LOL ... damn close.
Fact is, Mike ... it's a good thing. Residential electrical codes have
saved many a catastrophe since being implemented.
If you think about how deadly electricity can be, and how close the
business end is to you on a daily basis, be thankful it is as
comprehensive as it tries to be.
There are enough crooks and fly-by-nights in this business that will
leave your butt in danger in a heartbeat that you need every advantage
you can garner from the getgo ... .. the average person does not have a
It was developed and is administered by the NFPA for the sole purpose
of minimizing building fire potential.
It was never intended to protect utilization equipment, but rather the
distribution system as it relates to fire prevention of structures.
Don't recall the exact article but somewhere in the NEC for a number of
years has been a phrase stating that overcurrent protection devices
should not be located in the vicinity of easily flammable material ...
or words to that effect.
Yes, particularly with older-style coverless breaker boxes[*]. An
overcurrent condition may cause sparking, which with clothing'**] nearby;
[*] The push type with the on/off window, in particular; I forget the
[**] I suppose if all you wear is wool, then the fire hazard is less,
since it is quite difficult to set wool afire. Fleece, on the other hand,
My buddy built a Post & Beam house a few years ago. He put in a sunken
dining room, a few steps lower than the kitchen.
Going around the room, counter clockwise, one "wall" was the back of
the cabinets under the kitchen counter, the next wall was a finished
exterior wall, the next was floor to ceiling windows, and the last
wall...well, there wasn't a last wall, it was open to the living room.
A beautiful fan & light hung from the ceiling.
He had put receptacles in the "kitchen" wall and the finished exterior
wall, but hadn't gotten around to boreing out the beam under the
windows for any receptacles on that wall. His construction loan was
running out and he had to get an electrical inspection before he could
transition to a regular mortgage.
So he's standing in the kitchen with the inspector, blueprints on the
counter, looking down over the dining room. The inspector says "That's
the dining room. You need receptacles every six feet. There are no
receptacles under the windows. What's up?" My buddy says, in all
seriousness, "Oh, we changed the layout. That's a closet."
The inspector says "Well, you don't need receptacles every six feet in
a closet. You're all set."
Common sense quite often dictates what passes and what doesn't ... a
recessed light in an 8' ceiling above a shower will fail in most
locales, on a 9' ceiling above a shower and it will pass, but be
prepared to prove it to each and every inspector.
Then again you can get away with a lot when an inspector can't read a
set of plans, particularly an electrical plan ... almost always have to
correct some inspectors when it comes to "dead" three way switches,
particularly when they operate lights on different floors ... like with
balcony and porch lights. :)
One of my favorites is municipalities that dictate where HVAC returns
can be. Some Z&P boards don't want old folks standing on chairs to
change an AC filter, so specify they can be a maximum of 48" above a
floor or landing. Others are perfectly happy if you put it on a 10'
ceiling ... although the owners may then finally appreciate just how
farking stupid your architect is. :)
re: "Common sense quite often dictates what passes and what doesn't"
I think in this case the inspector let it slide because my friend was
meticulous in just about every detail of the build, from the 12V
elevator he installed to bring his firewood up from the basement, to
the "whole house fan" he installed in the basement to draw warm air
from the top of the house, down around the double-walled center column
so it was deposited into the sand mass under the slab, where it would
then flow back up through the black plastic pipes than ran to the
vents on the first floor.
I'm guessing that a missing receptacle or 2 in the dining room didn't
bother the inspector too much.
Z&P? Izzat the "Zoological and Proctological" sector of the Building
Code Division? They bring out the animal in you and give you shit.
I just changed a filter for a lady. It was in the wall at the top of
her 12' ceiling, a pretty fun ride from an 8' ladder.
Today I dug out some black bamboo for her (and brought home some
rhizomes.) I have some muck buckets to plant them in to keep them
from doing to me what the little leptomorphs did to her: running all
over the place.
It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor
the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.
-- Charles Darwin
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