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Old 11-30-2010, 09:05 AM   #1
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Code requirements for outlet placement


I've gutted a room mostly and plan to rewire to current code, so I have to ask two questions about outlet placement.

This room has 2 symetrical dormers so I'll describe one since the answer would apply the same to both dormers. The dormer is a 5' wide dormer that goes 4' further towards the edge of the house than the rest of the room it is in. It has a 54" wide window, for one dormer that is on the west wall. So what I have is a 5' west wall with a window and a 4' north wall and 4' south wall adjacent to the 5' west wall with a window.

1) If I place an outlet in the middle of the north wall and the south wall, is an outlet still required in the 5' wall?

If I can omit the 5' wall, it is easier because I wouldn't otherwise need to open that drywall. Where I've gutted is mostly ceiling to remove L&P and install rafter baffles. The north and south walls are accessible from behind in the knee wall attic. The 5' wall is an exterior wall.

I understand the spirit of the rule is that an outlet is supposed to be within 6' of anything, and without an outlet in the 5' west wall the entire dormer has an outlet or even 2 that are within reach.

2) North of the dormer, I have an 8' long wall which is straight forward. To the South of the dormer, I have a smaller wall which is 3' long. This wall will be used to provide access to the small knee wall attic area behind it. The other end of the wall is adjacent to the gable end wall which will have outlets. Does this 3' wall require an outlet?

Oh yeah, let me add that my local code is simply that they've adopted 2005 NEC. Nothing unusual.
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Last edited by WillK; 11-30-2010 at 09:09 AM.
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Old 11-30-2010, 10:52 AM   #2
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Code requirements for outlet placement


Lets see if this will get you started. Within 6' of both sides of the doorway into the room you will need a receptacle. Thereafter no more than 12' measured between receptacles. Any freestanding wall, like between two doors, 24" or greater will require a receptacle. Fixed panels in sliding glass doors count as wall space as would a freestanding railing. All dimensions are measured at the wall line where it meets the floor.

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Old 11-30-2010, 11:31 AM   #3
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Code requirements for outlet placement


Well... see, I've read that said, but the way 210.52 reads it doesn't exactly say that every wall space 2' longer requires an outlet, it says that wall space is defined as any wall 2' wide or more, and it says that all wall space must be within 6' horizontal distance from an outlet. So to me, that reads as though the 5' wall doesn't require an outlet on the wall because it is within 6' of outlets that are on the adjacent wall.

(A) General Provisions.
In every kitchen, family room,
dining room, living room, parlor, library, den, sunroom,
bedroom, recreation room, or similar room or area of
dwelling units, receptacle outlets shall be installed in accordance
with the general provisions specified in 210.52(A)(1)
through (A)(3).

(1) Spacing.
Receptacles shall be installed so that no point
measured horizontally along the floor line in any wall space
is more than 1.8 m (6
ft) from a receptacle outlet.

(2) Wall Space.
As used in this section, a wall space shall
include the following:
(1) Any space 600 mm (2
ft) or more in width (including
space measured around comers) and unbroken along the
floor line by doorways, fireplaces, and similar openings
(2) The space
occ~pied by fixed panels in exterior walls,
excluding sliding panels
(3) The space afforded by fixed room dividers such as free
stanqin~

bar-type counters or railings
(3) Floor Receptacles.
Receptacle outlets in floors shall
not be counted as part of the required number of receptacle
outlets unless located within 450 mm (18 in.) of the wall.

(B) Small Appliances.
(1) Receptacle Outlets Served.
In the kitchen, pantry,
breakfast room, dining room, or similar area of a dwelling
unit, the two or more 20-ampere small-appliance branch
circuits required by 2l0.11(C)(1) shall serve all wall and
floor receptacle outlets covered by 210.52(A), all countertop
outlets covered by 210.52(C), and receptacle outlets for

refrig~ration
equipment.

70-52
Exception No.1: In addition to the required receptacles
specified by 210.52, switched receptacles supplied from a
general-purpose branch circuit as defined in 210.70(A)(1),
Exception No.1, shall be permitted.
Exception No.2: The receptacle outlet for refrigeration
equipment shall be permitted to be supplied from an individual
branch circuit rated
15 amperes or greater.

(2) No Other Outlets.
The two or more small-appliance
branch circuits specified in 210.52(B)(1) shall have no
other outlets.

Exception No.1: A receptacle installed solely for the electrical
supply to and support of an electric clock in any of
the rooms specified in 210.52(B)(1).
Exception No.2: Receptacles installed to provide power
for supplemental equipment and lighting on gas-fired
ranges, ovens, or counter-mounted cooking units.
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Old 11-30-2010, 04:10 PM   #4
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Code requirements for outlet placement


If you measure along the baseboard each way and you are always within 6 feet of a receptacle around the corner (not diagonally across the floor) at least one way, then you don't need a receptacle on that wall section.
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Old 11-30-2010, 04:45 PM   #5
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Code requirements for outlet placement


You can go by code, but that is just a minimum standard and you may may not find them adequate after you live with the set-up. Anywhere you anticipate higher use/needs like computers, printers, TV, stereo, etc., you may want to go with 2 duplex outlets to save the hassle later.

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Old 11-30-2010, 06:51 PM   #6
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Code requirements for outlet placement


Quote:
Originally Posted by WillK
I've gutted a room mostly and plan to rewire to current code, so I have to ask two questions about outlet placement.

This room has 2 symetrical dormers so I'll describe one since the answer would apply the same to both dormers. The dormer is a 5' wide dormer that goes 4' further towards the edge of the house than the rest of the room it is in. It has a 54" wide window, for one dormer that is on the west wall. So what I have is a 5' west wall with a window and a 4' north wall and 4' south wall adjacent to the 5' west wall with a window.

1) If I place an outlet in the middle of the north wall and the south wall, is an outlet still required in the 5' wall?

If I can omit the 5' wall, it is easier because I wouldn't otherwise need to open that drywall. Where I've gutted is mostly ceiling to remove L&P and install rafter baffles. The north and south walls are accessible from behind in the knee wall attic. The 5' wall is an exterior wall.

I understand the spirit of the rule is that an outlet is supposed to be within 6' of anything, and without an outlet in the 5' west wall the entire dormer has an outlet or even 2 that are within reach.

2) North of the dormer, I have an 8' long wall which is straight forward. To the South of the dormer, I have a smaller wall which is 3' long. This wall will be used to provide access to the small knee wall attic area behind it. The other end of the wall is adjacent to the gable end wall which will have outlets. Does this 3' wall require an outlet?

Oh yeah, let me add that my local code is simply that they've adopted 2005 NEC. Nothing unusual.
One outlet in the middle of the dormers, and one to the left of the first if facing them, and one to the right of the second. That is how I would do it. Placing one below the windows also helps if you plan on placing lighted decorations in the windows during the holiday decorating season.
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Last edited by gregzoll; 11-30-2010 at 07:22 PM.
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Old 11-30-2010, 07:13 PM   #7
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Code requirements for outlet placement


Quote:
Originally Posted by concretemasonry View Post
Anywhere you anticipate higher use/needs like computers, printers, TV, stereo, etc., you may want to go with 2 duplex outlets to save the hassle later.
We normally call those quad-plex receptacles, we get them speced on a commercial jobs often.

I try not to do them in residential that often for a few reasons. First, they are only effective when something is near them, as soon as the homeowner decides to move things around in the room, they become an unused eye sore. Second, most of the time 4 receptacles isn't enough. Most computer desks or entertainment centers are going to need a 6 or 8 plug power strip anyway, so having the quad-plex receptacle didn't help at all.

Just my opinion.
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Old 11-30-2010, 08:08 PM   #8
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Code requirements for outlet placement


This room is for my little girl who recently turned 4... She can manage for a while on the computer downstairs, and even when she gets her own the dormers aren't quite wide enough for a desk anyway. The room isn't facing the street and at the back of the house, so we wouldn't be putting holiday decorations or lights in those windows.
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Old 11-30-2010, 08:16 PM   #9
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Code requirements for outlet placement


I would still place the outlets under the windows, because you never know when you may need to plug in a vacumn, next person that lives there may want to plug something in to place into the windows. Plus side is, it covers the bases if you look at it this way: 1 at the left of the first dormer, one under the first dormer window, one between the dormers, one under the window of the second dormer, one to the right of the right most dormer.

From there, you go from the door with one within 2-3 feet from the door, or under the light switch. If a short wall, place the outlet in the middle of the wall. On the wall opposite of the dormers, place two outlets, four feet aprx from the corner of the adjoining walls. On the wall opposite of the doorway wall, place two outlets same spacing or aprx where a bed would sit with night stands, so that the plugs in the outlets would not be behind the matteress.

Keep in mind, that you need to use ACFI breakers on both the lighing and the outlets for this room. Also, check to see if local code requires hardwired Smoke/Heat detectors, in the room and adjoining hallway, now that you are updating the wiring in that area.

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