4 Things We Learned During Our First Electrical Inspection

We've been working on our home addition for several months now.  My hubby contracted out the electrical, plumbing and HVAC work.  We've been trying to get the inspections done so that we can move on to the next steps in the process.

We had our plumbing inspection and received our green tag.  We had our first electrical inspection, but needed to fix or change a few things before we pass the final inspection.  But, the electrical inspector was a wealth of knowledge on all kinds of building codes.  Here are four things we learned during our inspection.


1. You MUST have Egress windows in all bedrooms.  An egress window is a window that will allow emergency personnel to come in from the outside OR allow you to jump out.
We did not know this when we chose the windows for our bedroom.  These are the windows that we chose.  Since we were on the back corner of the house, right next to our neighbors, I was thinking these would be good for privacy, but still let light and air in.  If we would have known about the egress rules we would have chosen differently!  Egress windows need to be 5.7 sq. feet with a minimum height of 24 inches and a minimum width of 20 inches.  It also must be no more than 44 inches off the floor.
You can find out more about egress windows at the websites below.

2. Electrical outlets must be 4 foot on center for counter tops in the kitchen.  We might have known this.  BUT, the reason for this is that most kitchen appliances only have a cord length of two feet.  That part we never realized before.

3. Smoke detectors must be hardwired into the structure.   It seems that every state has different laws.  But, it looks like most states have laws that state that after about 1991 or 1992, all new structures must have hardwired smoke detectors with battery backup in case of power outages.  It also looks like smoke detectors are required in a central location close to all bedrooms and some states even have laws that state that each bedroom must have a smoke detector.   You should check your own state laws to see what your state requires.  There is also good information at the National Fire Protection Association.

4.  You have to have an electrical receptacle in the kitchen island.  We assume it's so that you don't have to run a cord from one of the other counters if you want to use something electric on the island.

Were you aware of these building code rules?

Wonder what we'll learn during our other upcoming inspections? 

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