This article was posted 03/29/2007 and is most likely outdated.

NEC Questions and Answers - March Part 2 of 2

Topic - NEC Questions
- NEC Questions and Answers - March Part 2 of 2

March 29, 2007  

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NEC Questions and Answers - March Part 2 of 2


By Mike Holt for EC&M Magazine


Q1. Since the neutral is bonded to the case at the meter enclosure, do I still need to bond the neutral at the service disconnect?

A1. Yes, a main bonding jumper must be installed between the neutral terminal and the metal parts of the service disconnecting means enclosure in accordance with 250.24(C) [250.24(B)].


Q2. I have a small metal shed about 10 ft. from a swimming pool. Am I required to bond the metal shed to the pool’s equipotential grid?

A2. No. Only the fixed metal parts within 5 ft horizontally of the inside walls of the pool and 12 ft vertically above the maximum water level of a permanently installed pool, outdoor spa, or outdoor hot tub need to be bonded to the equipotential grid required in 680.26(C) [680.26(B)(5)].


Q3. Is AFCI protection of branch circuits required for hotel/motel rooms?

A3. No. AFCI protection is only required for 15 or 20A, 120V branch circuits that supply outlets in dwelling unit bedrooms [210.12(B)]. Article 100 defines a dwelling unit as a single unit that provides independent living facilities for persons, including permanent provisions for living, sleeping, cooking, and sanitation.


So if the hotel or motel room provides suites or extended stay accommodations which include permanent provisions for living, sleeping, cooking, and sanitation, then it’s a dwelling unit per Article 100.


Q4 Can I use 105°C conductors in a PVC raceway that is marked for use only with conductors having a maximum rating of 90°C?

A4. Yes. But the load on the conductors must be limited to the 90°C column of Table 310.16 so that the operating temperature of the conductors will not exceed the 90°C temperature rating of the conduit [352.12(E)].


Q5. I have a 50A receptacle for a range that says the terminations are rated for 75°C conductor sizing. I used 8 AWG Type NM cable, with 90°C conductors, and the inspector failed me. Where did I go wrong?

A5. The ampacity for conductors contained in Type NM cable is based on the 60°C rated column of Table 310.16, not the 90°C insulation rating of the conductors [334.80]. According to Table 310.16, 8 AWG is only rated 40A in the 60°C column, therefore you would be okay if the circuit was protected by a 40A device.


However, the largest range permitted on a 40A circuit would be 16 kW as per Table 220.55: Column C demand load for one 16 kW range using Note 1 would be 9.6 kW, and this works out to be 40A at 240V.


Q6. Can I install a single receptacle in a kitchen for a microwave appliance without GFCI protection?

A6. It depends on where the receptacle is located. In dwelling units, GFCI protection is required for 15 and 20A, 125V receptacles that are installed to serve countertop surfaces [210.8(A)(6)]. So if the receptacle for the microwave is installed so that it does not serve counter top surfaces, you are good to go, but be sure that the receptacle, circuit conductors, and protection device are sized in accordance with the manufacturer instructions (typically 20A). However 15 and 20A, 125V receptacles in commercial kitchens must be GFCI protected even if they are not serving the countertop surfaces [210.8(B)(2)].


Q7. Does the NEC require a specific coloring scheme for circuits?

A7. The neutral conductor must be identified with the color white or gray. For sizes larger than 6 AWG, marking tape or other identification is permitted, but for 6 AWG and smaller it must be the insulation finish color [200.6].


The equipment grounding conductor must be green or green with one or more yellow stripes if the conductor is insulated [250.119].


On a 4-wire, delta-connected, three-phase system, where the midpoint of one phase winding is grounded, the conductor with 208V voltage-to-ground must be durably and permanently marked by an outer finish orange in color, or other effective means. Such identification must be placed at each point on the system where a connection is made if the neutral conductor is present [110.15, 215.8, and 230.56]. Figure 110–33


Where the premises wiring system contains branch circuits supplied from more than one voltage system, each ungrounded conductor, where accessible, must be identified by system. The means of identification must be posted at each branch-circuit panelboard [210.5(C)]. Electricians often use the following color system for power and lighting conductor identification:

  • 120/240V single-phase—black, red, and white
  • 120/208V, three-phase—black, red, blue, and white
  • 120/240V, three-phase w/high-leg—black, orange, blue, and white
  • 277/480V, three-phase—brown, orange, yellow, and gray; or, brown, purple, yellow, and gray


Q8. The electrical inspector said that the NEC requires all machines to be listed by UL or other. I didn’t think the NEC applied to machines. Is the inspector correct?

A8. I don’t think so. To me, the NEC is an “installation standard” and it does not apply to the internal wiring of electrical equipment [300.1(B)]. However, 90.7 states that factory-installed internal wiring of equipment need not be inspected except to detect alterations or damage if the equipment has been listed. This does put a heavy emphasis on the listing of equipment, and some states have a specific state law requiring all electrical equipment to be listed.


Q9. Is the space beneath a raised floor in a computer room considered an exposed location?

A9. Yes. Wiring “behind panels designed to allow access” are considered exposed [Article 100].


Q10. Can a power cord be run through the raised floor of a computer room?

A10. Not unless the flexible cord is listed as a Type DP cable having adequate fire-resistant characteristics suitable for use under raised floors of an information technology equipment room [645.5(D)(5)].


Q11. I was told that the bedroom lights aren’t allowed to be installed on an AFCI circuit. Is this true?

A11. No. All 15 or 20A, 120V branch circuits that supply outlets (including lighting and smoke alarm) in dwelling unit bedrooms must be protected by a listed AFCI device [210.12(B)].  


Q12. Can I connect a range hood in a dwelling unit kitchen to the small appliance circuit?

A12. No. The 20A, 120V small-appliance circuit is only permitted to supply the receptacle outlets as per 210.52(B) [210.11(C)(1)]. However, range hoods can be hard wired to a 15 or 20A, 120V circuit, unless the instructions state other wise and cord-and-plug connected range hoods must be supplied by an individual 15 or 20A, 120V branch circuit in accordance with the equipment instructions [422.16(B)(4)(5)].



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  • With respect to question 8, some jurisdictions have extended the UL or 3rd party inspection requirement to equipment such as HVAC equipment and, even to manufacturing process tooling when it is connected to the disconnecting means prior to the fitup construction final inspection.

    Lonnie Zlomke

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