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  1. #1
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    Default Understair Closet light requirement?

    Am I dreaming or not? I think I remember seeing a requirement for under stair storage closet to have a light. Yes or no?

    And here is another, do dining room receptacle outlets need AFCI protection or are they technically exempt?

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    Last edited by Jim Luttrall; 06-06-2013 at 07:06 PM.
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    Default Re: Understair Closet light requirement?

    The NEC does not require understairs lighting.

    Here is the 2011 regarding AFCIs. Note it says outlets so lighting is covered.

    210.12 Arc-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection.(A) Dwelling Units.
    All 120-volt, single phase, 15- and20-ampere branch circuits supplying outlets installed indwelling unit family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms,parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreationrooms, closets, hallways, or similar rooms or areas shallbe protected by a listed arc-fault circuit interrupter,combination-type, installed to provide protection of the
    branch circuit.


    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Understair Closet light requirement?

    No.not required.


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    Default Re: Understair Closet light requirement?

    Thank you gentlemen!

    Jim Luttrall
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    Default Re: Understair Closet light requirement?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    Closets do not require lighting outlets unless they fall under storage spaces.
    When is a closet NOT used for storage?

    Jim Luttrall
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    Default Re: Understair Closet light requirement?

    Clothes, Closet. A non-habitable room or space intended primarily for storage of garments and apparel. (2011 NEC)

    If it does not have a permanently installed clothes rod a lighting outlet is required. I also believe it must be sheetrocked (someone please verify this or not?).

    So --Yes will cover this space, since no architect in his right mind would design it for a clothes closet.

    The term "outlet" covers lighting outlets and receptacle outlets. So Yes it is required to be AFCI protected in a dining room of a dwelling.

    Last edited by Roland Miller; 06-07-2013 at 06:35 AM.
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    Default Re: Understair Closet light requirement?

    Thank you!

    Jim Luttrall
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    Default Re: Understair Closet light requirement?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    Closets do not require lighting outlets unless they fall under storage spaces.
    And what would make the closet fall, unless the whole house fell with it?

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    Default Re: Understair Closet light requirement?

    I say not required because it says these rooms....Storage or Equipment Spaces. For attics, underfloor
    spaces, utility rooms, and basements, at least one lighting
    outlet containing a switch or controlled by a wall switch
    shall be installed where these spaces are used for storage or
    contain equipment requiring servicing.


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    Default Re: Understair Closet light requirement?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    The NEC does not require understairs lighting.

    Here is the 2011 regarding AFCIs. Note it says outlets so lighting is covered.

    210.12 Arc-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection.(A) Dwelling Units.
    All 120-volt, single phase, 15- and20-ampere branch circuits supplying outlets installed indwelling unit family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms,parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreationrooms, closets, hallways, or similar rooms or areas shallbe protected by a listed arc-fault circuit interrupter,combination-type, installed to provide protection of the
    branch circuit.

    Geez, other than kitchens, garages and bathrooms that's the whole home. I have never seen AFCI's on anything but bedrooms here in KS.


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    Default Re: Understair Closet light requirement?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Thornburg View Post
    I say not required because it says these rooms....Storage or Equipment Spaces. For attics, underfloor
    spaces, utility rooms, and basements, at least one lighting
    outlet containing a switch or controlled by a wall switch
    shall be installed where these spaces are used for storage or
    contain equipment requiring servicing.

    You say "no" and quote the NEC where it says "yes". What office do you hold?

    Floor--the surface of a structure on which one travels. merriam-webster.com

    "Get correct views of life, and learn to see the world in its true light. It will enable you to live pleasantly, to do good, and, when summoned away, to leave without regret. " Robert E. Lee

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    Default Re: Understair Closet light requirement?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland Miller View Post
    You say "no" and quote the NEC where it says "yes". What office do you hold?

    Floor--the surface of a structure on which one travels. merriam-webster.com
    Really.........


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    Default Re: Understair Closet light requirement?

    And--verified
    "IBC 1009.5.3 requires that enclosed usable space under stairs be protected with 1-hour fire-resistance-rated construction. The only exception to this is for stairs in R-2 or R-3 occupancies.
    Note that these requirements do not require the underside of a stairway to have a fire-rated enclosure merely because there is usable space under the stairs. These requirements apply only when the usable space itself is enclosed".

    R 311.2.2 requires enclosed accessible spaces under stairs to be protected by 1/2 gypsum.

    "Get correct views of life, and learn to see the world in its true light. It will enable you to live pleasantly, to do good, and, when summoned away, to leave without regret. " Robert E. Lee

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    Default Re: Understair Closet light requirement?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Highland View Post
    Geez, other than kitchens, garages and bathrooms that's the whole home. I have never seen AFCI's on anything but bedrooms here in KS.
    Code change, only those on the newest code cycle have it. Even some of the more progressive municipalities here still are not on the newest editions. I've only seen it in a handful of properties so far.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Last edited by Jim Luttrall; 06-11-2013 at 05:42 PM.
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    Default Re: Understair Closet light requirement?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Highland View Post
    Geez, other than kitchens, garages and bathrooms that's the whole home. I have never seen AFCI's on anything but bedrooms here in KS.
    Code change, only those on the newest code cycle have it. Even some of the more progressive municipalities here still are not on the newest editions. I've only seen it in a handful of properties so far.
    NOT a recent code change

    From the 2008 NEC 210.12(B) All 120 volt single phase, 15 & 20 ampere branch circuits supplying outlets installed in dwelling unit family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways, or similar rooms or areas shall be protected by a listed arc-fault circuit interrupter, combination-type installed to provide protection of the branch circuit.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Highland View Post
    Geez, other than kitchens, garages and bathrooms that's the whole home. I have never seen AFCI's on anything but bedrooms here in KS.
    Wait till the 2014 NEC comes out in few months- They added Kitchens and Laundry rooms to the AFCI list


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    Default Re: Understair Closet light requirement?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    Closets do not require lighting outlets unless they fall under storage spaces.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    When is a closet NOT used for storage?
    Quote Originally Posted by Roland Miller View Post
    Clothes, Closet. A non-habitable room or space intended primarily for storage of garments and apparel. (2011 NEC)

    If it does not have a permanently installed clothes rod a lighting outlet is required. I also believe it must be sheetrocked (someone please verify this or not?).
    An understair closet requires a lighting outlet as it is intended for use as storage and possibly even is where the water heater is located (I've seen many water heaters located in understair closets, especially in townhouses, and laundry equipment space too).

    ... even if a closet does have a permanently installed clothes rod and is then a "clothes closet" - how many here have seen clothes closets *not* also used for "storage"? Is a lighting outlet 'required' in a clothes closet' on the floor plan drawing - 'no' .. then house is built and the occupants move in and store stuff in that clothes closet - now 'yes'.

    Maybe this is a way to address the issue:
    - clothes hanging rod *only* - no light required
    - clothes hanging rod *and* a shelf (which is for "storage") - light required
    - no clothes hanging rod - light is required

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    Default Re: Understair Closet light requirement?

    Since at it very basic definition a stairway is a floor (use your dictionary), the space underneath it is under floor space. If you sheetrock it and enclose it then the NEC requires a lighting outlet because it becomes an underfloor storage space.

    Similiarly, an attic without equipment or trusses load rated for storage does not require a lighting outlet. Once you add equipment or use trusses designed to carry 20 pounds per square foot you are required by the NEC to add a lighting outlet(s)..

    Last edited by Roland Miller; 06-08-2013 at 02:21 PM.
    "Get correct views of life, and learn to see the world in its true light. It will enable you to live pleasantly, to do good, and, when summoned away, to leave without regret. " Robert E. Lee

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    Default Re: Understair Closet light requirement?

    [QUO TE=Roland Miller;227648 ]Since at it very basic definition a stairway is a floor (use your dictionary), the space underneath it is under floor space. If you sheetrock it and enclose it then the NEC requires a lighting outlet because it becomes an underfloor storage space.

    Similiarly, an attic without equipment or trusses load rated for storage does not require a lighting outlet. Once you add equipment or use trusses designed to carry 200 pounds per square foot you are required by the NEC to add a lighting outlet(s)..[/QUOTE]

    Please inform us as to which dictionary you are using to base this opinion on. A stairway is a serious of steps that often leads from one floor level to another. Please show me the definition and the dictionary to prove otherwise


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    Default Re: Understair Closet light requirement?

    Read post #12.

    "Get correct views of life, and learn to see the world in its true light. It will enable you to live pleasantly, to do good, and, when summoned away, to leave without regret. " Robert E. Lee

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    Default Re: Understair Closet light requirement?

    I agree with Robert, a closet is not one of the items mentioned in the list of things that require a lighting outlet. I am going to disagree with Jerrys definitions as some closets will not even allow the proper clearances to even install a fluorescent light.

    A staircase is a transition between floors. Simply because it is walked upon does not make it a floor. Would anyone try to sell a 2 story house with a basement as a 5 floor because of the stairs between floors?

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Understair Closet light requirement?

    I always liked the definition of common sense--"the ability to see that something needs done and then do it".

    Some of you guys would completely enclose a area under a stairway, put a door on it and not install a lighting outlet because it is not specifically listed in a standard. And then use it for storage and not call it storage space.

    "Get correct views of life, and learn to see the world in its true light. It will enable you to live pleasantly, to do good, and, when summoned away, to leave without regret. " Robert E. Lee

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    Default Re: Understair Closet light requirement?

    Jim,

    You are mixing "floor" with "storey" (or "story").

    A "floor" as used is what you walk on, versus a 3 "story" house which may have 5 "floors":
    - basement "floor"
    - 1st "floor"
    - 2nd "floor"
    - 3rd "floor"
    - attic "floor"

    A, yes, a stair is a "floor" as used in the code, but is not a "story" as you are trying to use it.

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    Default Re: Understair Closet light requirement?

    This storage closet, under the stairs, has a light, but it's a safety hazard - boxes could get stacked right up to the exposed bulb, somebody could turn the light on by accident since the switch is on the outside of the closet, and the house could burn.

    However, if I'm reading it right, relocating it per code would seem to require it to be replaced for a fully enclosed fixture and relocating it to the ceiling or the the wall above the door.

    Still, wouldn't that be a safety hazard since boxes could be stacked just inside the door or right up to the ceiling? And an enclosure wouldn't prevent boxes from heating up would they? It may take longer to combust since they wouldn't be touching the light bulb, but they'd still heat up, dry out, and eventually combust.

    Wouldn't a fluorescent fixture that produces less heat and that is switched on the inside of the closet be a better alternative?

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    Lightbulb Re: Understair Closet light requirement?

    Al,

    Code does not address all of the stupid things people can do.

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    Default Re: Understair Closet light requirement?

    Quote Originally Posted by Al Roden View Post
    This storage closet, under the stairs, has a light, but it's a safety hazard - boxes could get stacked right up to the exposed bulb, somebody could turn the light on by accident since the switch is on the outside of the closet, and the house could burn.

    However, if I'm reading it right, relocating it per code would seem to require it to be replaced for a fully enclosed fixture and relocating it to the ceiling or the the wall above the door.

    Still, wouldn't that be a safety hazard since boxes could be stacked just inside the door or right up to the ceiling? And an enclosure wouldn't prevent boxes from heating up would they? It may take longer to combust since they wouldn't be touching the light bulb, but they'd still heat up, dry out, and eventually combust.

    Wouldn't a fluorescent fixture that produces less heat and that is switched on the inside of the closet be a better alternative?

    You can try to make it safer, but you cannot police what people will do 24/7. I agree, above the door is probably best, as people are unlikely to stack items in front of the door. However, have you ever opened a door to only have things fall out at you???

    Kind of reminds me of a time when I had a warehouse job in High School. We could stack boxes 24' high, and the Metal Halides were 25' high, never thought about it then, and apparently neither did the manager... other than don't hit the lights, good thing for those wire cages...



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    Default Re: Understair Closet light requirement?

    In reality a stair is made up of steps. Steps are built with treads and risers. Steps, stairs, or stairways are not floors they are steps, stairs, or stairways. But like most misconceptio0ns around here some folks insist on reading more into things to fit their own opinions.


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    Default Re: Understair Closet light requirement?

    Quote Originally Posted by jack davenport View Post
    In reality a stair is made up of steps. Steps are built with treads and risers. Steps, stairs, or stairways are not floors they are steps, stairs, or stairways. But like most misconceptio0ns around here some folks insist on reading more into things to fit their own opinions.
    "Treads" is the name used to refer to the part of the stair you walk on ... i.e., the "floor" surface of the stair.

    If you were to take the "floor" where the stair is to go, lay the stair out on the floor, each "tread" you drew on the floor is the "floor" area that, when raised up by the risers, becomes the "tread" of the stair.

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    Default Re: Understair Closet light requirement?

    Quote Originally Posted by jack davenport View Post
    In reality a stair is made up of steps. Steps are built with treads and risers. Steps, stairs, or stairways are not floors they are steps, stairs, or stairways. But like most misconceptio0ns around here some folks insist on reading more into things to fit their own opinions.
    At least I read. Your position is based on a misreading of the NEC and the insistance that definitions contained elsewhere do not apply. You are arguing with the NEC and Websters dictionary (not me)--"How is that working for you"?

    "Get correct views of life, and learn to see the world in its true light. It will enable you to live pleasantly, to do good, and, when summoned away, to leave without regret. " Robert E. Lee

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    Default Re: Understair Closet light requirement?

    Quote Originally Posted by jack davenport View Post
    In reality a stair is made up of steps. Steps are built with treads and risers. Steps, stairs, or stairways are not floors they are steps, stairs, or stairways. But like most misconceptio0ns around here some folks insist on reading more into things to fit their own opinions.
    Jack,

    I have another visual example for you: a "ramp".

    When there is a change in elevation of a floor, you can "cut" the "floor" section out and raise one end of the cut out floor, raise that floor section end and you just created a "ramp" ... the walking surface of the ramp is the "floor" of the ramp - that surface is the floor surface for that area (ramp).

    That may be easier to visualize than the "tread" of the stair, although the only real difference is that the ramp floor is angled while the stair floor is separate sections which are kept level while one floor surface (tread) is raised higher than the next raised floor surface (next higher tread).

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    Default Re: Understair Closet light requirement?

    there i fixed it!
    no sparky required

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    Default Re: Understair Closet light requirement?

    Quote Originally Posted by BARRY ADAIR View Post
    there i fixed it!
    no sparky required
    I had put that in my report as an option.


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    Default Re: Understair Closet light requirement?

    Since the discussion has tapered off, I will assume that everyone sees the importance of looking outside the box we are all in. I was in a state of shock when I first came to know there was 7 feet of shelved books that I needed to read to begin to understand the NEC. Merriam-Webster's dictionary is one of the few dictionaries that contain definitions the US court system will accept.

    And one of my favorite statements is: "If you want to start an argument ask 2 inspectors the exact same question, then stand back and watch the fun."

    "Get correct views of life, and learn to see the world in its true light. It will enable you to live pleasantly, to do good, and, when summoned away, to leave without regret. " Robert E. Lee

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    Default Re: Understair Closet light requirement?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    Am I dreaming or not? I think I remember seeing a requirement for under stair storage closet to have a light. Yes or no?
    The area under a stairwell (which can be thought of as a closet), does NOT require a light fixture. However, if this area contains any electrical or mechanical equipment which requires service, a wall-switch controlled light fixture would then be required per NEC-110-.26(D), 210.70(A)(3) and M1305.1.4.3 of the ICR (quoting 2009 vs.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    And here is another, do dining room receptacle outlets need AFCI protection or are they technically exempt?
    The answer depends on whether your community is using the 2005 NEC, in which case it does NOT, or the 2008 & later NEC, in which case it DOES. See NEC-210.12.
    (BTW, the 2014 NEC is going to require AFCI's in kitchens as well).


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    Default Re: Understair Closet light requirement?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Webber View Post
    The area under a stairwell (which can be thought of as a closet), does NOT require a light fixture. However, if this area contains any electrical or mechanical equipment which requires service, a wall-switch controlled light fixture would then be required per NEC-110-.26(D), 210.70(A)(3) and M1305.1.4.3 of the ICR (quoting 2009 vs.)

    And to steal someone else's line "Really?"

    Have you been reading all the previous posts?

    "Get correct views of life, and learn to see the world in its true light. It will enable you to live pleasantly, to do good, and, when summoned away, to leave without regret. " Robert E. Lee

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    Default Re: Understair Closet light requirement?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland Miller View Post
    And to steal someone else's line "Really?"

    Have you been reading all the previous posts?

    Maybe his area does not interpret it the way your area does. I know none of the ones I have worked in consider the NEC to require lighting in an understair area. I asked one I know if he would require a light and all I heard was a laugh.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Understair Closet light requirement?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    Maybe his area does not interpret it the way your area does. I know none of the ones I have worked in consider the NEC to require lighting in an understair area. I asked one I know if he would require a light and all I heard was a laugh.

    That's probably it, Jim. And not everyone will interpret it the way I would. Thanks for the input.

    "Get correct views of life, and learn to see the world in its true light. It will enable you to live pleasantly, to do good, and, when summoned away, to leave without regret. " Robert E. Lee

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    Default Re: AFCI for 2014 - Does that mean no more GFCI's in new construction?

    Re: AFCI for 2014 - Does that mean no more GFCI's in new construction?

    - - - Updated - - -



    Wait till the 2014 NEC comes out in few months- They added Kitchens and Laundry rooms to the AFCI list[/QUOTE]


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    Default Re: AFCI for 2014 - Does that mean no more GFCI's in new construction?

    Quote Originally Posted by William Kading View Post
    Re: AFCI for 2014 - Does that mean no more GFCI's in new construction?

    - - - Updated - - -



    Wait till the 2014 NEC comes out in few months- They added Kitchens and Laundry rooms to the AFCI list
    [/QUOTE]

    You will have both, I won't have to worry about it for a while as we have not even adopted the 2011 NEC yet, they say it will be soon.


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    Default Re: AFCI for 2014 - Does that mean no more GFCI's in new construction?

    Quote Originally Posted by William Kading View Post
    Re: AFCI for 2014 - Does that mean no more GFCI's in new construction?

    - - - Updated - - -



    Wait till the 2014 NEC comes out in few months- They added Kitchens and Laundry rooms to the AFCI list
    [/QUOTE]

    AFCI and GFI are not the same and serve different purposes. GFI protection will still be required in kitchens, baths, outdoors etc. The technologies are compatible.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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