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Electrical Code Revisions

2014 Code Revision and Interpretation Committee Code Interpretation
(Last Updated: May 7, 2015)

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 2008 edition of the NEC and the associated  NYC Amendments to the 2008 NEC (Local Law 39/11) (PDF) that went into effect on March 1, 2012.

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))
Articles: A subdivision of a Chapter, comprised of a certain number of Sections
Administrative: General Requirements


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Chapter 1: General (Section 110.1 to 110.79) 

Section General - Lay-in luminaires - (8/6/2014)

Q: When a Lay-In lighting fixture weighing less than 50 lbs is installed in a Lay-In Panel Suspended Ceiling System installed per NYC BC Section BC R101

Is the Lay-In Lighting fixture to be independently supported to the building structure?

Does the Lay-In Lighting fixture have to be provided with safety chains connected to the furring channel?

A: No. see Building Code Appendix R, R103.13 ASTM C 636, Section 2.7.2, and NYC Electrical Code subsection 410.36(B).

No. Lay-in luminaires shall be fasted in place by listed clips or fittings per subsection 410.36(B).


Section General - Load Calculation - (6/4/2014)

Q: I have calculated the electrical load letter as required by the 2011 NYC Electrical Code, based on the 2008 NEC. The existing feeders routed to the apartment are rated for 55 Amps and the apartment is 3,250 square/feet The base building is intending to upgrade the building electrical distribution equipment and provide a 100 Amp, 120/208V, 3-Phase electric service to the apartment once the upgrade is complete.

The apartment renovation involves replacing the appliances one-for-one with like kind and adding a central AC system.

Based on the current code the existing apartment appliances, lighting and general power loads exceed the rating of the existing feeders. Not Including the AC system. Once the building upgrade is complete and the apartment is provided with a new electrical service, the entire apartment load including the AC system will have feeders adequately sized to accommodate the loads.

Is it permissible for the existing appliances and loads be "grand-fathered" until the new service is provided by the building?

Is it permissible to install the new AC system and not energize which would mean not connecting the new equipment to the power panel OCPD? The equipment branch wiring would be capped and labeled for future connection. Thus ensuring the new AC system will not add any load to the existing feeders.

Attached are two electrical load calculations illustrating the "grand-fathered" loads and the new equipment including the new central AC system.

A: Dwelling service and panel shall be sized to carry the connected load. Your proposed phasing of services and loads are acceptable.


Section General - Manufactured Wiring - (6/4/2014)

Q: A client is installing a new benching style furniture system manufactured by Knoll. The system utilizes as its electrification component a metallic enclosure featuring 2, 3 or 4 singlex receptacles that gets mounted below the desktop at each work position. These devices are energized daisy chain style by a multi-circuit assembly enclosed in flexible metallic conduit that click-connects at each receptacle enclosure. There is a hardwired connection from the building branch circuit wiring to the first of these harness assemblies. The overall configuration functions in a manner that is similar to a standard electrified furniture system.

In order to provide additional plug positions Knoll manufactures a desktop monument containing two singlex receptacles that can be connected to one of the above described outlet assemblies via a 3-prong, 5-15P plug and an associated flexible cord .

Our question is, is the desktop cord and plug connected monument approved for use in New York City?

A: Yes, if the equipment is used within its intended listing.


Section General -Seismic - (6/4/2014)

Q: Regarding seismic installations, generally, and in a surgery center, specifically, what, if anything, is required?

Please cite or refer me to the appropriate (electrical) code sections/amendments.

A: NYC 2008 Building Code, Section 1621.1, “Architectural, Mechanical and Electrical Component Seismic Design Requirement” requires that Equipment Component (MEP Systems) shall meet the requirement of Section 9.6 of ASCE 7. Section 9.6 of ASCE requires that components shall have the same Seismic Design Category as of the structure that they occupy or to which are attached unless otherwise noted.

NYC 2008 Building Code, Table 1604.5 under Section 1604.5, classifies Hospitals and other healthcare facilities having surgery or emergency treatment facilitates as Essential Facilities and shall be designed as Structural Occupancy Category IV.


Section 100.14 - (6/4/2014)

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

We are filling a 3/4" conduit with 8 current carrying conductors which we de-rate the wires to 70% as per NEC 310.15(B)(2)(a), we then go to chart 310.16 and then to the 90 degree celsius column for allowable ampacities of wire for de-rating purposes. #12 THHN in that chart is good for 30 amps we de-rate @ .7 = 21amps. The engineer is stating that the 90 degree chart is allowable for de-rating BUT then the terminations must be at 90 degree celsius as well. We call out article 110.14c where the electrical connections are allowed to use conductors w higher temperature ratings. They still do not agree with this code so we are writing for clarification.

90c #12 thhn = 30amps (70%) = 21 amps, then chart for 75 degrees #12 thhn = 20amps so therefore 20amps is still ALLOWED for the de-rated wire when running 8#12 current carrying conductors in a raceway. The lower # shall prevail, the lower # is 20amps from the 75degree chart.

Is this TRUE/YES?

A: The higher temperature rating (90 deg. C) shall be permitted to be used for ampacity adjustment, correction, or both as per Section 110.14(C).


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

Section 210.52 - (8/6/2014)

Q: A 6 Family residential building in the common area (basement) where all tenants have access, is it considered part of the dwelling unit?

We have a laundry room in the basement with 2 cloth washers and 2 cloth dryers (110V - 20A), do we need to use Tamper resistant receptacles? as per NEC 406.11 it states "in dwelling units" definition of dwelling units states "A single unit, providing complete and independent living facilities for one or more persons, including permanent provision for living, sleeping, cooking and sanitation".

A: No. Your described location is not one of the specified in subsection 210.52, hence your installation is not required to comply with subsection 406.11.


Section 210.70 - (4/2/2014)

Q: NYCBC 2008, sections 1205.1 and 1205.3.2 require artificial light in every habitable room to provide an average illumination of 10 foot-candles over the area of the room at the height of 30" above finished floor. Requirement to provide 10 foot-candles of illumination appears to be impossible to guaranty by means of portable light plugged into the switch controlled outlet as presently permitted by NYCEC 210.70.(A).(1). Exception No.1.

1. Is NYC Electrical Code Exception No.1 of section 210.70.(A).(1) applicable to lighting design of habitable rooms in R1 occupancy?

2. Is NYC Electrical Code Exception No.1 of section 210.70.(A).(1) applicable to lighting design of habitable rooms in R2 occupancies?

3. Is NYC Electrical Code Exception No.1 of section 210.70.(A).(1) applicable to lighting design of habitable rooms in R3 occupancies?

4. Is NYC Electrical Code Exception No.1 of section 210.70.(A).(1) applicable to lighting design of habitable rooms in other than R occupancies?

1. Yes.
2. Yes.
3. Yes.
4. Yes.
Note: There is no limit in the NYCEC as far as the number of cord-plugged luminaires. Additional luminaires may be added as deemed necessary.


Section 210.70 - (12/3/2014)

Q: For a dwelling unit's walk-in clothes closet that is located adjacent to the bedroom(s) and is not a part of attics, underfloor spaces, utility rooms and basements:

1. Is a walk-in closet considered to be a 'habitable space' as defined in 2008 NYC Building Code section 1202.1?

2. Is a lighting outlet required in a walk-in closet?

3. Where a lighting outlet is installed in a walk-in closet, would a wall mounted switch be required to control the lighting fixture and be readily accessible?

4. When a lighting fixture in a walk-in closet is installed with integral manual switch controlled by a chain reachable from the entrance, would a wall mounted switch at the entrance be required?

5. Are there any limitation of a walk-in closet size were lighting outlet is required?

6. When a lighting fixture in a walk-in closet would be provided by the tenant in the future, to comply with NYCEC section 410.16, may a switch controlled receptacle outlet for future lighting fixture be provided in lieu of lighting fixture as per 210.70.(A).(1). Exception No. 1?

7. When a lighting fixture in a walk-in closet is provided with integral occupancy sensor, where occupancy sensor has a manual control switch at the occupancy sensor and the sensor is not reachable from the entrance, would a readily accessible wall mounted switch at the entrance be required?

1. No. Refer to Clothes-Closet definition in 2011 NYC Electrical Code.
2. NYC Electrical Code doesn’t require luminaire in clothes-closets.
3. No.
4. No.
5. No. see answer to No.2.
6. No. Refer to subsections 410.16(A), and (B).
7. No.


Section 215.10 - (2/5/2014)

Q1: Article 250.64(D), provides for three methods of grounding services with multiple disconnection means enclosures (D1, D2, and D3).

D1 allows for taps of the common ground electrode conductor. The size of the common electrode conductor is as per service drop lateral indicated in T250.66.

  1. Can the tap be sized for the conductors feeding each indusial switching, T250.66?
  2. Can the tap be sized for the conductors and the grounding electrode taps be connected by means of buss bar and lugs terminations?
  3. Are split bolts connections allowed for the above application?

Q2: Article 250.64(D), provides for three methods of grounding services with multiple disconnection means enclosures (D1, D2, and D3).

D2 allows for individual grounding of each disconnecting means enclosure.

  1. Does this mean the grounding electrode conductor for each switch is sized for service entrance conductors feeding each individual disconnecting means enclosure as per article 250.66 to grounding electrode system?

Q3: Article 250.64(D), provides for three methods of grounding services with multiple disconnection means enclosures (D1, D2, and D3).

D3 Allows for only grounding electrode conductor in a wireway or other accessible enclosures on the supply side of the service disconnection means. The grounding electrode conductor shall be sized as per article 250.66 based on the service entrance conductor.

  1. Does this mean only one switch need to be provided with a grounding electrode conductors sized as per article 250.66 for feeder drop or lateral?
  2. Can a supplemental ground electrode conductor be connected to the metal frame of the service equipment, neutral buss bar of the common ground electrode of D1 type installation?

a: Yes.
b: Yes, if approved for the purpose.
c: Yes, if approved for grounding

a: Yes.

a: No.
b: Yes.


Section 220.43 - (10/1/2014)

Q: Please see attached copy of manufacturers "bus way" product. If the "bus way" is used to supply only "bus way" mounted lighting fixtures via connection containing integral over current protection; Is this use subject to the requirements of section 220.43 (B)?

A:No. Since the material complies with subsection 368.17(C), it is considered busway and is not subject to section 220.43.

Please note that all material must be listed to US standard in order to be used in NYC


Section 220.84 - (6/4/2014)

Q: For a calculation of feeder load to a distribution panel in a multifamily dwelling, an optional method was utilized per Article 220.84 (Part IV of Article 220). All (3) conditions of Art. 220.84(A) were met based on inclusion of 8 kW per unit as the electrical cooking load as permitted by the exception to 220.8(A)(2).

1. If Article 220.84 is utilized for feeder calculation to a distribution panel, must the Article 220.82 be utilized for determining the feeder size between the distribution board and an apartment panel within a dwelling unit?

(This would require a feeder conductor with a minimum ampacity of 100 A).

2. If Article 220.84 is utilized for feeder calculation to a distribution panel, may Part III of Article 220 be utilized for determining the feeder size between the distribution board and an apartment panel within a dwelling unit?

(The result would allow feeder conductor ampacity of less than 100 A).


  1. No. this calculation is to determine the service conductors, and feeder size between the service switch and the distribution (meter bank). For feeder calculation between the meter and the dwelling panelboard, feeder must be sized per Article 215. See Annex D, example D4(b).
  2. Yes.

Section 230.7 - (2/5/2014)

Q: The Department of Buildings is providing the following questions/answers to those interested in satisfying the newly enacted NYS Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) program, PON 2758 Gas Station Back-Up Power Program:

Q1: Where can we locate the permanent connection for temporary generator?

Q2: Can the permanent connection be located adjacent to the gas station booth?

Q3: Is there a conflicts with section 230.70(A)(1), if the permanent connection for the temporary generator is installed as a service switch?

Q4: Is solid or switched neutral required for the installation?

Q5: Can extra hard use cords be used between the permanent connection and the temporary generator?

Q6: What type of loads is required to be on the temporary generator?

Q7: Does this installation require Advisory Board approval?

A1: The permanent connection box, the connection cables, and the generator shall be located outside the Class I, Division II region. The installation shall comply with Article 514 for clearances.

A2: Yes, when complies with the above requirement.

A3: Yes for a service rated service switch combination Manual Transfer Switch (MTS), and no conflict for a standalone generator disconnect switch.

A4: A solid or switched neutral must comply with Article 250.

A5: When comply with A1 requirement above.

A6: Confirm requirement with the NYSERDA program and the station management.

A7: No. Electrical permit and inspection are required.


Section 230.64(B)(5) - (6/4/2014)

Q: We are working on a 154,000 sq. ft high rise commercial building... the scope is to add a new 1200A service switch with CT cabinet and full size tap in the existing Electrical Room in the building to feed new loads.

The existing layout has only one means of egress, will the room be subject to current NEC egress requirements?

We propose to locate the service switch and CT cabinet unit on the South Wall as shown.

Are there any objections to this layout? (See attachment)

A: Yes. The new Service Switch in not compliant with NYC Electrical Code subsection 230.64(B)(5). You may ask for special permission from NYC Electrical Advisory Board.


Section 240.24 - (2/5/2014)

Q: We are designing a 19 story high rise, mixed use (residential, hotel and retail) building. It has been requested by ownership that the refrigerator receptacle and (1) convenience receptacle in each residential apartment be supplied with a dedicated emergency circuit (one circuit for both receptacles).

Our current design includes emergency standby panels on floors 8, 11, 14 and 18, dedicated to supplying power to the designated emergency receptacles in each apartment. These panels are located exterior to the apartments, in electrical closets on the associated floors. These panels are normally fed by utility power and backed up by on site emergency generator via a designated automatic transfer switch.

Section 240.24 of NEC 2008 states that "Each occupant shall have ready access to all overcurrent devices protecting the conductors supplying that occupancy unless otherwise permitted in 240.24(B)(1)". Section 240.24(B)(1) also states that "where electric service and electrical maintenance are provided by the building management and where these are under continuous building management supervision, the service overcurrent devices and feeder overcurrent devices supplying more than one occupancy shall be permitted to be accessible only to authorized management personnel in the following: multiple-occupancy buildings, guest rooms or guest suites".

In this case, the building in question will have a 24 hour super to provide maintenance to the standby panels serving emergency receptacles within apartments. It is our interpretation that since this is a multiple-occupancy building, and that there is continuous building management supervision, that our design would be allowed by code.

Would you agree with our interpretation of NEC 2011 in regards to our current design?

A. No, the code section sited refers to service and feeders not branch circuits.


Section 250.1, 250.21, and 250.30 - (2/5/2014)

Q: The question is related to having more than one separately derived grounding system in the same building. Our client is building a highly specialized cancer treatment center. The equipment vendor requires a separately derived grounding system to provide a clean ground to do independent testing/measurement of their equipment. The equipment technicians will have no equipment permanently connected to the reference system. Is the proposed installation acceptable to install two separate grounding systems, one will be the required grounding electrode system, and one shall be for the equipment vendor technicians for their sole use of equipment calibration?

A. No. as per sections 250.1(A), 250.21(A), and 250.30 bonding between the two grounding electrode systems are required.


Section 250.20 and 250.24 - (8/6/2014)

Q: Statements:
We have a building with 6 ATS switches that are all 3-pole with solid connections of the neutrals from the utility supply and roof-top generator. There is no system bonding jumper installed at the generator.

The building also has a fire pump and fire pump controller with a 3-pole ATS with no neutral bus and no neutral conductors from utility supply and generator.

Condition #1 above would require that the generator be treated as a non-separately derived system with no system bonding jumper as we have done.

Condition #2 above would require that the generator be treated as a separately derived system with a system bonding jumper installed as there are no connections between generator and utility supply.


  1. Since there are many buildings in NYC similar to the above building-is the lack of a system bonding jumper acceptable in the above scenario?
  2. If the fire pump is running on the generator the only ground fault return path is through the equipment ground to the service neutral and back to the generator through the neutrals in the other transfer switches. Depending on the sizes this may or may not be a low impedance ground fault path. Is this acceptable?
  3. If we added a neutral to the fire pump circuit from utility and generator how would we size it. Would it be based on the size of the conductors using table 250-66? Or would it be based on the generator OCPD using table 250-122? Is this an acceptable solution?
  4. Instead of adding a neutral if we changed all the 3-pole ATS switches to 4-pole and added a system bonding jumper to the generator-would this make the job code-compliant?


  1. As per you description, you have a solidly grounded wye system and non-separately derived secondary power source. One grounding reference is code compliant.
  2. Grounding described is in compliance with subsection 250.24(5) and definition of non-separately derived system per 250.20(D) FPN No. 1.
  3. No. You proposal as it applies to the existing non-separately derived system do not improve the fault current path in the fire pump circuit.
  4. You did not establish that the system is not a code compliant. Your proposal is a design issue and is not a code requirement. See subsections 90.1(B) and (C).


Section 250.24 - (8/6/2014)

Q: Is it required per NEC2008-250.24.C and D to provide and connect/bond both grounded conductor (neutral) and grounding electrode conductor to 208V, 3 phase, 3 wire fire pump service disconnect switch in grounded utility service system?

A: Yes. Grounded conductor shall be extended to all service switches.


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

Section 310.4 - (12/3/2014)

Q: We have tapped 10 parallel sets 350 kcmils conductors riser using ILSCO taps (piercing connectors), and connected to 10 parallel sets of 3/0 tap conductor, then terminate at 1200A fused safety switch that in turn energizes apartment meters bank. This installation was typical for three locations. We were written for the use of ILSCO connectors instead of the Polaris that were indicated on our approved Advisory Board plans. Can we change the advisory board drawings to show the ILSCO taps?

A: No. Installation described above is in violation with section 310.4, definition of parallel conductors. Parallel conductors must be electrically joined at both ends.


Section 330 and 700.9 - (8/6/2014)

Q: Is it permissible to use type MC cable for branch circuit wiring for laboratory lighting and power being fed from local panels which have normal and backup emergency feeders?

This installation is for a new medical and laboratory building designed as an FGI 2010 article 28 facility.

A: MC cable in non-patient care areas is acceptable to be used in your described installation when installed per Article 330, and wiring is separated in accordance with Section 700.9.


Section 330.2(5) - (12/3/2014)

Q: Article 330.2(5) of the NYC electrical code states that Where the cable has an 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 one hour rated assembly as identified in listings of fire rated assemblies.

Is the use of MC cable with PVC jacket allowed within the hollow steel tubes that are located outdoors for this installation? We would consider the interior of the hollow steel tubes a wet location which is why a PVC jacket is being recommended.

A: Yes, when temperature correction factor is applied to this installation since the steel tubes are exposed to sun light, and the PVC jacket listed for the higher ambient temperature inside the steel tubes.


Section 362.10 - (12/3/2014)

Q: Can ENT be used as race way for power conductors encased in concrete? If yes is the below method of use acceptable?

We intend to use ENT encased in concrete on floors 2-10 (sizes range from 1” -2”) on an upcoming project, each slab is at an average of 10” thick. ENT to surrounded by a minimum of 2” concrete.

1. We intend to change over from ENT to galv. 90deg when exiting slab.

2. We also intend to use ENT between metallic deck boxes encased in concrete for lighting and misc. power items.

1. Yes
2. Yes


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

Section 410.130(G) - (6/4/2014)

Q: We are relocating existing fluorescent luminaires. The existing luminaires do not have ballast disconnects. Are we required to installed ballast disconnect switches in each fixture?

We are installing fluorescent luminaires in an open office which will NOT be supplied by a multiwire branch circuit. The open office contains emergency battery backup luminaires that provide 2 footcandles of illumination throughout the space. Exception #5 exempts to require ballast disconnects for the luminaires. Is my answer correct?


  1. No. Disconnecting means is required unless multiwire branch circuit is not used. See Subsection 410.130(g), Exception #5.
  2. Emergency illumination is exempted under Subsection 410.130(g), Exception #2.

Section 422 and 440 - (6/4/2014)

Q: I have a split unit AC system just installed in my house and was told that each unit requires its own on/off switch. Can you please clarify what exactly is needed because I do not think it is accurate?

A: Where the outdoor unit (compressor) is provided with lockable disconnecting means and the indoor unit (evaporator) is energized from the outdoor unit, a second disconnection means is not required next to the indoor unit. See section 422.31(A), (B), and section 440.12(B).


Section 430.33 and 430.53- (12/3/2014)

Q: Please provide clarification on the following questions regarding overload protection for fire / smoke damper actuators:

1. Is a fire / smoke damper actuator motor considered varying duty and therefore protected from overload by the branch-circuit short-circuit and ground fault protective device as described in 430.33?

2. If the answer to #1 is "yes," then is the answer still "yes" if multiple fire / smoke damper actuator motors are connected to the same 120V-20A branch circuit as allowed by 430.53(A)?
a. If the answer to #2 is "no," then if each fire / smoke damper actuator has integral electronic overload protection "throughout 0 to 95 degree rotation, auto-restart after temporary overload (per the attached cut sheet)," does this meet the requirement of 430.53(B), thus negating required compliance with 430.32?
If the answer to #1 is "no," then does the electronic overload protection noted in #2a meet the requirement of 430.32(B)(1)? Thus complying with 430.53(A)?


  1. Upstream over current protection device and over load protection shall be provided in accordance with the manufacturer’s requirement and the listing of the device.
  2. Yes
    1. N/A
  3. N/A

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

Section 500.8 - (12/3/2014)

Q: Section 500.8 (A)(3) says "Evidence acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction such as a manufacturer's self-evaluation or an owner's engineering judgment."

Is an owner's engineering judgment an engineering judgment signed and sealed by a New York State licensed Professional Engineer?

A: No. The department currently doesn’t accept such equipment determination.


Section 501.15(A)(1) - (12/3/2014)

Q: Section 501.15(A)(1) says, in part, "only explosion proof unions, coupling, reducers, elbows, capped elbows, and conduit bodies similar to L, T, and Cross types that are not larger than the trade size of the conduit shall be permitted between the sealing fitting and the explosion proof enclosure."

Is an "explosion proof flexible fitting"(please see supporting document ) considered to be a coupling as mentioned in Section 501.15(A)(1)?

If the "explosion proof flexible fitting" is not considered to be a coupling as mentioned in Section 501.15(A)(1), would the advisory board grant a special permission/variance to allow its use?

Instead of the reducer mentioned in Section 501.15(A)(1), can an explosion proof enlarger be used?

A: Since the material is listed for the intended use in hazardous locations, the material is acceptable and maybe used in accordance with its listing.


Section 501.15(D)(1) - (12/3/2014)

Q: Section 501.15(D)(1) says, "Cable shall be sealed at all terminations." Is it allowed to use a fitting such as an explosion proof reducer between/on the cable seal and the enclosure to where the cable is being terminated?

A: No. The sealing must be applied at the first termination.


Section 517.3 - (12/3/2014)

Q: Does the current NYC electrical code require a separate and dedicated ATS for the stair pressurization system, or is it permissible to feed it from the Life Safety branch of the emergency system?

A: Yes in healthcare occupancies. See subsection 517.30.


Section 517.30(C) - (10/1/2014)

Q: Is it permissible to use hospital grade type MC cable for branch circuit wiring for emergency/life safety circuits?

A: Yes, listed metal-sheathed cables are permitted as a wiring method for hospital emergency system circuits, but only under the specific conditions stated in 517.30(C)(2) and (C)(3).


Section 517.30(C) - (6/4/2014)

Q: Statement
We will be performing the electrical installation on a new Hospital Ambulatory Care Center, occupancy 1-2. The

total building will be 17 stories. Floors 1 thru 11 will be occupied as an Ambulatory Care Center and floors 12 thru 17 will be un-occupied shell space which will be used for some future undetermined program.

An interim lighting system is being provided in the shell space, simply to provide the minimum lighting levels that will be required to obtain the base building C of O. None of the shell space (floors 12 thru 17) interim lighting will be conformed to be used for any future occupancy.

Question: Regarding NEC Section 517.30 (C) 3" Mechanical Protection of the Emergency System". In the shell space areas floors 12 thru 17, which are un-occupied, may the Emergency Lighting branch circuit wiring be type MC cable?

A: Yes, the proposed installation is acceptable. The current unfinished space doesn’t constitute as patient care areas.

Section 517.30(C)(1) and 700.9 - (6/4/2014)

Q: Emergency Diesel Generator over 150kva for a health care facility with multiple campus buildings

Emergency Feeders
Can the Essential Electrical System Feeders (life safety, critical and equipment) be combined in common raceways, (ie. common boxes) from the same generating source to the line side of the ATS?

Per Article 517.30.C.1 life safety branch and critical branch need to be kept entirely independent only on the load side of the ATS. Both normal and emergency will be available at the load side of the ATS.

Per Article 700.9.B.5 Optional Standby Feeders will be separated in vertical switchgear sections and run in independent raceways.

Per Article 700.9.B.1 Emergency Feeders will not be combined in any raceway with normal power feeders except as explicitly allowed per code.

A: No, separation of Life Safety Branch and Critical Branch start at the alternate power source. See 517.30(C)(1).


Section 590.4(B) - (6/4/2014)

Q: Question regarding Article 590 Temporary Installations

  1. 590.4(B) the term "cable assemblies" is used to describe acceptable material that can be run exposed, what is meant by "cable assemblies·, is this NM cable that they are taking about?
  2. Can a exposed conductors but twisted to form a triplex cable assembly made up of three conductors with a ground and no outer jacket be considered as "cable assemblies"?
  3. Does NYC have any height limitations for exposed "cable assemblies' or NM cable?
  4. Does NYC have any voltage limitations for exposed wiring used for temporary feeders, can 277/480 Volt feeders used for temporary feeders run exposed?
  5. Can NM cable assemblies be used for 277/480 Volt temporary feeders run exposed?


  1. Yes, NM is one type of a Cable Assemly. Refer to definitions in Article 334 and Subsections 590.4(B) and (C).
  2. No.
  3. Refer to Subsections 590.4(B) and (J).
  4. Yes, higher voltage system is allowed when feeders are installed and protected in accordance with Article 590.
  5. See 590.4(C).


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

Section 604.1(A) - (12/3/2014)

Q: A Manufactured Wiring Systems vendor states that the wiring systems subject to Article 604 are permitted to be used as a wiring system in raised floor spaces.

Vendor's statement was based on following:

1. Definition for manufactured wiring system in article 604.2 which states in part "... and used for connection of luminaires, utilization equipment, continuous plug-in busways, and other devices."

2. Article 604.2 Uses Permitted. Manufactured wiring systems shall be permitted in accessible and dry locations and in ducts, plenums, and other air-handling spaces where listed for this application and installed in accordance with 300.22.

Please advise whether the application of manufactured wiring systems is restricted to general lighting circuits above an accessible hung ceiling or where no ceiling exists as stated in Article 604.1(A)(3), or whether such wiring system may be utilized for power distribution within the raised floor spaces.

A. The application of manufactured wiring systems is restricted to general lighting circuits above an accessible hung ceiling or where no ceiling exists as stated in Article 604.1(A)(3).


Section 695.6 - (4/2/2014)

Q: We have 40hp fire pump on the 19th floor of a hotel, the normal feed with, 3#2/0, is coming from the cellar main service room, it us our understanding that lifeline cable is approved for use horizontally (for 2hr rating) but NOT vertically, can we use lifeline cable and in all areas that require a horizontal run and in vertical runs (riser shaft) we would enclose in a 2hr rated shaft-way, until such a point that the conduit with the wire in it goes horizontal again in which case the lifeline protection would take over ?

A. Yes, when the shaft is dedicated for the Fire Pump circuit.


Section 695.6(B)(3) - (4/2/2014)

Q: Is painting the fire pump feeder conduit with 2-hour rated intumescent paint an acceptable method of achieving the 2-hour fire rating of Section 695.6(B)(2) or Section 695.6(B)(3)?

A. No.


Section 695.7 - (6/4/2014)

Q: We want to run Service Conductors from Fire Pump to Generator and as per the code 695.7 it has to be 2 hr fire rated.

Our Question is can we use 2 Sheetrock Assembly to achieve the mandatory 2 hr fire protection or it has to enclosed in Concrete blocks/concrete.

Can a 2 hour OSHA approved Sheetrock suffice ?


  1. A listed 2-hour fire rated assembly may be used for Fire Pump Circuit Conductor per section 695.6(B)(1)(3).
  2. A listed fire-rated assembly in accordance with section 695.6(B)(1)(3) will be acceptable.


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

Section 700.6 - (10/1/2014)

Q: After super storm Sandy we were involved in making temporary connections between mobile trailer mounted generators and building switchgear in order to provide temporary power to several NYC stores. The connections were made by running temporary cables from the street through the building and down stairways to the switchgear. An electrician manually disconnected the load side of the service switch and connected the temporary feeders to the switchgear bus bars.

In an effort to simplify this process, we have been installing a fused disconnect in the switchgear, interlocked with the main service switch via a kirk key so the disconnect switch is "open" when the main service switch is closed. We have installed a generator connection box in a location convenient to the street, such as the building's loading dock, and ran wires from the generator connection box to the fused disconnect in the switchgear. During normal operation with the disconnect switch "open", the feeders to the generator connection box and the connection box are not energized. When a power outage occurs, a mobile trailer mounted generator will be parked on the street and a "qualified person" would install temporary wiring between the mobile generator and the generator connection box.

The generator connection box, and the wiring to the disconnect switch in the switchgear, are simply and extension of what would be the temporary feeders required to connect the mobile generator to the switchgear. There is a disconnect and over current protection on the mobile generator.

It is our position that a disconnect and overcurrent protection is not required at the generator connection box since:

1. The actual point of connection for the generator is either at the generator or the switchgear, both have a means of disconnect and OCP.

2. Installing a disconnect and OCP at the generator connection box will not serve any purpose since it will be de-energized until the disconnect switch at either the generator or the switchgear are closed.

3. The disconnect at the switchgear cannot be closed without opening the main service switch.

Does the above satisfy the intent of 700.6(G)?

If not, does the above satisfy the intent of 700.6(F)?

A: No. subsection 700.6(G) as amended by 2011 NYC Electrical Code requires an overcurrent protection at the point of connection.

Yes. When qualified persons maintain and supervise the installation. All temporary materials shall be removed after use.


Section 700.9 - (4/2/2014)

Q: Local Law 111/2013 was passed at the end of 2013 which became effective upon passing adding a new category of loads to be generator supported power by the inclusion of an amended NEC Article 701-Legally Required Standby Systems. The loads were previously defined as Emergency loads under NYCEC Article 700. The new classification of these loads includes differences from those defined for emergency systems in equipment, wiring and performance requirements. These are less restrictive than for emergency systems installed per NYCEC Article 700. NYCEC Article 702 also defines requirements for Optional Standby loads with a further reduction in restrictions.

Specific compliance with Articles 700, 701 and 702 results in 3 discrete generator supported electrical installations in addition to the normal power distribution system. There is no identifiable code language that permits upgrade to a higher level of performance for loads supported per Articles 701 & 702.

  1. Is it permissible to support Legally Required Standby Loads from the Emergency System where the Legally Required Standby system loads are installed and operate per NYCEC Article 700.
  2. Is it permissible to support Optional Standby Loads from the Legally Required Standby System where the Optional Standby system loads are installed and operate per NYCEC Article 701.
  3. Is it permissible to support Optional Standby Loads from the Emergency System where Optional Standby system loads are installed and operate per NYCEC Article 700.


  1. Yes, when the Legally Requires Loads are re-identified and treated as Emergency load.
  2. Yes, when the Optional Standby Loads are re-identified and treated as Legally Required load.
  3. No.

Section 700.9(D)(1) - (2/5/2014)

Q: For emergency system feeders between emergency generator and emergency system distribution equipment section 700.9D1 requires that feeders circuit wiring meet one of the following.

  1. Be installed in spaces or areas that are fully protected by an approved automatic fire suppression system.
  2. Be a listed circuit protective system with a 1 hour fire rating. (FPN:UL guide information for electrical circuit protection systems (FHIT) contains information on proper installation requirements to maintain fire rating.)
  3. Be protected by a listed thermal barrier system for electrical system components
  4. Be protected by a listed fire-rated assembly that has a minimum fire rating of 1-hour and contains only emergency wiring circuits.
  5. Be embedded in not less than 50mm (2 in) of concrete
  6. Be a cable listed to maintain circuit integrity for not less than 1 hour when installed in accordance with the listed requirements.

As per this section is it permissible to install the following (FHIT) feeders in NYC:

a. 1850Mi cable
b. RHW in non-galvanized EMT.

a. Yes. In accordance with the listing.
b. Yes. In accordance with the current listing. Note; attention should be given to unique installation requirement of this system.

Section 700.17(1) - (6/4/2014)

Q: Article 700.17(1) Circuits for Emergency Lighting States that an emergency lighting supply shall automatically transfer emergency lights upon failure of the general lighting supply.

Is it permissible that the emergency lighting supply be operated by occupancy sensors in rooms that do not require exit lights (defined egress path)?

A: Yes, when provided with Emergency Override and UL 924 listed for Emergency and Egress lighting control.


Section 760.3(F) - (8/6/2014)

Q: In a large mercantile property that consist of occupied basement and 5 above ground structures, the fire alarm system incorporates 9 data gathering panels (DGP). The building is one story with fully occupied basement.

The buildings at grade level have direct access to street or parking lot.

One panel is located in each anchor tenant and one panel for each sub-dividable structure. The designed specified fire optic cable in compliance with section 760.3(F) and installed in compliance with Article 770 as amendment by NYC Electrical Code.

The fire alarm system is sequenced for full evacuation of premises. Therefore, there is no requirement for survivability as defined In NFPA 72.


  1. 15 type OFNR fiber optic cable installed In accordance with Article 760.3(F) and Article 770 acceptable for use as the data link between the DGP panels?
  2. Does the required type OFNR fiber optic cable require any NYC approval beyond it's U.L listing to be acceptable to be used In fire alarm system?
  3. Does NYC required any special labeling, color or text on the outer jacket other than the fiber distribution type and U.L. stamp on jacket, in this case type OFNR?


  1. Yes, when complying with NYC Electrical Code.
  2. No. As long as the cable is listed to the required listing
  3. No. Refer to subsection 770.179(B) and 770.145(B)

Please note that this code interpretation/ inquiry response is not an approval for your installation.


Section 760.3(F) - (10/1/2014)

Q: Question 1:

We have a washer/dryer closet (size 30"Wx30"L) in a dwelling unit that has a 120V, 20A dedicated outlet for the washer and a 208V, 30A dedicated outlet for the dryer. Does the branch circuit supplying the 120V washer outlet have to be protected by a listed arc-fault circuit interrupter?

Question 2:

We have a 120V, 1000W electric baseboard heater in the living room of a dwelling unit. The connection to the electric baseboard is hard wired (no outlet required). Does the branch circuit supplying the said heater have to be protected by a listed arc-fault circuit interrupter?


Q1. Yes, the closet space is required to comply under the current NYC Electrical Code.

Q2. Yes.


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

Section 800.133(D) - (10/1/2014)

Q: There is an existing room identified as Server Room. It currently consists of a rack with communication equipment and cabling, a panelboard, a transformer serving the panelboard, HVAC equipment disconnect and controls. The transformer and panelboard are not dedicated to serving loads within the server room. As part of an alteration, the room will be reconfigured slightly (door and wall adjustment). The same equipment (electrical and communication) will reside in the new server room, but the electrical equipment will be relocated to fit within the new server room layout.

  1. Knowing the room contains a transformer and panelboard, is this server room considered an electric closet (as per Article 100 or Section 110.25)? The room is not dedicated to electrical distribution equipment.
  2. With the equipment listed above, is there any violation of 800.133D? 800.133D states that communication equipment and cabling shall not be installed in Electric Closets.
  3. If a sub-panel is added to the Server Room to allow for further branch distribution on the floor, does that change (a) or (b) above?


  1. No.
  2. No.
  3. No.


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

Section 965.3 and 965.72(B) - (6/4/2014)

Q: For an existing building and service as per the attached power riser diagram:

  1. Can fire pump service switch be installed in fire pump room as per nyc electrical code section 695.3 (a) (1) and as shown on attached power riser diagram.
  2. Can fire pump service switch be installed outside the electrical room as per attached power riser diagram and as per nyc electrical code section 695.4 (b) (3) (4) is 12” sufficient to comply with "be located sufficiently remote from other building or other fire pump source disconnecting means ...”


  1. Yes, when Fire Pump circuit is installed in accordance with Section 230.6.
  2. Fire Pump service switch shall be permitted to be installed remote, outside the electrical service room as permitted by Subsection 230.72(B).


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Article 110.2(B) - (10/1/2014)

Q: In preparation for a project please verify if the Electrical Advisory Board is required to review the described installation.

The facility is NOT connected to a utility source. Electric is derived from [6] generators which feed a common bus (generator switchboard) totaling approximately 5megawatts at 480 volts. The generator switchboard feeds [5] separate distribution switchboards, a combination of residential and commercial properties. The existing distribution switchboards are to be replaced in like kind and location with proper clearances maintained.

Since the facility lacks a serving utility is the Electrical Advisory Board required to review the proposed installation?

A: Yes. Refer to Electrical Advisory Board Rule 1 RCNY §34-05, and 2011 NYC Electrical Code, subsection 110.2(B).


Article 240.24(A) - (10/1/2014)

Q: Article 404.8, Exception No. 3 permits hookstick operable isolating switches to be at a greater heights than the 6'-7" to the center of the grip of the operating handle above the floor.

Given a condition where transformer secondary conductors are supplying a panelboard equipped with a main circuit breaker but where the panelboard would be more than 25 feet away, a fused disconnect switch would be provided adjacent to the transformer. The disconnect switch - UL 98 listed - would be located at a height greater than 7'-6" and be equipped for hookstick operation.

1. Would the above described installation be a Code compliant installation by meeting the requirements of Exception 3?

2. Would the above described installation meet the accessibility requirements of Article 404.8 if the panelboard did not contain a main overcurrent device?


  1. No. A transformer secondary switch is not an isolation switch. Refer to Article 100 for the definition of an isolation switch. Additionally, subsection 240.24(A) is not applicable to your installation.
  2. No.

Article 680.51 - (12/3/2014)

Q: Is submersible lighting over 15V allowed to be used in fountains under the 2011 NYC electrical code?

In the 2011 amendment, under article 680.20(A)(2), it clearly states that lighting over 15V is not allowed.

Under the current code, amendment Article 680.23, the intent is not as clearly defined. The Article 680.23(D) no niche luminaires states that the fixture must be supplied by a transformer as defined in 680.23(A)(2) which states that the transformer should be listed for Pool & Spa use. This differs from NEC article 680-23 (D) definition of no niche luminaires in that the NEC article does not require the fixture to be fed from a transformer. To me, this implies that the fixture must meet pool and spa voltage requirements of 15V or less?

A: Yes for the fountain section; please note the correct code reference is 680.51(a) and (b) which permits GFI protection.


Article 695 - (8/6/2014)

Q: For a residential building in New York City if the controllers for the fire pump are being fed off the service switch and there is no emergency feed being provided, is it code compliant for the fire pump controller to come with an ATS?

A: Yes, when the ATS is configured to maintain the electric power continuity and not to interrupt the primary source power under any case.


Article 700 and 701 - (8/6/2014)

Q: My request is related to the interpretation response to the inquiry related to 700.9 and LL 111/2013 as documented in your meeting minutes of 4/2/2014. The response permits loads now classified by LL 111 as "Legally Required Standby" in compliance with NEC Article 701 to be reclassified as "Emergency" when they meet the requirements of NEC Article 700. It also permits loads classified as "Optional" in compliance with NEC Article 702 to be reclassified as "Legally Required Standby" when they meet the requirements of NEC Article 701 but cannot be reclassified as "Emergency" even if installed in compliance with NEC Article 700.

Question 1.

Can the reclassified Article 701 loads share a common ATS with the code designated emergency loads where the emergency loads are not specifically required to have a dedicated ATS or power source?

Question 2.

Can the reclassified Article 702 loads share a common ATS with the code designated legally required standby loads?

Please consider the fact that the sharing of a common ATS would result in the possibility of a legally required standby load compromising the integrity of the required emergency loads. Likewise an optional load has the potential to compromise the integrity of the legally required standby loads.

A: 1. Yes, when Article 701 load are reclassified as Article 700 loads.

2. Yes, when Article 702 loads are reclassified as Article 701 loads.

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ADMINISTRATIVE: General Requirements

License - (2/5/2014)

Q: Is a master electricians license required when installing power poles/ posts for furniture partition. These posts are UL listed and contain electrical wiring. A hard wire connection must be made to the post and a flexible metal conduit wiring harness supplies power to each other post in the furniture configuration.

A. Yes.


Administrative Sections 27-115 and 27-118(a) - (4/2/2014)

Q: (i) Emergency power generation feeders and automatic transfer devices that are required to be installed in existing buildings pursuant to §27-1 15 or 27-118(a) of the Administrative Code shall not be located in the same room as the main or primary electrical service equipment.

(ii) Any automatic transfer device that is not located at the load shall be remotely located or separated by 2-hour fire resistance rated construction from the emergency generator and any fuel burning equipment.

a. As per this section, is it permissible to install automatic transfer switches, a dedicated emergency distribution board feeding automatic transfer switches, and a dedicated normal distribution board feeding automatic transfer switches in the same 2-hour fire resistance rated room as shown on attached sketch 'AB-001' and 'AB-002'?

b. lf not, as per this section, is it permissible to install automatic transfer switches in a 2-hour fire resistance rated room, and a dedicated emergency distribution board feeding automatic transfer switches, and a dedicated normal distribution board feeding automatic transfer switches in the emergency generator room as shown on attached sketch 'AB-003'? (See attached three sketches).

A. No.


Administrative Sections Rule 34-05 - (6/4/2014)

Q: A very serious thermal problem is identified on a building's 3000A, 480V main service switch during an Infrared Scan. The switch is old and the problem cannot be resolved through maintenance or repair. A licensed Local 3 electrical contractor obtains a permit for the replacement of the switch, which will be performed during a coordinated Utility Power outage. The ratings of the replacement switch are identical to the existing switch, and the replacement switch is equipped with ground-fault protection. There is no change, revision or addition to the capacity of the existing installation. Upon completion of the switch replacement, the contractor schedules an inspection with the BEC.

Because this work is being performed for the sole purpose of fixing a defective switch, and the capacity of the system will remain unchanged, is this work required to be submitted to the Electrical Advisory Board for approval?

A: A submission in accordance with Rule 34-05 must be made to the NYC Electrical Advisor Board.

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 2013
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