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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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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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Superintendent
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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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Electrician
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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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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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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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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Licensed Electrical Cont.
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Didn't you notice this before you moved all your furniture in?
Or even before you signed the lease?
 

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Electrician
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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 :no:


:thumbsup:
 

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Totally screwed together
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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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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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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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Licensed Electrical Cont.
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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 :no:
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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NEC dates?

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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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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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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When we were looking at houses to buy I looked at the electric 1st
I wanted a 200a panel...newer wiring...no K&T
I've rewired a lot in this house
Not because I had to.....because I wanted to
Sons bedroom had 2 outlets & one was off the bathroom outlet
That in turn was off a lighting/outlet circuit that was overloaded
Now my sons bedroom has a 20a AFCI circuit & the outlets are spaced no more then 6' apart

Not sure when the 12' spacing went into effect
 

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is it every 12 feet or 6 feet? And yes, if anyone can give me an idea of when that went unto effect that would be very helpful!
Very basically, it's every 12', and/or 6' from an opening or break in the wall such as a door.


Truly no offense meant, but if this addition was done in 1988, even if it was not done to code, what difference does it make now?
 

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Thanks and I understand your confusion, but I'm a Realtor and the buyer of one of my listings wants the additional outlets added at my Seller's expense, saying it has to be to code. So I'm trying to find out when that code was in effect
 

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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!
This might have been unpermitted work and was never checked for compliance. It may also not meet the definition of a habitable room so the 6/12 spacing would not need to be meet.

Your client is buying a used home. To expect it to be to todays standard seems somewhat over the top.
 
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