This is the fourth and final installment in a series of articles summarizing about 220 significant changes in the 2002 NEC. This article focuses on the most important changes. It does not cover every change, and is not intended to provide a full explanation of the reasons for the changes, as that information is readily available on NFPA's Web page on the NEC, www.necdirect.org, and will also be available in continuing education courses, books and videos on the changes.

Article 700 — Emergency Systems

Section 700.12(B)(6) — This section has been clarified to say that an additional disconnect is not required at a building if one is provided on the generator and the generator is within sight of the building.

Article 701 — Legally Required Standby Systems

Section 701.11(B)(5) — This section has also been clarified to state that an additional disconnect for a building is not required if one is provided on the generator and the generator is within sight of the building.

Article 702 — Optional Standby Systems

Section 702.1 — The scope of Article 702 has been revised to include optional standby systems supplied by portable generators. Previously this article covered only those systems that were permanently installed in their entirety.

Section 702.6 — Transfer switches will be required if a utility is one of the sources, but, like other optional standby systems, the transfer means will not be required to be automatic.

Article 725 — Class 1, Class 2 and Class 3 Remote-Control and Signaling and Power-Limited Circuits

Section 725.3 — Conduit fill requirements do apply to Class 1, 2 and 3 circuits. The stated intent was for Class 1 circuits, but the placement of the requirement and the wording also applies conduit fill restrictions to Class 2 and 3 wiring.

Section 725.3(B) — Accessible portions of abandoned cables must be removed. Cables in conduit are not considered to be accessible.

Section 725.7 — Remote control and signaling circuit cables run on the outside surfaces of ceilings and walls must be supported from building structural components and installed in such a manner that the cables will not be damaged by normal building use or by the support methods. Other cables (not installed on outside surfaces) must be installed in a neat and workmanlike manner. All cables must be protected in accordance with 300.4(D). Note that Section 300.11 does not apply to Class 2 and Class 3 cables.

This rule is less restrictive than the 1999 NEC, but that was not the intent of the Code panel. The Code panel also inserted other rules that would have applied Section 300.11 requirements to this article as well as to other limited-energy circuits. However, a part of that rule permitted limited amounts of wiring to be laid directly on a ceiling grid. Those parts were objectionable to some people, and they convinced the NFPA membership to overturn the panel action. Along with the objectionable language, the reference to Section 300.11 was also deleted. Undoubtedly, the support requirements for limited-energy circuit cables will be revisited in the 2005 NEC.

Section 725.52 — Class 2 and 3 circuits may be reclassified and installed as Class 1 circuits. This new rule requires reclassification of the entire circuit if these methods are used. However, the new rule also allows the use of Class 1 methods without reclassifying the circuit. Classification of the circuit significantly changes installation requirements. For example, Class 1 circuit separations from higher energy circuits are not nearly as restrictive as the separation requirements for Class 2 and Class 3 circuits.

Article 760 — Fire Alarm Systems

Section 760.3(A) — Accessible portions of abandoned cables must be removed.

Section 760.6 — Fire-alarm circuit cables run on the outside surfaces of ceilings and walls must be supported from building structural components and installed in such a manner that the cables will not be damaged by normal building use or by the support methods. Other cables (not installed on outside surfaces) must be installed in a neat and workmanlike manner. All cables must be protected in accordance with 300.4(D). (Section 300.11 does not apply to Fire Alarm cables. See the discussion under Section 725.7)

Article 770 — Optical Fiber Cables

Section 770.3(A) — Accessible portions of abandoned cables must be removed.

Section 770.8 — Optical-fiber cables run on the outside surfaces of ceilings and walls must be supported from building structural components and installed in such a manner that the cables will not be damaged by normal building use or by the support methods.

Other cables (not installed on outside surfaces) must be installed in a neat and workmanlike manner. All cables must be protected in accordance with 300.4(D). (Section 300.11 does not apply to Optical Fiber cables. See the discussion under Section 725.7)

Article 800 — Communications Circuits

Section 800.6 — Communications cables run on the outside surfaces of ceilings and walls must be supported from building structural components and installed in such a manner that the cables will not be damaged by normal building use or by the support methods.

Other cables (not installed on outside surfaces) must be installed in a neat and workmanlike manner. All cables must be protected in accordance with 300.4(D). (Section 300.11 does not apply to communications cables. See the discussion under Section 725.7.)

Section 800.48, Exc. — Conduit fill restrictions do not apply to communications circuits and cables. This settles, for the time being at least, a controversy over application of fill to communications installations.

Section 800.52(B) — Accessible portions of abandoned cables must be removed.

Article 820 — Community Antenna Television and Radio Distribution Systems

Section 820.3(A) — Accessible portions of abandoned cables must be removed.

Section 820.6 — CATV cables run on the outside surfaces of ceilings and walls must be supported from building structural components and installed in such a manner that the cables will not be damaged by normal building use or by the support methods.

Other cables (not installed on outside surfaces) must be installed in a neat and workmanlike manner.

All cables must be protected in accordance with 300.4(D). (Section 300.11 does not apply to CATV cables. See the discussion under Section 725.7.)

Article 830 — Network-Powered Broadband Communications Systems

Section 830.3(A) — Accessible portions of abandoned cables must be removed.

Section 830.7 — Network-powered broadband communications cables run on the outside surfaces of ceilings and walls must be supported from building structural components and installed in such a manner that the cables will not be damaged by normal building use or by the support methods. Other cables (not installed on outside surfaces) must be installed in a neat and workmanlike manner. All cables must be protected in accordance with 300.4(D). (Section 300.11 does not apply to network-powered broadband communications cables. See the discussion under Section 725.7.)

New Changes Within Chapter 9

A 60% fill column was added to Table 4. 60 % fill is permitted for short nipples. This is not a new rule; the additional information in Table 4 was added for usability.

Annex A

Annex A becomes a list of product standards. The information in the previous Appendix A, which listed sources for extracted text, has been relocated to the sections where extracted text appears.

Annex E

Annex E now contains descriptions of construction types for use in determining when Type NM cable may be used. The previous Appendix E was a cross-reference between the 1996 and 1999 versions of Article 250. That information was intended for only one Code cycle and has been now been deleted.

Annex F

Annex F is a cross-reference for the Articles of Chapter 3 in the 1999 and 2002 Codes. The articles are cross referenced by article number from 1999 to 2002 and from 2002 to 1999 and also alphabetically by article name.