As more technologies are being introduced to the construction industry, code makers are racing to keep standards up-to-date. In 2017, NEC will have several code changes that coincide with industry trends and construction needs. Some of these changes are summarized here:
New NEC Articles
The following articles will be added in 2017:
- Article 425 – Fixed Resistance and Electrode Industrial Process Heating Equipment
- Article 691 – Large-scale Photovoltaic (PV) Electric Power Production Facility
- Article 706 – Energy Storage Systems (ESS)
- Article 710 – Stand Alone Systems
- Article 712 – Direct Current Microgrids
110.16 (B) Arc Flash Hazard Marking
This article applies to service equipment rated 1200 A or more in applications other than dwelling units. The following must be marked:
- Nominal system voltage
- Available fault current
- Clearing time of overcurrent protective device(s), based on available fault current
- Date applied
Service equipment labeling is not required if an arc flash label is applied in in accordance with acceptable industry practice.
110.21(A)(2) Reconditioned Equipment Markings
As of 2017, equipment marking must include:
- Name, trademark, or other descriptive marking to identify the organization responsible for the reconditioning
- The word “Reconditioned” and the date of the reconditioning
Also, the original listing of the equipment cannot be the sole basis for approval, and normal servicing is not considered reconditioning or refurbishing. There is an exception to this article for Industrial Occupancies.
110.41 Inspections and Tests
Coming in 2017, inspections and tests will apply where pre-energization or operational tests are required in other sections of the code. Broad requirements will supply information on the electrical system design, including settings for protective devices and control circuits. Furthermore, systems will require testing when they are first installed. The results of the testing must be available prior to energization for the AHJ, installer, and authorized personnel responsible for the system.
210.8(B) Other than Dwellings (GFCI)
This article now applies to receptacle outlets and 150V to ground or less. Single phase receptacles have been expanded from 20A to 50A, and the article adds 3 phase up to 100A. Lastly, crawl spaces and unfinished portions of basements are not intended as habitable rooms.
210.11(C)(4) Garage Branch Circuits
The new code now states that there is a minimum of one 20A branch circuit for a dwelling unit garage. Also, these circuits may only use receptacle outlets. The article now recognizes that many appliances and tools used in dwelling unit garages require a 20A branch circuit. The exception to the article permits supply of outdoor, readily accessible, receptacle outlets.
210.12 Arc-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection
The following revisions were made to article 210.12:
- 12(B) Dormitories has been expanded to include bathrooms and circuits supplying outlets and devices.
- 12(C) Guest Rooms and Guest Suites now includes all 125V, 15A, and 20A outlets and devices in guest rooms and suites.
- 12(D) Extensions and Modifications will now cover branch circuit extensions or modifications in dormitory units.
210.71 Meeting Room Receptacle Outlets
In 2017, the new requirement for meeting rooms not exceeding 1000 square feet. This will also include non-locking, 125V, 15A, or 20A receptacles. For rooms with movable partitions, the size of the room should be based on the smallest potential space with the partitions closed.
This revision also states that receptacle spacing should be determined using article 210.52 (A)(1) – (4), and the location of these receptacles can be determined by the building owner or designer. However, floor receptacles are required within 6 feet of fixed walls for floor spaces at least 12 feet wide and with total area of 215 square feet. One receptacle is required for each 215 square feet or major portion of floor space.
220.12 Exceptions – Lighting Loads for Specified Occupancies
The following revisions apply to the exceptions in article 220.12. This article now allows lighting loads to be calculated using the adopted energy code where it is designed and constructed to comply. The lighting code being calculated must also meet the following criteria:
- A power monitoring system must be installed to provide lighting load data.
- There must be an alarm(s) to alert the building owner or manager if the lighting load exceeds its limits.
- The demand factors listed in 220.42 do not apply.
There is also a new exception added to the article. It expands the allowance where an energy code is adopted and specifies an overall lighting density of less than 1.2 volt-amperes per 1.2 square feet. This permits the unit lighting loads for office and bank areas within the building to be reduced by 1 volt-ampere per square foot.
230.95(C) Performance Testing (GFPE)
This article applies to all GFPE provided at the service equipment. GFPE should be tested after installation using the instructions provided with the equipment. Now, primary current injection testing is required. This revision will also impact Feeders in article 215.10.
240.87 Arc Energy Reduction
The following arc energy reduction methods have been added for Circuit Breakers:
- An instantaneous trip setting that is less than the available arcing current
- An instantaneous override that is less than the available arcing current
These methods have performance consideration requiring the calculation of the available arcing fault.
While this information about 2017 NEC code changes is helpful, it is always best to consult the most recent code book when making decisions on the jobsite. How do these changes affect your jobsite? Any surprises?