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Electrical Code Revisions

2013 Code Revision and Interpretation Committee Code Interpretation
(Last Updated: April 16, 2014)

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.

Chapter Description
Chapter 1: General (Section 110.1 to 110.79)
Chapter 2: Wiring and Protection (Code Section 200.1 to 285.28)
Chapter 3: Wiring Methods and Materials (Code Section 300.1 to 398-104)
Chapter 4: Equipment for General Use (Code Section 400.1 to 490.74)
Chapter 5: Special Occupancies (Code Section 500.1 to 590.7)
Chapter 6: Special Equipment (Code Section 600.1 to 695.14)
Chapter 7: Special Conditions (Code Section 700.1 to 770.182)
Chapter 8: Communications Systems (Code Section 800.1 to 830.179)
Chapter 9: Tables (Table 1 to 12(B))
Annex D: Calculation Examples
Administrative: General Requirements

 

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Chapter 1: General (Section 110.1 to 110.79) 
 

Section 110.11 and 110.12(B) - (6/5/2013)

Q: To provide clearer guidance to the industry, the following questions and responses are to be noted and adhered to when dealing with water-damaged equipment:

Q1: Does the NYCEC require flood/water damaged equipment to be replaced?
A1: Yes, unless it is allowed to be repaired.

Q2: What NYCEC sections require replacement or repair?
A2:
Section 110.11 and 110.12(B) requires that damaged equipment shall not be reused.

Q3: Does the water-damaged equipment include wire, conduit, cables and devices?
A3:
Yes. The electrical code definition in Article 100 is a general term, including material, fittings, devices, appliances, luminaires, apparatus, machinery, and the like used as part of, or in connection with, and electrical installation.

Q4: How can one determine what and how much flood/water damaged service or distribution equipment is required to be replaced?
A4:
Any equipment that was exposed to, submerged, or in contact with salt water or contaminated water; must be replaced or repaired.

Q5: When it is determined that the water-damaged equipment can be repaired, what is an acceptable procedure for repair?
A5:
The original equipment manufacturer must be contacted for the equipment restoration or repair and provide certification of the restoration work in writing. The restoration process, test report and certification shall be submitted to the NYC Advisory Board for review.

Q6: Does the NYCEC provide any direction on how or what is required for the restoration of water-damaged equipment?
A6:
No. The NYC Electrical Code doesn’t provide restoration requirements or suggestions.

Q7: What standard is acceptable to the department for restoring water-damaged equipment?
A7:
The department did not adopt any standards for restoring water-damaged equipment. You may consult the National Manufacture’s Associations’ guide on Evaluation Water-Damaged Electrical Equipment. A copy of this document can be found at http://www.nema.org/Standards/ComplimentaryDocuments/Evaluating-Water-damaged-Electrical-Equipment.pdf. Large equipment of 1000kVA and more repairs shall be submitted to the Advisory Board for review on a case-by-case basis.

Q8: What is required if the manufacturer of the damaged service or distribution equipment is out of business?
A8:
In cases where the original manufacturer is not in business, the department will accept the restoration work by another switchboard manufacturer with testing and documentation as follows:
1. Equipment is tested by a Certified Testing Company acceptable to the department (i.e. NETA Certified Co.),
2. All tests were conducted by a Certified Testing Technician,
3. The testing must be witnessed and signed by a NY State Professional Engineer, and
4. All original manufacturers’ equipment information, test form with results, and certification numbers must be completely filled out.

Q9: Does the water-damage equipment lose its Listing? And does the repair by the original manufacturer restore the listing? In the case of the OEM being out of business, can a 3rd party switchboard manufacturer re-list the equipment?
A9:
The listing mark on the product means it complied with an NTRL standard when it left the manufacturers control. When it is determined that a product is required to be re-listed, a field evaluation must be performed by an NTRL.

Q10: When the service conductors were not damaged and intended to be reused, can they be reused at their previously approved rating? Example: (10) sets of 500MCM rated 4000A.
A10:
Yes. However if new wire is being installed, it must be sized per current code.

Q11: When a fire pump disconnect was previously installed within a switchboard as allowed under previous codes, can the repaired/replacement switchboard contain the fire pump disconnect as previously installed?
A11:
When the existing fire pump service switch is installed in a separate switchboard section containing no other overcurrent protective devices, the switchboard can be replaced as previously installed without requiring the fire pump service equipment to be located to remote location.

Q12: When ground fault protection was not provided on a disconnect that currently requires ground fault protection, must the repaired/replacement switchboard provide ground fault protection per current code?
A12:
Yes.

Q13: When 2-zone ground fault protection was not provided in a health care facility as required under Article 517, must the repaired/replacement switchboard provide 2-zone ground fault protection per current code?
A13:
Yes.

Q14: When a feeder was not damaged and intended to be reused, can they be reused at their previously approved rating. Example: (5) 500MCM = 2000A. Will the new fuse be required to be reduced to 1900A? What about cascading coordination effects of reducing fuses?
A14:
Yes. However if new wire is being installed, it must be sized per current code. n/a.

Q15: When a feeder was not damaged and intended to be reused and contains an undersized equipment grounding conductor as previously accepted, will the EGC need to be changed?
A15:
Yes, unless the conductors are installed in a continuously connected metallic raceway and the undersized EGC is removed or disabled.

Q16: When a damaged switchboard contains circuit breakers, can the new switchboard be installed with breakers of the same AIC rating?
A16:
Equipment withstanding/ short circuit rating must be adequately sized.

Q17: When it is determined that the water-damaged equipment (switchboard) can be repaired, can the bus be replaced as previously approved (CU = 1000A/sq-in in all cases) or does it have to be brought to current code? Does this apply to aluminum bus previously rated at 1000A per sq-in?
A17:
New equipment shall comply with current codes. Yes.

Q18: Can existing service rooms containing emergency equipment and conduit be repaired as previously installed?
A18:
No. This issue is a Building Code safety issue Unless there are hardship and where it is assured that the equivalent proposed repair can be achieved by establishing and maintain effective Safety. A Construction Code Determination Form (CCD1) must be submitted to DOB, Technical Affairs and Code Development Unit for ruling. Such letter shall include all necessary documentations including the Electrical Advisory Board submittal if applicable.

Q19: Can the guidelines described herein be used for general building upgrades.
A19:
No. the above requirement is applicable to water-damaged equipment.

Section 110.34 - (2/6/2013)

Q: Two (2) 13.2kV:480volt substations reside within a single ground floor electrical room interior to a 2 story building in NYC ; there are two electrical rooms for a total of four (4) substations with two (2) feeds. Each substation is fed from a Coned switch with meter (POE) from another building with the 13.2kV feeders being considered the tenants property. The substations are being replaced “in kind” with new, due to flood damage from Superstorm Sandy. The substations 13.2kV switch, transformer and 480v switchboard are a close coupled, in a single line up for each substation. The 480v distribution serves loads within and exterior to each electrical room. As we are replacing the existing equipment in the existing electrical room:

a. Working clearance - Per NYCEC 110.34(A) exception (NYC amendments), we intend to provide a minimum working clearance of 36” at the rear of the substation line up (condition 1), and provide signage to de-energize if any work is required at the rear of the substation. At the front of the substation line up (condition 3) 9ft working clearance will be provided per table 110.34(A). Is this working clearance acceptable?
b. Separation from Low Voltage Equipment – Our intent is to install a single substation lineup to match the existing arrangement. Feeders for the existing 480v loads internal and exterior to the electrical room will be reconnected to the line and match 480v output switchboard. Do we need to provide physical separation per NYCEC 110.34 (B) of the high (13.2kV switch) and low (transformer and 480v switchboard) voltage sections?

A. a. Yes. When provided with signage, and served only by qualified persons.
b. No. Section 110.34(B) is not applicable when there are no exposed live parts or exposed wiring over 600V.

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CHAPTER 2: Wiring and Protection (Code Section 200.1 to 285.28) 
 

Section 210.12 - (6/5/2013)

Q: We are in process of replacing electrical branch circuits’ boards serving outlets at apartment buildings. The panelboard branch circuitry and associated outlets will remain under this renovation project. In addition, the existing branch circuitry does not have separate neutral homerun to the panelboard.

Article 210.12 Section (B) called for all 120-volt, single phase, 15 and 20 ampere branch circuits supplying outlets installed in dwelling unit family rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways, or similar rooms or areas shall be protected by listed arc-fault circuit interrupter, combination-type, installed to provide protection of the branch circuit.

1. Is new apartment panelboards needed to have arc-fault circuit interrupter to protect the existing outlets?
2. Where outlets have shared neutral homerun to panelboard, are the same outlets required to have arc-fault circuit interrupter protection?
3. Where outlets have separate neutral homerun to panelboard, are the same outlets required to have arc-fault circuit interrupter protection?

A. 1. Not required under 2011 NYC Electrical Code, and will be required under future codes.
2. See No.1.
3. See No.1.

 

Section 210.52(I) - (10/2/2013)

Q: Q1: According to the NYC Electrical Technical Provisions and Amendment of 2011, article 210, paragraph 210.52I, Branch Circuits, it is stated that an individual branch circuit shall be used for A/C units. However, under the National Electrical Code of 2008, article 440, paragraph 440.60C it is stated that A/C units can be used with other loads on the same circuit if the A/C load is less than 50% of the branch circuit rating. We would like to know which code paragraph has precedent, as it seems that they are contradictory of each other.

Q2: Regarding the National Electrical Code of 2008, article 310.15, paragraph (B)(6): 120/240-Volt, 3-wire, single-phase dwelling services and feeders and the corresponding Table 310.15(B)(6); Can this code be applied to 120/208-Volt, 3-wire, single-phase dwelling services and feeders?

A. A1: Section 210.52(I) is applicable to dwelling units. Section Article 440.62(C) is applicable for applications other than dwellings.
A2: No.

 

Section 215.10 - (2/6/2013)

Q: Article 225.10 allows the use of liquidtight flexible conduits for the branch circuits and feeders outside the building. Article 350.12 (3) added in the NYC Amendments limits the use of liquidtight flexible conduits to 6 feet in length. We would like to use liquidtight flexible conduits on an existing exterior antenna structure to run power circuits for new light fixtures and we would like to exceed the 6 foot limitation. Please confirm if that is acceptable.

A. No. Special permission may be submitted to the Electrical Advisory Board.

 

Section 215.10 - (2/6/2013)

Q: An existing building has a single address, under single management and consists of two joined structures that are continuous for access. Each of the two original structures has its own fire alarm system. One structure has (4) 13.2kV:480v substations fed from two (2) 13.2kV Coned feeds. One (1) 400A 277/480v feed extends from each of the 480v distribution sections of each substation and supports loads within the adjoined structure. Disconnects are provided where the feeders pass through into the second structure. The adjoined building also has its own 2000A 120/208v service. If signage is provided and a documented switching procedure developed is this type of installation acceptable under Article 225.30?

A. Yes. Multiple feeders and services are permitted by 225.30 and 230.2.

 

Section 225.32 - (12/4/2013)

Q: EXISTING CONDITION
At a NYCHA multi-building development, the existing condition is that Con Edison serves each residential building individually by means of a service lateral to an electrical service room. During superstorm Sandy these rooms were flooded and the electrical service equipment and panelboards were adversely affected. Almost all electrical service rooms have gas service, piping and gas meters inside the electrical service rooms, which is code violation.

PROPOSED SCHEME
Due to Sandy flooding, it is proposed to eliminate each electrical service room and substitute with a newly constructed remote building that would house a service switch, automatic transfer switches, distribution equipment and a gas driven generator. Each generator will be capable of feeding the entire load of the residential building. The feeders and branch circuits of both the normal and emergency distribution would then enter the residential building without interposing disconnect switches. However the service disconnecting means and the feeder and branch circuit disconnecting means will be located in the newly constructed separate building accessible to a Qualified employee of NYCHA. Documented safe switching procedures will be established and maintained by NYCHA.

QUESTION
Is this proposed scheme a permissible interpretation of paragraphs 230.70 and 225.32 Exception 1 of the NYC Amendments to the 2008 National Electrical Code?

A. Yes.

 

Section 230 - (4/3/2013)

Q: 1)  Is it acceptable to make the service tap for the fire alarm system disconnect using factory-installed lugs that are installed within the enclosure of the main service disconnect? 

2)  As per New York City School Construction Authority (NYCSCA) design guidelines, power for exit signs is to be provided from an electrical panel that is tapped ahead of the main service switch.  This is in addition to code-required battery power at each exit sign.  Is it acceptable to make a service tap for the emergency/exit lighting panel using factory-installed lugs that are installed within the enclosure of the main service disconnect?

A. 1. Yes.
2. Yes.

 

Section 230.42 - (4/3/2013)

Q: Owner wishes to create a new Electrical Service Room remotely located on a Ground Floor Mezzanine level to protect the equipment against future floods. The existing electrical service consists of two (2) 4,000ampere service switches, each with a dedicated utility service takeoff.
NEC Code calculations verify that two (2) 4,000ampere services are required for the Building. The Utility Company has ruled that two (2) utility services are not required to serve the Building based on the load history of the Building and shall remove one (1) service take-off. Ownership has confirmed that the load history is based on full occupancy of the Building and future growth is not planned.
Based on the above, in accordance with 230.42 (A) (2) , FPN, is it permissible to serve the two (2) 4000ampere service switches with one (1) set of service conductors rated for the maximum utility service of 4,000amperes?
Note: The location of the new Mezzanine Level Electrical Service Room is approximately 250' away from the utility's single point-of-entry.

A. Yes. Connecting two to six service disconnecting means to service lateral are permitted when complying with Section 230.40 Exception 2, and Section 215.2A(1) Exception 4.

 

Section 230.64(B)(5) - (4/3/2013)

Q: Section 230.64(B)(5) states "Each door shall access an area, which leads to a legal exit."

Does this mean each electric service room is required to exit directly into a corridor which has access to an exit? Or can the electric service room exit through another room which exits into a corridor with access to a legal exit? Please clarify.

 A. Egress path from electrical rooms may go through othe

 

Section 240.21 - (12/4/2013)

Q: Refer to the attaches sketches for question below:
Q1: SKE-1. Does this sketch comply with section 240.21(C)(2)?
Q2: SKE-2. Does this sketch comply with section 240.21(C)(6)?
Q3: SKE-3. Does this sketch comply with section 240.21(C)(2)?
Q4: SKE-4. Does this sketch comply with section 240.21(C)(6)?
Q5: SKE-5. Does this sketch comply with section 240.21(B)(1)?
Q6: SKE-6. Does this sketch comply with section 240.21(B)(2)?

A: A1: Yes.
A2: Yes.
A3: Not applicable since your OCPD are connected to transformer secondary conductors.
A4: Not applicable since your OCPD are connected to transformer secondary conductors.
A5: Not applicable to transformer connection, and in violation of 240.21(C)(2).
A6: Not applicable to transformer connection, and in violation of 240.21(C)(6).

 

Section 240.60(B) - (10/2/2013)

 Q: This section addresses the fuse gap of the switch but says nothing about permissibility or impermissibility of use of fuse adapters (reducers). Please indicate if fuse reducers are permitted.

If use is limited, please indicate in what situations use is allowed and disallowed.  

A. Listed adapters are allowed to be used within the limitation of its listing.

 

Section 250.8 - (6/5/2013) 

Q: Please provide information as to an approved connector to connect a free air insulated #6 THWN true green supplemental grounding electrode conductor to a residential 120/240 single phase load center.
Is a non-metallic sheathed cable clamp style connector permitted?
if not, which is an approved fitting for this purpose?
Supporting data as referenced from 2008 NEC
.

 A. No. A non-metallic sheathed cable clamp is not evaluated for this application. Only listed material shall be used. And for your application, an identified opening may be used without the use of additional clamps.

 

Section 250.146 - (8/7/2013)

Q: Is it acceptable to just have self-grounding receptacles attached to a grounded box via type AC cable without the use of a bonding ground tail?

A. Yes, see section 250.146.

 

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

Section 300 General - (2/6/2013)

Q: 1. Can any electrical wiring hang/drape from ceiling?
2. Can electrical wiring drape/hang on piping?
3. Can wire be exposed and hanging?
4. All wire must be properly supported?
5. Is there limit to the length of greenfield that can be used in any given run?
6. Is there limit to the length of BX that can be used in any given run?
7. Is it a violation if knockouts are missing from electrical boxes?

A. 1. Yes, if you mean attached to the ceiling and not subject to physical damage. All wiring shall be installed as per Chapter 3 of NYC EC.
2. No.
3. Yes, when they are listed for exposed installation and installed as per Chapter 3 of NYC EC.
4. Yes. See Section 300.11.
5. NYC Electrical Code limits the maximum Flexible Metallic Conduit (greenfield) to 6 feet when used as equipment grounding conductor per 250.118(5) or used in accordance with 348.20(A)(2). Other installation can use longer lengths of FMC when installation complies with part II of Article 348.
6. No, as long it is installed in accordance with Article 320.
7. Yes, all unused openings shall be closed. See 110.12(A).

 

Section 312.10 - (12/4/2013)

Q: I am performing a peer review of another Engineering firm electrical drawings, in which the electrical one line diagram indicates 4-1200 ampere service switches to 4 meter banks each consisting of 48 meters & individual overcurrent protection to the respective tenant. Upon reviewing Con Edison Blue Book requirements for residential meter banks it appears to stop at 800 A. I could not find any limitation in the National Electrical Code.

Question: Is it permissible by code to custom fabricate & install a 1200 ampere modular residential meter bank.

A. Only listed material is allowed to be installed in NYC, and comply with utility requirement.

 

Section 352.10 - (8/7/2013)

Q: In accordance with Article 352.10 Amendment (J) , is PVC conduit, encased in concrete, permitted to be used to allow for service entrance conductors to serve service switchgear that is housed in a location remote from the property line? The Building is a residential hi-rise building

A. Yes, Rigid Non-metallic Conduit is allowed as a service lateral when complies with section 230.6.

 

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

Section 406.3(D) - (4/3/2013)

Q: References:  Definitions, Article 210, Article 406

*Please see attached diagram for outlet locations/ID's

1.  Per 406.3(D):  Receptacle replacements in dwelling units

a) If a portion of an existing branch circuit (cut and spliced to extend or replace) is replaced in a dwelling unit, are attached receptacle(s) required to be tamper resistant type? Outlets #1, 2
b) If a new general purpose branch circuit is installed in a dwelling unit, are receptacles attached to the new branch circuit required to be tamper resistant type? Outlets #3, 4, 7
c) If a new general purpose branch circuit is installed in a dwelling unit, are outlets not contracted to be replaced required to be tamper resistant type? Outlet #5
d) If a portion of an existing branch circuit (cut and spliced to extend or replace), box, and standard grounding type duplex receptacle are replaced in a dwelling unit, is the receptacle required to be tamper resistant type? Outlet #6
e) If a load center is replaced in a dwelling unit, do existing standard duplex receptacles need to be replaced with tamper resistant type? Outlet #8
f) If a standard grounding type duplex receptacle attached to an existing branch circuit is replaced only (no box or cable) in a dwelling unit, is the receptacle required to be tamper resistant type?  Outlet #9

A. a) No.
b) Yes.
c) No.
d) Yes.
e) No.
f) No.

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

Section 517 - (8/7/2013)

Q: Is the wiring installed for a medical gas system required to be installed in conduit if such system is supervised?

A. Medical Gas installation requirement is found in 2008 NYC Building Code, section 908.8. Such installation must comply with NFPA 99 “Health Care Facilities”. Wiring for Medical Gas panels as per NFPA 99, section 5.1.9.1 indicates what has to be included in these panels including wiring. Further, sections 5.1.9.1(9) and (11) indicate that power wiring for the panels are to be connected to emergency power system and it must be installed in metal raceways. Wiring from switches and sensors are done in one of two ways,

  1. Supervised, or
  2. Protected as required by NYC Electrical Code section 517.30(C)(3).

Section 517.30(C)(3) requires that the wiring in patient care areas are to be installed in metal raceway system as per sections 517.13(A) and 517.13(B). Section 517.30(C)(3) allows for 5 additional wiring methods, and method No. 5 of section 517.30(C)(3) permits secondary Class 2 or 3 communication or signaling in patient care areas to be installed with or without raceways.

Based on the foregoing, if system is supervised, it shall be installed as follows:

  1. In mechanical rooms, such installation shall comply with Article 760.52 and 760.131(A) (installation shall meet the installation requirement of Article 344 up to 8 ft. AFF, and Articles 332, 342, 344 or 358 over 8 ft. AFF).
  2. Outdoor, the installation shall meet the installation requirement of Article 344.
  3. In patient care areas of a healthcare as defined in NYC Electrical Code, the power wiring shall be installed in raceway system, the alarm wiring portion is allowed to be installed as Class 2 or 3 with or without raceway as long they are not subject to physical damage.

 

Section 517.30 and 517.44 - (4/3/2013)

Q: The design concept is to install a 1500KW emergency generator on the roof of a hospital building. The main circuit breaker of the generator will feed a new 3000A plug-in bus duct (refer to SKE-1). This “emergency” bus duct will run down the building in a 2-hour rated dedicated electrical closet.  In the same closet there will be a “normal power” bus duct running from the basement up. On each floor of the building there will be a dedicated closet with plug-in switches on the emergency and normal bus ducts, which will provide power to dedicated ATS.  Each ATS will be dedicated to their respective branch as per section 517.30 and 517.44 of the 2011 Edition of NEC, and NFPA 99 of 2005 Chapter 4. The branches will maintain separation and we can save cost and spaces in an existing building.

A. The design indicates that all normal, emergency, and transfer equipment including the overcurrent protection devices are located in the same room. This is in violation with 1 RCNY §12-01. Normal power source (Normal Bus Duct) shall be located in separate rated room or enclosure to meet the code intent of diversifying normal and emergency power sources.

 

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

Section 605.6 - (12/4/2013)

Q: Article 605.6 of the 2011 New York City Electrical Code states:

605.6 Fixed-Type and Freestanding-Type Partitions. Wired partitions that are fixed (secured to building surfaces) or freestanding (not fixed) shall be permanently connected to the building electrical system by one of the wiring methods of this code. Where liquidtight flexible metal conduit is used, the maximum length shall be 457mm (18 in.).

The May 6, 2009 code interpretation regarding Article 605 states plug strips and extension cords could be used at fixed and freestanding partitions. There is no mention in the interpretation that the plug strips and extension cords needs to be permanently connected to the building’s electrical supply.

Questions:

1. Can UL listed plug strips (RPTs) be used at fix type and freestanding type partitions if the plug strips are not permanently attached to the building’s electrical supply?

2. Can UL listed plug strips (RPTs) be used at fix type and freestanding type partitions if the plug strips are equipped with a cord and plug assembly and are connected into the building’s electrical supply via a permanently installed outlet?

3. Is Article 380.2( Multioutlet Assembly) an acceptable wiring method to use for the partitions noted in Article 605.6? If it is an acceptable wiring method, does the multioutlet need to be permanently connected to the building’s electrical system or can it be connected to the building’s electrical system by cord and plug?

A. 1. Yes.
2. Yes.
3. Multioutlet assembly shall be permanently connected to the building’s electrical system using Chapter 3 wiring methods.

 

Section 620.51 - (2/6/2013)

Q: Otis Elevator is currently in the process of modernizing the elevators at the Empire State Building. In conjunction with the modernization the building is installing new electrical feeders and distribution boards that are replacing the original open knife distribution boards. In each of the five multi-floor elevator machine rooms the existing, and replacement distribution boards and step up transformers for each individual elevator are on the upper level, one floor above the elevator drives, controllers and machines. The main level of the machine room is far too tight to accommodate the new distribution board and therefore, in order to satisfy the line of sight requirements under section 620.51 of 2008 NEC with NYC Amendments we plan to install a second fused disconnect switch near the elevator drive for each individual elevator on the secondary side of the new transformers. While our team believes that this is in accord with the code requirements we would like to confirm that this is in fact code compliant in regards to line of sight and would like your input and approval before we proceed in order to avoid the risk of costly re-work and delays to this project.

A. For the portion of circuit that is installed outside the rated electrical room, or the rated fire pump room, it shall be protected by one of the approved methods per section 695.6(A), and 696.6(B).

 

Section 695 - (4/3/2013)

Q: In article 695 Fire Pumps the introductory paragraph of 695.6 (B) "Circuit Conductors" in the 2002, 2005 and 2008 NEC as well as the NYC amendments to those editions of the NEC all contain the wording "shall be kept entirely independent of all other wiring". Article 695.14 (F) "Generator Control Wiring Methods" for the generator control wiring from the fire pumps ATS to the generator control system incorporates identical wording.
When the fire protection system design solution for a building requires the installation of multiple fire pumps and the circuit conductor protection option selected where the feeders are routed through the building is installation within an enclosed construction of the fire rated assembly required or higher we would like to confirm acceptability of the following:
1. Multiple fire pump feeder circuit conductors in separate raceways to multiple fire pumps can be contained within a common fire rated enclosure since the code language used "fire rated circuit (s)” is plural.
2. Any pull, cable support or splice box that may be required can be common as well for all normal or emergency circuit conductor feeders.
3. Barriers between each normal or emergency feeder within the boxes listed in 2. are not required.
4. Both normal and where required emergency circuit conductor feeders can be installed together in a common single fire rated enclosure.
5. The generator control wiring from each of the fire pump ATS to the generator installed in their own raceway can be contained within the same common fire rated assembly as the normal utility and emergency circuit conductor feeders for the fire pumps.
(See attached).

A. 1. Yes. For multiple fire pump feeder circuits conductors, normal and emergency can be installed in separately in dedicated fire rated enclosure.
2. Yes; when installed as indicated in the answer for No. 1.
3. No. barriers within normal pull boxed or emergency pull boxes are required.
4. No. See No.1.
5. No, generator control wiring from each of the fire pump ATS to the generator installed in their own raceway can be contained within the same rated enclosure with emergency fire rated circuit feeders.

Please note that RHW/RHH are no longer listed, and not allowed to be installed as listed electrical protective system in NYC.

 
Section 695 - (8/7/2013)

Q: Recently, I was informed that the use of 2 hour fire rated RHH/RHW in RMC was not permitted for use in NYC. Section 696.6(B)(1)(3) approves the installation of a listed electrical circuit protected system with a minimum 2- hour fire rating.

A. The cable in reference is not listed as part of fire resistive cables assembly since September 12, 2012. Such assembly is not acceptable for Fire Pump supply circuits. You may use this wiring method for Limited Service Fire Pump in accordance with subsection 695.6(B)(2) and exception. 

Section 695.b(2) also states that the "Limited service fire pump conductor shall be installed in rigid metal (steel RMC) or intermediate metal conduit (steel IMC)".

Question; Is the use of RHH/RHW -2 hour fire rated cable an approved method to serve either the Fire Pump or limited service Pump in accordance with Section 695(B)(1)(3). if acceptable does the conduit need to be encased in concrete.

 
Section 695.3 - (6/5/2013)

Q: An existing 20 story high rise commercial building does not have a fire pump. An analysis of the sprinkler system was perform & determined that a "Fire Pump" is required.
In addition the existing building does not have an Emergency Generator.

1. Is it permissible to install a dedicated normal service,tap ahead of the electric service to feed the New Fire Pump in accordance with section 695.3 of the National Electrical Code.

2. Is an emergency generator required just to serve the New Fire Pump in accordance as per NYCEC 2702.2.20

A.This question is a Building Code question and will provide guidance only:

1. Please refer to Technical Building Bulletin 2010-029, section II.d and link below http://www.nyc.gov/html/dob/downloads/bldgs_bulletins/bb_2010-029.pdf
2. See No.1.

 
Section 695.3 - (10/2/2013)

Q: Electrical service to a campus is being provided via a Con Edison interior 265/460V spot network located in a "Central Utility Plant" building. This building also houses the service end boxes and service switchboards which feed each of the buildings on campus. The programming of these campus buildings is to be determined.

Power is distributed to other individual buildings on campus via radial feeders from the service switchboards located in the Central Utility Plant.

Is it permissible to provide normal power to each individual building's fire pump via a feeder tap located at the point of entry of the individual building ahead of the first disconnecting means for the following scenarios: (Sketch Attached)

1. Building equipped with emergency generator system (Building 1 on attached sketch)?
2. Building not equipped with emergency generator system (Building 2 on attached sketch)?

A. 1. The proposed installation violates the provisions of sections 695.3 and 695.4 for a single disconnecting means. It is recommended that you request a special consideration/permission from the Department’s Electrical Advisory Board.
2. See the answer to no. 1 above.

 
Section 695.4 - (6/5/2013)
Q: Does the electric code require that fuse disconnect switch for a fire pump or sprinkler booster pump be provided with a lock to maintain the switch in the normally opened position?

A. No, Subsection 695.4(B)(3)(2) requires the disconnecting means to be lockable in the closed position.

 
Section 695.4(B)(3)(2) - (8/7/2013)
Q: Does the electric code require that fuse disconnect switch for a fire pump or sprinkler booster pump be provided with a lock to maintain the switch in the normally opened position?

A. No, Subsection 695.4(B)(3)(2) requires the disconnecting means to be lockable in the closed position.

 

Section 695.6 - (2/6/2013)

Q: An existing remote 800A 480v fire pump switch is located within a packaged 13.2kV:480v substation electrical room, with a tap ahead of the 480v service on the load side of the substation transformer. This feeds a remotely located 50hp fire pump on the ground floor. The existing feed is THHN insulated wire in metallic conduit. Does the 480v feed from the substation tap to the 800A disconnect switch and from the disconnect switch to the fire pump controller now have to be encased in 2" of concrete or is there another acceptable means?

A. For the portion of circuit that is installed outside the rated electrical room, or the rated fire pump room, it shall be protected by one of the approved methods per section 695.6(A), and 696.6(B).

 

Section 695.6(A) - (2/6/2013)

Q: The Exception states that the supply conductors located in the electric service room and in the fire pump room do not require a 2-hour separation or fire-resistive rating. Hence, if the two rooms are adjacent to each other, no fire resistive encasement of any kind is required.

Our question is: to extend this to its logical conclusion, if the electric service room and fire pump room are NOT adjacent but are separated by other utility rooms that are also constructed of minimum 2-hour rated walls, then theoretically, no encasement of any kind should be required because each room along the fire pump feeder run is fire-rated. Is this interpretation correct?

A. No. Section 695.6(A) exception is not applicable.

 

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CHAPTER 7: Special Conditions (Code Section 700.1 to 770.182)
 

Section 700 - (4/3/2013)

Q: RCNY12-01 of the NYCBC for “Emergency Power Systems " under paragraph (h) Automatic Transfer Devices and Power Feeders prohibits the emergency generator system feeders that serve required emergency fire protection equipment from being run in or through the same room as the main electrical service. These feeders terminate at the emergency input terminals of an automatic transfer device. This transfer device if not located at the load served must, for new buildings, be located within a 2 hour fire resistive rated enclosed room or space. (See attached).

Question 1.
For new buildings where the transfer device is located at the load served must the transfer device as well as the load served be located in their own 2 hour fire resistive rated enclosed room or space if the load is similar to a motor control center or starter group serving fire protection system loads such as smoke control or stair pressurization fan systems that are located in a larger 2 hour rated mechanical equipment room together with other mechanical equipment and starters?

Question 2.
a. Are feeders that originate at the load side of the emergency transfer devices still considered emergency feeders which would not be permitted to run within or through the same two hour fire rated room as the main service equipment?
b. Emergency feeders other than those for fire pump wiring are required to comply with NEC 700.9 B) (1). What if any of the conditions listed in the referenced code section if applied to the feeder described in 2.a.would render the feeder acceptable to be routed in or through a sprinklered 2 hour rated main service equipment room?
c. What if the 2 hour rated main service equipment room were not sprinklered?
d. Can the emergency fire protection equipment served by the feeder described in 2.a.be located in the main service equipment room if the feeder is routed outside the room and stubbed through the wall of the room directly into the equipment served.
e. If any of the article 700.9.(B) (1) conditions of 2.b.and/or 2.c. allow the feeder to be routed in or through the main service equipment room can the fire protection equipment served be located within the room?

A. Question 1
No. The described loads of a motor control center are not located at the ATS’s location. The mechanical room doesn’t provide the required protection or separation from other electrical systems.

Question 2
a. Yes. Feeders from load-side of Automatic Transfer Device are emergency and shall not be installed or pass through the main electrical service equipment.
b. No.
c. No.
d. No.
e. N/A. See 2.b, 2.c, and 2.d.

 

Section 700.12 - (6/5/2013) 

Q: We are in the process of designing the electrical distribution system for a Residential Apartment Building. The Building is greater than 125' in height.

In compliance with Building Code Section 403.11.2 an emergency power system is to be provided.

In accordance with Building Code Section 403.11.2(4) the Fire Pump will not be connected to the emergency power source, but rather the connection will be made ahead of the main from the street side of the house service switch.

The Building is to contain a gas-fired Micro-Turbine which will provide the Building with a limited amount of normal power, but with enough capacity to serve the Building's emergency power loads in compliance with 403.11.2.

The Micro Turbine is too be constantly running 24/7. The Micro Turbine will be able to energize emergency loads within 10 seconds of a power loss in compliance with NEC Article 700.12.

With natural gas as it's Fuel Source, the Micro Turbine complies with Building Code Section  2702.1 and NEC Article 700.12 (B)(2).

Based on the above is a Micro Turbine permissible to be used as the emergency power system?

A. Gas or oil fuel is permitted for R2 occupancy. Microturbine is acceptable as Emergency Power Source when it complies with RCNY §50-01, UL 2200, and all applicable codes.

 

Section 700.12 - (10/2/2013)

Q: Do college dormitories, especially dorms with shared cooking and sanitation areas, fall under the current NEC Article 100 definition of "Dwelling Units" for NEC Section 406.11 (Tamper Resistant Receptacles)?

A. Tamper-resistance receptacles are required for occupancies meeting the definition of dwellings. Your installation as described above doesn’t meet the definition of dwelling units.

 

Section 700.12 - (12/4/2013)

Q: In an existing health care facility in New York City we will be designing the connection of a portable 2,000 kW generator to the existing emergency power distribution system. The existing emergency distribution system consists of multiple generators and paralleling switchgear. The intent of the portable generator connection is to provide a limited amount of emergency power to the building in the event that the existing permanently installed generators fail. It is not intended that the portable generator will be connected to the emergency distribution system in parallel with the existing generators and transfer to the portable generator power will be a manual action sequence, not an automatic sequence.

Is it permissible to tie the portable generator into the existing emergency distribution system via an appropriately sized, fused disconnecting means with a captive key system interlocked to the existing permanently installed generator disconnecting means to prevent the two sources from energizing the emergency distribution system simultaneously?

Is it permissible to have the disconnecting means with the captive key for the portable generator mounted in a different room than the disconnecting means with the captive key for the permanently installed generators?

Is it required to have the disconnecting means for the portable generator mounted in the same room as the disconnecting means for the permanently installed generators?

A. 1. Yes, where installation is approved by NYC Advisory Board and in accordance with Article 250.
2. Additional information is required.
3. No. Refer to sections 225.34(B) and 700.6(G).

 

Section 760 - (8/7/2013)

Q: We respectfully request the following interpretations as it relates to the conditions described in the background information above:
  1. Is installing the network (data and audio) circuits using Class A / Style 7 (i.e., short circuit fault tolerant) methods as defined in Table 6.6.1 of NFPA 72-2002 as modified for New York City an acceptable means of providing survivability where the circuits are Type FPLP – New York City Certified Fire Alarm Cables within EMT?
  2. Is installing the above circuits as described in Item 1 within a 2-hour rated enclosure an acceptable means of providing survivability?
  3. Is installing the above circuits as described in Item 1 within spaces that do not have a suspended ceiling and are fully sprinklered an acceptable means of providing survivability?
  4. Is installing the above circuits as described in Item 1 above a suspended ceiling where automatic sprinklers are provided both below the ceiling and above the ceiling along the path of the EMT an acceptable means of providing survivability in lieu of installing CI-NYC Certified Fire Alarm Cable?

A. 1. No. Installing Class A provides circuit or pathway redundancy only, it doesn’t provide pathway survivability.

2. The describe installation provides Pathway Survivability Level 2.

3. The describe installation provides Pathway Survivability Level 1.

4. The describe installation provides Pathway Survivability Level 1.

Please note that CI-NYC Certified Fire Alarm Cable are no longer listed by UL as fire resistive cable assembly since September 12, 2012.

 

Section 760.41 - (10/2/2013)

Q: Electrical service to a campus is being provided via a Con Edison interior 265/460V spot network located in a "Central Utility Plant" building. This building also houses the service end boxes and service switchboards which feed each of the buildings on campus. The programming of these campus buildings is to be determined.

Power is distributed to other individual buildings on campus via radial feeders from the service switchboards located in the Central Utility Plant.

Is it permissible to provide normal power to each individual building's fire alarm system via a feeder tap located at the point of entry of the individual building ahead of the first disconnecting means for the following scenarios: (Sketch Attached)

1. Building equipped with emergency generator system (Building 1 on attached sketch)?
2. Building not equipped with emergency generator system (Building 2 on attached sketch)?

A. 1. The proposed installation violates the provisions of sections 695.3 and 695.4 for a single disconnecting means. It is recommended that you request a special consideration/permission from the Department’s Electrical Advisory Board.
2. See the answer to no. 1 above.

 

Section 760.41(D)(4) - (12/4/2013)

Q: Is a fire alarm fused disconnect switch still required on the secondary side of the transformer if the fire alarm service switch is provided on the primary side of the transformer and a fused cutout panel for multiple circuits serving the fire alarm is provided on the secondary side of the transformer? In other words, is the fused cutout intended to take the place of the fused disconnect where multiple circuits are provided?

A. No, fused switch is still required as per section 760.41(D)(4).

 

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

 

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CHAPTER 9: Tables (Table 1 to 12(B))
 

 

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Annex D: Calculation Examples
 
Annex D D5(a) - (6/5/13)
Q: What voltage shall be used when calculating the feeder load for residential unit with 120/208 Volt, single-phase service? Should total calculated kVA load be divided by 208 Volt, or by 240 Volt?
Example: we calculated that total apartment load with all demands is equal to 23,500 VA. What would be the feeder load, 23,500/208 or 23,500/240?

A. Please refer to NYC Electrical Code Annex D, Example D5(a).

 

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ADMINISTRATIVE: General Requirements
 

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 2012
Code Interpretation for 2011
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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