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Old 08-11-2010, 07:25 PM   #1
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Not enough outlets


Hello. This is my first post so hello to everyone and I hope this works.

I recently moved into a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan. The apartment is an old pre-war building and, as it turns out, there aren't enough electrical outlets. There's only one in the living room and one in the bedroom. Needless to say that that's not really enough to run an apartment. I've got a lot of extension cords around the place.

I spent about three weeks trying to get someone at the management company to answer my phone calls and today I finally got a call from a supervisor. I explained that the National Electrical Code (NEC) states that there needs to be an electrical outlet not more than 6 feet from any break in a wall such as a doorway or a corner and no two outlets on the same wall can be more than 12 feet apart. He said that he understood and that he was familiar with the code but that he was under no obligation to install more outlets in my apartment because the building was constructed before the NEC went into effect. His proposed solution to the problem was to install wire molds so that I could run my extension cords along the walls and have them be covered up. He admitted that he was uncertain as to the legality of the solution but since he was unwilling to open a wall in order to install new outlets, that was the best solution he could offer.

Does is anybody out there familiar with the electrical code in New York City? Any suggestions? I don't want to run too many extension cords for obvious reasons and I'm not sure what cards to play with this company since I'm no lawyer. I'd like to find out what my options are.

Thanks

nyctenant

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Old 08-11-2010, 07:33 PM   #2
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Not enough outlets


Older installations are not required to be updated to meet todays code
In some cases they are - installing Smokes is one such requirement

About the only card to play is that you will be moving

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Old 08-11-2010, 07:34 PM   #3
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Not enough outlets


I don't know about your area but in TN he would have no obligation to do anything. But if he does do something it needs to meet the code. He would be better off not to touch it.
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Old 08-11-2010, 08:14 PM   #4
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Not enough outlets


I hate to say it, but you're SOL.

Extension cords are a leading cause of residential fires so be careful. Don't span them underthings that could crush them and make sure no one is going to step on them.

There are surface mount solutions, but you would need both permission from the management and a licensed electrician.
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Old 08-12-2010, 10:09 AM   #5
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Not enough outlets


Thanks, everyone, for the quick replies! Too bad that I'll be SOL on this one. I'll definitely let you know if any new revelations come up because of this...just let it be a lesson for anyone who might rent in an older building, particularly in NYC. Any suggestions on the wire molding solution? Thanks again.
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Old 08-12-2010, 10:45 AM   #6
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Not enough outlets


Quote:
Originally Posted by nyctenant View Post
Thanks, everyone, for the quick replies! Too bad that I'll be SOL on this one. I'll definitely let you know if any new revelations come up because of this...just let it be a lesson for anyone who might rent in an older building, particularly in NYC. Any suggestions on the wire molding solution? Thanks again.
Unfortunately, the only Wiremold you can use is something to support extension cords as your manager specified.

To run Wiremold with receptacles around the room would most likely fall under building wiring, especially in Manhattan.
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Old 08-12-2010, 11:43 AM   #7
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Not enough outlets


Didn't you notice this before you moved all your furniture in?
Or even before you signed the lease?
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Old 08-12-2010, 11:47 AM   #8
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Not enough outlets


Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
Didn't you notice this before you moved all your furniture in?
Or even before you signed the lease?
Petey, when you look at a new house, what's the first thing you look at? The electric, right? Me too.

But these other people just don't care, it's a shame


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Old 08-12-2010, 12:40 PM   #9
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Not enough outlets


You might want to look for extra long power strips. These strips have a 4' to 6' long cord on them, then the strip itself is about 4' long. This is great for places like desks and kitchens, where you might have a bunch of those wall wart transformers hanging off to recharge phones and other low voltage items. They even have ears on them so you can easily screw them into the wall.
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Old 08-12-2010, 12:57 PM   #10
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Not enough outlets


Protect the cords by covering them with the floor molding that you can get at office supply stores (Office Max, Staples) if there is ANY chance anyone could step on them. It looks better too.
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Old 08-12-2010, 01:34 PM   #11
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Not enough outlets


Are they even grounded receptacles? I rented a home a long time ago that had all 2 prong outlets.
I'm thinking the same as the others have mentioned. The complex is grandfathered from new codes. If he opened up the walls for new wiring he'd probably have to bring the whole complex up to date...... and won't do that for one tenant.
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Old 08-12-2010, 02:29 PM   #12
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Not enough outlets


Quote:
Originally Posted by Proby View Post
Petey, when you look at a new house, what's the first thing you look at? The electric, right? Me too.

But these other people just don't care, it's a shame

Thing is, in today's world you would think that most folks would notice. I know with a lot of people I do walk-thrus with in newly acquired homes this is one of the first things they mention.
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Old 09-22-2010, 11:18 AM   #13
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Not enough outlets


So if the older houses do not have to have the multiple outlets on the wall, what is the date that this code went into effect, so we'll know which older houses are "grandfathered" and which are not?
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Old 09-22-2010, 11:46 AM   #14
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Not enough outlets


The only codes the building are required to meet are the ones that have been adopted and enforced at the time of construction. There are some exceptions to this like for receptacle replacement.

The electric code changes every 3 years, but not all areas adopt the most recent.
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Old 09-22-2010, 11:54 AM   #15
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Not enough outlets


My situation is a house that had an addition in 1988, screened porch was enclosed, additional outlets were not installed every 6 feet or whatever the current code is...trying to find out they should have been at that time per code. Thanks for the quick response!

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