The National Electrical Code (NEC) is the principal electrical installation code in the United States. The NEMA Field Representative Program, through participation in the code adoption process and collaboration with NEMA member companies and other industry partners, advocates for the adoption of the most current version of the NEC.
Table of Contents
What is included in the National Electrical Code?
NEC may be dense; The 2014 edition was around 1,000 pages. However, it is divided into chapters, and each code article is numbered corresponding to the chapter it is based on. For example, Code 710, the article on Stand-Alone Systems, is located in Chapter Seven of the NEC. These articles provide explanations and other information for specific code numbers. Any revision of the NEC typically includes new articles, which address emerging technology, and establish new related codes.
The NEC consists of an introduction and nine chapters, as well as appendices and an index. Its introduction establishes the general purpose, intent and scope of the Code. The chapters are as follows:
- Chapter 1: General. It covers general definitions and rules for electrical installations (marking, connections, voltage, etc.).
- Chapter 2: Wiring and Security. There are many ways to cover and protect wires, such as using industrial cable protectors and wire wraps that prevent damage from heat, moisture, and dust.
- Chapter 3: Wiring Methods and Materials.
- Chapter 4: Instruments for General Use.
- Chapter 5: Special Occupations. These buildings belong to unique environments that pose a high risk to many people.
- Chapter 6: Special Equipment. Electrical equipment falling under this category includes signals, machinery, transformers, distribution boards, switchboards and circuit breakers.
- Chapter 7: Special Conditions. Special conditions include the installation and use of alarms, emergency systems, security systems, card access control systems and closed circuit television (CCTV).
- Chapter 8: Communication Systems. This chapter covers additional requirements for these systems, which include radios, TVs, and telephone/cellphones.
- Chapter 9: Tables and Attachments. These tables include conduit, conductor, and cable properties, inter alia. They also demonstrate the correct implementation of certain code articles (for example, how many wires fit in a conduit) and prescribe a model adoption.
In addition to the official National Electrical Code versions, the NFPA also publishes the NEC Handbook that corresponds to each revised version. These handbooks are approximately 1,500 pages long and contain the entire Code, as well as additional explanations and examples. They also provide helpful cross-references to older versions of the Code, which may come in handy; Not every state in the US currently follows the latest version of the NEC. Some states still enforce the 2014 and 2011 versions of the Code.
NFPA PDF Products
Pave the way for a secure tomorrow today. Get the latest in electrical installation requirements with the reorganized and updated NFPA 70, National Electrical Code (NEC), 2023 Edition.
The code you know and use—newly redesigned to keep pace with the ever-evolving electrical hazards and challenges.
The new National Electrical Code has been revised and expanded to keep pace with industry practices, emerging trends and the development and introduction of technologies. The document has been completely reorganized for ease of use and features an expanded Article 100 that consolidates all of the code’s defining terms in one place to help you quickly locate important NEC material.
Whether you’re working with Class 4 fault-managed circuits or electrical systems greater than 1000 V AC/1500 V DC, you need the 2023 edition of the NEC to help you stay compliant.
Changes include new, expanded and revised content and provisions for:
Don’t be left behind Help usher in a new era of security and give yourself and your team a competitive edge by upgrading to the 2023 NEC. For more than 100 years, NFPA 70, the National Electrical Code (NEC), has been your trusted source for the electrical information and requirements we rely on to build a safer world. Experience the Code like never before by ordering your print 2023 edition and registering for digital access through NFPA LiNK. (Softbound, 912 pages, 2023)
If you have purchased a PDF, the licensed PDF can be accessed immediately.
Effective with the annual 2020 code cycle, the NFPA will no longer provide access in PDF format as a substitute for new editions of codes and standards, manuals, or other reference titles. Existing PDFs will remain on the market and will still be accessible in our National Fire Code® Subscription Service (NFCSS™). For more information on the different format options available for you to access the essential codes and standard content you need, click here.
- How are the NFPA Handbooks Different from the Codes and Standards?
NFPA manuals differ from codes and standards.
Ever wondered what the difference is between the NFPA Handbook and a Code or Standard? We’re glad you asked.
Both the NFPA code and the standard provide requirements for the results to be achieved. The handbook takes a deep dive, providing the full text of a code or standard as well as expert commentary and graphics, decision trees, test procedures, case studies, sample forms and checklists, and other helpful aids to better understanding . The reasoning behind the requirements and how to implement them.
NFPA 70, the revised and expanded 2020 edition of the National Electrical Code, provides state-of-the-art information for safe electrical practices for public and private buildings, homes and structures, exterior yards and lots, utility equipment, installations on the power grid, and consumer- Proprietary 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 communications systems.
Impressive changes include:
- New requirements for exterior emergency disconnects of one- and two-family residences to improve electrical safety for emergency responders
Service disconnect rules amended to help protect power workers from arc flash hazards
- Adapted and adjusted requirements for installation practices of new technologies to meet the growing demand for power over Ethernet
- Updates to modernize tables currently used for calculations to reflect energy efficiency improvements and align with evolving codes
- Revised requirements for earth fault protection within marinas and boatyards
- Introduction to guidelines for the safe use of electric vehicles (electric vehicle power exporting equipment) as a backup or emergency power source for a building or home
- Restructuring of Article 310, including new user-friendly numbering for critical ampacity tables, and new definition for cable bundle in Article 725, and more!
The NEC introduces important new requirements for the 2020 edition:
- For residential installation of receptacle outlets serving island and peninsular countertops and for surge protection of services supplying dwelling units
- Work spaces for “housekeeping pads” for electrical equipment, installation of wiring methods in exhaust enclosures, using supply and load conductors with adjustable-speed drive systems, and branch circuits in patient sleeping areas in care facilities AFCI protection
- Calculating load of electric vehicle supply equipment with variable current settings
- Worker safety for identifying the source of power for means of disconnecting and exiting areas containing large electrical equipment
- Disconnecting means the means installed on the supply-side of the service disconnecting
- Exposed cables mounted on roof surfaces and sidewalls
- Special occupations, special equipment, and special conditions, including installation of splash pads, use of “Type P” cables in hazardous classified locations, and retrofitting of swimming pools and other bodies of water
Hundreds of changes to the 2017 edition NEC bring you up-to-code and ready to address new sources of electrical power.
Across the United States and around the world, NFPA 70, the National Electrical Code (NEC), lays the foundation for electrical safety in residential, commercial, and industrial businesses. The 2017 edition of this trusted code presents the latest comprehensive rules for electrical wiring, over-current protection, grounding, and equipment installation.
NFPA 70, the NEC, has been published since 1897, and a rigorous process of review keeps it up to date with new technologies. In fact, the 2017 NEC alone received over 4,000 pieces of public input and 1,500 comments. Hundreds of updates and five new articles lead the way to a safe and efficient electric future.
The major additions reflect the continued growth in renewable energy technology.
The latest NEC addresses the advancement of privately owned wind and solar power generation and distribution equipment – including coverage of high voltage systems that were once the sole domain of utilities. The new consumer role in energy decentralization is a major factor, and expanded NEC coverage is important for designers, engineers, contractors and AHJs.
- Large-scale photovoltaic (PV) electric power generation facility (new Section 691) includes systems that produce at least 5 megawatts (MW) of electricity, or 800+ U.S. solar panels. enough to power homes.
- Energy Storage Systems (new Article 706) governs the installation, disconnection, shutdown, and safety labeling of ESS.
- Stand-alone systems (new Article 710) cover electricity generation sources that are not connected to the grid, including PV and wind-powered systems.
- Direct current microgrids (new Article 712) pertain to independent power distribution networks that allow the use of power from DC sources to direct-current loads. Microgrids are proliferating around the world.
Other NEC amendments protect the public and workers from lethal hazards.
- New labeling, such as detailed arc flash hazard warnings on equipment, helps workers and supervisors assess electrical hazards.
- The new minimum space clearance for equipment installation clarifies the safeguards required to protect installers and maintainers.
- Introduces essential regulations for the fixed resistance and electrode industrial process heating equipment (new Article 425) industry.
NFPA 70: National Electrical Code (NEC) is the cornerstone of electrical safety that has saved countless lives.
- The 2014 edition of NFPA 70: The National Electrical Code responds to a changing world with new requirements that address the emerging use of DC power in many applications, and new information on how to reduce electrical fire and shock hazards Is. Four additional articles expand coverage on rising technologies, including low voltage suspended ceiling power distribution systems (Article 393); Modular Data Center (Article 646); fire resistant cable systems (Article 728); and Energy Management System (Article 750). Other new or revised requirements enhance the protection of electrical personnel from the risk of shock and electric shock, such as centralized locking requirements and amendments related to field marking of equipment and hazard warning labels.
- 2011 NFPA 70: The National Electrical Code moves to meet growing consumer demand for alternative energy, green technologies, and IT equipment. New Article 694 introduces requirements for small wind power systems and new Article 840 addresses the growing demand for broadband communication systems with requirements for wireless routers and wireless disconnects. Other changes include amended Article 625 with updates on safe battery charging for plug-in hybrid vehicles; and amended Article 705 with guidance on connecting generators, windmills, and solar and fuel cells with other power supplies.
- 2008 NFPA 70: National Electrical Code serves to improve public safety, emergency preparedness, code utility, and employee protection. The new Article 708 covering Critical Operations Power Systems (COPS) introduces provisions for electrical safety in public and private facilities that must remain online during a crisis, such as public safety dispatch centers and hospital ICUs. Because arcing faults in wiring systems and extension cords can cause home fires, the 2008 NEC expands the use of AFCIs to living areas. The new regulations for tamper-resistant receptacles respond to reports from the CPSC’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) that thousands of children are treated in hospitals each year for burns received as a result of objects being inserted into receptacles.
- The 2005 NFPA 70: National Electrical Code expands the requirements for ground-fault circuit-interrupters (GFCIs) to help ensure the use of these potentially life-saving devices in homes, businesses, and public places. New Article 409 introduces rules for industrial control panels, new Article 506 introduces an area hazardous area classification system for flammable dust and flammable fibers and blowing, and new Article 682 regulates natural and artificially created bodies of water. Does not classify as a swimming pool or fountain. In addition, new Article 353 has been added for installation using HDPE conduit.
- 2002 NFPA 70: National Electrical Code Adds provision for installing surge-protective devices in new section 285. Other major revisions in this version include the one-stop Article 406 which improves user efficiency when handling receptacles, cord connectors and attachment plugs; Article 692 with access rules covering fuel cell systems; and Chapter 3: Parallel Numbering Systems for Raceways and Cable Articles in Wiring.
- 1999 NFPA 70: National Electrical Code introduces new Article 490 with general guidelines for high-voltage installations and new Article 830 with additional NEC requirements affecting telecommunication installations. In addition to several technical changes, it is 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 versions of NEC? Use the drop down menu above to select the version year you require.
Previous versions of NFPA documents are available for sale. Please refer to the applicable NFPA code and standard product pages to confirm which versions are available for purchase. If you have any questions, contact at 1-800-344-3555 or NFPA Customer Support at nfpa.org/customerservice.
What is the latest version of National Electrical Code?
Get the latest in electrical installation requirements with the reorganized and updated NFPA 70, National Electrical Code (NEC), 2023 Edition.
What is US Electrical Code?
Adopted in all 50 states, NFPA 70, the National Electrical Code (NEC), is the benchmark for safe electrical design, installation, and inspection to protect people and property from electrical hazards.
What does the NEC require to install wiring equipment?
conduit and cable protection
The NEC requires that the conductors of a circuit must be inside a raceway, cable, trench, cord, or cable tray. Additional protection such as NM cable inside the raceway is required if the installation method is subject to physical damage as prescribed by the authority having jurisdiction.
What is the difference between NFPA and NEC?
What is the difference between NFPA 70 (NEC) and NFPA 70E? The National Electrical Code is generally considered an electrical installation document and protects workers under normal circumstances. The purpose of NFPA 70E is to provide guidance regarding electrical safe work practices.
Is National Electrical Code a law?
Is NEC federal law? Different versions of the NEC are in force across the United States, and that’s because the code doesn’t actually fall under federal law. Instead, it is a “Uniform Code,” a set of guidelines that each state can adopt and enforce as they see fit.
To whom does NFPA 70 apply?
At its core, NFPA 70 covers the installation and removal of the following electrical components: electrical conductors, raceways, and equipment. Installations used by the electric utility. Signaling and communication conductors, raceways and equipment.
What is NFPA 70E?
OSHA requested the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to develop a standard addressing electrical safe work practices.
Does OSHA enforce NFPA 70E?
29 CFR 1910.132(d)(1): Requires employers to conduct a personal protective equipment (PPE) risk assessment to determine required PPE;
29 CFR 1910.269 (l)(6)(iii): Employers are required to ensure that each employee working in power generation, transmission, and distribution facilities who are exposed to fire or electric arc hazards, does not wear anything that may increase the limit of electrical injury when exposed to such a hazard;
29 CFR 1910.335 (a)(1)(i): Employees working in areas where there are potential electrical hazards shall use electrical protective equipment appropriate to the specific body parts for the work being performed;
29 CFR 1910.335 (a)(1)(iv): requires workers to wear non-conductive head protection against exposure to electric shock or burns due to exposure to exposed electrical parts;
29 CFR 1910.335 (a)(1)(v): Employees must wear eye or face protective equipment where there is a risk of injury to the eyes or face from flying objects resulting from an electric arc or flash or electrical explosion;
29 CFR 1910.335 (a)(2): Employees shall use insulated tools or handling equipment when working near exposed live conductors or circuit parts;
29 CFR 1926.28(a): Employers shall require employees to wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) during construction work.
What type of FRC clothing should my electrician wear to work every day?
Although not specifically required by NFPA 70E, it is recommended that covered employees be provided with FRC daily wear with an ATPV (Arc Thermal Performance Value) of at least 8. It meets HRC 2 work apparel requirements.
What is the meaning of “clearing time” [as discussed under NFPA 70E:130.3(a)]?
It refers to the time required for an electrical circuit breaker or disconnect to switch from an active state to an inoperative state. The fast clearing time minimizes the possibility of occurrence of an electric arc.
Are there any special washing requirements for flame retardant clothing?
Yes, FRC garment care and laundering requirements are specified by ASTM F1449 (2001 edition): Standard Guide for the Care and Maintenance of Flame, Thermally and Arc Resistant Clothing. In addition, inspection requirements for FRC clothing are outlined in NFPA 2113 (2001 edition): Flame Resistant Clothing for the Protection of Industrial Personnel Against Flash Fires.
9. Do the hazard hazard class (HRC) classifications (0 – 4) listed in Table 130.7 (C)(9)(a) have a direct relationship to voltage?
No, Hazard Risk Category (HRC) classifications are based on estimated incident energy. Consider two work functions having different voltages:
Task #1: Testing of Insulated Cables in Open Field ≥ 1,000 V: HRC 2 Task.
Task #2: Insertion or Removal of Individual Starter Buckets of 600 Volt Class: HRC 3 Tasks.
Although Task #2 involves less voltage than Task #1, it has a higher HRC.
What is the best way to avoid electric arc flash?
Unless the device should remain active – turn it off!