Article 210 specifies provisions for all branch circuits except for branch circuits supplying only motor loads. Article 430 contains motor load requirements. Branch circuits with combination loads (motor and non-motor) must be installed in accordance with Articles 210 and 430. Specific-purpose branch circuits must meet the provisions in Article 210 in addition to applicable provisions in other articles. Receptacle and lighting outlet provisions are covered in Part III of Article 210. Requirements specifying the placement of receptacle outlets can be found in 210.52 through 210.63. Lighting outlets must be installed in accordance with the provisions in 210.70(A), (B) and (C). Last month’s In Focus completed the discussion of additional locations in dwelling units. This month’s discussion continues with required lighting outlets in storage or equipment spaces.

At least one lighting outlet must be installed in certain areas and spaces of dwelling units that are used for storage or contain equipment requiring servicing. Storage or equipment spaces include attics, underfloor spaces, utility rooms and basements. The lighting outlet must either contain a switch or be controlled by a wall switch. For example, an unfinished basement in a one-family dwelling will be used for storage, but will not contain equipment. Entrance to the storage space is through a door in the recreational room. The recreational room is finished and the electrical system is in compliance with 210.52 and 210.70. A receptacle controlled by a wall switch has been installed in lieu of a lighting outlet. Since the basement will be used for storage, at least one lighting outlet must be installed. Although the lighting outlet could contain a switch, this one will be controlled by a wall switch (See Figure 1). It is not permissible to install a wall switch-controlled receptacle in lieu of a lighting outlet in storage and/or equipment spaces.

The location of the switch, whether wall mounted or part of the lighting outlet, is stipulated in this provision. At least one point of control for the lighting outlet shall be located at the usual point of entry to attics, underfloor spaces, utility rooms and basements that are used for storage or contain equipment requiring servicing. The switch (or lighting outlet containing a switch) must be at the usual point of entry. For example, the crawl space under a dwelling contains heating and air-conditioning equipment mounted to the bottom side of the floor joist. Since this crawl space contains equipment that will require servicing, a lighting outlet must be installed. The switch must be mounted at the usual point of entry, which in this installation is the crawl space door (See Figure 2). Since this space contains heating and air-conditioning equipment, a receptacle must be located on the same level and within 25 feet (7.5m) of the equipment [210.63]. All 125V, single-phase, 15 and 20A receptacles installed in crawl spaces (at or below grade level) must have ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel [210.8(A)(4)].

The last sentence in 210.70(A)(3) requires the lighting outlet be located at or near the equipment that requires servicing. A separate lighting outlet, installed just for the equipment, is not required. The lighting outlet could serve more than one purpose. For example, the basement of a dwelling contains an electric water heater in one corner and air conditioning equipment in another. As long as illumination is provided for the basement and for the equipment requiring servicing, one lighting outlet could be installed (See Figure 3). Although only one point of control is required, additional switches at other points of entry could be installed for convenience and safety.

If the equipment is located in a separate room within the basement, another lighting outlet must be installed. The switch (or the lighting outlet containing a switch) must be at the entry to this room. For example, the basement of a dwelling contains air-conditioning equipment and a water heater. The basement is identical to the one in Figure 3 except the equipment is in a separate room. A switched lighting outlet must be installed in the basement and the room containing the equipment (See Figure 4).

Unless these spaces will be used for storage or contain equipment requiring servicing, no lighting outlet is required. Most of the time, attics, utility rooms and basements will be used for storage and/or contain equipment requiring servicing. Therefore, at least one lighting outlet will be required. Lighting outlets are not as often installed in underfloor spaces (or crawl spaces) because many are not used for storage or contain equipment requiring servicing.

Caution is advised when a gas water heater is installed in an underfloor space. Although it requires servicing, a gas water heater does not meet the definition of equipment in the National Electrical Code. Equipment, as defined in Article 100, is a general term including material, fittings, devices, appliances, luminaires (fixtures), apparatus and the like used as a part of, or in connection with, an electrical installation. While not required by the NEC, an outlet is required in most (if not all) mechanical codes. Check with local codes to see if a lighting outlet is required at or near non-electrical equipment. A gas water heater with an electric motor for venting exhaust is defined as equipment, and therefore a lighting outlet is required.

The next provision in 210.70 pertains to hotel and motel guest rooms. At least one wall switch-controlled lighting outlet or wall switch-controlled receptacle must be installed in guest rooms in hotels, motels, or similar occupancies [210.70(B)]. The wall switch could control a ceiling- or wall-mounted luminaire … or instead, it could control a receptacle. For example, each two-bed guest room in a hotel has a lamp on the table between the beds. The lamp is plugged into the bottom receptacle of a split-wired duplex receptacle. The bottom receptacle is controlled by a wall switch at the entrance to the sleeping area. Because of the wall switch-controlled receptacle, this installation is in compliance with 210.70(B) (See Figure 5).

The last provision in this section (and chapter) pertains to other than dwelling units. This subsection is almost identical to 210.70(A)(3). For attics and underfloor spaces of nondwelling occupancies, at least one lighting outlet containing a switch or controlled by a wall switch must be installed where these spaces contain equipment requiring servicing. Unlike 210.70(A)(3), this section provides examples of equipment requiring servicing. Although heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment is listed, this provision includes all equipment that requires servicing. The one (or more) control points must be at the usual point of entry to these spaces. The one (or more) lighting outlets installed to meet this requirement must be provided at or near the equipment requiring servicing. EC

MILLER, owner of Lighthouse Educational Services, teaches classes and seminars on the electrical industry. He is the author of “Illustrated Guide to the National Electrical Code” and NFPA’s “Electrical Reference.” He can be reached at 615.333-3336, charles@charlesRmiller.com or www.charlesRmiller.com.