New NEC Requirements

We are doing some remodeling in our house, and  wanted to know what are some of the new National Electrical Code requirements should we be aware of in order to verify the contractor does what they are supposed to do?

First of all, make sure the contractor permits all of the work. This will insure the work is in accordance with the codes. There have been a few changes to the electrical code this year. We are now using the 2011 NEC. The following will cover some of the new requirements as well as old.

Most new home electrical systems are now grounded to a rebar which is buried in the concrete. There is no longer a ground bar located outside at the electrical meter. This makes it difficult to ground the telephone and television systems. There must be an external terminal bar with a minimum of three terminals to bond or ground the phone and TV systems. (Section 210.94)

This item was dropped from the previous code, and now it is back in. All electrical receptacles within six feet of all sinks or basins must be ground fault circuit interrupter protected. (210.8A7)

Arc fault circuit interrupters are now required for all electrical outlets (receptacles and lights) in the family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways or similar rooms or areas. (210.12A)

All kitchen counter receptacles must be GFCI protected. No point along the countertop may be more than 24 inches from a receptacle. Any counter space 12 inches wide must have a receptacle. All islands or peninsulars must have at least one receptacle. All kitchens must have two 20 amp circuits to prevent overloading one circuit with multiple appliances.BATHROOM GFCIs
All bathrooms must have an electrical receptacle located no more than three feet from the outside edge of the sink or basin. All receptacles in the bathroom must be GFCI protected. (210.52C)

Each unfinished section of the basement must have a GFCI protected electrical receptacle where the concrete floor is exposed. If the concrete is covered with flooring, GFCIs are not required. All finished basements must have electrical receptacles located along the walls where you can plug in a lamp with a six foot cord anywhere along the wall. (210.52G)

An exterior GFCI protected receptacle is required in the front, rear and within twenty feet of the air conditioner condensers, located no more than six and a half feet from ground level. All balconies, decks and porches over twenty square feet must have a receptacle. (210.52E)

 Most of the receptacles including GFCIs must be tamper resistant. Tamper resistant means you cannot insert something like a paper clip or screw driver in one of the slots and be shocked. You must plug something into both slots at the same time before the receptacle will open. (406.12)

Smoke detectors are not required by the NEC, but are required by the International Residential Code. Smoke detectors shall be installed in the following locations: In each sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms. They are also required on each additional story of the dwelling, including basements but not including crawl spaces and uninhabitable attics. In dwellings or dwelling units with split levels and without an intervening door between the adjacent levels, a smoke detector installed on the upper level shall suffice for the adjacent lower level provided that the lower level is less than one full story below the upper level. When more than one smoke detector is required to be installed within an individual dwelling unit, the detectors shall be interconnected in such a manner that the actuation of one detector will activate all of the detectors.
R313.2.1 Alterations, repairs and additions. When alterations, repairs or additions requiring a permit occur, or when one or more sleeping rooms are added or created in existing dwellings, the individual dwelling unit shall be equipped with smoke detectors located as required for new dwellings; the smoke detectors shall be interconnected and hard wired. Exception: Interconnection and hard-wiring of smoke detectors in existing areas shall not be required where the alterations or repairs do not result in the removal of interior wall or ceiling finishes exposing the structure, unless there is an attic, crawl space or basement available which could provide access for hard wiring and interconnection without the removal of interior finishes.
The smoke detectors that are required in the hallways are also required to be carbon monoxide detectors as we covered in the May 2013 edition of Home Tips.

Quote Of The Month

"There is nothing wrong with waiting for your ship to come in. But you can be sure that if it ever does, the Internal Revenue Service will be right there to help you unload it.”
David Biggs

Tip Of The Hat To:

Linda Hagan
Prudential Georgia Realty
1409 Peachtree Road
Atlanta, Georgia 30319

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