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Quarterly News for California Building Departments

Focus on the 2016 Codes

In this Issue

Focus on the 2016 Codes, compiled

A New Tool for Your Tool Box

code books

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 the room in the house to which they apply.   With that in mind, I have compiled such a list in alphabetical order by room, and in 2016, the Willdan Letter published the list based on the 2013 California Codes (compiled here).

This year we are updating the list to correlate with the new 2016 California Codes.

NOTE: Although many of thecode 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.

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.

CODE PROVISIONS SEGREGATED ALPHABETICALLY BY SPECIFIC ROOMS IN DWELLINGS

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)

CARPORT

CRC R302.6 – No separation required between carport and house if no enclosed area above.

CRC Table R302.6 –5/8” on ceiling only when habitable space is above.

CRC R309.2 – Shall have noncombustible floor (asphalt floor OK if at ground level), floor to be sloped to a drain or toward vehicle doorway.

CRC R309.2 – Minimum 2 sides open

CRC 309.2 – If carport is NOT open on 2 or more sides is considered a garage.

CRC R309.6 – AFES required in attached garages and carports with habitable space is above.

CRC R313.3.1.2 Exception 4 – AFES not required in detached garages and carports with no habitable space above.

CEC 210.8(A)(2) – GFCI outlets required in carport and similar areas.

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 210.70 (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 & 20 amp outlets unless for dedicated appliance or luminaries or over 5.5’ above floor.

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.

150.0(k)(3)Outdoor lighting must be high-efficacy AND have motion sensor plus photocell or astronomical time clock AND a manual On/Off switch that does not override the automatic controls.

CLOSET

CRC R313.3.1.2 Exception 2 – AFES not required in closets, pantries, etc. which do not exceed 24 square feet in area, with the smallest dimension not greater than 3’.

CPC 804.1 –No indirect waste receptor is allowed in closet, cupboard or storeroom. 

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

CMC 701.6 – Mechanical closet outdoor combustion air opening requirements (see code).

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 – Closets are exempt from the general convenience outlet requirements (12’ spacing).

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 410.16(B) – Incandescent lights with open or or partially enclosed lamps and pendent lights are prohibited in closets.

CEC 410.16(C) – Fluorescent light = 6” from shelf, LED or incandescent = 12” from shelf with some exceptions for LED (see Energy Code requirement for High Efficacy lighting).

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

150.0(k)2(K) Exception – Light dimmers are not required in closets less than 70 square feet in area.

DECK / BALCONY

CRC R105.1 #10 – Exempt from Permit if less than or equal to 200 square feet and 30” or less above grade and not attached to a dwelling and does NOT serve the required exit door.

CRC R311.3 - Exterior doors to have min. 36” deep landings by the width of the door, on each side (exception for 36” depth if balcony is less than 60 s.f. in area).

CRC R311.5 – Positive anchorage to primary structure (NO toe nails or nails in withdrawal).

CRC R507.1 – Decks cannot use nails in withdrawal or toenails for the attachment to the house

CRC R337.7.8 – Exposed underfloor or underside of overhang in Wildland Urban Fire Interface zones shall be constructed with Ignition-resistant or Noncombustible material. 

CRC R337.9 - The walking surface of decks, porches, balconies and exterior stairs located within 10’ of a building in Wildland Urban Fire Interface zones shall be constructed with Ignition-resistant or Noncombustible material. 

CEC 210.8(A)3 – GFCI outlets required outdoors.

CEC 210.52 (E)(3) – Balconies, decks and porches to have at least one receptacle outlet if deck is attached to dwelling AND access to balcony is from within the dwelling (Max. height of outlet is 6.5’ above deck).

CEC 210.70 (A) – 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 314.27 (C) – Paddle fan support boxes to be labeled for such use.

CEC 406.9 (A) & (B) – Outdoor receptacle outlets to be weatherproof covered with the chord plugged in if in a wet location (w/o chord plugged in if in damp location).  Damp location is protected from rain by roof (i.e. under a patio cover).

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.

150.0(k)(3) – Outdoor lighting must be high-efficacy AND have motion sensor plus photocell or astronomical time clock AND a manual On/Off switch that does not override the automatic controls.

DINING ROOM

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 R303.2 – Natural light and ventilation may be taken from an adjoining room if at least one-half of the area of the common wall is open and unobstructed AND provides an opening of not less than 1/10 of the floor area of the interior room AND not less than 25 square feet.

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 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.

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 (e.g. 12’ spacing between outlets).  A wall space is any wall 2’ or more in width.

CEC 210.52(B) – Small appliance branch circuits for kitchen to also serve all dining room wall receptacles and refrigeration outlets.

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.

ENTRY & FOYER (including Exits)

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 R311.2 – Exit doors shall be openable from the inside without the use of a key (i.e. double key dead bolt).

CRC R311.2 – Every dwelling shall have at least (1) side-hinged exit door with a minimum 32” clear width by 78” clear height opening (measured with door open 90 degrees).

CRC R311.3 – Landings at exterior doors to be 36” deep in direction of exit travel, the width of the door served, 7.75” max step down (from top of threshold to landing) provided that the door does NOT swing over the landing.  Otherwise, 1.5” max from top of threshold when door swings over landing. 2% max slope.

CRC R311.3.2 Exception – No landing required on exterior side of door where stairway is 2 or fewer risers ( 1 tread) and door does not swing over stairway.

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 R313.3.1.2 Exception 4 – AFES not required in unheated entry areas adjacent to an exterior door.

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(E)(1) – At least 1 exterior receptacle outlet required at front and 1 at rear of house.  Not more than 6.5’ above grade level.

CEC 210.52(H) – Hallways 10’ long or more shall have at least (1) receptacle outlet.

CEC 210.52(I) – Foyers which are NOT a part of a hallway and more than 60 square feet in area shall have at least (1) receptacle on each wall that is more than 3’ 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 406.9 (A) & (B) – Outdoor receptacle outlets to be weatherproof covered with the chord/plugged in if in wet location (w/o chord plugged in if in damp location).  Damp location is protected from rain by roof (i.e. under patio cover).

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.

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

FRONT ROOM or LIVING ROOM

SCAQMD Rule 445 – Applicable to portions of Southern California.  Wood burning fireplaces NOT permitted in new construction (except if above 3,000 in elevation or no infrastructure for natural gas service within 150’ of property). Rule applies to all permanently installed indoor and outdoor wood burning fireplaces or fire pits.

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 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 AND where a walking surface is within 36” horizontally of the glass is required to be safety glass. (There are a few exceptions.)

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.

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 (e.g. 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.

150.0(e) – When gas logs, gas log lighters, or decorative gas appliances are installed in a fireplace, the flue damper is to be blocked open.

CGC 4.503.1 – Gas fireplaces shall be direct-vent and sealed-combustion type.  Wood stoves to comply with U.S. EPA New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) and be labeled to meet emission standards.

GARAGE

CRC R202 – Accessory structures (i.e. garages, etc.) may be unlimited in area and 3 stories in height.

CRC R302.1 #4 – Detached garages w/in 2’ of PL are limited to 4” max eave projections.

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

CRC R302.5.1 – Requirements for doors between house and garage:

w/o AFES w/AFES
Solid wood or steel or 20 minute rated 1-3/8” No specified type, rating, or thickness
Self-closing & self-latching Self-closing & self-latching

CRC R302.5.2 - Ducts in the garage and ducts penetrating the walls or ceilings separating the dwelling from the garage shall be constructed of a minimum No. 26 gage (0.48mm) sheet steel or other approved material and shall have no openings into the garage.

CRC R302.5.3 and R302.11, Item 4 – Pipe, vent, duct and wire penetrations of the garage firewall need not be sealed with a listed firestop but do need to be sealed to prevent passage of flame with an approved material.

CRC R309.1 – Floor to slope to a drain or toward vehicle doorway, noncombustible floor required.

CRC Table R302.6 – ½” gyp board between house and garage – 5/8” on ceiling if habitable space above, ½” on exterior wall (detached garage) when less than 3’ to dwelling.

CRC R309.5 – Zero lot line subdivision garages to be provided with residential sprinklers or quick-response sprinklers.

CRC R309.5 – Garage door NOT considered an obstruction to AFES sprinkler heads.

CRC R309.6 – AFES required in attached garages and carports with habitable space above.

CRC R311.1 – Required exit can NOT pass through the garage.

CRC R311.3.1 Exception - Landing or floor on the exterior side shall not be more than 7-3/4 inches below the top of the threshold provided the door does not swing over the landing or floor.

CRC R311.7.6 Exception – Landing not required at top of stairs from garage to house provided door does not swing over stairs.

CRC R313.3.1.2 Exception 4 – AFES not required in detached garages.

CRC R314.3.3 – Smoke alarms shall not be installed in garages.

CBC Table 1607.1, footnote a - Structural members of garage or carport floor systems shall be design to support a 3,000 lbs. point load on an area 4.5” X 4.5”. 

CRC R302.5.3 and R302.11, Item 4 – Pipe, vent, duct and wire penetrations of the garage firewall need not be sealed with a listed firestop but do need to be sealed to prevent passage of flame with an approved material.

CPC Table 501.1(1) – First Hour Rating (minimum hot water production capacity for storage type water heaters):

# Bathrooms 1 – 1.5 2 – 2.5 2.5 – 3.5
# Bedrooms 1 2 3 2 3 4 5 3 4 5 6
1st Hour Rating 42 54 54 54 67 67 80 67 80 80 80

CPC 507.2 – Seismic straps required at upper and lower 1/3rd of water heater and at least 4” above the control box at the bottom.

CPC 507.4 – Drainage pan under water heater if: in attic, on floor/ceiling, floor/subfloor where damage results from leakage.  ¾” minimum drainage line to approved location.

CPC 507.13 - Water heater burner element to be 18” or more above garage floor (unless FVIR listed).

CPC 507.13.1 – Water heater or other appliance to be protected from physical damage if in path of vehicle by either protective barriers, being elevated, or located out of the normal vehicular path.

CPC 509.10.7.1 – Single wall vent maximum horizontal length is 75% of its height.  Double wall vent maximum horizontal length is 100% of its height.

CPC 608.5 – Temperature & Pressure (T & P) relief valve to discharge through an air gap to a drainage system or to the outside of the building between 6” – 24” above grade and pointing downward without threads on the termination pipe.  Not allowed to discharge into a water heater drain pan. 

CPC 1212.8 – Sediment trap shall be as close to appliance inlet as practical with a 3” minimum nipple on down leg. (Exempt appliances: ranges, clothes dryers, decorative appliances in fireplaces, outdoor grills, illuminating appliances.)

CPC Table 1216.2(1) and manufacturer’s installation instructions – Tankless water heaters usually require a minimum ¾” gas line (some allow a ½” gas line up to 24’ or so – check w/mfg specs).

CMC 305.1 – Appliances with burner elements (i.e. water heater, FAU, etc.) to be 18” or more above garage floor (unless FVIR listed).

CMC 305.1.1 – Appliance to be protected from physical damage if in path of vehicle by either protective barriers, being elevated, or located out of the normal vehicular path.

CMC 802.10.5 – Joints in vent connectors to be secured with sheet metal screws (no mention of number of screws) or per manufacturer’s specifications.

CEC 210.8(A)(2) – GFCI outlets required in garages (ALL receptacle outlets in garage – including garage door opener –changed in 2008).

CEC 210.17 – Electric vehicle charging outlets shall be supplied by a separate (i.e. dedicated) circuit, with no other outlets.

CEC 210.52 (G) – Basements and garages to have at least (1) receptacle outlet (detached garages and accessory building without electrical power are exempt).

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.

CEC 334.15(B) – Any exposed Romex (nonmetallic-sheathed cable, NM, NMC) that is subject to physical damage must be in conduit (AHJ to determine if romex above 8’ is subject to physical damage in garage)

Cal Green Code 4.106.4.1 – 1” conduit from main electrical panel to a box or enclosure in the garage for future electric vehicle charger circuit.  (NO wiring or overcurrent device is required to be installed until the charger unit is installed.)

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

150.0(k) – Garage to have at least (1) high efficacy light fixture controlled by a vacancy sensor.

150.0(k)(3) – Outdoor lighting must be high-efficacy AND have motion sensor plus photocell or astronomical time clock AND a manual On/Off switch that does not override the automatic controls.

150.0(n) High Efficiency Water Heater Ready – 120 V receptacle within 3’ of water heater, if type B vent used - vent with straight pipe to exterior, condensate drain no more than 2” above base of water heater to outside, gas supply capacity of 200K BTUH (1/2” gas pipe DOESN’T work – check CPC Table 1216.2(1)).

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).

CGC 4.106.4.1 – 1” conduit from main electrical panel to a box or enclosure in the garage for future electric vehicle charger circuit.  (NO wiring or overcurrent device is required to be installed until the charger unit is installed).

CGC 4.106.4.1.1 – Electrical service or subpanel to be labeled “EV Capable” at the reserved 40 amp circuit.  Also required to label the termination box or enclosure as “EV Capable”.

LEGISLATIVE REVIEW

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