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#205259 02/08/12 11:09 AM
Joined: Feb 2002
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I have a question and I don't know if it was asked before. If you have a balcony as per 210.52(E)(3) and you have handrail that goes right up to the door frame, How are you suppose to mount a receptacle and still be within the perimeter of the balcony?

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harold endean #205262 02/08/12 11:42 AM
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No side walls? No 'wall' space at all? Option #1 might be a suitable raceway and a receptacle mounted to the rail. Can I say ugly?

Or, hope it is less than 20 square feet, per the exception.



John
harold endean #205265 02/08/12 01:25 PM
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IMO, in building construction terms anyway, an area of that minimal size at the top of the stairs, which it sounds like your describing, would generally be considered a landing and part of the staircase, so probably not an actual balcony in the traditional sense or as mentioned in the NEC.

harold endean #205267 02/08/12 02:13 PM
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Harold has a good point.

The NEC originally has a square footage requirement, before the balcony required a receptacle. That requirement was removed, essentially requiring all balconies to have a receptacle.

The problem is that many buildings have 'balconies' that are no wider than the patio door that faces them. While it's fine for the balcony light to be mounted above the door, or to the side of the balcony, neither location is very good for a receptacle.

Hanging it from the railing is not much of an improvement. You're still stuck with a junction box- which has to be accessible.

I don't care how 'good' floor receptacle have become, I really don't want one out in the weather in a place like a balcony deck. Plus, if you want to be out on the balcony jackhammering the deck, you're a braver soul than I!

Time for the AHJ to use his authority to waive the code requirement.

harold endean #205268 02/08/12 02:15 PM
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If you need to make it pretty, have the rail fabricator box in the first pair of rail balusters, up a foot or so and set an FS box in there. Then you can hide the raceway/cable where it enters the wall next to the door frame. Do it on the side opposite of the door opening (on the hinge side or pocket side) so the cords will be away from the traffic path.


Greg Fretwell
harold endean #205272 02/08/12 05:42 PM
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Under circumstances where there could be a trip/safety issue, I would have no issue granting a variation for NO receptacle. Gregs solution will work, IF someone spends some $$$.


John
harold endean #205321 02/10/12 02:29 PM
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Greg,

What happens if it is wrought iron railing?

harold endean #205322 02/10/12 02:30 PM
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John,

This is a question an EC asked me, he also asked me if I would fail him for NOT putting a receptacle out there?

harold endean #205324 02/10/12 02:56 PM
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Wrought Iron might be the easiest to deal with since you could just bridge the balusters with a steel enclosure and paint it to match the railing.
Tougher would be some fancy power coated aluminum rail.


Greg Fretwell
harold endean #205326 02/10/12 04:19 PM
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Harold:
The answer would be it's your call as AHJ. IF the balcony is under 20 Sq ft, the exception solves the situation.

If it's over 20 sq ft, you may consider a variation application, with substantiation that is acceptable to you.

However, I would add that the substantiation has to be enough to CYA. The variation may be considered a precedent that could be referenced by others.

Gregs solution sure sounds like the best idea, but without 'seeing' the job, we may all be guessing.


John
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