2023 Code Revision and Interpretation Committee Code Interpretation (Last Updated: January 17, 2024)

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(F)(1)(a) – (8/2/2023)

NYC Electrical Code Section 110.26(F) requires dedicated equipment space for switchboards, panelboards, distribution boards, and motor control centers (MCC).

1. Is dedicated equipment space, specifically 6' dedicated electrical space above equipment for indoor installations as described in 110.26(F)(1)(a), required for an individual disconnect switch such as a fusible disconnect switch or an enclosed circuit breaker that is not part of a switchboard, panelboard, distribution board, or MCC assembly?

2. If the answer to #1 is no, is it permissible to have piping, ducts, leak protection apparatus, or other equipment foreign to the electrical installation located within 6' above an individual disconnect switch such as a fusible disconnect switch or an enclosed circuit breaker that is not part of a switchboard, panelboard, distribution board, or MCC assembly?

3. If the answer to #2 is yes, is it permissible to have piping, ducts, leak protection apparatus, or other equipment foreign to the electrical installation located within 6' above an individual service disconnect switch such as a service rated fusible disconnect switch or enclosed circuit breaker that is not part of a switchboard, panelboard, distribution board, or MCC assembly?

4. If the answer to #3 is yes, does this answer also apply to an individual service disconnect switch such as a service rated fusible disconnect switch or enclosed circuit breaker that is associated with a service rated 1000kVA or larger and that is not part of a switchboard, panelboard, distribution board, or MCC assembly?

1. No, dedicated equipment space is only required for equipment that is mentioned in 110.26(F). 

2. Yes.

3. Yes.

4. Yes.

Section 110.9 and 110.10 – (6/7/2023)

A project involves an existing electrical service switchboard ("MSWB") which is braced for 100kA per the equipment nameplate.

Problem: The utility (ConEd.) has indicated fault current contribution to this existing service equipment ("MSWB") of 119.5kA, as this electrical service is fed via the “secondary-network” utility system. The fault duty contribution (119.5kA) exceeds the existing switchboard ("MSWB") bracing rating (100kA).

Review: A current limiting class “L” 1600A rated fuse is installed at the main fused disconnect of this existing electrical service ("MSWB") switchboard. The OCPD's for the feeders of ("MSWB") switchboard where duty exceeds 100kA are all fuses. The “peak let-thru” current of the class "L" 1600A current limiting fuse for a prospective short circuit current of 119,500 Amps is 90,000 amps, which is less than the short circuit current rating of the existing switchboard ("MSWB").

Proposal: The proposal is to use the “let thru” current of a “class L” current limiting fuse to reduce the available current seen at the existing switchboard ("MSWB") to within its rating of 100kA. I have attached a view of the busman literature, citing application of class “L” current limiting fuse, in review of the prospective short circuit current (119.5kA) and instantaneous peak let thru current (~90kA), along with a RMS current of 38kA, clearing time ½ cycle.

Questions #1. Is this method recognized by NYC AHJ?

Questions #2. Is third party inspection required?

Question #1: No, all new and modified electrical equipment shall comply with the current Electrical Code.  Fuse let-thru current is not an acceptable method of evaluating fault current.

Question #2: Not applicable. 

Section 110.26(F)(1)(c) – (2/9/2023)

As per 110.26(F)(1)(c) can sprinkler piping be installed within the 6ft dedicated electrical space above the electrical equipment? The code says the following: 110.26(F)(1)(c) – Sprinkler Protection. Sprinkler protection shall be permitted for the dedicated space where the piping complies with this section.

No. The code language addresses the protection of sprinklers, not the sprinkler pipes. That is still governed by 110.26(F)(1)(b), Foreign Systems.

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

Section 210.52(A)(2)(3) – (10/4/2023)

Does 210.52 require receptacles be placed at the bottom of the kitchen peninsula as if it was a room wall? See attached sketch.

Yes, a receptacle is required at the living room side of the peninsula per 210.52(A)(2)(3).

Section 210.52(C)(1) – (10/4/2023)

For kitchens that have a countertop space (that is less than 12” wide) adjacent to a range or sink with a wall on one side (the green highlighted wall is a full height wall), will a counter top GFI receptacle be required on the green highlighted wall location per code section 210.52(C)(1)? See part plan attached.

No, a countertop GFI receptacle is not required to be placed on the side of the green highlighted full height wall that is facing the range. However, a receptacle will be required to be placed on the opposite side of such full height wall.

Section 220.84(A) – (8/2/2023)

EC 220.84(A) addresses multifamily dwelling feeder/service load calculations. Section (A) allows use of Optional Method if three conditions are met - see excerpt of the code, attached to this form for your convenience.

In our case - an apartment building - all three conditions are met:

(1) each apartment is fed by only one feeder (directly from a Con Ed meter).

(2) each apartment is equipped with electric cooking equipment.

(3) Each apartment is equipped with heating AND air-conditioning via PTAC.

Based upon the foregoing, we exercised use of the Optional Method and submitted calculations to the Engineer of Record (EOR) that produced smaller apartment meter bank feeders than what they did via the Standard Method. To understand their reply below, it is necessary to know that the apartment PTACs will be dual - controlled via a rib relay. The heating portion of an apartment PTAC will be powered from a House "PTAC panel" circuit, while the air-conditioning portion will be powered from the apartment panel. The thermostat's Heat/Cool switch will determine the power source. The EOR said that since the heating portion is "House" and the code requires House loads to be calculated via the Standard Method, then even the apartment feeder calculations are subject to use of the Standard Method. We replied in disagreement that a plain reading of 220.84(A)(3) says NOTHING about the heating and/or air-conditioning's power source. Therefore, we're within our right to use the Optional Method for the apartment feeder/service load. Please issue a ruling. Thank you.

The optional calculation method of section 220.84(A) can be utilized for the dwelling unit loads. However, house loads shall be calculated in accordance with 220.84(B), and the installation of a PTAC unit should be in compliance with 240.24(B) and §27-3021.1.

Section 230.42 – (6/7/2023)

We have an existing 377 CT Cabinet with the bussing being (4) 1/4x5 inch which would be 3500A at 700A per square foot. The installation was previously permitted an approved. The CT cabinet was installed, permitted, and approved prior to the 700A per square inch requirement. The CT cabinet currently serves (2) 2500A switches with one switch being replaced in kind. In addition, a Fire pump is being added to meet the Office Building retroactive sprinkler requirements so an additional tap will be required on the load side of the CT cabinet. It is our understanding that since the CT cabinet was permitted and approved to be able to accommodate a full service (1000 kVA, 4000A at 208V 3PH) that the CT cabinet need not be replaced. Please confirm.

Since new load (a fire pump) is being added, the bus size of the CT cabinet must comply with the current Electrical Code.

Section 230.62(B)(1) – (2/9/2023)

We are replacing an existing 4,000A/208V/3PH (1,440kVA) service entrance switchboard. The existing switchboard has a non-compliant fire service disconnect in the same switchboard as the building service entrance disconnects. New fire pump service conductors will tap ahead of the building service disconnects and run underground to the existing 2hr. rated fire pump room and terminate at a new 2,000amp (720kVA) fire service entrance disconnect. As the fire pump service disconnect is installed separately, will the fire service entrance disconnect be subject to the 5ft front clearance requirements of 230.62(B)(1)?


Section 230.91, 240.21(B) – (10/4/2023)

I need a code interpretation for NEC 2008 (Amendment 2011) for section 230.91. The existing main service board does not have any spare available, and we need an additional OCPD added to supply the downstream load. We are proposing to tap into the service bus and feed a new distribution panel, with the tap length to be within 25 feet. Does the tapped bus serving the distribution panel has to be in the same room or can it be located in the adjacent room as per the section? See attached sketch.

No, the new disconnect switch and distribution panel are not required to be in the same Switchgear Room when the tap is after the main of MSB. However, if the tap is ahead of the main of MSB, they shall be located in the same Switchgear Room, per EC 230.72(A). In addition, the tap conductors shall be sized in accordance with 240.21(B).

Section 230.95 – (12/6/2023)

I am installing a new service in a large industrial facility. My main service switch is 1,200A 480V. This facility is a commercial bakery with large mixers, food processing equipment, conveyor belts and long tunnel ovens. 230.95 Requires anything larger than 1,000 amps to be GFI protected, however there's an exception to the code, that GFI is not required if a nonorderly shut down will introduce additional or increased hazards. I would like to know if this applies in my case. One of the main concerns are that the tunnel ovens are extremely well insulated and retain heat for extended periods of time for several hours. If a non orderly shut down takes place the conveyor belt in the oven will stop and the products will remain in the hot ovens causing it to flare up which will result in causing a fire. Please advise if the exception applies in my case?

Yes, the exception is applicable in this case since unplanned interruption of power may result in a life-safety hazard.

Section 240.21(B)(5) – (6/7/2023)

Feeders may be tapped if compliant with one of the methods identified in 240.21(B)1 through (B)5. An installation is proposed as follows: A 400 amp tap is made on the load side of a 4000 amp service switch.  The service switch is mounted in an open bottom enclosure sitting on the floor.  The tap conductors are run in galvanized rigid conduit.  The conduit enclosing the tap is buried in the floor of the room, runs underground approximately 18 linear feet to a point where the conduit emerges from the floor and enters the bottom of a 400 amp fused disconnect switch. The length of the tap conductors not underground is less than 10 feet:  2 feet at the 4000 amp buss bar where the tap is made, approx 5 feet in the 400 amp fused switch, and 3 feet in the conduit between the fused switch and the floor. The underground conduit enclosing the tap conductors is buried in soil and the finished floor is 2 inches of concrete. (see attached sketch for additional clarity) The installation would also require filing with Electric Plan Review (1000KVA). I believe the above installation complies with all the requirements of Section 240.21(B)5 wherein the conduit buried in the floor is considered "outside the building" and the remaining exposed tap conductors are keep as short as possible. Section 230.6 states that conductors buried beneath a building under at least 2inches of concrete are considered "outside the building".  Several previous NYC ELECTRIC CODE interpretations reinforce the concept that buried under 2 inches of concrete is outside the building.

Question #1: Is the above described installation compliant with the current NYC Electrical Code?

Question #2: Using a similar arrangement, does 240.21(B)5 allow the feeder tap to extend any length?

Question #3: If the answer to Question #1 is no, does the answer change to YES (code compliant) if the size of the service is below the threshold for Electric Plan Review with a tap that is at least 10%?

Question #1: No, the installation doesn’t comply with 240.21(B)(5) because the origin of the tap is not outside of the building. 

Question #2: See above.

Question #3: No, since the length of the tap conductor exceeds 10ft, the minimum size of conductor must comply with 240.21(B)(2).

Section 250.144 – (6/7/2023)

Is it permissible to bond the grounds in an electrified workstation and connect grounds from three different electrical panels to the workstation ground terminal? See arrangement attached. Per code section {250.144 Multiple Circuit Connections. Where equipment is grounded and is supplied by separate connection to more than one circuit or grounded premises wiring system, an equipment grounding conductor termination shall be provided for each such connection as specified in 250.134 and 250.138.} it appears the arrangement attached is permissible as the code section does not state a separate or dedicated equipment ground termination for each separate circuit is required, nor is the code section state that the grounding conductors be isolated from each other.

No, equipment ground termination shall be provided for each circuit.

Section 250.24 – (10/4/2023)

Please provide any details that are necessary if need be for clarification of the questions below. The questions apply to disconnect switches for fire pumps of all kinds.

  1. Is the main electrical service wall or other means mounted Copper Grounding Bus Bar acceptable and permissible to be used for any variation of fire pump grounding for the disconnect switch as opposed to having to go directly and use the incoming cold water pipe? If so or not respond below and if not explain why. Also if there are certain conditions or exceptions that required you to use only the cold water pipe service and if so state them as well.

Copper Grounding Bus Bar is fully acceptable to use for the disconnect switch?   

Yes__X___  No ______

Main cold water pipe service is only acceptable?   

Yes_____  No __X____

Please provide any details that are necessary if need be for clarification.

  1. Is a neutral wire always required to be provided and connected to the disconnect switch (bonded) for a three-phase fire pump of any variation or only in cases where the manufacturers state so in the fire pump installation instructions? Also, if there are certain conditions or exceptions and if so state them.

Is the neutral wire always required?    

Yes__X___  No ______    

The neutral wire is only required where stated so in the fire pump manufactures instructions?   Yes_____  No __X____

Please provide any details that are necessary if need be for clarification.  

  1. Yes, the main copper grounding bus bar is acceptable when it is connected to the building’s grounding electrode system, which shall be installed in accordance with Part III of Article 250.
  2. Yes, the grounded/neutral conductor must be provided to the service disconnect, whether or not it is used by the load. See section 250.24(C).

Section 250.24 – (12/6/2023)

I have a four-unit co-op building in Brooklyn. The four occupants are the owners of their apartment. The building is owned by a LLC that all four are principals of. There are four tenant meters and one PLP. The tenant meters are the responsibility of each individual owner of that apartment and the PLP is the LLC’s responsibility that they all pay. Previously there was a common area gas meter that fed all four apartments that the LLC was paying. They are abandoning gas cooking and going electric. I upgraded the PLP service and provided 50A circuits to each apartment from the PLP panel. 210.25(B) talks about powering circuitry from dwelling unit to common area but does not note the reverse. To run these from each individual panel would be massive. Upgrade all four meters, all risers, the panels are on the left side of the building and kitchens on the right. We are talking major damage throughout the building.

Question; Does article 210.25(B) pertain to branch circuits from PLP panels feeding an outlet in a dwelling unit?

No, EC 210.25(B) does not pertain to branch circuits from PLP panels feeding an outlet in a dwelling unit. The common area PLP panel shall be accessible to all owners. Signage should be provided in the apartment panel and main service disconnect switches to indicate that the ovens are being fed from the PLP located in the common area.

Section 250.53(D)(2) – (6/7/2023)

A service consists of more than one service equipment grouped together. The only existing grounding electrode is an active metallic underground water pipe. A properly sized grounding electrode conductor (GEC) is installed from the water main to a listed ground bar. A properly sized GEC is then run from the ground bar to each service equipment neutral bar.  A supplemental ground rod is provided as required by 250.53(D)(2).

A #6 copper jumper is installed between the supplemental ground rod and the neutral bar of only one service equipment.

Question #1: Is this code compliant?

A #6 copper bonding jumper is installed between the supplemental ground rod and the grounded metal cabinet of only one service equipment.

Question #2: Is this code compliant?

Question #3: Is it mandatory to terminate the #6 copper bonding jumper from the supplemental ground rod to the listed copper ground bar if such ground bar is installed.

Question #4 Is it required at the time of installation to give consideration to possible future events such as if someone removes the service equipment that the #6 bonding jumper is attached to?

Question #1: No, the ground rod shall connect to the ground bar for this more than one service equipment arrangement.  

Question #2: No, the ground rod shall connect to the ground bar for this more than one service equipment arrangement.  

Question #3: Yes.

Question #4: Not applicable if the ground rod is connected to the ground bar.

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

Section 314.29 – (6/7/2023)

The Bocci 22 System receptacle is a UL Listed product for both US and Canada for installation in plaster, gypsum, millwork, tile, marble and similar wall surfaces. The City has previously rendered a 2019 interpretation on 314.20.  Since that time, Bocci has revised its installation instructions to address issues raised in the interpretation as well as other feedback from NEC panel members.  Attachment A details how the concerns raised in the interpretation have been addressed in the installation instructions found in Attachment B. The Bocci 22 System has been addressed on a national level by a Tentative Interim Amendment (TIA) issued by NFPA in 2023 (Attachment C) clarifying its installation requirements.  The updated Bocci installation instructions address all the requirements provided in the TIA.  

QUESTION:  With the changes in the updated installation instructions (Attachment B) is the UL Listed Bocci 22 System acceptable for installation with the NYC Electrical Code?

Yes, the UL listed Bocci 22 system is acceptable for installation in NYC with the submitted installation instructions, which require using non-metallic wiring methods, non-metallic device boxes, and no splicing within device box. Please be aware that NYC Electrical Code has some limitations on the usage of non-metallic wiring methods. This answer will replace the ECRIC’s answer to section 314.20 on 6/4/2019.

Section 352.10 – (6/7/2023)

  1. We are planning to run PVC for service conductors embedded in 12” of concrete. Those conduit runs originate in a floor mounted switchboard. The switchboard is bottom fed. Within the footprint of the switchboard, are we allowed to cut the PVC perfectly flush with the slab, and terminate the conductors on the lugs in the switchboard? They will not extend beyond the concrete at all. The service is rated 120/208. See Sketch, and additional information below. Second question to follow after references.
  2. Is the only acceptable to cover PVC conduits or PVC jacked cables by concrete that provides a 1-hour fire rating? The application we have in mind is two layers of 5/8-inch dry wall encasing the low voltage PVC in a non-plenum enclosure on all 4 sides. This would provide a 1-hour rated fire rating enveloping the PVC conduits. Would this meet the requirements of 352.10 (J) of the NYC Amendments to the NYC electrical code

Question #1: Yes, if the PVC conduits are listed and suitable for installation in 12 inches of concrete and cut flush to the slab. However, Rigid Non-Metallic Conduit (RNMC), which includes PVC, is not allowed as wiring method for service entrance conductors, see section 230.43. In addition, wiring methods for service conductors are also subject to additional requirements from utility company for example, see ConEd letter attached.

Question #2: Refer to the UL guideline for acceptable 1-hour rated assembly. 

Section 355.10(J) – (12/6/2023)

We have the following questions regarding the use of the Draka Lifeline cable (product information is attached) using phenolic conduit per its UL listing FHIT 25C to achieve 2 hour fire rating for emergency and standby systems:

  1. For this application referenced above, can the phenolic conduit be used in high-rise buildings indoors with assembly, office, or retail occupancies?
  2. Can the phenolic conduit be installed per its listing noted in FHIT 25C in exposed and concealed indoor locations noted in question 1 above without the 1-hour fire rated thermal barrier noted in 355.10(J)?
  3. Would a fire rated shaft containing other systems meet the 1-hour fire rated thermal barrier noted in 355.10(J)?

Note: 2020 National Electrical Code Article 728.3 allows the UL listing for fire rated cables to take precedence over other requirements in other Articles.

  1. Yes, phenolic type of RTRC conduit is allowed in such high-rise building.
  2. When phenolic type of RTRC conduit is installed concealed per its listing requirements in FHIT 25C, the 1-hour thermal barrier requirement is not required.
  3. No.

Section 376.22(B) – (8/2/2023)

According to EC 376.22(B), if more than 30 current carrying conductors are installed at any cross section of the wireway derating is required. An 8inch x 8inch wireway (with attached cut sheets) is to be used and a barrier is to be installed in the wireway creating (2) two 8inch x 4inch sections of the same wireway. If 30 current carrying conductors are installed in each of the (2) two 8inch x 4inch sections, are the conductors required to be derated? Based on our interpretation, we believe that providing a barrier in the 8inch x 8inch wireway does not isolate the (2) two 8 inch x 4 inch sections of the wireway into separate cross sections therefore the wires will need to be derated based on a total of 60 current carrying conductors. Do you agree with our interpretation?

No, we disagree with your interpretation.  Having such a barrier creates two separate wireway sections for the purposes of evaluating adjustment factors per 376.22(B). As such, derating is not required in this case.

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

Section 422.16(B)(4)(5) – (6/7/2023)

The wiring in question consists of a multiwire branch circuit of two circuits where one of the two circuits feeds kitchen counter appliance receptacles and the other circuit feeds a built-in microwave oven. The two circuits are connected to 20A breakers and are adjacent to each other in the braker panel and have a Handle-Tie. Inspector cites section 422.16(B)(4)(5), and states receptacle for combination range hood/microwave oven shall be supplied by an individual branch circuit; the range hood/microwave currently share a neutral with one of the countertop circuits. Section 210.4(A) states “A multiwire circuit shall be permitted to be considered as multiple circuits.” This type of installation has been installed and passed inspection hundred if not thousands of time previously

Question: Is it code compliant to user one circuit of a multiwire branch circuit to feed an appliance that required an “individual branch circuit”

Yes, the installation is code compliant. However, the circuit to the microwave oven shall not be considered as one of the two required Small-Appliance branch circuits per 210.11(C)(1).

Section 450.9 – (12/6/2023)

Contractor installed an electrical service.  The rating is over 2000KVA.  The requirement is that the room be fitted with ventilation.  The contractor installed a mini split unit in the electrical room instead of a vent.  Is this ok? Do we need to provide fresh/outside air circulation for the electrical service room?

1 RCNY 4000-1(b)(1)(iii)(M) requires electrical drawing for EPR to show ventilation for the room when the service equipment totals 2000 KVA or larger.

Ventilation is required for cooling to prevent temperature rise in the electrical service room. Fresh air circulation is currently not required by the NYC Mechanical Code. Referenced standard ASHRAE 62.1 found in the Mechanical Code also interprets electrical rooms and similar spaces to not require outdoor air due to the fact they are unoccupied most of the time and used mainly for other purposes.

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

Section 517.30 – (10/4/2023)

We respectfully request a code interpretation regarding the location of a new equipment branch automatic transfer switch part of the NYC Electrical Code 2011, Article 517.30 Essential Electrical Systems for Hospitals. These are the list of questions:

  1. Can the new proposed equipment branch 480V, 3phase ATS reside in the same 2hr rated emergency electrical room dedicated to house an upstream emergency 2000A, 277/480V, 3phase, 4W+G distribution board?
  2. Is the ‘emergency power system equipment’ in NYC Building Code 2014 section 2702.1.7.1 Prohibited location define as specifically the emergency standby generator equipment or is the definition extended to any emergency equipment upstream (i.e. Upstream Emergency distribution board) of the ATS?
  3. Is NYC Building Code 2014 section 2702.1.7.2 Enclosure stipulate that All types of ATS including:
      1. Life Safety, Critical and Equipment under NYC Electrical Code 2011, Article 517.30 Essential Electrical Systems.
      2. NYC Electrical Code 2011, Article 700 (Emergency Systems)
      3. NYC Electrical Code 2011, Article 701 (Illegally Required Standby)
      4. NYC Electrical Code 2011, Article 702 (Optional Standby)

    required to be in a dedicated 2hr rated ATS room (regardless of the type of ATS) if not located on the load side equipment? If the response is Yes, then is the code requirement for emergency equipment locations as follows: Emergency Power System equipment define as Emergency Standby Generator Source if inside buildings require a separate 2 hr rated room. Can the Emergency Board downstream of the standby generator reside in the same emergency standby generator dedicated 2hr rated room?

  4. Can an equipment branch ATS source from a different emergency stand-by generator power reside in the same room as emergency distribution system sourced from an independent set of emergency stand-by generators?
  1. No, the installation must comply with BC 2702.1.7.1. The subject emergency distribution board is considered “emergency power system equipment”.
  2. Emergency power system equipment includes any emergency equipment upstream of the ATS.
  3. BC 2702.1.7.2 stipulates ATS(s) that are listed from ‘a’ to ‘c’, except optional standby ATS, from Article 702.  The emergency board, which is located downstream of an emergency and standby generator, is allowed to be in the same room as such generator.
  4. No, ATS is not allowed to be located with any emergency power system equipment.

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

Section 605.7 and 605.8 – (2/9/2023)

Sections 605.7 and 605.8 have been deleted. What was described in these two sections in past? Is there any requirement to use #12 AWG wires all the way to each and every receptacle outlet in Office Furnishings? If yes, which Section of NYC Amendments calls for this. Or has this requirement been removed and it is acceptable now to use #14 AWG wires for any branch that terminates at a NEMA 5-15 outlet?

Under the 2007 NYC Electrical Code, both sections were deleted. Refer to Local Law 49/ 2006. Yes, unless specifically permitted by section 220.3, 12 AWG shall be the minimum conductor size as amended by the following sections: 210.19(A)(4), 210.24, 600.7(B)(7)(a), 725.127, 760.43 and 770.100(A)(3). Please note that NYC Electrical Code Chapters 1 through 4 requirements apply to Chapters 5 through 7.

Section 620.37(C)(1) – (2/9/2023)

We are required to install Electrical riser (200A,208/120V ,3phase; 2" RGS Conduit with 4-3/0AWG) for Elevator Motor controller located on roof of 14 floor building. Feed is from Cellar Electrical Source.  Can we use existing Elevator Shaft space to run this electrical riser vertically up to the same Elevator Motor Controller? Kindly advise with relevant code section to confirm

Installing elevator feeder conductors within existing elevator hoistway is permitted by special permission. See 620.37(C)(1).

Section 620.51 – (10/4/2023)

Is the door of the elevator disconnect switch required to be interlocked with the actuating arm, so that when power is applied (on) – the disconnect switch door shall not be openable? If yes, please give the code reference.

NYC EC 620.51 does not require elevator disconnect switch doors to be interlocked with actuating arms. However, this requirement may change in the future electrical code.

Section 695.3(A)(1) – (12/6/2023)

Can I tap a Fire Pump Service Switch in a switchboard section that contains a Con Ed CT Cabinet and an SPD with overcurrent protection? Per NEC 695.3(A)(1), "A Fire Pump shall be permitted to be supplied by a separate service, or from a connection located ahead of and not within the same cabinet, enclosure, or vertical switchboard section as the service disconnecting means". Furthermore, per NEC 230.71(A)(2) "For the purpose of this section,

disconnecting means installed as part of listed equipment and used solely for the following shall not be considered a service disconnecting means: (2) Surge Protective Device(s)". As I understand it, this tap also complies with NYC Amendments 695.4(B)(3)(3) which states "The disconnecting means shall comply with the following: (3) Not located within equipment that feeds other loads other than fire pump", as this code section refers to the disconnecting means and not the tap.

Yes, you can tap a Fire Pump Service Switch in a switchboard section that contains a Con Ed CT Cabinet and a SPD with overcurrent protection.

Section 695.4(B)(2)(4) – (10/4/2023)

I have a code inquiry regarding the generator power source for fire pumps. The relevant code section is 695.4 (B)(2)(4), which states: A tap ahead of the on-site emergency generator disconnecting means shall be required for the fire pumps.

The summary of our proposed design is listed below and in the attached schematics (sketch 1 and sketch 2).

  • Diesel Generator feeds emergency switchboard within the generator enclosure.
  • Emergency switchboard does not contain a main breaker or other disconnecting means; generator feeder is terminated right unto the bus.
  • There is no disconnecting means installed between the generator and the fire pump breakers.
  • The only component between the generator and the switchboard is a manual transfer switch with camlock connectors – switch will be always locked to generator position.
  • Fire pump breakers (two) are installed in dedicated section of switchboard.

Is this arrangement in compliance with the NYC code section 695.4(B)(2)(4)?

Yes, the proposed arrangement complies with section 695.4(B)(2)(4).

Section 695.4(B)(3)(4) – (12/6/2023)

Can I install a Fire Pump Service Disconnect Switch on the side of a CT Cabinet that is apart of a switchboard line-up and does not contain any service disconnecting means within the CT Cabinet? When facing the CT Cabinet, the Fire Pump Switch will be located on the left hand side and face towards the left. Per NYC Amendments 695.4(B)(3)(4) "The disconnecting means shall comply with the following: (4) Be located as remote as practicable from other service disconnecting means with a minimum separation of 12in". The closest Service Disconnecting means is located over 48" away on the opposite side of the CT Cabinet. The Fire Pump is being tapped off of the adjacent CT Cabinet and moving it 12" off the side of the CT Cabinet will impede on the means of egress and is not practical. Attached is a copy of the proposed room layout for your review.

Yes, the proposed installation complies with the NYC Electrical Code.

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

Section 700.4 (6/7/2023)

I am reaching out to inquire about whether there is a code in NYC requiring that an emergency test button for a light fixture be easily accessible from the ground. We are trying to figure out whether LED T8 lamps with integrated batteries (see attached cuts) are permissible in NYC, especially if located behind a lens.

There is no NYC-specific requirement for the location of a test switch. However, test switch location shall meet the requirements of sections 29.2 and 29.3 of UL 924, see excerpts below:
29.2 A test switch of the maintained-break type shall be accessible only to service personnel. A maintained-break switch shall open all ungrounded conductors.
29.3 A test switch of the momentary-break type, that return the equipment to normal status when released, shall be accessible to maintenance personnel without the need for tools to remove a panel or barrier.

Section 760.33 – (12/6/2023)

Please clarify the requirements as it applies to fire alarm system control grounding as stated below. Prior accepted procedures by the Fire Alarm Inspection Unit (FAIU) allowed for one ground wire/conductor coming from the cold water pipe service or other accepted means, with a properly sized conductor to be used for several fire alarm control items all located in the same areas, such as the fire alarm control and possibly a signal booster power supply or two etc. It would go from the fire alarm control and then hit the other items that can be one or more such in a wired daisy chain for example (from one to one to one etc.). It was recently stated that each item, fire alarm control, one or more booster power supplies etc. must have it’s own grounding source and cannot be shared amounts several items/controls. Keep in mind that the ground would be sized up for several items as opposed to just one. Please confirm or disaffirm what they are stating and well as reference in the current electrical code supporting either one or both methods.

Comments: I do not see the need to do what the FAIU stated since the intent is accomplished with one conductor.
So can one grounding conductor service more than one fire alarm control item? Yes____, No____ (See response below)
Does each item require a separated grounding conductor to be run to each item all by each other? Yes__ __, No____ (See response below)

Please reference and provide supporting information if possible as well. 

For Equipment Grounding conductor:

A dedicated equipment grounding conductor is required for each fire alarm equipment. Equipment grounding conductors shall be provided per EC 760.33.

For Grounding Electrode conductor:

A common grounding electrode conductor can be used. A daisy chain is not allowed per Article 250.

Section 760.33(B) – (2/9/2023)

Section 760.33(B) indicates that a separate green insulated grounding conductor shall be used and sized per table 250.122. The coper sheathing of Vitalink MC 2-hour fire rated cable exceeds the minimum grounding conductor requirements in table 250.122 (per manufacturer). Is it acceptable to use the sheathing to meet the grounding conductor requirements of section 760.33(B) for NPLFA circuit applications?

Yes, when the Vitalink MC complies with 250.118(10) and the listed cable connectors are used in accordance with the FHIT system listing.

Section 760.41(2) – (8/2/2023)

I have a question with regard to electrical connection for fire alarm system (see attached sketches: Sketch #10):

Is that specific sketch as shown permitted and accepted for voluntary system as well as required ones, or just for voluntary ones? In both cases the fire alarm system has back up power (battery) and provides as indication on the base building system if there is one and or sends a signal to a central station on the loss of power (trouble condition). The fire alarm system may be either a sub-system or stand-a-lone one like that is in a retail M occupancy in a large building with multiple independent stores.

Voluntary Ones? Yes__X__   No_____

Required Ones?  Yes_____   No__X___

Please provide any details that are necessary if needed to be for either or both cases.

Sketch#10 is applicable to any sub-system or voluntary fire alarm system that is classified in section EC 760.41(2). FDNY defines limited interior fire alarm systems as voluntary fire alarm systems.

ADMINISTRATIVE: General Requirements

Building Code, Section 2702.1.2.1 – (12/6/2023)

  1. Is it allowed to house an outdoor emergency generator and main electric service equipment (transformers and switchboards) within an outdoor fenced area, including on the rooftop? See sketch attached.
  2. If the answer to question a is no, what if the emergency generator is provided with a 2-hour rated outdoor enclosure?
  3. If the answer to question b is no, can we use a 2-hour CMU wall to separate the generator and service equipment? 
  1. Such installation must be reviewed and approved by the department via Construction Code Determination (CCD1) request. In addition, proper protection should be provided for an emergency system from being damaged by nearby equipment, such as fire/explosion that may occur at the transformer or switchboard.
  2. See above.
  3. See above.

Building Code, Section 2702.1.7 and 2702.2 – (6/7/2023)

An existing public school is being retrofitted to have a permanent connection for a portable generator. Manual Transfer Switches and Kirk Key Interlocks will be used to provide power to the school. These retrofits are being funded through FEMA and are meant to allow for the school to be utilized as a community shelter and have full power capabilities even in the case of a prolonged utility power outage. No automatic transfer switches or any permanent generator were planned as part of this project to provide emergency or standby power.

Question #1: Can the manual transfer switches be located in the electrical service room?
Question #2: Is it acceptable for these existing public schools to not have a permanent generator?

Question #1: Yes, Manual Transfer Switches (MTS) is allowed to be located within an electrical service room, since the subject portable generator is considered a voluntary system and the loads will be treated as optional standby loads.
Question #2: This is a Building Code question. FYI, the Building Code doesn’t require the installation of a stationary generator for such temporary shelter.

Building Code, Section 2702.4 & 3007 – (2/9/2023)

An existing building which was built during the 1968 Building Code, presently has an optional only generator that runs as a co-gen system (installed in 2009). In the event of a utility failure the co-gen system feeds selected standby and emergency loads. One of the loads that's on the existing generator is the fire fighter's elevator. The owner wants to convert the co-gen system to an optional standby generator only, (i.e. it only runs when utility power fails). If co-gen is converted to a stand-by only generator, does the infrastructure feeding the fire fighter's elevator need to be separated from the normal feeders as they would for a new built NYCEC Section 701 system?

This is a Construction Code Question. Please send your inquiry to ConstructionCodes@Buildings.NYC.GOV This is to provide guidance to further assist you, the proposed work is subject to Chapter 27 and sections 2702.4, optional power, 3007.8.1 Protection of wiring, 3007.8 Electrical Power, and newly promulgated FSAE rule by DOB.

Article 314 – (12/6/2023)

Please see the attached sketch representing the main electrical room at this site. We would like to install one, very big "crown box" that will be not only above all of the switch gear line ups, but it will also JOIN those line ups, and extend to other locations within the room providing a pathway for distribution downstream of the main switches. Note that all of the services are fed from below, and that ONLY load side distribution will be contained in this one, extremely large box. I am unable to find any possible Code based objection to this plan. However, it seems prudent to acquire official written approval from the City prior to undertaking such an unusual, and expensive work plan. The "crown box” will be a custom fabricated UL listed "Electrical Box" (not a trough!) made by a local UL manufacturer. It will be mechanically secured to the switch gear lineups, and will be secured to the concrete ceiling. The concrete ceiling will also serve as the top side of the "crown box.”

The crown box shall be fully enclosed. UL 50 requires enclosure to COMPLETELY ENCLOSE all live parts that may be housed in it. The concrete ceiling can’t be serve as the top side of the “crown box”. The metal crown box shall also meet the construction requirements of Article 314.

Administrative Section §27-3013 & §27-3017 – (8/2/2023)

I have a two part question below:

  1. Can a Master Electrician in NYC hang their license and operate two separate LLC's under the license?
  2. If someone has a Master Electrician license in Westchester County, can they perform electrical work in NYC?
  1. No, the administrative section of the Electrical Code prohibits a licensee from representing more than one business at any given time. See §27-3013(b)(2).
    1. Business Conduct.
    2. In the case of a partnership or corporation, a master electrician’s license may be separately held by more than one partner or officer as a representative of such partnership or corporation; however, only one master electrician shall be the responsible representative of such corporation or partnership. Under no circumstances shall any one licensee represent more than one business at any one time.
  2. No, a master electrician license from Westchester County is not authorized to perform electrical work in NYC.  Those performing electrical work in NYC must have a master or special electrician’s license issued by the NYC Department of Buildings.  Please see Administrative Code section §27-3017 for more details.

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