2022 Code Revision and Interpretation Committee Code Interpretation (Last Updated: May 29, 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)

Section 110.26 – (6/10/2022)

We are planning a renovation of a kitchen in an existing residential building. The scope of the renovation is to replace the gas stove in kind. There is an existing electrical panel located behind the existing hood.

I am searching for a code reference or information on:

  1. Does the existing electrical must now be relocated?
  2. Can the electrical panel be in close proximity to a gas range?
  1. No, where the electrical panel was approved under previous NYC electrical code. The hood is not permitted to be over the panelboard and shall be removed.
  2. Yes, when panelboards is provided with required work clearances in accordance with NYC Electrical Code 110.26.

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

Section 220.87 – (6/10/2022)

It has occurred to me over the 42 years in the electrical contracting industry that many electrical contractors installing new electric services in the city of New York to date are not in compliance with NEC Section 220.87. Additionally, they don’t receive any violation, objection, directives in not producing such test or information thereto. With the big move on EV (electric vehicle) charging electrical installations, adding considerable additional loads to an existing building service, this should be better and more rigidly enforced as a matter of code compliance as we are required to comply with all other parts of the code, and of course functionality. Please reply with your comments.

This committee provide interpretation to NYC Electrical Code, and not of opinion and personal experiences.

Section 230.46 – (2/4/2022)

Based on the attached sketch, is the Fire Alarm service switch permitted to be connected to the Fire Pump Service Entrance Conductor in accordance with NYC EC section 230.46(2)? (Plan attached)

The proposed installation is not an approved equipment and method for Fire Pump and Fire Alarm service entrance conductors. Please refer for the 2011 ECRIC’s Industry Standards Sketches of Fire Alarm.

Section 230.70(A)(1) – (6/10/2022)

We are relocating electrical service and service switchboard from cellar to 2nd floor (above DFE).

  1. As per 230.70(A)(1) (2011 NYCEC), service disconnecting means shall be installed inside nearest the point of entrance of the service conductors. Is service disconnecting means on 2nd floor considered nearest point?
  2. Can we run/extend service entrance conductors in rigid conduits through cellar to 2nd floor?
  1. When the service entrance conductors are installed in accordance with 230.6, the service entrance conductor is permitted to be routed throughout the building or structure. Please note the location of the Service Disconnecting Means is subject for the utility company review and approval.
  2. No. RMC can’t be exposed. See answer above.

Section 250.20(B) – (2/4/2022)

The existing standby emergency installation consists of (2) 2000 KVA, 4160 volt, 3 phase, 3 wire generators paralleled onto a common switchboard and feeding a 1500 KVA step down transformer with a 120/208 volt, 3 phase, 4 wire wye secondary. During a commercial power outage, the generators and standby emergency loads are isolated from the building commercial power distribution by disconnecting the 3 phase conductors while maintaining continuity to the unswitched neutral conductors. The neutral is grounded and bonded at the commercial service entrance. The WYE side of the transformer serves various emergency loads at the building voltage via automatic transfer switches with solid unswitched neutrals. The building neutral conductor is connected to the Xo center point of the transformer but is not bonded or grounded, allowing both single and 3 phase loads to be fed by the generators with neutral continuity at all times. The existing transformer secondary is grounded in compliance with section 250.20(B) of the NYCEC and the emergency system neutral conductors are unswitched and solidly grounded throughout. It is our position that since the neutral conductors have a direct connection to the commercial service ground bond, the transformer cannot meet the definition of a separately derived service as defined in Article 100 of the NYCEC. (See Attached Reference)

  1. Based on the above, must the transformer still be considered a separately derived system?
  2. Must the transformer Xo neutral be bonded and grounded to a separate grounding electrode such as building steel?
  1. No, as described, the Transformer grounding is solidly Connected Grounded Conductor through the alternate source transfer equipment and such equipment does not include switching action.
    Note: the grounded conductor for all existing loads supplied by this transformer are subject for DOB inspection and verification that grounded conductor is installed with each supply conductors.
  2. No additional grounding is required. See answer above

Section 250.53 – (2/4/2022)

We are working on a project in an existing building that is more than 50 years old. The main service switchgear is grounded using a connection to the water service pipe (street side of the meter) as the sole grounding electrode. The NEC now requires a redundant grounding electrode. As the building is all concrete, there is no building steel, and due to a very high-water table installation of a driven ground rod below the basement slab is impractical. We are installing a second water service to support a new sprinkler system throughout the building.

  1. Does the existing grounding electrode meet the requirements of the NY City Electric Code?
  2. If a redundant ground electrode is required, can the second water service pipe serve as the redundant electrode?
  1. The grounding system was in compliance with the NYC Electrical Code in effect at the time of the installation. If service equipment is being worked on, then the grounding system shall be brought to code in accordance with 2011 NYC Electrical Code.
  2. No. Section 250.53(D)(2) permits supplemental electrodes type specified in 250.52(A)(2) through 250.51(A)(8), but not Metal Underground Water Pipe.

Section 250.50 & 250.66 – (6/10/2022)

In a building where the water main is far from the main service disconnect, is it permissible to utilize the building steel as a grounding electrode conductor by installing jumpers from the building steel to the service switches and water main? I am asking this question since the NEC does allow it in the last couple of code editions please see attached code reference. 250.66 (C)(2) The metal structural frame of a building shall be permitted to be used as a conductor to interconnect electrodes that are part of the grounding electrode system, or as a grounding electrode conductor.

No. Building Metal Structure is not permitted to serve as a conductor for the grounding electrode system conductor, see 250.62. Additionally, 250.50 requires the bonding of all electrode system present, regardless of their location.

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

Section 300.15(F) – (6/10/2022)

When feeding rooftop equipment, many have the practice of running a type AC or MC cable to the area below the equipment and transitioning from the cable to RGS conduit, which pokes through the roof. A section of the cable’s armor is stripped off with the conductors long enough to sleeve through the conduit and into a termination trough or disconnect switch on the roof. The changeover is accomplished with a threaded RGS coupling installed on the RGS conduit’s threaded end, and an approved type AC or MC connector that is installed into the other side of the RGS coupling.

Based on the NEC Handbook’s explanation of the Article 100 definition of “Fitting” and based on your honors’ own interpretation and experience, does the changeover method described require accessibility?

(If you reply is “no”, please clarify, if time permits, what types of fittings do require accessibility.)

Yes, where conductors are not spliced or terminated, and the fitting is listed for concealed installation. See 300.15(F).

Section 314.29 – (8/4/2022)

314.29 requires boxes and wiring within to be rendered accessible without removing any part of the building.
A specific site condition has multiple 1ft x 4ft lighting fixtures installed into framed openings of a hard ceiling from below using factory integral toggle wings. Fixture is wired using liquid tight flex tailed to a box above the ceiling. The project specification requires all wiring to be in raceway. No flexible cabling such as MC can be used.
Can a box and wiring above the ceiling be rendered accessible by lowering the above described fixture out of the way so the boxes with branch wiring (20A circuits) can be reached without extending the head above the ceiling?
(Note we are aware of a code revision in NEC 2020, 410.118 that may preclude this practice in the future)

Yes. Installation is permitted under the current NYC Electrical Code.

Section 350.12(3) – (6/10/2022)

Apex would like to inquire regarding any spacing requirements for installations of LFMC which will contain power/data cables for 24vdc powered sensors in support of a groundwater remediation project in Queens. The conduits will also be run overhead within a garage/warehouse alongside black iron pipe used for compressed air conveyance and also either stainless steel or brass piping for conveyance of petroleum impacted groundwater.

LFMC are not permitted in lengths exceeding 6 ft., see NYC Electrical Code 350.12(3). LFMC shall bot be supported from other systems and shall be spaced to allow service and/ replacement of other systems.

Section 352.10(B) – (8/4/2022)

I am working on an indoor pool job and have the following question.

Can PVC be ran exposed as per 352.10(B) for pool storage areas and open areas under pool decks? Nothing has been modified in section 680 to remove PVC.

Using EMT, IMC, or RMC will eventually corrode in these environments

No, see 352.10(I) and (J), unless the building is residential under three floors. Amendment in chapters 1 thru 4 applies to Chapters 5,6 and 7. You may request a variance for the use of PVC in corrosive location. A submission of completed CCD1 form is required, and the link below provide all information to apply for CCD1, https://www1.nyc.gov/site/buildings/industry/determinations.page

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

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

Section 520.51(A) – (6/10/2022)

Would you please clarify the following questions:

  1. In existing EMR, the existing switchboard that powers multiple elevator DC motors thru a DC transformer does not meet code for lockable on the off-position requirement. The switchboard is located at the door entrance to the EMR. Please review below for options to bring the EMR to code.
    1. Option one is to replace existing switchboard interior parts/or entirety with code compliant lockable fused switches
    2. Option two is to leave the existing switchboard remain as is and instead provide local disconnect switch at the motor controller intercepting the DC conductors ahead of the motor controller and motor.
    3. Please advise if either of the options are acceptable and code compliant
    4. Does NYC Electrical or elevator code require elevator main fused disconnect switches to be located at the EMR entrance?
  2. In existing electrical service room, there is an existing 225kva stepdown delta-wye transformer, the primary overcurrent protection is at 250amp at 460v and there is no secondary overcurrent protection device. The secondary feeders are routed to tenant floor into a switchboard with multiple fuses, with no main. If new work only involves the replacement of the switchboard in tenant floor:
    1. is it required to provide a secondary overcurrent protection for the existing transformer in the service room to meet current code requirement or
    2. no new work required in the service room to add a new secondary overcurrent protection as existing installation is a previously approved condition.

    1. The equipment shall be provided by Locks in accordance with 620.51(A). Adding a lock provision is acceptable when the modification doesn’t modify listed equipment.
    2. No. The location of the disconnecting mean and the lock shall be in accordance with 620.51(A)(1) or (2).
    3. See answers a and b above.
    4. Yes.

    1. Overcurrent protection device shall be provided to protect the transformer secondary conductor if the switchboard is replaced in accordance with 240.21(C)(2) or (6).
    2. N/A.

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

Section 620.37(A) – (6/10/2022)

Can the feed for a new elevator auxiliary circuit panel be run in the hoist way? If no, can special permission be granted?

  1. Existing conditions makes it difficult to provide a new auxiliary panel without bringing in an additional power source.
  2. Existing elevator feeders do not contain a neutral, which makes it difficult to obtain 120V from the existing feeders.
  3. Existing roof panel which currently provides power to the elevator auxiliary loads as well as other non-elevator related loads is located outside of the elevator machine room and is currently at capacity.
  4. Elevator is over 30 stories (300+ ft) making installation by other means and methods extremely difficult.
  5. As per design documents and photos taken from the field, there is adequate space for such as installation in the corner.
  6. As per 620.37(C)(1) the feed that we are installing will be ran from the cellar to the elevator machine room in one continuous run with no splices. We intend to use VITALink MC which has an inherit 2-hr fire rating and will be supported every 4ft.
  7. The new auxiliary panel will then be placed in the elevator machine room and the circuits will ONLY feed the elevator auxiliary loads as per 620.37(A) and will provide disconnect means and have the overcurrent protection located within the elevator machine room as per 620.22.

The proposed installation is not permitted by NYC Electrical Code 620.37(A).

Section 620.51(C) – (6/10/2022)

  • The auxiliary elevator panel will be mounted in or near the electrical room on the cellar level. As per 620.37(A). The branch circuits are allowed to be and will be installed in the elevator shaft/hoist way.
  • To provide a means of disconnecting the branch circuits in the elevator machine room, can the branch circuits from the cellar be extended to the roof level to provide that means of disconnecting the individual auxiliary circuits for maintenance (as per 620.22).
  • All voltage drop calculations and conduit fill will be performed and the installation will be done accordingly.
  • See riser for reference.

Only required circuits serving the shaftway are permitted to enter the shaft. Section 620.22 specifies the required circuit and doesn’t require disconnecting means and such circuits are not subject for 620.51(C) requirements.

Section 690.14(D)(2) – (8/4/2022)

Engineer designed the following:
Solar modules on a flat roof at a McDonalds Restaurant.
Micro-inverters are mounted behind modules and are not visible nor readily accessible.
Modules must be removed, with tools, to gain access to the micro-inverters.
No AC disconnect will be installed on the roof. I believe this does not comply with 690.15(A)(2) (this is the big issue)
An AC disconnect switch will be located within site of the main distribution in the basement for the solar interconnection.
These micro-inverters have no built in disconnect switches for AC. Just pull out plugs that are not readily accessible. Micro-inverters mounted behind modules.
These micro-inverters have no built in disconnects switches for DC. Just pull out plugs that cannot be opened under load per manufactures instruction and are not readily accessible.
I informed them that per 690.15(A)(2), 2014 code, an AC disconnecting means shall be mounted on the roof within sight of or in each the inverters. (inverters do not have factory installed disconnects either).

NYC Electrical Code section 690.14(D) governs your described installation and Item (2) requires AC disconnecting means within sight of or in the inverter.

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

Section 701 & BC Chapter 27 – (8/4/2022)

  1. NYC Building codes requires rated wiring and backup power source for equipment such as fire service elevators and smoke handling fans. Are these loads classified as emergency?
  2. Is it permissible for the emergency source feeder breaker supplying fire service elevators and smoke handling fans be located in the same vertical switchboard section as a feeder breaker supplying emergency loads other than fire alarm and fire pumps?
  3. Does this code section apply if the source equipment is listed switchgear (UL1558/UL1066/ANSI C37.) and not a switchboard (UL891) per UL listings?
  1. No, fire service elevators, occupant evacuation elevators, and smoke control are all Standby Systems (Article 701), even though primary and alternate power feeders are required to have 2 hours fire protection. Refer to NYC Building Code Chapter 27 and 30.
  2. No, unless such switchboard sections containing overcurrent protection devices (OCPD) supplying emergency loads are isolated from all other OCPD and feeders as required by NYC EC section 700.9(B)(5).
  3. Switchgear constructed in accordance with UL1558/UL1066/ANSI C37 and provide compartmentation for each OCPD, then such installation is acceptable.

ADMINISTRATIVE: General Requirements

Building Code, Chapter 27 – (2/4/2022)

  1. NYC Building Code Chapter 27, Section 2702.1.7.2
  2. NYC Electrical Code Section 517.31 and Figure 517.31(a)
  3. NYC Electrical Code Section 517.35(B)

Based on the above sections of the NYC Building Code and Electrical Code,

  1. ATS serving Equipment Branch loads (building heating loads only) are not required to be installed at the load or within a dedicated room separated by not less than 2-hour fire barriers constructed in accordance with NYC BC Section 707 or horizontal assemblies constructed in accordance with 712, or both.
  2. Is it permissible to install ATS serving Equipment Branch loads (heating loads only) in a mechanical room and/or an electrical closet?
  3. ATS's serving emergency branch (Life Safety - dedicated ATS and Critical Branch loads - dedicated ATS) required location is either at the load or within a dedicated room separated by not less than 2-hour fire barriers constructed in accordance with NYC BC Section 707 or horizontal assemblies constructed in accordance with 712, or both.
  4. Delayed automatic transfer switch serving emergency branch loads is not require to be installed at the load or within a dedicated room separated by not less than 2-hour fire barriers constructed in accordance with NYC BC Section 707 or horizontal assemblies constructed in accordance with 712, or both.

This question is a Building Bode questions, for official response, the question shall be submitted to the department to Construction Codes Questions. Answer provided for information only.

  1. Yes, where the loads are not required emergency or standby loads.
  2. Yes.
  3. Yes.
  4. No.

Section Administrative – (8/4/2022)

Filing question for elevators:

  1. We are only providing the feeder and disconnect switch for the elevator motor, we are not wiring the elevator itself such as the cab, controls and hoistway, do we have indicate on our permit "elevator" at the category of work?
  2. The person that is wiring the actual elevator, such as the electrician hired by the elevator company have to file his own permit for the elevator work?
  1. No. The feeder and the disconnection means shall be listed on the electrical applicant only. Motor information shall not be included in this application.
  2. Yes. And the elevator box must be checked.

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