2020 NFPA 70, NEC - Current Edition
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  • Description

    Prepare for the electrical challenges of tomorrow, today, with NFPA 70, National Electrical Code (NEC), 2020 edition.

    The world never stops changing, so it's crucial to keep learning how to keep it safe. Incorporated by reference in all 50 states and used across the globe, NFPA 70®, National Electrical Code® (NEC®), is the benchmark standard for electrical safety in residential, commercial, and industrial settings.

    NFPA 70, NEC, was first published in 1897 and is continually put through a rigorous review process to keep it up to date with the most current industry practices, emerging trends, and the development and introduction of new technologies. The new NEC provides the latest requirements for safer and more effective electrical design, installation, and inspection, including provisions for wiring, overcurrent protection, grounding, and equipment.

    Get up-to-code and prepared for the safety challenges of new sources of electrical power with the NEC, 2020 edition.

    The revised and expanded NFPA 70, National Electrical Code, features state-of-the-art information for safe electrical practices for public and private buildings, homes and structures, outdoor yards and lots, utility equipment, installations that connect to the power grid, and consumer-owned power generation systems and equipment.

    Content has been added, edited, and reorganized to address safety for workers, energy systems and electric vehicles, limited energy, and communication systems.

    Impactful changes include:

    • New requirements for exterior emergency disconnects of one- and two-family dwellings for improved electrical safety for emergency responders
    • Revisions to service disconnect rules to help protect electrical workers from arc flash hazards
    • Adapted and adjusted requirements for installation practices of new technologies to meet the evolving demand of power over Ethernet
    • Updates to modernize tables currently in use for calculations to reflect improvements in energy efficiency and align with evolving codes
    • Revised requirements for ground-fault protection within marinas and boatyards
    • Introduction of guidelines for the safe use of electric vehicles (electric vehicle power export equipment) as a backup or emergency power source for a building or a home
    • Reorganization of Article 310, including new user-friendly numbering for important ampacity tables, and new definition for cable bundle in Article 725
    • Relocation of surge protection device requirements to new Article 242
    • Revisions to alternative energy systems and electric vehicle requirements to clarify what portions of the PV system are covered by the requirements of Article 690 and the line side and load side connections of interconnected power supply sources, and to clearly distinguish energy storage systems from storage battery systems
    • Reorganization of Article 800 to provide a general set of requirements to apply throughout the Chapter 8 articles
    • Revisions to requirements for communications cables that are also carrying power to communication devices and revisions to the current limit for cables carrying power and data

    The NEC, 2020 edition, introduces significant new requirements for:

    • The residential installation of receptacle outlets serving island and peninsular countertops and for surge protection of services supplying dwelling units
    • Working space for “housekeeping pads” for electrical equipment, the installation of wiring methods in exit enclosures, sizing supply and load conductors used with adjustable-speed drive systems, and AFCI protection of branch circuits in patient sleeping areas in care facilities
    • Calculating the load of electric vehicle supply equipment with variable current settings
    • Worker safety in identifying the source of power for disconnecting means and for egress from spaces containing large electrical equipment
    • Grounding of disconnecting means installed on the supply-side of service disconnecting means
    • Cables installed exposed on ceiling surfaces and sidewalls
    • Special occupancies, special equipment, and special conditions, including installation of splash pads, the use of “Type P” cables in hazardous classified locations, and the reinspection of swimming pools and other bodies of water

    Help protect life and property with the most relevant electrical requirements.

    Get the cutting edge information you need to identify and overcome the latest hazards and complexities in electrical work. Order your copy of NFPA 70®, National Electrical Code, 2020 edition, today.

     

    Interested in other editions of the NEC? Use the drop down menu above to select the edition year you need.

  • Table of Contents (2020 Current Edition)

    NFPA 70® National Electrical Code®, 2020 Edition

    90 Introduction
    Chapter 1 General
    100 Definitions
    110 Requirements for Electrical Installations
    Chapter 2 Wiring and Protection
    200 Use and Identification of Grounded Conductors
    210 Branch Circuits
    215 Feeders
    220 Branch-Circuit, Feeder, and Service Load Calculations
    225 Outside Branch Circuits and Feeders
    230 Services
    240 Overcurrent Protection
    242 Overvoltage Protection
    250 Grounding and Bonding

    Chapter 3 Wiring Methods and Materials
    300 General Requirements for Wiring Methods and Materials
    310 Conductors for General Wiring
    311 Medium Voltage Conductors and Cable
    312 Cabinets, Cutout Boxes, and Meter Socket Enclosures
    314 Outlet, Device, Pull, and Junction Boxes; Conduit Bodies; Fittings; and Handhole Enclosures
    320 Armored Cable: Type AC
    322 Flat Cable Assemblies: Type FC
    324 Flat Conductor Cable: Type FCC
    326 Integrated Gas Spacer Cable: Type IGS
    330 Metal-Clad Cable: Type MC
    332 Mineral-Insulated, Metal-Sheathed Cable: Type MI
    334 Nonmetallic-Sheathed Cable: Types NM and NMC
    336 Power and Control Tray Cable: Type TC
    337 Type P Cable
    338 Service-Entrance Cable: Types SE and USE
    340 Underground Feeder and Branch-Circuit Cable: Type UF
    342 Intermediate Metal Conduit: Type IMC
    344 Rigid Metal Conduit: Type RMC
    348 Flexible Metal Conduit: Type FMC
    350 Liquidtight Flexible Metal Conduit: Type LFMC
    352 Rigid Polyvinyl Chloride Conduit: Type PVC
    353 High Density Polyethylene Conduit: Type HDPE Conduit
    354 Nonmetallic Underground Conduit with Conductors: Type NUCC
    355 Reinforced Thermosetting Resin Conduit: Type RTRC
    356 Liquidtight Flexible Nonmetallic Conduit: Type LFNC
    358 Electrical Metallic Tubing: Type EMT
    360 Flexible Metallic Tubing: Type FMT
    362 Electrical Nonmetallic Tubing: Type ENT
    366 Auxiliary Gutters
    368 Busways
    370 Cablebus
    372 Cellular Concrete Floor Raceways
    374 Cellular Metal Floor Raceways
    376 Metal Wireways
    378 Nonmetallic Wireways
    380 Multioutlet Assembly
    382 Nonmetallic Extensions
    384 Strut-Type Channel Raceway
    386 Surface Metal Raceways
    388 Surface Nonmetallic Raceways
    390 Underfloor Raceways
    392 Cable Trays
    393 Low-Voltage Suspended Ceiling Power Distribution Systems
    394 Concealed Knob-and-Tube Wiring
    396 Messenger-Supported Wiring
    398 Open Wiring on Insulators
    399 Outdoor Overhead Conductors over 1000 Volts
    Chapter 4 Equipment for General Use
    400 Flexible Cords and Flexible Cables
    402 Fixture Wires
    404 Switches
    406 Receptacles, Cord Connectors, and Attachment Plugs (Caps)
    408 Switchboards, Switchgear, and Panelboards
    409 Industrial Control Panels
    410 Luminaires, Lampholders, and Lamps
    411 Low-Voltage Lighting
    422 Appliances
    424 Fixed Electric Space-Heating Equipment
    425 Fixed Resistance and Electrode Industrial Process Heating Equipment
    426 Fixed Outdoor Electric Deicing and Snow-Melting Equipment
    427 Fixed Electric Heating Equipment for Pipelines and Vessels
    430 Motors, Motor Circuits, and Controllers
    440 Air-Conditioning and Refrigerating Equipment
    445 Generators
    450 Transformers and Transformer Vaults (Including Secondary Ties)
    455 Phase Converters
    460 Capacitors
    470 Resistors and Reactors
    480 Storage Batteries
    490 Equipment Over 1000 Volts, Nominal
    Chapter 5 Special Occupancies
    500 Hazardous (Classified) Locations, Classes I, II, and III, Divisions 1 and 2
    501 Class I Locations
    502 Class II Locations
    503 Class III Locations
    504 Intrinsically Safe Systems
    505 Zone 0, 1, and 2 Locations
    506 Zone 20, 21, and 22 Locations for Combustible Dusts or Ignitible Fibers/Flyings
    510 Hazardous (Classified) Locations - Specific
    511 Commercial Garages, Repair and Storage
    513 Aircraft Hangars
    514 Motor Fuel Dispensing Facilities
    515 Bulk Storage Plants
    516 Spray Application, Dipping, Coating, and Printing Processes Using Flammable or Combustible Materials
    517 Health Care Facilities
    518 Assembly Occupancies
    520 Theaters, Audience Areas of Motion Picture and Television Studios, Performance Areas, and Similar Locations
    522 Control Systems for Permanent Amusement Attractions
    525 Carnivals, Circuses, Fairs, and Similar Events
    530 Motion Picture and Television Studios and Similar Locations
    540 Motion Picture Projection Rooms
    545 Manufactured Buildings and Relocatable Structures
    547 Agricultural Buildings
    550 Mobile Homes, Manufactured Homes, and Mobile Home Parks
    551 Recreational Vehicles and Recreational Vehicle Parks
    552 Park Trailers
    555 Marinas, Boatyards, Floating Buildings, and Commercial and Noncommercial Docking Facilities
    590 Temporary Installations
    Chapter 6 Special Equipment
    600 Electric Signs and Outline Lighting
    604 Manufactured Wiring Systems
    605 Office Furnishings
    610 Cranes and Hoists
    620 Elevators, Dumbwaiters, Escalators, Moving Walks, Platform Lifts, and Stairway Chairlifts
    625 Electric Vehicle Charging System
    626 Electrified Truck Parking Spaces
    630 Electric Welders
    640 Audio Signal Processing, Amplification, and Reproduction Equipment
    645 Information Technology Equipment
    646 Modular Data Centers
    647 Sensitive Electronic Equipment
    650 Pipe Organs
    660 X-Ray Equipment
    665 Induction and Dielectric Heating Equipment
    668 Electrolytic Cells
    669 Electroplating
    670 Industrial Machinery
    675 Electrically Driven or Controlled Irrigation Machines
    680 Swimming Pools, Fountains, and Similar Installations
    682 Natural and Artificially Made Bodies of Water
    685 Integrated Electrical Systems
    690 Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Systems
    691 Large-Scale Photovoltaic (PV) Electric Supply Stations
    692 Fuel Cell Systems
    694 Wind Electric Systems
    695 Fire Pumps
    Chapter 7 Special Conditions
    700 Emergency Systems
    701 Legally Required Standby Systems
    702 Optional Standby Systems
    705 Interconnected Electric Power Production Sources
    706 Energy Storage Systems
    708 Critical Operations Power Systems (COPS)
    710 Stand-Alone Systems
    712 Direct Current Microgrids
    720 Circuits and Equipment Operating at Less Than 50 Volts
    725 Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3 Remote-Control, Signaling, and Power-Limited Circuits
    727 Instrumentation Tray Cable: Type ITC
    728 Fire-Resistive Cable Systems
    750 Energy Management Systems
    760 Fire Alarm Systems
    770 Optical Fiber Cables
    Chapter 8 Communications Systems
    800 General Requirements for Communications Systems
    805 Communications Circuits
    810 Radio and Television Equipment
    820 Community Antenna Television and Radio Distribution Systems
    830 Network-Powered Broadband Communications Systems
    840 Premises-Powered Broadband Communications Systems
    Chapter 9 Tables
    Informative Annex A: Product Safety Standards
    Informative Annex B: Application Information for Ampacity Calculation
    Informative Annex C: Conduit, Tubing, and Cable Tray 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
    Index
  • How the NFPA Handbooks Differ from Codes and Standards

    THE NFPA HANDBOOKS DIFFER FROM CODES AND STANDARDS

    Ever wonder what the difference is between an NFPA® handbook and a code or standard? We’re glad you asked.

    NFPA codes and standards both provide requirements for achieving outcomes. Handbooks take a deeper dive, providing the full text of a code or standard as well as expert commentary and features such as graphics, decision trees, testing procedures, case studies, sample forms and checklists, and other helpful aids to give a better understanding of the reasoning behind the requirements and how to apply them.

    JUST REMEMBER:

    • A code or standard is a framework—a set of rules to follow with a goal to achieve a certain result
    • A handbook is a connector—linking requirements to application by helping you understand the reasoning behind a code or standard

    The simplest way to think about it is that codes and standards list the technical requirements while handbooks explain those requirements to clarify how to apply them.

  • Sample Pages

    Preview sample pages from the 2017 NFPA 70®: National Electrical Code® (NEC®).

  • Prior Editions

    Hundreds of changes in the 2017 edition NEC® bring you up-to-code and ready to address new sources of electrical power.

    Throughout the United States and around the world, NFPA 70®, National Electrical Code® (NEC) sets the foundation for electrical safety in residential, commercial, and industrial occupancies. The 2017 edition of this trusted Code presents the latest comprehensive regulations for electrical wiring, overcurrent protection, grounding, and installation of equipment.

    NFPA 70, NEC has been published since 1897, and a rigorous process of review keeps it up-to-date with new technologies. In fact, more than 4,000 public inputs and 1,500 comments went into the 2017 NEC alone. Hundreds of updates and five all-new articles pave the way to a safe and efficient electrical future.

    Major additions reflect the continuing growth in renewable power technology.

    The newest NEC addresses the advancement of privately owned wind and solar power generation and distribution equipment -- including coverage of higher voltage systems that were once only the utilities' domain. The new consumer role is a major factor in energy decentralization, and expanded NEC coverage is vital for designers, engineers, contractors, and AHJs.

    • Large-Scale Photovoltaic (PV) Electric Power Production Facility (New Article 691) covers systems that produce at least 5 megawatts (MW) of power, or enough to power 800+ U.S. homes.
    • Energy Storage Systems (New Article 706) governs ESS installation, disconnection, shutdown, and safety labeling.
    • Stand-Alone Systems (New Article 710) covers power production sources that are not connected to the grid, including PV and wind-powered systems.
    • Direct Current Microgrids (New Article 712) concerns independent energy distribution networks that allow the utilization of power from dc sources to direct-current loads. Microgrids are on the rise worldwide.

    Other NEC revisions protect the public and workers from deadly hazards.

    • New labeling, such as detailed arc flash hazard warning on equipment, helps workers and supervisors assess electrical risks.
    • New minimum space clearances for equipment installation clarify the safeguards needed to protect installers and maintainers.
    • Fixed Resistance and Electrode Industrial Process Heating Equipment (New Article 425) presents needed regulations for industry.
    • Revised provisions for AFCI and GFCI protection improve electrical and fire safety in homes.

    Be prepared to protect lives and property in the ever-changing electrical landscape. Order the 2017 National Electrical Code.

    Work with the latest requirements governing public and private buildings, homes, and structures; outdoor yards and lots; utility equipment; installations that connect to the power grid; and consumer-owned power generation systems and equipment. The 2017 NEC is better aligned with the safe work practices in NFPA 70E®, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace®. (Softbound, 888 pp., 2017)


    NFPA 70®: National Electrical Code® (NEC®) is the basis for electrical safety that has saved countless lives.

    Adopted in all 50 states, the NEC helps protect people and property from electrical hazards involving wiring and equipment. Comprehensive provisions address electrical installations in virtually all buildings -- including commercial, residential, and industrial occupancies. Revisions to the NEC are industry-driven, based on public proposals and comments. Each editio n of the Code builds on the next, through consensus-based changes that reflect the evolving needs of the field, emerging technologies, and new information about electrical safety.

    • The 2014 edition of NFPA 70: National Electrical Code responds to a changing world with new requirements addressing the emerging use of DC power in many applications, and new information about reducing electrical fire and shock hazards. Four added Articles expand coverage on growing technologies, including Low Voltage Suspended Ceiling Power Distribution Systems (Article 393); Modular Data Centers (Article 646); Fire Resistive Cable Systems (Article 728); and Energy Management Systems (Article 750). Other new or revised requirements enhance protection of electrical personnel from the risks of shock and electrocution, such as centralized locking requirements and revisions dealing with field marking of equipment and hazard warning labels.
    • The 2011 NFPA 70: National Electrical Code advances to meet the increasing consumer demand for alternate energy, green technologies, and IT equipment. New Article 694 presents requirements for small wind electric systems and new Article 840 addresses the increased demand for broadband communications systems with requirements for wireless, routers, and wireless disconnects. Other changes include revised Article 625 with updates on safe battery charging for plug-in hybrid vehicles; and revised Article 705 with guidance on interconnecting generators, windmills, and solar and fuel cells with other power supplies.
    • The 2008 NFPA 70: National Electrical Code works to improve public safety, emergency preparedness, Code usability, and worker protection. New Article 708 covering Critical Operations Power Systems (COPS) presents provisions for electrical security in public and private facilities that must stay online during a crisis, such as public safety dispatch centers and hospital ICUs. Because arcing faults on wiring systems and extension cords can cause home fires, the 2008 NEC expands AFCI use to living areas. New rules for tamper-resistant receptacles respond to the CPSC's National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) reports that thousands of children are treated in hospitals every year for burns received as a result of inserting objects into receptacles.
    • The 2005 NFPA 70: National Electrical Code expands requirements for ground-fault circuit-interrupters (GFCI) to help ensure the use of these potentially life-saving devices in homes, businesses, and public spaces. New Article 409 introduces rules for industrial control panels, new Article 506 presents a zone hazardous area classification system for combustible dusts and ignitible fibers and flyings, and new Article 682 covers natural and artificially made bodies of water not classified as swimming pools or fountains. In addition, new Article 353 is added for installations using HDPE conduit.
    • The 2002 NFPA 70: National Electrical Code adds provisions for installing surge-protective devices in new Article 285. Other key revisions in this edition include a one-stop Article 406 that improves user efficiency when handling receptacles, cord connectors, and attachment plugs; Article 692 with access rules covering fuel cell systems; and a parallel numbering systems for Raceway and Cable Articles in Chapter 3: Wiring.
    • The 1999 NFPA 70: National Electrical Code introduces new Article 490 with general guidelines for high-voltage installations, and new Article 830 with added NEC requirements impacting telecommunications installations. In addition to numerous technical changes, it's also the first NEC Codebook printed in an 8 1/2 x 11-inch size with more legible type and expanded tables.

    Interested in other editions of the NEC? Use the drop down menu above to select the edition year you need.

  • NFPA Digital Products

    Licensed PDFs can be accessed immediately. Instructions can be found in your order confirmation.

     

  • NEC Tabs

    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)

    Note that the 2020 edition tabs are color-coded!

  • What are NEC Reference Cards?

    Quickly and conveniently access the most frequently used NEC tables with 2020 NEC Reference Cards.

    NEC® Reference Cards help electrical contractors and installers increase accuracy, safety, and efficiency by providing on-the-job access to 13 of the most frequently referenced tables in the NEC, 2020 edition. These double-sided, laminated cards fit comfortably in your pocket or clip on to your belt or toolbox using the included one-inch metal ring.

    NEC Reference Cards are waterproof and extremely durable. The lightweight design and compact 3.5" x 5.5" size make it a go-anywhere resource for electrical professionals. Bring the complete set of cards with you or just the ones you need for the particular task at hand.

    The all-new set features updated and expanded table titles, column headings, and footnote content based on the 2020 edition of the NEC.

    Work faster and more accurately by keeping the information you need most at your fingertips.

    NEC Reference Cards cover the following tables and content:

    • 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 310.12: Single-Phase Dwelling Services and Feeders
    • TABLE 310.15(B)(1): Ambient Temperature Correction Factors Based on 30°C (86°F)
    • TABLE 310.16: Ampacities of Insulated Conductors with Not More Than Three Current-Carrying Conductors in Raceway, Cable, or Earth (Directly Buried)
    • 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
    • Selected sections of 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)
    • Selected sections of Chapter 9, TABLE 5: Dimensions of Insulated Conductors and Fixture Wires
    • Summary of Tap Conductor Requirements

    Bring NEC Reference Cards everywhere your job takes you.

    Stay up to date and compliant with the most current edition of NFPA 70®, NEC, with Reference Cards based on the 2020 edition. Place your order today. (Includes 13 cards, 3.5" x 5.5" each, 2020)

  • Also in NFPA 70: National Electrical Code (NEC)