Five 2023 NEC Code Changes You Need To Know
To address the needs of a constantly changing technological landscape, the National Electrical Code (NEC) code-making panels (CMPs) hold summits every three years to create new safety policies and review existing protocols for electrical installation and maintenance. Each of these code cycles contains many significant revisions. We’ve identified five of the most impactful changes to help electrical professionals stay on top of things.
Five Critical NEC Code Changes and Why They Matter
1. Section 110.17 – Servicing and Maintenance of Electrical Equipment
This section is a new addition to the NEC and applies to all types of service and maintenance work. It stipulates that all service and electrical preventative maintenance must be performed by qualified persons per the original equipment manufacturer's instructions. The importance of this section cannot be overstated, as it comes to bear on personnel and parts with equal priority.
2. Section 210.8 – GFCI Protection in Dwelling Units
Section 210.8(6) has been revised to expand a GFCI protection requirement to include all plug-in appliances in food-making, cooking, or beverage servicing areas. Previously, this section only pertained to countertop receptacles, but with this stipulation removed, all appliances in these spaces must be GFCI protected in order to be up to code. Also noteworthy is the removal of “kitchen” from 210.8, now stating that any space (a break room or lobby with a beverage station, for example) must be GFCI protected.
3. Section 210.18 – Branch Circuit Rating
As of the 2023 code change, branch circuits can now be 10 amps. This change results from CMPs concluding that energy-efficient technologies have created many use cases in which 10-ampere branch circuits are suitable for loads, most notably in LED lighting. The change allows 10-amp branch circuits to power lighting outlets, gas fireplace units supplied by single branch circuits, and dwelling unit exhaust fans in bathrooms or laundry rooms.
4. Section 225.41 – Emergency Disconnects
This section has been revised to require outside emergency disconnects for one- and two-family dwelling units. Occupants and first responders alike must be able to terminate power on the exterior of a building regardless of how power is supplied. This revision will go a long way toward ensuring that this becomes the norm.
5. Section 215.15 – Barriers
This new section requires that terminals and busbars supplied by transformers and tapped conductors be protected by a barrier placed over any exposed energized components. This addition explicitly addresses the potential for shock and arc flash hazards and seeks to minimize them by mandating the usage of barriers in ungrounded or uninsulated busbars and terminals. This change should go a long way in creating safer conditions for technicians servicing load terminations in these types of equipment.
Learn More and Upgrade Your Equipment
Here at Crescent, we’re committed to helping you meet your electrical safety goals, whether mandated by the 2023 NEC code changes or not. Head over to our Safety and Security page to learn more about products and services that can help you protect your business and your people.