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Significant Proposals for 2005 NEC Part XII

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 many will be changed by the Code panel 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.

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

Article 518 Assembly Occupancies

The article title was changed from "Places of Assembly" to "Assembly Occupancies," so that the title would be consistent with NFPA 101 - Life Safety Code and NFPA 5000 - Building Construction and Safety Code.

518.2 General Classification.
(B) Multiple Occupancies. Additional sentence added to clarify what portion of a multiple occupancy building the requirements of Article 518 is to be applies.

Article 525 Carnivals, Circuses, Fairs, and Similar Events

525.23 Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupter (GFCI) Protection.
This section was extensively rewritten to clarify where GFCI protection is required, where not required, and where it's not permitted.

Author's Comment: The rule in the 2002 NEC that exempted GFCI protection for receptacles supplying cooking and refrigeration equipment that are incompatible with GFCI devices was deleted.

Article 547 Agricultural Buildings

547.5 Wiring Methods.
(G) Ground Fault Protection.
The rules for GFCI protection were relocated from 547.10(B) to this subsection.

547.5 Wiring Methods.
(G) Ground Fault Protection.
A new item (2) was added to specify when ground-fault protection of equipment (GFPE) for electric power to metallic equipment is required in dirt confinement areas.

Author's Comment:
Ground fault protection of equipment (GFPE) opens the circuit when the ground fault exceeds 30 mA and it is designed for equipment protection, whereas Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupters (GFCI) opens the circuit at 5 mA and it is a device intended for the protection of personnel.

547.10 Equipotential Planes and Bonding of Equipotential Planes.
(A) Areas Requiring Equipotential Planes. Section revised to clarify when an equipotential plane is required to be installed in concrete floor confinement areas of livestock buildings.

Author's Comment: Previous Code required an equipotential plane where metallic equipment was "likely" to become energized.

Article 550 Mobile and Manufactured Homes, and Mobile Home Parks

550.13 Receptacle Outlets.
(F) Receptacle Outlets Not Permitted.
(1) Bathtub and Shower Space. Revise the wording of this subsection to identify the locations where a receptacle is not allowed with reference to a bathtub of shower stall so that it is in conformity with 406.8(C).

Author's Comment: The former language "within reach of a bathtub or shower space" was too subjective.

Article 551 Recreational Vehicles and Recreational Vehicle Parks

551.71 Type Receptacles Provided.
Section changed to increases the minimum number of 50A receptacle RV sites at a recreational vehicle park.

Author's Comment:
A survey of approximately 500 campgrounds involving 45,000 recreational vehicle sites indicates that currently an average of 18% of the sites provide 50A receptacles and an average of 70% of the sites provide 30A receptacles.

551.71 Type Receptacles Provided.
New FPN explains that the increased percent of 50A RV sites might be inadequate for seasonal recreational vehicle sites that serve a higher percentage of recreational vehicles with 50A electrical systems.

Article 555 Marinas and Boatyards

555.21 Motor Fuel Dispensing Stations - Hazardous (Classified) Locations.
Change requires the electrical wiring and equipment located at or serving motor fuel dispensing stations to be on the opposite side from liquid piping systems.

555.22. Repair Facilities - Hazardous (Classified) Locations.
New requirement clarifies when electrical wiring and equipment at facilities for the repair of marine craft are required to comply with the installation requirements contained in Article 511 Commercial Garages, Repair and Storage.

Article 590 Temporary Installations.

Article 590 Temporary Installations.
The requirements for Temporary Installations were relocated from Article 527 to Article 590 to remove any confusion on its application as it relates to the Entertainment Industry Articles.

Author's Comment: The "Entertainment Industry" articles have historically been grouped in Articles 520, 530 and 540 for over 50 years.

590.4 General.
(B) Feeders. Revised text clarifies when Type NM cable used for feeders may be used for temporary installations in buildings of any height or construction type.

Author's Comment: The language in the 2002 NEC would have limited the use of Type NM cable for temporary installations in some building construction types over three floors.

590.4 General.
(C) Branch Circuits. Revised text clarifies when Type NM cable used for branch circuits may be used for temporary installations in buildings of any height or construction type.

590.5 Holiday Lighting.
Because decorative lighting can be a source of fire, it must be listed for this purpose.

Author's Comment: It has been shown that the vast majority of fire losses associated with Christmas tree fires are caused by faulty or inadequate decorative lighting. UL has recently developed UL 588 - Standard for Seasonal and Holiday Decorative Products to address this problem.

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