2017 NFPA 70: NEC Handbook - Current Edition

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Editor-in-Chief: Mark W. Earley

Editors: Christopher D. Coache, Mark Cloutier, Gil Moniz, and Derek Vigstol

Rewritten and extensively updated, the full-color 2017 edition NEC® Handbook is the most practical and powerful resource for electrical design and installation today.

Success in the electrical industry depends on your grasp of NFPA 70®: National Electrical Code® requirements and your ability to apply them correctly. Based on the 2017 NEC, the NEC Handbook clarifies concepts for a better understanding of the Code. It's a powerful communication tool that helps you explain the NEC to clients and others who might not have professional electrical training.

The new NEC Handbook reflects industry trends and Code changes that impact residential, commercial, and industrial work.

Stay informed about how the NEC addresses electrical technologies transforming the field. New and updated commentary written by the Code experts explains how to implement requirements and gives you the reasoning behind major changes that could affect your designs and installations.

Only the 2017 edition of the NEC Handbook has:

  • The complete 2017 NEC text for instant and easy reference
  • Integrated commentary positioned in-line with NEC text
  • A new cross-reference feature to help you find related information in other Articles fast
  • 800 full-color photos, tables, and illustrations such as schematics, floor plans, and cross-sectional graphics
  • A list of contents at the beginning of each Article that provides the major sections within the Article
  • Ten Informative Annexes including Informative Annex C: Conduit and Tubing Fill Tables and Informative Annex D: Examples
  • A new Summary of Technical Changes table that shows you where and why changes occurred

The NEC Handbook is specially designed for electrical professionals.

As Code changes impact your work, the Handbook brings you up-to-speed with in-text highlighting that indicates where NEC requirements changed from the previous edition, and bullets that signal deletions. Commentary and examples are printed in blue. There's also a complete NFPA 70: NEC Code Index.

In a fast-changing industry, the NEC Handbook has what you need for safe and compliant electrical work.

If you or your employees don't understand the NEC, problems can escalate from a failed inspection to a major liability that jeopardizes lives and property. Order the 2017 edition of the NEC Handbook, the resource trusted by electrical contractors, engineers, electricians, safety officials, inspectors, and architects nationwide. (Hardbound, 1,367 pp., 2017) 

Watch this one minute video to learn about new features in the 2017 National Electrical Code® Handbook.




Richard G. Biermann Award

About the Editor

Technical Changes


Article 90 Introduction


Chapter 1 General

Article 100 Definitions

Article 110 Requirements for Electrical Installations


Chapter 2 Wiring and Protection

Article 200 Use and Identification of Grounded Conductors

Article 210 Branch Circuits

Article 215 Feeders

Article 220 Branch-Circuit, Feeder, and Service Load Calculations

Article 225 Outside Branch Circuits and Feeders

Article 230 Services

Article 240 Overcurrent Protection

Article 250 Grounding and Bonding

Article 280 Surge Arresters, Over 1000 Volts

Article 285 Surge-Protective Devices (SPDs), 1000 Volts or Less


Chapter 3 Wiring Methods and Materials

Article 300 General Requirements for Wiring Methods and Materials

Article 310 Conductors for General Wiring

Article 312 Cabinets, Cutout Boxes, and Meter Socket Enclosures

Article 314 Outlet, Device, Pull, and Junction Boxes; Conduit Bodies; Fittings; and Handhole Enclosures

Article 320 Armored Cable: Type AC

Article 322 Flat Cable Assemblies: Type FC

Article 324 Flat Conductor Cable: Type FCC

Article 326 Integrated Gas Spacer Cable: Type IGS

Article 328 Medium Voltage Cable: Type MV

Article 330 Metal-Clad Cable: Type MC

Article 332 Mineral-Insulated, Metal-Sheathed Cable: Type MI

Article 334 Nonmetallic-Sheathed Cable: Types NM, NMC, and NMS

Article 336 Power and Control Tray Cable: Type TC

Article 338 Service-Entrance Cable: Types SE and USE

Article 340 Underground Feeder and Branch-Circuit Cable: Type UF

Article 342 Intermediate Metal Conduit: Type IMC

Article 344 Rigid Metal Conduit: Type RMC

Article 348 Flexible Metal Conduit: Type FMC

Article 350 Liquidtight Flexible Metal Conduit: Type LFMC

Article 352 Rigid Polyvinyl Chloride Conduit: Type PVC

Article 353 High Density Polyethylene Conduit: Type HDPE Conduit

Article 354 Nonmetallic Underground Conduit with Conductors: Type NUCC

Article 355 Reinforced Thermosetting Resin Conduit: Type RTRC

Article 356 Liquidtight Flexible Nonmetallic Conduit: Type LFNC

Article 358 Electrical Metallic Tubing: Type EMT

Article 360 Flexible Metallic Tubing: Type FMT

Article 362 Electrical Nonmetallic Tubing: Type ENT

Article 366 Auxiliary Gutters

Article 368 Busways

Article 370 Cablebus

Article 372 Cellular Concrete Floor Raceways

Article 374 Cellular Metal Floor Raceways

Article 376 Metal Wireways

Article 378 Nonmetallic Wireways

Article 380 Multioutlet Assembly

Article 382 Nonmetallic Extensions

Article 384 Strut-Type Channel Raceway

Article 386 Surface Metal Raceways

Article 388 Surface Nonmetallic Raceways

Article 390 Underfloor Raceways

Article 392 Cable Trays

Article 393 Low-Voltage Suspended Ceiling Power Distribution Systems

Article 394 Concealed Knob-and-Tube Wiring

Article 396 Messenger-Supported Wiring

Article 398 Open Wiring on Insulators

Article 399 Outdoor Overhead Conductors over 1000 Volts


Chapter 4 Equipment for General Use

Article 400 Flexible Cords and Flexible Cables

Article 402 Fixture Wires

Article 404 Switches

Article 406 Receptacles, Cord Connectors, and Attachment Plugs (Caps)

Article 408 Switchboards, Switchgear, and Panelboards

Article 409 Industrial Control Panels

Article 410 Luminaires, Lampholders, and Lamps

Article 411 Low-Voltage Lighting

Article 422 Appliances

Article 424 Fixed Electric Space-Heating Equipment

Article 425 Fixed Resistance and Electrode Industrial Process Heating Equipment

Article 426 Fixed Outdoor Electric Deicing and Snow-Melting Equipment

Article 427 Fixed Electric Heating Equipment for Pipelines and Vessels

Article 430 Motors, Motor Circuits, and Controllers

Article 440 Air-Conditioning and Refrigerating Equipment

Article 445 Generators

Article 450 Transformers and Transformer Vaults (Including Secondary Ties)

Article 455 Phase Converters

Article 460 Capacitors

Article 470 Resistors and Reactors

Article 480 Storage Batteries

Article 490 Equipment Over 1000 Volts, Nominal


Chapter 5 Special Occupancies

Article 500 Hazardous (Classified) Locations, Classes I, II, and III, Divisions 1 and 2

Article 501 Class I Locations

Article 502 Class II Locations

Article 503 Class III Locations

Article 504 Intrinsically Safe Systems

Article 505 Zone 0, 1, and 2 Locations

Article 506 Zone 20, 21, and 22 Locations for Combustible Dusts or Ignitible Fibers/Flyings

Article 510 Hazardous (Classified) Locations — Specific

Article 511 Commercial Garages, Repair and Storage

Article 513 Aircraft Hangars

Article 514 Motor Fuel Dispensing Facilities

Article 515 Bulk Storage Plants

Article 516 Spray Application, Dipping, Coating, and Printing Processes Using Flammable or Combustible Materials

Article 517 Health Care Facilities

Article 518 Assembly Occupancies

Article 520 Theaters, Audience Areas of Motion Picture and Television Studios, Performance Areas, and Similar Locations

Article 522 Control Systems for Permanent Amusement Attractions

Article 525 Carnivals, Circuses, Fairs, and Similar Events

Article 530 Motion Picture and Television Studios and Similar Locations

Article 540 Motion Picture Projection Rooms

Article 545 Manufactured Buildings

Article 547 Agricultural Buildings

Article 550 Mobile Homes, Manufactured Homes, and Mobile Home Parks

Article 551 Recreational Vehicles and Recreational Vehicle Parks

Article 552 Park Trailers

Article 553 Floating Buildings

Article 555 Marinas, Boatyards, and Commercial and Noncommercial Docking Facilities

Article 590 Temporary Installations


Chapter 6 Special Equipment

Article 600 Electric Signs and Outline Lighting

Article 604 Manufactured Wiring Systems

Article 605 Office Furnishings

Article 610 Cranes and Hoists

Article 620 Elevators, Dumbwaiters, Escalators, Moving Walks, Platform Lifts, and Stairway Chairlifts

Article 625 Electric Vehicle Charging System

Article 626 Electrified Truck Parking Spaces

Article 630 Electric Welders

Article 640 Audio Signal Processing, Amplification, and Reproduction Equipment

Article 645 Information Technology Equipment

Article 646 Modular Data Centers

Article 647 Sensitive Electronic Equipment

Article 650 Pipe Organs

Article 660 X-Ray Equipment

Article 665 Induction and Dielectric Heating Equipment

Article 668 Electrolytic Cells

Article 669 Electroplating

Article 670 Industrial Machinery

Article 675 Electrically Driven or Controlled Irrigation Machines

Article 680 Swimming Pools, Fountains, and Similar Installations

Article 682 Natural and Artificially Made Bodies of Water

Article 685 Integrated Electrical Systems

Article 690 Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Systems

Article 691 Large-Scale Photovoltaic (PV) Electric Power Production Facility

Article 692 Fuel Cell Systems

Article 694 Wind Electric Systems

Article 695 Fire Pumps


Chapter 7 Special Conditions

Article 700 Emergency Systems

Article 701 Legally Required Standby Systems

Article 702 Optional Standby Systems

Article 705 Interconnected Electric Power Production Sources

Article 706 Energy Storage Systems

Article 708 Critical Operations Power Systems (COPS)

Article 710 Stand-Alone Systems

Article 712 Direct Current Microgrids

Article 720 Circuits and Equipment Operating at Less Than 50 Volts

Article 725 Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3 Remote-Control, Signaling, and Power-Limited Circuits

Article 727 Instrumentation Tray Cable: Type ITC

Article 728 Fire-Resistive Cable Systems

Article 750 Energy Management Systems

Article 760 Fire Alarm Systems

Article 770 Optical Fiber Cables


Chapter 8 Communications Systems

Article 800 Communications Circuits

Article 810 Radio and Television Equipment

Article 820 Community Antenna Television and Radio Distribution Systems

Article 830 Network-Powered Broadband Communications Systems

Article 840 Premises-Powered Broadband Communications Systems


Chapter 9 Tables

Table 1 Percent of Cross Section of Conduit and Tubing for Conductors and Cables

Table 2 Radius of Conduit and Tubing Bends

Table 4 Dimensions and Percent Area of Conduit and Tubing (Areas of Conduit or Tubing for the Combinations of Wires Permitted in Table 1, Chapter 9)

Table 5 Dimensions of Insulated Conductors and Fixture Wires

Table 5A Compact Copper and Aluminum Building Wire Nominal Dimensions and Areas

Table 8 Conductor Properties

Table 9 Alternating-Current Resistance and Reactance for 600-Volt Cables, 3-Phase, 60 Hz, 75°C (167°F) — Three Single Conductors in Conduit

Table 10 Conductor Stranding

Table 11(A) Class 2 and Class 3 Alternating-Current Power Source Limitations

Table 11(B) Class 2 and Class 3 Direct-Current Power Source Limitations

Table 12(A) PLFA Alternating-Current Power Source Limitations

Table 12(B) PLFA Direct-Current Power Source Limitations



Informative Annex A Product Safety Standards

Informative Annex B Application Information for Ampacity Calculation

Informative Annex C Conduit and Tubing Fill Tables for Conductors and Fixture Wires of the Same Size

Informative Annex D Examples

Informative Annex E Types of Construction

Informative Annex F Availability and Reliability for Critical Operations Power Systems; and Development and Implementation of Functional Performance Tests (FPTs) for Critical Operations Power Systems

Informative Annex G Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA)

Informative Annex H Administration and Enforcement

Informative Annex I Recommended Tightening Torque Tables from UL Standard 486A-B

Informative Annex J ADA Standards for Accessible Design



Important information about NFPA codes and standards available

NFPA® Handbooks are your 'Roadmap to the Codes' with insights and graphics that answer code questions. View these sample pages for a preview of the valuable information you'll access including complete code or standard text; explanatory commentary highlighted in a second color; hundreds of full-color photos, charts, tables and illustrations to clarify concepts; and much more.

Preview the 2017 NFPA 70®: National Electrical Code® (NEC®) Handbook

Editor-in-Chief: Mark W. Earley

Editors: Christopher D. Coache, Mark Cloutier, and Gil Moniz

The 2014 National Electrical Code® Handbook from NFPA® explains today's NEC® in full. There's nothing else like it!

A one-stop source of National Electrical Code information, the 2014 NEC Handbook from NFPA does much more than bring you up-to-code -- it also explains the reasoning behind NFPA 70®: NEC concepts, provides real-world examples, and gives you the background behind Code revisions, so you can work with authority.

Trust the only NEC Code reference that has it all:

  • Complete 2014 NEC text for convenient reference
  • Explanations from experts involved with NEC development
  • First-time commentary on four new articles that expand NEC coverage to address industry needs
  • Commentary on important changes involving AFCIs and GFCIs, electrical worker safety, and green energy systems
  • Full-color photos and visuals such as schematics, floor plans, flow charts, and cross-sectional graphics
  • Extracted data from other NFPA documents and UL White Book

Written by experts who are at the center of the NEC development process.

The 2014 NEC Handbook is loaded with essential information about Code application, from the experts who know the NEC best. Revised NEC text is highlighted in yellow to make Code changes stand out. Commentary and examples are printed in blue. Vertical rules alert you to new articles, figures, and tables; and bullets signal deletions.

Insightful, comprehensive, and dependable, no other source compares with the 2014 NEC Handbook!

Work with the authority trusted by electrical contractors, engineers, electricians, safety officials, inspectors, and architects nationwide. Order your 2014 NEC Handbook today from NFPA. (Hardbound, 1270 pp., 2014)

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Boost your referencing power with NFPA®'s best-selling NEC® Tabs for your NEC Code or NEC Handbook.

Invest in this easy way to save time on every electrical job. Self-adhesive NEC Tabs affix to the edition your copy of NFPA 70®: National Electrical Code® or NEC Handbook, so you can flip open your book to the latest electrical safety information.

NEC Tabs highlight electrical topics by Code article and name including:

  • 210 Branch Circuits
  • 8 GFCI Protection
  • 12 AFCI Protection
  • 215 Feeders
  • 220 Calculations
  • 240 Overcurrent Protection
  • 250 Grounding and Bonding
  • 310 Conductors
  • 404 Switches
  • 408 Panelboards
  • 422 Appliances
  • 430 Motors
  • 500 Hazardous Locations
  • 517 Health Care Facilities
  • 706 Energy Storage Systems
  • 760 Fire Alarm Systems
  • Plus 4 blank Tabs you can customize! 

Maximize time at work with NEC Tabs!

Discover why thousands of electrical professionals won't work without self-adhesive NEC Tabs. (For use with NEC Softbound, Looseleaf, Spiralbound, and the hardbound NEC Handbook; Set of 96)

All-new NEC® Reference Cards provide fast and easy access to the most essential NEC tables for electrical contractors and installers.

Keep installations right on the money with 13 frequently referenced NEC tables printed on durable waterproof NEC Reference Cards. Based on the 2017 edition of NFPA 70®: National Electrical Code®, double-sided Reference Cards are lightweight and compact enough to fit into a pocket. They also easily attach to your belt or toolbox using the 1" ring-clip (included). Carry all the cards or just those you need on a particular job.

Save time and improve accuracy with handy access to the NEC tables that contractors and installers reference most often in the field:

  • TABLE 250.66 Grounding Electrode Conductor for Alternating-Current Systems
  • TABLE 250.102(C)(1) Grounded Conductor, Main Bonding Jumper, System Bonding Jumper, and Supply-Side Bonding Jumper for Alternating-Current Systems
  • TABLE 250.122 Minimum Size Equipment Grounding Conductors for Grounding Raceway and Equipment
  • TABLE 300.5 Minimum Cover Requirements, 0 to 1000 Volts, Nominal, Burial in Millimeters (Inches)
  • TABLE 310.15(B)(2)(a) Ambient Temperature Correction Factors Based on 30°C (86°F)
  • TABLE 310.15(B)(7) Conductor Sizes for 3-Wire, Single-Phase Dwelling Services and Feeders.
  • TABLE 310.15(B)(16) (formerly Table 310.16) Allowable Ampacities of Insulated Conductors Rated Up to and Including 2000 Volts, 60°C Through 90°C (140°F Through 194°F), Not More Than Three Current-Carrying Conductors in Raceway, Cable, or Earth (Directly Buried), Based on Ambient Temperature of 30°C (86°F)
  • TABLE 314.16(A) Metal Boxes
  • TABLE 430.52 Maximum Rating or Setting of Motor Branch-Circuit Short-Circuit and Ground-Fault Protective Devices
  • TABLE 430.250 Full-Load Current, Three-Phase Alternating-Current Motors
  • TABLE 450.3(B) Maximum Rating or Setting of Overcurrent Protection for Transformers 1000 Volts and Less (as a Percentage of Transformer-Rated Current) Summary of Branch Circuit Requirements
  • CHAPTER 9, TABLE 4 Dimensions and Percent Area of Conduit and Tubing (Areas of Conduit or Tubing for the Combinations of Wires Permitted in Table 1, Chapter 9)
  • TABLE 5 Dimensions of Insulated Conductors and Fixture Wires Summary of Tap Conductor Requirements 

Includes 13 cards, 3.5" x 5.5" each, 2017