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Old 01-23-2008, 01:17 PM   #1
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When to bring up to code?


I am slowly remodeling my 1960's house. I currently have 100A service and am putting a new main panel in. I have chosen not to upgrade to 200A because I am under the impression if I do I have to bring the whole house up to current code. Currently most the the outlets are 2 prong ungrounded. Is my assumption correct?

Also, when I upgrade a room I assume the room must meet current code? Example 1: Currently there are three bed rooms and the bathroom on a the double 20A breaker (2nd down on the right in the picture). When I remodel the bath do I need to put it on its own 20A circuit? There will be/are 2 gfci outlets, 2 vanity lights, and a light fan combo which is not over the shower.
Speaking of which is there an easy list of what requires its own circuit?

Example 2: I would like to add outlets to the garage. The previous owner added a light and outlet to the garage ceiling and a switch to the wall. To accomplish this he/she cut into the middle of one of the circuit which feeds the kitchen. So in the attic, you have a junction box in the middle of a wire. It looks like it has pigtail in the box join the to half's of the original wire and joined to the new wire heading towards the garage. Is the a normal way of doing things? I can include a drawing in need be.

Thanks,
Ben
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Old 01-23-2008, 04:50 PM   #2
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When to bring up to code?


BColeman

Below is a short but accurate list as of 2005 code cycle I'll try to get back with other comments. Gotta help the daughter with a couple calculus honors problems..........




You need a GFCI circuit breaker or GFCI receptacle as required for all 125 volt, 15, and 20 ampere receptacles installed in the below 8 areas.


(1) Bathroom Area
(2) Garage and Accessory Buildings
(3) Outdoor Receptacles
(4) Crawl Spaces
(5) Unfinished Basements
(6) Kitchen Countertop Surfaces
(7) Wet Bar Countertop Surfaces
(8) Sinks (example receptacles within 6' of a laundry basin)

Required 20 amp branch circuits

Small Appliance Branch Circuits. You need two minimum or more 20 ampere appliance branch circuits for all receptacle outlets in the kitchen, dining room, breakfast room, pantry, or similar dining areas. Lighting outlets or other receptacle outlets cannot be connected to the small appliance branch circuit. There is an exception for clock outlets.


Laundry Branch Circuit. One 20 ampere branch circuit is required for the laundry room receptacle outlet(s) [210-52(f)]. This branch circuit cannot serve any other outlet, which would include the laundry room lighting or receptacles in other rooms.
The NEC does not require a separate circuit for the washing machine. Only a separate circuit for the laundry room receptacle(s) of which one can be for the washing machine and the others can be for convenience

Bathroom Branch Circuit. Install a 20 ampere circuit that does not supply any other load to the bathroom receptacle outlet(s).

Note. This is not requirng a separate 20 ampere circuit for each bathroom. One 20 ampere circuit can be used to supply multiple bathroom receptacles but only receptacles nothing else.

There is an exception.... A dedicated 20 ampere circuit to a single bathroom is permitted to supply the bathroom receptacle outlet(s) and other equipment within the same bathroom, but only if the equipment does not exceed 50 percent of the branch circuit ampere rating or 10 amps.


AFCI


All branch circuits that supply 125 volt, 15, and 20 ampere receptacles in dwelling unit bedrooms shall be AFCI protected. the requirement for afci may or may nmot be required by local code also if your area has adopted the 2008 code cycle the afci requirement extend to other area of the home.

Smoke Alarms or detectors

As required by the building codes and fire codes. List located here

Residential Smoke Detector Wiring

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Old 01-23-2008, 04:54 PM   #3
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When to bring up to code?


You do not need to upgrade your entire house just because you change the service from 100 to 200 amp unless you have a local code amendment.
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Old 01-23-2008, 04:59 PM   #4
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When to bring up to code?


I am not an expert, but play one on television.

I sold my 50+ year old home last year. I had similar issues 25 years ago.

If you are in a municipality, you can talk with the building inspection office there and ask what their requirements are.

If you're like me and live in the county where there are no inspections and are just wanting to have safe wiring, this is what I did on my old home.

I installed a 200 amp service panel and then fed the old panel as a sub-panel. This allowed me to add new circuits, where needed and basically left the other wiring untouched. There are numerous ways to attack the ungrounded plug issue, but I've noticed that most of these are usually just used for lamps and other 2-pronged ungrounded appliances.

If, however, you have such plugs in the bath, kitchen and garage, it's time to think of upgrading. I would highly recommend running new grounded circuits to these areas. The kitchen and bath require a GFCI by code anyway. You will also need grounded plugs for the washing machine, disposal etc. as well.

As for number of circuits. The key word here is LOAD. Count up the number of WATTS that could potentially be used on a given circuit. Divide this by the voltage and it will give you the amperage for that circuit. This is a good way determine whether or not to go #14 cable and a 15 AMP breaker or #12 cable and a 20 AMP breaker. If load exceeds the AMP rating for that circuit...time for another circuit.

This is what I would put on dedicated 110v circuits:

1. Refrigerator
2. Microwave
3. Washing Machine
4. Garbage Disposal
5. Bathroom Heater/Vent
6. Kitchen Counter (GFCI)
7. Flat-Screen TV/High Priced Electronics - a dedicated circuit here can cut down, but not eliminate EMF interference. You need surge protection here as well.
8. Small Window Air Conditioner
9. 20 AMP circuit for the garage

220 v circuits:

1. Electric Range (unless of course you have gas)
2. Hot Water Heater (unless of course you have gas)
3. Central Heat and Air (unless you have a furnace)
4. Large Window Air Conditioners

You would also need 2 spaces for breaker that feeds the existing panel.

As you can see, with today's luxuries and appliances, it's easy to fill up a box. So, if you feel safe with the old wiring, check with the local inspection office. They may just allow you to sew a new patch on to old cloth. Otherwise, bite the bullet and rewire.
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Old 01-23-2008, 06:25 PM   #5
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When to bring up to code?


In my area (as in most areas) you are not required to bring anything eccept bonding/grounding up to code when you upgrade the service to 200 amp.

If you are installing a new outlet in a bathroom, it must be up to code (20 amp GFCI protected)

If you upgrade the panel (even though you don't upgrade the service) it would be a good time to install GFCI breakers to protect all your 2 wire outlets.

Your new garage circuit must be GFCI protected also.
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Old 01-23-2008, 06:42 PM   #6
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When to bring up to code?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Randell Tarin View Post
I am not an expert, but play one on television.

I sold my 50+ year old home last year. I had similar issues 25 years ago.

If you are in a municipality, you can talk with the building inspection office there and ask what their requirements are.

If you're like me and live in the county where there are no inspections and are just wanting to have safe wiring, this is what I did on my old home.

I installed a 200 amp service panel and then fed the old panel as a sub-panel. This allowed me to add new circuits, where needed and basically left the other wiring untouched. There are numerous ways to attack the ungrounded plug issue, but I've noticed that most of these are usually just used for lamps and other 2-pronged ungrounded appliances.

If, however, you have such plugs in the bath, kitchen and garage, it's time to think of upgrading. I would highly recommend running new grounded circuits to these areas. The kitchen and bath require a GFCI by code anyway. You will also need grounded plugs for the washing machine, disposal etc. as well.

As for number of circuits. The key word here is LOAD. Count up the number of WATTS that could potentially be used on a given circuit. Divide this by the voltage and it will give you the amperage for that circuit. This is a good way determine whether or not to go #14 cable and a 15 AMP breaker or #12 cable and a 20 AMP breaker. If load exceeds the AMP rating for that circuit...time for another circuit.

This is what I would put on dedicated 110v circuits:

1. Refrigerator
2. Microwave
3. Washing Machine
4. Garbage Disposal
5. Bathroom Heater/Vent
6. Kitchen Counter (GFCI)
7. Flat-Screen TV/High Priced Electronics - a dedicated circuit here can cut down, but not eliminate EMF interference. You need surge protection here as well.
8. Small Window Air Conditioner
9. 20 AMP circuit for the garage

220 v circuits:

1. Electric Range (unless of course you have gas)
2. Hot Water Heater (unless of course you have gas)
3. Central Heat and Air (unless you have a furnace)
4. Large Window Air Conditioners

You would also need 2 spaces for breaker that feeds the existing panel.

As you can see, with today's luxuries and appliances, it's easy to fill up a box. So, if you feel safe with the old wiring, check with the local inspection office. They may just allow you to sew a new patch on to old cloth. Otherwise, bite the bullet and rewire.

Most everything that has to be dedicated has to be 20AMP... safely the only things i would put on a 15AMP/14AWG cct is bedrooms and possibly living room, except for where the entertainment center will be.
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Old 01-23-2008, 06:47 PM   #7
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When to bring up to code?


Quote:
Originally Posted by arichard21 View Post
Most everything that has to be dedicated has to be 20AMP... safely the only things i would put on a 15AMP/14AWG cct is bedrooms and possibly living room, except for where the entertainment center will be.
I dont understand, so you feel the need a fridge has to be on a 20 amp circuit? they draw around 6 amps.... How about a garbage disposal? Dishwasher, etc, none of these items requires a 20 amp circuit... and will never need it either...

The only thing code requires to be 20 amp are the following, (2) small appliance branch circuits( kitchen, pantry, breakfast room, dining room or similar area.) laundry branch circuit, bathroom branch circuit...

Last edited by chris75; 01-23-2008 at 06:56 PM.
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Old 01-23-2008, 07:39 PM   #8
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When to bring up to code?


This is strictly a municipality issue. In Chicago I believe 60% of the system must be removed before they'll start inspecting the whole thing. Any work needs a permit, but most things will be grandfathered in. The 60% is top of my head, I don't remember what the real # is.
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Old 01-23-2008, 08:37 PM   #9
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When to bring up to code?


Ok we are using the term dedicated a little loosely. Dedicated is not recognized by the NEC, however when used.... people are almost always referring to supplying one piece of equipment or appliance and nothing else. And then some mean to dedicate a circuit to something like a home entertainment center and nothing else. To place a refrigerator on a circuit only serving that refrigerator is to place it on an individual circuit. Which means the receptacle must be a single outlet receptacle and not a duplex receptacle which is 2 outlets.. If we choose to make that individual branch circuit a 20 amp branch circuit then we must install a 20 amp (nema 5-20r) single receptacle. Along those lines the same goes for a individual 15 amp circuit even though that is rather obvious and the receptacle would be a 5-15r.
Now it doesn't make much sense to run 20 amp individual circuits to refrigerators as most are under 8 or so amps as Chris said. But in a nut shell for individual branch circuits it is best to now the load requirements of your appliance or equipment and size the branch circuit accordingly. But something like a fridge on a 20 individual in a normal length of run from the panel is a waste of wire size and power. Take note that there is a lot of product out there that has some pretty impressive power requirements so best to know your install specifications when it comes to any appliance.

You do not have to upgrade your wiring to my knowledge when increasing your service size. In my area you could tear your whole kitchen apart and expose the wiring but if you do not touch the wiring it does not need to be upgraded. Of course it would be rather foolish to not do so especially if it is old wiring. If the city doesn't receive an electrical permit then they don't expect electrical change to take place and a building inspection is all that is called for. Of course I'm sure this varies across the country.

Just my opinion
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Old 01-24-2008, 06:20 AM   #10
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When to bring up to code?


The thing is... why NOT place most things on 20AMP 12AWG circuits because of the growing power demand of modern homes. A Fridge with smart control and the built in tv's and what not are becoming popular and eventually are going to demand more power.
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Old 01-24-2008, 09:13 AM   #11
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When to bring up to code?


Ok lets see if I have this straight using what will be my new kitchen.

2- 20 amp GFCI branch circuit for small appliances. I plan on having 4 counter top outlets and 3 outlets in the dining area which is attached to the kitchen. Would this thus require 3 branch circuits because other outlets (dining room outlets) cannot be included in a small appliance circuit? Or just 2 circuits.

1- 15 or 20 circuit for the fridge. If I make this a 20a can I put the microwave and fridge on the same circuit? If the NEC doesn't recognize dedicated circuits does it still require separate branch circuits for each appliance?

1- 15 circuit amp for the garbage disposal.

1- 220v for the range
1- 220v for the cooktop (they are separate)

1- 15 for the lighting ( can the cooktop fan and the dishwasher go on this circuit?)

So for the dinning room/ kitchen I need at least 7 branch circuits?

For Stubbie, what part of Kansas are you in? If it is KC are you looking for any work?
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Old 01-24-2008, 09:34 AM   #12
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When to bring up to code?


You can run the dining room receptacles on the same circuit as one of the SA circuits, preferably without GFCI protection. A better scenario would be to have the countertop receptacles on two circuits and the dining room and refrigerator on a third.

If the microwave is in a dedicated space, run a dedicated 20A circuit to it.

If your local jurisdiction allows, run the dishwasher and disposal on the same 20A circuit.

Lighting for the kitchen and dining area can be on one 15A circuit and the hood can be on the same lighting circuit.
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Old 01-24-2008, 10:12 AM   #13
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When to bring up to code?


You can extend the small appliance circuits to the dining room. A built in microwave usually is required by local codes or is recommended by the manufacturer to be on an individual circuit. But a fridge and portable microwave on a 20 amp is not uncommon otherwise. 15 amp individual circuits to a fridge are common. Dishwashers and waste disposals are usually on their own individual circuits, they can be cord and plug or hardwired. The circuit size for these can be 15 or 20 amp depending on the load requirements and circuit requirement of the manufacturer. When both are cord and plug a split receptacle under the sink is quite common with a switch at the counter top for the disposal.
It's not that the NEC doesn't recognize dedicated they just define it differently if referring to supplying one appliance only. Seperate (individual) branch circuits are generally reserved for appliances that require it by the manufacturer due to load requirements. There is a long explanation why this is and revolves around some code requirements for branch circuits.
If your in KC your local code is going to require the dishwasher to be on an individual circuit. Generally if you have the choice keep motor operated appliances off lighting so there won't be any dimming of the lights when the motors start. But it is not a requirement.
Seven or 8 circuits for kitchen and dining area is not uncommon this is the most power hungry area of your home, especially on the holidays.

Thanks for the work offer but I'm retired and loving it. I live about an hour and a half out of KC now. I worked at the Ford Plant. If you ever want a Ford let me know and I can get you a x-plan discount.

I extend that offer to anyone reading this.

BTW would you be related to Doug Coleman that used to work a kc ford parts?

Last edited by Stubbie; 01-24-2008 at 10:17 AM.
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Old 01-24-2008, 10:19 AM   #14
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When to bring up to code?


Thanks for all the info. I wish I would have asked before I wired a laundry room with on one GFI protected 14awg circuit. Good thing I haven't put up the walls yet so I can fix things.

Speaking of fixing things, does a garage need to be on its own 20a or is 15a fine if it can handle the load. It is GFI protected.
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Old 01-24-2008, 10:43 AM   #15
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Nope, I'm not related to Doug Coleman. Most of the Family is from the Buffalo area. Some of us relocated to the Midwest, something about warmer winters.

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