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Electricity Requirements

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Electricity Requirements

Postby horacionyc » Sun Jan 19, 2003 10:56 pm

Wonderful website you have here. I hope you can help answer our question. Is there a minimum amount of electricity that a landlord is supposed to provide an apartment?

Our apartment has had its electrical power knocked out 5 times in the last 6 months. Four times, the overload did not set off the circuit breaker in the apartment but instead blew a fuse in the hallway (15 amp fuse which seems to my layman eyes to be not enough electric power for a 2-bedroom apartment). The last time, the overload skipped both the circuit breaker in the apartment and the fuse in the hallway and blew a fuse in the basement of the building.

We have one air conditioner used during the summer and one small space heater in the winter. The bedroom would be intolerable to use without the space heater. It appears that the fuse blew last time when I had the heater on, a George Foreman grill and a toaster along with TV and three lights. Is this an unreasonable amount of electricity to be drawing in a 2-bedroom apt?

Please advise. Thank you very much!
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Re: Electricity Requirements

Postby joliett » Mon Jan 20, 2003 5:35 pm

The electrical requirements that the landlord is required to maintain, I believe, are those that were there when you signed the lease.

However, the electrical equipment (wires, fuses and breakers, etc) should all be adequate for thier intended purpose. AND all equipment must be safe and meet the requirements of the NYC Electrical Code.

Furthermore, you are ENTITLED to levels of heat that meet the requirements of the NYDHCR - without maintaining a separate heater.
Joel Teicher, P.E.
www.TenantEngineer.com
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Re: Electricity Requirements

Postby Chimera » Mon Jan 20, 2003 7:25 pm

Here are the heating requirements:

(1) between the hours of six a.m. and ten p.m. a temperature of at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit whenever the outside temperature falls below 55 degrees; and

(2) between the hours of ten p.m. and six a.m. a temperature of at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit whenever the outside temperature falls below 40 degrees.

If your landlord is maintaining the minimum heating requirements, it may very well be necessary to use a heater. 55 degrees after ten p.m. is COLD! Unfortunately, electric heaters use a TON of electricity . . . whenever I use one I have to be very careful not to be running other things, or I invariably blow a fuse.

A trick that sometimes works is plugging your heater into a different outlet, usually on the other side of the apartment. You may need an extension cord to do this. I'm not sure why this works, perhaps it's connecting the heater to a different circuit. If I had on a grill, toaster, TV, 3 lights and a heater, my electricity would blow out too. You really have to be very careful when using the heater, you probably have noticed that it isn't a problem if your heater isn't on.
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Re: Electricity Requirements

Postby Cranky Tenant » Mon Jan 20, 2003 9:49 pm

It really isn't a question of whether this is a reasonable amount for a two bedroom apartment, but rather if your usage is reasonable for the kind of wiring in your building. Unfortunately many apartment buildings s in the city simply don't have adequate wiring to handle modern day appliances.

By comparison, I have a small two bedroom apartment in an old building. From what I can tell, the wiring was probably upgraded back in the sixties when the apartment was still under rent control. I have two original 15 amp lines, plus 2 newer 20 amp in the kitchen and 2 30 amp lines for air conditioners.

Because of the way it's wired, most of my apartment is on the older 15 anp lines. The computers and small ari conditioner go in the 30 amp lines. Kitchen appliances like a coffee maker, toaster, micro wave, iron, etc go in the 20 amp lines, and I try to avoid using more than one appliance on a single line at a time,

Maybe I'm overly cautious but the only time I've blown a fuse in years was when workmen plugged the refrigerator into a 15 amp line.

If your apartment only has a single 15 amp fuse, you're probably lucky you can turn on the lights while you're running a refrigerator.
I'm a cranky tenant NOT a cranky lawyer.
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Re: Electricity Requirements

Postby El Vato Loco » Mon Feb 03, 2003 6:41 pm

However, the electrical equipment (wires, fuses and breakers, etc) should all be adequate for thier intended purpose. AND all equipment must be safe and meet the requirements of the NYC Electrical Code.
Where can I find the NYC Electrical code online? There's a room without any outlets in my apartment- it does have a jury-rigged lighting fixture in the ceiling- and I'd like to find out if there's some sort of requirement to have at least one outlet per wall, or per room.

It's annoying because it's the room I'm using as an office, so I've got extension cords running to the next room, and a rat's nest of powerstrips and plugs (I'm a computer graphics artist and I need a lot of outlets). Thanks for any help or direction you can offer.
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