It’s that time again: Every three years the National Electrical Code (NEC) undergoes major revision. The 1999 NEC includes several hundred changes that may have become the law in your jurisdiction. Many of these changes were editorial in nature, but some are important technical points. For the most part, you can leave it to your electrician to worry about the new rules, but in some cases these changes can directly affect your design, pricing, and how you go about your installations.

Non-metallic sheathed cable (the standard Romex found on all your job sites) is now allowed in all one-family and two-family dwellings of any height. It was previously restricted to buildings up to three stories. All buildings four stories or taller were required to be wired with another method, such as armored cable or conduit. Although one-...

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