2017 NEC: Wiring And Protection—Significant Changes in the 2017 NEC, Part 3

By Michael Johnston | Oct 15, 2016




This article is the third part in a series that provides a review of the more significant revisions and new requirements included in the 2017 edition of the National Electrical Code (NEC). This part provides a review of some significant changes in the articles in Chapter 2, Wiring and Protection.
 Visit for this full series.

(Editor's Note: An earlier version of this article included an entry for 
230.70(A)(4) on Service Disconnects on One- and Two-Family Dwellings
. After this article was written, this change was reversed by an action on the floor of the NFPA annual meeting, and as a result, the change never appeared in the NEC. We apologize for any confusion.)

Article 210­—Branch Circuits

210.8(B) GFCI Protection in Other than Dwelling Units

Section 210.8(B) now applies to all ­single-phase receptacles rated 150 volts (V) to ground or less and 50 amperes (A) or less as well as three-phase receptacles rated 150V to ground or less and 100A or less. The list of locations is expanded to include receptacle outlets in crawl spaces and receptacles in unfinished basements in 210.8(B)(10).

210.12(B) Branch Circuit Extensions or Modifications—Dwelling Units and Dormitory Units

The existing requirements for arc-fault circuit-interrupter (AFCI) protection of branch-circuit extensions or modifications in dwelling units have been expanded to include dormitories. The same hazards exist in dormitories. AFCI protection in dormitories is expanded to include all outlets and devices in dormitory bathrooms.

210.12(C) Guest Rooms and 
Guest Suites

New subdivision (C), Guest Rooms and Guest Suites, has been added to Section 210.12. All 120V, single-phase, 15A and 20A branch circuits supplying outlets and devices installed in guest rooms and suites of hotels and motels must be protected by any of the AFCI methods listed in 210.12(A)(1) through (6). This new AFCI requirement applies to all guest rooms and suites without regard to cooking provisions.

210.52(B)(1) Receptacle 
Outlets Served

Exception No. 2 to 210.52(B)(1) previously permitted only refrigeration equipment to be supplied by an individual branch circuit 15A or greater. This revision eliminates the potential conflict with 210.22, which provides general permission for individual branch circuits. This expands this permissive exception to other appliances, such as dishwashers, garbage disposals and microwaves, that may be supplied from a receptacle outlet.

210.71 Meeting Rooms

A new Section 210.71, Meeting Rooms, has been added to Article 210. This rule provides minimum requirements for installing receptacles in meeting rooms. All meeting rooms of not more than 1,000 square feet in other than dwelling units are now required to have receptacle outlets installed. Where movable partitions exist, room size is determined with partitions resulting in the smallest size meeting room(s). A minimum number of receptacle outlets is required and location are permitted to be determined by the owner or designer. 

As an aside, the National Electrical Contractors Association still believes this is a design issue, and the new requirement will result in inconsistent application in the field. However, it is a good start to address an identified need for required receptacles to minimize misuse of cords and power strips.

Article 240—
Overcurrent Protection

240.67 Arc Energy Reduction

Section 240.67, Arc Energy Reduction, has been added to Article 240. A means of “arc energy reduction” applies to all fuses rated 1,200A or higher. This requirement has a delayed implementation of Jan. 1, 2020, to permit the industry to develop feasible solutions. The methods to reduce arc energy in 240.67 are similar to those in 240.87 with an additional provision permitting a fuse that would open the circuit in 0.07 seconds or less at or below the available arcing current.

This series will continue in the November issue. For more information and to view all the proposed revisions, visit

About The Author

A man, Mike Johnston, in front of a gray background.

Michael Johnston

NECA Executive Director of Codes and Standards

JOHNSTON is NECA’s executive director of codes and standards. He is a member of the NEC Correlating Committee, NFPA Standards Council, IBEW, UL Electrical Council and NFPA’s Electrical Section. Reach him at [email protected]


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