Since 1911, the National Fire Protection Association has developed and published the National Electrical Code (NEC). The 2014 NEC contains widespread changes that will impact how electrical systems are installed, including new requirements regarding charging stations for electric vehicles, expansion of the use of Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters for branch circuits serving kitchens and laundry rooms, and increases in the number of areas within a dwelling that require Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter receptacles.
Ground Fault Circuit-Interrupter (GFCI) Protection for Personnel
- 210.8(A)(9) Bathtubs and Shower Stalls and (10) Laundry Areas: The NEC now requires that all receptacles within six feet of a shower stall or bathtub must have ground fault protection by the use of either a GFCI breaker or GFCI receptacle. In addition, the section now requires all 125-volt single phased 15- and 20-ampere receptacles in laundry rooms to be GFCI protected.
- 210.8 (D) Dishwasher: The NEC now requires all outlets supplying power to dishwashers installed in kitchens to be GFCI protected.
Arc-Fault Circuit-Interrupter (AFCI)
- Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters: Continuing with the committee’s goal of whole house circuit protection, the technical committee has expanded the use of AFCI in dwellings and has now included a new section to address dormitories.
- 210.12(A) Dwelling Units: Kitchens and laundry areas are now required to have all circuits protected by an AFCI device. Protection against arcing can now be accomplished by use of one of the six alternative methods listed in Section 210.12(A)(1) through (6), which include the use of breaker and receptacles utilizing AFCI protection with specific conditions for each option.
- 210.12(B) Branch Circuit Extensions or Modifications: A new exception would allow the extension of an existing conductor to be added or modified up to six feet in length without requiring AFCI protection on the circuit. If any additional outlets or devices are installed, the circuit would then have to be protected by an AFCI device.
- 210.12(C) Dormitories: All dormitories now require AFCI protection on all circuits supplying outlets in hallways, sleeping units, living rooms, closets and other similar rooms.
- 210.17 Electrical Vehicle Branch Circuits: New to the NEC is a requirement that any electrical branch circuit serving an outlet or outlets for the purpose of vehicle charging shall be supplied by a dedicated branch circuit.
- 220.12 Lighting Load: In an effort to work concurrently with energy efficiency codes, the NEC allows for the lighting load to either be designed per table 220.12 or calculated for the load intended, provided the building is equipped with a monitoring system that will alert the building occupant when the loads are exceeded, and provided that the demand factors specified in 220.42 are not applied.