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#209744 - 04/23/13 06:26 AM Is "Overwiring" a Code Mandate?
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5299
Loc: Blue Collar Country
It's hard to believe,but most of us do not live in 14,000 sq. ft. McMansions, or own ever possible new toy. A recent thread on "overwiring" has me wondering how much overwiring is the result of code requirements.

For example, my house is 1000 sq. ft, and was originally wired (1957) with but six circuits. Try as I may, I can't see a way to rewire without at least 20 circuits- and not all of them are due to changes in our lifestyle.

The kitchen is a good place to start. Even if a kitchen is only large enough to require but one receptacle - and I've seen some huge counters that only require one - code wants two circuits. Plus an additional one for the range hood, and one for the dishwasher / disposal. If the gas range happens to have an igniter, there's plenty of debate as to where you can get the power for that.

The dining room is almost required, by default, required to have its' own AFCI / GFCI circuit.

The furnace needs its' own circuit, even if all there is is an igniter and a little fan, and it's in the same closet as the water heater and laundry equipment.

With the washer requiring its' own circuit, by default we need to bring in a third for the (gas) water heater igniter.

The bathroom gets its' own circuit.

Outside receptacles become an issue, as they're often not allowed to be tied into nearby circuits.

The alarm system gets its' own, either as a requirement, or as a carryover from the 'interconnection' requirement for the smoke alarms.

One result of the 'incremental' adoption of AFCI requirements was to encourage bedrooms to be on separate circuits.

Codes are requiring residential sprinkler systems - which means another dedicated circuit.

Sure, our lifestyle has had an effect. For example, clothes dryers were rare in 1957, but are now assumed - thus, two more circuits. Refrigerators are larger, encouraging a separate circuit. Air conditioning is the norm now- two more circuits (at least).

Now we want phone / internet / CATV in every room, which adds another entire network of wires. The above-mentioned alarm system adds its' web, reaching every window and door.


Edited by renosteinke (04/23/13 06:26 AM)

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#209748 - 04/23/13 07:33 AM Re: Is "Overwiring" a Code Mandate? [Re: renosteinke]
HotLine1 Offline

Member

Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6785
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
Reno:
The question also is, wiring for convenience, or what some refer to as 'code compliant'.

My pet peeve is the four bath, one powder room with the GFI in the powder room, all on a 20 amp. If I had four baths, each would have a 20 amp! Convenience for me (and a H/O) to not have to run to the GFI, or the CB! Heck 2 people with blow dryers at the same time trip the CB.

To be continued....
_________________________
John

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#209751 - 04/23/13 08:52 AM Re: Is "Overwiring" a Code Mandate? [Re: BigB]
BigB Offline
Member

Registered: 03/31/04
Posts: 725
Loc: Tucson, AZ USA
Originally Posted By: BigB
Originally Posted By: renosteinke


Plus an additional one for the range hood,

Outside receptacles become an issue, as they're often not allowed to be tied into nearby circuits.


I thought the range hood could still go on the lighting circuit (unless it is a microwave hood you are referring to).

What circuits can they not be tied into besides the dedicated bath, kitchen & laundry?

We specialize in re-wires, most are small houses and yes with all the requirements we are putting in way more as well. The 100 amp panel is getting to be obsolete simply for lack of breaker space.


Edited by BigB (04/23/13 08:53 AM)

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#209753 - 04/23/13 09:03 AM Re: Is "Overwiring" a Code Mandate? [Re: renosteinke]
twh Offline
Member

Registered: 03/11/04
Posts: 892
Loc: Regina, Sask.
After the new Canadian code changes, it turns out I've over-wired a lot of things. Someone made money on it.

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#209757 - 04/23/13 10:10 AM Re: Is "Overwiring" a Code Mandate? [Re: renosteinke]
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9012
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
Quote:
If the gas range happens to have an igniter, there's plenty of debate as to where you can get the power for that.


What debate? 210.52(B)(2) says

Quote:

Exception No. 2: Receptacles installed to provide power for supplemental equipment and lighting on gas-fired ranges, ovens, or counter-mounted cooking units.


I also agree that a range hood (light and fan) can be on a general lighting circuit.

The dining room receptacles need to be on a 20a AFCI circuit
but if it is not a counter top they do not need to be GFCI.

New refrigerators use less current than those old ones. The fridge can go on one of the SA circuits.

210.52(B)(1)
Quote:
(1) Receptacle Outlets Served. In the kitchen, pantry, breakfast room, dining room, or similar area of a dwelling unit, the two or more 20-ampere small-appliance branch circuits required by 210.11(C)(1) shall serve all wall and floor receptacle outlets covered by 210.52(A), all countertop outlets covered by 210.52(C), and receptacle outlets for refrigeration equipment.


The "laundry" circuit can serve a gas dryer along with the washer.
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Greg Fretwell

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#209758 - 04/23/13 11:30 AM Re: Is "Overwiring" a Code Mandate? [Re: renosteinke]
HotLine1 Offline

Member

Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6785
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
Try as I may, I just don't get this:

"The kitchen is a good place to start. Even if a kitchen is only large enough to require but one receptacle - and I've seen some huge counters that only require one - code wants two circuits."

How can a counter be "huge" and only require "one"??
_________________________
John

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#209759 - 04/23/13 02:16 PM Re: Is "Overwiring" a Code Mandate? [Re: HotLine1]
BigB Offline
Member

Registered: 03/31/04
Posts: 725
Loc: Tucson, AZ USA
Originally Posted By: HotLine1
Try as I may, I just don't get this:

"The kitchen is a good place to start. Even if a kitchen is only large enough to require but one receptacle - and I've seen some huge counters that only require one - code wants two circuits."

How can a counter be "huge" and only require "one"??

Penninsula? Island?

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#209760 - 04/23/13 02:36 PM Re: Is "Overwiring" a Code Mandate? [Re: renosteinke]
HotLine1 Offline

Member

Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6785
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
BigB:
He said 'counter'!
_________________________
John

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#209761 - 04/23/13 03:46 PM Re: Is "Overwiring" a Code Mandate? [Re: renosteinke]
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9012
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
All sink and drop in cook top?

You still have the dining room, breakfast nook and pantry (if they exist) to serve from the SA circuits so 2 is still not unreasonable.

I still agree that we have added quite a number of new required circuits that did not exist in the 50s. That is really not a bad thing IMHO. We have a lot more things that plug in.
_________________________
Greg Fretwell

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#209762 - 04/23/13 04:25 PM Re: Is "Overwiring" a Code Mandate? [Re: renosteinke]
HotLine1 Offline

Member

Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6785
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
Greg:
I was hoping Reno would embelish on 'huge' a little bit.
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John

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