Five More Big 2023 NEC Changes That Are Coming Soon

By: Jerry Durham | Feb 20, 2023

Welcome back to JADE Learning’s unveiling of five more important changes from the 2023 National Electrical Code (NEC).

Changes to building codes can represent a challenge for professionals at every level of the construction industry. However, the endless supply of updates hoisted upon the National Electrical Code (NEC) can seem insurmountable for electricians and electrical inspectors.

The NEC governing our electrical trade is complex. The fact that it undergoes a complete overhaul every three years in response to user input only exacerbates the situation.

JADE Learning is here to soften the blow of transitioning into the new 2023 NEC code cycle.

If you enjoy the following five Code change explanations, click on the link at the end and sign up for JADE Learning’s 2023 NEC Changes continuing education course that will take you through as many as 200 of the most important changes for the 2023 Code cycle. Learn the new 2023 Code from our industry’s top professionals while getting the credit you need to renew your electrical license.

Let’s begin!

The 2023 National Electrical Code


Article 100 Definitions. Ground-Fault Detector-Interrupter, dc (GFDI)

PV system ground-fault protection is recognized in the 2023 NEC.

Everyone is familiar with ground-fault circuit-interrupter (GFCI) protection.

GFCI receptacles in the home have been protecting homeowners from electric shock since 1975. In addition, industrial-rated ground-fault protection has been in place for employees in the workplace since 1955. But have you heard of Ground-Fault Detector-Interrupter, dc (GFDI) protection?

This new protection device has made its way into Article 100 Definitions, for the 2023 Code cycle, as follows:

Ground-Fault Detector-Interrupter, dc (GFDI)

A device that provides protection for PV system dc circuits by detecting a ground fault and can interrupt the fault path in the DC circuit.

This new ground fault protection, now recognized by the 2023 NEC, is dedicated to protecting dc circuitry and only in solar PV systems. Be on the lookout for this new equipment and the new requirements that govern it in the 2023 NEC.

Section 110.26, Spaces About Electrical Equipment

The means of egress from this working space is blocked by the equipment the electrician is servicing. This is a Code violation!

In the 2020 NEC, Section 110.26 Spaces About Electrical Equipment, required both access and working space to be provided around electrical equipment to permit ready and safe operation and maintenance of the equipment.

In the 2023 NEC, Section 110.26 has expanded to include the following NEW requirement:

Open equipment doors shall not impede access to and egress from the working space. Access or egress is impeded if one or more simultaneously opened equipment doors restrict working space access to be less than 610 mm (24 in.) wide and 2.0 m (6 ½ ft.) high.

In this revised Section, a point of access allowing entry or exit of working space, such as a doorway allowing entry to the workspace surrounding equipment, cannot be reduced to less than 24 inches wide or 6 ½ feet tall by any opened equipment doors.

Section 210.52(C)(3), Countertops & Work Surfaces. Receptacle Outlet Location

Receptacle outlets can no longer be installed in a kitchen base cabinet.

Electricians in every Code cycle are instructed to view Section 210.52(C)(3) Countertops & Work Surfaces. Receptacle Outlet Location, when determining where receptacle outlets can be installed to serve kitchen countertops. However, in the 2023 NEC, one of the locations previously permitted in Section 210.52(C)(3) has been omitted!

In the 2020 NEC, Section 210.52(C)(3) required receptacle outlets serving countertops and work surfaces in kitchens and similar areas to be installed only in the following locations:

  1. On or above, but not more than 20 inches above the countertop or work surface.
  2. In a countertop or work surface if the receptacle outlet assembly is listed to be installed in the countertop or work surface.
  3. Not more than 12 inches below a countertop or work surface. Note: Receptacle outlets cannot be installed in the base cabinet if the countertop or work surface extends more than 6 inches beyond the base cabinet.

In the 2023 NEC, option No. 3, previously allowing a receptacle outlet to be installed in the side of a kitchen countertop base cabinet, has been omitted! Instead, electricians must now install the receptacles for kitchen countertops either on the countertop surface using a listed outlet assembly made to recess into the countertop surface or above the countertop in the traditional location. Electricians can no longer cut these receptacle outlets into the side of a kitchen countertop base cabinet.

Article 512, Cannabis Oil Equipment and Cannabis Oil Systems Using Flammable Materials.

Cannabis oil processing equipment is now regulated by the 2023 NEC.

Brand-new to the 2023 NEC is Article 512 Cannabis Oil Equipment and Cannabis Oil Systems Using Flammable Materials. The new Article aims to reduce the risk of injury for workers and personnel working around flammable cannabis oils.

In the 2020 NEC, installing and operating cannabis oil preparatory and extraction equipment was not regulated by the NEC beyond the typical requirements applicable to all electrical installations. Therefore, the electrician and inspector were left to determine if there was cause for additional safety measures at these locations. In the 2023 NEC, new Article 512 regulates cannabis processing equipment, including declaring hazardous (classified) locations that surround cannabis equipment.

Section 408.43, Switchboards, Switchgear, and Panelboards. Panelboard Orientation.

The 2023 NEC prohibits this way of mounting a panelboard.

In the 2020 NEC, Section 408.43 Panelboard Orientation, required the following:

Panelboards shall not be installed in the face-up position.

In the 2023 NEC, Section 408.43 Panelboard Orientation, has expanded to include the following new requirement:

Panelboards shall not be installed in the face-up or face-down position.

In sum, the 2023 NEC now specifically prohibits laying on a grounded surface with our hands working inside an energized panelboard.

Ready to See More?

If you enjoyed reading this post, check out last month’s where we revealed five other changes to the 2023 Electrical Code.

Want to learn more about the 2023 NEC while you earn your required continuing education credits? Sign up for JADE Learning’s upcoming online continuing education course, 2023 NEC Changes, and earn while you learn.

JADE Learning—Serving electricians across the US since 1996.

If you haven’t passed your electrical exam yet, or wish to test for a different electrical license or certification, sign up for JADE Learning’s narrated and illustrated 2020 NEC Exam Prep. It is the most comprehensive online NEC exam prep available!

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