What changes have been made to the 2008 NEC?
What is in the NEC?
What is the NFPA?
What is the difference between the NEC and ANSI NFPA 70?
What is the difference between the NEC softcover book and the NEC Handbook?
What is the most current edition of the code and what edition do I need?
A: Read the following articles to get a better explanation of the 2008 National Electrical Code changes:
- Top 10 2008 NEC Changes
- 2008 Changes (Part 1)
- 2008 Changes: Chapter 2 (Part 2)
- 2008 Changes: Chapter 2 (Part 3)
- 2008 Changes: Chapter 2 (Part 4)
A: The NEC is composed of an introduction, nine chapters, annexes A through I, and the index. The introduction sets forth the purpose, scope, enforcement and rules or information that are general in nature. The first four chapters cover definitions and rules for installations (voltages, connections, markings, etc), circuits and circuit protection, methods and materials for wiring (wiring devices, conductors, cables, etc), and general-purpose equipment (cords, receptacles, switches, heaters, etc). The next three chapters deal with special occupancies (high risk to multiple persons), special equipment (signs, machinery, etc) and special conditions (emergency systems, alarms, etc). Chapter 8 is specific to additional requirements for communications systems (telephone, radio/TV, etc) and chapter 9 is composed of tables regarding conductor, cable and conduit properties, among other things. Annexes A-I relate to referenced standards, calculations, examples, additional tables for proper implementation of various code articles (for example, how many wires fit in a conduit) and a model adoption ordinance.
The introduction and the first 8 chapters contain numbered articles, parts, sections (or lists or tables) italicized exceptions, and Informational notes – explanations that are not part of the rules. Articles are coded with numerals and letters, as ###.###(A)(#)(a). For example 804.22(C)(3)(b) would be read as "section 804 point 22(C)(3)(b)." and would be found in chapter 8. For internal references, some lengthy articles are further broken into "parts" with Roman-numerals (parts I, II, III, etc).
Each code article is numbered based on the chapter it is in. Those wiring methods acceptable by the NEC are found in chapter 3, thus all approved wiring method code articles are in the 300s. Efforts have been underway for some time to make the code easier to use. Some of those efforts include using the same extension in those code articles for the support of wiring methods.
Wikipedia contributors, "National Electrical Code (US)," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=National_Electrical_Code_%28US%29&oldid=104851520 (accessed February 21, 2011).
A: The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) serves as a leading advocate of fire prevention and is an authoritative source on public safety. It is a nonprofit organization that was established in 1896 with the mission to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education. (www.nfpa.org accessed February 8, 2007)
A: None, they are identical. The NEC is formally identified as the ANSI NFPA 70 by the American National Standard by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
A: The softcover book is the full text of the NEC. The Handbook (also referred to as the Illustrated Handbook) is the full text plus commentary from Code experts, coverage of new articles, explanations of rules, and examples of use. The Handbook includes over 500 diagrams, charts, tables, photos. The 2011 softcover is available in October 2010 and the 2011 Handbook is available Jan 2011.
A: The NEC is updated and published every three years. The 2011 NEC is the most current edition.
States generally adopt the most recent edition within a couple years of its publication. Be sure to check with your state and local electrical boards to see what edition is being enforced.