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Old 12-11-2008, 11:10 PM   #16
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After the fact permit 2


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Originally Posted by misterx View Post
jamiedolan, Thanks for the picture. Someone said something about 6" of conductor being required in the box, is this true? If so how would you ever fit anything in a switch box?
I always use the deep ones. Metal or plastic depending on what type of cable coming in.
Plenty of room for switch or receptacle and the wiring.

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Old 12-11-2008, 11:19 PM   #17
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After the fact permit 2


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Originally Posted by misterx View Post
jamiedolan, Thanks for the picture. Someone said something about 6" of conductor being required in the box, is this true? If so how would you ever fit anything in a switch box?
Yes this is true, the requirement is 6". It really isn't hard at all with 14 gage, just put a gently bend in the wire and fold it in. So if the wire enters the top of a switch box, and you gently pull the switch out, the wire is in a sort of sideways s configuration.

With small boxes, it gets harder with 12 gage. I just do my best to keep close to the 6 inches, sometimes it is difficult, even using properly sized boxes.

With some of the GFCI outlets, your just not going to be able to leave 6 inches of wire in the box. Code says your required to, but what is the better choice, leave some wires a bit short (which is more of a issuse for future work as opposed to a saftey issue) or smash them in the back of a box creating a possiable safety issue.

I'm not encouraging anyone to violate the code, I am just explaining what I have found in real life. Given the choice I use larger boxes, but with old work, sometimes in plaster walls when just replacing an outlet it is just too much work to change a box just so you can get a smidge more slack in the wires, imo.

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Old 12-11-2008, 11:24 PM   #18
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After the fact permit 2


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Originally Posted by jamiedolan View Post
Grounding a metal box.
Attachment 6489

*Note: It appears that starting in the 1990 code cycle the NEC requires a connector or wire nut to keep the ground wire from falling apart.
I should mention, in every box in my house, the ground wire was just wrapped around one of the romex clamps in the back of the box, guess it was too much work for them to use a grounding screw. If it was up to code or not to do it that way in 63' I don't know, but it passed inspection. Of all the stuff I have ripped apart, there wasn't even one box where the ground wire were even close to falling apart, but none were held together with a connector of any sorts.
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Old 12-12-2008, 12:14 AM   #19
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KC, Do you fail people for not using some type of connector on their ground wires if they are well twisted?
Absolutely. A mechanical connection is required, and a twist won't meet the code although they've been doing it that way for decades. A Buchanan ring crimp or a wire nut is needed.
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Old 12-12-2008, 12:17 AM   #20
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I should mention, in every box in my house, the ground wire was just wrapped around one of the romex clamps in the back of the box, guess it was too much work for them to use a grounding screw. If it was up to code or not to do it that way in 63' I don't know, but it passed inspection.
Can't say for sure. In '63 I wasn't even a glimmer in my daddy's eye! Honestly, wrapping the wire around a screw or clamp is pretty functional, albeit not compliant with modern codes. Being an inspector can be challenging when common sense tells you something will work but liability prevents you from approving it (neatly twisted grounds for example).
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Old 12-12-2008, 12:28 AM   #21
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And for the record, I've never measured the length of wire in a box or turned anyone down for that. I guess I pick my battles although what's code is code.

Funny story...

I got an angry call from a homeowner that had recently moved into a house Pulte homes built. I had inspected the house at rough in and final, and eventually passed it. One of their first tasks upon moving in was to remove the builder-grade cheap-o light fixtures and replace them. When they removed the living room light to install a ceiling fan in the fan box, the romex had very little slack. They asked that I meet them and their handyman at the house to discuss their options, and they were made enough that I wasn't talking them out of it over the phone. At the house, the handyman was pissed and was really running on me and the builder for allowing such horrible work..."Wire isn't that expensive that they couldn't spare three more inches", "how could you willfully allow this", etc. I asked to borrow his linesmans, grabbed the romex and easily pulled about 8" more wire through the plastic knockout grommet in the box. The electrician that did the job always left plenty of wire between the box and the staple and I knew it. Believe it or not they never apologized, nor did they act appreciative. It was still pretty satisfying.
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Old 12-12-2008, 12:32 AM   #22
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Absolutely. A mechanical connection is required, and a twist won't meet the code although they've been doing it that way for decades. A Buchanan ring crimp or a wire nut is needed.
Well I'll have to get some of those little crimp on's. I've not seen a lot of new residential wiring. Commercial yes, but all in EMT, and they normally don't run a ground (other than the emt it's self). So I have never even seen a box a where electrican used a connector on the grounds -- Every one I've seen is just the neatly twisted wires (any I rarely have seen anyone use ground screws).

I use the green wire grounding nuts when I have room, but have not used them in some boxes due to limited room. The crimp on's sound like a good solution to be code compliant in boxes with limited room.

Do you need to buy a crimp tool or can you just use a linemans pliers on them if your just using them for ground wires?

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Old 12-12-2008, 12:46 AM   #23
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And for the record, I've never measured the length of wire in a box or turned anyone down for that. I guess I pick my battles although what's code is code.
That was Funny, sad they never apologized, but I am not surprised. I've had the same type of thing happen many time when working with people and their computers. I owned a Internet provider back in 96-00. There were many times I got paged at 2:00a.m. from a customer demanding I fix there internet connection (often followed by a long winded commentary about what a pain it is that the service isn't working and how it is keeping them from there really important web pages, then you say, what site are you trying to get to,, umm they say.. oh uuu yahooo.. sure.), then after talking to them I figure out they did something stupid, like disconnect there phone line from the modem. (or they were on an adult only site and they download some junk that messed up there computer!) I can't remember one of them that ever apologized for waking up in the middle of the night due to there stupid mistake.

How do you decide what violations to let slide and what to enforce? I am pretty darn careful, but I know of some technical violations like the lack of a connector on some ground wires, re-identification of wire larger than #4, screws more forward than the back 1/4" of a box. Nothing that is a safety hazard, but they may be technical violations. (re-identification is the only one that concerns me, I don't want to have to re-buy and re-pull a bunch of #6). Although based on past experience, inspections are more of a formality rather than an actual inspection.

Jamie

Last edited by jamiedolan; 12-12-2008 at 01:06 AM.
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Old 12-12-2008, 01:04 AM   #24
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Funny story...
Did you ask the handyman for his license? That would have been a hoot!
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Old 12-12-2008, 08:56 AM   #25
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Did you ask the handyman for his license? That would have been a hoot!
Nah, it was plenty satisfying to watch him stand there looking stupid in front of his customer, considering he'd been running his mouth from the time I walked in the door. When the knife is already in, sometimes there's no need to twist!
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Old 12-13-2008, 04:52 AM   #26
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misterx I hope you will post an update if you sue this guy in small claims or get an answer about whether he even has valid credentials.
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Old 12-13-2008, 08:49 AM   #27
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Sorry about the side question but are green wire nuts required for grounding splices, or can you use any color?

Thanks,
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Old 12-13-2008, 09:11 AM   #28
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Sorry about the side question but are green wire nuts required for grounding splices, or can you use any color?

Thanks,
Dave
It doesn't even have to be a wirenut. Almost any approved wire splicing method could be used. Many still use the "sta-kon" crimps. A wire nut that is appropriate for the wires will work fine.

Last edited by InPhase277; 12-13-2008 at 09:14 AM.
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Old 12-13-2008, 10:11 AM   #29
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It doesn't even have to be a wirenut. Almost any approved wire splicing method could be used. Many still use the "sta-kon" crimps. A wire nut that is appropriate for the wires will work fine.
Great, thanks!

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