Download PDF version (289k) Log In or Register to view the full article as a PDF document.

Exterior Lighting (210-70) The previous code required a wall-switched outside light "at" every exterior door. The new code says only that a switched light must provide illumination for entrances, which would allow a general floodlight to provide lighting for more than one door (Figure 5).

elec6.gif (14049 bytes)
Figure 5. Instead of a light next to every entrance door, a general floodlight can now provide illumination for exterior entrances. Lighting is no longer required for exterior entrances with no grade-level access. In addition, only exterior entrances with grade-level access are required to have lighting. A door to a balcony, for instance, no longer needs a light, though many customers will undoubtedly request them.

Service Conductors Over Decks and Porches (230-9)

I have often seen decks that were built right under low overhead service conductors, where a person could reach up and touch the wires — an extremely dangerous condition (see photo).

elect1.jpg (11405 bytes)

What’s wrong with this picture? Even though it’s around the corner, the service entrance cable is too low where it passes near the deck.

In the past, these conductors were required to be a minimum of 10 feet above the deck or porch. The ’99 NEC takes this a step further by extending the 10-foot clearance to include an area 3 feet out from the porch or deck in every direction (Figure 6).

elec7.gif (8720 bytes)
Figure 6. As before, overhead service entrance cables must be placed higher than 10 feet above a deck or porch. Now, however, this includes an area extending 3 feet out in any direction from the deck or porch. The 3 feet should also be measured around a corner.

New Job-Site GFCI Rule (305-6)

As most builders know, all 15-amp, 20-amp, and 30-amp 125-volt job-site receptacles are required to be GFCI-

protected. To save money, some builders make their own plug-in protectors using a GFCI receptacle from a hardware store. This is no longer possible. New wording in the ’99 NEC requires a plug-in GFCI protection device to be built with components that are listed for portable GFCI protection. Most GFCI receptacles the consumer can buy are not listed for portable use.

Workshop Receptacles (210-8)

Under the new code, all receptacles in a workshop in an unattached building on residential property are required to be GFCI-protected, even those in a finished office area.

Lights in Dropped Ceilings (336-18)

Previously, a Romex wire feeding a light installed in a dropped ceiling had to be supported within 12 inches of the fixture. Now, the Romex must be supported within 41/2 feet of the fixture. Most other types of cable must have support within 6 feet. Sean Kenney is an electrical instructor at Whittier Tech in Haverhill, Mass.