NEC proposal for receptacles every 3 feet rejected - comments.

As I look around my house I see many multi-outlets that are messy. A receptacle every 12 feet as now required by the NEC is absolutely too
few. This requirement has been in the NEC for as many years as I have been around. Today with all the electronic equipment we have we need a receptacle every foot or so. Yet a proposal for a receeptacle every 6 feet was rejected. When I look under my computer desk it is nothing less than a rat's nest of cables. I really think the engineers in this field have let us down. Of course there is the blue tooth wireless technology, but it has been twenty years in the making and is too little too late.
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On 24 Sep 2006 23:14:54 -0700 snipped-for-privacy@electrician2.com wrote:
| As I look around my house I see many multi-outlets that are messy. A | receptacle every 12 feet as now required by the NEC is absolutely too | few. This requirement has been in the NEC for as many years as I have | been around. Today with all the electronic equipment we have we need a | receptacle every foot or so. Yet a proposal for a receeptacle every 6 | feet was rejected. When I look under my computer desk it is nothing | less than a rat's nest of cables. I really think the engineers in | this field have let us down. Of course there is the blue tooth | wireless technology, but it has been twenty years in the making and is | too little too late.
I would not want to plug every device in my computer room into a wall receptacle individually. Instead, I have everything daisy chained on 3 power strips going into a single plug. When I need to unplug it all, it's easy to do.
I did see that one of the proposals referred to the issue of furniture. The panel rejected it. But I find it is a very real issue. In their effort to keep the number of receptacles to an absolute minimum, home builders just spread them as evenly as they can at the 12 foot requirement between points where things stop (e.g. doors). No consideration goes into the issue of receptacles that end up behind heavy furniture or even beds, and then are the only ones to use. I have an extension cord running back behind my 2 bookcases in my bedroom because the receptacles were located where it was optimal to put the bookcases. So there is a risk of damage (e.g. someone pushing back on the bookcase) to the extension cord plug, as well as the usual risks of more cords on the floor and cheap sockets on them to plug things in to.
There are plenty of cases of fires that start from extension cord damage. Of course arc-fault protection will help, and I don't want to dismiss that idea. But I do believe the NFPA needs to consider _why_ extension cords get used even in recently build homes that are in compliance with current code. Eliminating the reason behind their use will further reduce the total fire and tragedy hazards that exist. Even reducing them to every 6 feet would be substantially better than the 12 foot requirment we have now.
In my house design (whenever I finalize the floor plan layout, which is not really progressing very well, yet) I will be specifying exactly where receptacles must be placed. I will put them where I expect to need them and where they will be unblocked by expected furniture. Then if it turns out there is a gap between any two that is longer than the code allows, I'll just toss sufficient "useless" receptacles in between to make the compliance work.
We _can_ overbuild. The NEC doesn't prohibit you from putting a receptacle every foot if you so desire. A common question I've seen asked is what is the maximum number of receptacles on a circuit. The answer I usually see is "there is no such limit". So you could have 40 duplex receptacles in your bedroom and it would comply.
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The NEC does "limit" the amount of receptacles depending on the amperage of the circuit breaker supplying that branch circuit. And Phil, use a right angle plug for your extension cord.
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Not in a dwelling
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I recall reading in one of my books that the 3 watts per square foot applies to dwellings. So a 20 ampere circuit cannot supply receptacles for more than x amount of square foot area. I think the calculation went like this:
20 x 120 / 3 = 800 square feet for a 20 ampere circuit.
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On 25 Sep 2006 09:40:08 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@electrician2.com wrote:

That is a reasonable guideline but it has nothing to do with the number of receptacles on that 20a circuit. If you had a choppy floor plan with a lot of separate wall segments and small rooms that 800 sf could mean a buttload of receptacles. In a non-dwelling installation you are limited to 180va per duplex receptacle but that does not apply to residential.
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On Mon, 25 Sep 2006 13:05:58 -0400 snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:
| That is a reasonable guideline but it has nothing to do with the | number of receptacles on that 20a circuit. If you had a choppy floor | plan with a lot of separate wall segments and small rooms that 800 sf | could mean a buttload of receptacles. | In a non-dwelling installation you are limited to 180va per duplex | receptacle but that does not apply to residential.
So a 15-amp 240-volt circuit could have twice as many receptacles as a 15-amp 120-volt circuit? And a 15-amp 277-volt circuit could have 15% more than that (as if there is much that plugs in to 277 volts).
And a 15-amp 12-volt circuit would be pretty much limited to one duplex receptacle (if you could even find something for 12 volts).
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On 25 Sep 2006 18:13:47 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@ipal.net wrote:

Strange as that sounds it does seem to be what the code implies
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On Mon, 25 Sep 2006 15:24:39 -0400 snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote: | On 25 Sep 2006 18:13:47 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@ipal.net wrote: | |>So a 15-amp 240-volt circuit could have twice as many receptacles as a |>15-amp 120-volt circuit? And a 15-amp 277-volt circuit could have 15% |>more than that (as if there is much that plugs in to 277 volts). |> |>And a 15-amp 12-volt circuit would be pretty much limited to one duplex |>receptacle (if you could even find something for 12 volts). | | | Strange as that sounds it does seem to be what the code implies
Excessive receptacles on 240-volt circuits is probably not something they have encountered very many problems with.
I do expect to have two or more 240 volt appliances meeting 210.6(A)(2), including a portable cooker located in the kitchen. The question is, where will it be located. It could be moved around and put just about anywhere. I think you'd agree running an extension cord around the kitchen is a very bad idea. So, where to put the receptacles for it? 210.52 doesn't apply (it specifically says it only applies to 125 volt circuits), but my thought is to follow 210.52's location requirements anyway. How many receptacles per circuit? How many circuits? And they would have GFCI protection.
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| The NEC does "limit" the amount of receptacles depending on the amperage of | the circuit breaker supplying that branch circuit. And Phil, use a right | angle plug for your extension cord.
Where is that limit for 15-amp and 20-amp circuits? What is the limit?
The plug is a right angle (cord parallels walls) and comes off at 210 degrees (e.g. "south west").
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It's pointless to greatly increase the number of wall outlets.
The reality is that folks will routinely plug "electronics" into a power strip (and sometimes a power strip with surge protection.) The electronic boxes are clustered on a desk or in a cabinet; it's easier just to plug everything into a "local" power strip and only have ONE cord going to the wall.
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|
| |> As I look around my house I see many multi-outlets that are messy. A |> receptacle every 12 feet as now required by the NEC is absolutely too |> few. | | It's pointless to greatly increase the number of wall outlets. | | The reality is that folks will routinely plug "electronics" into a power | strip (and sometimes a power strip with surge protection.) The electronic | boxes are clustered on a desk or in a cabinet; it's easier just to plug | everything into a "local" power strip and only have ONE cord going to the | wall.
However, if it leads to cords and plugs going behind furniture that could cause damage, it would be better to have even the power strip plugged into less risky outlet.
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electronic
the
A heavy cord for a power strip is unlikely to be damaged by furniture light enough to be easily moved.
In my place I have a special problem in that few of the outlets are under windows but, rather, are placed on the blank walls between windows. BAD IDEA. What do folks put again a blank wall? Sometimes it's just a picture and a chair but it's often a heavy bookcase or cabinet.
If you want to monkey about with the NEC rules on outlet spacing, make it a requirement there be an outlet UNDER each window.
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| | |> | It's pointless to greatly increase the number of wall outlets. |> | |> | The reality is that folks will routinely plug "electronics" into a power |> | strip (and sometimes a power strip with surge protection.) The | electronic |> | boxes are clustered on a desk or in a cabinet; it's easier just to plug |> | everything into a "local" power strip and only have ONE cord going to | the |> | wall. |> |> However, if it leads to cords and plugs going behind furniture that could |> cause damage, it would be better to have even the power strip plugged into |> less risky outlet. | | A heavy cord for a power strip is unlikely to be damaged by furniture light | enough to be easily moved. | | In my place I have a special problem in that few of the outlets are under | windows but, rather, are placed on the blank walls between windows. BAD | IDEA. What do folks put again a blank wall? Sometimes it's just a | picture and a chair but it's often a heavy bookcase or cabinet.
That's exactly the problem I have. The outlets are behind bookcases that are stocked full of books. Accessing the outlet is a huge chore. Yet I need electricity often right on top of the bookcase. So a "premanent" extension cord is plugged in before the bookcase is in place.
| If you want to monkey about with the NEC rules on outlet spacing, make it a | requirement there be an outlet UNDER each window.
OTOH, I have seen furniture layouts where that won't work, and the regular case would. The difficulty for the NEC is that the placement really needs to consider where furniture actually will be placed, and that isn't something a builder would necessarily know. I could know, in most cases, for the house I will build. But even then, it might not be appropriate for the next owner.
I do think having TWICE the number as is needed to have one reachable within 6 feet will usually make things reachable. The reason is because whenever one is blocked, there almost always is a place about half way to the next one that is not.
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snipped-for-privacy@electrician2.com wrote in

IIRC, the specification is not technically 12'. It says that anything placed along an unbroken wall must be within 6' of a receptacle. This does give you a 12' minimum for an unbroken wall, but there are additional specifications, a receptacle must be within 6' of a corner, and a receptacle must be on any unbroken wall space of 18" or greater. Remember that those are the _minimum_ requirements. Personally, I have never wired a house to the _minimum_ requirements. Instead, I always incorporate extra receptacles, especially in areas where electroics are going to be prolific. A more pressing issue IMHO, is the ever increasing load on receptacle circuits due to the explosion of electronic devices. The code does not limit the number of receptacles on a circuit, this needs to be addressed. In the main congregation room of a home of today (living room, den, etc) where home theaters, computer systems, etc are located, having the entire room on a single branch circuit will not do. There really should be a minimum of 2 branch circuits feeding that room, if not 3. But the NEC lags behind the explosion of electronic devices for the home considerably. Look how long after the ever-increasing trend to small appliances in the kitchen started that it took to get the 2 circuit minimum in place. The same thing is happening in other parts of the home now, but the NEC is lagging behind in applying codes to address the issue.
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Anthony

You can't 'idiot proof' anything....every time you try, they just make
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wrote:

Corners are not addressed

24"
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On Tue, 26 Sep 2006 12:00:03 -0400 snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:
| wrote: | |> a receptacle must be within 6' of a corner, | | Corners are not addressed
Other than to say you just measure around them. They are not a point where the measurement stops. OTOH, I could show an odd kitchen layout where an outlet meeting code would not be reachable from the intended location.
|>and a receptacle must be on any unbroken wall space of 18" or greater. | | 24"
And if he is referring to wall counter spaces, it's 12" (210.52(C)(1)).
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snipped-for-privacy@ipal.net wrote in

I always considered them a point where the measurement stops. as the wall, to me anyway, breaks at the corner.

Ya, counter space is 12", but I was referring to the areas near a door, or around a closet that juts out into the room, etc. Like I said in the reply to the previous post, and I was going off of memory, it's been a few years since I quit wiring houses. That wasn't the point of the post though, the need for multiple circuits in high-usage rooms with the proliferation of electronics was.
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Anthony

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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote in

As I said, IIRC (If I Remember Correctly), hrm..I distictly remember something about corners..or maybe that was implied because of the 'unbroken wall space' deal..(It's been a while since I quit wiring houses.) But that wasn't my actual point of the post, the point being the need for multiple circuits in high-usage areas of a home due to the proliferation of electronic devices.
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Anthony

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