QIS Contruction News

2023 NEC Significant Code Changes

The Texas Electrical Safety and Licensing Act requires the TDLR to adopt the revised National Electrical Code (NEC) as the electrical code for the state of Texas. In 2023, TDLR will adopt the 2023 NEC as the electrical code for the state of Texas and establish it as the "minimum standard" for all electrical work in Texas covered by the Act. The effective date will be September 1, 2023.

Expectations are that any non-exempt electrical work started on or after September 1, 2023 will have to be installed in accordance with the 2023 NEC. For purposes of clarification, the “start” of electrical work is the day the electrician begins installing electrical materials or equipment within the residential or commercial building structure. Inside the corporate limits of a municipality, electricians must abide by city permitting requirements and adhere to any local code amendments.

There are several changes to the 2023 National Electrical Code that immediately impact the Texas homebuilder. A discussion of some of these revisions is noted below. The following information was excerpted from the ABB Group technical article on “The 2023 NEC and what it means for residential construction.”

NEC 210.8(A)(6) Dwelling Units - Kitchens

The 2020 NEC required GFCI protection for kitchen receptacles serving countertops. One significant change the 2023 NEC delivers for residential construction is the extension of that requirement beyond the countertop. Now all 125 V to 250 V receptacles anywhere in a kitchen must have GFCI protection, regardless of their location or proximity to a sink. This protection can be provided by either a GFCI breaker or a GFCI receptacle; however, the code requires that the GFCI be readily accessible, making the GFCI breaker the easier option to achieve this. In addition to kitchens in residential dwellings, areas with sinks intended for food and beverage preparation or service in non-dwelling facilities, such as office break rooms, now also require GFCI protection for receptacles.

NEC 210.8(D) Dwelling Units - Specific Appliances

The 2023 NEC provides a list of specific appliances that require GFCI protection regardless of whether they are hard-wired or plug-connected. These appliances, rated 150 V to ground and 60 A or less, single-phase or three-phase, must now have GFCI protection for the appliance branch circuit or outlet. The specified appliances are: •Dishwashers • Electric ranges • Wall-mounted ovens • Counter-mounted cooking units • Clothes dryers • Microwave ovens

NEC 210.8(F) Outdoor Outlets

The 2020 NEC requirement for GFCI-protected outdoor outlets resulted in excessive nuisance tripping of connected air conditioning units; therefore, the 2023 NEC includes an exception for listed HVAC equipment. Receptacles of 50 A or less located outdoors or in garages, boathouses or accessory buildings must be GFCI protected, and if unprotected existing equipment is replaced, GFCI protection must be added.

NEC 210.52 (C) – Island and Peninsular Countertops and Workspaces

The 2023 NEC no longer requires receptacle outlets to serve kitchen islands and peninsulas in dwelling units. In the 2020 NEC, electricians were required to go the extra mile, installing one outlet to serve the first 9 square feet of island or peninsular countertop, and an additional outlet for every 18 square feet thereafter. In the 2023 NEC, the Code section has been altered to read: “Receptacle outlets, if installed to serve an island or peninsular countertop or work surface, shall be installed in accordance with 210.52(C)(3). If a receptacle is not provided to serve an island or peninsular countertop or work surface, provisions shall be provided at the island or peninsular for future addition of a receptacle outlet to serve the island or peninsular countertop or work surface.” Receptacle outlets in an island or peninsular are optional. The receptacle outlet will no longer be permitted to be placed on the side of an island or peninsular location. If a receptacle is desired, it will need to be installed either in or on the countertop or worksurface. In the event a receptacle is not provided for an island or peninsular countertop or worksurface, the electrical contractor must provide a method to the island or peninsular for the future addition of a receptacle outlet.

NEC 440.11 Disconnects and Covers

For readily accessible disconnects located in residential spaces, such as those for air conditioning units, the 2023 NEC adds a new safety requirement. If the disconnect’s doors can open to expose live parts, those doors must either be lockable or require tools to open. This requirement is intended to help deter access by children or other unqualified personnel.

GFCI, AFCI, DFCI Breakers

Both the 2020 and 2023 NEC introduced new requirements for GFCI, AFCI and DFCI breakers. It’s critical to use the right type of breaker to comply with NEC requirements designed to protect people and property. Arc fault (AFCI) breakers — Help prevent the arc faults that can result in electrical fires. Required by 2023 NEC for use in: • Family room • Dining room • Living room • Bedroom • Sunroom • Library • Den • Office hallways • Closets • Recreation room • Kitchen (except where otherwise noted) Ground fault (GFCI) breakers — Help protect people from electric shock. Required by 2023 NEC for use in or with: • Bathroom • Garage • Porch • Pool area • Clothes dryer • Kitchen • Outdoors (except for use with listed HVAC equipment) Dual function (DFCI) breakers — Provide both ground fault and arc fault protection. Required by 2023 NEC in or with: • Kitchen • Dishwasher • Clothes washer • Laundry room or area

Please contact us should you require assistance on these or other code related issues. Qualified Inspection Services provides third party residential inspection services designed to keep builders code compliant. To find out how our services may benefit your company, contact us today.

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