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Code Alert: New York, 30 June 2011


On June 28, 2011, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg signed Introductory Number 64-A (Intro 64-A). Intro 64-A is legislation passed by the City Council on June 14, 2011 that updates the current NYC Electrical Code by adopting the 2008 National Electrical Code with local amendments. The legislation includes several technical and administrative amendments made to the current NYC Electrical Code (05 NEC with amendments). The 2008 NEC with amendments will become effective on July 1, 2011. There will be a transition period from July 1, 2011 through December 31, 2011 when electrical work may be performed, at the option of the licensee, either in accordance with the newly adopted electrical technical standards, Intro 64-A or the existing NYC Electrical Code.

The process of updating the electrical technical standards began in March 2008 with the Electrical Code Revisions Committees review of the current technical provisions and the Electrical Code Advisory Committees review of the administrative aspects of the Code. These Committees are comprised of interested parties from the public and private sectors, including labor, real estate, design and manufacturers. On March 3, 2010, the Committees proposed draft was submitted to the City Council by Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri, where it was referred to the City Council Committee on Housing and Buildings. The Committee on Housing and Buildings held public hearings on September 21, 2010 and June 14, 2011 and voted to approve the Bill on June 14, 2011, but not before making several technical and administrative amendments to the proposed draft. The four technical amendments made included the deletion of the requirements that optical fiber cables, communication wires, and cables mounted on the exterior surfaces of a building be installed in threaded metal raceways. Also, the title of section 820.154(A) was changed from Plenums to Spaces Used for Environmental Air.

The new electrical technical standards will include many of the existing amendments, but will also delete some of the long standing amendments, such as special construction requirements for luminaires and the amendments limiting underwater luminaires to 15 volts. Other new amendments include a revision to the definition of Coordination (Selective). The amendment adds a new sentence at the end of the definition to read as follows: For the purposes of this code two overcurrent protective devices shall be deemed selectively coordinated if their respective time-current characteristic curves do not intersect at a time of 0.1 seconds (6 cycles on 60 Hz systems) or longer. Other amendments regarding selective coordination were made to 240.12 and Section 700.27, which requires emergency system overcurrent devices to be selectively coordinated in the overcurrent range with all supply side overcurrent protective devices.

Other new amendments include:

A new subsection (H) to 110.26 was added, which requires all network compartments to have at least two means of egress that lead to areas that lead to a legal exit.

Several amendments were added regarding the existing requirement relative to voltage drop. Where compliance with the applicable Energy Conservation Code is mandated, voltage drop requirements of the Energy Code shall apply.

New amendments to the requirements for type MC Cable with an outer jacket of PVC were added. A new subsection 330.12(4) was added to prohibit the use of the cable, in residential buildings exceeding three floors above grade. Another amendment prohibits the installation of the cable in nonresidential buildings, unless concealed within non-plenum walls, floors and ceilings where the walls, floors and ceilings provide a thermal barrier of material that has at least a one hour rated assembly.

The use of liquidtight flexible nonmetallic conduit is prohibited in agricultural buildings.

Approval will now be required for all wiring within mobile and manufactured homes, including branch circuit wiring are subject to the installation and permitting requirements of the NYC Electrical Code (550.3).

New requirements for sidewalk shed lighting installations, such as GFCI and minimum wire size have been added to Article 590.

A new amendment was added requiring GFCI protection to be provided for receptacles in each elevator machine space or control space (620.23(C)).

The installation of Fire Alarm Systems is now covered by Article 760, which has been extensively modified to incorporate the previous requirements of RS 17-3, RS 17-3A, RS 17-3B and RS17-3C of the New York City Building Code.

The complete text and legislative details of the new code is available on the NYC City Council Website.

Contact: Gil Moniz at gilmoniz@nema.org