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2005 NEC Changes Summary Articles 511 through 517

ARTICLE 511 Commercial Garages, Repair and Storage

To avoid misunderstandings about what a garage is, refer to the definition in Article 100. Essentially, a commercial garage is a place where people store or repair vehicles that burn volatile liquids, such as gasoline, liquid propane, and alcohol. The requirement is a bit more detailed, but this is the general idea. Article 511 also draws a distinction between a parking garage and a garage used for repair or storage.

Article 511 can be confusing because it provides different rules for five different kinds of classified locations that can potentially be in the same room. This sounds more complicated than it really is. Just remember:

  • 18 inches. The area 18 inches above grade and the area 18 inches below the ceiling require special attention. In either case, the potential problem is the accumulation of vapors.
  • A pit. Flammable liquids or vapors can accumulate in any depression below floor grade.
  • Adjacent areas. If you ensure an area adjacent to a classified location meets certain ventilation requirements or you can satisfy the authority having jurisdiction that the area doesn't present an ignition hazard, it's possible for that to be an unclassified location.

Author's Comment: It's possible for an establishment to have a vehicle service/repair area that must comply with Article 511, another area for fuel dispensing that must comply and Article 514, with other areas such as show rooms, offices or a parts department that must only comply with the general requirement of Chapters 1 through 4.

  • This section was reorganized so that text related to unclassified locations is now located in 511.3(A) and text related to classified locations is now located in 511.3(B) with some eye opening changes. In addition, many of the areas formally classified as Class 1, Division 2 are now unclassified!

ARTICLE 513 Aircraft Hangars

This article is similar in concept to Article 511. Aircraft burn fuel, and the fuel they burn is highly flammable. Therefore, aircraft hangars have their own article.

As with Article 511, Article 513 can be confusing, because it provides different rules for different kinds of classified areas that can potentially be in the same room. In the case of Article 513, there are only four such areas rather than five. You can think of them as these three, because 513.3(D) is just the flip side of 513.3(B):

  • A pit. Flammable liquids or vapors can accumulate in any depression below floor grade.
  • Adjacent areas. An area adjacent to a hangar also falls under Article 513 unless certain conditions of isolation and separation are met.
  • Next to the aircraft. If it's within 5 ft of aircraft or of an aircraft fuel tank, you must classify it as a Class I, Division 2 location or as a Zone 2 location.
  • New section requires GFCI protection for 15 and 20A, 125V receptacles where aircraft might undergo service, repairs, or alterations.

ARTICLE 514 Motor Fuel Dispensing Facilities

In a facility where fuel is dispensed from storage tanks into the fuel tanks of vehicles, you need to look at Article 514. That facility probably must conform to Article 514 requirements.

What is most striking about Article 514 is the large table that makes up about half of it. This table doesn't provide any electrical requirements, list any electrical specifications, or address any electrical equipment. What it does tell you is how to classify a motor fuel dispensing area based on the equipment contained therein. The rest of Article 514 contains specific provisions, but also refers you to other articles that you must also apply.

  • The requirements contained in Article 514 now applies to marine motor fuel dispensing facilities, motor fuel dispensing facilities located inside buildings, and fleet vehicle motor fuel dispensing facilities.
  • Note added to Table 514.3 to identify the hazardous (classified) area around fuel dispensing facilities on floating docks.
  • Text revised to clarify that the space below a Class I, Division 1 or 2 location is no longer considered a Class I, Division 1 location. However, the text was revised to still require conduit for raceways located beneath a Class 1, Division 1 or 2 locations.

ARTICLE 517 Health Care Facilities

Health care facilities differ from other facilities in many important ways. Article 517 is primarily concerned with those parts of health care facilities where patients are examined and treated. Whether those facilities are permanent or movable, they still fall under Article 517. On the other hand, Article 517 wiring and protection requirements don't apply to business offices, patient sleeping areas, or waiting rooms.

Article 517 contains many specialized definitions that only apply to health care facilities. While you do not need to be able to quote these definitions, you should have a clear understanding of what the words mean.

  • Additional text expands the required use of tamper resistant receptacles or tamper resistant covers in pediatric locations.
  • Rule revised to allow the use of Type AC and Type MC cables for emergency circuits, but only where it's impractical to the emergency circuit in a nonflexible metal raceway.

Mike Holt's Comment: If you desire more information about any of the above changes, be sure to order my Changes book 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!

A new Code cycle has begun and it’s that time again to adapt to the 2005 NEC. 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? It’s 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 – this is basically Mike speaking to you directly about something that he feels should be brought to your attention.
  • 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
Sample Graphic

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