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This article applies to the electrical safety of the installation, operation, and maintenance of emergency systems consisting of circuits and equipment intended to supply, distribute, and control electricity for illumination, power, or both, to required facilities when the normal electrical supply or system is interrupted.
Informational Note No. 1: For further information regarding wiring and installation of emergency systems in health care facilities, see Article 517.
Informational Note No. 2: For further information regarding performance and maintenance of emergency systems in health care facilities, see NFPA 99-2015, Health Care Facilities Code.
Informational Note No. 3: For specification of locations where emergency lighting is considered essential to life safety, see NFPA 101 -2015, Life Safety Code.
Informational Note No. 4: For further information regarding performance of emergency and standby power systems, see NFPA 110-2013, Standard for Emergency and Standby Power Systems.
Branch Circuit Emergency Lighting Transfer Switch. A device connected on the load side of a branch circuit overcurrent protective device that transfers only emergency lighting loads from the normal supply to an emergency supply.
Informational Note: See ANSI/UL 1008, Transfer Switch Equipment, for information covering branch circuit emergency lighting transfer switches.
Emergency Systems. Those systems legally required and classed as emergency by municipal, state, federal, or other codes, or by any governmental agency having jurisdiction. These systems are intended to automatically supply illumination, power, or both, to designated areas and equipment in the event of failure of the normal supply or in the event of accident to elements of a system intended to supply, distribute, and control power and illumination essential for safety to human life.
Informational Note: Emergency systems are generally installed in places of assembly where artificial illumination is required for safe exiting and for panic control in buildings subject to occupancy by large numbers of persons, such as hotels, theaters, sports arenas, health care facilities, and similar institutions. Emergency systems may also provide power for such functions as ventilation where essential to maintain life, fire detection and alarm systems, elevators, fire pumps, public safety communications systems, industrial processes where current interruption would produce serious life safety or health hazards, and similar functions.
Luminaire, Directly Controlled. An emergency luminaire that has a control input for an integral dimming or switching function that drives the luminaire to full illumination upon loss of normal power.
Informational Note: See ANSI/UL 924, Emergency Lighting and Power Equipment, for information covering directly controlled luminaires.
Relay, Automatic Load Control. A device used to set normally dimmed or normally-off switched emergency lighting equipment to full power illumination levels in the event of a loss of the normal supply by bypassing the dimming/switching controls, and to return the emergency lighting equipment to normal status when the device senses the normal supply has been restored.
Informational Note: See ANSI/UL 924, Emergency Lighting and Power Equipment, for the requirements covering automatic load control relays.
The authority having jurisdiction shall conduct or witness a test of the complete system upon installation and periodically afterward.
Systems shall be tested periodically on a schedule acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction to ensure the systems are maintained in proper operating condition.
Emergency system equipment shall be maintained in accordance with manufacturer instructions and industry standards.
A written record shall be kept of such tests and maintenance.
Means for testing all emergency lighting and power systems during maximum anticipated load conditions shall be provided.
Informational Note: For information on testing and maintenance of emergency power supply systems (EPSSs), see NFPA 110-2013, Standard for Emergency and Standby Power Systems.
If the emergency system relies on a single alternate source of power, which will be disabled for maintenance or repair, the emergency system shall include permanent switching means to connect a portable or temporary alternate source of power, which shall be available for the duration of the maintenance or repair. The permanent switching means to connect a portable or temporary alternate source of power shall comply with the following:
  1. Connection to the portable or temporary alternate source of power shall not require modification of the permanent system wiring.
  2. Transfer of power between the normal power source and the emergency power source shall be in accordance with 700.12.
  3. The connection point for the portable or temporary alternate source shall be marked with the phase rotation and system bonding requirements.
  4. Mechanical or electrical interlocking shall prevent inadvertent interconnection of power sources.
  5. The switching means shall include a contact point that shall annunciate at a location remote from the generator or at another facility monitoring system to indicate that the permanent emergency source is disconnected from the emergency system.
It shall be permissible to utilize manual switching to switch from the permanent source of power to the portable or temporary alternate source of power and to utilize the switching means for connection of a load bank.
Informational Note: There are many possible methods to achieve the requirements of 700.3(F). See Figure 700.3(F) for one example.
FIGURE 700.3(F)
Exception: The permanent switching means to connect a portable or temporary alternate source of power, for the duration of the maintenance or repair, shall not be required where any of the following conditions exists:
  1. All processes that rely on the emergency system source are capable of being disabled during maintenance or repair of the emergency source of power.
  2. The building or structure is unoccupied and fire suppression systems are fully functional and do not require an alternate power source.
  3. Other temporary means can be substituted for the emergency system.
  4. A permanent alternate emergency source, such as, but not limited to, a second on-site standby generator or separate electric utility service connection, capable of supporting the emergency system, exists.
An emergency system shall have adequate capacity and rating for all loads to be operated simultaneously. The emergency system equipment shall be suitable for the maximum available fault current at its terminals.
The alternate power source shall be permitted to supply emergency, legally required standby, and optional standby system loads where the source has adequate capacity or where automatic selective load pickup and load shedding is provided as needed to ensure adequate power to (1) the emergency circuits, (2) the legally required standby circuits, and (3) the optional standby circuits, in that order of priority. The alternate power source shall be permitted to be used for peak load shaving, provided these conditions are met.
Peak load shaving operation shall be permitted for satisfying the test requirement of 700.3(B), provided all other conditions of 700.3 are met.
Transfer equipment, including automatic transfer switches, shall be automatic, identified for emergency use, and approved by the authority having jurisdiction. Transfer equipment shall be designed and installed to prevent the inadvertent interconnection of normal and emergency sources of supply in any operation of the transfer equipment. Transfer equipment and electric power production systems installed to permit operation in parallel with the normal source shall meet the requirements of Article 705.
Means shall be permitted to bypass and isolate the transfer equipment. Where bypass isolation switches are used, inadvertent parallel operation shall be avoided.
Automatic transfer switches shall be electrically operated and mechanically held. Automatic transfer switches shall be listed for emergency system use.
Transfer equipment shall supply only emergency loads.
The short-circuit current rating of the transfer equipment, based on the specific overcurrent protective device type and settings protecting the transfer equipment, shall be field marked on the exterior of the transfer equipment.
Audible and visual signal devices shall be provided, where practicable, for the purpose described in 700.6(A) through (D).
To indicate malfunction of the emergency source.
To indicate that the battery is carrying load.
To indicate that the battery charger is not functioning.
To indicate a ground fault in solidly grounded wye emergency systems of more than 150 volts to ground and circuit-protective devices rated 1000 amperes or more. The sensor for the ground-fault signal devices shall be located at, or ahead of, the main system disconnecting means for the emergency source, and the maximum setting of the signal devices shall be for a ground-fault current of 1200 amperes. Instructions on the course of action to be taken in event of indicated ground fault shall be located at or near the sensor location.
For systems with multiple emergency sources connected to a paralleling bus, the ground fault sensor shall be permitted to be at an alternative location.
A sign shall be placed at the service-entrance equipment, indicating type and location of each on-site emergency power source.
Exception: A sign shall not be required for individual unit equipment as specified in 700.12(F).
Where removal of a grounding or bonding connection in normal power source equipment interrupts the grounding electrode conductor connection to the alternate power source(s) grounded conductor, a warning sign shall be installed at the normal power source equipment stating:
WARNING
SHOCK HAZARD EXISTS IF GROUNDING ELECTRODE CONDUCTOR OR BONDING JUMPER CONNECTION IN THIS EQUIPMENT IS REMOVED WHILE ALTERNATE SOURCE(S) IS ENERGIZED.
The warning sign(s) or label(s) shall comply with 110.21(B).
A listed SPD shall be installed in or on all emergency systems switchboards and panelboards.
Emergency circuits shall be permanently marked so they will be readily identified as a component of an emergency circuit or system by the following methods:
  1. All boxes and enclosures (including transfer switches, generators, and power panels) for emergency circuits shall be permanently marked as a component of an emergency circuit or system.
  2. Where boxes or enclosures are not encountered, exposed cable or raceway systems shall be permanently marked to be identified as a component of an emergency circuit or system, at intervals not to exceed 7.6 m (25 ft).
Receptacles supplied from the emergency system shall have a distinctive color or marking on the receptacle cover plates or the receptacles.
Wiring of two or more emergency circuits supplied from the same source shall be permitted in the same raceway, cable, box, or cabinet. Wiring from an emergency source or emergency source distribution overcurrent protection to emergency loads shall be kept entirely independent of all other wiring and equipment, unless otherwise permitted in 700.10(B)(1) through (5):
  1. Wiring from the normal power source located in transfer equipment enclosures
  2. Wiring supplied from two sources in exit or emergency luminaires
  3. Wiring from two sources in a listed load control relay supplying exit or emergency luminaires, or in a common junction box, attached to exit or emergency luminaires
  4. Wiring within a common junction box attached to unit equipment, containing only the branch circuit supplying the unit equipment and the emergency circuit supplied by the unit equipment
  5. Wiring from an emergency source to supply emergency and other (nonemergency) loads in accordance with 700.10(B)(5)a., b., c., and d. as follows:
    1. Separate vertical switchgear sections or separate vertical switchboard sections, with or without a common bus, or individual disconnects mounted in separate enclosures shall be used to separate emergency loads from all other loads.
    2. The common bus of separate sections of the switch-gear, separate sections of the switchboard, or the individual enclosures shall be either of the following:
      1. Supplied by single or multiple feeders without overcurrent protection at the source
      2. Supplied by single or multiple feeders with overcurrent protection, provided that the overcurrent protection that is common to an emergency system and any non-emergency system(s) is selectively coordinated with the next downstream overcurrent protective device in the nonemergency system(s)
        Informational Note: For further information, see Informational Note Figure 700.10(B)(5)(b)(1) and Informational Note Figure 700.10(B)(5)(b)(2).
    3. Emergency circuits shall not originate from the same vertical switchgear section, vertical switchboard section, panelboard enclosure, or individual disconnect enclosure as other circuits.
    4. It shall be permissible to utilize single or multiple feeders to supply distribution equipment between an emergency source and the point where the emergency loads are separated from all other loads.
Informational Note Figure 700.10(B)(5)(b)(1) Single or Multiple Feeders without Overcurrent Protection
Informational Note Figure 700.10(B)(5)(b)(2) Single or Multiple Feeders with Overcurrent Protection
Emergency wiring circuits shall be designed and located so as to minimize the hazards that might cause failure due to flooding, fire, icing, vandalism, and other adverse conditions.
Emergency systems shall meet the additional requirements in (D)(1) through (D)(3) in the following occupancies:
  1. Assembly occupancies for not less than 1000 persons
  2. Buildings above 23 m (75 ft) in height
  3. Health care occupancies where persons are not capable of self preservation
  4. Educational occupancies with more than 300 occupants
Feeder-circuit wiring shall meet one of the following conditions:
  1. The cable or raceway is installed in spaces or areas that are fully protected by an approved automatic fire suppression system.
  2. The cable or raceway is protected by a listed electrical circuit protective system with a minimum 2-hour fire rating.
    Informational Note No. 1: Electrical circuit protective systems could include but not be limited to thermal barriers or a protective shaft and are tested to UL 1724, Fire Tests for Electrical Circuit Protection Systems.
    Informational Note No. 2: The listing organization provides information for electrical circuit protective systems on proper installation requirements to maintain the fire rating.
  3. The cable or raceway is a listed fire-resistive cable system.
    Informational Note No. 1: Fire-resistive cables are tested to ANSI/UL 2196, Tests for Fire Resistive Cables.
    Informational Note No. 2: The listing organization provides information for fire-resistive cable systems on proper installation requirements to maintain the fire rating.
  4. The cable or raceway is protected by a listed fire-rated assembly that has a minimum fire rating of 2 hours and contains only emergency circuits.
  5. The cable or raceway is encased in a minimum of 50 mm (2 in.) of concrete.
Equipment for feeder circuits (including transfer switches, transformers, and panelboards) shall be located either in spaces fully protected by approved automatic fire suppression systems (including sprinklers, carbon dioxide systems) or in spaces with a 2-hour fire resistance rating.
Control conductors installed between the transfer equipment and the emergency generator shall be kept entirely independent of all other wiring and shall meet the conditions of 700.10(D)(1). The integrity of the generator control wiring shall be continuously monitored. Loss of integrity of the remote start circuit(s) shall initiate visual and audible annunciation of generator malfunction at the generator local and remote annunciator(s) and start the generator(s).
Current supply shall be such that, in the event of failure of the normal supply to, or within, the building or group of buildings concerned, emergency lighting, emergency power, or both shall be available within the time required for the application but not to exceed 10 seconds. The supply system for emergency purposes, in addition to the normal services to the building and meeting the general requirements of this section, shall be one or more of the types of systems described in 700.12(A) through (E). Unit equipment in accordance with 700.12(F) shall satisfy the applicable requirements of this article.
In selecting an emergency source of power, consideration shall be given to the occupancy and the type of service to be rendered, whether of minimum duration, as for evacuation of a theater, or longer duration, as for supplying emergency power and lighting due to an indefinite period of current failure from trouble either inside or outside the building.
Equipment shall be designed and located so as to minimize the hazards that might cause complete failure due to flooding, fires, icing, and vandalism.
Equipment for sources of power as described in 700.12(A) through (E) shall be installed either in spaces fully protected by approved automatic fire suppression systems (sprinklers, carbon dioxide systems, and so forth) or in spaces with a 1-hour fire rating where located within the following:
  1. Assembly occupancies for more than 1000 persons
  2. Buildings above 23 m (75 ft) in height with any of the following occupancy classes — assembly, educational, residential, detention and correctional, business, and mercantile
  3. Health care occupancies where persons are not capable of self-preservation
  4. Educational occupancies with more than 300 occupants
Informational Note No. 1: For the definition of Occupancy Classification, see Section 6.1 of NFPA 101-2015, Life Safety Code.
Informational Note No. 2: For further information, see ANSI/IEEE 493-2007, Recommended Practice for the Design of Reliable Industrial and Commercial Power Systems.
Storage batteries shall be of suitable rating and capacity to supply and maintain the total load for a minimum period of 11/2 hours, without the voltage applied to the load falling below 871/2 percent of normal. Automotive-type batteries shall not be used.
An automatic battery charging means shall be provided.
For a generator set driven by a prime mover acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction and sized in accordance with 700.4, means shall be provided for automatically starting the prime mover on failure of the normal service and for automatic transfer and operation of all required electrical circuits. A time-delay feature permitting a 15-minute setting shall be provided to avoid retransfer in case of short-time reestablishment of the normal source.
Where internal combustion engines are used as the prime mover, an on-site fuel supply shall be provided with an on-premises fuel supply sufficient for not less than 2 hours' full-demand operation of the system. Where power is needed for the operation of the fuel transfer pumps to deliver fuel to a generator set day tank, this pump shall be connected to the emergency power system.
Prime movers shall not be solely dependent on a public utility gas system for their fuel supply or municipal water supply for their cooling systems. Means shall be provided for automatically transferring from one fuel supply to another where dual fuel supplies are used.
Exception: Where acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction, the use of other than on-site fuels shall be permitted where there is a low probability of a simultaneous failure of both the off-site fuel delivery system and power from the outside electrical utility company.
Where a storage battery is used for control or signal power or as the means of starting the prime mover, it shall be suitable for the purpose and shall be equipped with an automatic charging means independent of the generator set. Where the battery charger is required for the operation of the generator set, it shall be connected to the emergency system. Where power is required for the operation of dampers used to ventilate the generator set, the dampers shall be connected to the emergency system.
Generator sets that require more than 10 seconds to develop power shall be permitted if an auxiliary power supply energizes the emergency system until the generator can pick up the load.
Where an outdoor housed generator set is equipped with a readily accessible disconnecting means in accordance with 445.18, and the disconnecting means is located within sight of the building or structure supplied, an additional disconnecting means shall not be required where ungrounded conductors serve or pass through the building or structure. Where the generator supply conductors terminate at a disconnecting means in or on a building or structure, the disconnecting means shall meet the requirements of 225.36.
Exception: For installations under single management, where conditions of maintenance and supervision ensure that only qualified persons will monitor and service the installation and where documented safe switching procedures are established and maintained for disconnection, the generator set disconnecting means shall not be required to be located within sight of the building or structure served.
Uninterruptible power supplies used to provide power for emergency systems shall comply with the applicable provisions of 700.12(A) and (B).
Where approved by the authority having jurisdiction as suitable for use as an emergency source of power, an additional service shall be permitted. This service shall be in accordance with the applicable provisions of Article 230 and the following additional requirements:
  1. Separate overhead service conductors, service drops, underground service conductors, or service laterals shall be installed.
  2. The service conductors for the separate service shall be installed sufficiently remote electrically and physically from any other service conductors to minimize the possibility of simultaneous interruption of supply.
Fuel cell systems used as a source of power for emergency systems shall be of suitable rating and capacity to supply and maintain the total load for not less than 2 hours of full-demand operation.
Installation of a fuel cell system shall meet the requirements of Parts II through VIII of Article 692.
Where a single fuel cell system serves as the normal supply for the building or group of buildings concerned, it shall not serve as the sole source of power for the emergency standby system.
Individual unit equipment for emergency illumination shall consist of the following:
  1. A rechargeable battery
  2. A battery charging means
  3. Provisions for one or more lamps mounted on the equipment, or shall be permitted to have terminals for remote lamps, or both
  4. A relaying device arranged to energize the lamps automatically upon failure of the supply to the unit equipment
Unit equipment shall be installed in accordance with 700.12(F)(2)(1) through (6).
  1. The batteries shall be of suitable rating and capacity to supply and maintain the total lamp load associated with the unit in accordance with (a) or (b):
    (a) For a period of at least 11/2 hours without the voltage falling below 871/2 percent of normal battery voltage
    (b) The unit equipment shall supply and maintain not less than 60 percent of the initial emergency illumination for a period of at least 11/2 hours
  2. Unit equipment shall be permanently fixed (i.e., not portable) in place and shall have all wiring to each unit installed in accordance with the requirements of any of the wiring methods in Chapter 3. Flexible cord-and-plug connection shall be permitted, provided that the cord does not exceed 900 mm (3 ft) in length.
  3. The branch circuit feeding the unit equipment shall be the same branch circuit as that serving the normal lighting in the area and connected ahead of any local switches.
    Exception: In a separate and uninterrupted area supplied by a minimum of three normal lighting circuits that are not part of a multiwire branch circuit, a separate branch circuit for unit equipment shall be permitted if it originates from the same panelboard as that of the normal lighting circuits and is provided with a lock-on feature.
  4. The branch circuit that feeds unit equipment shall be clearly identified at the distribution panel.
  5. Emergency luminaires that obtain power from a unit equipment and are not part of the unit equipment shall be wired to the unit equipment as required by 700.10 and by one of the wiring methods of Chapter 3.
  6. Remote heads providing lighting for the exterior of an exit door shall be permitted to be supplied by the unit equipment serving the area immediately inside the exit door.
No appliances and no lamps, other than those specified as required for emergency use, shall be supplied by emergency lighting circuits.
Emergency illumination shall include means of egress lighting, illuminated exit signs, and all other luminaires specified as necessary to provide required illumination.
Emergency lighting systems shall be designed and installed so that the failure of any individual lighting element, such as the burning out of a lamp, cannot leave in total darkness any space that requires emergency illumination.
Where high-intensity discharge lighting such as high- and low-pressure sodium, mercury vapor, and metal halide is used as the sole source of normal illumination, the emergency lighting system shall be required to operate until normal illumination has been restored.
Where an emergency system is installed, emergency illumination shall be provided in the area of the disconnecting means required by 225.31 and 230.70, as applicable, where the disconnecting means are installed indoors.
Exception: Alternative means that ensure that the emergency lighting illumination level is maintained shall be permitted.
Branch circuits that supply emergency lighting shall be installed to provide service from a source complying with 700.12 when the normal supply for lighting is interrupted. Such installations shall provide either of the following:
  1. An emergency lighting supply, independent of the normal lighting supply, with provisions for automatically transferring the emergency lights upon the event of failure of the normal lighting branch circuit
  2. Two or more branch circuits supplied from separate and complete systems with independent power sources. One of the two power sources and systems shall be part of the emergency system, and the other shall be permitted to be part of the normal power source and system. Each system shall provide sufficient power for emergency lighting purposes.
    Unless both systems are used for regular lighting purposes and are both kept lighted, means shall be provided for automatically energizing either system upon failure of the other. Either or both systems shall be permitted to be a part of the general lighting of the protected occupancy if circuits supplying lights for emergency illumination are installed in accordance with other sections of this article.
For branch circuits that supply equipment classed as emergency, there shall be an emergency supply source to which the load will be transferred automatically upon the failure of the normal supply.
The branch circuit serving emergency lighting and power circuits shall not be part of a multiwire branch circuit.
The switch or switches installed in emergency lighting circuits shall be arranged so that only authorized persons have control of emergency lighting.
Exception No. 1: Where two or more single-throw switches are connected in parallel to control a single circuit, at least one of these switches shall be accessible only to authorized persons.
Exception No. 2: Additional switches that act only to put emergency lights into operation but not disconnect them shall be permissible.
Switches connected in series or 3- and 4-way switches shall not be used.
All manual switches for controlling emergency circuits shall be in locations convenient to authorized persons responsible for their actuation. In facilities covered by Articles 518 and 520, a switch for controlling emergency lighting systems shall be located in the lobby or at a place conveniently accessible thereto.
In no case shall a control switch for emergency lighting be placed in a motion-picture projection booth or on a stage or platform.
Exception: Where multiple switches are provided, one such switch shall be permitted in such locations where arranged so that it can only energize the circuit but cannot de-energize the circuit.
Those lights on the exterior of a building that are not required for illumination when there is sufficient daylight shall be permitted to be controlled by an automatic light-actuated device.
A dimmer or relay system containing more than one dimmer or relay and listed for use in emergency systems shall be permitted to be used as a control device for energizing emergency lighting circuits. Upon failure of normal power, the dimmer or relay system shall be permitted to selectively energize only those branch circuits required to provide minimum emergency illumination. All branch circuits supplied by the dimmer or relay system cabinet shall comply with the wiring methods of Article 700.
Where emergency illumination is provided by one or more directly controlled luminaires that respond to an external control input to bypass normal control upon loss of normal power, such luminaires and external bypass controls shall be individually listed for use in emergency systems.
Emergency lighting loads supplied by branch circuits rated at not greater than 20 amperes shall be permitted to be transferred from the normal branch circuit to an emergency branch circuit using a listed branch circuit emergency lighting transfer switch. The mechanically held requirement of 700.5(C) shall not apply to listed branch circuit emergency lighting transfer switches.
If an emergency lighting load is automatically energized upon loss of the normal supply, a listed automatic load control relay shall be permitted to energize the load. The load control relay shall not be used as transfer equipment.
The branch-circuit overcurrent devices in emergency circuits shall be accessible to authorized persons only.
The alternate source for emergency systems shall not be required to provide ground-fault protection of equipment with automatic disconnecting means. Ground-fault indication at the emergency source shall be provided in accordance with 700.6(D) if ground-fault protection of equipment with automatic disconnecting means is not provided.
Emergency system(s) overcurrent devices shall be selectively coordinated with all supply-side overcurrent protective devices.
Selective coordination shall be selected by a licensed professional engineer or other qualified persons engaged primarily in the design, installation, or maintenance of electrical systems. The selection shall be documented and made available to those authorized to design, install, inspect, maintain, and operate the system.
Exception: Selective coordination shall not be required between two overcurrent devices located in series if no loads are connected in parallel with the downstream device.
The provisions of this article apply to the electrical safety of the installation, operation, and maintenance of legally required standby systems consisting of circuits and equipment intended to supply, distribute, and control electricity to required facilities for illumination or power, or both, when the normal electrical supply or system is interrupted.
The systems covered by this article consist only of those that are permanently installed in their entirety, including the power source.
Informational Note No. 1: For further information, see NFPA 99-2015, Health Care Facilities Code.
Informational Note No. 2: For further information regarding performance of emergency and standby power systems, see NFPA 110-2013, Standard for Emergency and Standby Power Systems.
Informational Note No. 3: For further information, see ANSI/IEEE 446-1995, Recommended Practice for Emergency and Standby Power Systems for Industrial and Commercial Applications.
Legally Required Standby Systems. Those systems required and so classed as legally required standby by municipal, state, federal, or other codes or by any governmental agency having jurisdiction. These systems are intended to automatically supply power to selected loads (other than those classed as emergency systems) in the event of failure of the normal source.
Informational Note: Legally required standby systems are typically installed to serve loads, such as heating and refrigeration systems, communications systems, ventilation and smoke removal systems, sewage disposal, lighting systems, and industrial processes, that, when stopped during any interruption of the normal electrical supply, could create hazards or hamper rescue or fire-fighting operations.
The authority having jurisdiction shall conduct or witness a test of the complete system upon installation.
Systems shall be tested periodically on a schedule and in a manner acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction to ensure the systems are maintained in proper operating condition.
Legally required standby system equipment shall be maintained in accordance with manufacturer instructions and industry standards.
A written record shall be kept on such tests and maintenance.
Means for testing legally required standby systems under load shall be provided.
Informational Note: For information on testing and maintenance of emergency power supply systems (EPSSs), see NFPA 110-2013, Standard for Emergency and Standby Power Systems.
A legally required standby system shall have adequate capacity and rating for the supply of all equipment intended to be operated at one time. Legally required standby system equipment shall be suitable for the maximum available fault current at its terminals.
The legally required standby alternate power source shall be permitted to supply both legally required standby and optional standby system loads under either of the following conditions:
  1. Where the alternate source has adequate capacity to handle all connected loads
  2. Where automatic selective load pickup and load shedding is provided that will ensure adequate power to the legally required standby circuits
Transfer equipment, including automatic transfer switches, shall be automatic and identified for standby use and approved by the authority having jurisdiction. Transfer equipment shall be designed and installed to prevent the inadvertent interconnection of normal and alternate sources of supply in any operation of the transfer equipment. Transfer equipment and electric power production systems installed to permit operation in parallel with the normal source shall meet the requirements of Article 705.
Means to bypass and isolate the transfer switch equipment shall be permitted. Where bypass isolation switches are used, inadvertent parallel operation shall be avoided.
Automatic transfer switches shall be electrically operated and mechanically held. Automatic transfer switches shall be listed for emergency use.
The short-circuit current rating of the transfer equipment, based on the specific overcurrent protective device type and settings protecting the transfer equipment, shall be field marked on the exterior of the transfer equipment.
Audible and visual signal devices shall be provided, where practicable, for the purposes described in 701.6(A), (B), (C), and (D).
To indicate malfunction of the standby source.
To indicate that the standby source is carrying load.
To indicate that the battery charger is not functioning.
Informational Note: For signals for generator sets, see NFPA 110-2013, Standard for Emergency and Standby Power Systems.
To indicate a ground fault in solidly grounded wye, legally required standby systems of more than 150 volts to ground and circuit-protective devices rated 1000 amperes or more. The sensor for the ground-fault signal devices shall be located at, or ahead of, the main system disconnecting means for the legally required standby source, and the maximum setting of the signal devices shall be for a ground-fault current of 1200 amperes. Instructions on the course of action to be taken in event of indicated ground fault shall be located at or near the sensor location.
For systems with multiple emergency sources connected to a paralleling bus, the ground fault sensor shall be permitted at an alternate location.
Informational Note: For signals for generator sets, see NFPA 110-2013, Standard for Emergency and Standby Power Systems.
A sign shall be placed at the service entrance indicating type and location of each on-site legally required standby power source.
Exception: A sign shall not be required for individual unit equipment as specified in 701.12(G).
Where removal of a grounding or bonding connection in normal power source equipment interrupts the grounding electrode conductor connection to the alternate power source(s) grounded conductor, a warning sign shall be installed at the normal power source equipment stating:
WARNING
SHOCK HAZARD EXISTS IF GROUNDING ELECTRODE CONDUCTOR OR BONDING JUMPER CONNECTION IN THIS EQUIPMENT IS REMOVED WHILE ALTERNATE SOURCE(S) IS ENERGIZED.
The warning sign(s) or label(s) shall comply with 110.21(B).
The legally required standby system wiring shall be permitted to occupy the same raceways, cables, boxes, and cabinets with other general wiring.
Current supply shall be such that, in the event of failure of the normal supply to, or within, the building or group of buildings concerned, legally required standby power will be available within the time required for the application but not to exceed 60 seconds. The supply system for legally required standby purposes, in addition to the normal services to the building, shall be permitted to comprise one or more of the types of systems described in 701.12(A) through (F). Unit equipment in accordance with 701.12(G) shall satisfy the applicable requirements of this article.
In selecting a legally required standby source of power, consideration shall be given to the type of service to be rendered, whether of short-time duration or long duration.
Consideration shall be given to the location or design, or both, of all equipment to minimize the hazards that might cause complete failure due to floods, fires, icing, and vandalism.
Informational Note: For further information, see ANSI/IEEE 493-2007, Recommended Practice for the Design of Reliable Industrial and Commercial Power Systems.
Storage batteries shall be of suitable rating and capacity to supply and maintain the total load for a minimum period of 11/2 hours without the voltage applied to the load falling below 871/2 percent of normal. Automotive-type batteries shall not be used.
An automatic battery charging means shall be provided.
For a generator set driven by a prime mover acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction and sized in accordance with 701.4, means shall be provided for automatically starting the prime mover upon failure of the normal service and for automatic transfer and operation of all required electrical circuits. A time-delay feature permitting a 15-minute setting shall be provided to avoid retransfer in case of short-time re-establishment of the normal source.
Where internal combustion engines are used as the prime mover, an on-site fuel supply shall be provided with an on-premises fuel supply sufficient for not less than 2 hours of full-demand operation of the system. Where power is needed for the operation of the fuel transfer pumps to deliver fuel to a generator set day tank, the pumps shall be connected to the legally required standby power system.
Prime movers shall not be solely dependent on a public utility gas system for their fuel supply or on a municipal water supply for their cooling systems. Means shall be provided for automatically transferring one fuel supply to another where dual fuel supplies are used.
Exception: Where acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction, the use of other than on-site fuels shall be permitted where there is a low probability of a simultaneous failure of both the off-site fuel delivery system and power from the outside electrical utility company.
Where a storage battery is used for control or signal power or as the means of starting the prime mover, it shall be suitable for the purpose and shall be equipped with an automatic charging means independent of the generator set.
Where an outdoor housed generator set is equipped with a readily accessible disconnecting means in accordance with 445.18, and the disconnecting means is located within sight of the building or structure supplied, an additional disconnecting means shall not be required where ungrounded conductors serve or pass through the building or structure. Where the generator supply conductors terminate at a disconnecting means in or on a building or structure, the disconnecting means shall meet the requirements of 225.36.
Uninterruptible power supplies used to provide power for legally required standby systems shall comply with the applicable provisions of 701.12(A) and (B).
Where approved, a separate service shall be permitted as a legally required source of standby power. This service shall be in accordance with the applicable provisions of Article 230, with a separate service drop or lateral or a separate set of overhead or underground service conductors sufficiently remote electrically and physically from any other service to minimize the possibility of simultaneous interruption of supply from an occurrence in another service.
Where acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction, connections located ahead of and not within the same cabinet, enclosure, vertical switchgear section, or vertical switchboard section as the service disconnecting means shall be permitted. The legally required standby service shall be sufficiently separated from the normal main service disconnecting means to minimize simultaneous interruption of supply through an occurrence within the building or groups of buildings served.
Informational Note: See 230.82 for equipment permitted on the supply side of a service disconnecting means.
Fuel cell systems used as a source of power for legally required standby systems shall be of suitable rating and capacity to supply and maintain the total load for not less than 2 hours of full-demand operation.
Installation of a fuel cell system shall meet the requirements of Parts II through VIII of Article 692.
Where a single fuel cell system serves as the normal supply for the building or group of buildings concerned, it shall not serve as the sole source of power for the legally required standby system.
Individual unit equipment for legally required standby illumination shall consist of the following:
  1. A rechargeable battery
  2. A battery charging means
  3. Provisions for one or more lamps mounted on the equipment and shall be permitted to have terminals for remote lamps
  4. A relaying device arranged to energize the lamps automatically upon failure of the supply to the unit equipment
The batteries shall be of suitable rating and capacity to supply and maintain the total lamp load associated with the unit for not less than (a) or (b):
(a) For a period of 11/2 hours, without the voltage falling below 871/2 percent of normal voltage
(b) The unit equipment shall supply and maintain not less than 60 percent of the initial emergency illumination for a period of at least 11/2 hours.
Unit equipment shall be permanently fixed in place (i.e., not portable) and shall have all wiring to each unit installed in accordance with the requirements of any of the wiring methods in Chapter 3. Flexible cord-and-plug connection shall be permitted, provided that the cord does not exceed 900 mm (3 ft) in length. The branch circuit feeding the unit equipment shall be the same branch circuit as that serving the normal lighting in the area and connected ahead of any local switches. Legally required standby luminaires that obtain power from a unit equipment and are not part of the unit equipment shall be wired to the unit equipment by one of the wiring methods of Chapter 3.
Exception: In a separate and uninterrupted area supplied by a minimum of three normal lighting circuits, a separate branch circuit for unit equipment shall be permitted if it originates from the same panelboard as that of the normal lighting circuits and is provided with a lock-on feature.
The branch-circuit overcurrent devices in legally required standby circuits shall be accessible to authorized persons only.
The alternate source for legally required standby systems shall not be required to provide ground-fault protection of equipment with automatic disconnecting means. Ground-fault indication at the legally required standby source shall be provided in accordance with 701.6(D) if ground-fault protection of equipment with automatic disconnecting means is not provided.
Legally required standby system(s) overcurrent devices shall be selectively coordinated with all supply-side overcurrent protective devices.
Selective coordination shall be selected by a licensed professional engineer or other qualified persons engaged primarily in the design, installation, or maintenance of electrical systems. The selection shall be documented and made available to those authorized to design, install, inspect, maintain, and operate the system.
Exception: Selective coordination shall not be required between two overcurrent devices located in series if no loads are connected in parallel with the downstream device.
The provisions of this article apply to the installation and operation of optional standby systems.
The systems covered by this article consist of those that are permanently installed in their entirety, including prime movers, and those that are arranged for a connection to a premises wiring system from a portable alternate power supply.
Optional Standby Systems. Those systems intended to supply power to public or private facilities or property where life safety does not depend on the performance of the system. These systems are intended to supply on-site generated power to selected loads either automatically or manually.
Informational Note: Optional standby systems are typically installed to provide an alternate source of electric power for such facilities as industrial and commercial buildings, farms, and residences and to serve loads such as heating and refrigeration systems, data processing and communications systems, and industrial processes that, when stopped during any power outage, could cause discomfort, serious interruption of the process, damage to the product or process, or the like.
Optional standby system equipment shall be suitable for the maximum available short-circuit current at its terminals.
The calculations of load on the standby source shall be made in accordance with Article 220 or by another approved method.
Where manual transfer equipment is used, an optional standby system shall have adequate capacity and rating for the supply of all equipment intended to be operated at one time. The user of the optional standby system shall be permitted to select the load connected to the system.
Where automatic transfer equipment is used, an optional standby system shall comply with (2)(a) or (2)(b).
(a) Full Load. The standby source shall be capable of supplying the full load that is transferred by the automatic transfer equipment.
(b) Load Management. Where a system is employed that will automatically manage the connected load, the standby source shall have a capacity sufficient to supply the maximum load that will be connected by the load management system.
Transfer equipment shall be suitable for the intended use and designed and installed so as to prevent the inadvertent interconnection of normal and alternate sources of supply in any operation of the transfer equipment. Transfer equipment and electric power production systems installed to permit operation in parallel with the normal source shall meet the requirements of Article 705.
Transfer equipment, located on the load side of branch circuit protection, shall be permitted to contain supplemental overcurrent protection having an interrupting rating sufficient for the available fault current that the generator can deliver. The supplementary overcurrent protection devices shall be part of a listed transfer equipment.
Transfer equipment shall be required for all standby systems subject to the provisions of this article and for which an electric utility supply is either the normal or standby source.
Exception: Temporary connection of a portable generator without transfer equipment shall be permitted where conditions of maintenance and supervision ensure that only qualified persons service the installation and where the normal supply is physically isolated by a lockable disconnecting means or by disconnection of the normal supply conductors.
The short-circuit current rating of the transfer equipment, based on the specific overcurrent protective device type and settings protecting the transfer equipment, shall be field marked on the exterior of the transfer equipment.
Audible and visual signal devices shall be provided, where practicable, for the following purposes specified in 702.6(A) and (B).
To indicate malfunction of the optional standby source.
To indicate that the optional standby source is carrying load.
Exception: Signals shall not be required for portable standby power sources.
A sign shall be placed at the service-entrance equipment that indicates the type and location of each on-site optional standby power source. A sign shall not be required for individual unit equipment for standby illumination.
Where removal of a grounding or bonding connection in normal power source equipment interrupts the grounding electrode conductor connection to the alternate power source(s) grounded conductor, a warning sign shall be installed at the normal power source equipment stating:
WARNING
SHOCK HAZARD EXISTS IF GROUNDING ELECTRODE CONDUCTOR OR BONDING JUMPER CONNECTION IN THIS EQUIPMENT IS REMOVED WHILE ALTERNATE SOURCE(S) IS ENERGIZED.
The warning sign(s) or label(s) shall comply with 110.21(B).
Where a power inlet is used for a temporary connection to a portable generator, a warning sign shall be placed near the inlet to indicate the type of derived system that the system is capable of based on the wiring of the transfer equipment. The sign shall display one of the following warnings:
WARNING:
FOR CONNECTION OF A SEPARATELY DERIVED (BONDED NEUTRAL) SYSTEM ONLY
or
WARNING:
FOR CONNECTION OF A NONSEPARATELY DERIVED (FLOATING NEUTRAL) SYSTEM ONLY
The optional standby system wiring shall be permitted to occupy the same raceways, cables, boxes, and cabinets with other general wiring.
Where a portable optional standby source is used as a separately derived system, it shall be grounded to a grounding electrode in accordance with 250.30.
Where a portable optional standby source is used as a nonseparately derived system, the equipment grounding conductor shall be bonded to the system grounding electrode.
Where an outdoor housed generator set is equipped with a readily accessible disconnecting means in accordance with 445.18, and the disconnecting means is located within sight of the building or structure supplied, an additional disconnecting means shall not be required where ungrounded conductors serve or pass through the building or structure. Where the generator supply conductors terminate at a disconnecting means in or on a building or structure, the disconnecting means shall meet the requirements of 225.36.
Where a portable generator, rated 15 kW or less, is installed using a flanged inlet or other cord- and plug-type connection, a disconnecting means shall not be required where ungrounded conductors serve or pass through a building or structure.
Equipment containing power inlets for the connection of a generator source shall be listed for the intended use. Systems with power inlets shall be equipped with an interlocked disconnecting means.
Exception No. 1: If the inlet device is rated as a disconnecting means
Exception No. 2: Supervised industrial installations where permanent space is identified for the portable generator located within line of sight of the power inlets shall not be required to have interlocked disconnecting means nor inlets rated as disconnects.
This article covers installation of one or more electric power production sources operating in parallel with a primary source(s) of electricity.
Informational Note: Examples of the types of primary sources include a utility supply or an on-site electric power source(s).
Interactive Inverter Output Circuit. The conductors between the interactive inverter and the service equipment or another electric power production source, such as a utility, for electrical production and distribution network.
Microgrid Interconnect Device (MID). A device that allows a microgrid system to separate from and reconnect to a primary power source.
Microgrid System. A premises wiring system that has generation, energy storage, and load(s), or any combination thereof, that includes the ability to disconnect from and parallel with the primary source.
Informational Note: The application of Article 705 to microgrid systems is limited by the exclusions in 90.2(B)(5) related to electric utilities.
Multimode Inverter. Equipment having the capabilities of both the interactive inverter and the stand-alone inverter.
Power Production Equipment. The generating source, and all distribution equipment associated with it, that generates electricity from a source other than a utility supplied service.
Informational Note: Examples of power production equipment include such items as generators, solar photovoltaic systems, and fuel cell systems.
Interconnected electric power production sources shall comply with this article and also with the applicable requirements of the articles in Table 705.3.
Table 705.3 Other Articles
Equipment/System Article
Generators 445
Solar photovoltaic systems 690
Fuel cell systems 692
Wind electric systems 694
Emergency systems 700
Legally required standby systems 701
Optional standby systems 702
Energy storage systems 706
Stand-alone systems 710
DC microgrids 712
All equipment shall be approved for the intended use. Interactive inverters for interconnection to systems interactive equipment intended to operate in parallel with the electric power system including, but not limited to, interactive inverters, engine generators, energy storage equipment, and wind turbines shall be listed and or field labeled for the intended use of interconnection service.
Installation of one or more electrical power production sources operating in parallel with a primary source(s) of electricity shall be performed only by qualified persons.
Informational Note: See Article 100 for the definition of Qualified Person.
A permanent plaque or directory denoting the location of all electric power source disconnecting means on or in the premises shall be installed at each service equipment location and at the location(s) of the system disconnect(s) for all electric power production sources capable of being interconnected. The marking shall comply with 110.21(B).
Exception: Installations with large numbers of power production sources shall be permitted to be designated by groups.
The output of an interconnected electric power source shall be connected as specified in 705.12(A) or (B).
An electric power production source shall be permitted to be connected to the supply side of the service disconnecting means as permitted in 230.82(6). The sum of the ratings of all overcurrent devices connected to power production sources shall not exceed the rating of the service.
The output of an interconnected electric power source shall be permitted to be connected to the load side of the service disconnecting means of the other source(s) at any distribution equipment on the premises. Where distribution equipment, including switchgear, switchboards, or panelboards, is fed simultaneously by a primary source(s) of electricity and one or more other power source(s), and where this distribution equipment is capable of supplying multiple branch circuits or feeders, or both, the interconnecting provisions for other power sources shall comply with 705.12(B)(1) through (B)(5).
Each source interconnection of one or more power sources installed in one system shall be made at a dedicated circuit breaker or fusible disconnecting means.
One hundred twenty-five percent of the power source output circuit current shall be used in ampacity calculations for the following:
  1. Feeders. Where the power source output connection is made to a feeder at a location other than the opposite end of the feeder from the primary source overcurrent device, that portion of the feeder on the load side of the power source output connection shall be protected by one of the following:
    1. The feeder ampacity shall be not less than the sum of the primary source overcurrent device and 125 percent of the power source output circuit current.
    2. An overcurrent device on the load side of the power source connection shall be rated not greater than the ampacity of the feeder.
  2. Taps. In systems where power source output connections are made at feeders, any taps shall be sized based on the sum of 125 percent of the power source(s) output circuit current and the rating of the overcurrent device protecting the feeder conductors as calculated in 240.21(B).
  3. Busbars. One of the methods that follows shall be used to determine the ratings of busbars in panelboards.
(a) The sum of 125 percent of the power source(s) output circuit current and the rating of the overcurrent device protecting the busbar shall not exceed the ampacity of the busbar.
Informational Note: This general rule assumes no limitation in the number of the loads or sources applied to busbars or their locations.
(b) Where two sources, one a primary power source and the other another power source, are located at opposite ends of a busbar that contains loads, the sum of 125 percent of the power source(s) output circuit current and the rating of the overcurrent device protecting the busbar shall not exceed 120 percent of the ampacity of the busbar. The busbar shall be sized for the loads connected in accordance with Article 220. A permanent warning label shall be applied to the distribution equipment adjacent to the back-fed breaker from the power source that displays the following or equivalent wording:
WARNING:
POWER SOURCE OUTPUT CONNECTION — DO NOT RELOCATE THIS OVERCURRENT DEVICE.
The warning sign(s) or label(s) shall comply with 110.21(B).
(c) The sum of the ampere ratings of all overcurrent devices on panelboards, both load and supply devices, excluding the rating of the overcurrent device protecting the busbar, shall not exceed the ampacity of the busbar. The rating of the overcurrent device protecting the busbar shall not exceed the rating of the busbar. Permanent warning labels shall be applied to distribution equipment displaying the following or equivalent wording:
WARNING:
THIS EQUIPMENT FED BY MULTIPLE SOURCES. TOTAL RATING OF ALL OVERCURRENT DEVICES EXCLUDING MAIN SUPPLY OVERCURRENT DEVICE SHALL NOT EXCEED AMPACITY OF BUSBAR.
The warning sign(s) or label(s) shall comply with 110.21(B).
(d) A connection at either end, but not both ends, of a center-fed panelboard in dwellings shall be permitted where the sum of 125 percent of the power source(s) output circuit current and the rating of the overcurrent device protecting the busbar does not exceed 120 percent of the current rating of the busbar.
(e) Connections shall be permitted on multiple-ampacity busbars where designed under engineering supervision that includes available fault current and busbar load calculations.
Equipment containing overcurrent devices in circuits supplying power to a busbar or conductor supplied from multiple sources shall be marked to indicate the presence of all sources.
Circuit breakers, if backfed, shall be suitable for such operation.
Informational Note: Fused disconnects, unless otherwise marked, are suitable for backfeeding.
Listed plug-in-type circuit breakers backfed from electric power sources that are listed and identified as interactive shall be permitted to omit the additional fastener normally required by 408.36(D) for such applications.
The output of a generator or other electric power production source operating in parallel with an electrical supply system shall be compatible with the voltage, wave shape, and frequency of the system to which it is connected.
Informational Note: The term compatible does not necessarily mean matching the primary source wave shape.
Consideration shall be given to the contribution of fault currents from all interconnected power sources for the interrupting and short-circuit current ratings of equipment on interactive systems.
Means shall be provided to disconnect all ungrounded conductors of an electric power production source(s) from all other conductors.
Means shall be provided to disconnect power production equipment, such as interactive inverters or transformers associated with a power production source, from all ungrounded conductors of all sources of supply. Equipment intended to be operated and maintained as an integral part of a power production source exceeding 1000 volts shall not be required to have a disconnecting means.
The disconnecting means for ungrounded conductors shall consist of a manual or power operated switch(es) or circuit breaker(s) that complies with the following:
  1. Located where readily accessible
  2. Externally operable without exposing the operator to contact with live parts and, if power operated, of a type that is opened by hand in the event of a power-supply failure
  3. Plainly indicate whether in the open (off) or closed (on) position
  4. Have ratings sufficient for the maximum circuit current, available short-circuit current, and voltage that is available at the terminals
  5. Where the line and load terminals are capable of being energized in the open position, marked in accordance with the warning in 690.13(B)
    Informational Note : In parallel generation systems, some equipment, including knife blade switches and fuses, is likely to be energized from both directions. See 240.40.
  6. Simultaneously disconnect all ungrounded conductors of the circuit
  7. Be lockable in the open (off) position in accordance with 110.25
A readily accessible means shall be provided to disconnect the interactive system from all wiring systems including power systems, energy storage systems, and utilization equipment and its associated premises wiring.
Conductors shall be protected in accordance with Article 240. Equipment and conductors connected to more than one electrical source shall have a sufficient number of overcurrent devices located so as to provide protection from all sources.
Solar photovoltaic systems shall be protected in accordance with Article 690.
Overcurrent protection for a transformer with a source(s) on each side shall be provided in accordance with 450.3 by considering first one side of the transformer, then the other side of the transformer, as the primary.
Fuel cell systems shall be protected in accordance with Article 692.
Interactive inverters shall be protected in accordance with 705.65.
Generators shall be protected in accordance with 705.130.
Overcurrent protection for electric power production source conductors, connected to the supply side of the service disconnecting means in accordance with 705.12(A), shall be located within 3 m (10 ft) of the point where the electric power production source conductors are connected to the service.
Informational Note: This overcurrent protection protects against short-circuit current supplied from the primary source(s) of electricity.
Exception: Where the overcurrent protection for the power production source is located more than 3 m (10 ft) from the point of connection for the electric power production source to the service, cable limiters or current-limited circuit breakers for each ungrounded conductor shall be installed at the point where the electric power production conductors are connected to the service.
Where ground-fault protection is used, the output of an interactive system shall be connected to the supply side of the ground-fault protection.
Exception: Connection shall be permitted to be made to the load side of ground-fault protection, if there is ground-fault protection for equipment from all ground-fault current sources.
Upon loss of primary source, an electric power production source shall be automatically disconnected from all ungrounded conductors of the primary source and shall not be reconnected until the primary source is restored.
Exception: A listed interactive inverter shall be permitted to automatically cease exporting power upon loss of primary source and shall not be required to automatically disconnect all ungrounded conductors from the primary source. A listed interactive inverter shall be permitted to automatically or manually resume exporting power to the utility once the primary source is restored.
Informational Note No. 1: Risks to personnel and equipment associated with the primary source could occur if an utility interactive electric power production source can operate as an intentional island. Special detection methods are required to determine that a primary source supply system outage has occurred and whether there should be automatic disconnection. When the primary source supply system is restored, special detection methods can be required to limit exposure of power production sources to out-of-phase reconnection.
Informational Note No. 2: Induction-generating equipment on systems with significant capacitance can become self-excited upon loss of the primary source and experience severe overvoltage as a result.
An interactive inverter shall be permitted to operate as a stand-alone system to supply loads that have been disconnected from electrical production and distribution network sources.
A 3-phase electric power production source shall be automatically disconnected from all ungrounded conductors of the interconnected systems when one of the phases of that source opens. This requirement shall not be applicable to an electric power production source providing power for an emergency or legally required standby system.
Exception: A listed interactive inverter shall be permitted to automatically cease exporting power when one of the phases of the source opens and shall not be required to automatically disconnect all ungrounded conductors from the primary source. A listed interactive inverter shall be permitted to automatically or manually resume exporting power to the utility once all phases of the source are restored.
Interconnected electric power production sources shall be grounded in accordance with Article 250.
Exception: For direct-current systems connected through an inverter directly to a grounded service, other methods that accomplish equivalent system protection and that utilize equipment listed and identified for the use shall be permitted.
The maximum current for the specific circuit shall be calculated in accordance with 705.60(A)(1) and (A)(2).
The maximum current shall be the maximum rated input current of the inverter.
The maximum current shall be the inverter continuous output current rating.
Inverter system currents shall be considered to be continuous. The circuit conductors and overcurrent devices shall be sized to carry not less than 125 percent of the maximum currents as calculated in 705.60(A). The rating or setting of overcurrent devices shall be permitted in accordance with 240.4(B) and (C).
Exception: Circuits containing an assembly together with its overcurrent device(s) that is listed for continuous operation at 100 percent of its rating shall be permitted to be utilized at 100 percent of its rating.
Inverter input circuits, inverter output circuits, and storage battery circuit conductors and equipment shall be protected in accordance with the requirements of Article 240. Circuits connected to more than one electrical source shall have overcurrent devices located so as to provide overcurrent protection from all sources.
Exception: An overcurrent device shall not be required for circuit conductors sized in accordance with 705.60(B) and located where one of the following applies:
  1. There are no external sources such as parallel-connected source circuits, batteries, or backfeed from inverters.
  2. The short-circuit currents from all sources do not exceed the ampacity of the conductors.
Informational Note: Possible backfeed of current from any source of supply, including a supply through an inverter into the inverter output circuit and inverter source circuits, is a consideration in determining whether adequate overcurrent protection from all sources is provided for conductors and modules.
Overcurrent protection for a transformer with a source(s) on each side shall be provided in accordance with 450.3 by considering first one side of the transformer, then the other side of the transformer, as the primary.
Exception: A power transformer with a current rating on the side connected toward the interactive inverter output that is not less than the rated continuous output current of the inverter shall be permitted without overcurrent protection from that source.
Power source output circuit conductors that are connected to a feeder, if smaller than the feeder conductors, shall be sized to carry not less than the larger of the current as calculated in 705.60(B) or as calculated in accordance with 240.21(B) based on the over-current device protecting the feeder.
Interactive inverters shall be permitted to be mounted on roofs or other exterior areas that are not readily accessible. These installations shall comply with (1) through (4):
  1. A dc disconnecting means shall be mounted within sight of or in the inverter.
  2. An ac disconnecting means shall be mounted within sight of or in the inverter.
  3. An additional ac disconnecting means for the inverter shall comply with 705.22.
  4. A plaque shall be installed in accordance with 705.10.
Utility-interactive power systems employing energy storage shall also be marked with the maximum operating voltage, including any equalization voltage, and the polarity of the grounded circuit conductor.
Hybrid systems shall be permitted to be interconnected with interactive inverters.
The ampacity of the neutral conductors shall comply with either (A) or (B).
If a single-phase, 2-wire inverter output is connected to the neutral and one ungrounded conductor (only) of a 3-wire system or of a 3-phase, 4-wire, wye-connected system, the maximum load connected between the neutral and any one ungrounded conductor plus the inverter output rating shall not exceed the ampacity of the neutral conductor.
A conductor used solely for instrumentation, voltage detection, or phase detection and connected to a single-phase or 3-phase interactive inverter, shall be permitted to be sized at less than the ampacity of the other current-carrying conductors and shall be sized equal to or larger than the equipment grounding conductor.
Single-phase inverters for hybrid systems and ac modules in interactive hybrid systems shall be connected to 3-phase power systems in order to limit unbalanced voltages to not more than 3 percent.
Informational Note: For interactive single-phase inverters, unbalanced voltages can be minimized by the same methods that are used for single-phase loads on a 3-phase power system. See ANSI/C84.1-2011, Electric Power Systems and EquipmentVoltage Ratings (60 Hertz).
Three-phase inverters and 3-phase ac modules in interactive systems shall have all phases automatically de-energized upon loss of, or unbalanced, voltage in one or more phases unless the interconnected system is designed so that significant unbalanced voltages will not result.
Conductors shall be protected in accordance with Article 240. Equipment and conductors connected to more than one electrical source shall have overcurrent devices located so as to provide protection from all sources. Generators shall be protected in accordance with 445.12.
Synchronous generators in a parallel system shall be provided with the necessary equipment to establish and maintain a synchronous condition.
Microgrid systems shall be permitted to disconnect from the primary source of power or other interconnected electric power production sources and operate as a separate microgrid system.
Connections to primary power sources that are external to the microgrid system shall comply with the requirements of 705.12.
Microgrid systems that reconnect to primary power sources shall be provided with the necessary equipment to establish a synchronous transition.
Microgrid interconnect devices shall comply with the following:
  1. Be required for any connection between a microgrid system and a primary power source
  2. Be listed or field labeled for the application
  3. Have sufficient number of overcurrent devices located to provide overcurrent protection from all sources
Informational Note: MID functionality is often incorporated in an interactive or multimode inverter, energy storage system, or similar device identified for interactive operation.
This article applies to all permanently installed energy storage systems (ESS) operating at over 50 volts ac or 60 volts dc that may be stand-alone or interactive with other electric power production sources.
Informational Note: The following standards are frequently referenced for the installation of energy storage systems:
  1. NFPA 111-2013, Standard on Stored Electrical Energy Emergency and Standby Systems
  2. IEEE 484-2008, Recommended Practice for Installation Design and Installation of Vented Lead-Acid Batteries for Stationary Applications
  3. IEEE 485-1997, Recommended Practice for Sizing Vented Lead-Acid Storage Batteries for Stationary Applications
  4. IEEE 1145-2007, Recommended Practice for Installation and Maintenance of Nickel-Cadmium Batteries for Photovoltaic (PV) Systems
  5. IEEE 1187-2002, Recommended Practice for Installation Design, and Installation of Valve-Regulated Lead-Acid Batteries for Stationary Applications
  6. IEEE 1578-2007, Recommended Practice for Stationary Battery Electrolyte Spill Containment and Management
  7. IEEE 1635/ASHRAE 21-2012, Guide for the Ventilation and Thermal Management of Batteries for Stationary Applications
  8. UL 810A, Electrochemical Capacitors
  9. UL 1973, Batteries for Use in Light Electric Rail (LER) Applications and Stationary Applications
  10. UL 1989, Standard for Standby Batteries
  11. UL Subject 2436, Spill Containment For Stationary Lead Acid Battery Systems
  12. UL Subject 9540, Safety of Energy Storage Systems and Equipment
Battery. Two or more cells connected together electrically in series, in parallel, or a combination of both to provide the required operating voltage and current levels.
Cell. The basic electrochemical unit, characterized by an anode and a cathode, used to receive, store, and deliver electrical energy.
Container. A vessel that holds the plates, electrolyte, and other elements of a single unit, comprised of one or more cells, in a battery. It can be referred to as a jar or case.
Diversion Charge Controller. Equipment that regulates the charging process of an ESS by diverting power from energy storage to direct-current or alternating-current loads or to an interconnected utility service.
Electrolyte. The medium that provides the ion transport mechanism between the positive and negative electrodes of a cell.
Energy Storage System (ESS). One or more components assembled together capable of storing energy for use at a future time. ESS(s) can include but is not limited to batteries, capacitors, and kinetic energy devices (e.g., flywheels and compressed air). These systems can have ac or dc output for utilization and can include inverters and converters to change stored energy into electrical energy.
Energy Storage System, Self-Contained. Energy storage systems where the components such as cells, batteries, or modules and any necessary controls, ventilation, illumination, fire suppression, or alarm systems are assembled, installed, and packaged into a singular energy storage container or unit.
Informational Note: Self-contained systems will generally be manufactured by a single entity, tested and listed to safety standards relevant to the system, and readily connected on site to the electrical system and in the case of multiple systems to each other.
Energy Storage System, Pre-Engineered of Matched Components. Energy storage systems that are not self-contained systems but instead are pre-engineered and field-assembled using separate components supplied as a system by a singular entity that are matched and intended to be assembled as an energy storage system at the system installation site.
Informational Note: Pre-engineered systems of matched components for field assembly as a system will generally be designed by a single entity and comprised of components that are tested and listed separately or as an assembly.
Energy Storage System, Other. Energy storage systems that are not self-contained or pre-engineered systems of matched components but instead are composed of individual components assembled as a system.
Informational Note: Other systems will generally be comprised of different components combined on site to create an ESS. Those components would generally be tested and listed to safety standards relevant to the application.
Flow Battery. An energy storage component similar to a fuel cell that stores its active materials in the form of two electrolytes external to the reactor interface. When in use, the electrolytes are transferred between reactor and storage tanks.
Informational Note: Two commercially available flow battery technologies are zinc bromine and vanadium redox, sometimes referred to as pumped electrolyte ESS.
Intercell Connector. An electrically conductive bar or cable used to connect adjacent cells.
Intertier Connector. In a battery system, an electrical conductor used to connect two cells on different tiers of the same rack or different shelves of the same rack.
Inverter Input Circuit. Conductors between the inverter and the ESS in stand-alone and multimode inverter systems.
Inverter Output Circuit. Conductors between the inverter and another electric power production source, such as a utility for an electrical production and distribution network.
Inverter Utilization Output Circuit. Conductors between the multimode or standalone inverter and utilization equipment.
Nominal Voltage (Battery or Cell). The value assigned to a cell or battery of a given voltage class for the purpose of convenient designation. The operating voltage of the cell or battery may vary above or below this value.
Sealed Cell or Battery. A cell or battery that has no provision for the routine addition of water or electrolyte or for external measurement of electrolyte specific gravity.
Informational Note: Some cells that are considered to be sealed under conditions of normal use, such as valve-regulated lead-acid or some lithium cells, contain pressure relief valves.
Terminal. That part of a cell, container, or battery to which an external connection is made (commonly identified as a post, pillar, pole, or terminal post).
Wherever the requirements of other articles of this Code and Article 706 differ, the requirements of Article 706 shall apply. If the ESS is capable of being operated in parallel with a primary source(s) of electricity, the requirements in 705.6, 705.12, 705.14, 705.16, 705.32, 705.40, 705.100, 705.143, and Part IV of Article 705 shall apply.
ESS shall be classified as one of the types described as follows:
  1. ESS, self-contained
    Informational Note: Some self-contained systems may be listed.
  2. ESS, pre-engineered of matched components
  3. ESS, other
Monitors, controls, switches, fuses, circuit breakers, power conversion systems, inverters and transformers, energy storage components, and other components of the energy storage system other than lead-acid batteries, shall be listed. Alternatively, self-contained ESS shall be listed as a complete energy storage system.
Multiple ESSs shall be permitted to be installed in or on a single building or structure.
A disconnecting means shall be provided for all ungrounded conductors derived from an ESS. A disconnecting means shall be readily accessible and located within sight of the ESS.
Informational Note: See 240.21(H) for information on the location of the overcurrent device for conductors.
Where controls to activate the disconnecting means of an ESS are not located within sight of the system, the disconnecting means shall be capable of being locked in the open position, in accordance with 110.25, and the location of the controls shall be field marked on the disconnecting means.
Where a dc busway system is installed, the disconnecting means shall be permitted to be incorporated into the busway.
The disconnecting means shall be legibly marked in the field. The marking shall meet the requirements of 110.21(B) and shall include the following:
  1. Nominal ESS voltage
  2. Maximum available short-circuit current derived from the ESS
  3. The associated clearing time or arc duration based on the available short-circuit current from the ESS and associated overcurrent protective devices if applicable
  4. Date the calculation was performed
Exception: The labeling in 706.7(D)(1) through (D)(4) shall not be required if an arc flash label is applied in accordance with acceptable industry practice.
Informational Note No. 1: Industry practices for equipment labeling are described in NFPA 70E -2015, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace. This standard provides specific criteria for developing arc-flash labels for equipment that provides nominal system voltage, incident energy levels, arc-flash boundaries, minimum required levels of personal protective equipment, and so forth.
Informational Note No. 2: Battery equipment suppliers can provide information about short-circuit current on any particular battery model.
Where energy storage system input and output terminals are more than 1.5 m (5 ft) from connected equipment, or where the circuits from these terminals pass through a wall or partition, the installation shall comply with the following:
  1. A disconnecting means shall be provided at the energy storage system end of the circuit. Fused disconnecting means or circuit breakers shall be permitted to be used.
  2. A second disconnecting means located at the connected equipment shall be installed where the disconnecting means required by 706.7(E)(1) is not within sight of the connected equipment.
    Informational Note No. 2: For overcurrent protection of batteries, see 240.21(H).
  3. Where fused disconnecting means are used, the line terminals of the disconnecting means shall be connected toward the energy storage system terminals.
  4. Disconnecting means shall be permitted to be installed in energy storage system enclosures where explosive atmospheres can exist if listed for hazardous locations.
  5. Where the disconnecting means in (1) is not within sight of the disconnecting means in (2), placards or directories shall be installed at the locations of all disconnecting means indicating the location of all other disconnecting means.
Connection to other energy sources shall comply with the requirements of 705.12.
A load disconnect that has multiple sources of power shall disconnect all energy sources when in the off position.
Only inverters and ac modules listed and identified as interactive shall be permitted on interactive systems.
Upon loss of primary source, an ESS with a utility interactive inverter shall comply with the requirements of 705.40.
Unbalanced connections between an energy storage system and electric power production sources shall be in accordance with 705.100.
The point of connection between an energy storage system and electric power production sources shall be in accordance with 705.12.
Provisions appropriate to the energy storage technology shall be made for sufficient diffusion and ventilation of any possible gases from the storage device, if present, to prevent the accumulation of an explosive mixture. A pre-engineered or self-contained ESS shall be permitted to provide ventilation in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations and listing for the system.
Informational Note No. 1: See NFPA 1-2015, Fire Code, Chapter 52, for ventilation considerations for specific battery chemistries.
Informational Note No. 2: Some storage technologies do not require ventilation.
Informational Note No. 3: A source for design of ventilation of battery systems is IEEE 1635-2012/ASHRAE Guideline 21-2012 Guide for the Ventilation and Thermal Management of Batteries for Stationary Applications, and the UBC.
Informational Note No. 4: Fire protection considerations are addressed in NFPA 1-2015, Fire Code.
Guarding of live parts shall comply with 110.27.
Spaces about the ESS shall comply with 110.26. Working space shall be measured from the edge of the ESS modules, battery cabinets, racks, or trays. For battery racks, there shall be a minimum clearance of 25 mm (1 in.) between a cell container and any wall or structure on the side not requiring access for maintenance. ESS modules, battery cabinets, racks, or trays shall be permitted to contact adjacent walls or structures, provided that the battery shelf has a free air space for not less than 90 percent of its length. Pre-engineered and self-contained ESSs shall be permitted to have working space between components within the system in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations and listing of the system.
Informational Note: Additional space is often needed to accommodate ESS equipment hoisting equipment, tray removal, or spill containment.
A personnel door(s) intended for entrance to and egress from rooms designated as ESS rooms shall open in the direction of egress and shall be equipped with listed panic hardware.
Illumination shall be provided for working spaces associated with ESS and their equipment and components. Luminaires shall not be controlled by automatic means only. Additional luminaires shall not be required where the work space is illuminated by an adjacent light source. The location of luminaires shall not do either of the following:
  1. Expose personnel to energized system components while performing maintenance on the luminaires in the system space
  2. Create a hazard to the system or system components upon failure of the luminaire
ESS shall be indicated by 706.11(A) and (B). The markings or labels shall be in accordance with 110.21(B).
A permanent plaque or directory denoting all electric power sources on or in the premises shall be installed at each service equipment location and at locations of all electric power production sources capable of being interconnected.
Exception: Installations with large numbers of power production sources shall be permitted to be designated by groups.
Any structure or building with an ESS that is not connected to a utility service source and is a stand-alone system shall have a permanent plaque or directory installed on the exterior of the building or structure at a readily visible location acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction. The plaque or directory shall indicate the location of system disconnecting means and that the structure contains a stand-alone electrical power system.
The maximum current for the specific circuit shall be calculated in accordance with 706.20(A)(1) through (A)(5).
The nameplate(s)-rated circuit current shall be the rated current indicated on the ESS nameplate(s) or system listing for pre-engineered or self-contained systems of matched components intended for field assembly as a system.
The maximum current shall be the inverter continuous output current rating.
The maximum current shall be the continuous inverter input current rating when the inverter is producing rated power at the lowest input voltage.
The maximum current shall be the continuous inverter output current rating when the inverter is producing rated power at the lowest input voltage.
The maximum current shall be the dc-to-dc converter continuous output current rating.
The ampacity of the feeder circuit conductors from the ESS(s) to the wiring system serving the loads to be serviced by the system shall not be less than the greater of the (1) nameplate(s) rated circuit current as determined in accordance with 706.20(A) or (2) the rating of the ESS(s) overcurrent protective device(s).
If the output of a single-phase, 2-wire ESS output(s) is connected to the grounded or neutral conductor and a single ungrounded conductor of a 3-wire system or of a 3-phase, 4-wire, wye-connected system, the maximum unbalanced neutral load current plus the ESS(s) output rating shall not exceed the ampacity of the grounded or neutral conductor.
ESS circuit conductors shall be protected in accordance with the requirements of Article 240. Protection devices for ESS circuits shall be in accordance with the requirements of 706.21(B) through (F). Circuits shall be protected at the source from overcurrent.
Overcurrent protective devices, where required, shall be rated in accordance with Article 240 and the rating provided on systems serving the ESS and shall be not less than 125 percent of the maximum currents calculated in 706.20(A).
Overcurrent protective devices, either fuses or circuit breakers, used in any dc portion of an ESS shall be listed and for dc and shall have the appropriate voltage, current, and interrupting ratings for the application.
A listed and labeled current-limiting overcurrent protective device shall be installed adjacent to the ESS for each dc output circuit.
Exception: Where current-limiting overcurrent protection is provided for the dc output circuits of a listed ESS, additional current-limiting overcurrent devices shall not be required.
Means shall be provided to disconnect any fuses associated with ESS equipment and components when the fuse is energized from both directions and is accessible to other than qualified persons. Switches, pullouts, or similar devices that are rated for the application shall be permitted to serve as a means to disconnect fuses from all sources of supply.
Where ESS input and output terminals are more than 1.5 m (5 ft) from connected equipment, or where the circuits from these terminals pass through a wall or partition, overcurrent protection shall be provided at the ESS.
Provisions shall be provided to control the charging process of the ESS. All adjustable means for control of the charging process shall be accessible only to qualified persons.
Informational Note: Certain types of energy storage equipment such as valve-regulated lead acid or nickel cadmium can experience thermal failure when overcharged.
An ESS employing a diversion charge controller as the sole means of regulating charging shall be equipped with a second independent means to prevent overcharging of the storage device.
Circuits containing a diversion charge controller and a diversion load shall comply with the following:
  1. The current rating of the diversion load shall be less than or equal to the current rating of the diversion load charge controller. The voltage rating of the diversion load shall be greater than the maximum ESS voltage. The power rating of the diversion load shall be at least 150 percent of the power rating of the charging source.
  2. The conductor ampacity and the rating of the overcurrent device for this circuit shall be at least 150 percent of the maximum current rating of the diversion charge controller.
Systems using utility-interactive inverters to control energy storage state-of-charge by diverting excess power into the utility system shall comply with 706.23(B)(3)(a) and (B)(3)(b).
(a) These systems shall not be required to comply with 706.23(B)(2).
(b) These systems shall have a second, independent means of controlling the ESS charging process for use when the utility is not present or when the primary charge controller fails or is disabled.
Where charge controllers and other DC-to-DC power converters that increase or decrease the output current or output voltage with respect to the input current or input voltage are installed, all of the following shall apply:
  1. The ampacity of the conductors in output circuits shall be based on the maximum rated continuous output current of the charge controller or converter for the selected output voltage range.
  2. The voltage rating of the output circuits shall be based on the maximum voltage output of the charge controller or converter for the selected output voltage range.
Part III of this article applies to ESSs that are comprised of sealed and non-sealed cells or batteries or system modules that are comprised of multiple sealed cells or batteries that are not components within a listed product.
Informational Note: An energy storage component, such as batteries, that are integrated into a larger piece of listed equipment, such as an uninterruptible power supply (UPS), are examples of components within a listed product.
An ESS for dwelling units shall not exceed 100 volts between conductors or to ground.
Exception: Where live parts are not accessible during routine ESS maintenance, an ESS voltage exceeding 100 volts shall be permitted.
Battery circuits subject to field servicing, where exceeding 240 volts nominal between conductors or to ground, shall have provisions to disconnect the series-connected strings into segments not exceeding 240 volts nominal for maintenance by qualified persons. Non-load-break bolted or plug-in disconnects shall be permitted.
ESS exceeding 100 volts between conductors or to ground shall have a disconnecting means, accessible only to qualified persons, that disconnects ungrounded and grounded circuit conductor(s) in the electrical storage system for maintenance. This disconnecting means shall not disconnect the grounded circuit conductor(s) for the remainder of any other electrical system. A non-load-break-rated switch shall be permitted to be used as a disconnecting means.
On ESS exceeding 100 volts between the conductors or to ground, the battery circuits shall be permitted to operate with ungrounded conductors, provided a ground-fault detector and indicator is installed to monitor for ground faults within the storage system.
Antioxidant material suitable for the battery connection shall be used when recommended by the battery or cell manufacturer.
Informational Note: The battery manufacturer's installation and instruction manual can be used for guidance for acceptable materials.
The ampacity of field-assembled intercell and intertier connectors and conductors shall be of such cross-sectional area that the temperature rise under maximum load conditions and at maximum ambient temperature shall not exceed the safe operating temperature of the conductor insulation or of the material of the conductor supports.
Informational Note: Conductors sized to prevent a voltage drop exceeding 3 percent of maximum anticipated load, and where the maximum total voltage drop to the furthest point of connection does not exceed 5 percent, may not be appropriate for all battery applications. IEEE 1375-2003, Guide for the Protection of Stationary Battery Systems, provides guidance for overcurrent protection and associated cable sizing.
Electrical connections to the battery and the cable(s) between cells on separate levels or racks shall not put mechanical strain on the battery terminals. Terminal plates shall be used where practicable.
Flexible cables, as identified in Article 400, in sizes 2/0 AWG and larger shall be permitted within the battery enclosure from battery terminals to a nearby junction box where they shall be connected to an approved wiring method. Flexible battery cables shall also be permitted between batteries and cells within the battery enclosure. Such cables shall be listed and identified as moisture resistant. Flexible, fine-stranded cables shall only be used with terminals, lugs, devices, or connectors in accordance with 110.14.
The terminals of all cells or multicell units shall be readily accessible for readings, inspection, and cleaning where required by the equipment design. One side of transparent battery containers shall be readily accessible for inspection of the internal components.
Battery locations shall conform to 706.34(A), (B), and (C).
Guarding of live parts shall comply with 110.27.
Where top terminal batteries are installed on tiered racks or on shelves of battery cabinets, working space in accordance with the storage equipment manufacturer's instructions shall be provided between the highest point on a storage system component and the row, shelf, or ceiling above that point.
Informational Note: IEEE 1187 provides guidance for top clearance of VRLA batteries, which are the most commonly used battery in cabinets.
Gas piping shall not be permitted in dedicated battery rooms.
Part IV applies to ESSs composed of or containing flow batteries.
All electrical connections to and from the system and system components shall be in accordance with the applicable provisions of Article 692. The system and system components shall also meet the provisions of Parts I and II of this article. Unless otherwise directed by this article, flow battery ESS shall comply with the applicable provisions of Article 692.
The electrolyte(s) that are acceptable for use in the batteries associated with the ESS shall be identified by name and chemical composition. Such identification shall be provided by readily discernable signage adjacent to every location in the system where the electrolyte can be put into or taken out of the system.
Flow battery systems shall be provided with a means for electrolyte containment to prevent spills of electrolyte from the system. An alarm system shall be provided to signal an electrolyte leak from the system. Electrical wiring and connections shall be located and routed in a manner that mitigates the potential for exposure to electrolytes.
Controls shall be provided to safely shut down the system in the event of electrolyte blockage.
Pumps and other fluid handling equipment are to be rated/specified suitable for exposure to the electrolytes.
The provisions of Part V apply to ESSs using other technologies intended to store energy and when there is a demand for electrical power to use the stored energy to generate the needed power.
All electrical connections to and from the system and system components shall be in accordance with the applicable provisions of this Code. Unless otherwise directed by this article, other energy storage technologies shall comply with the applicable provisions of Part III of Article 705.
Informational Note: Text that is followed by a reference in brackets has been extracted from NFPA 1600 -2013, Standard on Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs. Only editorial changes were made to the extracted text to make it consistent with this Code.
The provisions of this article apply to the installation, operation, monitoring, control, and maintenance of the portions of the premises wiring system intended to supply, distribute, and control electricity to designated critical operations areas (DCOA) in the event of disruption to elements of the normal system.
Critical operations power systems are those systems so classed by municipal, state, federal, or other codes by any governmental agency having jurisdiction or by facility engineering documentation establishing the necessity for such a system. These systems include but are not limited to power systems, HVAC, fire alarm, security, communications, and signaling for designated critical operations areas.
Informational Note No. 1: Critical operations power systems are generally installed in vital infrastructure facilities that, if destroyed or incapacitated, would disrupt national security, the economy, public health or safety; and where enhanced electrical infrastructure for continuity of operation has been deemed necessary by governmental authority.
Informational Note No. 2: For further information on disaster and emergency management, see NFPA 1600 -2013, Standard on Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs.
Informational Note No. 3: For further information regarding performance of emergency and standby power systems, see NFPA 110-2013, Standard for Emergency and Standby Power Systems.
Informational Note No. 4: For further information regarding performance and maintenance of emergency systems in health care facilities, see NFPA 99-2015, Health Care Facilities Code.
Informational Note No. 5: For specification of locations where emergency lighting is considered essential to life safety, see NFPA 101-2015, Life Safety Code, or the applicable building code.
Informational Note No. 6: For further information regarding physical security, see NFPA 730-2014, Guide for Premises Security.
Informational Note No. 7: Threats to facilities that may require transfer of operation to the critical systems include both naturally occurring hazards and human-caused events. See also A.5.3.2 of NFPA 1600 -2013, Standard on Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs.
Informational Note No. 8: See Informative Annex F, Availability and Reliability for Critical Operations Power Systems; and Development and Implementation of Functional Performance Tests (FPTs) for Critical Operations Power Systems.
Informational Note No. 9: See Informative Annex G, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA).
Commissioning. The acceptance testing, integrated system testing, operational tune-up, and start-up testing is the process by which baseline test results verify the proper operation and sequence of operation of electrical equipment, in addition to developing baseline criteria by which future trend analysis can identify equipment deterioration.
Critical Operations Power Systems (COPS). Power systems for facilities or parts of facilities that require continuous operation for the reasons of public safety, emergency management, national security, or business continuity.
Designated Critical Operations Areas (DCOA). Areas within a facility or site designated as requiring critical operations power.
Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA). An electronic system that provides monitoring and controls for the operation of the critical operations power system. This can include the fire alarm system, security system, control of the HVAC, the start/stop/monitoring of the power supplies and electrical distribution system, annunciation and communications equipment to emergency personnel, facility occupants, and remote operators.
Risk assessment for critical operations power systems shall be documented and shall be conducted in accordance with 708.4(A) through (C).
Informational Note: Chapter 5 of NFPA 1600-2013, Standard on Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs, provides additional guidance concerning risk assessment and hazard analysis.
In critical operations power systems, risk assessment shall be performed to identify hazards, the likelihood of their occurrence, and the vulnerability of the electrical system to those hazards.
Hazards to be considered at a minimum shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following:
  1. Naturally occurring hazards (geological, meteorological, and biological)
  2. Human-caused events (accidental and intentional) [1600:5.3.2]
Based on the results of the risk assessment, a strategy shall be developed and implemented to mitigate the hazards that have not been sufficiently mitigated by the prescriptive requirements of this Code.
Physical security shall be provided for critical operations power systems in accordance with 708.5(A) and (B).
Based on the results of the risk assessment, a strategy for providing physical security for critical operations power systems shall be developed, documented, and implemented.
Electrical circuits and equipment for critical operations power systems shall be accessible to qualified personnel only.
The authority having jurisdiction shall conduct or witness a test of the complete system upon installation and periodically afterward.
Systems shall be tested periodically on a schedule acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction to ensure the systems are maintained in proper operating condition.
The authority having jurisdiction shall require a documented preventive maintenance program for critical operations power systems.
Informational Note: For information concerning maintenance, see NFPA 70B-2013, Recommended Practice for Electrical Equipment Maintenance.
A written record shall be kept of such tests and maintenance.
Means for testing all critical power systems during maximum anticipated load conditions shall be provided.
Informational Note: For information concerning testing and maintenance of emergency power supply systems (EPSSs) that are also applicable to COPS, see NFPA 110-2013, Standard for Emergency and Standby Power Systems.
A commissioning plan shall be developed and documented.
Informational Note: For further information on developing a commissioning program see NFPA 70B-2013, Recommended Practice for Electrical Equipment Maintenance.
The installation of the equipment shall undergo component and system tests to ensure that, when energized, the system will function properly.
A set of baseline test results shall be documented for comparison with future periodic maintenance testing to identify equipment deterioration.
A functional performance test program shall be established, documented, and executed upon complete installation of the critical system in order to establish a baseline reference for future performance requirements.
Informational Note: See Informative Annex F for more information on developing and implementing a functional performance test program.
In a building or at a structure where a critical operations power system and any other type of power system are present, all boxes and enclosures (including transfer switches, generators, and power panels) for critical operations power system circuits shall be permanently marked so they will be readily identified as a component of the critical operations power system.
In a building in which COPS are present with other types of power systems described in other sections in this article, the cover plates for the receptacles or the receptacles themselves supplied from the COPS shall have a distinctive color or marking so as to be readily identifiable. Nonlocking-type, 125-volt, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles supplied from the COPS shall have an illuminated face or an indicator light to indicate that there is power to the receptacle.
Exception: If the COPS supplies power to a DCOA that is a stand-alone building, receptacle cover plates or the receptacles themselves shall not be required to have distinctive marking.
Wiring of two or more COPS circuits supplied from the same source shall be permitted in the same raceway, cable, box, or cabinet. Wiring from a COPS source or COPS source distribution overcurrent protection to critical loads shall be kept entirely independent of all other wiring and equipment.
Exception: Where the COPS feeder is installed in transfer equipment enclosures.
The wiring of the COPS system shall be protected against physical damage. Only the following wiring methods shall be permitted:
  1. Rigid metal conduit, intermediate metal conduit, or Type MI cable.
  2. Where encased in not less than 50 mm (2 in.) of concrete, any of the following wiring methods shall be permitted:
    1. Schedule 40 or Schedule 80 rigid polyvinyl chloride conduit (Type PVC)
    2. Reinforced thermosetting resin conduit (Type RTRC)
    3. Electrical metallic tubing (Type EMT)
    4. Flexible nonmetallic or jacketed metallic raceways
    5. Jacketed metallic cable assemblies listed for installation in concrete
  3. Where provisions must be made for flexibility at equipment connection, one or more of the following shall also be permitted:
    1. Flexible metal fittings
    2. Flexible metal conduit with listed fittings
    3. Liquidtight flexible metal conduit with listed fittings
Feeders shall meet one of the following conditions:
  1. The cable or raceway is protected by a listed electrical circuit protective system with a minimum 2-hour fire rating.
    Informational Note: The listing organization provides information for electrical circuit protection systems on proper installation requirements to maintain the fire rating.
  2. The cable or raceway is a listed fire-resistive cable system with a minimum 2-hour fire rating.
    Informational Note No. 1: Fire-resistive cables are tested to ANSI/UL 2196, Tests for Fire Resistive Cables.
    Informational Note No. 2: The listing organization provides information for fire-resistive cable systems on proper installation requirements to maintain the fire rating.
  3. The cable or raceway is protected by a listed fire-rated assembly that has a minimum fire rating of 2 hours.
  4. The cable or raceway is encased in a minimum of 50 mm (2 in.) of concrete.
Where COPS feeders are installed below the level of the 100-year floodplain, the insulated circuit conductors shall be listed for use in a wet location and be installed in a wiring method that is permitted for use in wet locations.
  1. Outside the DCOA. COPS branch circuits installed outside the DCOA shall comply with the physical and fire protection requirements of 708.10(C)(1) through (C)(3).
  2. Within the DCOA. Any of the wiring methods recognized in Chapter 3 of this Code shall be permitted within the DCOA.
COPS branch circuit distribution equipment shall be located within the same DCOA as the branch circuits it supplies.
Equipment for COPS feeder circuits (including transfer equipment, transformers, and panelboards) shall comply with (1) and (2):
  1. Be located in spaces with a 2-hour fire resistance rating
  2. Be located above the 100-year floodplain
Feeders and branch circuits supplied by the COPS shall supply only equipment specified as required for critical operations use.
All conductors or cables shall be installed using any of the metal wiring methods permitted by 708.10(C)(1) and, in addition, shall comply with 708.14(1) through (8), as applicable.
  1. All cables for fire alarm, security, signaling systems, and emergency communications shall be shielded twisted pair cables or installed to comply with the performance requirements of the system.
  2. Shields of cables for fire alarm, security, signaling systems, and emergency communications shall be arranged in accordance with the manufacturer's published installation instructions.
  3. Optical fiber cables shall be used for connections between two or more buildings on the property and under single management.
  4. A listed primary protector shall be provided on all communications circuits. Listed secondary protectors shall be provided at the terminals of the communications circuits.
  5. Conductors for all control circuits rated above 50 volts shall be rated not less than 600 volts.
  6. Communications, fire alarm, and signaling circuits shall use relays with contact ratings that exceed circuit voltage and current ratings in the controlled circuit.
  7. All cables for fire alarm, security, and signaling systems shall be riser-rated and shall be a listed 2-hour electrical circuit protective system. Emergency communication cables shall be Type CMR-CI or shall be riser-rated and shall be a listed 2-hour electrical circuit protective system.
  8. Control, monitoring, and power wiring to HVAC systems shall be a listed 2-hour electrical circuit protective system.
Current supply shall be such that, in the event of failure of the normal supply to the DCOA, critical operations power shall be available within the time required for the application. The supply system for critical operations power, in addition to the normal services to the building and meeting the general requirements of this section, shall be one or more of the types of systems described in 708.20(E) through (H).
Informational Note: Assignment of degree of reliability of the recognized critical operations power system depends on the careful evaluation in accordance with the risk assessment.
Where located within a building, equipment for sources of power as described in 708.20(E) through (H) shall be installed either in spaces fully protected by approved automatic fire suppression systems (sprinklers, carbon dioxide systems, and so forth) or in spaces with a 2-hour fire rating.
All sources of power shall be grounded as a separately derived source in accordance with 250.30.
Exception: Where the equipment containing the main bonding jumper or system bonding jumper for the normal source and the feeder wiring to the transfer equipment are installed in accordance with 708.10(C) and 708.11(B).
Surge protection devices shall be provided at all facility distribution voltage levels.
An automatic battery charging means shall be provided. Batteries shall be compatible with the charger for that particular installation. Automotive-type batteries shall not be used.
Generator sets driven by a prime mover shall be provided with means for automatically starting the prime mover on failure of the normal service. A time-delay feature permitting a minimum 15-minute setting shall be provided to avoid retransfer in case of short-time reestablishment of the normal source.
Where power is needed for the operation of the fuel transfer pumps to deliver fuel to a generator set day tank, this pump shall be connected to the COPS.
Prime movers shall not be solely dependent on a public utility gas system for their fuel supply or municipal water supply for their cooling systems. Means shall be provided for automatically transferring from one fuel supply to another where dual fuel supplies are used.
Where a storage battery is used for control or signal power or as the means of starting the prime mover, it shall be suitable for the purpose and shall be equipped with an automatic charging means independent of the generator set. Where the battery charger is required for the operation of the generator set, it shall be connected to the COPS. Where power is required for the operation of dampers used to ventilate the generator set, the dampers shall be connected to the COPS.
(a) Permanently Installed Generators and Portable Generators Greater Than 15 kW. Where an outdoor housed generator set is equipped with a readily accessible disconnecting means in accordance with 445.18, and the disconnecting means is located within sight of the building or structure supplied, an additional disconnecting means shall not be required where ungrounded conductors serve or pass through the building or structure. Where the generator supply conductors terminate at a disconnecting means in or on a building or structure, the disconnecting means shall meet the requirements of 225.36.
(b) Portable Generators 15 kW or Less. Where a portable generator, rated 15 kW or less, is installed using a flanged inlet or other cord-and plug-type connection, a disconnecting means shall not be required where ungrounded conductors serve or pass through a building or structure.
Where the COPS is supplied by a single generator, a means to connect a portable or vehicle-mounted generator shall be provided.
Where internal combustion engines are used as the prime mover, an on-site fuel supply shall be provided. The on-site fuel supply shall be secured and protected in accordance with the risk assessment.
Uninterruptible power supplies used as the sole source of power for COPS shall comply with the applicable provisions of 708.20(E) and (F).
Installation of a fuel cell system shall meet the requirements of Parts II through VIII of Article 692.
Adequate ventilation shall be provided for the alternate power source for continued operation under maximum anticipated ambient temperatures.
Informational Note: NFPA 110-2013, Standard for Emergency and Standby Power Systems, and NFPA 111-2013, Standard on Stored Energy Emergency and Standby Power Systems, include additional information on ventilation air for combustion and cooling.
A COPS shall have capacity and rating for all loads to be operated simultaneously for continuous operation with variable load for an unlimited number of hours, except for required maintenance of the power source. A portable, temporary, or redundant alternate power source shall be available for use whenever the COPS power source is out of service for maintenance or repair.
The alternate power source shall be permitted to supply COPS emergency, legally required standby, and optional loads where the source has adequate capacity or where automatic selective load pickup and load shedding is provided as needed to ensure adequate power to (1) the COPS and emergency circuits, (2) the legally required standby circuits, and (3) the optional standby circuits, in that order of priority. The alternate power source shall be permitted to be used for peak load shaving, provided these conditions are met.
Peak load-shaving operation shall be permitted for satisfying the test requirement of 708.6(B), provided all other conditions of 708.6 are met.
The alternate power source shall be capable of operating the COPS for a minimum of 72 hours at full load of DCOA with a steady-state voltage within ±10 percent of nominal utilization voltage.
Transfer equipment, including automatic transfer switches, shall be automatic and identified for emergency use. Transfer equipment shall be designed and installed to prevent the inadvertent interconnection of normal and critical operations sources of supply in any operation of the transfer equipment. Transfer equipment and electric power production systems installed to permit operation in parallel with the normal source shall meet the requirements of Article 705.
Means shall be permitted to bypass and isolate the transfer equipment. Where bypass isolation switches are used, inadvertent parallel operation shall be avoided.
Where used with sources that are not inherently synchronized, automatic transfer switches shall comply with (C)(1) and (C)(2).
  1. Automatic transfer switches shall be listed for emergency use.
  2. Automatic transfer switches shall be electrically operated and mechanically held.
Transfer equipment shall supply only COPS loads.
The short-circuit current rating of the transfer equipment, based on the specific overcurrent protective device type and settings protecting the transfer equipment, shall be field marked on the exterior of the transfer equipment.
Branch circuits supplied by the COPS shall only supply equipment specified as required for critical operations use.
The feeder- and branch-circuit overcurrent devices shall be accessible to authorized persons only.
The requirements of 708.52 shall apply to critical operations (including multiple occupancy buildings) with critical operation areas.
Where ground-fault protection is provided for operation of the service disconnecting means or feeder disconnecting means as specified by 230.95 or 215.10, an additional step of ground-fault protection shall be provided in all next level feeder disconnecting means downstream toward the load. Such protection shall consist of overcurrent devices and current transformers or other equivalent protective equipment that causes the feeder disconnecting means to open.
When equipment ground-fault protection is first installed, each level shall be tested to ensure that ground-fault protection is operational.
Informational Note: Testing is intended to verify the ground-fault function is operational. The performance test is not intended to verify selectivity in 708.52(D), as this is often coordinated similarly to circuit breakers by reviewing time and current curves and properly setting the equipment. (Selectivity of fuses and circuit breakers is not performance tested for overload and short circuit.)
Ground-fault protection for operation of the service and feeder disconnecting means shall be fully selective such that the feeder device, but not the service device, shall open on ground faults on the load side of the feeder device. Separation of ground-fault protection time-current characteristics shall conform to the manufacturer's recommendations and shall consider all required tolerances and disconnect operating time to achieve 100 percent selectivity.
Informational Note: See 230.95, Informational Note No. 4, for transfer of alternate source where ground-fault protection is applied.
Critical operations power system(s) overcurrent devices shall be selectively coordinated with all supply-side overcurrent protective devices.
Selective coordination shall be selected by a licensed professional engineer or other qualified persons engaged primarily in the design, installation, or maintenance of electrical systems. The selection shall be documented and made available to those authorized to design, install, inspect, maintain, and operate the system.
Exception: Selective coordination shall not be required between two overcurrent devices located in series if no loads are connected in parallel with the downstream device.
A facility with a COPS shall have documented an emergency operations plan. The plan shall consider emergency operations and response, recovery, and continuity of operations.
Informational Note: NFPA 1600 -2013, Standard on Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs, Section 5.7, provides guidance for the development and implementation of emergency plans.
This article covers electric power production sources operating in stand-alone mode.
All equipment shall be listed or field labeled for the intended use.
Premises wiring systems shall be adequate to meet the requirements of this Code for similar installations supplied by a feeder or service. The wiring on the supply side of the building or structure disconnecting means shall comply with the requirements of this Code, except as modified by 710.15(A) through (F).
Power supply to premises wiring systems shall be permitted to have less capacity than the calculated load. The capacity of the stand-alone supply shall be equal to or greater than the load posed by the largest single utilization equipment connected to the system. Calculated general lighting loads shall not be considered as a single load.
The circuit conductors between a stand-alone source and a building or structure disconnecting means shall be sized based on the sum of the output ratings of the stand-alone sources.
Stand-alone systems shall be permitted to supply 120 volts to single-phase, 3-wire, 120/240-volt service equipment or distribution panels where there are no 240-volt outlets and where there are no multiwire branch circuits. In all installations, the sum of the ratings of the power sources shall be less than the rating of the neutral bus in the service equipment. This equipment shall be marked with the following words or equivalent:
WARNING:
SINGLE 120-VOLT SUPPLY. DO NOT CONNECT MULTIWIRE BRANCH CIRCUITS!
The warning sign(s) or label(s) shall comply with 110.21(B).
Plug-in type back-fed circuit breakers connected to an interconnected supply shall be secured in accordance with 408.36(D). Circuit breakers marked "line" and "load" shall not be back-fed.
The stand-alone supply shall be controlled so that voltage and frequency remain within suitable limits for the connected loads.
This article applies to direct current microgrids.
Direct Current Microgrid (DC Microgrid). A direct current microgrid is a power distribution system consisting of more than one interconnected dc power source, supplying dc-dc converter(s), dc load(s), and/or ac load(s) powered by dc-ac inverter(s). A dc microgrid is typically not directly connected to an ac primary source of electricity, but some dc microgrids interconnect via one or more dc-ac bidirectional converters or dc-ac inverters.
Informational Note: Direct current power sources include ac-dc converters (rectifiers), bidirectional dc-ac inverters/converters, photovoltaic systems, wind generators, energy storage systems (including batteries), and fuel cells.
Grounded Two-Wire DC System A system that has a solid connection or reference-ground between one of the current carrying conductors and the equipment grounding system.
Grounded Three-Wire DC System. A system with a solid connection or reference-ground between the center point of a bipolar dc power source and the equipment grounding system.
Nominal Voltage. A value assigned to a circuit or system for the purpose of conveniently designating its dc voltage class.
Informational Note: The actual voltage at which a circuit operates can vary from the nominal voltage within a range that permits satisfactory operation of equipment.
Reference-Grounded DC System. A system that is not solidly grounded but has a low-resistance electrical reference that maintains voltage to ground in normal operation.
Resistively Grounded. A system with a high-resistance connection between the current carrying conductors and the equipment grounding system.
Primary DC Source. A source that supplies the majority of the dc load in a dc microgrid.
Ungrounded DC System. A system that has no direct or resistive connection between the current carrying conductors and the equipment grounding system.
Wherever the requirements of other articles of this Code and Article 712 differ, the requirements of Article 712 shall apply. DC microgrids interconnected through an inverter or bi-directional converter with ac electric power production sources shall comply with Article 705.
Any equipment used in the dc circuits of a direct-current micro grid shall be listed and labeled for dc use.
A permanent directory denoting all dc electric power sources operating to supply the dc microgrid shall be installed at each source location capable of acting as the primary dc source.
Ungrounded circuit conductors in dc microgrids shall be identified according to the requirements of 210.5(C)(2) for branch circuits and 215.12(C)(2) for feeders.
Ungrounded conductors of 6 AWG or smaller shall be permitted to be identified by polarity at all termination, connection, and splice points by marking tape, tagging, or other approved means.
The system voltage of a dc microgrid shall be determined by one of the following methods:
  1. The nominal voltage to ground for solidly grounded systems
  2. The nominal voltage to ground for reference-grounded systems
  3. The highest nominal voltage between conductors for resistively grounded dc systems and ungrounded dc systems.
Informational Note: Examples of nominal dc system voltages include but are not limited to 24, 48, 125, 190/380, or 380 volts.
The output of each dc source shall have a readily accessible, disconnecting means that is lockable in the open position and adjacent to the source.
In solidly grounded two- and three-wire systems, the disconnecting means shall simultaneously open all ungrounded conductors. In ungrounded, resistively grounded and reference-grounded systems, such devices shall open all current-carrying conductors.
Disconnecting means shall be listed, be marked for use in a single current direction, and only be used in the designated current direction.
Informational Note: Examples of directional current devices are magnetically quenched contactors and semiconductor switches in overcurrent devices.
Direct-current microgrids shall be grounded in accordance with 250.162.
DC microgrids operating at voltages greater than 300 volts dc shall be reference-grounded dc systems or resistively grounded dc systems.
Ungrounded, reference grounded, or resistively grounded dc microgrids operating at greater than 60 volts dc shall have ground fault detection that indicates that a fault has occurred. The ground fault equipment shall be marked in accordance with 250.167(C).
Where required elsewhere in this Code, specific systems within the DC microgrid shall have arc fault protection. The arc fault protection equipment shall be listed.
Informational Note: Section 90.4 applies when suitable equipment for arc fault protection is not available.
Distribution equipment and conductors shall be marked as required elsewhere in this Code.
The maximum available dc short-circuit current on the dc microgrid shall be field marked at the dc source(s). The field marking(s) shall include the date the short-circuit current calculation was performed and be of sufficient durability to withstand the environment involved.
When modifications to the electrical installation occur that affect the maximum available short-circuit current at the dc source, the maximum available short-circuit current shall be verified or recalculated as necessary to ensure the equipment ratings are sufficient for the maximum available short-circuit current at the line terminals of the equipment. The required field marking(s) in 712.65(A) shall indicate the new maximum available short-circuit current and date.
Equipment and conductors connected to more than one electrical source shall have overcurrent protective devices to provide protection from all sources.
Consideration shall be given to the contribution of short-circuit currents from all interconnected power sources for the interrupting ratings and short-circuit current ratings of equipment in the dc microgrid system(s). Overcurrent protective devices and equipment used within a dc microgrid shall have an interrupting rating at nominal circuit voltage or a short-circuit current rating sufficient for the available short-circuit current at the line terminals of the equipment.
Systems with a maximum voltage between conductors of over 1000 volts dc shall comply with Article 490 and other requirements in this Code applicable to installations rated over 1000 volts.
This article covers installations operating at less than 50 volts, direct current or alternating current.
Direct current or alternating-current installations operating at less than 50 volts, as covered in 411.1 through 411.8; Part VI of Article 517; Part II of Article 551; Parts II and III and 552.60(B) of Article 552; 650.1 through 650.8; 669.1 through 669.9; Parts I and VIII of Article 690; Parts I and III of Article 725; or Parts I and III of Article 760 shall not be required to comply with this article.
Installations within the scope of this article and installed in hazardous (classified) locations shall also comply with the appropriate provisions for hazardous (classified) locations in other applicable articles of this Code.
Conductors shall not be smaller than 12 AWG copper or equivalent. Conductors for appliance branch circuits supplying more than one appliance or appliance receptacle shall not be smaller than 10 AWG copper or equivalent.
Standard lampholders that have a rating of not less than 660 watts shall be used.
Receptacles shall have a rating of not less than 15 amperes.
Receptacles of not less than 20-ampere rating shall be provided in kitchens, laundries, and other locations where portable appliances are likely to be used.
Installations of storage batteries shall comply with 480.1 through 480.6 and 480.9 through 480.11.
Circuits operating at less than 50 volts shall be installed in a neat and workmanlike manner. Cables shall be supported by the building structure in such a manner that the cable will not be damaged by normal building use.
This article covers remote-control, signaling, and power-limited circuits that are not an integral part of a device or of utilization equipment.
Informational Note: The circuits described herein are characterized by usage and electrical power limitations that differentiate them from electric light and power circuits; therefore, alternative requirements to those of Chapters 1 through 4 are given with regard to minimum wire sizes, ampacity adjustment and correction factors, overcurrent protection, insulation requirements, and wiring methods and materials.
Abandoned Class 2, Class 3, and PLTC Cable. Installed Class 2, Class 3, and PLTC cable that is not terminated at equipment and not identified for future use with a tag.
Circuit Integrity (CI) Cable. Cable(s) used for remote-control, signaling, or power-limited systems that supply critical circuits to ensure survivability for continued circuit operation for a specified time under fire conditions.
Class 1 Circuit. The portion of the wiring system between the load side of the overcurrent device or power-limited supply and the connected equipment.
Informational Note: See 725.41 for voltage and power limitations of Class 1 circuits.
Class 2 Circuit. The portion of the wiring system between the load side of a Class 2 power source and the connected equipment. Due to its power limitations, a Class 2 circuit considers safety from a fire initiation standpoint and provides acceptable protection from electric shock.
Class 3 Circuit. The portion of the wiring system between the load side of a Class 3 power source and the connected equipment. Due to its power limitations, a Class 3 circuit considers safety from a fire initiation standpoint. Since higher levels of voltage and current than for Class 2 are permitted, additional safeguards are specified to provide protection from an electric shock hazard that could be encountered.
Power-Limited Tray Cable (PLTC). A factory assembly of two or more insulated conductors rated at 300 V, with or without associated bare or insulated equipment grounding conductors, under a nonmetallic jacket.
Circuits and equipment shall comply with the articles or sections listed in 725.3(A) through (N). Only those sections of Article 300 referenced in this article shall apply to Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3 circuits.
Installation of Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3 circuits shall comply with 300.21.
Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3 circuits installed in ducts, plenums, or other space used for environmental air shall comply with 300.22.
Exception No. 1: Class 2 and Class 3 cables selected in accordance with Table 725.154 and installed in accordance with 725.135(B) and 300.22(B), Exception shall be permitted to be installed in ducts specifically fabricated for environmental air.
Exception No. 2: Class 2 and Class 3 cables selected in accordance with Table 725.154 and installed in accordance with 725.135(C) shall be permitted to be installed in other spaces used for environmental air (plenums).
Articles 500 through 516 and Article 517, Part IV, where installed in hazardous (classified) locations.
Article 392, where installed in cable tray.
Article 430, Part VI, where tapped from the load side of the motor branch-circuit protective device(s) as specified in 430.72(A).
Vertical installations of circuit integrity (CI) cables and conductors installed in a raceway or conductors and cables of electrical circuit protective systems shall be installed in accordance with 300.19.
A bushing shall be installed where cables emerge from raceway used for mechanical support or protection in accordance with 300.15(C).
Class 2 and Class 3 cables installed in corrosive, damp, or wet locations shall comply with the applicable requirements in 110.11, 300.5(B), 300.6, 300.9, and 310.10(G).
Class 2, Class 3, and Type PLTC cables shall be permitted to be installed in plenum cable routing assemblies, riser cable routing assemblies, and general-purpose cable routing assemblies selected in accordance with Table 800.154(c), listed in accordance with the provisions of 800.182, and installed in accordance with 800.110(C) and 800.113.
Class 2, Class 3, and Type PLTC cables shall be permitted to be installed in plenum communications raceways, riser communications raceways, and general-purpose communications raceways selected in accordance with the provisions of Table 800.154(b), listed in accordance with 800.182, and installed in accordance with 800.113 and 362.24 through 362.56, where the requirements applicable to electrical nonmetallic tubing (ENT) apply.
Access to electrical equipment shall not be denied by an accumulation of wires and cables that prevents removal of panels, including suspended ceiling panels.
Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3 circuits shall be installed in a neat and workmanlike manner. Cables and conductors installed exposed on the surface of ceilings and sidewalls shall be supported by the building structure in such a manner that the cable will not be damaged by normal building use. Such cables shall be supported by straps, staples, hangers, cable ties, or similar fittings designed and installed so as not to damage the cable. The installation shall also comply with 300.4(D).
The accessible portion of abandoned Class 2, Class 3, and PLTC cables shall be removed. Where cables are identified for future use with a tag, the tag shall be of sufficient durability to withstand the environment involved.
Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3 circuits shall be identified at terminal and junction locations in a manner that prevents unintentional interference with other circuits during testing and servicing.
Remote-control circuits for safety-control equipment shall be classified as Class 1 if the failure of the equipment to operate introduces a direct fire or life hazard. Room thermostats, water temperature regulating devices, and similar controls used in conjunction with electrically controlled household heating and air conditioning shall not be considered safety-control equipment.
Where damage to remote-control circuits of safety-control equipment would introduce a hazard, as covered in 725.31(A), all conductors of such remote-control circuits shall be installed in rigid metal conduit, intermediate metal conduit, rigid nonmetallic conduit, electrical metallic tubing, Type MI cable, or Type MC cable, or be otherwise suitably protected from physical damage.
A remote-control, signaling, or power-limited circuit shall comply with the following parts of this article:
  1. Class 1 Circuits: Parts I and II
  2. Class 2 and Class 3 Circuits: Parts I and III
Class 1 circuits shall be classified as either Class 1 power-limited circuits where they comply with the power limitations of 725.41(A) or as Class 1 remote-control and signaling circuits where they are used for remote-control or signaling purposes and comply with the power limitations of 725.41(B).
These circuits shall be supplied from a source that has a rated output of not more than 30 volts and 1000 volt-amperes.
Transformers used to supply power-limited Class 1 circuits shall comply with the applicable sections within Parts I and II of Article 450.
Power sources other than transformers shall be protected by overcurrent devices rated at not more than 167 percent of the volt-ampere rating of the source divided by the rated voltage. The overcurrent devices shall not be interchangeable with overcurrent devices of higher ratings. The overcurrent device shall be permitted to be an integral part of the power supply.
To comply with the 1000 volt-ampere limitation of 725.41(A), the maximum output (VA max) of power sources other than transformers shall be limited to 2500 volt-amperes, and the product of the maximum current (I max) and maximum voltage (V max) shall not exceed 10,000 volt-amperes. These ratings shall be determined with any overcurrent-protective device bypassed.
VA max is the maximum volt-ampere output after one minute of operation regardless of load and with overcurrent protection bypassed, if used. Current-limiting impedance shall not be bypassed when determining VA max.
I max is the maximum output current under any noncapacitive load, including short circuit, and with overcurrent protection bypassed, if used. Current-limiting impedance should not be bypassed when determining I max. Where a current-limiting impedance, listed for the purpose or as part of a listed product, is used in combination with a stored energy source, for example, storage battery, to limit the output current, I max limits apply after 5 seconds.
V max is the maximum output voltage regardless of load with rated input applied.
These circuits shall not exceed 600 volts. The power output of the source shall not be required to be limited.
Overcurrent protection for conductors 14 AWG and larger shall be provided in accordance with the conductor ampacity, without applying the ampacity adjustment and correction factors of 310.15 to the ampacity calculation. Overcurrent protection shall not exceed 7 amperes for 18 AWG conductors and 10 amperes for 16 AWG.
Exception: Where other articles of this Code permit or require other overcurrent protection.
Informational Note: For example, see 430.72 for motors, 610.53 for cranes and hoists, and 517.74(B) and 660.9 for X-ray equipment.
Overcurrent devices shall be located as specified in 725.45(A), (B), (C), (D), or (E).
Overcurrent devices shall be located at the point where the conductor to be protected receives its supply.
Class 1 circuit conductors shall be permitted to be tapped, without overcurrent protection at the tap, where the overcurrent device protecting the circuit conductor is sized to protect the tap conductor.
Class 1 circuit conductors 14 AWG and larger that are tapped from the load side of the overcurrent protective device(s) of a controlled light and power circuit shall require only short-circuit and ground-fault protection and shall be permitted to be protected by the branch-circuit overcurrent protective device(s) where the rating of the protective device(s) is not more than 300 percent of the ampacity of the Class 1 circuit conductor.
Class 1 circuit conductors supplied by the secondary of a single-phase transformer having only a 2-wire (single-voltage) secondary shall be permitted to be protected by overcurrent protection provided on the primary side of the transformer, provided this protection is in accordance with 450.3 and does not exceed the value determined by multiplying the secondary conductor ampacity by the secondary-to-primary transformer voltage ratio. Transformer secondary conductors other than 2-wire shall not be considered to be protected by the primary overcurrent protection.
Class 1 circuit conductors supplied by the output of a single-phase, listed electronic power source, other than a transformer, having only a 2-wire (single-voltage) output for connection to Class 1 circuits shall be permitted to be protected by overcurrent protection provided on the input side of the electronic power source, provided this protection does not exceed the value determined by multiplying the Class 1 circuit conductor ampacity by the output-to-input voltage ratio. Electronic power source outputs, other than 2-wire (single voltage), shall not be considered to be protected by the primary overcurrent protection.
Class 1 circuits shall be installed in accordance with Part I of Article 300 and with the wiring methods from the appropriate articles in Chapter 3.
Exception No. 1: The provisions of 725.48 through 725.51 shall be permitted to apply in installations of Class 1 circuits.
Exception No. 2: Methods permitted or required by other articles of this Code shall apply to installations of Class 1 circuits.
Class 1 circuits shall be permitted to be installed with other circuits as specified in 725.48(A) and (B).
Class 1 circuits shall be permitted to occupy the same cable, cable tray, enclosure, or raceway without regard to whether the individual circuits are alternating current or direct current, provided all conductors are insulated for the maximum voltage of any conductor in the cable, cable tray, enclosure, or raceway.
Class 1 circuits shall be permitted to be installed with power-supply conductors as specified in 725.48(B)(1) through (B)(4).
Class 1 circuits and power-supply circuits shall be permitted to occupy the same cable, enclosure, or raceway only where the equipment powered is functionally associated.
Class 1 circuits and power-supply circuits shall be permitted to be installed in factory- or field-assembled control centers.
Class 1 circuits and power-supply circuits shall be permitted to be installed as underground conductors in a manhole in accordance with one of the following:
  1. The power-supply or Class 1 circuit conductors are in a metal-enclosed cable or Type UF cable.
  2. The conductors are permanently separated from the power-supply conductors by a continuous firmly fixed nonconductor, such as flexible tubing, in addition to the insulation on the wire.
  3. The conductors are permanently and effectively separated from the power supply conductors and securely fastened to racks, insulators, or other approved supports.
Installations in cable trays shall comply with 725.48(B)(4)(1) or (B)(4)(2).
  1. Class 1 circuit conductors and power-supply conductors not functionally associated with the Class 1 circuit conductors shall be separated by a solid fixed barrier of a material compatible with the cable tray.
  2. Class 1 circuit conductors and power-supply conductors not functionally associated with the Class 1 circuit conductors shall be permitted to be installed in a cable tray without barriers where all of the conductors are installed with separate multiconductor Type AC, Type MC, Type MI, or Type TC cables and all the conductors in the cables are insulated at 600 volts or greater.
Conductors of sizes 18 AWG and 16 AWG shall be permitted to be used, provided they supply loads that do not exceed the ampacities given in 402.5 and are installed in a raceway, an approved enclosure, or a listed cable. Conductors larger than 16 AWG shall not supply loads greater than the ampacities given in 310.15. Flexible cords shall comply with Article 400.
Insulation on conductors shall be rated for the system voltage and not less than 600 volts. Conductors larger than 16 AWG shall comply with Article 310. Conductors in sizes 18 AWG and 16 AWG shall be Type FFH-2, KF-2, KFF-2, PAF, PAFF, PF, PFF, PGF, PGFF, PTF, PTFF, RFH-2, RFHH-2, RFHH-3, SF-2, SFF-2, TF, TFF, TFFN, TFN, ZF, or ZFF. Conductors with other types and thicknesses of insulation shall be permitted if listed for Class 1 circuit use.
Where only Class 1 circuit conductors are in a raceway, the number of conductors shall be determined in accordance with 300.17. The ampacity adjustment factors given in 310.15(B)(3)(a) shall apply only if such conductors carry continuous loads in excess of 10 percent of the ampacity of each conductor.
Where power-supply conductors and Class 1 circuit conductors are permitted in a raceway in accordance with 725.48, the number of conductors shall be determined in accordance with 300.17. The ampacity adjustment factors given in 310.15(B)(3)(a) shall apply as follows:
  1. To all conductors where the Class 1 circuit conductors carry continuous loads in excess of 10 percent of the ampacity of each conductor and where the total number of conductors is more than three
  2. To the power-supply conductors only, where the Class 1 circuit conductors do not carry continuous loads in excess of 10 percent of the ampacity of each conductor and where the number of power-supply conductors is more than three
Where Class 1 circuit conductors are installed in cable trays, they shall comply with the provisions of 392.22 and 392.80(A).
Class 1 circuits that extend aerially beyond one building shall also meet the requirements of Article 225.
Informational Note Figure 725.121 No. 1 Class 2 and Class 3 Circuits.
The power source for a Class 2 or a Class 3 circuit shall be as specified in 725.121(A)(1), (A)(2), (A)(3), (A)(4), or (A)(5):
Informational Note No. 1: Informational Note Figure 725.121, No. 1 illustrates the relationships between Class 2 or Class 3 power sources, their supply, and the Class 2 or Class 3 circuits.
Informational Note No. 2: Table 11(A) and Table 11(B) in Chapter 9 provide the requirements for listed Class 2 and Class 3 power sources.
  1. A listed Class 2 or Class 3 transformer
  2. A listed Class 2 or Class 3 power supply
  3. Other listed equipment marked to identify the Class 2 or Class 3 power source
    Exception No. 1 to (3): Thermocouples shall not require listing as a Class 2 power source.
    Exception No. 2 to (3): Limited power circuits of listed equipment where these circuits have energy levels rated at or below the limits established in Chapter 9, Table 11(A) and Table 11(B).
    Informational Note: Examples of other listed equipment are as follows:
    1. A circuit card listed for use as a Class 2 or Class 3 power source where used as part of a listed assembly
    2. A current-limiting impedance, listed for the purpose, or part of a listed product, used in conjunction with a non-power-limited transformer or a stored energy source, for example, storage battery, to limit the output current
    3. A thermocouple
    4. Limited voltage/current or limited impedance secondary communications circuits of listed industrial control equipment
  4. Listed audio/video information technology (computer), communications, and industrial equipment limited-power circuits.
    Informational Note: One way to determine applicable requirements for listing of information technology (computer) equipment is to refer to UL 60950-1-2011, Standard for Safety of Information Technology Equipment. Another way to determine applicable requirements for listing of audio/video, information and communication technology equipment is to refer to UL 62368-1-2014, Safety of audio/video, information and communication technology equipment. Typically such circuits are used to interconnect data circuits for the purpose of exchanging information data. One way to determine applicable requirements for listing of industrial equipment is to refer to UL 61010-2-201, Safety requirements for electrical equipment for measurement, control, and laboratory use —Part 2—201: Particular requirements for control equipment, and/or UL 61800-5-1, Adjustable speed electrical power drive systems —Part 5—1: Safety requirements —Electrical, thermal and energy.
  5. A dry cell battery shall be considered an inherently limited Class 2 power source, provided the voltage is 30 volts or less and the capacity is equal to or less than that available from series connected No. 6 carbon zinc cells.
Class 2 or Class 3 power sources shall not have the output connections paralleled or otherwise interconnected unless listed for such interconnection.
The power sources for limited power circuits in 725.121(A)(3) and limited power circuits for listed audio/video information technology (equipment) and listed industrial equipment in 725.121(A)(4) shall have a label indicating the maximum voltage and current output for each connection point. The effective date shall be January 1, 2018.
The equipment supplying the circuits shall be durably marked where plainly visible to indicate each circuit that is a Class 2 or Class 3 circuit.
Conductors and equipment on the supply side of the power source shall be installed in accordance with the appropriate requirements of Chapters 1 through 4. Transformers or other devices supplied from electric light or power circuits shall be protected by an overcurrent device rated not over 20 amperes.
Exception: The input leads of a transformer or other power source supplying Class 2 and Class 3 circuits shall be permitted to be smaller than 14 AWG, but not smaller than 18 AWG if they are not over 305 mm (12 in.) long and if they have insulation that complies with 725.49(B).
Class 2 and Class 3 circuits on the load side of the power source shall be permitted to be installed using wiring methods and materials in accordance with either 725.130(A) or (B).
Installation shall be in accordance with 725.46.
Exception No. 1: The ampacity adjustment factors given in 310.15(B)(3)(a) shall not apply.
Exception No. 2: Class 2 and Class 3 circuits shall be permitted to be reclassified and installed as Class 1 circuits if the Class 2 and Class 3 markings required in 725.124 are eliminated and the entire circuit is installed using the wiring methods and materials in accordance with Part II, Class 1 circuits.
Informational Note: Class 2 and Class 3 circuits reclassified and installed as Class 1 circuits are no longer Class 2 or Class 3 circuits, regardless of the continued connection to a Class 2 or Class 3 power source.
Conductors on the load side of the power source shall be insulated at not less than the requirements of 725.179 and shall be installed in accordance with 725.133 and 725.154.
Exception No. 1: As provided for in 620.21 for elevators and similar equipment.
Exception No. 2: Other wiring methods and materials installed in accordance with the requirements of 725.3 shall be permitted to extend or replace the conductors and cables described in 725.179 and permitted by 725.130(B).
Exception No. 3: Bare Class 2 conductors shall be permitted as part of a listed intrusion protection system where installed in accordance with the listing instructions for the system.
Installation of Class 2, Class 3, and PLTC cables shall comply with 725.135(A) through (M).
Class 2, Class 3, and PLTC cables installed in buildings shall be listed.
The following wires and cables shall be permitted in ducts specifically fabricated for environmental air as described in 300.22(B) if directly associated with the air distribution system:
  1. Types CL2P and CL3P cables in lengths as short as practicable to perform the required function
  2. Types CL2P, CL3P, CL2R, CL3R, CL2, CL3, CL2X, CL3X, and PLTC cables installed in raceways that are installed in compliance with 300.22(B)
Informational Note: For information on fire protection of wiring installed in fabricated ducts, see 4.3.4.1 and 4.3.11.3.3 of NFPA 90A -2015, Standard for the Installation of Air-Conditioning and Ventilating Systems.
The following cables shall be permitted in other spaces used for environmental air as described in 300.22(C):
  1. Types CL2P and CL3P cables
  2. Types CL2P and CL3P cables installed in plenum commu nications raceways
  3. Types CL2P and CL3P cables installed in plenum cable routing assemblies
  4. Types CL2P and CL3P cables and plenum communications raceways supported by open metallic cable trays or cable tray systems
  5. Types CL2P, CL3P, CL2R, CL3R, CL2, CL3, CL2X, CL3X, and PLTC cables installed in raceways that are installed in compliance with 300.22(C)
  6. Types CL2P, CL3P, CL2R, CL3R, CL2, CL3, CL2X, CL3X, and PLTC cables supported by solid bottom metal cable trays with solid metal covers in other spaces used for environmental air (plenums) as described in 300.22(C)
  7. Types CL2P, CL3P, CL2R, CL3R, CL2, CL3, CL2X, CL3X, and PLTC cables installed in plenum communications raceways, riser communications raceways, and general-purpose communications raceways supported by solid bottom metal cable trays with solid metal covers in other spaces used for environmental air (plenums) as described in 300.22(C)
The following cables shall be permitted in vertical runs penetrating one or more floors and in vertical runs in a shaft:
  1. Types CL2P, CL3P, CL2R, and CL3R cables
  2. Types CL2P, CL3P, CL2R, and CL3R cables installed in the following:
    1. Plenum communications raceways
    2. Plenum cable routing assemblies
    3. Riser communications raceways
    4. Riser cable routing assemblies
    Informational Note: See 300.21 for firestop requirements for floor penetrations.
The following cables shall be permitted in metal raceways in a riser having firestops at each floor:
  1. Types CL2P, CL3P, CL2R, CL3R, CL2, CL3, CL2X, CL3X, and PLTC cables
  2. Types CL2P, CL3P, CL2R, CL3R, CL2, CL3, CL2X, CL3X, and PLTC cables installed in the following:
    1. Plenum communications raceways
    2. Riser communications raceways
    3. General-purpose communications raceways
    Informational Note: See 300.21 for firestop requirements for floor penetrations.
The following shall be permitted to be installed in fireproof riser shafts having firestops at each floor:
  1. Types CL2P, CL3P, CL2R, CL3R, CL2, CL3, CL2X, CL3X, and PLTC cables
  2. Types CL2P, CL3P, CL2R, CL3R, CL2, CL3, and PLTC cables installed in the following:
    1. Plenum communications raceways
    2. Plenum cable routing assemblies
    3. Riser communications raceways
    4. Riser cable routing assemblies
    5. General-purpose communications raceways
    6. General-purpose cable routing assemblies
    Informational Note: See 300.21 for firestop requirements for floor penetrations.
The following cables shall be permitted in one- and two-family dwellings:
  1. Types CL2P, CL3P, CL2R, CL3R, CL2, CL3, and PLTC cables
  2. Types CL2X and CL3X cables less than 6 mm (0.25 in.) in diameter
  3. Types CL2P, CL3P, CL2R, CL3R, CL2, CL3, and PLTC cables installed in the following:
    1. Plenum communications raceways
    2. Plenum cable routing assemblies
    3. Riser communications raceways
    4. Riser cable routing assemblies
    5. General-purpose communications raceways
    6. General-purpose cable routing assemblies
Cables installed in cable trays outdoors shall be Type PLTC. The following cables shall be permitted to be supported by cable trays in buildings:
  1. Types CM CL2P, CL3P, CL2R, CL3R, CL2, CL3, and PLTC cables
  2. Types CL2P, CL3P, CL2R, CL3R, CL2, CL3, and PLTC cables installed in the following:
    1. Plenum communications raceways
    2. Riser communications raceways
    3. General-purpose communications raceways
The following cables shall be permitted to be installed in cross-connect arrays:
  1. Types CL2P, CL3P, CL2R, CL3R, CL2, CL3, and PLTC cables
  2. Types CL2P, CL3P, CL2R, CL3R, CL2, CL3, and PLTC cables installed in the following:
    1. Plenum communications raceways
    2. Plenum cable routing assemblies
    3. Riser communications raceways
    4. Riser cable routing assemblies
    5. General-purpose communications raceways
    6. General-purpose cable routing assemblies
In industrial establishments where the conditions of maintenance and supervision ensure that only qualified persons service the installation, Type PLTC cable shall be permitted in accordance with either (1) or (2) as follows:
  1. Where the cable is not subject to physical damage, Type PLTC cable that complies with the crush and impact requirements of Type MC cable and is identified as PLTC-ER for such use shall be permitted to be exposed between the cable tray and the utilization equipment or device. The cable shall be continuously supported and protected against physical damage using mechanical protection such as dedicated struts, angles, or channels. The cable shall be supported and secured at intervals not exceeding 1.8 m (6 ft). Where not subject to physical damage, Type PLTC-ER cable shall be permitted to transition between cable trays and between cable trays and utilization equipment or devices for a distance not to exceed 1.8 m (6 ft) without continuous support. The cable shall be mechanically supported where exiting the cable tray to ensure that the minimum bending radius is not exceeded.
  2. Type PLTC cable, with a metallic sheath or armor in accordance with 725.179(E), shall be permitted to be installed exposed. The cable shall be continuously supported and protected against physical damage using mechanical protection such as dedicated struts, angles, or channels. The cable shall be secured at intervals not exceeding 1.8 m (6 ft).
The following wires and cables shall be permitted to be installed in building locations other than the locations covered in 725.135(B) through (I):
  1. Types CL2P, CL3P, CL2R, CL3R, CL2, CL3, and PLTC cables
  2. A maximum of 3 m (10 ft) of exposed Type CL2X wires and cables in nonconcealed spaces
  3. A maximum of 3 m (10 ft) of exposed Type CL3X wires and cables in nonconcealed spaces
  4. Types CL2P, CL3P, CL2R, CL3R, CL2, CL3, and PLTC cables installed in the following:
    1. Plenum communications raceways
    2. Plenum cable routing assemblies
    3. Riser communications raceways
    4. Riser cable routing assemblies
    5. General-purpose communications raceways
    6. General-purpose cable routing assemblies
  5. Types CL2P, CL3P, CL2R, CL3R, CL2, CL3, CL2X, CL3X, and PLTC cables installed in raceways recognized in Chapter 3
  6. Type CMUC undercarpet communications wires and cables installed under carpet, modular flooring, and planks
The following wires and cables shall be permitted to be installed in multifamily dwellings in locations other than the locations covered in 725.135(B) through (I):
  1. Types CL2P, CL3P, CL2R, CL3R, CL2, CL3, and PLTC wires and cables
  2. Type CL2X wires and cables less than 6 mm (1/4 in.) in diameter in nonconcealed spaces
  3. Type CL3X wires and cables less than 6 mm (1/4 in.) in diameter in nonconcealed spaces
  4. Types CL2P, CL3P, CL2R, CL3R, CL2, CL3, and PLTC wires and cables installed in the following:
    1. Plenum communications raceways
    2. Plenum cable routing assemblies
    3. Riser communications raceways
    4. Riser cable routing assemblies
    5. General-purpose communications raceways
    6. General-purpose cable routing assemblies
  5. Types CL2P, CL3P, CL2R, CL3R, CL2, CL3, CL2X, CL3X, and PLTC wires and cables installed in raceways recognized in Chapter 3
  6. Type CMUC undercarpet communications wires and cables installed under carpet, modular flooring, and planks
The following wires and cables shall be permitted to be installed in one- and two-family dwellings in locations other than the locations covered in 725.135(B) through (I):
  1. Types CL2P, CL3P, CL2R, CL3R, CL2, CL3, and PLTC wires and cables
  2. Type CL2X wires and cables less than 6 mm (1/4 in.) in diameter
  3. Type CL3X wires and cables less than 6 mm (1/4 in.) in diameter
  4. Communications wires and Types CL2P, CL3P, CL2R, CL3R, CL2, CL3, and PLTC cables installed in the following:
    1. Plenum communications raceways
    2. Plenum cable routing assemblies
    3. Riser communications raceways
    4. Riser cable routing assemblies
    5. General-purpose communications raceways
    6. General-purpose cable routing assemblies
  5. Types CL2P, CL3P, CL2R, CL3R, CL2, CL3, CL2X, CL3X, and PLTC wires and cables installed in raceways recognized in Chapter 3
  6. Type CMUC undercarpet communications wires and cables installed under carpet, modular flooring, and planks
Cables and conductors of Class 2 and Class 3 circuits shall not be placed in any cable, cable tray, compartment, enclosure, manhole, outlet box, device box, raceway, or similar fitting with conductors of electric light, power, Class 1, non-power-limited fire alarm circuits, and medium-power network-powered broadband communications circuits unless permitted by 725.136(B) through (I).
Class 2 and Class 3 circuits shall be permitted to be installed together with the conductors of electric light, power, Class 1, non-power-limited fire alarm and medium power network-powered broadband communications circuits where they are separated by a barrier.
In enclosures, Class 2 and Class 3 circuits shall be permitted to be installed in a raceway to separate them from Class 1, non-power-limited fire alarm and medium-power network-powered broadband communications circuits.
Class 2 and Class 3 circuit conductors in compartments, enclosures, device boxes, outlet boxes, or similar fittings shall be permitted to be installed with electric light, power, Class 1, non-power-limited fire alarm, and medium-power network-powered broadband communications circuits where they are introduced solely to connect the equipment connected to Class 2 and Class 3 circuits, and where (1) or (2) applies:
  1. The electric light, power, Class 1, non-power-limited fire alarm, and medium-power network-powered broadband communications circuit conductors are routed to maintain a minimum of 6 mm (0.25 in.) separation from the conductors and cables of Class 2 and Class 3 circuits.
  2. The circuit conductors operate at 150 volts or less to ground and also comply with one of the following:
  1. The Class 2 and Class 3 circuits are installed using Type CL3, CL3R, or CL3P or permitted substitute cables, provided these Class 3 cable conductors extending beyond the jacket are separated by a minimum of 6 mm (0.25 in.) or by a nonconductive sleeve or nonconductive barrier from all other conductors.
  2. The Class 2 and Class 3 circuit conductors are installed as a Class 1 circuit in accordance with 725.41.
Class 2 and Class 3 circuit conductors entering compartments, enclosures, device boxes, outlet boxes, or similar fittings shall be permitted to be installed with Class 1, non-power-limited fire alarm and medium-power network-powered broadband communications circuits where they are introduced solely to connect the equipment connected to Class 2 and Class 3 circuits. Where Class 2 and Class 3 circuit conductors must enter an enclosure that is provided with a single opening, they shall be permitted to enter through a single fitting (such as a tee), provided the conductors are separated from the conductors of the other circuits by a continuous and firmly fixed nonconductor, such as flexible tubing.
Underground Class 2 and Class 3 circuit conductors in a manhole shall be permitted to be installed with Class 1, non-power-limited fire alarm and medium-power network-powered broadband communications circuits where one of the following conditions is met:
  1. The electric light, power, Class 1, non-power-limited fire alarm and medium-power network-powered broadband communications circuit conductors are in a metal-enclosed cable or Type UF cable.
  2. The Class 2 and Class 3 circuit conductors are permanently and effectively separated from the conductors of other circuits by a continuous and firmly fixed nonconductor, such as flexible tubing, in addition to the insulation or covering on the wire.
  3. The Class 2 and Class 3 circuit conductors are permanently and effectively separated from conductors of the other circuits and securely fastened to racks, insulators, or other approved supports.
Class 2 and Class 3 circuit conductors shall be permitted to be installed in cable trays, where the conductors of the electric light, Class 1, and non-power-limited fire alarm circuits are separated by a solid fixed barrier of a material compatible with the cable tray or where the Class 2 or Class 3 circuits are installed in Type MC cable.
In hoistways, Class 2 or Class 3 circuit conductors shall be installed in rigid metal conduit, rigid nonmetallic conduit, intermediate metal conduit, liquidtight flexible nonmetallic conduit, or electrical metallic tubing. For elevators or similar equipment, these conductors shall be permitted to be installed as provided in 620.21.
For other applications, conductors of Class 2 and Class 3 circuits shall be separated by at least 50 mm (2 in.) from conductors of any electric light, power, Class 1 non-power-limited fire alarm or medium power network-powered broadband communications circuits unless one of the following conditions is met:
  1. Either (a) all of the electric light, power, Class 1, non-power-limited fire alarm and medium-power network-powered broadband communications circuit conductors or (b) all of the Class 2 and Class 3 circuit conductors are in a raceway or in metal-sheathed, metal-clad, non-metallic-sheathed, or Type UF cables.
  2. All of the electric light, power, Class 1 non-power-limited fire alarm, and medium-power network-powered broadband communications circuit conductors are permanently separated from all of the Class 2 and Class 3 circuit conductors by a continuous and firmly fixed nonconductor, such as porcelain tubes or flexible tubing, in addition to the insulation on the conductors.
Conductors of two or more Class 2 circuits shall be permitted within the same cable, enclosure, raceway, or cable routing assembly.
Conductors of two or more Class 3 circuits shall be permitted within the same cable, enclosure, raceway, or cable routing assembly.
Conductors of one or more Class 2 circuits shall be permitted within the same cable, enclosure, raceway, or cable routing assembly with conductors of Class 3 circuits, provided that the insulation of the Class 2 circuit conductors in the cable, enclosure, raceway, or cable routing assembly is at least that required for Class 3 circuits.
Class 2 and Class 3 circuit conductors shall be permitted in the same cable with communications circuits, in which case the Class 2 and Class 3 circuits shall be classified as communications circuits and shall be installed in accordance with the requirements of Article 800. The cables shall be listed as communications cables.
Cables constructed of individually listed Class 2, Class 3, and communications cables under a common jacket shall be permitted to be classified as communications cables. The fire resistance rating of the composite cable shall be determined by the performance of the composite cable.
Jacketed cables of Class 2 or Class 3 circuits shall be permitted in the same enclosure, cable tray, raceway, or cable routing assembly with jacketed cables of any of the following:
  1. Power-limited fire alarm systems in compliance with Parts I and III of Article 760
  2. Nonconductive and conductive optical fiber cables in compliance with Parts I and IV of Article 770
  3. Communications circuits in compliance with Parts I and IV of Article 800
  4. Community antenna television and radio distribution systems in compliance with Parts I and IV of Article 820
  5. Low-power, network-powered broadband communications in compliance with Parts I and IV of Article 830
Audio system circuits described in 640.9(C), and installed using Class 2 or Class 3 wiring methods in compliance with 725.133 and 725.154, shall not be permitted to be installed in the same cable, raceway, or cable routing assembly with Class 2 or Class 3 conductors or cables.
Where Class 2 or Class 3 circuit conductors extend beyond one building and are run so as to be subject to accidental contact with electric light or power conductors operating over 300 volts to ground, or are exposed to lightning on interbuilding circuits on the same premises, the requirements of the following shall also apply:
  1. Sections 800.44, 800.50, 800.53, 800.93, 800.100, 800.170(A), and 800.170(B) for other than coaxial conductors
  2. Sections 820.44, 820.93, and 820.100 for coaxial conductors
Class 2 or Class 3 circuit conductors shall not be strapped, taped, or attached by any means to the exterior of any conduit or other raceway as a means of support. These conductors shall be permitted to be installed as permitted by 300.11(C)(2).
The requirements of 725.144(A) and (B) shall apply to Class 2 and Class 3 circuits that transmit power and data to a powered device. The requirements of Parts I and III of Article 725 and 300.11 shall apply to Class 2 and Class 3 circuits that transmit power and data. The conductors that carry power for the data circuits shall be copper. The current in the power circuit shall not exceed the current limitation of the connectors.
Informational No. 1: One example of the use of cables that transmit power and data is the connection of closed-circuit TV cameras (CCTV).
Informational Note No. 2: The 8P8C connector is in widespread use with powered communications systems. These connectors are typically rated at 1.3 amperes maximum.
Table 725.144 Ampacities of Each Conductor in Amperes in 4-Pair Class 2 or Class 3 Data Cables Based on Copper Conductors at an Ambient Temperature of 30°C (86°F) with All Conductors in All Cables Carrying Current, 60°C (140°F), 75°C (167°F), and 90°C (194°F) Rated Cables
AWG Number of 4-Pair Cables in a Bundle
1 2—7 8—19 20—37 38—61 62—91 92—192
Temperature Rating Temperature Rating Temperature Rating Temperature Rating Temperature Rating Temperature Rating Temperature Rating
60°C 75°C 90°C 60°C 75°C 90°C 60°C 75°C 90°C 60°C 75°C 90°C 60°C 75°C 90°C 60°C 75°C 90°C 60°C 75°C 90°C
26 1 1 1 1 1 1 0.7 0.8 1 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.4 0.5 0.6 NA NA NA
24 2 2 2 1 1.4 1.6 0.8 1 1.1 0.6 0.7 0.9 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.3 0.4 0.5
23 2.5 2.5 2.5 1.2 1.5 1.7 0.8 1.1 1.2 0.6 0.8 0.9 0.5 0.7 0.8 0.5 0.7 0.8 0.4 0.5 0.6
22 3 3 3 1.4 1.8 2.1 1 1.2 1.4 0.7 0.9 1.1 0.6 0.8 0.9 0.6 0.8 0.9 0.5 0.6 0.7
Note 1: For bundle sizes over 192 cables, or for conductor sizes smaller than 26 AWG, ampacities shall be permitted to be determined by qualified personnel under engineering supervision.
Note 2: Where only half of the conductors in each cable are carrying current, the values in the table shall be permitted to be increased by a factor of 1.4.
Informational Note: The conductor sizes in data cables in wide-spread use are typically 22—26 AWG.
Where Types CL3P, CL2P, CL3R, CL2R, CL3, or CL2 transmit power and data, the following shall apply, as applicable:
  1. The ampacity ratings in Table 725.144 shall apply at an ambient temperature of 30°C (86°F).
  2. For ambient temperatures above 30°C (86°F), the correction factors of 310.15(B)(2) shall apply.
Informational Note: One example of the use of Class 2 cables is a network of closed- circuit TV cameras using 24 AWG, 60°C rated, Type CL2R, Category 5e local area network (LAN) cables.
Types CL3P-LP, CL2P-LP, CL3R-LP, CL2R-LP, CL3-LP, or CL2-LP shall be permitted to supply power to equipment at a current level up to the marked ampere limit located immediately following the suffix LP and shall be permitted to transmit data to the equipment. The Class 2-LP and Class 3-LP cables shall comply with the following, as applicable:
Informational Note 1: The "(xxA)" following the suffix -LP indicates the ampacity of each conductor in a cable.
Informational Note 2: An example of a limited power (LP) cable is a cable marked Type CL2-LP(0.5A), 23 AWG. A Type CL2-LP(0.5), 23 AWG could be used in any location where a Type CL2 could be used; however, the LP cable would be suitable for carrying up to 0.5 A per conductor, regardless of the number of cables in a bundle. If used in a 7-cable bundle, the same cable could carry up to 1.2 amperes per conductor.
  1. Cables with the suffix "-LP" shall be permitted to be installed in bundles, raceways, cable trays, communications raceways, and cable routing assemblies.
  2. Cables with the suffix "-LP" and a marked ampere level shall follow the substitution hierarchy of Table 725.154 and Figure 725.154(A) for the cable type without the suffix "LP" and without the marked ampere level.
  3. System design shall be permitted by qualified persons under engineering supervision.
Class 2, Class 3, and PLTC cables shall comply with any of the requirements described in 725.154(A) through (C) and as indicated in Table 725.154.
Table 725.154 Applications of Listed Class 2, Class 3, CMUC, and PLTC Cables in Buildings
Applications Cable Type
CL2P & CL3P CL2R &CL3R CL2 &CL3 CL2X &CL3X CMUC PLTC
In fabricated ducts as described in 300.22(B) In fabricated ducts Y* N N N N N
In metal raceway that complies with 300.22(B) Y* Y* Y* Y* N Y*
In other spaces used for environmental air as described in 300.22(C) In other spaces used for environmental air Y* N N N N N
In metal raceway that complies with 300.22(C) Y* Y* Y* Y* N Y*
In plenum communications raceways Y* N N N N N
In plenum cable routing assemblies Y* N N N N N
Supported by open metal cable trays Y* N N N N N
Supported by solid bottom metal cable trays with solid metal covers Y* Y* Y* Y* N N
In risers In vertical runs Y* Y* N N N N
In metal raceways Y* Y* Y* Y* N Y*
In fireproof shafts Y* Y* Y* Y* N Y*
In plenum communications raceways Y* Y* N N N N
In plenum cable routing assemblies Y* Y* N N N N
In riser communications raceways Y* Y* N N N N
In riser cable routing assemblies Y* Y* N N N N
In one- and two-family dwellings Y* Y* Y* Y* N Y*
Within buildings in other than air-handling spaces and risers General Y* Y* Y* Y* N Y*
In one- and two-family dwellings Y* Y* Y* Y* Y* Y*
In multifamily dwellings Y* Y* Y* Y* Y* Y*
In nonconcealed spaces Y* Y* Y* Y* Y* Y*
Supported by cable trays Y* Y* Y* N N Y*
Under carpet N N N N Y* N
In cross-connect arrays Y* Y* Y* N N Y*
In any raceway recognized in Chapter 3 Y* Y* Y* Y* N Y*
In plenum communications raceways Y* Y* Y* N N Y*
In plenum cable routing assemblies Y* Y* Y* N N Y*
In riser communications raceways Y* Y* Y* N N Y*
In riser cable routing assemblies Y* Y* Y* N N Y*
In general-purpose communications raceways Y* Y* Y* N N Y*
In general-purpose cable routing assemblies Y* Y* Y* N N Y*
Note: "N" indicates that the cable type shall not be permitted to be installed in the application.
"Y*" indicates that the cable type shall be permitted to be installed in the application, subject to the limitations described in 725.130 through 725.143.
The substitutions for Class 2 and Class 3 cables listed in Table 725.154(A) and illustrated in Figure 725.154(A) shall be permitted. Where substitute cables are installed, the wiring requirements of Article 725, Parts I and III, shall apply.
Table 725.154(A) Cable Substitutions
Cable Type Permitted Substitutions
CL3P CMP
CL2P CMP, CL3P
CL3R CMP, CL3P, CMR
CL2R CMP, CL3P, CL2P, CMR, CL3R
PLTC  
CL3 CMP, CL3P, CMR, CL3R, CMG, CM, PLTC
CL2 CMP, CL3P, CL2P, CMR, CL3R, CL2R, CMG,
  CM, PLTC, CL3
CL3X CMP, CL3P, CMR, CL3R, CMG, CM, PLTC,
  CL3, CMX
CL2X CMP, CL3P, CL2P, CMR, CL3R, CL2R CMG,
  CM, PLTC, CL3, CL2, CMX, CL3X
FIGURE 725.154(A) Cable Substitution Hierarchy.
Informational Note: For information on Types CMP, CMR, CM, and CMX, see 800.179.
Circuit integrity (CI) cable or a listed electrical circuit protective system shall be permitted for use in remote control, signaling, or power-limited systems that supply critical circuits to ensure survivability for continued circuit operation for a specified time under fire conditions.
Conductors in Type PLTC cables used for Class 2 thermocouple circuits shall be permitted to be any of the materials used for thermocouple extension wire.
The listed power source for circuits intended to provide power and data over Class 2 cables to remote equipment shall be as specified in 725.121(A)(1), (A)(2), (A)(3), or (A)(4). In accordance with 725.121(B), the power sources shall not have the output connections paralleled or otherwise interconnected, unless listed for such interconnection. Powered devices connected to a circuit supplying data and power shall be listed. Marking of equipment output connections shall be in accordance with 725.121(C).
Class 2, Class 3, and Type PLTC cables, installed as wiring methods within buildings, shall be listed as resistant to the spread of fire and other criteria in accordance with 725.179(A) through (I) and shall be marked in accordance with 725.179(J).
Types CL2P and CL3P plenum cable shall be listed as suitable for use in ducts, plenums, and other space for environmental air and shall be listed as having adequate fire-resistant and low-smoke producing characteristics.
Informational Note: One method of defining a cable that is low-smoke producing and fire resistant is that the cable exhibits a maximum peak optical density of 0.50 or less, an average optical density of 0.15 or less, and a maximum flame spread distance of 1.52 m (5 ft) or less when tested in accordance with NFPA 262 -2015, Standard Method of Test for Flame Travel and Smoke of Wires and Cables for Use in Air-Handling Spaces.
Types CL2R and CL3R riser cables shall be marked as Type CL2R or CL3R, respectively, and be listed as suitable for use in a vertical run in a shaft or from floor to floor and shall be listed as having fire-resistant characteristics capable of preventing the carrying of fire from floor to floor.
Informational Note: One method of defining fire-resistant characteristics capable of preventing the carrying of fire from floor to floor is that the cables pass the requirements of ANSI/UL 1666-2012, Test for Flame Propagation Height of Electrical and Optical-Fiber Cable Installed Vertically in Shafts.
Types CL2 and CL3 cables shall be marked as Type CL2 or CL3, respectively, and be listed as suitable for general-purpose use, with the exception of risers, ducts, plenums, and other space used for environmental air, and shall be listed as resistant to the spread of fire.
Informational Note: One method of defining resistant to the spread of fire is that the cables do not spread fire to the top of the tray in the UL flame exposure, vertical tray flame test in ANSI/UL 1685-2010, Standard for Safety for Vertical-Tray Fire-Propagation and Smoke-Release Test for Electrical and Optical-Fiber Cables. The smoke measurements in the test method are not applicable.
Another method of defining resistant to the spread of fire is for the damage (char length) not to exceed 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in.) when performing the CSA vertical flame test for— cables in cable trays, as described in CSA C22.2 No. 0.3-M-2001, Test Methods for Electrical Wires and Cables.
Types CL2X and CL3X limited-use cables shall be marked as Type CL2X or CL3X, and be listed as suitable for use in dwellings and raceways and shall be listed as resistant to flame spread.
Informational Note: One method of determining that cable is resistant to flame spread is by testing the cable to the VW-1 (vertical wire) flame test in ANSI/UL 1581-2011, Reference Standard for Electrical Wires, Cables and Flexible Cords.
Type PLTC nonmetallic-sheathed, power-limited tray cable shall be listed as being suitable for cable trays and shall consist of a factory assembly of two or more insulated conductors under a nonmetallic jacket. The insulated conductors shall be 22 AWG through 12 AWG. The conductor material shall be copper (solid or stranded). Insulation on conductors shall be rated for 300 volts. The cable core shall be two or more parallel conductors, one or more group assemblies of twisted or parallel conductors, or a combination thereof. A metallic shield or a metallized foil shield with drain wire(s) shall be permitted to be applied over the cable core, over groups of conductors, or both. The cable shall be listed as resistant to the spread of fire. The outer jacket shall be a sunlight- and moisture-resistant nonmetallic material. Type PLTC cable used in a wet location shall be listed for use in wet locations or have a moisture-impervious metal sheath.
Exception No. 1: Where a smooth metallic sheath, continuous corrugated metallic sheath, or interlocking tape armor is applied over the nonmetallic jacket, an overall nonmetallic jacket shall not be required. On metallic-sheathed cable without an overall nonmetallic jacket, the information required in 310.120 shall be located on the nonmetallic jacket under the sheath.
Exception No. 2: Conductors in PLTC cables used for Class 2 thermocouple circuits shall be permitted to be any of the materials used for thermocouple extension wire.
Informational Note: One method of defining resistant to the spread of fire is that the cables do not spread fire to the top of the tray in the UL flame exposure, vertical tray flame test in ANSI/UL 1685-2010, Standard for Safety for Vertical-Tray Fire-Propagation and Smoke-Release Test for Electrical and Optical-Fiber Cables. The smoke measurements in the test method are not applicable.
Another method of defining resistant to the spread of fire is for the damage (char length) not to exceed 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in.) when performing the CSA vertical tray flame test for cables in cable trays, as described in CSA C22.2 No. 0.3-M-2001, Test Methods for Electrical Wires and Cables.
Cables that are used for survivability of critical circuits under fire conditions shall meet either 725.179(F)(1) or (F)(2) as follows:
Circuit Integrity (CI) cables, specified in 725.179(A), (B), (C), and (E), and used for survivability of critical circuits, shall have the additional classification using the suffix "CI." Circuit integrity (CI) cables shall only be permitted to be installed in a raceway where specifically listed and marked as part of an electrical circuit protective system as covered in 725.179(F)(2).
Cables specified in 725.179(A), (B), (C), (E), and (F)(1) that are part of an electrical circuit protective system shall be identified with the protective system number and hourly rating printed on the outer jacket of the cable and installed in accordance with the listing of the protective system.
Informational Note No. 1: One method of defining circuit integrity (CI) cable or an electrical circuit protective system is by establishing a minimum 2-hour fire-resistive rating when tested in accordance with UL 2196-2012, Standard for Tests of Fire Resistive Cables.
Informational Note No. 2: UL guide information for electrical circuit protective systems (FHIT) contains information on proper installation requirements to maintain the fire rating.
Class 2 cables shall have a voltage rating of not less than 150 volts. Class 3 cables shall have a voltage rating of not less than 300 volts. Class 2 and Class 3 cables shall have a temperature rating of not less than 60°C (140°F).
Class 3 single conductors used as other wiring within buildings shall not be smaller than 18 AWG and shall be Type CL3. Conductor types described in 725.49(B) that are also listed as Type CL3 shall be permitted.
Informational Note: One method of defining resistant to the spread of fire is that the cables do not spread fire to the top of the tray in the UL flame exposure, vertical tray flame test in ANSI/UL 1685-2010, Standard for Safety for Vertical-Tray Fire-Propagation and Smoke-Release Test for Electrical and Optical-Fiber Cables. The smoke measurements in the test method are not applicable.
Another method of defining resistant to the spread of fire is for the damage (char length) not to exceed 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in.) when performing the CSA vertical tray flame test for cables in cable trays, as described in CSA C22.2 No. 0.3-M-2001, Test Methods for Electrical Wires and Cables.
Limited power (LP) cables shall be listed as suitable for carrying power and data circuits up to a specified current limit for each conductor without exceeding the temperature rating of the cable where the cable is installed in cable bundles in free air or installed within a raceway, cable tray, or cable routing assembly. The cables shall be marked with the suffix "-LP" with the ampere limit located immediately following the suffix LP, where the current limit is in amperes per conductor.
Informational Note: The ampere limit located immediately following the suffix LP is the ampacity of each conductor in a cable. For example, 1 ampere Class 2 limited-power cables would be marked CL2-LP (1.0A), CL2R-LP (1.0A), or CL2-LP (1.0A).
Cables shall be marked in accordance with 310.120(A)(2), (A)(3), (A)(4), (A)(5), and Table 725.179(J). Voltage ratings shall not be marked on the cables.
Informational Note: Voltage markings on cables may be misinterpreted to suggest that the cables may be suitable for Class 1 electric light and power applications.
Exception: Voltage markings shall be permitted where the cable has multiple listings and a voltage marking is required for one or more of the listings.
Temperature rating shall be marked on the jacket of Class 2 and Class 3 cables that have a temperature rating exceeding 60°C (140°F).
Table 725.179(J) Cable Marking
Cable Marking Type
CL3P Class 3 plenum cable
CL2P Class 2 plenum cable
CL3R Class 3 riser cable
CL2R Class 2 riser cable
PLTC Power-limited tray cable
CL3 Class 3 cable
CL2 Class 2 cable
CL3X Class 3 cable, limited use
CL2X Class 2 cable, limited use
Informational Note: Class 2 and Class 3 cable types are listed in descending order of fire resistance rating, and Class 3 cables are listed above Class 2 cables because Class 3 cables can substitute for Class 2 cables.
This article covers the use, installation, and construction specifications of instrumentation tray cable for application to instrumentation and control circuits operating at 150 volts or less and 5 amperes or less.
Type ITC Instrumentation Tray Cable. A factory assembly of two or more insulated conductors, with or without a grounding conductor(s), enclosed in a nonmetallic sheath.
In addition to the provisions of this article, installation of Type ITC cable shall comply with other applicable articles of this Code.
Type ITC cable shall be permitted to be used as follows in industrial establishments where the conditions of maintenance and supervision ensure that only qualified persons service the installation:
  1. In cable trays.
  2. In raceways.
  3. In hazardous locations as permitted in 501.10, 502.10, 503.10, 504.20, 504.30, 504.80, and 505.15.
  4. Enclosed in a smooth metallic sheath, continuous corrugated metallic sheath, or interlocking tape armor applied over the nonmetallic sheath in accordance with 727.6. The cable shall be supported and secured at intervals not exceeding 1.8 m (6 ft).
  5. Cable, without a metallic sheath or armor, that complies with the crush and impact requirements of Type MC cable and is identified for such use with the marking ITC-ER shall be permitted to be installed exposed. The cable shall be continuously supported and protected against physical damage using mechanical protection such as dedicated struts, angles, or channels. The cable shall be secured at intervals not exceeding 1.8 m (6 ft).
    Exception to (5): Where not subject to physical damage, Type ITC-ER shall be permitted to transition between cable trays and between cable trays and utilization equipment or devices for a distance not to exceed 1.8 m (6 ft) without continuous support. The cable shall be mechanically supported where exiting the cable tray to ensure that the minimum bending radius is not exceeded.
  6. As aerial cable on a messenger.
  7. Direct buried where identified for the use.
  8. Under raised floors in rooms containing industrial process control equipment and rack rooms where arranged to prevent damage to the cable.
  9. Under raised floors in information technology equipment rooms in accordance with 645.5(E)(5)(b).
Type ITC cable shall not be installed on circuits operating at more than 150 volts or more than 5 amperes.
Installation of Type ITC cable with other cables shall be subject to the stated provisions of the specific articles for the other cables. Where the governing articles do not contain stated provisions for installation with Type ITC cable, the installation of Type ITC cable with the other cables shall not be permitted.
Type ITC cable shall not be installed with power, lighting, Class 1 circuits that are not power limited, or non-power-limited circuits.
Exception No. 1: Where terminated within equipment or junction boxes and separations are maintained by insulating barriers or other means.
Exception No. 2: Where a metallic sheath or armor is applied over the nonmetallic sheath of the Type ITC cable.
The insulated conductors of Type ITC cable shall be in sizes 22 AWG through 12 AWG. The conductor material shall be copper or thermocouple alloy. Insulation on the conductors shall be rated for 300 volts. Shielding shall be permitted.
The cable shall be listed as being resistant to the spread of fire. The outer jacket shall be sunlight and moisture resistant.
Where a smooth metallic sheath, continuous corrugated metallic sheath, or interlocking tape armor is applied over the nonmetallic sheath, an overall nonmetallic jacket shall not be required.
Informational Note: One method of defining resistant to the spread of fire is that the cables do not spread fire to the top of the tray in the UL flame exposure, vertical tray flame test in ANSI/UL 1685-2010, Standard for Safety for Vertical-Tray Fire-Propagation and Smoke-Release Test for Electrical and Optical-Fiber Cables. The smoke measurements in the test method are not applicable.
Another method of defining resistant to the spread of fire is for the damage (char length) not to exceed 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in.) when performing the CSA vertical flame test — cables in cable trays, as described in CSA C22.2 No. 0.3-M-2001, Test Methods for Electrical Wires and Cables.
The cable shall be marked in accordance with 310.120(A)(2), (A)(3), (A)(4), and (A)(5). Voltage ratings shall not be marked on the cable.
The allowable ampacity of the conductors shall be 5 amperes, except for 22 AWG conductors, which shall have an allowable ampacity of 3 amperes.
Overcurrent protection shall not exceed 5 amperes for 20 AWG and larger conductors, and 3 amperes for 22 AWG conductors.
Bends in Type ITC cables shall be made so as not to damage the cable.
This article covers the installation of fire-resistive cables, fire-resistive conductors, and other system components used for survivability of critical circuits to ensure continued operation during a specified time under fire conditions as required in this Code.
Fire-Resistive Cable System. A cable and components used to ensure survivability of critical circuits for a specified time under fire conditions.
Wherever the requirements of other articles of this Code and Article 728 differ, the requirements of Article 728 shall apply.
Fire-resistive cables, fire-resistive conductors, and components shall be tested and listed as a complete system, shall be designated for use in a specific fire-rated system, and shall not be interchangeable between systems.
Informational Note No. 1: One method of defining the fire rating is by testing the system in accordance with UL 2196-2012, Standard for Tests of Fire Resistive Cables.
Informational Note No. 2: Fire-resistive cable systems are considered part of an electrical circuit protective system.
Fire-resistive cable systems installed outside the fire-rated rooms that they serve, such as the electrical room or the fire pump room, shall comply with the requirements of 728.5(A) through (H) and all other installation instructions provided in the listing.
The fire-resistive cable system shall be secured to the building structure in accordance with the listing and the manufacturer's installation instructions.
The fire-resistive system shall be supported in accordance with the listing and the manufacturer's installation instructions.
Informational Note: The supports are critical for survivability of the system. Each system has its specific support requirements.
Where the fire-resistive system is listed to be installed in a raceway, the raceways enclosing the system, any couplings, and connectors shall be listed as part of the fire-rated system.
The raceway fill for each system shall comply with the listing requirements for the system and shall not be greater than the fill permitted in Table 1, Chapter 9.
Informational Note: Raceway fill may not be the same for all listed fire-resistive systems.
Cable trays used as part of a fire-resistive system shall be listed as part of the fire-resistive system.
Boxes or enclosures used as part of a fire-resistive system shall be listed as part of the fire-resistive system and shall be secured to the building structure independently of the raceways or cables listed in the system.
Fire-resistive cable systems installed in a raceway shall only use pulling lubricants listed as part of the fire-resistive cable system.
Cables and conductors installed in vertical raceways shall be supported in accordance with the listing of the fire-resistive cable system.
Only splices that are part of the listing for the fire-resistive cable system shall be used. Splices shall have manufacturer's installation instructions.
Fire-resistive systems installed in a raceway requiring an equipment grounding conductor shall use the same fire-rated cable described in the system, unless alternative equipment grounding conductors are listed with the system. Any alternative equipment grounding conductor shall be marked with the system number. The system shall specify a permissible equipment grounding conductor. If not specified, the equipment grounding conductor shall be the same as the fire-rated cable described in the system.
In addition to the marking required in 310.120, system cables and conductors shall be surface marked with the suffix "FRR" (fire-resistive rating), along with the circuit integrity duration in hours, and with the system identifier.
This article applies to the installation and operation of energy management systems.
Informational Note: Performance provisions in other codes establish prescriptive requirements that may further restrict the requirements contained in this article.
For the purpose of this article, the following definitions shall apply.
Control. The predetermined process of connecting, disconnecting, increasing, or reducing electric power.
Energy Management System. A system consisting of any of the following: a monitor(s), communications equipment, a controller(s), a timer(s), or other device(s) that monitors and /or controls an electrical load or a power production or storage source.
Monitor. An electrical or electronic means to observe, record, or detect the operation or condition of the electric power system or apparatus.
An energy management system shall not override any control necessary to ensure continuity of an alternate power source for the following:
  1. Fire pumps
  2. Health care facilities
  3. Emergency systems
  4. Legally required standby systems
  5. Critical operations power systems
Energy management systems shall be permitted to monitor and control electrical loads unless restricted in accordance with 750.30(A) through (C).
An energy management system shall not override the load shedding controls put in place to ensure the minimum electrical capacity for the following:
  1. Fire pumps
  2. Emergency systems
  3. Legally required standby systems
  4. Critical operations power systems
An energy management system shall not be permitted to cause disconnection of power to the following:
  1. Elevators, escalators, moving walks, or stairway lift chairs
  2. Positive mechanical ventilation for hazardous (classified) locations
  3. Ventilation used to exhaust hazardous gas or reclassify an area
  4. Circuits supplying emergency lighting
  5. Essential electrical systems in health care facilities
Where an energy management system is employed to control electrical power through the use of a remote means, a directory identifying the controlled device(s) and circuit(s) shall be posted on the enclosure of the controller, disconnect, or branch-circuit overcurrent device.
Informational Note: The use of the term remote is intended to convey that a controller can be operated via another means or location through communications without a direct operator interface with the controlled device.
This article covers the installation of wiring and equipment of fire alarm systems, including all circuits controlled and powered by the fire alarm system.
Informational Note No. 1: Fire alarm systems include fire detection and alarm notification, guard's tour, sprinkler waterflow, and sprinkler supervisory systems. Circuits controlled and powered by the fire alarm system include circuits for the control of building systems safety functions, elevator capture, elevator shutdown, door release, smoke doors and damper control, fire doors and damper control and fan shutdown, but only where these circuits are powered by and controlled by the fire alarm system. For further information on the installation and monitoring for integrity requirements for fire alarm systems, refer to the NFPA 72 -2013, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code.
Informational Note No. 2: Class 1, 2, and 3 circuits are defined in Article 725.
Abandoned Fire Alarm Cable. Installed fire alarm cable that is not terminated at equipment other than a connector and not identified for future use with a tag.
Fire Alarm Circuit. The portion of the wiring system between the load side of the overcurrent device or the power-limited supply and the connected equipment of all circuits powered and controlled by the fire alarm system. Fire alarm circuits are classified as either non-power-limited or power-limited.
Fire Alarm Circuit Integrity (CI) Cable. Cable used in fire alarm systems to ensure continued operation of critical circuits during a specified time under fire conditions.
Non-Power-Limited Fire Alarm Circuit (NPLFA). A fire alarm circuit powered by a source that complies with 760.41 and 760.43.
Power-Limited Fire Alarm Circuit (PLFA). A fire alarm circuit powered by a source that complies with 760.121.
Circuits and equipment shall comply with 760.3(A) through (M). Only those sections of Article 300 referenced in this article shall apply to fire alarm systems.
Power-limited and non-power-limited fire alarm cables installed in ducts, plenums, or other spaces used for environmental air shall comply with 300.22.
Exception No. 1: Power-limited fire alarm cables selected in accordance with Table 760.154 and installed in accordance with 760.135(B) and 300.22(B), Exception shall be permitted to be installed in ducts specifically fabricated for environmental air.
Exception No. 2: Power-limited fire alarm cables selected in accordance with Table 760.154 and installed in accordance with 760.135(C) shall be permitted to be installed in other spaces used for environmental air (plenums).
Articles 500 through 516 and Article 517, Part IV, where installed in hazardous (classified) locations.
Sections 110.11, 300.5(B), 300.6, 300.9, and 310.10(G), where installed in corrosive, damp, or wet locations.
Article 725, where building control circuits (e.g., elevator capture, fan shutdown) are associated with the fire alarm system.
Where optical fiber cables are utilized for fire alarm circuits, the cables shall be installed in accordance with Article 770.
Vertical installations of circuit integrity (CI) cables and conductors installed in a raceway or conductors and cables of electrical circuit protective systems shall be installed in accordance with 300.19.
A bushing shall be installed where cables emerge from raceway used for mechanical support or protection in accordance with 300.15(C).
Power-limited fire alarm cables shall be permitted to be installed in plenum cable routing assemblies, riser cable routing assemblies, and general-purpose cable routing assemblies selected in accordance with Table 800.154(c), listed in accordance with the provisions of 800.182, and installed in accordance with 800.110(C) and 800.113.
Power-limited fire alarm cables shall be permitted to be installed in plenum communications raceways, riser communications raceways, and general-purpose communications raceways selected in accordance with Table 800.154(b), listed in accordance with the provisions of 800.182, and installed in accordance with 800.113 and 362.24 through 362.56, where the requirements applicable to electrical nonmetallic tubing apply.
Access to electrical equipment shall not be denied by an accumulation of conductors and cables that prevents removal of panels, including suspended ceiling panels.
Fire alarm circuits shall be installed in a neat workmanlike manner. Cables and conductors installed exposed on the surface of ceilings and sidewalls shall be supported by the building structure in such a manner that the cable will not be damaged by normal building use. Such cables shall be supported by straps, staples, cable ties, hangers, or similar fittings designed and installed so as not to damage the cable. The installation shall also comply with 300.4(D).
Circuit integrity (CI) cables shall be supported at a distance not exceeding 610 mm (24 in.). Where located within 2.1 m (7 ft) of the floor, as covered in 760.53(A)(1) and 760.130(1), as applicable, the cable shall be fastened in an approved manner at intervals of not more than 450 mm (18 in.). Cable supports and fasteners shall be steel.
The accessible portion of abandoned fire alarm cables shall be removed. Where cables are identified for future use with a tag, the tag shall be of sufficient durability to withstand the environment involved.
Fire alarm circuits shall be identified at terminal and junction locations in a manner that helps to prevent unintentional signals on fire alarm system circuit(s) during testing and servicing of other systems.
Non-power-limited fire alarm circuits and power-limited fire alarm circuits that extend beyond one building and run outdoors shall meet the installation requirements of Parts II, III, and IV of Article 800 and shall meet the installation requirements of Part I of Article 300.
Informational Note: An example of a protective device suitable to provide protection is a device tested to the requirements of ANSI/UL 497B, Protectors for Data Communications.
The power source of non-power-limited fire alarm circuits shall comply with Chapters 1 through 4, and the output voltage shall be not more than 600 volts, nominal. The fire alarm circuit disconnect shall be permitted to be secured in the "on" position.
The branch circuit supplying the fire alarm equipment(s) shall supply no other loads. The location of the branch-circuit overcurrent protective device shall be permanently identified at the fire alarm control unit. The circuit disconnecting means shall have red identification, shall be accessible only to qualified personnel, and shall be identified as "FIRE ALARM CIRCUIT." The red identification shall not damage the overcurrent protective devices or obscure the manufacturer's markings. This branch circuit shall not be supplied through ground-fault circuit interrupters or arc-fault circuit-interrupters.
Informational Note: See 210.8(A)(5), Exception, for receptacles in dwelling-unit unfinished basements that supply power for fire alarm systems.
Overcurrent protection for conductors 14 AWG and larger shall be provided in accordance with the conductor ampacity without applying the ampacity adjustment and correction factors of 310.15 to the ampacity calculation. Overcurrent protection shall not exceed 7 amperes for 18 AWG conductors and 10 amperes for 16 AWG conductors.
Exception: Where other articles of this Code permit or require other overcurrent protection.
Overcurrent devices shall be located at the point where the conductor to be protected receives its supply.
Exception No. 1: Where the overcurrent device protecting the larger conductor also protects the smaller conductor.
Exception No. 2: Transformer secondary conductors. Non-power-limited fire alarm circuit conductors supplied by the secondary of a single-phase transformer that has only a 2-wire (single-voltage) secondary shall be permitted to be protected by overcurrent protection provided by the primary (supply) side of the transformer, provided the protection is in accordance with 450.3 and does not exceed the value determined by multiplying the secondary conductor ampacity by the secondary-to-primary transformer voltage ratio. Transformer secondary conductors other than 2-wire shall not be considered to be protected by the primary overcurrent protection.
Exception No. 3: Electronic power source output conductors. Non-power-limited circuit conductors supplied by the output of a singlephase, listed electronic power source, other than a transformer, having only a 2-wire (single-voltage) output for connection to non-power-limited circuits shall be permitted to be protected by overcurrent protection provided on the input side of the electronic power source, provided this protection does not exceed the value determined by multiplying the non-power-limited circuit conductor ampacity by the output-to-input voltage ratio. Electronic power source outputs, other than 2-wire (single voltage), connected to non-power-limited circuits shall not be considered to be protected by overcurrent protection on the input of the electronic power source.
Informational Note: A single-phase, listed electronic power supply whose output supplies a 2-wire (single-voltage) circuit is an example of a non-power-limited power source that meets the requirements of 760.41.
Installation of non-power-limited fire alarm circuits shall be in accordance with 110.3(B), 300.7, 300.11, 300.15, 300.17, 300.19(B), and other appropriate articles of Chapter 3.
Exception No. 1: As provided in 760.48 through 760.53.
Exception No. 2: Where other articles of this Code require other methods.
Class 1 and non-power-limited fire alarm circuits shall be permitted to occupy the same cable, enclosure, or raceway without regard to whether the individual circuits are alternating current or direct current, provided all conductors are insulated for the maximum voltage of any conductor in the enclosure or raceway.
Power-supply and fire alarm circuit conductors shall be permitted in the same cable, enclosure, or raceway only where connected to the same equipment.
Only copper conductors shall be permitted to be used for fire alarm systems. Size 18 AWG and 16 AWG conductors shall be permitted to be used, provided they supply loads that do not exceed the ampacities given in Table 402.5 and are installed in a raceway, an approved enclosure, or a listed cable. Conductors larger than 16 AWG shall not supply loads greater than the ampacities given in 310.15, as applicable.
Insulation on conductors shall be rated for the system voltage and not less than 600 volts. Conductors larger than 16 AWG shall comply with Article 310. Conductors 18 AWG and 16 AWG shall be Type KF-2, KFF-2, PAFF, PTFF, PF, PFF, PGF, PGFF, RFH-2, RFHH-2, RFHH-3, SF-2, SFF-2, TF, TFF, TFN, TFFN, ZF, or ZFF. Conductors with other types and thickness of insulation shall be permitted if listed for non-power-limited fire alarm circuit use.
Informational Note: For application provisions, see Table 402.3.
Conductors shall be solid or stranded copper.
Exception to (B) and (C): Wire Types PAF and PTF shall be permitted only for high-temperature applications between 90°C (194°F) and 250°C (482°F).
Where only non-power-limited fire alarm circuit and Class 1 circuit conductors are in a raceway, the number of conductors shall be determined in accordance with 300.17. The ampacity adjustment factors given in 310.15(B)(3)(a) shall apply if such conductors carry continuous load in excess of 10 percent of the ampacity of each conductor.