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Significant Proposals for 2005 NEC Part XI

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

Chapter 5 Special Occupancies

Article 500 Hazardous (Classified) Locations

500.2 Definitions.
Electrical and Electronic Equipment. Sentence added to the FPN to alert the Code user to a standard that provides information and guidance on the use of portable electronic products in hazardous locations.

Article 501 Class I Locations

501.1 Scope.
Scope added to this article, and many of the section were renumbered and rearranged to provide for ease of use by standardization of numbering and arrangement within the article.

14-8 and 14-27
501.10 Wiring Methods.
(B) Class I, Division 2.
(1) General.
(3) Rigid nonmetallic conduit. New text gives the conditions when rigid nonmetallic conduit is permitted in a Class I, Division 2 location.

Author's Comment: Rigid nonmetallic conduit provides a conduit system that is corrosion resistant and safe where needed in chemical plants, refineries, off shore drilling facilities, and other similar processes, which are highly corrosive and also have classified areas.

501.15 Sealing and Drainage.
(B) Conduit Seals, Class I, Division 2.
(2) Class I, Division 2 Boundary. Text revisions clarify when the raceway boundary seal can consist of duct seal, non-deteriorating chalking and other approved methods that will limit gases or vapors from transferring out of the area.

Author's Comment:
Seals in conduits passing from Division 2 locations into unclassified locations are needed to prevent the passage of gases or vapors, not to contain explosions in the conduit system.

Article 511 Commercial Garages, Repair and Storage

511.3 Classifications of Locations.
This section was reorganized so that text related to unclassified locations within commercial garages is now located in 511.3(A) and text related to classified locations is now located in 511.3(B).

511.4 Wiring and Equipment in Class I Locations.
Text that indicated the space within a slab or masonry wall or below the slab was a Class I Location if any connections or extensions lead into or through such areas was deleted.

Author's Comment: With the changes to 501.10(B)(3), 501.15(B)(2), and this section, Rigid Nonmetallic Conduit is now an acceptable wiring method to supply circuits underground in a commercial garage area.

Article 513 Aircraft Hangars

513.12 Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection for Personnel.
New section clarifies when GFCI protection is required for 15A and 20A, 125V, receptacles used for diagnostic equipment, electrical hand tools, or portable lighting equipment.

Author's Comment: Personnel servicing and maintaining aircraft use the same hand tools and equipment that are used in commercial garages (which requires GFCI protection) and they should be afforded the same level of personnel protection.

Article 514 Motor Fuel Dispensing Facilities

514.1 Scope.
The scope of this article was revised to clarify the type of motor fuel facilities it applies to.

Author's Comment: Article 514 now applies to marine/motor fuel dispensing facilities, motor fuel dispensing facilities located inside buildings, and fleet vehicle motor fuel dispensing facilities.

514.3 Classification of Locations.
(B) Classified Locations.
(1) Class I Locations. Note added to Table 514.3 to clarify the area where the restrictions apply for fuel dispensing facilities on a floating dock.

514.8 Underground Wiring.
Text deleted to clarify that the space below a Class I, Division 1 or 2 locations is no longer considered a Class I, Division 1 location. However, the raceways sealing requirements for raceways under a Class 1, Division 1 or 2 locations did not change.

Article 517 Health Care Facilities

517.13 Grounding of Receptacles and Fixed Electric Equipment in Patient Care Areas. (A) Wiring Methods. Clarify that 250.118 governs which metal wiring method qualifies as an equipment grounding return path.

517.13 Grounding of Receptacles and Fixed Electric Equipment in Patient Care Areas. (B) Insulated Equipment Grounding Conductor. Clarify the grounding (bonding) requirements for receptacles and non-current carrying conductive surfaces of electric equipment supplied by a listed cable having a metallic armor or sheath assembly.

517.16 Receptacles with Insulated Grounding Terminals.
Revisions to the FPN is intended to help designers, installers and inspection authorities better understand the limitations on the use of receptacles with insulated grounding terminals (isolated ground receptacles) in patient care area.

Caution: The use of insulated ground type receptacles (isolated ground receptacles) does not satisfy the parallel bond path required by 517.13 for receptacles in patient-care areas.

517.18 General Care Areas.
(C) Pediatric Locations. Additional text expands the required use of tamper resistant receptacles or tamper resistant covers in pediatric facilities.

Author's Comment: Electrons do not know what part of the pediatric area they are in and pose a shock hazard when touched by young children.

517.18 General Care Areas.
(D) Psychiatric Locations. New paragraph expands the areas where tamper resistant receptacles or tamper resistant covers are required if accessible to psychiatric patients.

517.30 Essential Electrical Systems for Hospitals.
(C) Wiring Requirements.
(3) Mechanical Protection of the Emergency System. This section was revised to allow Type AC and MC cables for emergency circuits (instead of a nonflexible metal raceway), but only under specific conditions.

Author's Comment: The metal sheath of Type AC and MC cable is considered to provide adequate mechanical protection for this application.

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