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Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 4,093
Likes: 3
I am curious how many are familiar with or have a copy of their Local or State Building Code(s)?

I was told (corrected) by my local Inspector that his job is to enforce the State Building Code (as it applies to Electrical Installations) and not strictly the NEC. He further explains that is where the requirements are for number and placement of Smoke Detectors, Bathroom Exhaust Fans, and numerous other things that many people drive themselves crazy looking for in the NEC (and sometimes blaming on the Inspector being 'picky')

If this is the same all over it doesn't seem to be common knowledge.


Joined: May 2001
Posts: 717
Yup, I enforce any NFPA, ANSI, BOCA,IBC document. Smoke detector placement is one example of what the NEC does NOT address. You have to go to NFPA 72 for placement (The fire alarm code)

What about back to back outlets in firewalls?
Not according to IBC 711.3.2, Nor BOCA 714.1.6.1

How many emergency lights do you need? What section of the NEC do you find it? You don't, you find it in NFPA 101, IBC 2000, etc. you get my point

That's one of the reasons the NEC states pretty early that it is NOT good for design.

Often an inspector cites another code in a rejection, not that you shouldn't challenge them on it, but here I have to cite the section of the code for rejection as well, and I suppose they do in your area also.

Hope this helps.

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
It's the same over here Bill.

There's nothing in our wiring regs. about what devices are required, only about the way in which such devices are installed and wired.

But our current building regs. do have specific requirements in new construction for smoke detectors, exhaust fans, etc.

Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 4,093
Likes: 3

Thanks, what I am looking for is the actual 'chain'. I am told that the State (or Local) Building 'code' is the starting point. From there they (State or Locality) may recognize or adopt any 'established' code (IBC, UBC, etc.) or set of codes (with, or without modification) that further reference other standards such as the NEC or other NFPA documents.

Do you agree?

If so, this seems like something we should know about. I was wondering if the knowledge of any related Building codes is part of any training curriculum or certification requirements anywhere?


Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 280
In my area each city has a building code, but there is section 8 codes (which are Federal HUD ?) and also Health department codes. So if it a rental property it must comply with all, of course if the landlord doesnt rent to section 8's then those are eliminated. In this city the Inspector is contractor friendly and all that is needed is to ask and normally he will come out and tell you what he wants, and which one applies.
The county is pretty much the same, except the County health department doesnt usually get involved with electrical issues as the ccity health inspector does(Politics ? I think so)
Then there is the third city, a little west of me and they have a building code and must comply with the latest addition of the NEC but in 10 years of working there I have yet to get a copy of their Building book, its available and is printed, but to get a copy is well lets just say it requires a miracle.
However, the good news is in that city they use the same Electrical inspector as does the city mentioned above.


Joined: May 2001
Posts: 717
OK, I get your drift. Virginia currently enforces the CABO 1993 for 1&2 family dwellings, 1996 BOCA for commercial buildings (which accepts the 1996 NEC.

That said, in VA NO city can modify the codes without State legislature approval, and that ain't gonna happen.

Notice though, all the references in ALL the above mentioned codes, especially the NEC. The little bullet symbol means it was material drafted from some other document. BOCA has an entire chapter of references that are fair game for an inspector to enforce.

Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,392
We do have codes here , despite some lack of enforcement.
The problem is that the 'pecking order' does not work so well...

~Landlord buys buildings
~Township has no means of notification to any party involved, i guess it's just not thier job......
~Home inspectors are well....biased....
~Realtors will almost never breath a word about codes...
~Years go by....
~State turns up with inspection list a foot long....
~Sparky gets to work in an 'unhappy' enviroment...with much 'out of NFPA 70', so to answer Bill's first Q, no i haven't the mental megabyte room, i simply ask my AHJ .... [Linked Image]

Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,457
You think the nec is tough try reading the MASS building code book! I keep one at home for reasons you mentioned Bill. It is where smoke detector locations etc are to be found. I have never had an inspector be it electrical or building cite me for anything that is required in the building book. Seems that most of the electrical part is common sense and general standard practice.

Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 324
Around here we don't wire to the NEC, we have the BEC (Bob's Electrical Code). Bob is the name of our chief inspector. We have Georgia amendments to the code and local amendments to the code. They use the Life Safety Code for smoke det rules and such. The also use the Southeastern Building Code and cherry pick what they want. I can't grumble too much, the guys in my area are actually good to work with.

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,349
Likes: 7
Here in NJ we use a UNiform Construction Code (State). It adopts National Codes (NEC, BOCA, NFPA, Etc.) with amendments. Licensed inspectors all should have a copy, and updates are issued monthly, as it is in looseleaf form. It covers everything, including a remodel/renovation section.

As to the placement of devices, the corresponding codes have to be satisfied. The various AHJ's (Elec., Building, Plumbing, Fire, Elevator, Mechanical, etc) are responsible for each discipline, as all have to do mandatory plan review. The ultimate goal is to have everyone "on the same page.

The electrical AHJ checks device/equipment connections, wiring, etc., to the NEC. The "other" AHJ's are "supposed" to take care of the placement of devices/equipment that are not within the scope of the NEC.

John (Hot Line 1)

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