2021 Code Revision and Interpretation Committee Code Interpretation (Last Updated: March 14, 2023)

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 , as well as (Local Law 39/11) that went into effect on March 1, 2012.

All interpretations are based on the 1999 NEC and associated NY City amendments.

Whenever there are a few sections referenced, the first one is the "lead section", and the rest are secondary sections. All the secondary sections are referenced with the purpose of offering additional clarifications.

Click a topic, or press the enter key on a topic, to reveal its answer.

Chapter 1: General (Section 110.1 to 110.79)

Article 100 & section 830.133(D) – (2/1/2021)

We are constructing a 1,000 SF computer room and are locating related electrical equipment including a switchboard rated 2500A operating at 480V in an adjacent room. The room will be compliant with 2008 NEC/NYCEC section 110.26. Proper warning signs and locks will be on the entrance to the space. This room is not part of the base building core and is just for the use of the tenant.

  1. Must the room be designed as electrical closet as per the Article 100 Definition?
  2. Since the computer room is immediately adjacent to this room it is necessary to rout the tenant armored fiber from the computer room through this room. The fiber is just passing through the room and is being routed above the circulation space of the room and at height of at least 15FT AFF and not impacting the serviceability of working clearances of the electrical equipment. Is it permissible?
  1. Yes
  2. Yes. The intent of section 830.133 is to prohibit the communication equipment and cabling from being installed in electric closets as defined in NYC Electrical Code, Passing thru such spaces are permitted when fire stopping is provided and installed by licensed electrician.

Section 110.2 – (8/10/2021)

On June 12, 2020, a new UL Supplement was approved SD – Furniture Power Distribution Units (FPDUs) for Portable (Movable) Work Space Tables. This new Supplement SD is included under UL 962A – the ANSI/UL Standard for Furniture Power Distribution Units. Prior to June 12, 2020, no standard existed for listing this type of product. Up to six (6) FPDUs can be interconnected for maximum of length of 48.5 feet.

White the used of listed FPDUs is permitted by NYC electrical code, this specific product covered by Supplement SD did not exist when the 2011 NYC electrical code was adopted, our question is whether it is permitted to utilize such system in NYC in manner described in UL Guide IYNC for the product (see attached references)?

The attached listed Furniture Power Distribution Units is permitted to be installed in NYC and there is no prohibition under NYC electrical code.

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

Section 210.8 & 210.12 – (8/10/2021)

  1. Does sum pump located in unfinished basementy require GFCI protection in accordance with 210.8(A)(5)?
  2. Does sum pump located in room dedicated (unhabitable room/ closet)for the sump pump in a finishe basementy require GFCI protection in accordance with 210.8(A)(5)?
  3. Does the sump pump in No. 1 require AFCI protection?
  4. Does the sump pump in No. 2 require AFCI protection?
  5. Does the sump pump in questions above required to be connected to Tamper Resistant type receptacle outlet?
  1. No, the GFCI protection may introduce a hazard and/ or disturb the sump pump operation.
  2. See answer for No. 1.
  3. No. AFCI protection for sump pump may interfere with the pump’s operation.
  4. No. AFCI protection for sump pump may interfere with the pump’s operation.
  5. Yes.

Section 210.11(C)(4) & 210.23(A)(2) – (8/10/2021)

The units are mounted indoor with penetrations thru the wall for exhaust and fresh air. It is assumed that the units will be mounted below the window and if there are constraints, the units will be mounted on the wall in each bedroom and the living room. The power receptacle will be mounted indoor for connection to the unit via cord and plug. (see attached)

Our inquiry is for the DP81xxxx and the DP91xxxx. These are 120 volts with cord and plug. We are requesting to put 2 of these units on a 20A circuit breaker to save NYCHA the cost of running separate circuits. Both units combined is within the circuit capacity.

No. Your proposed installation is in violation with NYC electrical code 210.11(C)(4).

Section 210.52(D) – (4/6/2021)

Is it permissible to mount a bathroom receptacle outlet more than 12 inches below the basin but within 36 inches from the basin? The outlet is mounted on the wall, not on the side or face of the basin cabinet.

No. For the required bathroom receptacle, see 210.52(D).

Section 210.70 – (4/6/2021)

Are the following scenarios permissible?

  1. Can a receptacle be located inside a cabinet with a door?
    Section 210.52(3) of the NYC NEC states that dwelling unit receptacle outlet requirements are "in addition to any receptacle that is . . . located within cabinets or cupboard." This seems to indicate that receptacles inside cabinets are permissible so long as required receptacles are provided

  2. Can a wireless wall switch satisfy the requirement for a wall switch-controlled lighting outlet in a habitable room under Section 210.70?

    As support, I direct your attention to the 2020 revision of the NEC which expands the wall switch-ceiling light requirement to include "wall mounted control device," e.g., wireless switch.

  3. Is a wall switch located inside a cabinet behind a door with no locking mechanism "readily accessible"?
    A built-in cabinet with a door will cover the hard-wired wall switch that controls the living room ceiling light. The cabinet will have a cut-out for the wall switch; the door does not contain a locking mechanism. The wall switch is connected to a wireless wall switch, which is located in another part of the living room by an entry and also controls the ceiling light.

    Section 404.8(A) states that "[a]all switches . . . shall be located so that they may be operated from a readily accessible place."

    Section 100 defines readily accessible as: Capable of being reached quickly for operation, renewal, or inspections without requiring those to whom ready access is requisite to climb over or remove obstacles or to resort to portable ladders, and so forth. Is a wall switch located inside a cabinet with an unlocked door "readily accessible"?

  4. Is a wall switch located inside built-in shelves "readily accessible"?
    A set of built-in shelves will be placed over a hard-wired wall switch that controls the living room ceiling light. The back of the built-in shelves will have a cut-out for the wall switch; nothing else will be placed on that shelf. The wall switch is connected to a wireless wall switch, which is located in another part of the living room by an entry and also controls the ceiling light. Section 404.8(A) states that "[a]ll switches . . . shall be located so that they may be operated from a readily accessible place."

    Section 100 defines readily accessible as: Capable of being reached quickly for operation, renewal, or inspections without requiring those to whom ready access is requisite to climb over or remove obstacles or to resort to portable ladders, and so forth. Is a wall switch located inside built-in shelves "readily accessible"?

  1. Yes, when the receptacle is not one of the required receptacles.
  2. Yes, where the wireless device is listed as wall mounted control device and accessible.
  3. No. The light switch is blocked by the cabinet and isn’t readily accessible. Your arrangement is not acceptable.
  4. Yes.

Article 220 – (2/1/2021)

An existing apartment has a 200Amps/Three-phase service. It is required 330 Amps/Three-phase for a renovation, calculated per art. 220. The building has one spare 200Amps/Three-phase service. Is it allowed to feed the apartment with two services (two meters, two feeders) 200 Amp/Three-phase each; the existing one and a new one to install from the spare meter? Each feeder would be used to supply dedicated panels with loads connected to each panel calculated in accordance with Article 220.

Yes, where standard calculation method in accordance with Article 220 is used, and service disconnecting means or feeders are identified.

Article 220 – (12/8/2021)

Does NYC EC provide guidance for demand calculation for healthcare facilities or nursing homes?
Are there diversity factors that we can apply for these occupancies?

Yes, refer to Article 220 and 517.
Yes, see above.

Section 220.14(D) – (12/8/2021)

When installing downlight (hihat) fixtures that fit A lamp or PAR 150 watts in dwellings, and PAR38 150 Watts LED are installed which are rated for 19 Watts, what is the maximum number of downlights permitted on 20 amps rated circuit? Is the fixture rating or the installed lamp determine the connected load on the branch circuit.

The rating of a fixture determines the connected load on a circuit, 220.14(D) and (J).

Please note that electricians shall comply with NYC ECC which requires that 90% of the permanently installed light fixtures must be of high efficacy lamp. See attached NYC ECC R404.1.

Section 220.40 – (6/9/2021)

Does NYC Electrical code allow an individual branch circuit for a refrigerator to not be counted in the feeder calculation for a dwelling as per the NEC.

Yes, such circuit is excluded from the load calculation by NY EC section 220.52(A) Exception.

Section 220.55 – (6/9/2021)

The Client is installing nine three-phase risers/feeders, each dedicated for Electric Ranges after having the building gas shut off. Each apartment gets a new panel tapped off the new riser, and a branch circuit to the new range.

One Riser Example:

Riser "H" = 14 Apartments, 14 Appliances, 30" Electric Ranges rated 12.7kW each.

* Table 220.55 Column-C and Note 1 stipulates the total Maximum Demand for 14 Appliances rated 12.7kW equal 29kW plus adding 5% for the 0.7kW fraction over 12kW, so 30,450 total watts (divided by 360 = 84.6 Amps).

Now the client wishes to revise his design to instead of having 14 pcs of 30" Ranges, to now have 14 Wall Ovens rated 5.5 kW, and 14 Counter-Cooktops rated 6.4 kW.

Their overall combined loads of 11.9 kW each apartment of course are now being LESS than the singular previous Electric (Oven/Top) Range of 12.7kW.

Table 220.55 seems to dictate I calculate the revised Demand Factor as 28 Appliances from Column-B as now 24% of the total load (14 x 5.5kW, plus, 14 x 6.4 kW = 166,600 watts x 0.24) for a revised Maximum Demand of 39,984 watts or 111.1 amps.

Some 26.5 more amps on the Riser/Feeder Calc, for LESS actual load.

While I understand the third section of 220.55- Note 4 ("The branch-circuit load for a counter-mounted cooking unit and not more than two wall-mounted ovens, all supplied from a single branch circuit and located in the same room, shall be calculated by adding the nameplate rating of the individual appliances and treating this total as equivalent to one range.") is about calculating the BRANCH circuit load, the intent and concept understands the non-coincidence of demand situation of two "appliances" whose operation performs the same function as One Range.

Can I thus calculate the Riser/Feeder load extending the concept's intent, and figure the Wall Oven/Counter Cooktop as 14 "ranges" of 11.9kW off Column-C?

No. As you stated, Note 4 allowance is applicable to branch circuit only and not for feeder demand calculation. Please note that your calculation for the single phase electric ranges is not accurate and the incorrect demand factor was used, please refer to Annex D, Example D5(a) for the proper calculation of single phase loads served by three phase.

Section 220.61 & 250.122(F) – (12/8/2021)

The existing electrical service room of a landmark theater has a floor to exposed ceiling height of 6 feet 1 inch with several conduit offsets within existing working space with heights of 5 feet 9 inches. We are adding new distribution to a portion of the facility that meets code required clear height requirements. Are we permitted to connect to the existing installation without modifying if it was;

  1. previously approved
  2. if there is no record of approval
  1. Yes
  2. Yes, but if there are existing code violations other than headroom, such violations shall be removed.

Section 230.2(A)(5) – (8/10/2021)

(I have called the contractor and he stated that Con Ed has provided a second service for the connection of the PV system. The PV system terminates in a separate SEB that in turn connect to utility lateral conductors.)

I have been informed the photovoltaic COG (community distribution generation) project referenced above failed inspection for the stated reason: "230.2(B) special permission for second service in building."

I disagree with the stated reason, and believe the correct Code reference is 230.2(A)(5) which states: 230.2 Number of Services. A building or other structure served shall be supplied by only one service unless permitted in 230.2(A) through (D).
(A)Special Conditions. Additional services shall be permitted to supply the following:
(5) Parallel power production systems

community distribution generation photovoltaic system is a parallel power production system.

 In addition, paragraph 230.82(6) specifically permits "Solar photovoltaic systems, fuel cells, or interconnected electric power production sources to be connected to the supply side of the service disconnecting means.

 I respectfully request your reconsideration of the reason for failed inspection in view of the information presented above. We are seeking this Electrical Special Permission Request to achieve a determination/clarification that would grant approval on the current objection listed under its associated permit. (See attachment)
We are seeking this Electrical Special Permission Request to achieve a determination/clarification that would grant approval on the current objection listed under its associated permit.
(See attachment)

The second service is permitted under 230.2(A)(5) Parallel power production systems. Special permission is not required.

Section 230.42(A)(2) – (10/5/2021)

Section 230.42(A)(2) amendment states that ampacity of the service entrance conductor shall not be less than the maximum ampere rating of the service disconnecting means. Section 240.4.B states that the next higher overcurrent device rating above the ampacity of the conductors are permitted for 800A and less.

  1. Does section 230.42.A.2 take precedence over 240.4.B?
  2. Can (2) 500MCM per ph+N be run from an end line box to an 800A service disconnect?
  1. Section 230.42(A)(2) is not applicable for 800 amp rated service disconnecting means.
  2. Yes.

Section 230.42(A)(2) – (12/8/2021)

Article 215.2(A)(1) states regarding the sizing of the grounded conductor the following:

"The size of the feeder circuit grounded conductor shall not be smaller than that required by 250.122, except that 250.122(F) shall not apply where grounded conductors are run in parallel."

250.122 does not mention grounded conductors and is concerned with sizing of equipment ground conductors. The intent of the reference implies that the minimum size of a grounded conductor in a single cable or raceway of a feeder is based on the OCPD and its size is determined by Table 250.122.

Since 250.122 (F) is excluded, I understand this to mean the total ampacity of the neutral conductors shall be based on Article 220.61 (Neutral load Calculations), however since it is run in parallel sets cannot be smaller than 1/0.

Is this correct?


Section 230.46 – (12/8/2021)

We are splicing service conductor to a service entrance conductor in an approved Con Edison service entrance box and utilizing Polaris connectors. We were informed by the manufacturer that their product is not service rated since the mechanical connection is not waterproof. The splicing is located indoor in the electric room. The product documentation indicates for indoor splicing only and no prohibition for use over service installation. Is it permitted to use this product for indoor service installation?

Only approved material as use intended shall be installed in NYC in accordance with 230.46, as amended. Refer to utility standards for approved connectors in service end box, for Con Edison refer to EO-5403, section 4.

Section 230.70(A)(1) – (6/9/2021)

NYC Electrical Code Section 230.70(A)(1) states that the service disconnecting means shall be located "nearest the point of entry of the service conductors" into the building. What is the maximum distance (feet) allowed between the service disconnect and the point of entry of service conductors into the building?

2011 NYC EC does not specify a maximum length for the service entrance conductor as long the service entrance conductor enters directly into the electric service room and the service disconnecting means are located within the same electric service room. Where electric room is not provided, the service disconnecting means shall be located as close as possible to the pointy of the electrical service entry point. The Department will review case by case proposed installations when requested. Additionally, the location shall be approved by the electrical utility.

Article 240 – (4/6/2021)

We are wiring a 30 KW electrical duct heater that has internal two sets of 50 amp, 3 poles fuses. The unit FLA is 82.28 and is provided with integral 100 amp unfused safety switch. The manufacturer recommends a 110 overcurrent protection device and we have installed No. 2 AWG conductor to accommodate the 125% continuous load, we have installed an additional 100 amp unfused safety switch mounted at the unit for service purposes as required by the designer. Our question; is the safety switch what we have installed considered to be protected? See sketch.

The unfused safety switch is considered to be protected when the available short circuit at the panelboard is 5000 amp of less. Additionally, the maximum current at the unit heater is 82.23 amps and it is within the rating of the unfused safety switch. (424.19)

Section 240.21(A) – (12/8/2021)

An existing 700 kCMIL AL feeder with existing No. 2 AWG AL tapped conductor that is being extended to the location of elevator disconnecting means with No. 2 AWG CO conductor. The splicing or the two No. 2 AWG conductor are made with mechanical connectors (Polaris), is the copper conductor considered a double tap? The tap conductor terminated in a 100 amp safety switch and fused at 80 amps.

No. The extension of conductors is appropriate when enclosed in a raceway and the total length doesn’t exceed the tap rule. See 240.21(A) and 210.19(A)(1).

Section 240.24(D) – (2/2/2021)

In NEC article 240.24(D) it mentions that overcurrent devices shall not be installed in the vicinity of easily ignitable materials, such as in clothes closets. Is a "soiled utility room" an objectionable place to install a panel? It is a room where carts of dirty laundry are temporary stores till, they make it to the laundry room. They are vacant for most of the day.

Yes, panelboard is permitted in a soiled utility room with clothes are in carts and the requirement of section 110.26 are complied with; mainly working space shall be kept clear of any storage at all times.

Section 250.4(A)(3) – (10/5/2021)

We are installing a service end box remote from the main service room. The service conductors are 11 sets of 4#750MCM aluminum in fiberglass conduits in concrete. We are not pulling an equipment ground or bonding jumper through these fiberglass conduits. The system is bonded and grounded at the service disconnect. Are we required to run bonding jumpers from the enclosure of the service end box to the enclosure of the service disconnect inside each conduit in order to ensure that all components of the electrical system are bonded together?

Assuming that the answer to the above question is yes, is it required for the bonding jumper to be larger than the phase conductor size of 750MCM? According to 250.102(C) the conductor is required to be over 1031MCM.


No. Installing system bonding jumper in nonmetallic service entrance conductor is unnecessary. The service end box shall be bonded to the grounded conductors as required by 250.80.

Section 250.80 – (8/10/2021)

We have a 2000A service switch with ten sets of 4#3/0 copper conductors on the load side. Each set is routed inside of an individual conduit. According to Table 250.122, a 250MCM copper EGC should be installed in each conduit. However, 250.122(A) says that the EGC is not required to be larger than the phase conductor. Does 250.122(A) apply to 250.122(F) where conductors are run in parallel?

No. Equipment Grounding Conductor (EGC) for parallel set shall be sized in accordance with 250.122(F) to permit and EGC to carry the full fault current that might be supplied by the source. Subsection 250.122(A) applies to single set.

Section 250.122 – (10/5/2021)

We have a 2000A service switch with ten sets of 4#400 aluminum conductors on the load side. The extra sets were needed because of excessive voltage drop. Each set is routed inside of an individual conduit. According to Table 250.122, a 400MCM aluminum EGC should be installed in each conduit. According to 250.122(B) the EGC needs to be increased in proportion to the phase conductors which would require a 600MCM aluminum EGC.

400*10*400/(8*350)=571, 600MCM

However, 250.122(A) says that the EGC is not required to be larger than the phase conductor. Does 250.122(A) apply to 250.122(B) where conductors are increased in size due to voltage drop?

No. The increase in size of the ungrounded conductors will decrease the impedance which results in higher fault current, the decrease of impedance is even larger for multiple sets.

Section 250.122(B) – (6/9/2021)

We are reusing an existing electric stove top NM cable #6 with #10 ground conductor to supply new gas stove top ignition rated at 110 Volt with +/- 1 amp. Applying section 250.122(B), we have determined that the existing cable can’t be used since the code requires the ground conductor size to be increase; please refer to calculations below.

Existing cable is 6 AWG which is 26,240 mils (Table 8) = 4.0

New circuit required is 12 AWG which is 6,530 Mils (Table 8)

This leads to 4 times of size increase (26,240 mils/ 6530 mils = 4.01)

Section 250.122(B) requires the equipment grounding conductor to be increased in size

Required grounding conductor is 12 AWG, 6530 mils x 4.0 = 26120 mils, No. 6 AWG is required.

Existing equipment ground available is No. 10 AWG is under sized per the requirement of subsection 250.122(B).

Since this cable wasn't increased is size due to adjustment factors, does subsection 250.122 (B) apply?

No. The repurposing of an existing branch circuit described above complies with the requirement of 250.4(A).

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

Section 314.29 – (10/5/2021)

For a new construction townhome with hard-wired electric shades, is it compliant to have the junction box located behind the wall as directed by The Shade Store instructions? What are the requirements for inspection? (see sketch).

  1. No. Splice/ pull boxes shall be accessible as required bu 314.29. The instruction is only suggesting a recessed mounted splice box.
  2. For the purposes of inspection and examination, the motorized shade equipment shall be listed and wired in accordance with NYC Electrical Code. All splices shall be accessible for examination.

Section 332.108 – (12/8/2021)

A busway was damaged and a 125 foot section is to be replaced with MI cable. The busway is 4000 amps. The proposed replacement is 16 sets of bundled 4 #350 single copper MI conductors. I believe this bundle when installed as per the manufacturer’s instructions should be considered a multiconductor cable. My question concerns the size of the required Equipment Grounding Conductor. Since the fuse is 4000 amps the required EGC would need to be 500 MCM copper or 750 MCM aluminum.

Based on 250.122 (F) each bundled set would need to have a 500 MCM EGC as part of the set. This is not usually done as the MI cable comes with a copper jacket that is allowed to be used as the EGC. The issue in this case, is that according to the manufacturer, the copper jacket on a 350 MCM MI cable is equivalent to a 1/0 conductor which is 105.6 MCM. Four of these jackets comprising the bundle would only add up to 422.4 MCM. This would be fine for a 3000 amp fuse but not a 4000 amp one.

  1. Can we treat bundled MI cable as a multi-conductor cable and use the sum of the individual EGC’s to satisfy 250.122(F)?
  2. If the sum is not adequate can we supplement this with an additional EGC. In the example above this would be an 1/0 copper conductor, or do we have to provide a separate 500 MCM for each bundle?

The 2017 NEC addresses this in 250.122 (F) (2) Multiconductor Cables but does not mention bundled conductors

  1. No.
  2. Yes.

Section 350.12 & 356.10 – (12/8/2021)

  1. Is it permitted to use LFMC for A/C control conductors with lengths over 6 ft.?
  2. Is it permitted to use LFNC for A/C control conductors without a special permission?
  3. Are the above wiring methods permitted in plenum spaces?
  1. No, see 350.12.
  2. No. see 356.10.
  3. No. 300.22(C)(1).

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

Section 404.8(A) – (4/6/2021)

Does this section 404.6. & 404.8 (Specifically Mounting Heights) apply to Switches and Dimmers that control lighting? In reading the section seems they are referencing Disconnect Switches for Equipment not Wiring Device type Switches for control of branch circuits.
I have a situation where we installed a dimmer type Switch that has WI-FI capability and acts as an access point to control the lighting fixtures
We installed these in a ceiling as we don’t want the customer to access them, they have a Key-Pad type controller to control Dimming and on/off Function.

Yes. Your proposed installation is permitted under 404.8(A), Exception No. 2.

Section 404.9(B) – (2/1/2021)

2011 NYC EC (2008 NEC), subsection 404.9 (B) Grounding; permits metal screws or equipment grounding conductor to bond the snap switch to metal boxes as follows;

(B) Grounding. Snap switches, including dimmer and similar control switches, shall be connected to an equipment grounding conductor and shall provide a means to connect metal faceplates to the equipment grounding conductor, whether or not a metal faceplate is installed. Snap switches shall be considered to be part of an effective ground-fault current path if either of the following conditions is met:
(1) The switch is mounted with metal screws to a metal box or metal cover that is connected to an equipment grounding conductor or to a nonmetallic box with integral means for connecting to an equipment grounding conductor.
(2) An equipment grounding conductor or equipment bonding jumper is connected to an equipment grounding termination of the snap switch.

2014 NEC, subsection 404.10(B) was revised to include the size of the metal screws as “shall be machine screws having 32 threads per inch”, and didn’t include dimmers or control switches.

2020 NEC, subsections 404.9(C) and 404.10(B) require snap switches, dimmers and control switches to be listed devices.

I couldn’t identify requirement of self-grounding devices for snap switches, dimmers and control switches similar to receptacle grounding terminal in subsection 250.146(B) where designed and listed as self-grounding to establish the grounding between the device and the circuit.

Question: As per NYC 2011, NFPA 2008 is it permitted to install snap switches including dimmers and similar control devices in a metal box using AC cable as a wiring method mounting devices as per 314.20 using 6- 32 screws with a device that are not listed as self-grounding?


Section 408.30, Exception No.2 – (2/1/2021)

We have a question for a main lug multi-section panelboards witch a total of 72 circuits. The service disconnecting mean with overcurrent protection device is located in the basement space. Does this violates section 408.30, Exception No. 2, requiring an additional main circuit breaker within the panel and to limit the size of the panelboard to 42 circuits.

No. Where the multi-section panelboard is protected by the one main overcurrent device, your installation is in accordance with NYC Electrical Code requirement. Section 408.66, Exception No. 2 is for panelboard that are served with two sets of devices, (i.e. split bus panelboard).

Article 410 – (4/6/2021)

Are 20 gauge steel housings and end plates still a requirement for NYC for recessed troffers or did that get changed 10 or so years ago?

Gauge 20 luminaires steel housing requirement has been removed from 2011 NYC Electrical Code and no longer required. All listed light fixtures (luminaires) are permitted to be installed in NYC.

Article 411 – (10/5/2021)

There are several commercially available LED recessed lights that are advertised "not requiring a housing".

These fixtures are typically approximately 2" deep contain two 1/2" electrical knock outs used for 120 line Voltage wiring. They are advertised as ETL listed.

My concern is, these fixtures are typically completely encased in a plastic housing. It is my understanding that other than R3 occupancy under 3 stories all electrical wiring components must be encased in a metal non-combustible housing.

Additionally, if this fixture is used with cable that uses the outer casing for bonding (AC) and the plastic housing is used as a junction box the bonding connection is not maintained.

For reference below is a screen shot of cut sheet of this type of fixture.

Is this type of fixture encased in a plastic housing allowable as per code?

Yes. The LED was evaluated as a complete assembly and the manufacturer’s instruction clearly indicates that enclosure is not required.

Section 440.62 & 210.51(I) – (6/9/2021)

We would like to request a clarification of the 2011 NYC Electrical Code as per the below:

440.62 Branch-Circuit Requirements.
(A) Room Air Conditioner as a Single Motor Unit. A room air conditioner shall be considered as a single motor
unit in determining its branch-circuit requirements where all the following conditions are met:
(1) It is cord-and-attachment-plug-connected.
(2) Its rating is not more than 40 amperes and 250 volts, single phase.
(3) Total rated-load current is shown on the room air conditioner name plate rather than individual motor currents.
(4) The rating of the branch-circuit short-circuit and ground-fault protective device does not exceed the ampacity of the branch-circuit conductors or the rating of the receptacle, whichever is less.

(B) Where No Other Loads Are Supplied. The total marked rating of a cord-and-attachment-plug-connected room air conditioner shall not exceed 80 percent of the rating of a branch circuit where no other loads are supplied.
(C) Where Lighting Units or Other Appliances Are Also Supplied. The total marked rating of a cord-and attachment-plug-connected room air conditioner shall not exceed 50 percent of the rating of a branch circuit where lighting outlets, other appliances, or general-use receptacles are also supplied. Where the circuitry is interlocked to prevent simultaneous operation of the room air conditioner and energization of other outlets on the same branch circuit, a cord-and-attachment-plug-connected room air conditioner shall not exceed 80 percent of the branch-circuit rating.

We are in the design process for NYCHA building that will be retrofitted with Heat Pump/VRF Type individual AC units in each bedroom. Each unit uses approximately 800watts at 120V. In an effort to comply with code and to be within budget, we are requesting clarification as follows:

  1. Does the 2011 NYC Electrical Code require a dedicated circuit to serve AC units in each bedroom of residential buildings?
  2. Is it permissible to connect 2 cord and plug type AC units to the same 20A circuit off 2 independent receptacles? (Assuming the load is withing the circuit capacity as per 440.62 C above)
  1. Yes, 2011 NYC EC, subsection 210.52(I) requires living rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms or similar rooms in a dwelling to have at least one receptacle outlet for air conditioners and shall be supplied by an individual branch circuit.
  2. No. 20122 NYC EC subsection 210.52(I) requires an individual branch circuit and as defined in Article 100; an individual branch circuit shall supply one utilization equipment.

Section 445.18– (2/1/2021)

We are installing a permanent connection for a roll up generator. This building is a public school. The intent is to use the school as an emergency shelter in the event of an emergency. If power is lost, a roll up generator will provide power to the school. Each service switch in the school feeds a manual transfer switch which normally provides power from the utility to the loads. In the event of power failure, the manual transfer switches will deliver power from the roll up generator instead. The roll up generator will connect to a switchboard located outside. In the first section, there are Cam-Lock connectors, and in the second section, there are five distribution switches which feed the five manual transfer switches. Is it required to have a main disconnect for this switchboard if it already contains five individual disconnects in the switchboard after the Cam-Lock connectors? Please see attached the drawings for the project in question.

No, A main disconnect mean for the switchboard is not required when the installation complies with 445.18.

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

Section 511.3(C)(1) – (12/8/2021)

We are making significant modifications to a large truck fleet repair facility. Scope of work area is currently utilized as a “major repair garage” as defined by NYCEC 511.2 but its electrical infrastructure within 18 inches from the floor does not utilize class 1 division 2 wiring methods. As part of the scope of work we are adding 0.75 CFM of mechanical ventilation to the garage areas to be equivalent to the NYCMC table 403.3 ventilation requirements but will not meet the 4 air changes per hour or the 1 CFM per square foot requirement of 511.3 C 1 a of NYCEC. Space currently does not have a certificate of occupancy but has been utilized as a repair garage for a significant period of time and is indicated as such by the department of finance. We are kindly requesting if all the electrical infrastructure up to a level 18 inches above the floor will need to be replaced with Class 1 Division 2 wiring methods

Yes, unless an approved means to mitigate hazardous gas concentration is provided.

Article 517:

  1. Is it permitted to replace existing receptacle outlets in nursing home by Hospital Grade receptacle outlet where AC cable is the existing wiring method, these receptacles are located by occupants’ beds and don’t supply medical equipment?
  2. Is it permitted to installed Hospital Grade receptacle outlets with HFC cables in nursing home bedrooms that are being renovated, and connect to existing panelboards that don’t have equipment ground bars, the panelboards feeders utilized metal raceways as the equipment grounding conductor and AC cables for the existing branch circuits?
  1. No, the installation doesn’t comply with Article 517 requirement.
  2. Yes, where a suitable equipment grounding bus bar is installed.

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

Section 620.23(A) & BC Appendix K – (4/6/2021)

  • Are Solar photovoltaic systems connected via lineside tap considered a secondary service?

  • Are the Solar wires which are connected via line side tap onto the main service feeders considered service wires?

  • If a solar photovoltaic system is connected via backfeed breaker can the solar circuit from the solar disconnect switch to the backfeed breaker be run in FMC more than 6 feet?

  • Photovoltaic systems connected to the supply side of service disconnect mean is one of the permitted service entrance conductors permitted to supply systems covered by 230.82(5) and (6) as permitted by 230.40, Exception 5. Such systems are service equipment are defined as services rather than power production source. See Service definition in Article 100.

  • See answer above.

  • Yes, when the installation is in accordance with Article 348.

Section 695.4(B)(3) – (6/9/2021)

We are installing 4000A 600V fire pump disconnect switches for a new fire pump. The Bolted Pressure Switch Manufacturer has an option to motorize the switch operation for opening and closing, and the normal switch handle will remain as another means of manual switching. NYC 2011 Electrical 695.4 (B) (3) lists the requirements for disconnect means. It doesn't mention motorizing the fire pump disconnect switch is allowed or not. My questions are:

  1. Is it acceptable for the fire pump disconnect switch to be motorized?
  2. If the answer is yes, can the push buttons for the switching be mounted a few feet, within sight, external of the switch? The push buttons have provision for locking to prevent misoperation.
  1. Yes.
  2. Yes, the push button and the disconnect switch shall be provided with locking provision in both ON position and OFF position.

Section 695.4(3)(4) – (6/9/2021)

We have a small electric room. The Fire Pump Service Disconnect switch is closer than 12" to the other service equipment. Is there anything that can be done to allow this, such as a blast wall similar to what Con Ed allows as separation from a gas meter.

Answer 1 and 2, only wiring for signal or communication including fire alarm that are used directly in connection with the elevator (cab) are permitted. Wiring for signal or communication or fire alarm passing thru the elevator shaft are not permitted.

No. Your product, Busway, does not meet the wiring methods or cable types listed in subsection 645.5(D), mainly 645.5(D)(5).

Section 690.31(E) – (12/1/2020)

Can a PV disconnect be mounted in a remote location from the area which the conductors enter the structure using Exception 690.31(e) of the 2008 NEC / 2011 NYC amendments?

An approved barrier is acceptable where the required work clearance is provided in accordance with NYC EC section 110.26 and the barrier doesn’t extend more than 6” beyond the front of the equipment. Additionally, you may apply for a variance from subsection 695.4(B)(3)(4).

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

Section 700.0(D) & BB 2010-29 – (2/1/2021)

An existing high rise building is equipped with a generator serving the fire alarm system, emergency lighting, and a passenger elevator. The building has a fire pump, standpipe pump, and freight elevator that are not connected to the generator. The fire pump is proposed to be replaced with a fire pump of the same size. The emergency generator, transfer equipment, and emergency distribution are located on a penthouse level along with mechanical equipment.

  1. Per NYC Buildings Bulletin 2010-029 II.1.d, in an existing building with an emergency power system, replacement fire pump shall be connected to the emergency power system where Chapter 27 of the 2008 Building Code requires fire pumps to be connected to the emergency power system.
    1. Does this apply to fire pump replacements under the 2014 building code? The bulletin does not appear to be incorporated into the 2014 NYC BC and does not appear to be superseded.
    2. Is there an exception to this bulletin if the existing emergency power system does not have the capacity to add the fire pump?
    3. If this applies to the 2014 Building Code and there is no exception if the emergency power system does not have capacity, is the generator required to be replaced to accommodate the fire pump and comply with the 2014 NYC BC requirements including 2HR fire rated rooms for generator and existing transfer/distribution equipment, and providing emergency power to the freight elevator? Are the existing feeders required to be replaced to comply with 700.9 (D) of the 2008 NEC?

This is a NYC Building Code question. Answers provided below are for guidance only;

  • Building Bulletin 2010-029 is applicable for system originally designed and installed under 1968 NYC Building Code as stared in the Bulletin’s Purpose. The Building Bulletin 2010-029 is not incorporated in 2014 Building Code since it is not applicable for new construction and still active.
  • No. A variance is not likely to be issued for required safety equipment.
  • New constructions that are filed under 2014 Building Code shall be provided with the adequately sized standby electrical power system to provide required loads backup in accordance with 2014 NYC Building Code, Chapter 27.

Please retain the services of a registered design professional to address the deficiencies within the electrical standby system.

Section 700.9(D) – (2/1/2021)

We respectfully request a Code interpretation regarding fire protection requirements of Emergency feeders and equipment per Section 700.9(D), as applicable for a NYC commercial office building above 75 feet in height, protected by a Code-compliant automatic fire suppression (sprinkler) system.

  1. Please confirm if it is permissible to install emergency equipment (panels, transformers, etc.) in:
    1. A non-sprinklered, 1-hour fire-rated closet/room with non-emergency equipment
    2. A non-sprinklered, 1-hour fire-rated closet/room dedicated to emergency equipment
    3. A sprinklered, 1-hour fire-rated closet/room with non-emergency equipment
    4. A non-sprinklered, non-fire-rated closet/room dedicated to emergency equipment
    5. A sprinklered, non-fire-rated closet/room dedicated to emergency equipment
    6. sprinklered, non-fire-rated closet/room with non-emergency equipment

  2. Please confirm if it is permissible to install emergency feeders/branch circuits under the following conditions:
    1. Within a sprinklered space, using standard building wire (THHN) in EMT conduit
    2. Within a non-sprinklered, 1-hour fire-rated closet/room with non-emergency electrical equipment and feeders,
    3. using standard building wire (THHN) in EMT conduit
    4. Within a non-sprinklered, 1-hour fire-rated closet/room dedicated to emergency electrical equipment and
    5. feeders, using standard building wire (THHN) in EMT conduit
    6. Within a non-sprinklered, non-fire-rated space, using standard building wire (THHN) in EMT conduit
    7. Within a non-sprinklered, non-fire-rated space, using a listed electrical protective system or cable in conduit with a minimum 1-hour fire rating (installed in accordance with its listing)

Please note that fire protection requirement is regulated by NYC Building Code, and where the requirements of NYC Electrical Code fire protection are in conflict with the NYC Building Code requirement for fire protection, the more stringent requirement (in this case is NYC Building Code requirement) will apply. The responses are as follows and assuming new high-rise B occupancy constructions protected as stated in the inquiry;

  1. Emergency equipment installation within the following:
    1. No. All new electrical closets in high-rise B occupancy must be sprinklered as required by NYC Building Code.
    2. No. see answer (a) above.
    3. Yes, where the emergency equipment doesn’t consist of ATS and complies with NYC Building Code section 2701.1.7 thru 2702. and the other equipment is electrical equipment.
    4. No. See (a) above.
    5. Yes. Where the emergency equipment doesn’t consist of ATS and complies with NYC Building Code section 2701.1.7 thru 2702.
    6. Yes, where the emergency equipment doesn’t consist of ATS and complies with NYC Building Code section 2701.1.7 thru 2702. and the other equipment is electrical equipment.
  2. Emergency feeders/ branch circuits installed as follows:
    1. Yes, where sprinklers installed above the raceways and provide required protection. Additionally, emergency feeders shall not be installed in the prohibited locations identified by NYC BC section 2701.1.7.1.
    2. No. All new electrical closets in commercial B occupancy must be sprinklered.
    3. Yes, when installed as described in 2.a above.
    4. See answer 1.b above.
    5. No. All new electrical closets in commercial B occupancy must be sprinklered.
    6. No.
    7. Yes, when installed above the sprinklers in sprinklered space.

Section 700.12(B)(1) – (12/8/2021)

A fire at a client’s facility has rendered the electrical service inoperable. Can we utilize the diesel generator which has capacity for all emergency and non-emergency loads for a prolonged period of time or would that be a violation of NYC emissions requirements?

It is permitted where your Emergency Generator (Internal Combustion 700.12(B)(2)) is also rated and suitable as a Prime/ Continuous Power (Prime Mover 700.12(B)(1)) and your temp or field installations don’t violate the integrity of the emergency system.

Please, for the emission inquiries contact DEP.

Article 701 – (4/6/2021)

In this same room is the ATS for the elevators which also feeds a transformer that in turn feeds a panelboard. This panelboard has individual circuits for the cab lighting in each elevator as well as branch circuits for the lighting and receptacles in the room. If the ATS is set for 10 second transfer So that it is now treating all loads as Emergency Standby is this a code acceptable installation, given that the lighting in the room is an optional standby load as well as the receptacles in and outside the room

It is permitted to use more stringent requirement and emergency power to serve legally required standby system but not to serve optional standby loads. Refer to ECRIC 4/2/2014.

Section 725.136 – (2/1/2021)

We are using listed MC-PCS cable, “MC Luminary Cable” for power and dimming control of commercial space lights. We were issued an objection for 725.136 which prohibits Class II to be placed or share a raceway with power circuits. Is MC Luminary Cable permitted for the application described above?

Yes, listed MC-PCS cable, “MC Luminary Cable” is two separate cable assemblies within shared sheathing. Such listed product, is recognized as two separate cables, and satisfy the separation requirement in 725.136(I)(2).

Section 760.41(B) – (6/9/2021)

The NYC Elec. Code Section 700.27 states:

Do booster Power Supply panels in nonresidential high-rise buildings equipped with an emergency generator need to be connected to emergency power? Code reference is 403.4.8.1. If so, would it be permissible to tap the bus of an emergency panel-board serving the protected area or would the connection need to be on the load side of the ATS dedicated to the fire alarm system?

Yes, where an emergency power system is required or provided, the FAS and power boosters shall be connected. If the building is not fitted with FA power riser, then a connection ahead of the OCPD of an emergency panel serving the protected area shall be permitted.

Section 760.41(D) – (2/1/2021)

In a scenario where a permanent connection for portable generator is installed it is not possible for any ATSs to be installed as there is no way to connect control wiring. In the instance where the Fire Alarm is being fed by this portable generator the only means of switching power would be a Manual Transfer Switch. Is this acceptable even though it is not listed as a permissible device in the 2011 NYC A760.41(D)? Please see attached the drawings for the project in question.

Yes, since the optional standby power system is a portable generator and manually connected to the building, a manual power connection is acceptable.

ADMINISTRATIVE: General Requirements

Administrative, Section 27-3017.a – (6/9/2021)

Are prefabricated off-site assemblies of raceways and boxes that would be shipped to construction sites, assuming that all components are UL listed materials, is there an issue in terms of qualified individuals assembling the product? Would they require any licensing or supervision of a licensed electrical contractor?

Would the fact that the-pre-assembled product is accepted on construction site by a licensed electrical contractor deem it acceptable and not violate NYC electrical code requirements? (See attach)

The assemblies that you have included require NYC master electrician or special electrician to fabricate the assemblies in accordance with NYC Electrical Code Administrative section 27-3017.a, where the assemblies are fabricated of-site; then OTCR-2 application shall be filed with the Department and compliance with Building Bulleting 2014-003, mainly Part II, section (A) or (B).

The other option is to have the assemblies listed by NRTL as complete assemblies evaluated under UL category control number QQYZ.

Building Code, Section 2702.4 – (6/9/2021)

My understanding is that an optional standby NYC article 702 transfer switch is not required to be in a separate dedicated room. We are providing a fire alarm system for a single-family home and an optional standby generator. As the fire alarm system power supply will need to be on the line side of the main service disconnecting means we will need to have a separate ATS for the fire alarm. Please advise if a dedicated 2-hour fire rated room for the optional standby ATS serving the fire alarm system is required for this single-family home.

This is a Building Code question; the answer is to provide guidance only. Building Code section 2702.4 is not intended for one and two-family dwellings. The loads listed under BC 2702.4 when required to be supplied from an optional standby power, such optional standby power system shall be listed to UL 2200, and shall start in 10 seconds in accordance with Building Bulletin 2015-002, item (D) and (E), hence, the ATS for the required loads shall be installed in accordance with BC 2702.1.7.

Building Code, Section 2702.4 – (10/5/2021)

The referenced code section states that an optional standby generator system is required to provide power to emergency lighting, fire alarm, and elevators. It is my understanding that the intent of this code section is that,

  1. If there is optional standby power is being provided, it is reasonable to assume that the space will be occupied in the event of a power outage.
  2. Therefore, emergency lighting, fire alarm, and elevator access to the occupied space is required for life safety and fire department operations.

In the case to consider, the building is greater than 75' in height. There is currently no generator on site. Currently, both the upper floors of the building and the ground floor tenant evacuate the building in the event of an outage. (evacuation). The intended use of the optional standby system is to serve loads entirely within the ground-floor tenant space. Therefore, addition of the optional standby system will not change the upper floors” response to a power outage(evacuation). In the case to consider, the optional standby generator is made to serve the ground floor tenant's emergency lighting and fire alarm (including all base-building fire alarm components required for proper operation of the fire alarm system). The ground floor tenant has direct street access, so an evacuation will not send occupants through any common areas or elevators. In the event that the tenant space is occupied because of the availability of optional standby power, egress lighting, fire alarm, and fire department access will remain available. Upper floors will not be occupied.

Is it acceptable to install an optional standby generator serving a ground floor tenant that serves only the ground floor tenant's emergency lighting and fire alarm?

No. Optional Standby System is required to be installed in a building that is not supplied by emergency power system (Article 700) or standby power system systems (Article 701) to supply required loads for the entire building. The intent of requiring optional standby power system is to supply the required safety loads for building evacuation during emergencies and to provide minimum backup power for safety systems so buildings remain occupiable during a power outage.

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