Electrical Building Codes and terminology

quinju.com electrical code and terms

If you are building a new home or hiring a professional renovator it is important to understand the basic Electrical Codes. Electrical is not for the DIY, therefore hiring a professional is always advised.

Room by room electrical requirements

Cooking in the kitchen

The kitchen codes are typically quite complicated as there as more appliances, including fridge, garbage disposal and dishwashers that all need their own circuits. Receptacles above the counter often used for small appliances need to be GFCI on two 20-amp circuits.

Living Room, Bedrooms, and Dining Room electrical codes

To be safe, all rooms must have a light switch to activate room lights. Receptacles are often required at least on every wall but local codes will dictate the distance. Some electrical codes require AFCI receptacles in bedrooms.

Bathrooms electrical codes

GFCI protected receptacles are standard in bathrooms. Lighting in the bathroom should have a covering of some sort. It can be a shroud, lens, or globe. The purpose is to keep the area dry. The lights and the exhaust fans should have their own circuits.

Outside Lighting

All exterior lighting and receptacles must be protected if from the weather. This means that the wiring should be sealed or that you should use underground cabling. Again, the electrical building codes for exterior lighting may differ from location to location. Check with your local electrical inspectors to determine what is appropriate for your region.

House hold electrical terms

Reverse Polarity- The hot wire, usually black in residential wiring, should be wired to the small slot in an electrical outlet and the neutral, usually white, should be connected to the large slot. Another way to remember is black is to brass and white is to silver.

Main Panel- The metal box with all the wire in it, you know the one all the boxes are piled in front of! The main panel typically holds all the breakers and main disconnect.

Junction Box- A metal or plastic box where wires are connected, typically there is a cover over the box. In most the junction-box must be accessible.

Grounding- Connecting electrical items to the earth. The connection provides a path for arrant electrical current to be absorbed by the ground. Often the act of grounding is completed by connection to a ground rod.

GFI or GFCI- Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters is a device that detects a ground fault in a split second, saving injury by stopping the flow of electricity.

Dedicated circuit- A circuit that serves a specific appliance, not multiple devices or receptacles.

AFCI- Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter is a breaker designed to detect an arc and terminate power before a fire can start.

If your unsure, contact a professional or the Electrical Safety Authority or similar in your region. 



Related posts

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.