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  1. #1
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    Default Outlets on staircase landings

    Received this today from a agent, client sent it to them and she sent it to me. Home was built in 2001, single family. I didnt think landings required an outlet. I cant find anything in the IRC or NEC



    I have a question for you. I had the electrician come over and got a
    >lovely quote from him. One of the things he said that we needed to have
    >were outlets on both landings per code. I reviewed the inspection report
    >and nothing was listed. The only one was for the kitchen. Which we are
    >waiting to do until we redo the kitchen. The cost to install the outlets
    >is almost $500. Do we have any recourse when something is missed on the
    >inspection report. Just wondering.

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    Default Re: Outlets on staircase landings

    Electrician is incorrect as to what it was that the electrician was supposed to have said (which means that the electrician may not have said that, but that is what the person heard).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Outlets on staircase landings

    Jerry,
    I don't have that particular NEC code ref on file, do you have it handy


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    Default Re: Outlets on staircase landings

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew stouffer View Post
    Jerry,
    I don't have that particular NEC code ref on file, do you have it handy
    Mat,

    There is no reference to quote - it simply is not a requirement.

    Well, there is a reference to quote, but it applies because they are not listed as being required at that location: NEC 210.52
    - 210.52 Dwelling Unit Receptacle Outlets.
    - - (A) General Provisions. In every kitchen, family room, dining room, living room, parlor, library, den, sunroom, bedroom, recreation room, or similar room or area of dwelling units, receptacle outlets shall be installed in accordance with the general provisions specified in 210.52(A)(1) through (A)(3).
    - - (B) Small Appliances.
    - - - (1) Receptacle Outlets Served. In the kitchen, pantry, breakfast room, dining room, or similar area of a dwelling unit, ...
    - - (C) Countertops. In kitchens, pantries, breakfast rooms, dining rooms, and similar areas of dwelling units, ...
    - - (D) Bathrooms.
    - - (E) Outdoor Outlets.
    - - (F) Laundry Areas.
    - - (G) Basements and Garages.
    - - (H) Hallways.

    Receptacles are not required there as they are not listed above.

    That does not mean receptacles are not allowed to be installed at stair landings, it is just a dumb location and not required.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Outlets on staircase landings

    Thank you


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    Default Re: Outlets on staircase landings

    I agree with Jerry, not required by the NEC. Why would you even need a receptacle on a landing?


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    Default Re: Outlets on staircase landings

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    . . . . Why would you even need a receptacle on a landing?
    Think about it--what better place to park the vacuum cleaner power unit, and be able to use the hose/wand with brush head to clean dirt from the stairs, going both up and down from the landing without having to move the power unit? Not to mention having a very convenient location to plug in a night light to make navigating the stairs in the dark a much safer operation.


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    Default Re: Outlets on staircase landings

    Quote Originally Posted by BridgeMan View Post
    Think about it--what better place to park the vacuum cleaner power unit, and be able to use the hose/wand with brush head to clean dirt from the stairs, going both up and down from the landing without having to move the power unit? Not to mention having a very convenient location to plug in a night light to make navigating the stairs in the dark a much safer operation.
    ... with all of the above creating additional unsafe items and trip hazards on the stairs, which are inherently dangerous anyway.

    There *are reasons* why receptacles are not required in some places.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Outlets on staircase landings

    When's the last time you tripped over a night light, Jerry? And tripping over a vacuum cleaner power unit? It's only on the landing long enough to perform the cleaning operation, and probably making enough noise that it shouldn't sneak up on someone walking past it on the landing. And far safer than attempting to balance the power unit on a typical stair tread.

    I've had two homes with landings equipped with receptacles, and consistently made good use of both for vacuuming, with no tripping issues. Our cleaning woman in the last place made a point of commenting (more than once) how handy it was to plug the vac in on the landing.


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    Default Re: Outlets on staircase landings

    Quote Originally Posted by BridgeMan View Post
    When's the last time you tripped over a night light, Jerry?
    When is the last time you had a mis-step on a stair for *any* reason?

    Night light plugged into receptacle in wall at landing, holding a basket of dirty clothes, or a small child, leg unexpectedly touches *something* sticking out of the wall - you think you are going to think 'oh, that's just the night light'? I doubt it.

    And tripping over a vacuum cleaner power unit? It's only on the landing long enough to perform the cleaning operation, and probably making enough noise that it shouldn't sneak up on someone walking past it on the landing.
    And there is no chance that the vacuum cleaner will be left on the stairs for *any* reason?

    Gosh, I've seen several vacuum cleaners, brooms, mops, etc., left on stairs over the years ... well, I guess they were figments of my imagination as no one would leave one there, it would only be there "long enough to perform the cleaning operation" ... yeah, right.

    I guess your experiences are proof positive that no one would ever trip or fall from something like that. Maybe you can guarantee us that you have never fallen down the stairs either, and therefore no one would ever fall down the stairs. You could save insurance companies a lot of money from having to pay for 'frivolous' claims for people falling down stairs for no reason.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Outlets on staircase landings

    OK, Jerry, you've got me. Your "lawyer talk" just deflated my common sense argument. In your world, the gift of gab and looking for someone/something to blame always wins out, over being responsible for one's own actions.

    But you haven't answered my question about tripping over night lights--either from your personal or litigation experience. Where I come from, the hand railing along the wall containing the receptacle provides ample "shy-line" clearance to prevent a tripping hazard. A person would have to be triple-jointed to get a leg close enough to make contact with the night light, more so when carrying a laundry basket. And no, I can't back that up with any documented research studies, so you still win.


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    Default Re: Outlets on staircase landings

    This is real simple Matt, if the sparky says its required by Code, ask him to provide the applicable Code section that is used in that municipality.
    This is no different than when an HI report lists something as being necessary, the Seller challenges the point, the client calls the HI for backup and the HI provides a Code section or manufacturer spec. info.

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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Outlets on staircase landings

    The nite light is a good idea but it still doesn't mean that the receptacle is required to be there.


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    Default Re: Outlets on staircase landings

    Quote Originally Posted by BridgeMan View Post
    And no, I can't back that up with any documented research studies, ...
    Neither can I, so neither of us "wins", but maybe you have opened your eyes a bit beyond your own experiences - which is what I was trying to do.

    Just because one never has a accident doing something does *not* make doing it 'safe' ... someone, somewhere, may just have an accident doing it.

    I don't recall anyone saying anything about people not taking responsibility for their own actions, sounds to me like that is a bit of Watson's failed redirection technique he frequently throws our way.

    Can one fall off a ladder? Sure. Does that mean that you will fall off a ladder? Not any more than you not falling off a ladder means that no one will.

    Simple common sense - *time* *is not* a *safety device*. Just because something has not happened "yet" does not mean it will not happen, and, in fact, *time* is a detriment to safety because things degrade through wear and tear and because 'less safe' over time.

    Again, simple common sense.

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    Default Re: Outlets on staircase landings

    123456

    Last edited by ken horak; 01-19-2012 at 05:23 PM.

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    Default Re: Outlets on staircase landings

    .....

    Last edited by ken horak; 03-30-2012 at 04:54 PM.

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    Default Re: Outlets on staircase landings

    I had the agent forward the email regading NEC verbiage, I can't wait to see the response


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    Default Re: Outlets on staircase landings

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew stouffer View Post
    Received this today from a agent, client sent it to them and she sent it to me. Home was built in 2001, single family. I didnt think landings required an outlet. I cant find anything in the IRC or NEC



    I have a question for you. I had the electrician come over and got a
    >lovely quote from him. One of the things he said that we needed to have
    >were outlets on both landings per code. I reviewed the inspection report
    >and nothing was listed. The only one was for the kitchen. Which we are
    >waiting to do until we redo the kitchen. The cost to install the outlets
    >is almost $500. Do we have any recourse when something is missed on the
    >inspection report. Just wondering.
    What kind of "outlet"? A lighting outlet? Switches or motion sensors to control same (lighted switches, motion sensors/timers, photo sensors work electricity - even if tiny amounts)? or are we to assume receptacles?

    Are these intermediate landings (only) of a stairway? Are there doors or halls, walkways to same "landing" elevation?

    Are these exterior landings at doors? Elevation from finished grade less than 6-1/2 ft? (depending on the circumstances both a lighting outlet and a gfci protected receptacle outlet might be required).

    Interior "landings"? central vac?

    From language doesn't necessarily imply the electrician or agent were referring to receptacles. Unless I missed it, I didn't see anything from Mat that indicated the "landings" were intermediate stairway (only) landings, or "foyers" (walls less than 10' in length and unbroken by a doorway) that back in 1996 or 1999 wouldn't have necessarily required a receptacle (but may require a lighting outlet); or that the "landing"(s) are interior; so unclear where/why Peck and Bridgeman are going off on each other.

    Numberous 1999 NEC references regarding same (don't necessarily agree with all that appears at this page, and some information/instructions are wrong) might be found here: Common Wiring Methods Used Concerning Wiring a Dwelling (NEC 1999) - Self Help and More

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 01-20-2012 at 08:20 AM.

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    Default Re: Outlets on staircase landings

    These are interior intermediate landings. One on a basement staircase and one on a second floor staircase. The electrician said an outlet ( a wall outlet) is required. Not a light switch, motion detector or anything else. A simple wall outlet,the kind you plug a vac into or a light. To recap, house built in 01, intermediate landing in the middle of the stiarcase, electrician said outlet is required by code. Right smack in the middle of the stone wall is an example of where they outlet was "required"

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    Default Re: Outlets on staircase landings

    Matt, just about everyone knew what you were asking about, however, the proper term for that is receptacle. An outlet is any point on the system that uses power. A smoke alarm, a ceiling light or a receptacle are all "outlets" according to the NEC definition.

    Perhaps the confusion comes from the electrician considering the stairs as part of the hallway. A hallway that measures 10' or more along the centerline requires a receptacle. The stairway is not part of that measurement.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Outlets on staircase landings

    Jerry,
    "...Can one fall off a ladder? Sure. Does that mean that you will fall off a ladder? Not any more than you not falling off a ladder means that no one will. ..."

    I fell off a ladder and was injured. Now my wife believes I will fall off all ladders. And you can not convince her otherwise.


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    Default Re: Outlets on staircase landings

    Unless I missed it, no one has addressed the agent's question about going after the inspector due to a "code" over-sight.

    The other comment, what if the receptacle is a local requirement?

    Eric Barker, ACI
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    Default Re: Outlets on staircase landings

    I'm a code inspector


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    Default Re: Outlets on staircase landings

    Mathew, FWIW your instinct is correct, no receptacle outlet required on stair landings. Now if a landing is 10 feet or more in length then we may have an argument? The best advice for inspectors when challanged has always been, "Could you please show me the code section you're referring too?"

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

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    Default Re: Outlets on staircase landings



    IPM and references to IFC, NEC, code at time, etc. No work is being undertaken to the area.

    IRC wouldn't apply to the time this was built, might have been incorporated in rework or perhaps the International Property Maintenance Code...has that been adopted? Regardless...

    Lighting outlet above for same, yes; multiple risers change in direction...
    Receptacle outlet no - exceptions did and do not require a receptacle outlet for this intermediate landing only interior stairway.

    Presuming detached free-standing single family home, not being used as a boarding home, B&B, etc. and has no "housekeeping units", and the highest occupied story is within 75 ft. elevation from grade accessible by Fire Department vehicles, and this stairway is not any sort of shared or common area for multiple "units".


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    Default Re: Outlets on staircase landings

    HG... Arrrrgh......?? I don't recall anyone talking about lighting outlets so why the silly sermon about them?
    Perhaps you should peruse Chapter two (2) of the NEC for the definition of "receptacle?"

    Jerry McCarthy
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    Default Re: Outlets on staircase landings

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    HG... Arrrrgh......?? I don't recall anyone talking about lighting outlets so why the silly sermon about them?
    Perhaps you should peruse Chapter two (2) of the NEC for the definition of "receptacle?"
    Matts title of the post was "outlets on staircase landings". Although he confused the word outlet with receptacle just about everyone knew what he meant. But using the NEC definition of outlet the question could have been about a lighting outlet.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Outlets on staircase landings

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    Matts title of the post was "outlets on staircase landings". Although he confused the word outlet with receptacle just about everyone knew what he meant. But using the NEC definition of outlet the question could have been about a lighting outlet.
    That said, a "lighting outlet" is not required at a landing either, not unless I've been missing something all these years.

    So either way, no "outlet" is required at a landing.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  29. #29
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    Default Re: Outlets on staircase landings

    Funny he said outlet and we all (almost) knew he meant receptacle outlet. At least he didn't say plug.


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    Default Re: Outlets on staircase landings

    It's not a habitable room so the receptacle requirement for walls 2 feet and wider doesn't cut it. The landing isn't 10 feet so it can't be held to the 10 foot hall requirement. I'd ask them to show you the code.

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    Default Re: Outlets on staircase landings

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    Funny he said outlet and we all (almost) knew he meant receptacle outlet. At least he didn't say plug.
    Would we have known what was meant if the question was about a subpanel?

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Outlets on staircase landings

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    Would we have known what was meant if the question was about a subpanel?
    12345


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    Default Re: Outlets on staircase landings

    Howdy Y'all,

    For the most part, home inspectors are not acting as code inspectors and are not required to address code compliance. In the State of Wisconsin, the Standards of Practice for Home Inspectors Article RL 134.02 (2) states "A home inspector is not required to report on any of the following aspects of items identified in s. RL 134.03," including....... "(e) Whether they comply with applicable regulatory requirements." RL 134.03 includes the electrical system in its entirety.

    My contract also includes the claus, "The inspection also excludes opinions on code, ordinance or regulatory compliance, building or otherwise." Do you have something like this in your contract? If not, you should.

    The Bottom Line, this is all you need to tell them. However, you might offer to research the matter further and get back to them...... If you have the time.

    I suggest you avoid offering to 'further research' something as your response could come back to bite you if somehow you provided inaccurate info (in whole or in part). Best to "Recommend further evaluation by a specialist." CYA!

    All the best,
    Bruce Low
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    Default Re: Outlets on staircase landings

    The electrician may be referring to the Dollar Code.
    "If you say Code Required then the customer will pay you the dollar." This is a secret code only known to some special electricians and plumbers.

    Learned in : "How to expand your business and your profits without really trying."


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