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Room-by-room Electrical Code Requirements of a House

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In the US, we have electrical codes to prevent any hazards in the house or building. Each state, including Nevada, has a local code which is usually based on the NEC or National Electrical Code. When renovating or building a house, these codes need to be followed. In fact, checks regarding code compliance are part of a home inspection in Clark County NV well, as much as can be seen with the naked eye. So here are the NEC requirements for each room in the house. 

Living room, bedroom, and dining room

These are the standard living areas and have circuits of 120 volts and 15 or 20 amp. In these rooms, you need,

  • Wall switches near the entrance door that can control a light or receptacle
  • Receptacles not farther than 12 feet from the wall surface
  • A separate 20-amp circuit for the dining table

Hallways and stairways

Much care needs to be taken with the stairs and hallways. With stairs, you need to prevent falls, whereas hallways need adequate lighting during emergencies. These areas require,

  • Three-way switches at both ends of stairways and hallways
  • A general outlet for hallways longer than 10 feet
  • Additional lights for stairways that turn at the landing

Kitchen 

The kitchen has the most use of electricity than any other room in the house. A kitchen needs,

  • Dedicated circuits for major appliances like dishwasher, microwave, oven, etc.,
  • At least two 20-amp circuits for small appliances
  • GFCI protection receptacles within 6 feet of the sink
  • A separate circuit for the lighting

Bathroom

Bathrooms are a place where electrical wiring needs to be done carefully due to exposure to water and moisture. Bathrooms require, 

  • Outlet receptacles with 20-amp circuit
  • At least one 120-volt receptacle within 3 feet of the sink basin edge
  • Dedicated circuits for heaters and vents
  • Lighting fixtures rated for damp or wet locations

Laundry room

The laundry room’s electrical requirement may vary depending on the dryer type (electric or gas). The room needs,

  • At least one 20-amp circuit for receptacles compatible with washes or gas dryer
  • Dedicated 30-amp 240-volt circuit with four conductors for electric dryer
  • GFCI protection for all receptacles

Garage

A garage needs a dedicated circuit of 120 volts and 20 amp, which may power receptacles outside the room. Garages require, 

  • At least one switch for lights [three-way switches recommended]
  • At least one receptacle [one for each car space]
  • GFCI protection for all receptacles

Conclusion

Electrical codes keep homeowners safe. They prevent electrical hazards in the house. NEC codes are adopted by almost all states and are updated every three years. Following these when building a house or renovating one is essential to pass any inspection, home or electrical. However, remember, local codes always take precedence over NEC. 

Nancy
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