dependant. For a 15A, 14/2 w/ Gr should be OK, as long as the run isn't far. That'll run lights and stuff. If he's putting in a 20A, go with 12/2 w/ Gr. If he's doing a HT, 10/2 away from anything else.

    Check with the local code office, especially if it's getting inspected.
    Last edited by amulford; 08-14-2006 at 05:43 PM.
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  8. #8

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    Where I live, and in most areas, you dont need a permit if the person doing the work is the home owner. The six foot spacing is pretty standard- kitchen & bathrooms can be a little different in some areas, but it doesn't sound like you're getting into that. When in doubt throw on another staple to hold things in place- the wire should almost always be supported (you cant have it dangling in the air between studs). Do not kink the wire or put any sharp curves in it.

    The guages amulford mentions are correct, however, some inspectors get pissy if you go overkill (10/2 for a 20 amp circuits)... the problem being that someone sees the bigger wire, makes an assumption and somehow starts a fire. That never made sense to me, but it happened to a friend I was helping.

    We also managed to find an electrician who reviewed everything we did and handled getting it inspected, but that's pretty rare... most of them (wisely) won't touch anything that someone else did.

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    Quote Originally Posted by polrbehr
    I don't think you need a permit, as long as the person performing the work is the owner of the house. Again, I would check local codes for the area though.
    I would also check with his homeowners insurance company as well. My .02
    In my area the homeowner doesn't need a license to do the work but he/she must still obtain the required permit.

    As far as insurance goes...get the permit. If the work being done requires a permit, but none is pulled, and the work results in damage to the home...the insurance company can deny your claim.

    When in doubt, call your local building department.
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    Thanks for all the input, guys!

    If anyone else has any other input, the more the merrier!

    Oh, he did purchase 14 gauge to do the lights and 12 gauge for the outlets.
    Last edited by Mazeroth; 08-15-2006 at 11:21 AM.

  11. #11
    Polk-a-dweeb
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    14ga = 15a circuit
    12ga = 20a circuit

    You really need to get this...
    http://www.mcesi.com/cat/items/item10.htm
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    You can pick up a basic electrical wiring book at a Home Depot. They usually cover circuit loading, circuit design, component symbols, math to determine box and conduit fill (how many wires/outlets/switches in one box), and how to run and attach the wire/conduit. If you obtain a permit you will most likely need to present a written diagram for what you plan to do.

    As mentioned, get local building code info too. Local code may limit the number of outlets or lights on a single circuit regardless of the circuit loading. Local code also determines the type of wiring you need to use, NM (romex) or pipe.
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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Z
    In my area the homeowner doesn't need a license to do the work but he/she must still obtain the required permit.
    My bad. I had the word "permit" on the brain. License would've been more appropriate. And permits are still a good idea.

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    Quote Originally Posted by polrbehr
    My bad. I had the word "permit" on the brain. License would've been more appropriate. And permits are still a good idea.
    Permit = Tax

    Next time you get something "signed off" by the county, there will likely be a disclaimer that says basically just because we sign off does NOT mean it mechanically/structurally/electrically how it should be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by I-SIG
    Permit = Tax

    Next time you get something "signed off" by the county, there will likely be a disclaimer that says basically just because we sign off does NOT mean it mechanically/structurally/electrically how it should be.

    Wes
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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by I-SIG
    Permit = Tax

    Next time you get something "signed off" by the county, there will likely be a disclaimer that says basically just because we sign off does NOT mean it mechanically/structurally/electrically how it should be.

    Wes
    I realize it's not a guarantee. But at least you'll have it just in case. I'm thinking more along the lines of potential insurance nightmares down the road. Get a permit, don't get a permit... it's pretty much up to the owner.

  17. #17

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    anyone ever mounted a plasma? I'm wondering how hard it will be to do all the wiring in the wall.

    You can't run the power cord behind the wall so you need to place a new outlet. I've read a "clock" outlet? Anywhoo, I wonder if its worth the time and effort to do it myself or just hire someone.

  18. #18

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    You don't need a "clock outlet" since the plasma mount will give you enough clearance to have a normal outlet. How are you at doing drywall? depending on the mount you might have to cut a bigass hole to put in horizontal 2x4's between the studs. if this is the case, you'll just attach your electical box to one of these and feed conduit down into the wall for the power cable. If not, it'll just depend on your approach-

    Is the power coming from below, above, the side?...

  19. #19

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    What is the difference between a clock outlet and a normal one? I assume a normal outlet needs more than just the vertical stud to attach to?

    I'm assuming the present wall studs will be adequate for the mount I'll buy. This is all really preliminary, I'm just trying to size up the job.

  20. #20

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    A clock outlet is the same as a normal outlet, except that it's recessed back into the wallbox and usually has a hook of some sort for the clock. Oh, and there's just one plug instead of two. All the behind the scenes wiring is the same.

    The problem is not where the outlet attaches- you can always use "old construction" boxes- you cut a hole in your drywall the size of the box & they have fins that pop out and hold it in place when you tighten the screws... the problem is that the power cable has to be attached to something every xx inches and you can't do that just fishing it through the wall. The solutions:

    A)Say "**** it" and leave it hanging. Odds are pretty good no one will ever know... also in some areas they let this slide since it is impractical to staple it, but you should at least try to get it stapled near the box.

    B)stuff conduit into the wall and run the wire through this. Check your local code- since the conduit can restrict the airflow around the cable a heavier guage than usual might be required (or bigger conudit than you might expect).

    c)Some areas will let you use BX (aka armored) wiring in this situation... but you'll need the proper tools to work w/ BX.

    d)tear open the wall & do it right.

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by unc2701
    The problem is not where the outlet attaches- you can always use "old construction" boxes- you cut a hole in your drywall the size of the box & they have fins that pop out and hold it in place when you tighten the screws... the problem is that the power cable has to be attached to something every xx inches and you can't do that just fishing it through the wall.


    Old construction boxes are designed to hold the wire firmly in place, thus eliminating the need for staples, as it is impractical in an enclosed wall to hammer in a cable staple. However, if you're starting from scratch (open walls), wire per code requirements.

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