2020 National Electrical Code Updates

N E C Code Update Blog Image

Changes to the 2020 National Electrical Code (NEC)

The National Electrical Code has set the foundational standard for all aspects of electrical design, safety, installation and inspection in all 50 states in the US since 1897. This is done to prevent any hazards from occurring and to protect not only residents, but their properties, as well. Since 1977, the year the medium American home was built, there have been a total of 16 NEC revisions.

Utilizing technical sessions, commentary, and public input, the NEC is revised every three years to ensure the safety and protection of residential, commercial, and industrial occupancies, nationally. The newest 2020 edition of the NEC introduces new regulations for everything from installation and grounding to electrical wiring and overcurrent protection.

Other major changes to the 2020 NEC, include:

  • Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI)
  • Required Surge Protection Devices (SPD)
  • Required Emergency Disconnects for Dwellings Units
  • Emergency Disconnect for Solar Panels

In this blog, we’ll take a deeper look at these changes and provide you with the exact power distribution products that adhere to the 2020 NEC code updates.

210.8(A) Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI)

In the updated 2020 NEC, Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) are now required in all 125-250-volt receptacles, within 6-feet of sinks.

These include:

  • Laundry rooms
  • Kitchens
  • Basements (Finished and Unfinished)
  • Common outdoor outlets 150V to ground or less and up to 50amps

230.67 Required Surge Protection Devices (SPD)

In the updated 2020 NEC, a Surge Protection Device (SPD) shall be installed in all new and replacement services supplying dwelling units. They’re also required to be protected by listed as Type 1 or Type 2 SPD and attached to the service equipment or immediately adjacent.

Type 1 SPD

Type 1 SPD: permanently connected SPDs are intended for installation between the secondary of the service transformer and the line side of the service disconnect overcurrent device.

Type 2 SPD

Type 2 SPD: Permanently connected SPDs are intended for installation on the load side of the service disconnect overcurrent device, including SPDs located at the brand panel.

230.85 Required Emergency Disconnects for Dwelling Units

For new construction, homes undergoing renovations, and homes undergoing service replacements, outdoor emergency disconnects are now required.

With this update, first responders can now respond to emergencies without electrical hazards. These emergency disconnects can include:

  • Service disconnects
  • Meter disconnects
  • Listed disconnect switches
  • Circuit breakers on the supply side of each device

Articles that Have Been Removed from NEC 2017

In order to omit any redundancies and improve accuracy from the NEC 2017, four articles have been removed by the National Fire Protection Agency:

  • Article 280 SPDs over 1,000V
  • Article 285 SPDs 1,000V or less
  • Article 328 MV Cable Type MV
  • Article 553 Floating Buildings

Shop Power Distribution Products at Mars Electric!

Mars Electric is your one-stop-shop for all your NEC-approved power distribution products! Our knowledgeable sales associates and power distribution team are here to help you find the exact products you’ll need to complete your project. For 65 years, we’ve maintained up-to-date practices with NEC changes and can answer any all questions you have.

To speak to a power distribution team member, please contact us today and we’ll help you get started!


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