Utilized in all 50 U.S. states, the National Electrical Code (NEC) sets forth the minimum standards for safety in electrical design, installations, and inspections, protecting people and property from electrical hazards.
Revised every 3 years, the NEC utilizes commentary, public input, and technical sessions. Since 1977 there have been 15 NEC revisions released.
As a reminder, the following summarizes key new standards of the latest NEC Electrical Code that were made for 2020. The next update will not be until 2023.
1) Surge Protection for Dwelling Units Required
New service or replacement equipment that supply power to homes must be protected by Surge-Protective Devices of Type 1 or Type 2. These types protect electrical appliances and devices that are not protected by point-of-use surge protection devices (SPDs).
- Type 1 SPD: SPDs permanently connected and designed for installation between the service transformer’s secondary and the service disconnect overcurrent device’s line side.
- Type 2 SPD: SPDs permanently connected and designed for installation on the service disconnect overcurrent device’s load side, which includes SPDs located at a branch panel.
2) GFCI Requirements
GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) protection must be provided for each 125-volt through 250-volt receptacle powered by a single-phase branch circuit with a rating of 150 volts or less to be grounded in 11 specific locations of a dwelling as listed by NEC 2020.
There must be GFCI protection for common 250-volt receptacles for dryers and ranges. GFCI requirements have also been added for protecting marinas and non-dwelling locations.
3) Outdoor Emergency Disconnects for Dwelling Units Required
New homes being constructed, homes being renovated or remodeled, and homes that are getting electrical services replaced are now required to have outdoor emergency disconnects. This helps prevent first responders from encountering potential electrical hazards when they respond to home emergencies.
An emergency disconnect can be service disconnects, meter disconnects, circuit breakers, or listed disconnect switches located on the supply side of devices that are suited to be service equipment.
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