Residential, Cook Electric
Written by Larry Cook

Easy Electrical Code Guide for Homeowners – Part 3

As covered in Part 2, the NEC mostly covers general electrical installations. However, it also contains specific requirements for individual rooms. Part 3 will discuss Bedrooms, Living Rooms & Dining Rooms, Garages, AFCI, and Tamper Resistant.


Bedrooms, Living Rooms & Dining Rooms


The rooms above are typically moderate electrical consumers. It is important to note that specific electrical requirements for these areas are defined, and they are usually powered by standard by 15-amp or 20-amp circuits of 120 volts.


Each area requires a wall switch installed next to its doorway, allowing lighting to be turned on before entering the room. The switch will control a lighting fixture attached to a wall or ceiling or a lamp plugged into an outlet.


The maximum distance between wall outlets is 12 feet. Each wall section wider than two feet is required to have a receptacle. Typically, a dining room will be equipped with a dedicated 20-amp circuit for an outlet that might power an air conditioning unit or entertainment center.




Newly built garages all require a dedicated 20-amp circuit of 120 volts. This circuit may also power outlets installed into the exterior of a garage. Inside the garage, at least one switch must be installed for controlling lighting. The installation of a three-way switch between doors is recommended for convenience. A minimum of one receptacle per car space is advised, and each outlet is required to have GFCI protection.




AFCI (arc-fault circuit-interrupter) are now required for new construction projects as set forth by the 2020 NEC. Each branch circuit for lighting fixtures and receptacles require AFCI protection, which will prevent electrical fires due to arcing.


Tamper Resistant


A TR (tamper-resistant) feature is now required for every standard receptacle. It is a safety feature that prevents children from inserting objects into outlets, which may lead to injury or death from electric shock.


Electrical Peace of Mind


Providing professional electricians since 1988 in Maryland, Cook Electric is the company you can rely on for all your electrical service needs, including:


  • Commercial & Residential Electrical Installations
  • Marina & Residential Pier Wiring
  • Electrical Service & Repair
  • Specialty Electrical Services


For knowledgeable, fair, honest, reliable, and conscientious service, call Cook Electric today at (410) 266-9040. We will be very glad to help you.