NEC Code Making Panels (CMPs), whose members are inspectors, installers, electrical equipment manufacturers, testing labs, and other experts, gather to agree on updated installation techniques for integrating tech advancements and increasing safety every three years. The following will discuss three critical changes in the 2023 NEC for your home.
1) Every Receptacle Requires GFCI Protection
The 2020 NEC only required kitchen receptacles serving countertops to have GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) protection. This has changed in the 2023 NEC. Every 125 to 250-volt container installed in a kitchen requires GFCI protection. As set forth by Section 210.8(A)(6), every kitchen receptacle must be GFCI protected no matter purpose or location.
2) 10-Amp Branch Circuits Recognized
Before the 2023 NEC, 15 amps was the minor branch circuit the NEC recognized for power and lighting loads. However, the NEC made a groundbreaking move by identifying 10-amp branch circuits for specific power and lighting loads. The change was probably due to the increased availability of high-efficiency lighting systems.
The newly released “NEC Section 210.23, Permissible Loads, Multiple-Outlet Branch Circuits” permits 10-amp branch circuits for supplying one or more of the loads below:
1) Lighting outlets
2) Exhaust fans utilizing laundry room or bathroom lighting circuits
3) Gas fireplaces powered by an individual branch circuit
However, the NEC prohibits using 10-amp branch circuits for fixed appliances, garage door openers, laundry equipment, and receptacle outlets.
3) Receptacle Outlets Serving Kitchen Islands & Peninsulas No Longer Required
The 2020 NEC required electricians to install one outlet to serve nine square feet of an island or peninsula countertop. In addition, one outlet was needed for each additional 18 square feet. This was substantially revised by the 2023 NEC to the following:
If installed to serve an island, peninsular countertop, or work surface, receptacle outlets shall be established under 210.52(C)(3). Suppose a receptacle is not provided to serve an island, peninsular countertop, or work surface. In that case, provisions [emphasis mine] shall be provided at the island or peninsular to add a receptacle outlet to serve the island or peninsular countertop or work surface.
As the 2023 NEC does not specify the provisions, the AHJ (authority having jurisdiction) will determine them for installing a future receptacle outlet.
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