Inspector failed us for receptacles lower than 18" in a residential garage. (They were specd at 12" on drawings approved by city). Inspector walked onto the site and first thing he said was "you're not passing today, your garage receps are too low". He couldn't cite a code reference to the contractor (I wasn't there) and the contractor called the chief inspector who told him he was going to back his inspector. He is citing IRC N1307.3 Appliances having an ignition source shall be elevated such that the source of ignition is not less than 18" above the floor in garages. For the purposes of this section.....[ and saying their interpretation is a power drill plugged into a receptacle could be interpreted as an "appliance having an ignition source". It is BS and his inspector is wrong but they are sticking together to save face. Furthermore they want the original boxes covered with a "listed and approved" vapor proof cover with documentation!!! How does a vapor proof cover seal a plastic Carlon box?? and how is it listed to be used on one??
Absolutely ridiculous but I don't know what we can do about it. All the years I prided myself on code knowledge and now I have to deal with a building dept that makes up the rules as they go and enforces opinions and hearsay.
(C) Major Repair Garages. Where flammable liquids having a flash point below 38°C (100°F) such as gasoline, or gaseous fuels such as natural gas, hydrogen, or LPG, will not be dispensed, but repair activities that involve the transfer of such fluids or gases are performed, the classification rules in (1), (2), and (3) shall apply. (1) Floor Areas. (a) Ventilation Provided. The floor area shall be unclassified where there is mechanical ventilation providing a minimum of four air changes per hour or one cubic foot per minute of exchanged air for each square foot of floor area. Ventilation shall provide for air exchange across the entire floor area, and exhaust air shall be taken at a point within 0.3 m (12 in.) of the floor. (b) Ventilation Not Provided. The entire floor area up to a level of 450 mm (18 in.) above the floor shall be classified as Class I, Division 2 if the ventilation does not comply with 511.3(C)(1)(a).
but similar language shows up in other places. That got rolled up into the IRC but it really refers to commercial garages. The drill example is ridiculous because it has a 6 foot cord on it and it still can easily be run below 18", no matter how high a readily accessible receptacle is. I don't know what the hell they are talking about with the cover since an explosion proof assembly is far more than just the cover. It still has to do with the idea that the area in a garage below 18" is a classified zone, even though I am not sure how they extend that to a residential garage. I have seen it applied tho. Usually receptacles are chair rail height in the ones I see, for whatever reason. I always assumed physical damage more than an article 500 issue.
The best argument I have heard on resi garages is the physical damage issue but the answer is far from consistent. Some say RX is OK on running boards above some arbitrary height (~48"). (hence the chair rail thing) Others say they want a raceway below 6'8 or so. Then the "raceway" varies from EMT to to RNC to smurf tube.
Around here that is seldom an issue because they have to be above "flood". It does bring up an interesting thing. My Spa equipment (2 pumps and an electric heater) are pretty much at grade, inside the garage.
No not any cars, much to my wife's dismay. Since the fire, I don't store much gasoline in there either, usually between a quart and a half gallon, just for my weed eater and chain saw. Everything else is in a shed 50' from the house.
It is still listed as a garage tho. OTOH all of the receptacles and switches are at 48" or higher. The only thing down low is the spa equipment. The heater should not be sparking in normal operation but the start switches in the pumps might.
Today we had 3 services inspected for an existing multi-family dwelling undergoing a renovation. We drove ground rods (there will be no slab) inside under the house as the floor is presently removed. Inspector said it is a violation, they must be accessible. We did use the appropriate direct bury acorns and sunk the rods below grade. The exceptions to 250.68 clearly exempt this connection from the accessibility rule and we have no dirt outside, I am going to fight this one. Again, I wasn't there for the inspection, just the GC.