Grandfather clause on electrical

Originally Posted By: jrabanus
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.

I went to a training seminar on electrical with some other home inspectors. One question was ask “On the summary do you write up houses that were built before 1975 that do not have GFI outlets in the appropriate places as a safety hazard?” He said “no” because it was before the NEC required it. Also he said he did not write up any splice from old tube and knob wiring that was not in a junction box as a safety issue.

I always write these up a safety issues, am I wrong in doing this. I hate to cause unnecessary panic for my clients.

Josh Rabanus

Originally Posted By: bbadger
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From my point of view (an electrician) I would say you are correct to bring these items up while at the same time making it clear that there are not code violations for a house of that age.

Bring them up as only safety issues not violations.

Just my opinion, Bob

Bob Badger
Electrical Construction & Maintenance
Moderator at ECN

Originally Posted By: jtedesco
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.

Josh: My opinions follow:

Any new splice or tap made in an existing run of knob and tube may be considered as a DEFECT since most were soldered, and taped and the "new" splice was probably not made in that manner.

Here is the entire NEC ARTICLE 394 for Concealed Knob-and-Tube Wiring
I. General
394.1 Scope.
This article covers the use, installation, and construction specifications of concealed knob-and-tube wiring.
394.2. Definition.
Concealed Knob-and-Tube Wiring. A wiring method using knobs, tubes, and flexible nonmetallic tubing for the protection and support of single insulated conductors.
II. Installation
394.10 Uses Permitted.
Concealed knob-and-tube wiring shall be permitted to be installed in the hollow spaces of walls and ceilings or in unfinished attics and roof spaces as provided in 394.23 only as follows:
(1) For extensions of existing installations
(2) Elsewhere by special permission
394.12 Uses Not Permitted.
Concealed knob-and-tube wiring shall not be used in the following:
(1) Commercial garages
(2) Theaters and similar locations
(3) Motion picture studios
(4) Hazardous (classified) locations
(5) Hollow spaces of walls, ceilings, and attics where such spaces are insulated by loose, rolled, or foamed-in-place insulating material that envelops the conductors
394.17 Through or Parallel to Framing Members.
Conductors shall comply with 398.17 where passing through holes in structural members. Where passing through wood cross members in plastered partitions, conductors shall be protected by noncombustible, nonabsorbent, insulating tubes extending not less than 75 mm (3 in.) beyond the wood member.
394.19 Clearances.
(A) General. A clearance of not less than 75 mm (3 in.) shall be maintained between conductors and a clearance of not less than 25 mm (1 in.) between the conductor and the surface over which it passes.
(B) Limited Conductor Space. Where space is too limited to provide these minimum clearances, such as at meters, panelboards, outlets, and switch points, the individual conductors shall be enclosed in flexible nonmetallic tubing, which shall be continuous in length between the last support and the enclosure or terminal point.
(C) Clearance from Piping, Exposed Conductors, and So Forth. Conductors shall comply with 398.19 for clearances from other exposed conductors, piping, and so forth.
394.23 In Accessible Attics.
Conductors in unfinished attics and roof spaces shall comply with 394.23(A) or (B).
FPN: See 310.10 for temperature limitation of conductors.
(A) Accessible by Stairway or Permanent Ladder. Conductors shall be installed along the side of or through bored holes in floor joists, studs, or rafters. Where run through bored holes, conductors in the joists and in studs or rafters to a height of not less than 2.1 m (7 ft) above the floor or floor joists shall be protected by substantial running boards extending not less than 25 mm (1 in.) on each side of the conductors. Running boards shall be securely fastened in place. Running boards and guard strips shall not be required where conductors are installed along the sides of joists, studs, or rafters.
(B) Not Accessible by Stairway or Permanent Ladder. Conductors shall be installed along the sides of or through bored holes in floor joists, studs, or rafters.
Exception: In buildings completed before the wiring is installed, attic and roof spaces that are not accessible by stairway or permanent ladder and have headroom at all points less than 900 mm (3 ft), the wiring shall be permitted to be installed on the edges of rafters or joists facing the attic or roof space.
394.30 Securing and Supporting.
(A) Supporting. Conductors shall be rigidly supported on noncombustible, nonabsorbent insulating materials and shall not contact any other objects. Supports shall be installed as follows:
(1) Within 150 mm (6 in.) of each side of each tap or splice, and
(2) At intervals not exceeding 1.4 m (4? ft).
Where it is impracticable to provide supports, conductors shall be permitted to be fished through hollow spaces in dry locations, provided each conductor is individually enclosed in flexible nonmetallic tubing that is in continuous lengths between supports, between boxes, or between a support and a box.
(B) Securing. Where solid knobs are used, conductors shall be securely tied thereto by tie wires having insulation equivalent to that of the conductor.
394.42 Devices.
Switches shall comply with 404.4 and 404.10(B).
394.56 Splices and Taps.
Splices shall be soldered unless approved splicing devices are used. In-line or strain splices shall not be used.
III. Construction Specifications
394.104 Conductors.
Conductors shall be of a type specified by Article 310.

For receptacles see 406.3 General Installation Requirements.

Receptacle outlets shall be located in branch circuits in accordance with Part III of Article 210. General installation requirements shall be in accordance with 406.3(A) through (F).

(A) Grounding Type. Receptacles installed on 15- and 20-ampere branch circuits shall be of the grounding type. Grounding-type receptacles shall be installed only on circuits of the voltage class and current for which they are rated, except as provided in Table 210.21(B)(2) and (B)(3).
Exception: Nongrounding-type receptacles installed in accordance with 406.3(D).

(B) To Be Grounded. Receptacles and cord connectors that have grounding contacts shall have those contacts effectively grounded.

Exception No. 1: Receptacles mounted on portable and vehicle-mounted generators in accordance with 250.34.

Exception No. 2: Replacement receptacles as permitted by 406.3(D).

(C) Methods of Grounding. The grounding contacts of receptacles and cord connectors shall be grounded by connection to the equipment grounding conductor of the circuit supplying the receptacle or cord connector.

FPN: For installation requirements for the reduction of electrical noise, see 250.146(D).

The branch-circuit wiring method shall include or provide an equipment-grounding conductor to which the grounding contacts of the receptacle or cord connector shall be connected.

FPN No. 1: 250.118 describes acceptable grounding means.

FPN No. 2: For extensions of existing branch circuits, see 250.130.

(D) Replacements. Replacement of receptacles shall comply with 406.3(D)(1), (2), and (3) as applicable.

(1) Grounding-Type Receptacles. Where a grounding means exists in the receptacle enclosure or a grounding conductor is installed in accordance with 250.130(C), grounding-type receptacles shall be used and shall be connected to the grounding conductor in accordance with 406.3(C) or 250.130(C).

(2) Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters. Ground-fault circuit-interrupter protected receptacles shall be provided where replacements are made at receptacle outlets that are required to be so protected elsewhere in this Code.

(3) Nongrounding-Type Receptacles. Where grounding means does not exist in the receptacle enclosure, the installation shall comply with (a), (b), or (c).

(a) A nongrounding-type receptacle(s) shall be permitted to be replaced with another nongrounding-type receptacle(s).

(b) A nongrounding-type receptacle(s) shall be permitted to be replaced with a ground-fault circuit interrupter-type of receptacle(s).

These receptacles shall be marked ?No Equipment Ground.?

An equipment grounding conductor shall not be connected from the ground-fault circuit-interrupter-type receptacle to any outlet supplied from the ground-fault circuit-interrupter receptacle.

(c) A nongrounding-type receptacle(s) shall be permitted to be replaced with a grounding-type receptacle(s) where supplied through a ground-fault circuit interrupter.

Grounding-type receptacles supplied through the ground-fault circuit interrupter shall be marked ?GFCI Protected? and ?No Equipment Ground.?

An equipment grounding conductor shall not be connected between the grounding-type receptacles.

Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant

Originally Posted By: wcampbell
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Here in Texas we are REQUIRED to call out the lack of GFCIs.

This Ole House-Home Inspections

William A. Campbell TREC # 6372

Serving the Texas Coastal Bend

(361) 727-0602 (home)

(361) 727-0055 (office)

(361) 229-4103 (cell)

Originally Posted By: roconnor
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Josh … there is a big difference between a safety hazard and a code violation. I would not mention anything about codes or violations as part of a home inspection … thats not the HI’s job. Plus you would have no idea if there was a more restrictive local code requiring things like GFCI protection that were not yet in the national model codes.

In my opinion things like a lack of GFCI protection in an older home is indeed a "safety concern" or a "safety hazard", using the current safety standards (model codes) as a guide. Even though it may not be a legal requirement (possibly grandfathered), things like GFCI protection are in current model codes for personal safety reasons ... ![icon_wink.gif](upload://ssT9V5t45yjlgXqiFRXL04eXtqw.gif)

The idea is not to scare or panic your clients, but to provide opinions on the condition and safety of the home ... and recommendations on improvements to the safety of a home.

Robert O'Connor, PE
Eagle Engineering ?
Eagle Eye Inspections ?
NACHI Education Committee

I am absolutely amazed sometimes by how much thought goes into doing things wrong