Revisions in Chapter 4

This Article focuses on revisions in Chapter 4 of the 2020 NEC , “Equipment for General Use,” and it includes the requirements for equipment such as switches, luminaires, panelboards, switchboards, transformers, appliances and so forth. This part of the series provides a look at some significant changes in Articles 400 through 490.

Section 404.14 Rating and Use of Snap Switches

Section 404.14 has been revised and requires all switches to be listed and used within their ratings. Permitted loads on switches are clarified in subdivisions (A) through (E), and electronic control switches are permitted to control permanently connected loads and must be applied within their ratings.

Section 406.13 Single-Pole Separable Connectors

New Section 406.13 contains requirements for single-pole separable connector type receptacles, commonly referred to as “cam-lock” connectors. These connectors are required to be listed and be of the locking or latching type. Prescriptive steps for connecting and disconnecting are provided and must be provided on the equipment. Single-pole separable connectors must be used only by a qualified person and comply with one of three methods for connection and disconnection as provided in this section.

Section 408.18(C) Connections

Requirements for barriers to prevent inadvertent contact that were previously found in Section 408.3 have been relocated to Section 230.62(C). New Section 408.18(C) includes previous requirements in 408.3(D) and provides prescriptive requirements for load-side connections. Switchboard and switchgear sections requiring rear or side access must be marked as such on the front of the equipment and must comply with 110.26.

Section 410.7 Reconditioned Equipment

Section 410.7 is new and provides requirements for reconditioned equipment. In general, luminaires and lampholders are required to be listed and are not permitted to be reconditioned. Where a listed retrofit kit is installed in a luminaire in accordance with installation instructions, the retrofitted luminaire is not considered to be reconditioned.

Section 410.69 Identification of Control Conductor Insulation

Where control conductors are spliced, terminated or connected in the same luminaire or enclosure as the branch-circuit conductors, the field-connected control conductors are not permitted to be of a color that is used for the grounded branch-circuit conductor or the equipment grounding conductor. To give lighting control manufacturers time for adjusting their equipment instructions and color code schemes, this requirement shall become effective Jan. 1, 2022.

Article 410, Part XVI Special Provisions for Horticultural Lighting Equipment

New Part XVI includes rules for horticultural lighting equipment. These requirements will impact the rapidly increasing industry of indoor plant growing facilities, specifically, marijuana grow facilities. These lighting installations are subject to increased temperatures, humidity and water spray, and they require unique support, flexibility and regular maintenance.

Section 440.9 Grounding and Bonding

Section 440.9 now applies only where compression-type fittings are used in rooftop installations to supply air conditioning and refrigeration equipment. The revisions provide clarification about fittings with threads. The raceway .42 sections require that in wet locations Section 314.15 applies to couplings and connectors.

Section 445.18(D) Emergency Shut Down in One- and Two-Family Dwelling Units

New subdivision (D) requires an emergency shutdown device located outside of one- and two-family dwellings for other than cord and plug connected portable generators. The emergency shutdown device is required to be installed at a readily accessible location.

Section 450.9 Ventilation

A new last sentence has been added to Section 450.9 and requires the top of transformers that are horizontal and readily accessible to be marked to prohibit storage or use as a table. The intent is to reduce or eliminate hazards created by storing material on top of transformers.

Section 480.7(G) Identification of Power Sources

New first level subdivision (G), “Identification of Power Sources,” requires permanent plaques or directories for identification of power sources. Section 480.7(G)(1) applies to facilities with utility services and battery systems, and Section 480.7(G)(2) applies to facilities with stand-alone systems.

Section 490.49 Reconditioned Switchgear

New Section 490.49 addresses reconditioning of medium-voltage switchgear. Reconditioned switchgear must be either listed or field labeled as reconditioned and previous listing marks removed. Electrical equipment damaged by fire, or products of combustion or water must be specifically evaluated by the manufacturer or a qualified testing laboratory. The National Equipment Manufacturers Association provides a policy on reconditioned equipment and valuable guidelines for water-damaged and fire- and smoke-damaged electrical equipment.

About the Author

Michael Johnston

Executive Director of Standards and Safety, NECA

Michael Johnston is NECA’s executive director of standards and safety. He is chair of the NEC Correlating Committee; chair of the NFPA Electrical Section; and a member of the IBEW, NFPA Education Section and the UL Electrical Council. Reach him at mj...

Stay Informed Join our Newsletter

Having trouble finding time to sit down with the latest issue of
ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR? Don't worry, we'll come to you.