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Thread: Back to Back Receptacles

  1. #1

    Question Back to Back Receptacles

    I will need so advise to solve this problem.
    In a project of a condo building, I have a situation where I have back to back receptacles on a demising wall. These boxes are located in two mirror image bath rooms and the outlets are in the same spot on both walls, considered back to back. The code does not allow back to back's and I will have to move one on either side or can I move it up.

    Since I have a mirror on one side and a knee wall separating the vanity with the jacuzzi on the other, the only thing I could do is to raise the outlet.

    Please advise if I should raise the outlet and by how much. :-?

    Is there a minimum distance required on how far apart they need to be so that they are not considered being back to back and still comply with the receptacle required for the vanity.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    Germantown MD
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    755
    As long as these are not in the vanity area, raise or lower it as much as you want.
    Make something idiot proof and someone will make a better idiot.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Litchfield, CT
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    What code prevents you from going back to back? Is this a fire or sound issue?
    "Electricity is actually made up of extremely tiny particles called electrons, that you cannot see with the naked eye unless you have been drinking."

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    This is more a "fire" code.... I assume you're talking about to fire rated walls?

    It would really depend on the rating of the wall as a system... 'No back to back' - is more a rule of thumb than a "CODE" per se. There are ways around it, but moving the box up will not help... Have the framers put a stud between them and use a intumesant fire pad.

    Take a look at pages 5-6 of this, infact print the whole thing and have it handy for the inspection for when the guy says you can't have boxes closer than 24" - then roll up the paper into a small bat - then hit him with it. :grin: (Lightly....)
    Electric heretic
    It's always gonna be in the last place you look....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Manhattan, KS, USA
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    16
    Quote Originally Posted by e57
    This is more a "fire" code.... I assume you're talking about to fire rated walls?

    It would really depend on the rating of the wall as a system... 'No back to back' - is more a rule of thumb than a "CODE" per se. There are ways around it, but moving the box up will not help... Have the framers put a stud between them and use a intumesant fire pad.

    Take a look at pages 5-6 of this, infact print the whole thing and have it handy for the inspection for when the guy says you can't have boxes closer than 24" - then roll up the paper into a small bat - then hit him with it. :grin: (Lightly....)
    Good answer from a building inspector's point of veiw - except the 24" IS more of a code issue (building) than a rule of thumb. And...most inspectors don't take kindly to getting smacked with a rolled up paper!

    I've lost track of how many electricans I've turned on to puddy pads - they save the day pretty often around here. I guess most of the electricians I work with don't read this forum...too bad!

  6. #6

    Talking BAck to Back Boxes

    Thank you all.
    e57, I printed out what you posted and Thank You again.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    Darren Emery - When I said, "'No back to back' - is more a rule of thumb than a "CODE" per se." I meant that no "back to back" is mentioned in the code. No outlet closer than '24" horizontal' is, unless you cover it by some other listed or prescribed method. Unfortunately, this "No back to back" language comes from the instuctions on one of the listed products for this type of use.

    And I'm sure the OP knows I'm kidding and meant it figuratively when I said hit the inspector with it. :grin:
    Electric heretic
    It's always gonna be in the last place you look....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Simi Valley, CA
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    7,177
    You can use fire pads in this situation, but it must say in the pad listing that this application is ok. Allied makes a box that only requires 3" of seperation and no stud between them.

    Be very careful on mulitfamily projects. If you use fire pads they must also have a sound transmission rating of 50 or higher and not all of them have it. You could have them do a field test and it only has to be a 42+, but the building has to be done to do this test and that could be an expensive fix.
    I can build anything you want if you draw a picture of it on the back of a big enough check.

    There's no substitute for hard work....but that doesn't mean I'm going to give up trying to find one.

    John Childress
    Electrical Inspector
    IAEI / CEI / C10
    Certified Electrical Inspector

  9. #9

    Exclamation Back to Back Boxes

    The boxes that I have are back to back but they have about 1 1/2" of space between them. They have fire pads. Would this be acceptable or would I have to move them.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    St Petersburg FL
    Posts
    123
    would a box with a two hour rating be acceptable for back to back applications?

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