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  1. #1
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    Default Switches/Outlets Faceplates

    Does anyone know of any code that specifies that attic switch plates and outlet plates should be metal-faced? I've only seen them with plastic covers.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Switches/Outlets Faceplates

    Quote Originally Posted by brianmiller View Post
    Does anyone know of any code that specifies that attic switch plates and outlet plates should be metal-faced? I've only seen them with plastic covers.
    What make you think they need to be metal?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Switches/Outlets Faceplates

    I'm selling my house and the inspector on it called out that the faceplates in attics need to be metal.....I'm searching through the NEC/IRC and can't find it there.....

    He also called out that the smoke alarm, located in the hallway near the top of the wall near the ceiling, is located too close to the return air. The return air is in the ceiling in the hallway. I don't know why that's a problem. Smoke rises and would trigger the smoke alarm while being sucked into the return air. Or is there a code that says otherwise??

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    Default Re: Switches/Outlets Faceplates

    Quote Originally Posted by brianmiller View Post
    I'm selling my house and the inspector on it called out that the faceplates in attics need to be metal.....I'm searching through the NEC/IRC and can't find it there.....
    Ask him to show you where that is required, maybe I will learn something new. (I try to learn something new every day, several times a day.)

    He also called out that the smoke alarm, located in the hallway near the top of the wall near the ceiling, is located too close to the return air. The return air is in the ceiling in the hallway. I don't know why that's a problem. Smoke rises and would trigger the smoke alarm while being sucked into the return air. Or is there a code that says otherwise??
    Most installation instructions will state to place the smoke detector at least 3 feet (and some say 5 feet) from an air disturbing source such as supply air, return air, ceiling fan blades, etc.

    You don't want supply air to blow the smoke away from the smoke detector, and you don't want the return air to suck the smoke away from the smoke detector, and you don't want the ceiling fan blades to mix the smoke up (dilute the smoke) or blow it away either.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Switches/Outlets Faceplates

    I'd love to contact the inspector, but best to let sleeping dogs stay sleeping! Afterall, he didn't call out the stick'em flashing on my stone chimney, the multiple equipment grounds under the same bus bar terminal in the panel, which is not rated for double-tapping.....i could go on and on....but I disclosed everything I could think of!


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    Default Re: Switches/Outlets Faceplates

    Quote Originally Posted by brianmiller View Post
    Afterall, he didn't call out.... the multiple equipment grounds under the same bus bar terminal in the panel, which is not rated for double-tapping!
    Not saying they aren't, but that would be a bit unusual. Now if you are talking grounded conductor, AKA neutral, that's a bit different.


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    Default Re: Switches/Outlets Faceplates

    Are these attic boxes metal, plastic, celluloid? 2-wire or 3-wire system? What was the wiring method (NM, BX, AC, etc.)? grounds present on switches and receptacles or relying on "self grounding" devices, with or wihout insulating or isolating washers? Flush or recessed, etc.? Open attic or conditioned (damp)? Swichhes for lighting or motor or combination load devices?Just curious what the "issue" might have been throught to have been, since it seems it might be in opposite.The concerns and requirements regarding smokes and the tested behavior of smoke & cold corners, etc. has been discussed here many times. Small landings and hallways on 2nd floors can be quite challenging regarding proper placement & functionality.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Switches/Outlets Faceplates

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Are these attic boxes metal, plastic, celluloid? 2-wire or 3-wire system? What was the wiring method (NM, BX, AC, etc.)? grounds present on switches and receptacles or relying on "self grounding" devices, with or wihout insulating or isolating washers? Flush or recessed, etc.? Open attic or conditioned (damp)? Swichhes for lighting or motor or combination load devices?Just curious what the "issue" might have been throught to have been, since it seems it might be in opposite.
    Plastic boxes with NM Romex. Attic is over conditioned, living space with ground wiring present.

    I can just see the buyer of my house replacing the plastic plates with metal cover plates and not grounding the plates. In my kitchen my wife installed metal cover plates, but the plates aren't grounded; which the inspector didn't mentioned either in his report.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Switches/Outlets Faceplates

    Quote Originally Posted by brianmiller View Post
    ...I can just see the buyer of my house replacing the plastic plates with metal cover plates and not grounding the plates. In my kitchen my wife installed metal cover plates, but the plates aren't grounded; which the inspector didn't mentioned either in his report.
    I think that the screws holding the plate, provide a ground for the plate to the switch/ receptical frame, which is grounded.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Switches/Outlets Faceplates

    Quote Originally Posted by brianmiller View Post
    Afterall, he didn't call out the stick'em flashing on my stone chimney, the multiple equipment grounds under the same bus bar terminal in the panel, which is not rated for double-tapping.....i could go on and on....
    A good example of how inspectors can be all over the map when it comes to what they report on. As for the metal face plates I think he went off the map. With Romex and plastic boxes the metal wouldn't make a difference anyway.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

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    Default Re: Switches/Outlets Faceplates

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Barker View Post
    A good example of how inspectors can be all over the map when it comes to what they report on. As for the metal face plates I think he went off the map. With Romex and plastic boxes the metal wouldn't make a difference anyway.
    Yes, it is a mistake. In a shop or garage with exposed switch and junction boxes, those rounded metal boxes with metal covers with the rounded edges do a nicer job, and yes, they are grounded by the mounting screw(s).
    Maybe he hurt his pinky on the sharp plastic edge when he was fumbling for a light switch?

    The home owner should always clarify what the exact wording is in the report. It might not say "needs to be".

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Switches/Outlets Faceplates

    You have covers on your attic J boxes? Hell, I'd be thrilled to see a covered junction box. I thought it was some kind of rule here that they needed to left open. I don't know what that other inspector is on.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

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