GFI's and other rants

Our town has enacted an ordinance where homes for sale must be "brought up to code".
From talking to others, I get the impression they can be pretty picky. There seems to be a blurry line between "safety" and subsidising the local contractors.
Our home is close to a hundred years old. It's had a hundred years occupancy without any major safety issues.
I don't see how a handrail on a narrow attic stairway will actually improve things.
re GFI outlets in the kitchen; All outlets ? Those near the sink ?
re electric outlets; Our bathroom has electric lighting, but NO electric outlets. ( don't need 'em ) Is there a REAL requirement for ; "A minimum 2 outlets per room" ?? <rj>
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<< I don't see how a handrail on a narrow attic stairway will actually improve things. >>
You will when you are older. Poor eyesight and arthritis are conditions that benefit from handrails on stairways.
<< GFI outlets in the kitchen >> << Those near the sink ? >>
Just common sense safety item.
<< Our bathroom has electric lighting,but NO electric outlets. >>
So you use your hair dryer in the kitchen (where there are presumeably 20 A outlets to handle the load)?
<< Is there a REAL requirement for ; "A minimum 2 outlets per room" ?? >>
You have a clock/radio, window fan, and reading lamp all plugged in. Wouldn't it be nice to have a plug for the vacuum cleaner, too ?
<< Our town has enacted an ordinance where homes for sale must be "brought up to code". >>
Just do it. You'll wind up with a better price when you sell and life will be much more pleasant. HTH
Joe
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Wow! Sounds like a homeseller's nightmare. I suggest contacting the agency that has jurisdiction on this matter to find out precisely what they require. Do they just want the electrical brought up to date, or the plumbing, heating, structural, sound, handicap, and fire codes also? Perhaps the local building department has authority in this matter. Give them a call.
If you had to bring an entire house up to current codes, it might be cheaper to build a new one.
The current National Electrical code requires a separate 20 amp circuit for bathroom receptacles. All bathroom receptacles can be on the same circuit, but must be GFI protected. Generally speaking electrical receptacles for the rest of the house are spaced twelve feet apart as measured along the wall. Sliding glass doors are considered wall space according to the NEC. Kitchen countertop receptacles need to be GFI protected, but not a receptacle behind a refrigerator or oven.
Good luck.
John Grabowski http://www.mrelectrician.tv

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John Grabowski wrote:

In a 100 year old house, you might not have a spare 20A circuit. He could *very* easily have a 60A service with 4 edison fuses for lighting and branch circuits and a pair of cartridge fuses for the range. And knob and tube wiring.
I'd replace the kitchen sink outlet with a GFCI, put a GFCI in the laundry room and one in the garage (if the garage has electricity), install that attic hand rail that doesn't make sense, and try to talk my way out of doing much else.
-Bob
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The most effective modification you could make is to vote the bastards who did this to you out, and then get the ordinance repealed.
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wrote:

You know how hard that would be? (The brought up to code part, that is.) For instance, in my house, where all the outlets are grounded, I'd have to go turn them upside down. Then, I'm sure that there aren't enough electrical outlets, there aren't enough GFCI outlets (which I'll fix), the list goes on and on.
--
Bob in CT
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Turn the outlets upsidedown??
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Some local codes require the ground lug be at the top of the outlet so, in the rare chance that a plug is not fully inserted into the outlet and that thin conductive object (that we all have on our walls hovering above the electrical outlets just waiting for the perfect opportunity to cause trouble) should just happen to slide down the wall at the exact location of the outlet, and miraculously fit itself between the wall plate and the plug, it will contact the ground prong, instead of shorting the hot and neutral prongs.
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AlienZen wrote:

But what if it shears off the ground pin? (I bet they never thought of that...)
-Bob
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[original post is likely clipped to save bandwidth]
wrote:

Sure strains the heck out of molded right angle appliance cords! At least the ones I've seen.
gerry
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The reason I asked was beacuse I wasn't sure what was meant by upside dwn not being abe to see the present position. As afr as the ground pin being in the up position ,that was the original intent. It was a throw back to the days when the plates were metal not plastic.
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the
thin
electrical
just
contact
What if the receptacle is horizontal? Should the ground be on the left or the right?
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[original post is likely clipped to save bandwidth]

Check your local codes, it isn't a NEC issue. Horizontal is very common on for outdoor outlets with weather covers.
Local example - in a home or office, you can put them any way you want. 37 degree angle is fine is the carpenter framed a bit sloppy ;-)
A different example, in a hospital room, they must be vertical, ground up and use metal cover plates.
gerry
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Are you _really_ sure about that? An ordinary mid-20s house could easily cost well in excess of $10,000 to be "brought up to code". Start with full service replacement, replace all wire, and everything else... You might get to keep some of the light fixtures if you were very lucky.
Some areas have something much more reasonable: if there is anything in the house that was done illegally (ie: without a permit when it should have had one), it has to be rectified. Ie: permit obtained, and inspected/brought up to current code as if it was being done now.
Doesn't apply to previous work that was done legally.
If not, this would be just about the only time I've ever heard of retroactive electrical code compliance requirements. [aside from smoke alarms]
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
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wrote:

Check again. More likely is meeting Life/Safety code. In many states, the town can't actually enact such an ordinance, so get a copy and see what you're really facing.

Stand near the top. Lean way over backward. Brush yourself off, check for bruises and then re-evaluate your comment.

All. But that means just the first in line, since all downstream outlets are protected. Or a GFCI breaker.

Must be hell still using that straight razor and running out to the garage to blow-dry your hair.

That's not code. So again, check the ordinance. And yes, outlets in the bathroom are a requirement. Especially if you intend to sell.
Jeff
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Silly. This house is a 100 years old, right? Not only did they not have hairdryers or electric razors but if it's anything like mine each bedroom has a washing alcove with hot and cold running water and a sink. Over the years these bedroom washing areas have had things such as electricity added so that hair drying and razor re-charging isn't done in the bathroom but in the bedroom. Ergo, no need for electrical outlets in the bathroom!
This arrangement (the bedroom washing area) is so obviously beneficial that rather than retro-fit the bathroom with an electrical outlet, all homes should be obliged to retro-fit their bedrooms. Think about it: You want to shave but the wife's drying her hair... you want to shave but there's someone flooding (or has flooded) the bathroom with steam... your wife wants to put on her makeup (an easy hour's work) and needs access to water so goodbye bathroom... Bathrooms should be for bathing which today extends to showering but not all these ancillary tasks which would be more economically and more comfortably done in the bedroom.

And I suppose you have to have electricity! Idiots!
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Most likely your kitchen electrical outlet boxes aren't big enough to put a GFCI in them. If you really have to do this, try to get a GFCI breaker instead.
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Wait till the new fire code hit the streets in RI lots of residential changes.
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