Significant Proposals for 2005 NEC Part II
As Reviewed by Mike Holt

Articles 110 through 210

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 NECPart1 [4.72 MB].

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

Article 110 Requirements for Electrical Installations

110.12 Mechanical Execution of Work
New FPN alerts the Code user to ANSI/NECA 1-2000, Standard Practices for Good Workmanship in Electrical Contracting by which to evaluate "neat and workmanlike manner."

110.12 Mechanical Execution of Work
(A) Unused Openings. The revision clarities that all unused openings must be effectively closed, including unused circuit breaker openings.

110.16 Flash Protection
Add the term "meter socket enclosures" to the list where field marking is required to warn qualified persons of potential electric arc flash hazards.

110.20 Enclosure Types
Relocate the information on enclosure types suitable for specific environments such as, rain, sleet, oil, submersion, etc. from Table 430.91 to this section, so that this requirement applies to all installations, not just motors.

110.20 Enclosure Types
New FPN added to clarify the enclosure types suitable for use in "raintight," "Rainproof," "watertight," "driptight," or "dusttight" applications.

110.26 Spaces About Electrical Equipment
Revise text allows enclosure housing electrical apparatus to be controlled by locks of any type, not just those with a lock and key.

Author's Comment: A combination lock is permitted, however, it might be unwise to use an electrically operated lock.

Part V. Manholes and Other Enclosures Intended for Personnel Entry, All Voltages
Relocate the requirements for Manholes from Part IV of Article 314 to Article 110 because the requirement for this application more appropriate relates to this article

Chapter 2 Wiring and Protection

Article 200 Use and Identification of Grounded (Neutral) Conductors

200.6 Means of Identifying Grounded (Neutral) Conductors.
(B) Sizes Larger than 6 AWG. The means of identification of grounded (neutral) conductors larger than 6 AWG was revised to allow gray as well as white markings at terminations for the grounded conductor.

200.6 Means of Identifying Grounded (Neutral) Conductors.
(D) Grounded (Neutral) Conductors of Different Systems. The text was revised to clarify the suitable methods for identifying the grounded (neutral) conductors, when different systems are in the same enclosure.

Article 210 Branch Circuits

210.4 Multiwire Branch Circuits
(B) Devices or Equipment. Revised text clarifies the rules on disconnecting simultaneously all ungrounded conductors of a multiwire branch circuit.

210.5 Identification for Branch Circuits
(C) Ungrounded Conductors. The requirements for branch circuit identification were relocated from 210.4(D) to this subsection and the revised text expands the coverage of those requirements.

Author's Comment: This rule takes an existing installation practice, one developed and applied for safety reasons, to an industry requirement.

210.8 Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection for Personnel.
(B) Other Than Dwelling Units
(3) Commercial and institutional kitchens. The GFCI protection requirement for kitchens was clarified by adding a definition of a kitchen.

Author's Comment: This definition distinguishes commercial and institutional kitchens from those areas that might have a portable cooking appliance often found in employee break rooms.

210.8 Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection for Personnel.
(B) Other Than Dwelling Units
(4) Outdoors in public spaces. New requirement expands the GFCI protection requirements for 15 or 20A, 125V receptacles to all receptacles located outdoors that are accessible to the public.

Author's Comment: This GFCI protection requirement does not apply to receptacles in commercial and industrial occupancies where the general public does not have access.

210.8 Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection for Personnel.
(B) Other Than Dwelling Units
(5) HACR Outlet. New requirement expands the GFCI protection requirements for the required 15 or 20A, 125V receptacle for heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment [210.63].

Author's Comment: The GFCI protection requirement in the 2002 NEC only applied to receptacles located on rooftops, now it applies to all located outdoors.

210.12 Arc-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection
(B) Dwelling Unit Bedrooms. Text revised to require the AFCI protection device to be listed as a combination type AFCI protection device.

Author's Comment: This is intended to provide improved safety performance over existing AFCI protection devices, in that they will arcs as low as 5A, instead of 75A.

210.12 Arc-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection
(B) Dwelling Unit Bedrooms. New exception permits an AFCI receptacle, instead of an AFCI circuit breaker for circuit protection, but only if they meet stringent requirements.

210.12 Arc-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection
(B) Dwelling Unit Bedrooms. New exception exempts AFCI protection for individual branch circuit that supplies a dedicated outlet for life support equipment.

Author's Comment: People on life support equipment supplied by an AFCI-protected branch circuit may be subjected to increase risk should the AFCI device nuisance trip.

210.23 Permissible Loads.
(A) 15 and 20A Branch Circuits.
(1) Cord-and-Plug Connected Equipment Not Fastened in Place. This section revised to clarify that it only applies to cord-and-plug connected equipment that "is not fastened in place" to exceed 80 percent of the rating of the branch circuit.

Author's Comment: The 2002 NEC text read that this "80% load" rating could be used for cord-and-plug-connected equipment fastened in place.

210.52 Dwelling Unit Receptacle Outlets
(C) Countertops
(1) Wall Counter Spaces. New exception and diagram added to clarify that the required receptacle outlets is not permitted to be on a wall directly behind a rangetop or sink.

Author's Comment: New exception makes it clear that receptacles can be installed in these locations (behind a rangetop or sink).

210.52 Dwelling Unit Receptacle Outlets
(C) Countertops
(2) Island Counter Spaces. Change clarifies when an island countertop is to be divided into separate sections when determining the number of required receptacle outlets.

Author's Comment: The change might require additional receptacles in for dwelling unit kitchen countertops.

210.52 Dwelling Unit Receptacle Outlets
(D) Bathrooms. A new exception permits the required bathroom receptacle outlet to be mounted on the basin cabinet.

Author's Comment: This exception provides an alternative location for the required bathroom receptacle outlet, especially where the walls are all mirrored.

210.60 Guest Rooms or Guest Suites.
(A) General. New requirement clarifies when guest rooms or guest suites (new term), provided with permanent provisions for cooking, must have receptacle outlets installed in accordance with the requirements for dwelling units.

210.63 Heating, Air-Conditioning, and Refrigeration Equipment Outlet
New exception specifies that the HACR equipment receptacle outlet is not required for the servicing of evaporative coolers at one- and two-family dwellings.

210.70 Lighting Outlets Required
(B) Guest Rooms or Guest Suites. Changes to the text and two exceptions clarify the placement of the lighting outlet for guest rooms or guest suites (new term) so that they follow similar requirements for dwelling units.

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