How To Look At A House

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Is an attic required to have a light by the building code?

Monday, June 18, 2018

The NEC (National Electrical Code) specifies at 210.70(A)(3) that any “attics, underfloor spaces, utility rooms, and basements” have at least one lighting outlet, but only “where these spaces are used for storage or contain equipment requiring servicing.” We suppose it is open to interpretation by the local building inspector whether a particular attic is, or could be, used for storage. But most attics have a light located inside at least one of the attic access openings. 

    The light has to contain a switch or be controlled by a wall switch, and at least one switch must be at the usual point of entry to the space. If the lighting is for equipment that requires servicing, such as an air handler or water heater, it should be located at or near the equipment. Also, any heating or air conditioning equipment in an attic must have a receptacle outlet located nearby for service use, according to NEC 210.63. 

    Also see What are the mistakes to avoid when doing attic improvements?

   Visit our ELECTRICAL and ROOF AND ATTIC pages for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

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