Six real-size beams were tested in order to examine the reliability of tension lap splices for the minimum requirements of clear cover, spacing between bars and transverse reinforcement. The beams were prepared in accordance with the minimum provisions of the American Concrete Institute building code requirements for structural concrete (ACI 318-08) and the Turkish standards on requirements for design and construction of reinforced concrete structures (TS 500). Results showed that all beams prepared in accordance with ACI 318-08 showed satisfactory behaviour. Since the specimen prepared according to TS 500 with 26 mm diameter bars failed due to bond, it can be concluded that the TS 500 clear cover is insufficient for spliced bars equal to or greater than 26 mm in diameter. In order to evaluate the ACI Committee 408 new proposal and Eurocode 2 provision for tension lap splices, a case study was also conducted. According to the results of the case study, while the ACI 318-08 requires unnecessarily longer splice lengths for bars of greater than 19 mm diameter, Eurocode 2 always gives the smallest lap splice length which leads to safety concerns.