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#168668 - 09/12/07 09:10 AM Horizontal receptacles and Chicago?
EV607797 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/25/06
Posts: 754
Loc: Fredericksburg, VA, USA
I've asked this question many times over the years, but have never really gotten a definitive answer. I watch a lot of home improvement and real estate shows. In every instance where the show is set in the Chicago area, the receptacles are always mounted horizontally. Personally, I think that this looks pretty awkward, especially in kitchens where the switches are mounted vertically next to them along counters.

Also, all wiring is done in EMT, even in residential construction. The place can be 100% wood framing and full of PVC plumbing, yet the electrical work is always done in EMT. I would imagine that this requirement causes the electrical costs to skyrocket in a competitive construction market. Don't get me wrong, I am a huge fan of EMT installations, but isn't this quite a bit of overkill?

My guess for the horizontal receptacles is due to the fact that EMT is run horizontally between outlets and by placing the mud ring sideways, it makes it easier to pull the wire in. Again, that's just my guess.

Does anyone know anything about this? Is this just "local practice" or is there really some awkward local code that requires EMT in residences? If so, why?

I noticed last night on a show that took place in Hawaii that the same thing applied. All receptacles were mounted horizontally. Granted, all three condos were in high-rises, so I suppose that this could have been due to the fact that the place was wired with EMT as well. At the same time, I've been in hundreds of high-rise buildings in other parts of the country, both residential and commercial, and have never seen installations such as these required.

Perhaps my most perplexing question is how home improvement stores handle the Chicago requirements. Is it possible to go to a Home Depot in Chicago and buy a roll of 12/2 Romex and a case of plastic boxes? Have the forces that mandate 100% EMT been able to restrict the sale of non-approved wiring materials? Will the Union people stake out the joint and beat up anyone who comes out the door with Romex? I just can't see a Harry Homeowner running EMT or Greenfield to install a ceiling fan in a bedroom, so with that being said, do they even try to do their own work?

Sorry for all of the questions, but this stuff just makes no sense to me after thirty+ years in the business.
_________________________
---Ed---

"But the guy at Home Depot said it would work."

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#168671 - 09/12/07 10:49 AM Re: Horizontal receptacles and Chicago? [Re: EV607797]
ghost307 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 748
Loc: Chicago Illinois USA
I don't know the rationale behind the receptacle orientation, but I'm sure that there's a story behind it.
At least we get to avoid the "ground up vs. ground down" debates here in the Windy City.
;\)

With regards to the EMT, depending on who you talk to, it's either because an overload in conduit doesn't present the same fire hazard as a length of Romex while its jacket is melting down as the result of an overload (the circuit breaker tripping isn't part of that story) or because it keeps unqualified people from doing their own electrical work (badly) and creating a fire hazard.

You also won't find a lot of PVC plumbing in Chicago, until very recently this was a cast-iron town that required poured lead and oakum joints for all of the main drains.

As to buying Romex at the big box stores, even when it was illegal to use in the whole County, they still carried it. One Department Manager told me that Corporate made those decisions without his input. He never sold a single foot of it amd had to explain his "poor performance" every month.
Romex is now recognized in Chicago, but you're not going to like the installation limitations.

"18-27-336.4. Uses Permitted.
Listed Type NM and NMC cable with listed fittings shall be permitted to be used only for limited extensions to knob-and-tube lighting or appliance branch-circuits in existing wood frame residential occupancies not exceeding three stories in height, but not where subject to mechanical injury as in new or remodeled building construction.
Type NM and NMC cable shall be permitted only in dry locations where concealed, in walls and floors of these occupancies."

Told 'ya you wouldn't like it...
_________________________
Ghost307

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#168707 - 09/13/07 06:06 AM Re: Horizontal receptacles and Chicago? [Re: ghost307]
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
 Originally Posted By: ghost307
At least we get to avoid the "ground up vs. ground down" debates here in the Windy City.


Yeah, but then you get into "neutral up vs. hot up," a.k.a. "ground left vs. ground right." ;\)

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#168708 - 09/13/07 06:15 AM Re: Horizontal receptacles and Chicago? [Re: pauluk]
32VAC Offline
Member

Registered: 06/28/04
Posts: 203
Loc: Alice Springs, NT, Australia
Speaking of the vertical/horizontal outlet debate, I notice that New Zealand tends to use more vertical outlets in installations than you would find in Australia.

Its rare to find a vertical outlet in Australia (the cost is the main factor, a standard single outlet is around $7 where a vertical single outlet is close on $12 even though its got the same mechanism fitted)

Any reason why the Kiwis have gone with vertical outlets rather than horizontal ones? What do other South Pacific nations use more of-horizontal or vertical?


Edited by 32VAC (09/13/07 06:18 AM)
Edit Reason: spelling

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#168712 - 09/13/07 06:53 AM Re: Horizontal receptacles and Chicago? [Re: 32VAC]
sabrown Offline
Member

Registered: 12/12/02
Posts: 293
Loc: Ogden, Utah, USA
From my experience in the Philipines 81-83, Visiyan Islands, lighting was the only thing I remember being served with electricity and in some areas as often as 2 hours a week (other places almost 100 percent of the time). I can not recall any receptacles though I know of homes which had TV's so they had to exist. If they had been horizontal it likely would have stuck with me as beeing odd. The light switches were all vertical (even the pull chains were vertical still rather than hanging horizontally as one would expect being that close to the equator and about to fall off the face of the earth).

Shane

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#168713 - 09/13/07 07:11 AM Re: Horizontal receptacles and Chicago? [Re: EV607797]
allphase Offline
Member

Registered: 09/05/07
Posts: 14
Loc: Chicago il.
Well the chicago code is very clear on emt for all res. work. We have done it in emt for as long as i have known.The countys and towns around chicago all do emt also.
the farther you get away from chicago the more you see rope.
The unions are very strong in this area and some of the teacher at the school right the code book.

I like the fact we do ever thing in emt . you learn how to bend pipe very early and fast in class. It is easyer to make changes and add a circuit. I've got over 22 years in to the trade, and still bend pipe every day.

As for the horizontal receptacles I was always told that we do them that way becase when thay started to change from gas lights in buildings it was less damage to the walls from existing controls in the kitchens and bathrooms for the gas lights.

Oh one more thing hot is always on the top .
When you go to take out the recp. you role it down and the hot can not hit the box and go to ground.


Larry

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#168715 - 09/13/07 08:25 AM Re: Horizontal receptacles and Chicago? [Re: allphase]
Jps1006 Offline
Member

Registered: 01/22/04
Posts: 609
Loc: Northern IL
We always put the receptacles sideways because that's the way I was first shown and that's the way everyone else in the area is doing it. Same as Larry, hot on top. Just like you never turn your back on a wild animal, you always keep the most dangerous part in full view (of course we are supposed to working on this stuff dead).

Folklore is that the Chicago Fire has to do with the strict requirements on EMT. I think it has more to do with union influence in that it will guarantee more labor. I don't mind it though. When we did McMansion custom homes, we piped and pulled a 3500-4500 ft house 3 guys 5-7 days. and then another 2 days for trim. It makes it nice to do service and remodeling work in the area though, you usually have more options.

It used to bother me that HD sold NM and AC, but the do. I think out here in the suburbs they sell more of it to the handymen or lowballers doing unpermitted work.

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#168761 - 09/14/07 05:03 AM Re: Horizontal receptacles and Chicago? [Re: Jps1006]
ghost307 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 748
Loc: Chicago Illinois USA
Larry, thanks for the background on the neutral position.

I noticed that the preferred orientation here for horizontal receptacles was with the ground to the right...which seemed somewhat arbitrary.

Since most of the "Chicago-isms" in our Code had some logic behind them (however misguided or obscure), I now know where that practice comes from...and it makes sense to me now.
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Ghost307

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#168832 - 09/17/07 03:20 PM Re: Horizontal receptacles and Chicago? [Re: ghost307]
DougW Offline
Member

Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 1081
Loc: North Chicago, IL
I'd say about 95% of the new resi construction I've worked on has had "sideways" receptacles.

And from Chicago all the way to the state line - all these towns are piped... you might get an allowance for flex / MC, but it's usually limited to fished installs or a certain length exiting a cavity before you have to transition to pipe.

And it's always amusing to see folks (generally speaking, English is their 2nd language) who go to Home Despot, but NM, and then head east, back into Gurnee or Waukegan - both hard core pipe towns.

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#169623 - 10/09/07 11:27 PM Re: Horizontal receptacles and Chicago? [Re: 32VAC]
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8471
Loc: SI,New Zealand
 Originally Posted By: 32VAC
Speaking of the vertical/horizontal outlet debate, I notice that New Zealand tends to use more vertical outlets in installations than you would find in Australia.

Its rare to find a vertical outlet in Australia (the cost is the main factor, a standard single outlet is around $7 where a vertical single outlet is close on $12 even though its got the same mechanism fitted)

Any reason why the Kiwis have gone with vertical outlets rather than horizontal ones? What do other South Pacific nations use more of-horizontal or vertical?

32VAC,
Both are available here, but vertical sockets tend to be more popular because it's easier to screw (or nail) a flush-box to studs rather than have dwangs installed for sockets close to the floor.
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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#169670 - 10/11/07 11:04 AM Re: Horizontal receptacles and Chicago? [Re: ghost307]
SvenNYC Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 1685
Loc: New York City
 Originally Posted By: ghost307

As to buying Romex at the big box stores, even when it was illegal to use in the whole County, they still carried it. One Department Manager told me that Corporate made those decisions without his input. He never sold a single foot of it amd had to explain his "poor performance" every month.
Romex is now recognized in Chicago, but you're not going to like the installation limitations.

"18-27-336.4. Uses Permitted.
Listed Type NM and NMC cable with listed fittings shall be permitted to be used only for limited extensions to knob-and-tube lighting or appliance branch-circuits in existing wood frame residential occupancies not exceeding three stories in height, but not where subject to mechanical injury as in new or remodeled building construction.
Type NM and NMC cable shall be permitted only in dry locations where concealed, in walls and floors of these occupancies."

Told 'ya you wouldn't like it...


That's similar to New York City. We're also big-time on BX (armored cable) for residential, especially multi-story.

Romex was recently allowed, but only on resi houses less than three stories.

You can buy Romex at the Home Depot here, but I've never seen anyone buy it. Smaller hardware stores, I've never seen them carry the stuff.

Plastic boxes, those are for the suburbs. Literally. You won't find them at your neighborhood hardware stores, or even Home Depot. Everything we use is metal.

My office building is done in pipe and BX and the new "luxury" high-rises sprouting up all over the place here use pipe. They lay it out for the ceiling of the flat below before pouring the deck.

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#170140 - 10/27/07 03:07 PM Re: Horizontal receptacles and Chicago? [Re: Trumpy]
Tiger Offline
Member

Registered: 05/04/05
Posts: 714
Loc: Crystal Lake, IL USA
I'm about 50 miles NW of Chicago. Wall outlets were vertical until 1970 or so, then horizontal. To me, installing it horizontal shows it's new wiring, but if I'm adding one outlet to an old room, I match the height and orientation. NM is allowed in McHenry County and City of McHenry, BX is allowed in Crystal Lake, and almost all other nearby towns require conduit.

The policing of permits is loose here, so NM is routinely patched in by carpenters/handymen. I personally love the requirement for conduit because on permitted work, it keeps the amateurs away, and it's profitable. If you're running 8 wires in a 50' open run, it's quicker and cheaper than other methods. It's easier to add a circuit to split up existing circuits, or add another wire for ceiling fan control, but not so hot if you want to move a box with 4 pipes over 4" in existing construction.

Dave

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#170558 - 11/05/07 05:17 PM Re: Horizontal receptacles and Chicago? [Re: Tiger]
Active 1 Offline
Member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 684
Loc: Grayslake IL, USA
Someone asked me that the other day. I told em so we could pick out the work done by out of towners. Horizontal gives us a few more inches closer to the next device. Comercial has it's share of vertical. Maybe because plans spec it out are drawn elcewhere. I don't think it makes any different in the wire pulling. Many times the pipe 90's up before going to the next device. Connecting boxes with only strait pipe on wood studs creates it's own difficulties.

Anyways why dose everyone elce go vertical?

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#170568 - 11/06/07 03:54 AM Re: Horizontal receptacles and Chicago? [Re: Active 1]
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
 Quote:
Anyways why dose everyone elce go vertical?


Not everyone else..... ;\)


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#170779 - 11/11/07 10:53 AM Re: Horizontal receptacles and Chicago? [Re: Active 1]
classicsat Offline
Member

Registered: 11/23/02
Posts: 449
Mostly because the typical boxes go up and down,and are typically attached to structural members that go up and down.

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#170783 - 11/11/07 12:41 PM Re: Horizontal receptacles and Chicago? [Re: classicsat]
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5018
Loc: Blue Collar Country
This thread has puzzled me for some time ....

I grew up around Chicago, even lived on the North Side for a while .... and never really noticed horizontal receptacles. The only places I remember them was where they were placed at floor level, in the baseboard. I was away from the area for most of the 80's though, and haven't been back since 92.

So I watched one of those 'flip this place' shows, that was set in Chicago. Sure enough, all the remodels had the receptacles horizontal. Curious.

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#170787 - 11/11/07 03:11 PM Re: Horizontal receptacles and Chicago? [Re: Active 1]
32VAC Offline
Member

Registered: 06/28/04
Posts: 203
Loc: Alice Springs, NT, Australia
 Originally Posted By: Active 1

Anyways why dose everyone elce go vertical?


Can go either way Down Under:



http://updates.clipsal.com/ClipsalOnline/Images/Full/01/A3719.jpg



http://updates.clipsal.com/ClipsalOnline/Images/Full/01/A0036.jpg

Normally its horizontal for outlets for 95% of applications and switchplates are either vertical or horizontal. Aussie & Kiwi sparkies (and the others in the South Pacific) have been lucky in the last 30-40 years that the three largest manufacturers (Clipsal,PDL & HPM) have used square switch mechanisms in most designs that easily pop out of the faceplates to allow for vertical or horizontal mounting.

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#171537 - 11/30/07 07:56 AM Re: Horizontal receptacles and Chicago? [Re: classicsat]
DougW Offline
Member

Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 1081
Loc: North Chicago, IL
 Originally Posted By: classicsat
Mostly because the typical boxes go up and down,and are typically attached to structural members that go up and down.


That makes sense for when the 2x3 gangable box was the norm. Nowdays 99% of the time we're dropping 1900's (4x4), so the orientation can change based on the position of the mud ring. More room for wire fill and future expansion.

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#171562 - 11/30/07 05:03 PM Re: Horizontal receptacles and Chicago? [Re: DougW]
leland Offline
Member

Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 856
Loc: Lowell area, Ma. USA
So resi apps. are useing 4" with mud rings? Spose' with pipe thats the best. Your housing construction costs must be up there. No $2/ft for you folks.
That was for yrs the norm here (still is) for Ind./com. work. Most all metal studs.

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#171716 - 12/03/07 09:04 PM Re: Horizontal receptacles and Chicago? [Re: 32VAC]
wa2ise Offline
Member

Registered: 11/29/02
Posts: 738
Loc: Oradell NJ USA
Well, you could mount a double switch horizontally, yes?

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#171722 - 12/04/07 05:35 AM Re: Horizontal receptacles and Chicago? [Re: wa2ise]
ghost307 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 748
Loc: Chicago Illinois USA
wa2ise, you just submitted what's probably the most common thing at the front door of a Chicago home. Nail on a 1900 box with an offset bracket (to clear the door trim), stick on a single gang trim ring and wire up a double switch.

1 switch is for the porch light and the other is for the switched receptacle in the room.

BTW, the switched receptacle is almost always the one below the front windows...makes it easy to turn the tree lights on and off during Christmastime.
_________________________
Ghost307

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#172174 - 12/15/07 12:18 AM Re: Horizontal receptacles and Chicago? [Re: wa2ise]
32VAC Offline
Member

Registered: 06/28/04
Posts: 203
Loc: Alice Springs, NT, Australia
VERTICAL:


HORIZONTAL


Decide on the day what you need & if what you have is wrong, turn the mechanisms 90 degrees

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#174745 - 02/12/08 06:34 PM Re: Horizontal receptacles and Chicago? [Re: Trumpy]
Yoopersup Offline
Member

Registered: 03/04/03
Posts: 806
Loc: Michigan
I think the Chicago Codes wayyyyyyy Better then the NEC.
Yoopers

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#174777 - 02/13/08 09:57 AM Re: Horizontal receptacles and Chicago? [Re: Yoopersup]
SteveFehr Offline
Member

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 1192
Loc: Chesapeake, VA
It's little things like this make me wish there was a NATIONAL building code instead of individual states and locales. Incorporate the CA codes for areas with high seismic, incorporate the florida codes for areas with high wind, and just get rid of all the little "me" codes that serve the pet peeves of every little jurisdiction. And if something in those "me" codes is better than national? MAKE it national.

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#174780 - 02/13/08 11:42 AM Re: Horizontal receptacles and Chicago? [Re: SteveFehr]
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 8386
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
Well we do have a "National" electric code. All we need to is get the states to adopt it, unaltered.
Florida was doing that for a while ... now they are writing electrical things into the state "building" code. At least it is state wide with no local exceptions.
_________________________
Greg Fretwell

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#174789 - 02/13/08 05:55 PM Re: Horizontal receptacles and Chicago? [Re: gfretwell]
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5018
Loc: Blue Collar Country
Steve ... at the risk of getting this thread to drift way off course .... I disagree as to the merits of a 'national' code. I oppose the idea on two points:
First, it is for the model codes - and the NEC is but another private-party model code - to justify themselves to the AHJ's.
Secondly, we have, from the very start of this country, seen building codes as a local issue. We're not supposed to have very much that's "national" at all!


Let's look at one of "Chicago's Strange Quirks:" their refusal to allow the use of Romex (NM). One might say that they're tilting at windmills, since NM has been around since the Depression - and recent code cycles have allowed it to be used in additional areas. Surely the stuff must have been proven safe by now!

But - Hold on, wait a moment ..... isn't this the same code that has, for the past decade, been foisting AFCI's on us, because of the errant staple? Now, there's a risk you don't have with other wiring methods. Maybe Chicago has been right all along?

As confusing and complicated as the current arrangement may be, I prefer it to the "one world" nonsense some espouse.

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#174836 - 02/15/08 04:35 AM Re: Horizontal receptacles and Chicago? [Re: renosteinke]
SteveFehr Offline
Member

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 1192
Loc: Chesapeake, VA
There was an example today of MC cabling not being allowed for grounding in Michigan. MC in Michigan is the same as MC in virginia, yet it's a safe ground conductor in Virginia, but not in Michigan? If it's safe, allow it in Michigan. If it's a risk, don't allow it anywhere. Same goes with the AFCIs.

I'm not talking strictly about NEC here, or federally mandating everyone follow NEC specifically, I'm taking about building codes and laws in general. People who support states rights usually bring up specific examples like california medical marijuana, or gay marriage, or virginia $2000 traffic ticket fees, and cite laws they agree with as reasons states should be free to make their own laws. I don't want to get into a debate about any specific issue here (we have enough controversy eletrical codes) but to speak in general. Make it legal everywhere, or outlaw it everywhere; to say something is OK in what state but illegal in another is, in my humble opinion, asinine. Conditions change from area to area, but there's nothing unique to chicago buildings that you don't see in Boston or New York or San Francisco, or from Michigan to Wisconsin. If risk of fire from Romex is too high a threat in high-population density areas with a large number of windy days, outlaw it in all high-density areas with a large number of windy days. If it's not, they let the poor bastards in chigago use it.

There should not be a requirement for a 3rd party "model code" like NEC or IBC at all, there could simply be *the* code, updated by the federeal government and subject to standard legislative and judicial review, with all that comes with it. If they choose to outsource it and simply adopt NEC and IBC (as the DoD has), then at least we're consistant.


Edited by SteveFehr (02/15/08 04:39 AM)

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#174840 - 02/15/08 08:01 AM Re: Horizontal receptacles and Chicago? [Re: SteveFehr]
sparkyinak Offline
Member

Registered: 07/08/07
Posts: 1186
Loc: Alaska
What is considered "safe" is nothing more then an intepretation. If it was black and white, then discussions and debates would not exist. Neither would this discussion board.
_________________________
"Live Awesome!" - Kevin Carosa

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#174852 - 02/15/08 12:35 PM Re: Horizontal receptacles and Chicago? [Re: sparkyinak]
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Wouldn't a completely uniform building code in a country as vast as the U.S.A. impose some quite unreasonable conditions on everybody to cater for things which are only likely to be a problem in specific areas?

Does it make sense to demand that buildings in Oregon be built to the same tornado-resisting standards as in Mississippi? Or for buildings in Florida to be able to cope with the same snow loading as Minnesota?

Even in a place as small as Britain we have differences in the Building Regulations between England and Scotland.

Some of the issues arising around local electrical codes do seem to make little sense though. If NM isn't "safe" in Chicago, why is it safe in Manhattan, or San Francisco?

Just look at our different national codes to see even more variation. In the U.K. TT earthing systems in which the earth is the sole fault-current path are common in rural areas. Yet the American NEC doesn't allow them at all.



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#174868 - 02/15/08 07:49 PM Re: Horizontal receptacles and Chicago? [Re: pauluk]
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5018
Loc: Blue Collar Country
Paul, you're much better informed than most, so you are better able to appreciate some issues.

Whenever you learn something, you are inclined to think 'this is the only way to do it.' Yet, such is seldom true.

For example, who can deny the desire for greater safety? Yet, to address this exact ideal, the USA and GB have taken quite the opposite tack as to receptacles in bathrooms. Your 'ideal' would prefer none at all, while ours would require multiple!
Naturally, each point of view only makes sense when you look at the entire picture ... including just what constitutes a typical 'bath!' Placed in context, both views make a lot of sense.

Otherwise ... just to show how 'similar' areas can differ .... both NYC and Chicago ban NM, but for very different reasons.
Chicago, ostensibly because of fire concerns (plastic burns), and perhaps to please the Unions. Keep in mind that Chicago had electrical codes long before anyone else, and they're not about to kowtow to the 'upstart' NFPA \:D
New York, in contrast, did allow NM ... until it was found that their rats simply love to eat it, leading to many problems. It seems banning NM is easier than banning rats ....

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#175009 - 02/19/08 09:39 AM Re: Horizontal receptacles and Chicago? [Re: pauluk]
SteveFehr Offline
Member

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 1192
Loc: Chesapeake, VA
 Originally Posted By: pauluk
Wouldn't a completely uniform building code in a country as vast as the U.S.A. impose some quite unreasonable conditions on everybody to cater for things which are only likely to be a problem in specific areas?

Does it make sense to demand that buildings in Oregon be built to the same tornado-resisting standards as in Mississippi? Or for buildings in Florida to be able to cope with the same snow loading as Minnesota?
It's not so relevant to the NEC, but the other buildings codes (IRC, IBC, IMC, etc) take this into account. There are tables for every county in the US requiring michigan to have thicker insulation in their walls than georgia. There are wind-load charts showing max 50-year 3-minute mile and fastest-minute speeds and pressure loads for all areas of the nation, with variable requirements depending on whether you're surrounded by trees and mountains or exposed on the coast. Same for seismic, termite, etc. In this way, they have a single common code that applies to the entire nation, yet is still tailored to specific requirements in specific locales.

If the beancounters determine romex is fine for most areas, but MC is required where housing density turns risk to a single structure into risk to an entire city- that should apply to everywhere in the nation that meets those criteria. Etc.

Maybe NEC needs to take an IBC approach and add a table for rats? \:D

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#175013 - 02/19/08 10:36 AM Re: Horizontal receptacles and Chicago? [Re: SteveFehr]
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 8386
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
Florida has a uniform building code but we do have increasing requirements as you move through the various wind zones. I really would not see a problem if a national building code worked the same way with other hazard zones.

I do believe a lot of "disasters" would be avoided with better building codes. When you look at hurricane pictures you always see old houses and trailers blown up but new, code compliant structures incur minimal damage if any at all.

As for electrical I see little need for any real regional variation unless it was frost heaving in underground wiring or something like that.
_________________________
Greg Fretwell

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