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Rhode Island Amends Electrical Code


09/1/2011 1:00PM

The Rhode Island Building Code Legislative Oversight Committee approved the recommendation of the State Building Code Standards Committee to amend the Rhode Island Electrical Code (SBC-5) by updating the referenced document from the 2008 National Electrical Code® (NEC) to the 2011 NEC. The regulation became effective August 1.

The current version of SBC-5 has eight amendments which are administrative provisions and will be retained. The subcommittee identified three technical provisions in the 2011 NEC requiring modification. The first is an amendment to 210.25 to incorporate an existing blanket variance. Rhode Island General Law section 23-28.1-2(b)(2)(i) adopted a statute directing the State Fire Board to provide reasonable standards for the installation of smoke and carbon monoxide devices in all existing three-family dwellings.

Another amendment is a revision to 230.82, which will permit a meter disconnecting mechanism to be installed at the meter, on either the line or load side of the meter, without invoking the grounding requirements for services or the need for a separate equipment grounding conductor.

The new code will delete 230.24(A) Exception No. 5. This new exception in the 2011 NEC permits the minimum vertical clearance of overhead service conductors above the roof surface to be reduced from 8 feet to 3 feet, if the “roof area” is guarded or isolated. Exception No. 5 requires the roof area to be either guarded or isolated, which can be accomplished by locking the roof access, but this arrangement would not prevent unqualified persons, such as building management or service personnel, from coming in contact with the conductors which the subcommittee viewed as an unsafe condition.

The new electrical code can be viewed at: http://sos.ri.gov/documents/archives/regdocs/released/pdf/BCSC/6416.pdf

Gil Moniz, Field Representative | gil.moniz@nema.org.