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Old 07-07-2009, 03:22 PM   #1
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Wife and I are getting ready to buy a home and are negotiating some issues found in the inspector's report. Our inspector noted that the walk-in closet (about 45 square feet) doesn't have a light in it, although it does have a window. He also noted that the mud room(about 55 square feet), which connects to the kitchen and leads out to the back yard, does not have a light.

Of course we really would prefer to have lights here and it won't be cheap to have them installed. The seller says that lights aren't required because their just closets, really, and that they haven't had any problems because there's lots of natural light. Our agent says that if its code we can really push it, but if its not, we're better off dropping the issue.

So, guess my question is, is it code to have a light in a walk-in closet? How about a mud room? If so, what code? And, if you're feeling generous, what does it require?

Thank you much!
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Old 07-07-2009, 03:42 PM   #2
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A 45 and 55 square feet is what I think most people would consider "habitable space" and therefore required by code to have either a light, or a switch controlled receptacle, as well as the normal receptacles required.

210.70(A)(1) addresses the issue for habitable areas of the house. 210.70(A)(3) addresses the issue for "storage areas". So, in either sense, a light is required.
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Old 07-07-2009, 03:57 PM   #3
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Very, very helpful. Their lawyer has made it very clear that the closet is just a clothes closet. He said that was relevant. Does this make sense to you?

He also said that if they wanted to, they could just take the doors off and it would eliminate any discussion. Any thoughts there?

They're not nice folks, but the house is great.
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Old 07-07-2009, 04:00 PM   #4
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Same section, even storage areas/utility rooms are required to have an overhead light or switch controlled outlet
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Old 07-07-2009, 04:04 PM   #5
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i was told that walk-ins had to have lights. i'll be doing a built-in in my son's room with bi-fold doors, but it won't be a walk-in, only a few feet deep. i wonder if i need a light in THAT? what does code say determines the size when it changes from a closet to a walk-in closet, i wonder?
mud room will likely need wiring.

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Old 07-07-2009, 04:05 PM   #6
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It is the electrical inspector for the city or county that will make the call, not the lawyer. The electrical code is pretty clear on it, and I would push for the lights.
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Old 07-07-2009, 04:07 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by DangerMouse View Post
i was told that walk-ins had to have lights. i'll be doing a built-in in my son's room with bi-fold doors, but it won't be a walk-in, only a few feet deep. i wonder if i need a light in THAT? what does code say determines the size when it changes from a closet to a walk-in closet, i wonder?
mud room will likely need wiring.

DM
If it is "habitable". I guess big enough to walk in would be habitable. You could live in it.
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Old 07-07-2009, 04:13 PM   #8
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Let them know it is NATIONAL Electrical Code.
I know that's not always the way it is accepted.
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Old 07-07-2009, 04:13 PM   #9
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well, somewhere there's code that says at precisely what measurement a closet becomes habitable.
anyone know where it is? minumum habitable space requirements? anyone?

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Old 07-07-2009, 07:17 PM   #10
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Code or not, it is not their responsibility in MOST areas.

If you like the house and the price is fair, why haggle over a couple hundred dollars?

Where do you stop? Proper kitchen and bathroom circuits ? 4 wire to the range and dryer? AFCI's and TR receps?


I'd be more concerned about hidden electrical issues.

Last edited by 220/221; 07-07-2009 at 07:21 PM.
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Old 07-07-2009, 07:36 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by WWilson View Post
Very, very helpful. Their lawyer has made it very clear that the closet is just a clothes closet. He said that was relevant. Does this make sense to you?

He also said that if they wanted to, they could just take the doors off and it would eliminate any discussion. Any thoughts there?

They're not nice folks, but the house is great.
With the door off then it's a room, or still a closet without a door
That doesn't buy them anything IMO
But people are not required to bring things up to todays code
How old is the house?
What does the rest of the wiring look like?
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