Written by Stu Kushner

Key Changes to the 2017 NEC Code – Part 2

As discussed in Part 1, the new edition of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA 70), places more emphasis on new technologies and worker safety.

The National Electrical Code (NEC) undergoes revision and expansion every three years. The NFPA received more than four thousand public suggestions, resulting in 1,235 first revisions. Subsequently, 1,513 public comments were submitted responding to these first revisions, and this resulted in 559 second revisions. Expanded requirements, editorial clarification, new, relocated, and deleted requirements were among the changes. In addition, there are five new articles added to the 2017 NEC.

Part 2 covers six more critical updates that contractors must be aware of for their new projects.

Section 230.95 (C) Performance Testing (GFPE)

After installation, testing for primary current injection is now required. In contrast to GFCI which prevents people from being electrically shocked, GFPE prevents damage to costly equipment in the event of a ground fault. This requirement will result in substantial additional costs for electrical contractors.

Section 240.87 Arc Energy Reduction

Providing improved protection of personnel for the electrical contractor, the code requires two additional arc energy reduction methods: an instantaneous override and an instantaneous trip.

Section 310.15 (B) (7) Single Phase Dwelling Feeders

This is a welcome revision to the adjustment factor giving relief to contractors feeding condominium and apartment complexes with three-phase systems by easing wire bending regulations thus decreasing installation costs.

Section 312.8 (B) Power Monitoring Equipment

Due to increased energy conservation awareness, the sensors and devices inside power equipment will have rules for installation and safety.

Section 408.3 (A) (2) Service Panelboards

Adding electrical shock hazard protection has made requirements for service panelboards conform to those existing for switchgear and switchboards.

Section 555.3 Ground-Fault Protection for Marinas and Boatyards

An inherent electrical hazard persists in marinas, and this code intends to decrease this risk through a reduction of the trip level for floating buildings.

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