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
- 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,
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
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
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.
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).
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- Cross references
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