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Old 01-25-2009, 06:39 PM   #1
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couple of code questions


I have been remodeling pretty much my hole house and in the process have found many electrical issues. I am trying to fix these as I go and run new wire where I need to and bring everything up to current code.

First, I"m putting in a wired smoke alarm, what are the requirements for this? I know it needs to go by every bedroom but do I need one in every room or just one in the hallway or is there a certain amount of feet from bedroom doors? I also need one in the basement right? Does this have to go on it's own circuit?

Second, I'm redoing my bathroom. What are the code requirements for this? I know GFCI outlets but is there something that says where the outlets have to go and how many? Also about the vent fan being GFI protected? And Is there a certain height for switches and receps in bathrooms?

Any other general code issues that I will need to look into? I'm sure I will have some other questions when I get to other rooms like the kitchen but just trying to make sure I understand as much as possible. Sorry for so many questions. Thanks

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Old 01-25-2009, 06:52 PM   #2
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couple of code questions


Smoke alarms is fire code issue. Not sure. Could even be local.

Bathroom has to be 20 amp circuit for receptacles. If the circuit stays in the bathroom lights and fans can be on same circuit as receptacles. Don't know of any height requirements. Receptacle has to be within 3 feet if basin I believe.

Kitchen has some special requirements as well. Counter receptacles need to be GFCI 20 amp. They can only serve the counter. Every counter over 1 foot needs a receptacle. No spot on the counter top can more then 2 feet from a receptacle. Counter space is measured along the wall. Sink does not count in the measurement.

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Old 01-25-2009, 08:12 PM   #3
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couple of code questions


I'm in MA, for smokes as I have been told/read:

One in basement -if unfinished - no bedrooms
One in each bedroom
One in hallway/central area on each floor
One CO detector on each floor
Smokes must be interconnected & on AFCI
They are not supposed to be on a circuit by themselves as this could encourage shutting them off

I went with combo smoke/CO for each floor
Mine also "talk" saying FIRE or CO detected
For my 2nd floor hallway near the stairs I bought one with a small light that will go on
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Old 01-25-2009, 09:49 PM   #4
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couple of code questions


Per the IRC code, you're required to have a smoke on each floor. Furthermore, each sleeping area is required to have a smoke. A smoke is required outside each bedroom "in the immediate vicinity" of each bed. Each and every jurisdiction can interpret that however they want. I use 15' as a rule of thumb, but some jurisdictions might require it within a few feet. The smokes must be interwired unless there is a reason that it would take significant distructive measures to make it happen in a remodel.

In the bathroom, every receptacle must be GFCI protected. Each sink must be served by a receptacle. The receptacles can't be installed face-up in the countertop, and should be reasonably accessible from the counterspace (backsplash or wall usually). You can run one circuit serving the entire bathroom...Lights, fan, receptacles...But nothing else anywhere else in the house. Or, you can put all the GFCI bathroom receptacles throughout the house on one dedicated circuit. I find it easiest to pull one circuit serving the entire bathroom.

Height shouldn't be an issue for switches and receptacles in a bathroom. Unless you mount them out of reach the code is fairly silent.

The fan and lights do not have to be GFCI protected.

Other codes...
No hanging light fixtures can be located over the tub or within 3' horizontally and 8' vertically of the tub's edge...No ceiling fans of chandeliers to grab onto!
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Old 01-25-2009, 10:28 PM   #5
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couple of code questions


Just to add to what other have already said... the smoke detectors need be AC/DC. The manufacturers suggestions that come with the actual detectors will tell you everything you need to know. Fpr instance, if you're going to be mounting them on a wall, they need to be between 4" and 12" from the ceiling. This is to avoid installation in a dead-air zone. If you have a sloped ceiling, there'll be rules for that too. These are pretty important rules to follow other than each bedroom and each floor of the dwelling so I would suggest reading them before you go pulling wires. And don't forget carbon/ smoke combination units for each floor.
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Old 01-25-2009, 11:56 PM   #6
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couple of code questions


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Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
Per the IRC code, you're required to have a smoke on each floor. Furthermore, each sleeping area is required to have a smoke. A smoke is required outside each bedroom "in the immediate vicinity" of each bed. Each and every jurisdiction can interpret that however they want. I use 15' as a rule of thumb, but some jurisdictions might require it within a few feet. The smokes must be interwired unless there is a reason that it would take significant distructive measures to make it happen in a remodel.
So do I need one smoke inside of every bedroom or can it be just outside the bedroom? I have a 12' or so hallway on my second floor with 3 bedroom doors. Should I put a smoke in each room or would one in the middle of the hallway satisfy the code? Thanks again
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Old 01-26-2009, 12:54 AM   #7
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couple of code questions


ponch37300, You need to contact your local building/inspection department for the real skinny on placement of smoke/CO detectors. My town (Brookhaven, NY) has requirements similar to Scuba_Dave's.
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Old 01-26-2009, 07:51 AM   #8
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So do I need one smoke inside of every bedroom or can it be just outside the bedroom? I have a 12' or so hallway on my second floor with 3 bedroom doors. Should I put a smoke in each room or would one in the middle of the hallway satisfy the code? Thanks again
The code specifically requires a smoke in each bedroom. That's not a local requirement, that's a code requirement. One smoke in the hallway WILL NOT satisfy that requirement, I promise you. A smoke (probably just one, but check with the local municipality) will be required in the immediate vicinity of the beds on the hallway side as well.
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Old 01-26-2009, 10:26 AM   #9
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couple of code questions


Thanks for clearing that up Termite! You are an amazing resource and so glad you are on this site
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Old 01-26-2009, 10:45 AM   #10
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Thanks for clearing that up Termite! You are an amazing resource and so glad you are on this site
Thanks for your kind words. I try to be right at least 74% of the time.

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