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[2018 UPDATE] Ask me anything about home electrical requirements, electrical code, wiring, devices

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  • Jan 20th, 2018 11:32 am
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Floger78 wrote:
Dec 23rd, 2017 7:40 pm
Hi all. Can someone tell me if a basement electrical box must be enclosed for code? Meaning....do I need to build a cabinet? Thanks
No, but tangent to your question, you specifically are not permitted to put anything in front of the breaker box (even if it is movable or quickly movable) such as the bookshelf seen in your pictures, that would prevent immediate access to it.
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Hello, we live in an older home(50s bungalow). It currently has a 60a service box + 100a main panel. It's recommended to get these in sync, so I'd like to up the service box to 100a. Anyone know much this would cost? Are estimates free for this stuff?
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Got my inspection done yesterday and passed! thanks for your help!
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jeeva86 wrote:
Dec 28th, 2017 1:13 pm
Hello, we live in an older home(50s bungalow). It currently has a 60a service box + 100a main panel. It's recommended to get these in sync, so I'd like to up the service box to 100a. Anyone know much this would cost? Are estimates free for this stuff?
There's absolutely no reason those need to be "sync'd up". If you have a legitimate reason for increasing your service size, then by all means. But this day in age I'm not sure why you wouldn't go to 200A. 60 to 100 is a bit of a waste of money.
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Drew_W wrote:
Jan 2nd, 2018 10:07 pm
There's absolutely no reason those need to be "sync'd up". If you have a legitimate reason for increasing your service size, then by all means. But this day in age I'm not sure why you wouldn't go to 200A. 60 to 100 is a bit of a waste of money.
Yea, this is only for selling our home since the buyer wanted it as a condition.
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jeeva86 wrote:
Jan 2nd, 2018 10:11 pm
Yea, this is only for selling our home since the buyer wanted it as a condition.
This is a stupid condition and, unless all other conditions are already fulfilled or waived, I'd see it as a signal that the buyer may be a bit of a PITA. There's no code related reason to have them synched. Curious if this is an initial condition or something that has come out of a building inspection?

At the end of the day this would be regarded as an upgrade and you would not normally expect to see upgrades as purchase conditions. I'd reject that condition unless I was pretty sure it was a deal breaker and even then I'd try to negotiate a small price reduction first.

I'd expect less than $2K for just the service upgrade which is really not a significant amount in the context of a property transaction.
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Now that my rough-in has passed, I have a quick question about breaker requirements.
I have the following circuits, and I want to be sure I understand which breakers will be required for each. All are 15A, and no water/sinks/bathrooms:
- Pot lights. No outlets - Requires regular breaker (non-AFCI)
- Outlets along the walls - Requires Combination AFCI breaker
- Storage room which includes 2 lights and an outlet for a freezer - Requires Combination AFCI breaker I think? I've read some horror stories about AFCI tripping and ruining what's in the freezer. Do I need one here? Again there is only one outlet (plus 2 lights) and it will only be used for a freezer.
- Single outlet in the ceiling for projector - Requires Combination AFCI breaker, or can I use a regular one? I thought I read that if it's higher than 2 Meters then it does not require AFCI?

Thanks!
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bpcrally wrote:
Jan 3rd, 2018 10:12 am
Now that my rough-in has passed, I have a quick question about breaker requirements.
I have the following circuits, and I want to be sure I understand which breakers will be required for each. All are 15A, and no water/sinks/bathrooms:
- Pot lights. No outlets - Requires regular breaker (non-AFCI)
- Outlets along the walls - Requires Combination AFCI breaker
- Storage room which includes 2 lights and an outlet for a freezer - Requires Combination AFCI breaker I think? I've read some horror stories about AFCI tripping and ruining what's in the freezer. Do I need one here? Again there is only one outlet (plus 2 lights) and it will only be used for a freezer.
- Single outlet in the ceiling for projector - Requires Combination AFCI breaker, or can I use a regular one? I thought I read that if it's higher than 2 Meters then it does not require AFCI?

Thanks!
Freezer yes. Yep you need one for the projector too. You are thinking about tamper resist requirements when you speak of the 2 meter rule. you will probably pay more for a non tamper outlet these days though.
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dirtmover wrote:
Jan 3rd, 2018 9:42 am
This is a stupid condition and, unless all other conditions are already fulfilled or waived, I'd see it as a signal that the buyer may be a bit of a PITA. There's no code related reason to have them synched. Curious if this is an initial condition or something that has come out of a building inspection?

At the end of the day this would be regarded as an upgrade and you would not normally expect to see upgrades as purchase conditions. I'd reject that condition unless I was pretty sure it was a deal breaker and even then I'd try to negotiate a small price reduction first.

I'd expect less than $2K for just the service upgrade which is really not a significant amount in the context of a property transaction.
Yea, you could say he's a PITA haha, but yes it came from the inspection, so I want to wrap this up.
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DIrty-D wrote:
Jan 3rd, 2018 11:50 am
Freezer yes. Yep you need one for the projector too. You are thinking about tamper resist requirements when you speak of the 2 meter rule. you will probably pay more for a non tamper outlet these days though.
Thanks for clearing that up. So basically I'll need AFCI breakers for all circuits except for my dedicated light circuit?
Wish these things weren't so expensive..

Edit: For the freezer, would something like this suffice and use a regular (not AFCI) breaker?
https://www.homehardware.ca/en/rec/inde ... R-I3665465
Again, this 15A circuit has 2 lights and only one outlet. And since there is only the one outlet, it would save me 40-50$ to install the AFCI receptacle instead of the breaker, if this is allowed...
I would like to know the same for my dedicated projector outlet.
Last edited by bpcrally on Jan 3rd, 2018 12:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Jul 2, 2013
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bpcrally wrote:
Jan 3rd, 2018 12:13 pm
Thanks for clearing that up. So basically I'll need AFCI breakers for all circuits except for my dedicated light circuit?
Wish these things weren't so expensive..
I had the same issue. I think kitchen counter are exempt and a few others like fridge, sump pums, smoke alarm circuits. I got my afci breakers on Kijiji for a lot less than home depot. Pm me if you want their info.
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Sep 11, 2006
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bpcrally wrote:
Jan 3rd, 2018 12:13 pm
Thanks for clearing that up. So basically I'll need AFCI breakers for all circuits except for my dedicated light circuit?
Wish these things weren't so expensive..

Edit: For the freezer, would something like this suffice and use a regular (not AFCI) breaker?
https://www.homehardware.ca/en/rec/inde ... R-I3665465
Again, this 15A circuit has 2 lights and only one outlet. And since there is only the one outlet, it would save me 40-50$ to install the AFCI receptacle instead of the breaker, if this is allowed...
Yes they are expensive! No you cant use just the plug without using bx or conduit to the panel.
ARC Fault Branch Wiring.JPG
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DIrty-D wrote:
Jan 3rd, 2018 12:25 pm
Yes they are expensive! No you cant use just the plug without using bx or conduit to the panel.
ARC Fault Branch Wiring.JPG
Darn. Ok thank you!
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jeeva86 wrote:
Jan 3rd, 2018 12:12 pm
Yea, you could say he's a PITA haha, but yes it came from the inspection, so I want to wrap this up.
Oh dear, yet another home inspector that doesn't know what he's doing :(
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Feb 28, 2016
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I'm looking to add an apartment to my single family home (adding another unit). I'll be adding a 60A sub-panel to feed the new unit to conserve space in my existing 100A main. Do I need an electrician to do this work since it's an apartment or can I get away with pulling the permit myself since I'm the homeowner?

Thanks

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