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Electrical Code Revisions

2012 Code Revision and Interpretation Committee Code Interpretation
(Last Updated: January 30, 2013)

In an effort to help the electrical industry make a smooth transition into the new Electrical Code and ensure the continuity in the performance of electrical work, the Department of Buildings will be posting code interpretations on its website. Listed below are new code-related questions and corresponding interpretations by the Code Committee. The users of this list should have available the 2005 edition of the NEC and the associated  NYC Amendments to the 2005 NEC (Local Law 49/06) (PDF) that went into effect on January 1, 2007.

To learn more about what each chapter / topic is about, click on the chapter number.

To find questions on the related topic, click on the topic or section code.

ChapterDescription
Chapter 1:General (Section 110.2/110.79)
Chapter 2:Wiring and Protection (Section 200.1/285.25)
Chapter 3:Wiring Methods & Materials
(Section 300.1/398.104)
Chapter 4:Equipment for General Use
(Section 400.1/490.74)
Chapter 5:Special Occupancies (Section 500.1/590.7)
Chapter 6:Special Equipment (Section 600.1/695.14)
Chapter 7:Special Conditions (Section 700.1/780.7)
Chapter 8:Communications Systems
(Section 800.1/830.179)
Table:Requirements for conductors and conduits
Annex D:Calculation examples
Article:A subdivision of a Chapter, comprised of a certain number of Sections
Administrative:General Requirements
(Local Laws 64/2001 and 49/2006)

 

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Chapter 1: General (Section 110.2 to 110.79) 
 

Section 110.26(A) - (4/4/2012)

Q: Do fire pump controllers have to follow code 110.26(F) or does it fall under the exception?

I would like to locate a fire pump controller in the same room as the proposed location for the fire pump but there are foreign system above (steam piping, sprinkler piping, ductwork, etc …) Would it  be permitted to located the fire pump controller below a foreign systems?

According to the NFPA 20 Standard for the Installation of Stationary Pumps for Fire Protection section 12.2.4 working clearances shall comply with NFPA 70 article 110. They do not mention dedicated equipment space.

A. No, not permitted. The intent of section 110.26(F) is to provide adequate space for conduits terminated at equipment listed under the section and is not applicable to the Fire Pump controllers. The Fire Pump is life safety equipment and must be installed in a rated space to ensure no interruption in power or operation.

Your installation and the space you had described above shall comply with NYC EC Section 695.12(E). Your installation must comply with all applicable codes including NYC Fire Code Section 913.2, and referenced standards NFPA 20 Section 4.12.1. The proposed controller installation is subject to damage and providing drip pans don’t protect against bursting steam or water pipes. See below referenced sections.

NYC Fire Code
FC 913.2 Protection against interruption of service. The fire pump, driver, and controller shall be protected in accordance with NFPA 20 against possible interruption of service through damage caused by explosion, fire, flood, earthquake, rodents, insects, windstorm, freezing, vandalism and other adverse conditions.

NFPA 20
4.12.1* General Requirements. The fire pump, driver, controller, water supply, and power supply shall be protected against possible interruption of service through damage caused by explosion, fire, flood, earthquake, rodents, insects, windstorm, freezing, vandalism, and other adverse conditions.

 

Section 110.26(F) - (4/4/2012)

Q: In an electric closet we are required to provide a ceiling mounted 45 KVA transformer. Section 110.26(A) requires a minimum working space of 3 feet.

a. Does section 110.26 (A) & 110.26(A)(1) pertain to ceiling mounted transformers?
b. Since the transformer will not likely require adjustment, servicing, or maintenance, does section 110.26(A)(1) apply?

A. a. Yes, Section 110.26(A) requirements apply to all electrical equipment to permit ready and safe operation and maintenance of such equipment. Also, transformer accessibility per section 450.13 must be provided.

b. Yes, Section 110.26(A)(1) requires such working space for equipment that likely to require examination, adjustment, servicing or maintenance while energized. See excerpt from NEC 2008 Handbook in regard to examination inclusions:

“It is important to understand that the word examination, as used in 110.26(A), includes such tasks as checking for the presence of voltage using a portable voltmeter.”

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CHAPTER 2: Wiring and Protection (Code Section 200.1 to 285.25) 
 

Section 215 and 220 - (2/1/2012)

Q: We are designing a very tall residential building. An electrical contractor, in an effort to reduce the cost of construction, believes that we are interpreting the code wrong.

Can the code calculated demand load be discounted to a lower voltage drop calculations that must meet the New York City Electrical Code, section 215.2 based upon an opinion (formed from measurements in similar buildings) that the feeder will actually carry less current that the code calculated demand?

A. No, subsection 215.2(A)(1) and section 220.40 clearly require that the feeder conductor ampacity shall not be less than the required to supply loads as calculated in Parts III, IV and V of Article 220.

Only as the code allows, correction and demand factors may be applied. Energy saving–type calculations (or opinion formed by measurements) are not permitted to be used to determine the minimum calculated lighting load if they produce loads less than the load calculated according to 220.12.

Also, to clarify another concern you had, If the design team chooses to apply ASHRAE 90.1-2007, the electrical design must comply with the voltage drop required by the standards, otherwise, NYC EC exceptions subsection 215.2(A)(1) maybe used.

 

Section 215 and 408 - (2/1/2012)

Q: Limited electrical upgrading has been included in the scope of work limited to repair and/or replacement of some apartment panels and raceways located in kitchen pipe-chases that are shared with water risers and drainage stacks. The electrical items were installed over 70 years ago and may be beyond their useful life.
The panels are located in the kitchen chase wall above the range or sink as per the attached photos. The panels are installed approximately 6ft AFF or 2 ½ ft above the range or sink. We intend to perform work in compliance with the NYC Electrical Code 2011.

1) By replacing the apartment riser conduits, I do not anticipate any Code issues with the service equipment in the meter rooms.
a) Can we keep the service equipment as they are since there is no scheduled work in the meter room?

2) The existing apartment panels do not have dedicated equipment or work space.
a) If we are only repairing the backboxes (enclosure):
i) Can we keep the original panel and all components?
ii) Can these panels remain at the existing location per original installation?
b) If we are only re-feeding these backboxes with new conductors using the same riser conduit:
i) Can we keep the original panel and all components?
ii) Can these panels remain at the existing location per original installation?

3) If Code requires relocating the apartment panels to a Code compliant location with dedicated work space and equipment space, this may pose as a “hardship” due to apartment configurations.
a) Depending on the building, there is limited space where these panels can be relocated. Is this decision final?
b) Will the BEC/DOB consider a "Code Variance" with all necessary documentation to support this request?

4) If the apartment panels need to be relocated, the existing branch circuits will be extended to the new panel locations.
a) Can we keep and reinstall the old panels and the original circuit breakers at the
new location? Some circuit breakers are not compliant to NYCEC 2011, i.e. AFCI
type breakers

5) The scope of work does not include existing receptacles, lights, switches and other
devices in the apartments. Some of these devices do not comply with the NYCEC
2011.
a) If we only re-feed the apartment panels with new conductors and keeping the original location:
i) Do we need to include work on the devices in the apartment to comply with NYCEC 2011?
ii) Do we need to include work on the branch circuit wiring in the apartment to comply with NYCEC 2011?
b) If we relocate the panel and extend the branch circuits:
i) Do we need to include work on the devices in the apartment to comply with NYCEC 2011?
ii) Do we need to include work on the branch circuit wiring in the apartment to comply with NYCEC 2011?

A. General Statement:
The following conditions are applicable and shall be met for all work involving replacing feeders and associated overcurrent protections:
1) The existing apartment’s panelboard short circuit must be adequate to withstand the new short circuit. Refer to section 408.36.
2) Risers and associated overcurrent protections shall be sized in accordance with 2011 NYC EC. Refer to sections 215.2, and 215.3.
3) Service calculation is required to confirm that the existing service and equipment are adequate for the future or anticipated remodeling loads. Refer to sections 220.16, and 230.42.

1a) Yes, with the general statement conditions are met.

2a)
i) Yes; since no new work or alteration is being done.
ii) Yes; since no new work or alteration is being done.
2b)
i) Yes, with the general statement conditions are met.
ii) Yes.

3a) Yes, refer to sections 312.2, and 110.26.
3b) Yes, an application must be submitted to The Electrical Advisory Board.

4a) No, you cant reinstall old equipment at new location. No. (AFCI are not required under described scope of work).

5a)
i) No; since no new work or alteration is being done, the general statement conditions are met.
ii) No; since no new work or alteration is being done, the general statement conditions are met.
5b)
i) No; since no new work or alteration is being done, the general statement conditions are met.
ii) No; since no new work or alteration is being done, the general statement conditions are met.

 

Section 215 and 220 - (4/4/2012)

Q: In an apartment building, where each of the apartments is directly metered, power is distributed to panelboards at 120/208 V via 3-wire feeders. It is intended to supply up to three (3) sets of 3-wire feeders utilizing a common neutral conductor. All conductors will be enclosed in a common raceway. Refer to the attached sketch SKE-020312 for an illustration. Ampacities of conductors will be derated recognizing that the neutral conductor is considered as a current carrying conductor.

We are asking for confirmation that the use of common neutral for such application meets the requirements of the New York City Electrical Code.

A. Yes as stipulated. The current NYC Electrical Code takes no exception to the installation you have described and represented in your sketch, however, neutral conductor has to be over sized to carry the neutral current from the two B phases.

Even with three sets of feeders used to balance the neutral loads; it is still a possible that one apartment’s overcurrent device is turned off due to vacancy or electrical work, this will introduce a possibility of overloading on the neutral conductor. See Section 220.61(A) Exception.

 

Section 215.2(A)(1) - (4/4/2012)

Q: New York City amendment 215.2A1 has been rewritten for the 2011: code; it specifically says that the minimum size feeder to a dwelling unit shall be number eight copper or number 6 aluminum. It does not mention the number of conductors or whether the apartment has to be supplied by 208v or 240v. This  change effectively reduces the previous requirement( ampacity) by 50%.

Our specific question is:- Is it permissible to install a two wire circuit as a feeder to a dwelling unit; assuming the capacity is correct ?

If the answer to the above question is yes, will it be permissible to install a four wire feeder to supply three separate dwelling units ?

A. 1. No. The intent of section 215.2(A)(1) is to serve dwelling units with minimum #8 AWG CU or #6 AWG AL feeder conductors, minimum feeder conductors shall be 3-wire circuit consisting of two phase conductors, neutral conductor, and nominal voltage of 120/240-volt or 208Y/120-volt.

2. N/A.

 

Section 220.14(M) - (10/3/2012)

Q: According to the NYC Electrical Technical Provisions and Amendment of 2011, Article 220, paragraph 220.14 (M), Air Conditioning Circuits, which states that; A load of not less than 1500 VA shall be included with each 2 wire circuit. This load shall be permitted to be included with the general lighting load and subject to section 220.42 and table 220.42.
 
a. Was this article meant for a 2 wire, 120 Volt window AC type of air conditioning?
b. Would this article apply for 120/208 Volt, single phase AC load (not heat pump), whether air or water cooled?

A. a) Yes.  b) No. For One-Family dwelling Section 220.60 shall apply, for Multi-Family dwellings section 220.84(C)(5) shall apply. 

If the system doesn’t provide cooling for the entire dwelling, additional spaces shall be provided with receptacle outlets as required by section 210.52(I). 

 

Section 230 and 404 - (12/5/2012)

Q: In the city, the fire alarm circuit is usually tapped ahead of the main with a fusible disconnect switch.
1. With a combo trans-s/ main disconnect, can this tap be made after the meter but before the switch without violating the UL listing of the combo unit?
2. Do you know how this is typically accomplished in the city?

A: 1. Taps (in-field) ahead of the main service disconnecting mean for fire alarm connection shall be made using factory installed taps or provision clearly identified for such use. Taps made in field are not evaluated with original equipment’s listing. The manufacturer shall be consulted in order to assure compliance with listing for all field modifications. 

2. When made using factory installed taps or provision clearly identified for such use.

Section 230 and 760 - (10/3/2012)

Q: Please also refer to article 760
1.  Can the service disconnecting means for a fire alarm system at 3 phase, 5 wire be rated at 30 amperes?
2.  Does the service disconnecting means for a fire alarm system count towards one of the six switches/circuit breakers allowable?
3.  Does the service disconnecting means for a fire alarm system require a grounding electrode conductor?
4a.  Can the grounding electrode conductor for a fire alarm system rated at 30 amperes be a #10 awg copper?
4b.  Can the grounding electrode conductor for a fire alarm system rated at 60 amperes be a #10 awg copper?
5.  Can the equipment grounding conductor for a DGP, TTB, or NAC panel rated at 20 amperes be a #12 awg copper?

A. 1. No, refer to 230.79(D).
2. No. Refer to 230.40 exception No. 5 and 230.82(5).
3. Yes, refer to 760.33(A).
4.a. Yes, when fire alarm service switch complies with 230.79(B). See 760.33(A).
4.b. No. Refer to 760.33(A) and Table 250.66.
5. No. Minimum is #10 AWG. Refer to 760.33(B).

Section 230.6 - (4/4/2012)

Q: 1. Does the current NYC code permit the installation of concrete encased service conductor as per 230.6(1) and (2)? (attached)

2. Does the code limit the length of concrete encased service conductors from the service end box or property line manhole?

3. When utilizing concrete encased service conductor from service end box, does the service end box “have to be” in the same room as the utility company current transformer cabinet and service switch? (See previous Committee response from 6/2/2004)

4. If the answer to Question #3 is no, does the service end box have to be fire rated? (See previous Committee response from 6/2/2004)

A. 1. Yes. ; 2. No; 3. No; 4. No.

 

Section 230.71(A) - (4/4/2012)

Q: Since the fire pump service switch is locked in the “On position” and isn’t shut down under emergency (fire) conditions, Is the fire pump service switch still counted as one of the maximum 6 disconnecting means allowed in section 230.71(A)?

A. No, not counted. See Sections 230.40 Exception No. 5, 230.71(A), and 230.82(5).

 

Section 240.2(C) - (6/6/2012)

Q: For a 480-208/120V 3 phase, 4wire Delta-Wye dry type distribution transformer having transformer primary over-current protection set at a maximum of 125% of the rated transformer primary current, per 450.3(B) transformer secondary over-current protection is not required. The transformer secondary is permitted to serve up to six secondary over-current protective devices provided their aggregate ampacity does not exceed 125% of the rated transformer secondary current.

Per article 240.21(C) the transformer secondary conductors are required to have over-current protection at the point where they receive their supply or as permitted in 240.21(C) (1) thru (6).

1. Are the number of secondary conductor taps and over-current protective devices still limited to six maximum ?
2. Is the maximum aggregate trip ampere ratings of the secondary conductor over-current protective device still limited to a maximum of 125% of the rated transformer secondary current ?
3. Do the secondary conductor taps have to originate at the transformer secondary ?
4. If the answer to 3. is no, what is the maximum secondary conductor length permitted prior to multiple taps being made ?
5. If the answers to 1 & 2 is no is the secondary conductor ampere rating required to be increased to the aggregate trip ampere ratings of the secondary over-current protective devices ?

A. 1. No.
2. No.
3. Yes.
4. N/A.
5. No, the secondary conductor ampere rating must comply with one sets of rules from 240.21(C)(1) through (6).

 

Section 250 - (4/4/2012)

Q: We are working as consulting engineers for the Landlord of an all-concrete building that was erected approximately 25 years ago. There is no building steel. There are a number of 460v- 120/208v step down transformers that were part of the original building installation, and some of these were grounded by wrapping a ground wire around the conduit carrying the 460v feed to the respective transformers. Others were grounded by a connection via a ground clamp to the cold water fill line that runs from the water service entrance to the house tank. The connections to the water pipe are made on the floors where the respective transformers are located. We note that bonding jumpers have been installed around the water meter and around the pumps to assure that the above noted water fill line constitutes a continuous path to ground.

We are specifying the replacement of three of the original transformers.
 
1. Would grounding the transformer to the cold water line as noted above via an approved ground clamp be acceptable?

2. If the answer to Item 1 above is no, what would be an acceptable means of grounding the transformer?

A. 1. No. Connection to cold water line as described is in violation of section 250.52(A)(1), the connection must be made within 5 feet from the point of entrance of the metal underground water pipe.
Please note that NYC Electrical Code has deleted the exception under subsection 250.52(A)(1).

2. Either methods indicated in section 250.30(A)(3) for single separately derived system, or section 250.30(A)(4) for multiple separately derived systems can be used. Since your building is concrete; section 250.30(A)(7)(1) is applicable for this specific installation.

 

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CHAPTER 3: Wiring Methods and Materials (Code Section 300.1 to 398-104)

Section 300 - (10/3/2012)

Q: I want to secure #12 AWG THHN stranded conductors to the screw terminal of wiring devices, duplex receptacles and/or toggle switches, even though the stranded conductor spreads and does not make full contact with the screw terminal and remains undamaged throughout the maneuver. Can I just wrap the stranded conductor around the screw terminal and tighten using a torque screwdriver or must I use a T & B Sta-Kon crimp terminal to prevent the strands from spreading? There is another method that comes to mind, strip a small portion of insulation and allow it to cover the tip of the strands, thereby minimizing the amount of spread at the conductor end. If I must use a crimp terminal or some other method, please explain why since there is no mention of this in Section 110.4 or anywhere else in the Code.

I understand some contractors have received a violation on this matter using section 110.14 of the Code.

A. UL Listed receptacles are evaluated for use with solid and stranded conductors. Also, 2012 UL White Book permits terminals of a receptacle are permitted for use with certified field-installed crimped-on wire connectors or an assembly, if so identified by the manufacturer. (Refer to UL product category RTRT).
General use switches are Listed for use with only solid conductors unless otherwise indicated in their installation instructions. 2012 UL White Book doesn’t include permitting language to use certified crimped-on wire connectors or an assembly. (Refer to UL product category WMUZ).

 

Section 300.3(C)(1) - (10/3/2012)

Q: Can you install both lv and line voltage in same conduit
As per the articles mentioned above - you are allowed to mix voltages in same conduit provided the insulation is rated for and is does not exceed 600 volts.
Please clarify – can this be done – yes   no
Enclosed is a section of the code book along with an explanation from code book city of new york (attachment 1).

A. Yes, unless specifically prohibited in other articles. The section you are referencing 300.3(C)(1) is applicable to circuit rated 600V or less; the intent of this section is to allow wiring of 208Y/120V system to be installed with 480Y/277V or 120/240V systems. Chapters 1 through 4 of the NYC Electrical Code are applicable to all electrical installation unless amended by other chapters, in order to comply with the code you must comply with all applicable articles, your reference is misleading since it did not refer you to any exceptions, Articles such 386.70, 388.70, 690.4, 700, 725, 720, 760, and NYC Electrical Code Amendments for additional rules.

Also, refer to the NEC handbook commentary regarding this section’s intent and additional clarifications.

 

Section 300.3(C)(1)(a) - (10/3/2012)

Q: BACKGROUND:
An industrial customer has proposed the installation of a 480 volt MOTOR CONTROL CENTER with double feed.   A line diagram is attached.   The MCC has a integral 30 amp main breaker for the left side, an integral 30 amp main breaker for the right side and a TIE-BREAKER in the center.   Each MCC cubicle has a 3 amp HMCP, a motor starter and a fused control transformer providing 120 volts for the control circuit.   All conductors leaving the MCC are rated 600 volts.  The two incoming 480 volt feeds are derived from two nearby step-up transformers each 15 KVA  208 to 480.  The main breakers in the MCC provide the secondary OCP for the transformer secondaries (attachment 2).

The 15 KVA step-up transformers are feed from a larger 208 volt MCC which in turn is feed from step-down transformers 4160 to 208

The 4160 feeder is a private network and is at least the second fusing from the utility.

NYC Electric Code Amendment 300.C1a  states that circuits from different sources over 250 volts between conductors shall not share raceways and enclosures unless barriers are provided, or unless after the third OCP device.  It states that transformers shall be considered a "SOURCE".

QUESTION #1:
With respect to NYC Electric Code Amendment  300.3C1a   can the 480 volt 3 phase motor circuits from the above described MCC share conduits and enclosures (without barriers) with its own associated 120 volt control circuit?

QUESTION #2:
With respect to NYC Electric Code Amendment  300.3C1a   can the 480 volt 3 phase motor circuits from the above described MCC share conduits and enclosures (without barriers) with 120 volt control circuits for other motors fed from other sources?

QUESTION #3:
With respect to NYC Electric Code Amendment  300.3C1a   can the 480 volt 3 phase motor circuits from the above described MCC share conduits and enclosures (without barriers) with other 480 volt motor circuits fed from other sources?

QUESTION #4:
The motors in this discussion are 3/4 HP.  In an identical arrangement but with larger motors - for example 20HP - would the answers to questions #1, #2 or #3  be different?

A. NYC Electrical Code section 300.3(C)(1)(a) is applicable to the most upstream equipment (service distribution equipment level) and not applicable to equipment at utilization end in your case.
Question #1 thru #4; yes.

 

Section 330.12 - (10/3/2012)

Q: We reference the NYC Electrical Technical Provisions and Amendments of 2011, Article 330, Metal-Glad Cable, Type MC.

As stated in these paragraphs 330.12, (4) and (5), "Uses Not Permitted":
(4) Where the cable has an outer jacket of PVC, in residential buildings exceeding 3 floors above grade.
(5) Where the cable has and outer jacket of PVC, in any nonresidential building unless concealed within non-plenum walls, floors and ceilings where the walls, floors and ceilings provide a thermal barrier of material that has at least a 1 hour rated assembly as identified in listings of fire rated assemblies.

Question 1: Is use of MC cable with outer PVC jacket permitted in concrete slabs of a multi dwelling building over 3 stories, provided cable does not extend beyond concrete slab?

A. Yes; with concrete cover that provides 1-houre fire rating.

 

Section 330.12 - (10/3/2012)

Q: High Voltage Distribution: According to Section 330.12 of NYC 2011 Electrical Code, "Type MC cable shall not be used under any of the following conditions: (4) where the cable has an outer jacket of PVC, in residential buildings exceeding three floors above grade."

However, it is our understanding that MC EZ-JKT (Type CT for concrete) shall be permitted in residential and commercial buildings exceeding three floors when concealed within rated non-plenum walls, floors, and ceilings. Please confirm it is acceptable to install MC EZ-JKT (Type CT for concrete) in buildings exceeding three floors when this product is installed within the concrete deck slab.

Telecom Distribution (Verizon and Time Warner): According to Section 352.10 (I) of NYC 2011 Electrical Code, “Rigid Polyvinyl Chloride Conduit: Type PVC” conduits are permitted "in any residential building or dwelling unit not exceeding three floors.” There is no mention of any particular type of wiring this shall apply to, thus it is concluded that PVC conduits are not permitted in residential buildings exceeding three floors.

However, it is our understanding that PVC shall be permitted in residential and commercial buildings exceeding three floors when concealed within rated non-plenum walls, floors, and ceilings for telecom service only.  Please confirm it is acceptable to install PVC Schedule 40 conduits in buildings exceeding three floors when PVC conduit is installed within the concrete deck slab.

Furthermore, if permitted, what minimum dimension of concrete cover (normal weight and lightweight) is required?

A. See answers for Section 330.12 and 352.10(J) from the same meeting.

 

Section 352.10(J) - (10/3/2012)

Q: We reference the NYC Electrical Technical Provisions and Amendments of 2011, Article 352, Rigid Polyvinyl Chloride Conduit, Type PVC.

As stated in 352.10, (J), "Non Residential Use":
(J) Unless prohibited elsewhere by the other articles of this code, PVC conduit shall be permitted in any non in any nonresidential or residential building over 3 stories high. Rigid nonmetallic conduit shall be concealed within non-plenum walls, floors and ceilings where the walls, floors and ceilings provide a thermal barrier of material that has at least a 1 hour rated assembly as identified in listings of fire rated assemblies.

Questions:
a.  Is use of PVC type of conduit permitted in concrete slabs of a multi dwelling building, higher than 3 three stories, provided conduit is used for concealing low voltage wiring such as for data, telephone, security, audio/visual and or fire alarm systems and conduit does not extend beyond concrete slab?
b.  Is use of PVC conduit permitted in concrete slabs of a multi dwelling building, higher than 3 three stories for concealing MC type of cable and conduit does not extend beyond concrete slab?

A. a. Yes.  b. Yes.

 

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CHAPTER 4: Equipment for General Use (Code Section 400.1 to 490.74)

SECTION 404.8 - (12/5/2012)

Q: Section 404.8 of the NEC requires over-current to be installed, such that the center line of the over-current device is not more than 6'-7" A.F.F. However, we are being told by an electrical contractor, that electrical panel mounting height for ADA residential apartment units, in new construction must comply with ADA guidelines, so that the center line of the top most breaker is not more than 54" A.F.F. 

Is it required by code to install the electrical panel in ADA residential units, so that the top most breaker is not more than 54" A.F.F.

A. No. Current NYC Building Code references standard ICC/ANSI A117.1-2003. This requirement for electrical panelboard mounting height in ADA type dwelling unit is not listed in Section 1004.9 ”Operable Parts”.

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CHAPTER 5: Special Occupancies (Code Section 500.1 to 590.7)

SECTION 500 - (2/1/2012)

Q: We are installing on hydrogen gas cylinder within listed enclosure. The equipment will be installed in a college laboratory and provided with dedicated exhaust vent connected directly to a 2 HP exhaust fan at roof with dedicated duct work. The exhaust fan shall be explosion proof motor. Additionally, the equipment is provided with listed complient sprinkler head, gas leak detection system and alarms. Our question is the laboratory has to be treated as hazardous area? If yes, what classification?

We have attached the equipment cut sheet that would be used for additional information.

A. No, section 500.7(D) “Purged and Pressurized” permits such protection to eliminate or reduce the Class 1 hazardous within the enclosure. Equipment catalogue indicates that the cabinet is provided with listed z-purge system, required alarms and additional protection. Equipment wiring method shall comply with section 501 requirement.

See excerpt below from 2008 Handbook commentary under same section;
“Type Z pressurizing reduces the classification within a protected enclosure from Division 2 or Zone 2 to unclassified.”

 

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CHAPTER 6: Special Equipment (Code Section 600.1 to 695.14)

Section 620 - (4/4/2012)

Q: Is a Master Electrician required when installing a people/patient hoisting and moving system which is UL listed. (See attached three pictures).

A. Yes. Licensed electrician is required for patient hoist/ electrified track installation.

 

Section 695 - (2/1/2012)

Q: 1) Is installation of supply conductors in either rigid metal conduit (RMC) or intermediate metal conduit (IMC) to Limited Service Fire Pump also be protected by either 2 inch concrete encasement or 2-hour fire resistance?

2) Will supply conductors to the subject pump, as allowed to be installed in accordance with response to the question above, be allowed to be installed in a staircase to 32nd floor (pump location) of an existing high rise building?

A. 1) Yes. See section 695.6(A) and (B) of NYC Electrical Code.
2) No. Only conduits serving the stairway (exit enclosure) and terminating in a steel junction box (not exceeding 16 square inches) are allowed.

 

Section 695.4(B)(2)(4) - (10/3/2012)

 

Q: A limited service fire pump (less than 30 HP, located above the street floor) is connected to an emergency generator as well to the electric utility (attachment 3).

Would the above limited service fire pump require a dedicated automatic transfer switch solely to the pump, or may the transfer switch supply a panelboard which, in addition to supplying the limited service fire pump, would supply other emergency loads?

A. The power connection depicted in Detail B is in compliance with NYC Electrical Code requirement for limited service fire pump. Detail A is not a NYC code compliant.

Section 695.4(B)(2)(4) - (6/6/2012)

Q: With recent changes in NYC codes, high rise residential buildings require multiple fire pumps.  We are designing a high rise residential building which requires a total of 7 fire pumps.  We have one 2000kW/2500kVA generator to provide emergency power to all life safety loads. Per section 695.4.B(2)(4) a tap ahead of the generator main disconnect is required. For this particular project it would be at least 8 taps ahead of the main disconnect. See option A of the attached sketch. Providing these quantity of taps ahead of the generator main disconnect would be excessive.  
 
We are proposing to provide (2) fire pump taps as seen on option B of the attached sketch. One of those taps would provide power to an emergency switchboard with (4) fire pump switches and the other tap would provide power to an emergency switchboard with 3 fire pump switches.  These fire pump switchboards would have a main disconnect at the generator, would be sized to accommodate the entire connected load and would be fed by a service tap sized in accordance with 695.6, C.  The main disconnect would be sized to carry 150% of each pump motor full load current on the board. Each of the (7) fire pump emergency disconnects would be sized in accordance with section 695.4.B.2.
 
Can the arrangement described above and shown in the attached sketch be implemented to provide emergency power to the various fire pumps in this building in lieu of providing (7) separate generator taps and (7) individually mounted disconnects? (see attached).

A. Scheme “A” is acceptable and code compliant. Scheme “B” indicates additional overcurrent protection device (OCPD), only one OCPD is allowed at the Fire Pump emergency power source. If your design favors Scheme “B” then you must comply with the following:
1. The upstream 500A and 600A OCPD shall be removed.
2. The two Fire Pumps distribution boards must be either located within the generator’s enclosure, or remotely in the building when the feeders comply with section 230.6 requirements.
3. Disconnecting means to be suitable for use as service equipment, see Section 700.12(B)(6).

Also, the installation must comply with sections 445.18 and 445.19. (an EPO that is readily accessible suffice the requirement of those two sections)

 

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CHAPTER 7: Special Conditions (Code Section 700.1 to 780.7)
 

Section 700 - (6/6/2012)

Q: We respectfully request a code interpretation regarding location of automatic transfer switches that provide power to emergency lighting and fire alarm system and emergency distribution panelboards in existing buildings on a college campus. As per the Rule of the City of New York, Chapter 12 (RCNY 12-01) and Section 27-115 and 27-118 of the Administrative Code; NFPA 110, Section 7.2.2; and the 2011 New York City Electrical
Code:

1. Is it acceptable to install automatic transfer switches for emergency lighting and fire alarm system in:
a. 2-hour fire rated room or space housing the main electrical service equipment?
b. Dedicated 2-hour fire rated emergency generator room?
c. 2-hour fire rated mechanical room housing the emergency generator?
d. 2-hour dedicated room.

2. Is it acceptable to install emergency distribution panelboards in:
a. 2-hour room or space housing the main electrical service equipment?
b. Dedicated 2-hour fire rated emergency generator room?
c. 2-hour fire rated mechanical room housing the emergency generator?
d. 2-hour room housing automatic transfer switch

3. Is there a threshold related to cost of alterations based on RCNY 12-01 and Section 27-115 and 27-118 of the Administrative Code that permits the installation of automatic transfer switches for emergency lighting and fire alarm system in:
a. 2-hour fire rated room or space housing the main electrical service equipment?
b. Dedicated 2-hour fire rated emergency generator room?

4. Is there a threshold related to size of service equipment rated 120/208 Volts based on NFPA 110 Section 7.2.2 that permits the installation of automatic transfer switches for emergency lighting and fire alarm system in:
a. 2-hour fire rated room or space housing the main electrical service equipment?
b. Dedicated 2-hour fire rated emergency generator room?

A. 1a. No.
b. No. 
c. No.
d. Yes.

2a. No.
b. No if they are at the load-side of the ATS’s. Yes if they are at the line-side of the ATS’s.
c. See 2.b. above.
d. Yes.

3a. No; Sections 27-115 and 27-118 of the administrative code are applicable to the Construction Codes (Building, Pluming, Mechanical and Fuel Gas Codes). For NYC electrical administrative code please refer to Local Law 39 of 2011.
b. No; see 3.a. above.

4a. No. The installation must comply with the NYC electrical code, it's amendments including their referenced standards in effect at the time of filing. NFPA 110, Section 7.2.2 was added under 2005 version which is not a NYC Building Code reference standard, the Electrical Code references only specific sections from NFPA 110-2005.
b. No. see 4.a. above.

 

Section 700.9 (D) - (12/5/12)

Q: Article 700.9(D)(1)(1) allows for installation of feeder circuit wiring in spaces or areas that are fully protected by an approved automatic fire suppression system. In such case the feeders need not be listed as fire resistive electrical protective circuits. Please provide clarification regarding the sprinkler coverage for such spaces or areas.

1. Is a space below the raised floor considered to be part of protected spaced if the sprinkler system is installed at the ceiling?

2. Is the space above the suspended ceiling considered to be part of protected space if the sprinkler system is installed at the bottom of the suspended ceiling?

3. If the space above the hung ceiling is not considered to be a protected space by the sprinkler system, would the addition of sprinkler along the path of conduits within the ceiling cavity meet the criteria for the condition of Art. 700.9(D)(1)(1)?

A. 1. No, your installation doesn’t meet Concealed Spaces requirement in NFPA 13.
2. No. Spaces described might be exempted from requiring sprinkler protection but not considered protected by sprinklers below the ceiling.
3. Yes.

 

Section 760.130 - (12/5/12)

Q: We respectfully request a code interpretation on the following scenario:

Fire Alarm device mounted on wall above 8'-0" article 760.130(b)(1)(2) if we install a wall box eliminator erico part # mp1 with a erico part # msp20 snap in grommet at framing top plate can the PLFA fire alarm cable be run without the use of a raceway inside the wall (2x4 stud wall with sheetrock finish) ?

NOTE: [ Typical installation is a box mounted to stud with either greenfield or conduit up to and thru framing top plate with a bang on bushing on end calling the assembly  a "stub-up" the PLFA cable enter/exits wall via stub up to box for FA device.]  

The way questioned above has the box eliminator used to mount FA Device then the PLFA cable enters/exits wall void area without conduit/raceway and travels up through top plate via grommet and continues fa node.

A. Yes, conduit is not required and all manufacturing instructions must be followed.

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CHAPTER 8: Communications Systems (Code Section 800.1 to 830.179)
 

 

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TABLES: Detailed requirements for conductors and conduits
 

 

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Annex D: Calculation Examples
 
 

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ARTICLES: A subdivision of a Chapter, comprised of a certain number of Sections
 

 

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ADMINISTRATIVE: General Requirements
 

Section Administrative - (12/5/12)

Q: We are questioning if Fire Pumps in NYC require the use of an Emergency Generator as a secondary source of power.
In Question is a J-2 Occupancy building, with Building Department Permits filed under the 1968 NYC Building Code.

(A) With a switch in the Main Service Room, tapped before all other switches and overcurrent protection?

(B) With Feeders tapped directly off of the service buss detail in the CT Cabinet before all other switches and overcurrent protection, and that run directly to the Fire Pump Controller?

A. (A)  No, an emergency generator is not required per Article 11 of Subchapter 6, Section 27-396.6 where the Fire Pump is energized through a tap ahead of the main service disconnecting mean. Fire Pump service conductor shall not be made or pass through any overcurrent compartment, and made using factory installed taps or provision clearly identified for such use. 
 (B)  See above.

Copies of the NYC 2011 Electrical Code (only the amendments to the NEC 2008 Electrical Code) and the New York City Electrical Code (the amendments and the NEC 2008 Electrical Code) can be purchased at the CityStore.

Other Code Interpretation Links:

Code Interpretation for 2010
Code Interpretation for 2009
Code Interpretation for 2008
Code Interpretation for 2007
Code Interpretation for 2006
Code Interpretation for 2005
Code Interpretation for 2004
Code Interpretation for 2003
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