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2005 NEC Changes Summary Articles 680 through 695

ARTICLE 680 Swimming Pools, Spas, Hot Tubs, Fountains, and Similar Installations

The overriding concern of Article 680 is to keep people and electricity separated. Some ways in which Article 680 accomplishes this include:

  • References to other articles. Table 680.3, for example, makes these references quite clear.
  • Equipment requirements. Any equipment that goes into a pool, spa, hot tub, and fountain, and similar installation must meet the appropriate requirements of Article 680. This equipment includes motors, lights, and receptacles.
  • Equipotential Stray Voltage Bonding. This prevents stray currents from taking a path through people.
  • Conductor control. For example, flexible cords cannot be 6 ft long-3 ft is the limit. Article 680 contains many other conductor-related requirements, such as minimum clearances from pool, spa, hot tub, and fountain structures.

  • New sentence added to clarify how the minimum overhead conductor clearances are measured for permanently installed pools, storable pools, outdoor spas, outdoor hot tubs, and fountains, as it relates to the maximum water level.

  • This rule was revised to clarify that the permanently installed pool, storable pool, outdoor spa and hot tub, or fountain equipment maintenance disconnecting means must now be "readily accessible." The 2002 NEC only required the maintenance disconnect to be "accessible," and within sight of the permanently installed pool, storable pool, outdoor spa and hot tub, or fountain equipment.

  • This rule was revised to require that the copper equipment grounding (bonding) conductor for permanently installed pool, outdoor spa, and outdoor hot tub motors be insulated.

  • Text added to clarify that GFCI protection is only required for 15 and 20A, 125V receptacles located within 20 ft of the inside walls of a permanently installed pool, outdoor spa, and outdoor hot tub.

  • New rule requires wet-niche luminaries to be installed in a location where the luminaire can be serviced and accessed from a dry location.

  • Type MC cable now permitted as a wiring method for the permanently installed pool, outdoor spa, and outdoor hot tub light, when the Type MC cable is installed within the building.

  • The term "Equipotential Bonding" was added to the title to clarify that the purpose of permanently installed pool, outdoor spa, and outdoor hot tub bonding is to reduce electric shock from stray voltage.

  • Fine Print Note converted into a Code requirement to specify that "equipotential stray voltage bonding conductors aren't required to extend to any panelboard, service equipment, or an electrode."

  • Change requires that provisions be made to account for the loss of conductive reinforcing steel necessary to reduce voltage gradients in and around permanently installed pools, outdoor spas, and outdoor hot tubs.

  • Equipotential stray voltage grid now required in or under the permanently installed pool, outdoor spa, and outdoor hot tub deck to help mask the ever-increasing stray voltage levels resulting from utility wiring errors, deteriorating primary utility neutral conductors, ground faults that have not cleared, as well as appliance and equipment leakage current.

  • Additional text requires GFCI protection for receptacles located within 20 ft of a storable pool.

  • Additional text to specify the minimum distance a receptacle is permitted from a storable pool.

  • The GFCI protection requirement for 15 or 20A receptacles within 20 ft of fountains was relocated to this section from 680.22(A)(5).

ARTICLE 682 Natural and Artificially Made Bodies of Water

This new article covers the installation of electrical wiring for, in, and adjacent to natural or artificially made bodies of water not covered by Article 680. This includes aeration ponds, fish farm ponds, storm retention basins, sewage treatment ponds, and irrigation channels.


ARTICLE 695 Fire Pumps

The general philosophy behind Code articles is that circuit protection will shut down equipment before letting the supply conductors melt from overload. Article 695 departs from this philosophy. The idea is that the fire pump motor must run, no matter what; it supplies water to a facility's fire protection piping, which in turn supplies water to the sprinkler system and fire hoses. Article 695 contains many requirements to keep that supply of water uninterrupted.

Some of these requirements are intuitively obvious. For example, locating the pump so as to minimize its exposure to fire. Or, ensuring that the fire pump and its jockey (pressure maintenance) pump have a reliable source of power. And, of course, it makes sense to keep fire pump wiring independent of all other wiring.

Other requirements seem wrong at first glance, until you remember why that fire pump is there in the first place. For example, the disconnect must be lockable in the closed position. You would normally expect these to be lockable in the open position because other articles require that for safety of maintenance personnel. But the fire pump runs to ensure the safety of an entire facility and everyone in it. For the same reason, fire pump power circuits cannot have automatic protection against overloads.

Remember, the fire pump must be kept in service, even if doing so damages or destroys the pump. It's better to run the pump until its windings melt, than to save the fire pump and lose the facility. And the intent of Article 695 is to save the facility.

  • New sentence clarifies that the "carry the locked rotor current indefinitely" requirement only applies to sizing the fire pump circuit protective devices, not the circuit conductors to the fire pump motor.

  • The text was revised to alert the Code user that the branch circuit conductors for a fire pump motor are sized in accordance with 430.22. In addition, branch circuit conductors must be sized to accommodate the voltage drop requirements of 695.7.

  • New subsection prohibits ground-fault protection of equipment to be placed on the fire pumps circuit.

Mike Holt's Comment: If you desire more information about any of the above changes, be sure to order my Changes book below and/or library (Video/DVD).

12a. NEC Code Changes Textbook
Mike Holt’s Illustrated Changes to the NEC 2005 textbook is here! So, get ready now!

The 2005 NEC is here and its time to adapt. Don’t let the scale of this change intimidate you. With Mike Holt’s Illustrated Changes to the NEC 2005, you’ll be up-to-speed in no time. Nearly 5,000 changes were proposed for the 2005 NEC! Over 225 of them will have a significant impact on designing, installing and inspecting electrical systems. Mike takes you through these changes, which he considers to be of critical importance. You’ll be able to easily gauge how these changes will impact your work and apply them instantly. This 120-page comprehensive full-color textbook includes 198 color illustrations for reference. Subjects include: General Requirements, Circuits and Protection, Grounding versus Bonding, Wiring Methods, Equipment for General Use, Special Occupancies, Special Equipment, Special Conditions, and Limited Energy and Communications Systems.

Why does Mike’s book give you an edge? Because of the extra effort put forth to organize these changes in an easy-to-follow manner. Each change includes:

  • Cross references to other related Code requirements to help you develop a better understanding of how the Code rules relate to one another.
  • Background information for each change along with explanations, which are delivered in Mike’s trademark style… easy-to-understand.
  • Author’s Comments – These sections were written by Mike to help you better understand the NEC material, and to bring to your attention things he believes you should be aware of.
  • Full-color detailed graphics to reinforce those difficult concepts and provide instant understanding.

Product Code: 05BK
ISBN: 1-932685-27-8
Pages: 120
Illustrations: 198

Table of Contents
Sample Pages
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