The National Electrical Code (NEC), also known as National Fire Protection Association (NFPA 70), is the standard for the safe installation of electrical wiring and equipment in the United States. The 2017 edition of NFPA 70 puts more emphasis on new technologies and worker safety. The following summarizes the first six of twelve critical updates that contractors must be aware of for their new projects.
Section 110.16 (B) Arc Flash Hazard Marking
Warning labels must now contain very specific arc flash information, including nominal system voltage, actual available fault current, and clearing time of overprotective device(s) determined by the available fault current. Also included are applicable incorporated exceptions and ampere ratings.
Section 210.8 (B) Other than Dwellings (GFCI)
Requirements have been expanded that will be applicable to larger circuits and additional locations for Ground Fault Circuit Interruption (GFCI) Protection.
Section 210.11 (C) (4) Garage Branch Circuits
Most modern garages contain many tools so a dedicated 20A branch circuit is now a requirement for supplying receptacle outlets only. In addition, it is also now permitted to feed any easily accessible outdoor receptacle within range.
Section 210.12 Arc-Fault Circuit-Interrupter (AFCI) Protection
The 2017 NEC has expanded AFCI protection for dwellings to dormitory bathrooms, guest rooms, along with circuits supplying devices and outlets.
Section 210.64 Electrical Service Areas
As of 2014, the NEC requirement stated that a 125V 15A or 20A receptacle must be located within 50 feet. Now in 2017 the new requirement shortens the distance to 25 feet and within an accessible location. This will provide a major benefit for electrical contractors who are installing services when 120V may not even be a requirement.
Section 210.71 Meeting Room Receptacle Outlets
For the first time, the NEC is directly addressing outlets in meeting rooms. All meeting rooms of not more than 1,000 square feet (other than in residential units) are now required to install receptacle outlets.
Part 2 will cover six more critical updates that contractors need to carefully consider for their new projects.
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