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Electrical Codes You Need to Know: A Room-By-Room Guide

Whether you’re remodeling your home or you’re looking to finally put your house up on the market, one thing is for sure — you need to make sure your home is up to code.

What does this mean?

Well, for the electrical in your home, everything needs to be installed properly to ensure that it’s safe. Failing to have an electrical system up to code can result in an unsafe environment and possible stopping of a sale.

Here’s a quick list of each room in your home and what you need to check:

electrical code

Electrical Codes for Each Room in the House

  • Living Spaces - Each bedroom, living room, and dining room in your home should have a light switch located on the wall at the entrance of the room. Controlling the main light in the room with a pull switch is not acceptable. When it comes to receptacles, there must be one on each wall and they can be no more than 12 feet apart. Keep in mind that you are allowed to have these receptacles share a circuit with the lights in the room, but if you use these outlets for window AC units, consider placing them on a dedicated circuit.
  • The Kitchen - This room is the one room in your home that will need the most dedicated circuits of any other room in the house. Receptacles controlling the refrigerator, dishwasher, and microwave should all be on a dedicated appliance circuit. As for the other receptacles in the kitchen, they should be on their own dedicated circuit separate from the lights since they will be used to power other, smaller countertop appliances. And as a rule of thumb, ensure that every receptacle in the kitchen is a GFCI model to protect against shock from any water they may come in contact with.
  • Bathrooms - Just like the kitchen, each of your bathrooms should also be equipped with GFCI receptacles to protect your home from electrical shock from water splashes or excess moisture. In addition, you should also have your main source of light be sealed within its fixture to protect it from moisture. How do you remove excess moisture? Ensure you have an exhaust fan installed in each full bathroom and turn it on before any showers or baths.
  • Staircases and Hallways - Every staircase in the house will need a light switch at the top and bottom of the stairs. These light switches should be connected using a three-way switch to allow them to be connected. You may want to consider having this for long hallways as well. Speaking of hallways, for every hallway in your home that is longer than 10 feet, a receptacle should be present.
  • Storage Closets - Each closet should have a light (controlled by a light switch) either inside of the closet or on the ceiling outside of it. If the light is inside of the closet, the bulb should be protected by a fixture to ensure no jackets, blankets, or other materials can touch the bulb.

Keeping your home’s electrical up to code will ensure you are living in a safe home that will experience minimal electrical issues.

The electrical system in your home isn’t something you should DIY for safety reasons. So if you’re in the need of a professional electrician, know that Lancaster PHCE can help you out, no matter the problem!