National Electrical Code (NEC) approved revisions to GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) protection, which significantly decreased the dangers of electrical hazards and shocks. Most notable for homeowners is the expansion of GFCI protection, improved basement protection, and increased outdoor outlet safety.
These GFCI updates of the NEC 2020 Code increase the electrical safety of homeowners and their families significantly. Work with a licensed electrician to install GFCI outlets wherever necessary at your home. Consider having a professional conduct an electrical safety inspection as well to keep your family safe.
Expansion of GFCI Protection
Due to several tragic electrocutions involving children, the 2017 Code was considered inadequate because it only applied to “125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20- ampere receptacles.” Expanding GFCI protection, NEC 2020 states: “All 125-volt through 250-volt receptacles installed in the locations specified in 210.8(A) (1) through (11) and supplied by single-phase branch circuits rated 150 volts or less to ground shall have ground fault circuit interrupter protection for personnel.”
Improved Basement Protection
GFCI protection for dwellings with finished and unfinished basements was expanded. Typically, other areas of a home are better maintained than basements. In addition, basements are often damp and wet, and a moisture-filled environment is a conductor of electricity. The 2020 code updates help decrease or eliminate major factors of accidents such as water contact or leakage of electrical current.
Increased Outdoor Outlet Safety
The NEC 2020 update involves outdoor outlets powered by single-phase branch circuits that are rated 150 volts to ground or below at 50 amps or below. The significance of the update is that the GFCI requirement goes beyond outdoor receptacle outlets by including all outlets. Thus, the revision covers all hard-wired equipment outdoors.
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