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Quarterly News for California Building Departments

Issue #54, Apr - Jul 2017

Effective March 1, 2107

NEW LAW: GENDER NEUTRAL SINGLE-USER TOILET FACILITIES

Sample unisex bathroom sign

Effective March 1, 2017, California requires single-user toilet facilities to have signs indicating they are gender-neutral (i.e., unisex).  The law was instituted by the passage of Assembly Bill 1732 (Ting), which was signed into law by Governor Brown on September 29, 2016.  The new law is contained in the California Health and Safety Code, commencing with Section 118600.

The new law applies to all single-user toilet facilities in businesses, government buildings, and places of public accommodation. “Single-user toilet facilities” is defined as a “toilet facility with no more than one water closet and one urinal with a locking mechanism controlled by the user.”

In short, the new law requires single-user toilet facilities to be identified as unisex. The signs must comply with Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations. No longer will single-user toilet facilities be able to use male only or female only signage.

Language contained in the new law is somewhat unclear as to its application to existing single-user toilet facilities and the role of the local building department in retroactive enforcement.  Each jurisdiction should review the new law and determine how best to approach enforcement.  The new law can be viewed at the California legislative info site.

CALBO took a neutral position on this bill as it initially did not indicate inspection by a building inspector. However, a late session amendment changed that. CALBO did not change their position on the measure as the amendment appeared to be permissive as opposed to mandatory. Specifically, the law states that: during any inspection of a business or place of public accommodation by an inspector, building official, or other local official responsible for code enforcement, the inspector or official may inspect for compliance with this section. Therefore, CALBO's interpretation is that a building inspector may inspect for compliance with the section of law but is not required to do so.

In regard to signage, DSA recently published information bulletin BU 17-01, which addresses the signage requirements, as they interpret for state schools.

CSU Sacto classrooms
City of La Mirada Resource Ctr
CSU Sonoma Rec
Placer County Resource Ctr
Marnell Business Park
Marnell Business Park

Pictured: A few buildings plan-checked or inspected by Willdan

Focus on the 2016 Codes

2016 California Codes Digest for Dwelling Inspections or Plan Review (Part 1 of a 4-part Series)

code books

Photo: special to Willdan

By Dan Chudy, Ph.D., CBO, LEED AP, CASp
Principal Project Manager – Willdan Engineering

architectural house drawing

A more logical way (at least for me) to organize and consolidate the most common residential code requirements is by segregating them according to which room in the house they apply.   With that in mind, I have compiled such a list. The complete list is much too large to publish in a single Newsletter article; therefore, this topic will be continued in subsequent Newsletters as we move through a typical home, from A (Attic) to U (Utility Room).  The Focus on 2016 Codes page presents a running compilation of the published provisions.

In 2016, the Willdan Letter published a complete list of the previously mentioned code requirements, based on the 2013 California Codes.  This year we will update and publish the list to correlate with the new 2016 California Codes.

Please understand that this effort is a work in progress and I make no claim that the list is all inclusive nor that it is without error. If any errors or omissions are found, please email me at so that the list can be improved.

NOTE: Although many of the code citations herein are carry-overs from the 2013 California Codes, some are new or substantially revised. Those code citations which are either new or substantially revised are highlighted in GREEN. Those code citations that were in the 2013 California Codes, but are not found in the 2016 California codes are highlighted in BLUE. Key words are highlighted in YELLOW in order to assist the user in quickly finding particular items of interest.

CODE PROVISIONS SEGREGATED ALPHABETICALLY BY SPECIFIC ROOMS IN DWELLINGS, (based on the 2016 California Codes)
PART 1: Attic thru Bedroom in this Willdan Letter edition

Click the + next to each title to view its description, or click the "Show All" button.

ATTIC

CRC R202 – Habitable attic not considered a story.  70 S.F. min. and compliant w/R304 & R305

CRC R303.1 - All habitable attics shall have an aggregate glazed area of not less than 8 percent of the floor area, and an openable window area to the outdoors of at least 4 percent for ventilation.

CRC R305.1 Ex 1 – For habitable attics with sloped ceilings, at least 50% of the required floor area shall have a minimum ceiling height of 7’-0” and ceiling heights of less than 5’-0” shall not be considered in the floor area calculation.

CRC R310.1 – At least (1) egress window required in habitable attic: 44” sill, 5.7 sq. ft. min. openable, 20” wide min., 24” tall min.

CRC R312.2.1 – When fall from window would be more that 72” to surface below, window sill to be 24” min. above floor OR, if less than 24” above floor, window opening shall not allow the passage of a 4” diameter sphere or other approved opening control device.

CRC R313.3.1.2 Exception 1– AFES NOT required in unoccupied attic – except one head above fuel fired equipment.

CRC R314.3 – Smoke alarms required in habitable attics.

CRC R314.3.3(2) – Smoke alarms shall not be installed in unfinished attics.

CRC R315.3 – Carbon monoxide alarms required to be at outside each sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms and one on every level, including basements.

CRC R806.1 – Attic ventilation openings shall be corrosion resistant metal mesh, and shall be a minimum of 1/16” and shall not exceed 1/4”opening in mesh.

CRC R806.2. - The required ventilating area ratio is 1/150 of attic area, or 1/300 of attic area if half of the vent area is provided by ventilators more than 3 feet above eave vents providing the remaining portion of the vent area. 

CRC R807.1 – Attic access required if 30 sf. ft. or more in area AND 30” or more in vertical height as measured from the top of the ceiling joist to the bottom of the roof rafter (min. rough-in size is 22”X30”).

CRC Section R806.3 - a minimum 1-inch space shall be provided between the insulation and the roof sheathing and at the location of the vent.

CPC 507.5 – Drainage pan required under water heater if: in attic, attic/ceiling, floor/ceiling, or floor/subfloor where damage could result from leakage.  3/4” minimum drainage line to an approved location.

CPC 608.5(7)Temperature and Pressure relief valve (T & P) prohibited from discharging into drainage pan.

CMC 802.6.3.2 – Horizontal vent run limited to 75% of vertical run.

CMC 802.7.3.2 – Single wall vent pipe shall NOT originate or pass thru an attic space or concealed space (Amerivent flex vent single wall is not acceptable in attic but Duravent double wall flex vent is acceptable in attic).

CMC 304.4 – Minimum attic access is 22” X 30” (see also CRC R807.1).

CMC 304.4.1 and 304.4.2 – Access walkway 24” wide solid flooring with 30”X30” min. clear passageway and 20’-0” max from attic access opening if less than 6’-0” of head clearance.

CMC 304.4.3 – Level working platform not less than 30”X30” at service side of mechanical FAU in attic.

CMC 304.4.4 – Light and receptacle at mechanical unit with switch at attic access opening.  Duplex receptacle NOT to be mounted in upward facing position.

CMC 1313.4 - Gas shut-off to be within 6’-0” of mechanical FAU.

CEC 210.8(A) and 210.12(A) – Receptacle outlets in non-habitable attic do NOT require AFCI or GFCI protection (including the FAU circuit) and are not require to be Tamper-Resistant (CEC 406.12).

CEC 210.12(A)Arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) required for outlets in most rooms of house (except: bathrooms, garages, non-habitable attics, unfinished basements, and exterior outlets).

CEC 210.12(B)AFCI circuits wire length limited from AFCI breaker to first receptacle outlet or AFCI receptacle to next receptacle outlet is 50’-0” maximum for #14 wire and 70’-0” for #12 wire.  The first AFCI outlet to be marked as such (i.e. “First AFCI Outlet”).

CEC 210.52 – Maximum height of required convenience outlets is 5-1/2 feet above the floor.  No minimum height identified in Electrical Code (for disabled access see CBC 1136A.1, which is 48” maximum to top of box and 15” minimum to the bottom of the box).

CEC 210.52(A)1 – Spacing of electrical outlets to be such that no point along the wall line is more than 6’-0” from an outlet (e.g. 12’-0” maximum spacing from outlet to outlet along the wall line).

CEC 210.70 (A)(1) – At least (1) wall switched light outlet required in every habitable room, bathroom, hallway, stairway, garage, exterior side of outdoor grade level entrances (garage vehicle doors are exempt).

CEC 314.29 – Junction boxes in attic to be accessible.

CEC 334.23 & 320.23 – All electrical cable (such as Romex (NMC), Armored Cable (AC), etc.) within 6’-0” of attic access opening and NOT installed along the face of a rafter or joist shall be protected by a guard strip (aka: running board – see 334.15(A))

CEC 690.31(G) – PV DC conductors inside the building to be in metallic conduit or MC Cable

CEC 690.31(G)3 – PV conduit and junction boxes to be labeled “WARNING: PHOTOVOLTAIC POWER SOURCE” in 3/8” capital white letters on red background and reflective.  Labels to be spaced at 10’-0” intervals.

CRC R324.7.2.7– PV DC conductors in the attic shall be in metallic conduit and run along the bottom of load bearing members and labeled every 10’-0”.

CEC 110.8(d) & (e) and 150.0(a)R-22 (or higher – depending on climate zone and compliance approach used) minimum ceiling insulation (exception: R-19 for alterations)

CEC 150.0(a)2 – Attic access scuttle door to have insulation permanently attached and door to be gasketed to prevent leakage.

CEC 150.1(c)2 – Radiant barrier at roof required IF prescriptive approach is used and T-24 calcs specify Radiant Barrier at roof.  Radiant barrier (foil side) requires air space to be effective, therefore if placed over existing sheathing there must be a 1-inch thick spacer between (per CEC Blueprint issue 112– November 2015).

CEC 150.1(c)2 – If radiant barriers are required on the roof by the T-24 calcs, the Gable ends of the attic must also be provided with a radiant barrier.

CEC 150.0(j)2) – Pipe Insulation R4 (1”thick) pipe insulation required on all HOT water pipes 3/4” or larger to point of use and all HOT water pipes (regardless of size) to kitchen fixtures.  Also first 5’ of hot and cold water pipes at the water heater. Pipe insulation NOT required at framing penetrations.  Pipe in insulated wall cavity is acceptable ONLY if Quality Insulation Installation (QII) standards (HERS verification) are met.  Pipe in attic is exempt IF buried by at least 4” blown insulation.  Pipe Insulation to be 4” min from water heater flue.  Hot and cold water lines should be at least 2” apart (to allow 1” insulation on each pipe).

B - BASEMENT

CRC R302.13 – If not fire sprinklered, truss-type floor assemblies and solid sawn or composite joists smaller than 2”X10” exposed from the underfloor side are required to be protected with 1/2” gypsum board or other approved material.  Underfloor crawl space with no fuel-fired appliances or storage and 80 square feet per story are exempt.

CRC R303.1 - All habitable rooms shall have an aggregate glazed area of not less than 8 percent of the floor area, and an openable window area to the outdoors of at least 4 percent for ventilation.

CRC R305.1 – Minimum ceiling height 7’-0” in habitable spaces, hallways, bathrooms and portions of basements.

CRC R305.1 and R305.1.1Beams and other obstructions in basements containing habitable space may project to 6’-4” minimum above floor.

CRC R305.1.16’-8” minimum ceiling height in basement areas that ARE NOT habitable spaces or hallways.

CRC R310.1 – At least (1) egress window required in basements: 44” maximum sill height, 5.0 sq. ft. minimum openable area, 20” wide minimum, 24” tall minimum.  Window well requirements to comply with R310.2.

CRC R310.2.1 Exception – basements used only for mechanical equipment and not more than 200 S.F. don’t require egress windows.

CRC R310.2.3 – Window well min. size: 36” wide and 36” deep (from window) and 9 sq. ft. min. area.

CRC R310.2.3.1 – Window well ladder required if deeper than 44”.

CRC R310.2.3.2 – Window wells to be designed to drain.

CRC R314.3.3(9) – Smoke alarms required on the basement ceiling near the entry to the stairs.

CRC R315.3(2) – Carbon monoxide alarms required to be at outside each sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms and one on every level, including basements.

CEC 210.12(A)Arc-fault circuit interrupter required for outlets in most rooms of house (except: bathrooms, garages, non-habitable attics, unfinished basements, and exterior outlets).

CEC 210.12(B)AFCI circuits wire length limited from AFCI breaker to first receptacle outlet or AFCI receptacle to next receptacle outlet is 50’-0” maximum for #14 wire and 70’-0” for #12 wire.  The first AFCI outlet to be marked as such (i.e. “First AFCI Outlet”).

CEC 210.52 (G) – Basements to have at least (1) receptacle outlet

CEC 210.52 – Maximum height of required convenience outlets is 5-1/2 feet above the floor.  No minimum height identified in Electrical Code (for disabled access see CBC 1136A.1, which is 48” maximum to top of box and 15” minimum to the bottom of the box).

CEC 210.70 (A)(1) – At least (1) wall switched light outlet required in every habitable room, bathroom, hallway, stairway, garage, exterior side of outdoor grade level entrances (garage vehicle doors are exempt).

CEC 406.12 – Tamper resistant receptacle outlets for all non-locking 120V/15 and 20 amp outlets unless for luminaries or over 5’-6” above floor or a single outlet for a single dedicated appliance which is not easily moved or a duplex outlet for (2) dedicated appliances.

150.0(k) – All lighting to be high-efficacy.

BALCONY (see Deck)

BATHROOM, TOILET ROOM, POWDER ROOM

CRC R303.3 – Required ventilation: 3 square feet minimum glazing (half openable) or 50 cfm intermittent or 20 cfm continuous exhaust to outside (w/humidistat if tub or shower - see other more restrictive regulations in Energy code, Green Code and Mech code).

CRC R305.1 Ex #2 – NO minimum ceiling height at toilet room fixtures but they must be capable of being used for their intended purpose.

CRC R305.1 Ex #2 – 6’-8” minimum ceiling height at shower or tub/shower above a minimum 30”X30” area.

CRC R305.1 – Minimum ceiling height is 6’-8”in bathrooms, toilet rooms, etc.

CRC R306.4 – Hot and cold water required to lavatories, bath tubs, showers.

CRC R307.2 – Nonabsorbent wall finish to a height of 6’-0” above floor at shower or tub with shower head.

CRC R308.4.5 – Glazing less than 60” horizontally from shower’s edge or bathtub and less than 60” vertically from floor is considered a hazardous location. (Safety glass required)

CRC R312.2.1 – When fall from window would be more that 72” to surface below, window sill to be 24” min. above floor OR, if less than 24” above floor, window opening shall not allow the passage of a 4” diameter sphere or other approved opening control device.

CRC R313.3.1.2 Exception 3 – AFES not required in bathrooms of 55 sq. ft. or less in area.

CRC R314.3 (5) – Smoke alarms required to be at least 3’-0” from bathroom door or openings (when there is a tub or shower in the bathroom) unless it can’t be reasonably located elsewhere.            

CPC 402.5 – Water closet to be set at least 15” from center to side wall or side obstructions and 24” min. clear space in front of toilet.

CPC 402.5 - Urinals to be set at least 12” from center to side wall or side obstructions

CPC 408.6 – Shower compartments shall have a minimum finished interior space of 1024 square inches and capable of encompassing a 30” diameter circle to a height of 70” above the drain.

CPC 504.1 – Water heaters in bathrooms or bedrooms can’t take combustion air from those rooms and must be in a closet for the exclusive use of the water heater and have gasketed self-closing doors with sealed threshold between the closet and the bedroom or bathroom.

CPC 804.1 – Generally, no indirect waste receptor is allowed in toilet or bathroom.  Exception for the standpipe for clothes washer drain which is allowed to be installed in toilet or bathroom when clothes washer is in the same room.

CMC 311.3(5) – Return air shall not be taken from bathrooms, toilet rooms, kitchens, closets

CMC T403.7 – 50 CFM min. intermittent ventilation required in all bathrooms (rooms with tub, shower, spa, etc) (w/humidistat if tub or shower - see other more restrictive regulations in Energy code, Green Code and Mech code)

Energy Code Lighting Mandatory Measures (150.0(k)) – Exhaust fans switched separately from lights

CMC 902.2 (& 701.4.1)– Fuel burning appliances shall not be installed in bedroom or bathroom unless room size is at least 50 cubic feet of area for every 1000 BTU/h of the name plate rating OR combustion air must be provided to the space from other areas.

CMC 911.1 – Decorative appliances for installation in vented fireplaces shall not be installed in bathrooms or bedrooms unless the appliance is listed and has the appropriate combustion air in the room (50 cf per 1000 BTU/hr per CMC 701.4)

CMC 912.2 (1) - Gas fireplaces shall be direct vent and sealed-combustion type (see also CGC 4.503.1)

CEC 210.8(A)(1) – GFCI outlets required in bathrooms

CEC 210.8(A)(9)GFCI outlets required where outlets are within 6’ of outside edge of bathtub or shower stall.

CEC 210.11(C)(3) – At least (1) 20 amp branch circuit is required in bathroom – no other outlets allowed on this circuit.

CEC 210.52(A) – General convenience receptacle outlet requirements (12’ spacing) NOT applicable in bathrooms.

CEC 210.52 (D) – electrical receptacle outlet to be within 3’ of basin rim (aka: lavatory).  If outlet is below top of basin, to be no more than 12” below.

CEC 210.70 (A)(1) – at least (1) wall switched light outlet required in every habitable room and bathroom and hallway, stairway, garage, exterior side of outdoor grade level entrances (garage vehicle doors are exempt)

CEC 230.70(A)2  - Service disconnect not allowed in bathroom

CEC 404.4(C) - A switch shall not be installed within a bathtub or shower space unless a part of a listed tub or shower assembly.

CEC 406.9(C) – Receptacles shall not be installed within or directly over a bathtub or shower stall.

CEC 406.12 – Tamper resistant receptacle outlets for all non-locking 120V/15 and 20 amp outlets unless for luminaries or over 5.5’ above floor or a single outlet for a single dedicated appliance which is not easily moved or a duplex outlet for (2) dedicated appliances.

CEC 410.10(D) – Lights over tub/shower can’t be pendant type or hanging or ceiling fan and must be 3’ horizontally and 8’ vertically from tub or shower overflow rim.  Fixed type light fixtures that are 8’ or less above the tub or shower overflow rim and within the tub or shower area must be listed for use in damp location or for wet location if subject to shower spray.

CEC 690.13(A) – PV disconnect shall not be installed in bathrooms.

150.0(k) – All lighting to be high-efficacy

150.0(k) – Bathrooms to have at least (1) light fixture controlled by a vacancy sensor

150.0(j)2) – R4 (1”) pipe insulation required on all HOT water pipes ¾” or larger to point of use and all HOT water pipes (regardless of size) to kitchen fixtures.  Also first 5’ of hot and cold water pipes at the water heater. Pipe insulation NOT required at framing penetrations.  Pipe in insulated wall cavity is acceptable ONLY if Quality Insulation Installation (QII) standards (HERS verification) are met.  Pipe in attic is exempt IF buried by at least 4” blown insulation.  Pipe Insulation to be 4” min from water heater flue.  Hot and cold water lines should be at least 2” apart (to allow 1” insulation on each pipe)

150.0(o) – (ASHRAE 62.2) – Exhaust fans: 50 cfm min and 3 sone max sound level

CGC 4.303.1Water Usage: Toilets: 1.28 gal., Urinals: 0.125 gal. if wall mounted - 0.5 gal. if not wall mounted, Shower heads: 2.0 gal., Lavatory: 1.2 gal. (Note: California Civil Code 1101 requires some additions and alterations to retrofit existing noncompliant water fixtures to meet current water saving standards.  Noncompliant is defined as fixtures exceeding the following ratings: Toilets – 1.6 gal, Urinals – 1 gal, Shower heads = 2.5 gal, Lavs = 2.2 gal, Kitchen faucet = 2.2 gal)

CGC 4.506 (& CBC R303.3.1) – Bathrooms with tubs or showers to have Energy Star exhaust fans vented to outside the building and controlled by a humidistat unless a part of the whole house ventilation system (also 50 CFM min intermittent per CMC T403.7 and 3 sone max per T-24 150.0(a) & 150.2(a))

BEDROOM

CRC R302.5.1 – openings (i.e. doors) between a garage and a bedroom are prohibited.

CRC R303.1 - All habitable rooms shall have an aggregate glazed area of not less than 8 percent of the floor area, and an openable window area to the outdoors of at least 4 percent for ventilation

CRC R304.1 and R304.2– minimum room area 70 sf and minimum dimension 7’

R305.1 – Minimum ceiling height in habitable rooms is 7’

CRC R305.1 Ex 1 – For habitable rooms with sloped ceilings, at least 50% of the required floor area shall have a minimum ceiling height of 7’ and ceiling heights of less than 5’ shall not be considered in the floor area calculation.

CRC R308.4.3 – Window glass with bottom edge less than 18” above floor, AND top edge of glass more than 36” above floor, AND exposed area of an individual pane is larger than 9 square feet is required to be safety glass.

CRC R310.2 – Egress windows: 44” sill, 5.0 s.f. (first floor) or 5.7 s.f. (above first floor), 20”wide, 24” tall.  For openings into patios, see R303.8.1, R303.1 Ex#3, R303.2

CRC R310.4 – Bars over egress windows allowed IF they don’t obstruct required opening size and openable from the inside without key or special knowledge or greater force than window (the Fire Dept can (may) require approved exterior release for their use in emergencies)

CRC R312.2.1 – When fall from window would be more that 72” to surface below, window sill to be 24” min. above floor OR, if less than 24” above floor, window opening shall not allow the passage of a 4” diameter sphere or other device to other approved opening control device.

CRC R314.3 – Smoke alarms required in sleeping rooms (aka: bedrooms), outside sleeping room areas in the immediate area of the bedrooms (aka: hallways, etc.), on each story (including basements and habitable attics).  (See also H & S Code 13113.7)

CRC R314.3.3 (excerpt from NFPA 72 Section 29.8.3.4) – Smoke detectors shall not be located in the following areas:

  1. In unfinished attics or garages where the temperature can fall below 40 degrees or above 100 degrees,
  2. Within 20 feet of permanent cooking appliances (Ionization type can be within 10’ and photoelectric type can be within 6’),
  3. Within 3 feet of a bathroom door (with tub or shower) unless there is no other option for placement,
  4. Within 3 feet of an HVAC air supply register,
  5. Within 3 feet of the tips of the blades of a ceiling fan,
  6. In basements stairways the smoke alarm shall be at the bottom of the stairs,
  7. In coffered ceilings the smoke alarm shall be located at the highest portion of the ceiling.

CRC R314.3.3 Removed from 2016 CRC10 year battery only required on smoke alarms if they are the battery only type (not hard wired) NOTE: THIS REQUIREMENT HAS BEEN REMOVED FROM THE 2016 CRC

CRC R314.4 – Smoke alarms to be interconnected (exceptions for some alterations and repairs)

CRC R315.2.1 – CO alarms NOT required if no fuel-burning appliance and no attached garage

CRC R315.3 – CO alarms required to be at outside each sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms and on every level (including basement) of the dwelling (see also H & S Code 17926)

CRC R315.3 - CO alarms required in bedrooms where there is a fuel burning appliance in the bedroom or its attached bathroom.

CRC R315.5 – CO alarms to be hard wired with battery backup in new construction and some remodels.

CRC R315.5 Exception 4 – In existing dwellings where alteration do not result in the removal of wall or ceiling finishes a battery only or plug-in CO alarm may be used (NO mention of a 10-year battery)

CRC R315.7 – CO alarms to be interconnected when more than 1 unit installed

CPC 504.1 – Water heaters in bathrooms or bedrooms can’t take combustion air from those rooms and must be in a closet for the exclusive use of the water heater and have gasketed self-closing doors with sealed threshold between the closet and the bedroom or bathroom.

CMC 902.2 (& 701.4.1)– Fuel burning appliances shall not be installed in bedroom or bathroom unless room size is at least 50 cubic feet of area for every 1000 BTU/h of the name plate rating OR combustion air must be provided to the space from other areas.

CMC 911.1 – Decorative appliances for installation in vented fireplaces shall not be installed in bathrooms or bedrooms unless the appliance is listed and has the appropriate combustion air in the room (50 cf per 1000 BTU/hr per CMC 701.4)

CMC 912.2 (1) - Gas fireplaces shall be direct vent and sealed-combustion type (see also CGC 4.503.1)

CEC 210.12(A)Arc-fault circuit interrupter required for outlets in most rooms of house (except: bathrooms, garages, non-habitable attics, unfinished basements, and exterior outlets)

CEC 210.12(B)AFCI circuits wire length limited from AFCI breaker to first receptacle outlet or AFCI receptacle to next receptacle outlet is 50’ maximum for #14 wire and 70’ for #12 wire.  The first AFCI outlet to be marked as such (i.e. “First AFCI Outlet”)

CEC 210.52 – Maximum height of required convenience outlets is 5-1/2 feet above the floor.  No minimum height identified (unless for disabled access CBC 1136A.1 - 48” max to top of box and 15” minimum to the bottom of the box).

CEC 210.52(A)(1) – Spacing of electrical outlets to be such that no point along the wall line  is more than 6’ from an outlet (eg. 12’ spacing between outlets).  A wall space is any wall 2’ or more in width.

CEC 210.70 (A)(1) – at least (1) wall switched light outlet required in every habitable room and bathroom and hallway, stairway, garage, exterior side of outdoor grade level entrances (garage vehicle doors are exempt)

CEC 406.12 – Tamper resistant receptacle outlets for all non-locking 120V/15 and 20 amp outlets unless for luminaries or over 5.5’ above floor or a single outlet for a single dedicated appliance which is not easily moved or a duplex outlet for (2) dedicated appliances.

CRC R313.3.2.4.2.1 – Pendent sprinkler heads to be no closer than 3’ to the center of ceiling fan or ceiling mounted light fixture.

CEC 314.27 (C) – Paddle fan support boxes to be labeled for such use

150.0(k) – All lighting to be high-efficacy

CGC 4.503.1 – Gas fireplaces shall be direct-vent and sealed-combustion type.  Wood stoves to comply with US EPA New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) and be labeled to meet emission standards. (see also CMC 902.2 and 701.4.1 for combustion air requirements for wood stoves)

Can You Help Me Find it in the Code?

In the prior edition of the Willdan Letter, the following question was posed:

QUESTION: If electrical receptacle outlets are installed in a non-habitable Patio Enclosure (fully weatherproof), are the receptacle outlets required to be GFCI protected? If so, what code section would you cite?

ANSWER: Robert Snyder, a former supervisor with the City of Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety wrote: “As for the question of Ground Fault Circuit question Article 210.8 (A)(2) should cover the question.”

I checked Article 210.8(A)(2) in the 2016 edition of the California Electrical Code and found no direct reference to Patio enclosures, however, I suppose one could interpret a patio enclosure to fit into the broad category of “areas of similar use” as stated at the end of that code section. What do you think? Please let me know if YOU have an alternate opinion or interpretation, at: dchudy@willdan.com.

Article 210.8(A)(2), in pertinent part, reads as follows:

210.8  Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection for Personnel.  Ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel shall be provided as required in 210.8(A) through (D).  The ground-fault circuit-interrupter shall be installed in a readily accessible location.

(A) Dwelling Units.  All 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles installed in the locations specified in 210.8(A)(1) through (10) shall have ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel.

(2)  Garages, and also accessory buildings that have a floor located at or below grade level not intended as habitable rooms and limited to storage areas, work areas, and areas of similar use

LEGISLATIVE REVIEW

For a list of legislative actions which may have an impact on local building departments, visit the CALBO Legislative Watch page.

 

did you KNow?

The Required distance between a clothes dryer duct outlet and an air conditioner outdoor condensing unit

By Dan Chudy, Ph.D., CBO, LEED AP, CASp
Principal Project Manager – Willdan Engineering

I was recently on a ride-along with a Building Inspector trainee performing an inspection on a new HVAC system for a Single Family Dwelling. After the inspection (which went well), I quizzed the trainee on other HVAC requirements that we were unable to view on that particular inspection.  One of the questions I posed was: “If there were a clothes dryer duct outlet near the air conditioner outdoor condensing unit, what is the required minimum distance between the dryer duct outlet and the air condensing unit?”   The trainee stated that he had read a similar question posted on a code forum web site and that the responses had all indicated that there was no such requirement in the code.  Wrong!

Section 150.0(h)3(A)  of the 2016 California Energy Code states that a minimum 5’ clearance is required between the air conditioner or heat pump outdoor condensing units and dryer vent outlets.  The reason is that air borne lint being exhausted from the clothes dryer duct could find its way to the cooling fins of the condensing unit, thus inhibiting the ability of the cooling fins to function efficiently due to the clogged cooling fins.

NEW ICC CERTIFICATION RENEWAL BULLETIN

ICC website screenshot

The International Code Council (ICC) has a new Certification Renewal Bulletin, which was published February 3, 2017.  This new edition supersedes all previous bulletin editions.  If you have ICC Certifications and plan to keep them current, then it is important that you review the latest recertification rules to assure that you are aware of the new rules (if any).

Some years ago, I recall attempting to process my ICC Certification Renewal.  Unknown to me, the rules had changed concerning what seminars could be counted toward the continuing education units (CEUs).  Needless to say, I was extremely nervous that I might come up short on the number of CEUs required because some of the seminars that I had attended were no longer counted.  I learned my lesson, and vowed to keep a closer eye on the Recertification Rules.

Important changes to the ICC renewal process are continuing to go into effect. These changes are part of a three-year program which began in April 2014, to strengthen the credibility of the ICC Certification program. 

One of the major changes (beginning in July 2016) was that 50% of CEUs must be earned from training by ICC or ICC’s Preferred Provider Network (PPN), a group of individuals and companies approved by ICC to provide quality code related training.

The new Certification Renewal Bulletin, which was published February 3, 2017 and complete details on the number of CEUs and where these credits may be earned can be found on this ICC webpage.