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2017 NEC Significant Code Changes

The Texas Electrical Safety and Licensing Act requires the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) to adopt the revised National Electrical Code (NEC) as the electrical code for the state of Texas. In August 2017, the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation, which oversees TDLR, adopted amendments to Chapter 73.100 of the Electricians administrative rules and established the 2017 NEC as the "minimum standard" for all electrical work in Texas covered by the Act. The effective date was September 15, 2017.

Expectations are that any non-exempt electrical work started on or after September 15, 2017 will have to be installed in accordance with the 2017 NEC. For purposes of clarification, the “start” of electrical work is the day the electrician begins installing electrical materials or equipment within the residential or commercial building structure. Inside the corporate limits of a municipality, electricians must abide by city permitting requirements and adhere to any local code amendments.

There are several changes to the 2017 National Electrical Code that immediately impact the Texas homebuilder. A discussion of some of these revisions is noted below:

210.8 – Receptacle Measurement

For the purpose of this section, when determining distance from receptacles, the distance shall be measured from the shortest path the cord of the appliance connected to the receptacle would follow without piercing a floor, wall, ceiling or fixed barrier, or passing through a door, doorway or window.

Application: The receptacle below the kitchen sink does not require GFCI protection.

210.119(C)(4) – Garage Branch Circuits

In addition to the number of branch circuits required by other parts of this section, at least one 120-volt, 20-ampere branch circuit shall be installed to supply receptacle outlets in attached and detached garages with electrical power. This circuit shall have no other outlets.

Exception: This circuit shall be permitted to supply readily accessible outdoor receptacle outlets.

Application: The garage receptacle circuit must be served by a 20-amp breaker and is permitted to supply readily accessible (grade level) outdoor receptacle outlets.

210.52(G)(1) – Dwelling Unit Garages

In each attached or detached garage with electrical power at least one receptacle outlet shall be installed in each vehicle bay and not more than 5 ½ feet above the floor.

Application: the 2014 NEC required one receptacle to be installed for each car space. The 2017 NEC requires one receptacle outlet shall be installed in each vehicle bay and not more than 5 ½ feet above the floor.

Please contact us should you require assistance on these or other code related issues. Qualified Inspection Services provides third party residential inspection services designed to keep builders code compliant. To find out how our services may benefit your company, contact us today.


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