How to Get Around Updated NEC Codes for Industrial Wiring

The National Electrical Code (NEC) is updated every 3 years by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). As an industrial electrician, it is critical to stay up-to-date on the latest NEC changes and understand how to apply them properly. Failure to follow the newest NEC guidelines can result in unsafe conditions, code violations, and potentially failed inspections.

While the NEC changes are intended to improve safety, the updates can often present challenges and require industrial electrical systems to be reworked. Fortunately, with careful planning and execution, you can successfully navigate the NEC changes for industrial environments.

Understanding the Reasons for NEC Changes

The NEC is not updated arbitrarily - most changes aim to address emerging technologies, respond to identified safety hazards, or clarify existing rules. Some of the key factors that motivate NEC changes for industrial settings include:

Strategies for Adapting to NEC Changes

While the rationale behind NEC changes is sound, how do you actually implement them in your industrial facilities? Here are some key strategies for smoothly adapting your electrical systems:

Conduct thorough evaluations

Develop cost-effective solutions

Allow sufficient lead time

Lean on external expertise

Notable Changes in Recent NEC Editions

To understand the nature of recent NEC changes affecting industrial facilities, let's look at some major updates from the 2017 and 2020 editions:

2017 NEC

2020 NEC


Adapting to changing NEC codes for industrial facilities can be challenging, but taking a methodical approach is key. By thoroughly evaluating your systems, smartly designing solutions, allowing ample implementation time, and leveraging experts, you can achieve timely compliance. Reference detailed electrical codes like NFPA 70E for additional guidance. Staying up-to-date on the NEC preserves workplace safety - so proper application is well worth the effort.