CODES

ADOPTS WITH AMENDMENTS:

International Residential Code 2012 (IRC 2012)

Copyright

Preface

Effective Use of the International Residential Code

Legislation

Part I ‒ Administrative

Chapter 1 Scope and Administration

Part II ‒ Definitions

Chapter 2 Definitions

Part III ‒ Building Planning and Construction

Chapter 3 Building Planning

Chapter 4 Foundations

Chapter 5 Floors

Chapter 6 Wall Construction

Chapter 7 Wall Covering

Chapter 8 Roof-Ceiling Construction

Chapter 9 Roof Assemblies

Chapter 10 Chimneys and Fireplaces

Part IV ‒ Energy Conservation

Chapter 11 [Re] Energy Efficiency

Part V ‒ Mechanical

Chapter 12 Mechanical Administration

Chapter 13 General Mechanical System Requirements

Chapter 14 Heating and Cooling Equipment and Appliances

Chapter 15 Exhaust Systems

Chapter 16 Duct Systems

Chapter 17 Combustion Air

Chapter 18 Chimneys and Vents

Chapter 19 Special Appliances, Equipment and Systems

Chapter 20 Boilers and Water Heaters

Chapter 21 Hydronic Piping

Chapter 22 Special Piping and Storage Systems

Chapter 23 Solar Energy Systems

Part VI ‒ Fuel Gas

Chapter 24 Fuel Gas

Part VII Plumbing Administration

Chapter 25 Plumbing Administration

Chapter 26 General Plumbing Requirements

Chapter 27 Plumbing Fixtures

Chapter 28 Water Heaters

Chapter 29 Water Supply and Distribution

Chapter 30 Sanitary Drainage

Chapter 31 Vents

Chapter 32 Traps

Chapter 33 Storm Drainage

Part VIII ‒ Electrical

Chapter 34 General Requirements

Chapter 35 Electrical Definitions

Chapter 36 Services

Chapter 37 Branch Circuit and Feeder Requirements

Chapter 38 Wiring Methods

Chapter 39 Power and Lighting Distribution

Chapter 40 Devices and Luminaires

Chapter 41 Appliance Installation

Chapter 42 Swimming Pools

Chapter 43 Class 2 Remote-Control, Signaling and Power-Limited Circuits

Part IX ‒ Referenced Standards

Chapter 44 Referenced Standards

Appendix A Sizing and Capacities of Gas Piping

Appendix B Sizing of Venting Systems Serving Appliances Equipped With Draft Hoods, Category I Appliances, and Appliances Listed for Use With Type B Vents

Appendix C Exit Terminals of Mechanical Draft and Direct-Vent Venting Systems

Appendix D Recommended Procedure for Safety Inspection of an Existing Appliance Installation

Appendix E Manufactured Housing Used as Dwellings

Appendix F Radon Control Methods

Appendix G Swimming Pools, Spas and Hot Tubs

Appendix H Patio Covers

Appendix I Private Sewage Disposal

Appendix J Existing Buildings and Structures

Appendix K Sound Transmission

Appendix L Permit Fees

Appendix M Home Day Care—R-3 Occupancy

Appendix N Venting Methods

Appendix O Automatic Vehicular Gates

Appendix P Sizing of Water Piping System

Appendix Q Icc International Residential Code Electrical Provisions/National Electrical Code Cross Reference

General-use snap switches shall be used within their ratings and shall control only the following loads:
1. Resistive and inductive loads not exceeding the ampere rating of the switch at the voltage involved.
2. Tungsten-filament lamp loads not exceeding the ampere rating of the switch at 120 volts.
3. Motor loads not exceeding 80 percent of the ampere rating of the switch at its rated voltage.
Snap switches rated 20 amperes or less directly connected to aluminum conductors shall be marked CO/ALR.
General-use and motor-circuit switches and circuit breakers shall clearly indicate whether they are in the open OFF or closed ON position. Where single-throw switches or circuit breaker handles are operated vertically rather than rotationally or horizontally, the up position of the handle shall be the ON position.
Time switches and similar devices shall be of the enclosed type or shall be mounted in cabinets or boxes or equipment enclosures. A barrier shall be used around energized parts to prevent operator exposure when making manual adjustments or switching.
Metal enclosures for switches or circuit breakers shall be connected to an equipment grounding conductor. Metal enclosures for switches or circuit breakers used as service equipment shall comply with the provisions of Section E3609.4. Where nonmetallic enclosures are used with metal raceways or metal-armored cables, provisions shall be made for connecting the equipment grounding conductor.

Nonmetallic boxes for switches shall be installed with a wiring method that provides or includes an equipment grounding conductor.

All switches and circuit breakers used as switches shall be located to allow operation from a readily accessible location. Such devices shall be installed so that the center of the grip of the operating handle of the switch or circuit breaker, when in its highest position, will not be more than 6 feet 7 inches (2007 mm) above the floor or working platform.
A surface mounted switch or circuit breaker located in a damp or wet location or outside of a building shall be enclosed in a weatherproof enclosure or cabinet. A flush-mounted switch or circuit breaker in a damp or wet location shall be equipped with a weatherproof cover. Switches shall not be installed within wet locations in tub or shower spaces unless installed as part of a listed tub or shower assembly.
Switches or circuit breakers shall not disconnect the grounded conductor of a circuit except where the switch or circuit breaker simultaneously disconnects all conductors of the circuit.
Three- and four-way switches shall be wired so that all switching occurs only in the ungrounded circuit conductor. Color coding of switch connection conductors shall comply with Section E3407.3. Where in metal raceways or metal-jacketed cables, wiring between switches and outlets shall be in accordance with Section E3406.7.
Exception: Switch loops do not require a grounded conductor.
Flush-type snap switches mounted in boxes that are recessed from the finished wall surfaces as covered in Section E3906.5 shall be installed so that the extension plaster ears are seated against the surface of the wall. Flush-type snap switches mounted in boxes that are flush with the finished wall surface or project therefrom shall be installed so that the mounting yoke or strap of the switch is seated against the box.
Faceplates provided for snap switches mounted in boxes and other enclosures shall be installed so as to completely cover the opening and, where the switch is flush mounted, seat against the finished surface.
Snap switches, including dimmer and similar control switches, shall be connected to an equipment grounding conductor and shall provide a means to connect metal faceplates to the equipment grounding conductor, whether or not a metal faceplate is installed. Snap switches shall be considered to be part of an effective ground-fault current path if either of the following conditions is met:
1. The switch is mounted with metal screws to a metal box or metal cover that is connected to an equipment grounding conductor or to a nonmetallic box with integral means for connecting to an equipment grounding conductor.
2. An equipment grounding conductor or equipment bonding jumper is connected to an equipment grounding termination of the snap switch.

Exceptions:

1. Where a means to connect to an equipment grounding conductor does not exist within the snap-switch enclosure or where the wiring method does not include or provide an equipment grounding conductor, a snap switch without a grounding connection to an equipment grounding conductor shall be permitted for replacement purposes only. A snap switch wired under the provisions of this exception and located within 8 feet (2438 mm) vertically or 5 feet (1524 mm) horizontally of ground or exposed grounded metal objects, shall be provided with a faceplate of nonconducting noncombustible material with nonmetallic attachment screws, except where the switch-mounting strap or yoke is nonmetallic or the circuit is protected by a ground-fault circuit interrupter.
2. Listed kits or listed assemblies shall not be required to be connected to an equipment grounding conductor if all of the following conditions apply:
2.1. The device is provided with a nonmetallic faceplate that cannot be installed on any other type of device.
2.2. The device does not have mounting means to accept other configurations of faceplates.
2.3. The device is equipped with a nonmetallic yoke.
2.4. All parts of the device that are accessible after installation of the faceplate are manufactured of nonmetallic materials.

3. Connection to an equipment grounding conductor shall not be required for snap switches that have an integral nonmetallic enclosure complying with Section E3905.13.

General-use dimmer switches shall be used only to control permanently installed incandescent luminaires (lighting fixtures) except where listed for the control of other loads and installed accordingly.
A multipole, general-use snap switch shall not be fed from more than a single circuit unless it is listed and marked as a two-circuit or three-circuit switch, or unless its voltage rating is not less than the nominal line-to-line voltage of the system supplying the circuits.
Where snap switches are used to control cord-and-plug-connected equipment on a general-purpose branch circuit, each snap switch controlling receptacle outlets or cord connectors that are supplied by permanently connected cord pendants shall be rated at not less than the rating of the maximum permitted ampere rating or setting of the overcurrent device protecting the receptacles or cord connectors, as provided in Sections E4002.1.1 and E4002.1.2.
Where switches control lighting loads supplied by a grounded general purpose branch circuit, the grounded circuit conductor for the controlled lighting circuit shall be provided at the switch location.
Exception: The grounded circuit conductor is not required to be provided at the switch enclosure where either of the following conditions apply:
1. The conductors enter the box through a raceway. The raceway shall have sufficient cross-sectional area to accommodate the extension of the grounded circuit conductor of the lighting circuit to the switch location whether or not the conductors in the raceway are required to be increased in size to comply with Section E3705.3.
2. Cable assemblies enter the box through a framing cavity that is open at the top or bottom on the same floor level, or through a wall, floor, or ceiling that is unfinished on one side.
Receptacles and cord connectors shall be rated at not less than 15 amperes, 125 volts, or 15 amperes, 250 volts, and shall not be a lampholder type. Receptacles shall be rated in accordance with this section.
A single receptacle installed on an individual branch circuit shall have an ampere rating not less than that of the branch circuit.
Where connected to a branch circuit supplying two or more receptacles or outlets, receptacles shall conform to the values listed in Table E4002.1.2.

TABLE E4002.1.2
RECEPTACLE RATINGS FOR
VARIOUS SIZE MULTI-OUTLET CIRCUITS

CIRCUIT RATING (amperes)RECEPTACLE RATING (amperes)
1515
2015 or 20
3030
4040 or 50
5050
Receptacles installed on 15- and 20-ampere-rated branch circuits shall be of the grounding type.
Receptacles rated at 20 amperes or less and directly connected to aluminum conductors shall be marked CO/ALR.
Metal face plates shall be grounded.
After installation, receptacle faces shall be flush with or project from face plates of insulating material and shall project a minimum of 0.015 inch (0.381 mm) from metal face plates. Faceplates shall be installed so as to completely cover the opening and seat against the mounting surface. Receptacle faceplates mounted inside of a box having a recess-mounted receptacle shall effectively close the opening and seat against the mounting surface.
Exception: Listed kits or assemblies encompassing receptacles and nonmetallic faceplates that cover the receptacle face, where the plate cannot be installed on any other receptacle, shall be permitted.
Receptacles mounted in boxes that are set back from the finished wall surface as permitted by Section E3906.5 shall be installed so that the mounting yoke or strap of the receptacle is held rigidly at the finished surface of the wall. Receptacles mounted in boxes that are flush with the wall surface or project therefrom shall be so installed that the mounting yoke or strap is seated against the box or raised cover.
Receptacles mounted to and supported by a cover shall be held rigidly against the cover by more than one screw or shall be a device assembly or box cover listed and identified for securing by a single screw.
A receptacle installed outdoors in a location protected from the weather or in other damp locations shall have an enclosure for the receptacle that is weatherproof when the receptacle cover(s) is closed and an attachment plug cap is not inserted. An installation suitable for wet locations shall also be considered suitable for damp locations. A receptacle shall be considered to be in a location protected from the weather where located under roofed open porches, canopies and similar structures and not subject to rain or water runoff. Fifteen- and 20-ampere, 125- and 250-volt nonlocking receptacles installed in damp locations shall be listed a weather-resistant type.
Where installed in a wet location, 15- and 20-ampere, 125- and 250-volt receptacles shall have an enclosure that is weatherproof whether or not the attachment plug cap is inserted. Fifteen- and 20-ampere, 125- and 250-volt nonlocking receptacles installed in wet locations shall be a listed weather-resistant type.
Where a receptacle other than a 15- or 20-amp, 125- or 250-volt receptacle is installed in a wet location and where the product intended to be plugged into it is not attended while in use, the receptacle shall have an enclosure that is weatherproof both when the attachment plug cap is inserted and when it is removed. Where such receptacle is installed in a wet location and where the product intended to be plugged into it will be attended while in use, the receptacle shall have an enclosure that is weatherproof when the attachment plug cap is removed.
A receptacle shall not be installed within or directly over a bathtub or shower stall.
In damp or wet locations, the enclosure for a receptacle installed in an outlet box flush-mounted in a finished surface shall be made weatherproof by means of a weatherproof faceplate assembly that provides a water-tight connection between the plate and the finished surface.
Receptacles shall be enclosed so that live wiring terminals are not exposed to contact.
In areas specified in Section E3901.1, 125-volt, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles shall be listed tamper-resistant receptacles.
Exception: Receptacles in the following locations shall not be required to be tamper resistant:
1. Receptacles located more than 5.5 feet (1676 mm) above the floor.
2. Receptacles that are part of a luminaire or appliance.
3. A single receptacle for a single appliance or a duplex receptacle for two appliances where such receptacles are located in spaces dedicated for the appliances served and, under conditions of normal use, the appliances are not easily moved from one place to another. The appliances shall be cord-and-plug-connected to such receptacles in accordance with Section E3909.4.
Luminaires, lampholders, and lamps shall not have energized parts normally exposed to contact.
Luminaires shall be installed so that combustible material will not be subjected to temperatures in excess of 90°C (194°F).
The exposed metal parts of luminaires shall be connected to an equipment grounding conductor or shall be insulated from the equipment grounding conductor and other conducting surfaces. Lamp tie wires, mounting screws, clips and decorative bands on glass spaced at least 11/2 inches (38 mm) from lamp terminals shall not be required to be grounded.
Lampholders of the screw-shell type shall be installed for use as lampholders only.
Recessed incandescent luminaires shall have thermal protection and shall be listed as thermally protected.
Exceptions:
1. Thermal protection shall not be required in recessed luminaires listed for the purpose and installed in poured concrete.
2. Thermal protection shall not be required in recessed luminaires having design, construction, and thermal performance characteristics equivalent to that of thermally protected luminaires, and such luminaires are identified as inherently protected.
The ballast of a fluorescent luminaire installed indoors shall have integral thermal protection. Replacement ballasts shall also have thermal protection integral with the ballast. A simple reactance ballast in a fluorescent luminaire with straight tubular lamps shall not be required to be thermally protected.
Recessed high-intensity luminaires designed to be installed in wall or ceiling cavities shall have thermal protection and be identified as thermally protected. Thermal protection shall not be required in recessed high-intensity luminaires having design, construction and thermal performance characteristics equivalent to that of thermally protected luminaires, and such luminaires are identified as inherently protected. Thermal protection shall not be required in recessed high-intensity discharge luminaires installed in and identified for use in poured concrete. A recessed remote ballast for a high-intensity discharge luminaire shall have thermal protection that is integral with the ballast and shall be identified as thermally protected.
Luminaires that use a metal halide lamp other than a thick-glass parabolic reflector lamp (PAR) shall be provided with a containment barrier that encloses the lamp, or shall be provided with a physical means that allows the use of only a lamp that is Type O.
Luminaires installed in wet or damp locations shall be installed so that water cannot enter or accumulate in wiring compartments, lampholders or other electrical parts. All luminaires installed in wet locations shall be marked SUITABLE FOR WET LOCATIONS. All luminaires installed in damp locations shall be marked SUITABLE FOR WET LOCATIONS or SUITABLE FOR DAMP LOCATIONS.
Lampholders installed in wet locations shall be listed for use in wet locations. Lampholders installed in damp locations shall be listed for damp locations or shall be listed for wet locations.
Cord-connected luminaires, chain-, cable-, or cord-suspended-luminaires, lighting track, pendants, and ceiling-suspended (paddle) fans shall not have any parts located within a zone measured 3 feet (914 mm) horizontally and 8 feet (2438 mm) vertically from the top of a bathtub rim or shower stall threshold. This zone is all encompassing and includes the space directly over the tub or shower. Luminaires within the actual outside dimension of the bathtub or shower to a height of 8 feet (2438 mm) vertically from the top of the bathtub rim or shower threshold shall be marked for damp locations and where subject to shower spray, shall be marked for wet locations.
For the purposes of this section, storage space shall be defined as a volume bounded by the sides and back closet walls and planes extending from the closet floor vertically to a height of 6 feet (1829 mm) or the highest clothes-hanging rod and parallel to the walls at a horizontal distance of 24 inches (610 mm) from the sides and back of the closet walls respectively, and continuing vertically to the closet ceiling parallel to the walls at a horizontal distance of 12 inches (305 mm) or the width of the shelf, whichever is greater. For a closet that permits access to both sides of a hanging rod, the storage space shall include the volume below the highest rod extending 12 inches (305 mm) on either side of the rod on a plane horizontal to the floor extending the entire length of the rod (see Figure E4003.12).

The types of luminaires installed in clothes closets shall be limited to surface-mounted or recessed incandescent or LED luminaires with completely enclosed light sources, surface-mounted or recessed fluorescent luminaires, and surface-mounted fluorescent or LED luminaires identified as suitable for installation within the closet storage area. Incandescent luminaires with open or partially enclosed lamps and pendant luminaires or lamp-holders shall be prohibited. The minimum clearance between luminaires installed in clothes closets and the nearest point of a closet storage area shall be as follows:

1. Surface-mounted incandescent or LED luminaires with a completely enclosed light source shall be installed on the wall above the door or on the ceiling, provided that there is a minimum clearance of 12 inches (305 mm) between the fixture and the nearest point of a storage space.
2. Surface-mounted fluorescent luminaires shall be installed on the wall above the door or on the ceiling, provided that there is a minimum clearance of 6 inches (152 mm).
3. Recessed incandescent luminaires or LED luminaires with a completely enclosed light source shall be installed in the wall or the ceiling provided that there is a minimum clearance of 6 inches (152 mm).
4. Recessed fluorescent luminaires shall be installed in the wall or on the ceiling provided that there is a minimum clearance of 6 inches (152 mm) between the fixture and the nearest point of a storage space.
5. Surface-mounted fluorescent or LED luminaires shall be permitted to be installed within the closet storage space where identified for this use.
For SI: 1 inch = 25.4 mm, 1 foot = 304.8 mm.

FIGURE E4003.12
CLOSET STORAGE SPACE

Wiring on or within luminaires shall be neatly arranged and shall not be exposed to physical damage. Excess wiring shall be avoided. Conductors shall be arranged so that they are not subjected to temperatures above those for which the conductors are rated.
Luminaires shall be wired so that the screw shells of lampholders will be connected to the same luminaire or circuit conductor or terminal. The grounded conductor shall be connected to the screw shell.
Luminaires shall not be used as raceways for circuit conductors except where such luminaires are listed and marked for use as a raceway. Luminaires used as a raceway shall be identified for through-wiring. Luminaires designed for end-to-end connection to form a continuous assembly, and luminaires connected together by recognized wiring methods, shall not be required to be listed as a raceway where they contain the conductors of one 2-wire branch circuit or one multiwire branch circuit and such conductors supply the connected luminaires. One additional 2-wire branch circuit that separately supplies one or more of the connected luminaires shall also be permitted.
In a completed installation, each outlet box shall be provided with a cover except where covered by means of a luminaire canopy, lampholder or device with a faceplate.
Combustible wall or ceiling finish exposed between the inside edge of a luminaire canopy or pan and the outlet box to which the luminaire connects shall be covered with a noncombustible material.
Luminaires shall be installed so that the connections between the luminaire conductors and the circuit conductors can be accessed without requiring the disconnection of any part of the wiring. Luminaires that are connected by attachment plugs and receptacles meet the requirement of this section.
Luminaires and lampholders shall be securely supported. A luminaire that weighs more than 6 pounds (2.72 kg) or exceeds 16 inches (406 mm) in any dimension shall not be supported by the screw shell of a lampholder.
Outlet boxes or fittings installed as required by Sections E3905 and E3906 shall be permitted to support luminaires.
components.
Luminaires having exposed ballasts, transformers, LED drivers or power supplies shall be installed so that such ballasts, transformers, LED drivers or power supplies are not in contact with combustible material unless listed for such condition.
Where a surface-mounted luminaire containing a ballast, transformer, LED driver or power supply is installed on combustible low-density cellulose fiberboard, the luminaire shall be marked for this purpose or it shall be spaced not less than 11/2 inches (38 mm) from the surface of the fiberboard. Where such luminaires are partially or wholly recessed, the provisions of Sections E4004.8 and E4004.9 shall apply.
A recessed luminaire that is not identified for contact with insulation shall have all recessed parts spaced at least 1/2 inch (12.7 mm) from combustible materials. The points of support and the finish trim parts at the opening in the ceiling, wall or other finished surface shall be permitted to be in contact with combustible materials. A recessed luminaire that is identified for contact with insulation, Type IC, shall be permitted to be in contact with combustible materials at recessed parts, points of support, and portions passing through the building structure and at finish trim parts at the opening in the ceiling or wall.
Thermal insulation shall not be installed above a recessed luminaire or within 3 inches (76 mm) of the recessed luminaire’s enclosure, wiring compartment, ballast, transformer, LED driver or power supply except where such luminaire is identified for contact with insulation, Type IC.
Lighting track shall be permanently installed and permanently connected to a branch circuit having a rating not more than that of the track.
Fittings identified for use on lighting track shall be designed specifically for the track on which they are to be installed. Fittings shall be securely fastened to the track, shall maintain polarization and connection to the equipment grounding conductor, and shall be designed to be suspended directly from the track. Only lighting track fittings shall be installed on lighting track. Lighting track fittings shall not be equipped with general-purpose receptacles.
The connected load on lighting track shall not exceed the rating of the track. The rating of the branch circuit that supplies the track shall not exceed the rating of the track.
Lighting track shall not be installed in the following locations:
1. Where likely to be subjected to physical damage.
2. In wet or damp locations.
3. Where subject to corrosive vapors.
4. In storage battery rooms.
5. In hazardous (classified) locations.
6. Where concealed.
7. Where extended through walls or partitions.
8. Less than 5 feet (1524 mm) above the finished floor except where protected from physical damage or the track operates at less than 30 volts rms open-circuit voltage.
9. Where prohibited by Section E4003.11.
Lighting track shall be securely mounted so that each fastening will be suitable for supporting the maximum weight of luminaires that can be installed. Except where identified for supports at greater intervals, a single section 4 feet (1219 mm) or shorter in length shall have two supports and, where installed in a continuous row, each individual section of not more than 4 feet (1219 mm) in length shall have one additional support.
Lighting track shall be grounded in accordance with Chapter 39, and the track sections shall be securely coupled to maintain continuity of the circuitry, polarization and grounding throughout.
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