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Significant Proposals for 2005 NEC Part X

As Reviewed by Mike Holt

The following text is a quick summary of the proposed changes for the 2005 NEC. This document is a work in progress and the Code panel will change many over the next few months. Some of these you might find important to your work and you might want to follow their progress with me. Therefore, each week I will email you a few of these changes.

Each proposed change has a Report on Proposal (ROP) number, like 1-25. This number reflects the Proposal Number and all action on this proposal can be viewed in the following
PDF document NEC Part 3 [ 4.5MB ].

As always, I am looking to improve our products, so if you feel you have anything to contribute, please let me know at

Article 411 Lighting Systems Operating at 30 Volts or Less

411.4 Locations Not Permitted.
Remove the requirement that all low voltage lighting systems installed concealed or through a building wall must be installed in a Chapter 3 wiring method. Additional text clarifies when the low voltage wiring systems is permitted to use a Class 2 wiring method in accordance with Article 725.

Article 422 Appliances

422.13 Storage-Type Water Heaters.
Text revised to specify that a fixed storage water heater of 120 gallons or less be considered a continuous load.

Author's Comment: We now have a conflict when we perform feeder and service calculations [220.15], because in Article 220, water heaters are not considered a continuous load.

422.16 Flexible Cords.
(B) Specific Appliances.
(4) Cord and Plug Connected Vending Machines. New rule requires vending machines to be connected to a GFCI protected circuit, if GFCI protection is not factory-installed or if the machines is are not listed as double insulated.

Author's Comment: This change was drive by three electrocutions since 1995; two of the deaths were to children when they made contact with the vending machine.

422.16 Flexible Cords.
(B) Specific Appliances.
(5) Range Hoods. New rule allows range hoods to be cord-and-plug connected with a flexible cord, if they comply with new stringent requirements.

Author's Comment: This rule is intended to allow the homeowners to install a combination microwave hood some day in the future, without the expense of an additional electrical installation.

422.31 Disconnection of Permanently Connected Appliances.
(B) Appliances Rated Over 300 Volt-Amperes or 1/8 Horsepower. Additional sentence clarifies the construction of the disconnection means where the disconnecting means is not within sight from the appliance.

Article 424 Fixed Electric Space-Heating Equipment

424.3 Branch Circuits.
(B) Branch-Circuit Sizing. Revise the text to clarify that branch circuit for fixed electric space-heating equipment is to be considered a continuous load for branch circuit sizing.

Author's Comment:
There is no conflict with this rule and Article 220 feeder or service calculations, because this rule only applies to branch circuits.

Article 430 Motors, Motor Circuits, and Controllers

430.8 Marking on Controllers.
New text specifies when motor controllers are required to be marked with their "short circuit rating" to ensure that a motor controller is sufficiently braced and constructed to withstand the forces it could be subjected to in the case of a short circuit.

Author's Comment: Motor controllers can be subjected to large short circuit currents, including contribution from the motor itself.

430.32 Continuous-Duty Motors.
(A) More Than 1 Horsepower. Clarify that only motors rated more than 1 hp used in a continuous application are subject to the overload requirements of 430.32(A).

Author's Comment: Overload protection is not required for continuous duty motor used in a non-continuous application.

430.102 Location.
(B) Motor. Text that could have been misread to require two disconnecting means for the motor was deleted and additional text makes it clear that, only one disconnect is required (motor control disconnect or motor disconnect), and the conditions when this is allowed.

X. Adjustable-Speed Drive Systems
A new Part X entitled "Adjustable Speed Drives" was added to Article 430.

Article 445 Generators

445.18 Disconnecting Means Required for Generators.
Revise text permits multiple generator disconnects for the purpose of improving the maintainability of such systems, which is sometimes omitted because of the difficulty in scheduling shutdowns.

Author's Comment: This rule is necessary because a single generator can be used to supply, emergency, legally required as well as optional standby power, through different transfer switches.

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