2020 NEC Updates



NATIONAL ELECTRICAL CODE® CHANGES IN 2020


What You Need to Know Now for 2020

The 2020 National Electric Code includes requirement updates in four significant areas: surge protection, GFCI protection, firemen’s disconnect and solar power. To provide the best, safest work possible, be familiar with the official NEC codes in your state.

OVERVIEW OF 2020 NEC CHANGES
  • GFCI protection required for 125–250V receptacles within 6 feet of sinks
  • Surge protection required for lines feeding dwelling units
  • Emergency disconnects required for all one- and two-family dwelling units
  • Solar panels (California directive) required to have outdoor emergency disconnect

NEC Code Book Adoption

STATES EXPECTED TO ADOPT THE 2020 NEC

 

  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Idaho
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • Nebraska
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Washington
  • Wyoming

 

Map of states expect to adopt the 2020 NEC

Major 2020 NEC Code Changes

GFCIS (DWELLINGS)


• All 125–250V receptacles within 6 feet of sinks 

• Notable spaces include:
     - Laundry areas
     - Kitchens 
     - Unfinished basements 
     - Finished basements 
     - Outdoor outlets 150V to ground or less and up to 50amps 

• Applies to: 
     - Ranges within 6 feet of sinks
     - Electric dryers - Dishwashers 
     - Sump pumps 
     - Pool motors
     - Equipment that requires service, including HVAC and refrigeration units

GFCIS (NON-DWELLINGS)


• Notable spaces include: 
     - Indoor damp and wet locations 
     - Permanent fixtures for cooking 
     - Permanent provisions for food preparation 
     - Accessory buildings 

• Applies to: 
     - Dishwashers 
     - Drinking fountains 
     - Sump pumps 
     - Pool motors
     - Equipment that requires service, including HVAC and refrigeration units

Related Products


EMERGENCY DISCONNECTS

• Required for all single- and two-family dwellings 

• Must function from outside dwellings 

• Must be readily accessible 

• Applies to generators and energy storage systems (ESS)

• Generators must be marked with one of the following: 
     - EMERGENCY DISCONNECT, SERVICE DISCONNECT 
     - EMERGENCY DISCONNECT, METER DISCONNECT, NOT SERVICE EQUIPMENT
     - EMERGENCY DISCONNECT, NOT SERVICE EQUIPMENT

SURGE PROTECTION

• New article (242) includes service lines to dwelling units 

• Must be part of service equipment or adjacent 

• May be located at each level of downstream distribution

• Now applies to:
      - Line side and load side services 
      - Replacements and service upgrades

SOLAR (CALIFORNIA)

• Solar panels on new construction*

• Outdoor disconnect required for all energy storage units

New Articles

NEC 2020 includes several new articles. Surge protection article 242 is one among four.

ARTICLE 242 OVERVOLTAGE PROTECTION

 

  • Combines articles 280 and 285 and addresses surge protective requirements, devices and arresters
ARTICLE 337 TYPE P CABLE

 

  • Addresses 600V Type P cables used in industrial and hazardous areas and specifications
ARTICLE 311 MV CONDUCTORS & CABLE

 

  • Expands on deleted article 328 and addresses medium voltage conductors and cables, their use and specifications
ARTICLE 800 GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS

 

  • Consolidates the previous contents of 2017 NEC chapter 8 into one articles and addresses requirements for communication circuits, including television and radio distribution antennae and network powered broadband systems

Removed Articles

NEC 2020 removes several articles present in NEC 2017 to improve clarity and limit redundancies.

Article 280 SPDs over 1,000V 
Article 285 SPDs 1,000V or less

Article 328 MV Cable Type MV 
Article 553 Floating Buildings

Updates Every 3 Years

The National Fire Protection Agency publishes official updates to the National Electrical Code every three years. These updates have run uninterrupted since 1897, when the code was introduced. 2020 NEC is the result of more than 5,000 public inputs and comments, 18 panels, the annual NFPA meeting and more than 2,000 revisions².