210.52(A)(1) Spacing [dwelling receptacles]

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dnem

Senior Member
BryKey said:
We must protect them from themselves.
If protecting people from themselves was the only issue, then I would say "Go ahead ! . Shock and burn yourself, have fun with your hospital stay and your skin grafts". . But the problem is that there is, at least, 2 other issues involved.
1] Those houses contain children
2] Most homebuyers are not involved in the building process. . When they move into the house, if they are even aware that there is a danger at all, they are faced with the decision between a costly post drywall rework or going with extension cords that don't look too bad. . Post drywall is the wrong time to address this stuff. . You shouldn't be expected to be forced to rewire your house just to get minimum functioning.
 

dnem

Senior Member
petersonra said:
realistically, the use of extension cords is not really a safety issue when they are used appropriately.
That's a big huge "when" you left hanging out there !

petersonra said:
running them along a wall where they are not likely to be damaged is no more of a hazard then running the cord from the lamp there.
Don't forget that 6 foot cords give a total of 6 feet cord exposure per electrical item. . Extension cord exposure is unlimited, just like BryKeys picture shows.

And, one more issue.
Starting with '08 you get child TR protection on receptacle plugs but none on extension cord plugs.
 

M. D.

Senior Member
Lets say you were able to document several issues related to the current requirement,.. lets test the "reaching" power of the NEC and mandate 7' cords on lamps and such..sort of like the vending machine:grin:
 

dnem

Senior Member
M. D. said:
Lets say you were able to document several issues related to the current requirement,.. lets test the "reaching" power of the NEC and mandate 7' cords on lamps and such..sort of like the vending machine:grin:
If the NEC doesn't want to change plug spacing, allowing 7' cords would be the next good idea. . I think the time is ripe for this type of proposal. . Recepts have TR, ex cords don't.
 

renosteinke

Senior Member
I'm not happy with a lot of the receptacle placements I see, but I doubt that this section of the NEC is either the cause, or the place for fixing things.

The problem, as I see it, is using the code as a design manual - something addressed in Article 90, but not considered enforceable.

Simply put, the 'typical' approach has been to start at the door, measure 6 ft., place a receptacle, than measure another 12 ft. for the next receptacle ... and so on, around the perimeter of the room.
Since most rooms have walls between 8 ft. and 16 ft. long, this practice almost always results in the receptacle being placed behind the furniture - leading to cord damage, extension cords, AFCI sales pitches, etc. How much better if only the receptacle had been placed at either side of the furniture!

This, naturally, leads to many pure design issues. So, we're back to the code being intended as a minimum design for safety.

A corollary of the OP's suggested change will be requiring more receptacles - yet there is no assurance of the placement being any better. In a typical room, I see the net effect being a slight shift in the placement of each receptacle - not enough to make a difference - with the final receptacle being placed behind the door swing .... where it will be pretty much useless.

I say ... leave it be.
 

dnem

Senior Member
renosteinke said:
Since most rooms have walls between 8 ft. and 16 ft. long, this practice almost always results in the receptacle being placed behind the furniture - leading to cord damage, extension cords, AFCI sales pitches, etc. How much better if only the receptacle had been placed at either side of the furniture!
"placed at either side of the furniture"
What day of the week are you talking about ? . I have a sister-in-law that moves her furniture around a couple of times a week. . I know her approach isn't typical but there's no such thing as "placed at either side of the furniture". . You can guess at where the furniture is going to be put. . And you can also put in receptacles closer together than 12 feet if your furniture placement guesses lead you in that direction.

On another thread there is a discussion that brought up kitchen counter design and that the designer and/or cabinet maker should incorporate the plugs into the design. . I agree with that thought. . But when you come to open wall areas, how many electricians run thru placement of every plug in the house with the owner ? . I just talked to an electrician on Friday that told me he had 6 man days total in most of his roughs. . These guys "hit the ground running". . The homeowner has to lasso the electrician if he wants to get a word in edgewise.

The code is written with Tennisshoe Ted in mind not with the conscientious craftsman in mind.

renosteinke said:
This, naturally, leads to many pure design issues. So, we're back to the code being intended as a minimum design for safety.
If you want to see designed plug spacing, then go into an office building when they're moving furniture in. . Each individual office room has one, maybe 2 plugs, and the extension cords and dollar store plug strips start coming out all over the place. . Sometimes I'm tripping over extension cords just to get thru the inspection. . It gets worse when the new tenants needs are considered close enough to what's existing and no remodel is done. . Just buy more cords instead of remodeling.

The CMP feels this is an extension cord safety issue. . If they keep the spacing at 2/6/12 or if they lower those numbers, the decision will be based on their conclusions about safety, not about design.
 

wasasparky

Senior Member
What are the odds of having most/many spacings max'd at 12'?
What are the odds that they want the lamp eactly in-between?
 

dnem

Senior Member
wasasparky said:
What are the odds of having most/many spacings max'd at 12'?
What are the odds that they want the lamp eactly in-between?
I stand in at least one house a week, for a rough inspection, considering if I should write up a spot in the house that has a spacing of about 12 to 12 1/2 feet.

Many contractors will stretch whatever number you give them to the very limit and even grab a few extra inches beyond that.
 

charlie

Senior Member
dnem said:
. . . Many contractors will stretch whatever number you give them to the very limit and even grab a few extra inches beyond that.
I agree but what we have today is great in comparison. The home I grew up in had a single bare light in the middle of the room with a socket at right angles to the hanging lamp for a screw-in receptacle.

The 'new' homes built when I was a youngster (late 40's & early 50's) had a receptacle outlet on each wall. This was fantastic!

The home I am now in was built in 1978 and did not have the required receptacle outlets that were required then (basically the same as now) and we have to run extension cords. Have things changed? You betcha! Do we need all those receptacle outlets? You betcha! Should the AHJs enforce the spacing requirements? You betcha! There will always be extension cords but why have more than just a few? :smile:
 

roger3829

Senior Member
wasasparky said:
What are the odds of having most/many spacings max'd at 12'?
What are the odds that they want the lamp eactly in-between?

Maybe we should just install Plugmold around the entire room with receptacles spaced every 6".

That would solve all the problems.:smile:
 

wasasparky

Senior Member
roger3829 said:
Maybe we should just install Plugmold around the entire room with receptacles spaced every 6".

That would solve all the problems.:smile:
Until we start seeing 1' lamp cords:D :wink:
 

JDB3

Senior Member
Jdb3

Jdb3

Well I don't know what to say about the 5' spacing, except we have a piano with a lamp on it. What about raising all plugs to 30" to center & having them every 4'. 30" would help save my back & less wire down the wall! Yes I am an older electrician.
 

kid_stevens

Senior Member
We still did not add in vertical cord drop a 6 foot cord to reach 5 feet will still hang in the air and Grandma does not want that cord messing up her decorations. They would need to be every 4 feet for most cords to lay on the floor when the end has a light on it. I did a garage as a gym and we used 9 feet spacing just for that reason.
 
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