Effective September 1, 2008, the Texas Department of Licensing and Registration will adopt the 2008 National Electrical Code (NEC) as the electrical code for the State thereby establishing the NEC 2008 as the “minimum standard” for all electrical work in Texas. The new code supersedes the 2005 edition of the NEC, which was implemented in July 2005.
Prior to September 1, 2004, Texas did not have a statewide electrical code. Cities and regional authorities were authorized to adopt and enforce local electrical codes, but many areas of rural Texas had no basic requirements.
House Bill 1487, a law passed by the 78th Texas Legislature that created the Electrical Safety Program and a state electrical license, also authorized the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation to adopt the NEC as the statewide electrical code, and to adopt the revised version of the code as it is updated every three years.
There are several revisions to the 2008 National Electrical Code that immediately impact the Texas homebuilder. A discussion of these revisions is noted below:
2008 NEC - 210.8 – Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter Protection
The 2008 NEC has revised this article by requiring all receptacles in garages and sheds to be GFCI protected. The exceptions of 210.8 (A)(2) in the 2005 NEC have been deleted from the 2008 code. All 125-volt single phase, 15- and 20-amp receptacles regardless of location or accessibility must now be GFCI protected.
2008 NEC 210.12 – Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter Protection
This section of the 2008 NEC has been revised to include a list of rooms and areas where the serving branch circuits are required to be protected by arc-fault circuit-interrupter protection. The code states that AFCI protection is required for 120-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere branch circuits installed in family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways, or similar rooms or areas. Areas exempt from the requirement are kitchens, bathrooms, garages, basements, and other areas or rooms not specifically identified. The AFCI-protective devises must be listed combination-types.
406.11 Tamper-Resistant Receptacles in Dwelling Units
The requirement for tamper-resistant 15- and 20-amp receptacles in dwelling units was added to the 2008 Code to increase safety for children. All areas specified in article 210.52 will now require taper-resistant receptacles.