ICC user note:
About this chapter: Chapter 36 is the first of the logical order of chapters that mimics the normal sequence of dwelling construction. The first step in dwelling wiring is typically the sizing, design and installation of the service that is the source of power for the building. This chapter addresses the sizing of services, service conductor sizing and installation, system grounding and bonding, overcurrent protection, disconnecting means and the grounding electrode system.
This chapter requires services to be properly sized to serve the load. This is intended to prevent overloading and to provide the utility expected by the occupants. This chapter is also intended to protect occupants and the building from fire and protect the occupants from electrical shock hazards associated with service conductors and equipment.
Conductors other than service conductors shall not be installed in the same service raceway or service cable in which the service conductors are installed. (230.7)
- Grounding electrode conductors or supply side bonding jumpers or conductors shall be permitted within service raceways.
- Load management control conductors having overcurrent protection shall be permitted within service raceways.
- Where installed under not less than 2 inches (51 mm) of concrete beneath a building or other structure,
- Where installed within a building or other structure in a raceway that is encased in concrete or brick not less than 2 inches thick, or
- Where installed in conduit and under not less than 18 inches (457 mm) of earth beneath a building or other structure.
The service disconnecting means shall consist of not more than six switches or six sets of circuit breakers mounted in a single enclosure or in a group of separate enclosures. [230.71(A)]
The minimum load for ungrounded service conductors and service devices that serve 100 percent of the dwelling unit load shall be computed in accordance with Table E3602.2. Ungrounded service conductors and service devices that serve less than 100 percent of the dwelling unit load shall be computed as required for feeders in accordance with Chapter 37. [220.82(A)]
MINIMUM SERVICE LOAD CALCULATION [220.82(B) & (C)]
|LOADS AND PROCEDURE|
|3 volt-amperes per square foot of floor area for general lighting and general use receptacle outlets.|
|1,500 volt-amperes multiplied by total number of 20-ampere-rated small appliance and laundry circuits.|
|The nameplate volt-ampere rating of all fastened-in-place, permanently connected or dedicated circuit-supplied appliances such as ranges, ovens, cooking units, clothes dryers not connected to the laundry branch circuit and water heaters.|
|Apply the following demand factors to the above subtotal:|
|The minimum subtotal for the loads above shall be 100 percent of the first 10,000 volt-amperes of the sum of the above loads plus 40 percent of any portion of the sum that is in excess of 10,000 volt-amperes.|
|Plus the largest of the following:|
|One-hundred percent of the nameplate rating(s) of the air-conditioning and cooling equipment.|
|One hundred percent of the nameplate rating(s) of the heat pump where a heat pump is used without any supplemental electric heating.|
|One-hundred percent of the nameplate rating of the electric thermal storage and other heating systems where the usual load is expected to be continuous at the full nameplate value. Systems qualifying under this selection shall not be figured under any other category in this table.|
|One-hundred percent of nameplate rating of the heat pump compressor and sixty-five percent of the supplemental electric heating load for central electric space-heating systems. If the heat pump compressor is prevented from operating at the same time as the supplementary heat, the compressor load does not need to be added to the supplementary heat load for the total central electric space-heating load.|
|Sixty-five percent of nameplate rating(s) of electric space-heating units if less than four separately controlled units.|
|Forty percent of nameplate rating(s) of electric space-heating units of four or more separately controlled units.|
|The minimum total load in amperes shall be the volt-ampere sum calculated above divided by 240 volts.|
Overload protection shall be provided by an overcurrent device installed in series with each ungrounded service conductor. The overcurrent device shall have a rating or setting not higher than the allowable service or feeder rating specified in Section E3603.1. A set of fuses shall be considered to be all of the fuses required to protect all of the ungrounded conductors of a circuit. Single pole circuit breakers, grouped in accordance with Section E3601.7, shall be considered as one protective device. [230.90(A)]
Exception: Two to six circuit breakers or sets of fuses shall be permitted as the overcurrent device to provide the overload protection. The sum of the ratings of the circuit breakers or fuses shall be permitted to exceed the ampacity of the service conductors, provided that the calculated load does not exceed the ampacity of the service conductors. [230.90(A) Exception No. 3]
The grounding electrode conductors shall be sized based on the size of the service entrance conductors as required in Table E3603.4. (250.66)
GROUNDING ELECTRODE CONDUCTOR SIZEa, b, c, d, e, f
|SIZE OF LARGEST UNGROUNDED |
OR EQUIVALENT AREA FOR PARALLEL
|SIZE OF GROUNDING |
|Copper||Aluminum or |
|Copper||Aluminum or |
|2 or smaller||1/0 or smaller||8||6|
|1 or 1/0||2/0 or 3/0||6||4|
|2/0 or 3/0||4/0 or 250||4||2|
- If multiple sets of service-entrance conductors connect directly to a service drop, set of overhead service conductors, set of underground service conductors, or service lateral, the equivalent size of the largest service-entrance conductor shall be determined by the largest sum of the areas of the corresponding conductors of each set. (Table 250.66)
- Where there are no service-entrance conductors, the grounding electrode conductor size shall be determined by the equivalent size of the largest service-entrance conductor required for the load to be served. (Table 250.66)
- Where protected by a ferrous metal raceway, grounding electrode conductors shall be electrically bonded to the ferrous metal raceway at both ends. [250.64(E)(1)]
- An 8 AWG grounding electrode conductor shall be protected with rigid metal conduit, intermediate metal conduit, rigid polyvinyl chloride (Type PVC) nonmetallic conduit, rigid thermosetting resin (Type RTRC) nonmetallic conduit, electrical metallic tubing or cable armor. [250.64(B)]
- Where not protected, 6 AWG grounding electrode conductor shall closely follow a structural surface for physical protection. The supports shall be spaced not more than 24 inches on center and shall be within 12 inches of any enclosure or termination. [250.64(B)]
- Where the grounding electrode conductor or bonding jumper connected to a single or multiple rod, pipe, or plate electrode(s) or any combination thereof, as described in Section E3608.3, does not extend on to other types of electrodes that require a larger size of conductor, the grounding electrode conductor shall not be required to be larger than 6 AWG copper or 4 AWG aluminum. Where the grounding electrode conductor or bonding jumper connected to a single or multiple concrete-encased electrode(s), as described in Section E3608.1.2, does not extend on to other types of electrodes that require a larger size of conductor, the grounding electrode conductor shall not be required to be larger than 4 AWG copper conductor. [250.66(A) and (B)]
Open conductors and multiconductor cables without an overall outer jacket shall have a clearance of not less than 3 feet (914 mm) from the sides of doors, porches, decks, stairs, ladders, fire escapes and balconies, and from the sides and bottom of windows that open. See Figure E3604.1. [230.9(A)]
- Conductors above a roof surface subject to pedestrian or vehicular traffic shall have a vertical clearance from the roof surface in accordance with Section E3604.2.2. [230.24(A) Exception No. 1]
- Where the roof has a slope of 4 inches (102 mm) in 12 inches (305 mm), or greater, the minimum clearance shall be 3 feet (914 mm). [230.24(A) Exception No. 2]
- The minimum clearance above only the overhanging portion of the roof shall not be less than 18 inches (457 mm) where not more than 6 feet (1829 mm) of overhead service conductor length passes over 4 feet (1219 mm) or less of roof surface measured horizontally and such conductors are terminated at a through-the-roof raceway or approved support. [230.24(A) Exception No. 3]
- The requirement for maintaining the vertical clearance for a distance of 3 feet (914 mm) from the edge of the roof shall not apply to the final conductor span where the service drop is attached to the side of a building. [230.24(A) Exception No. 4]
- Where the voltage between conductors does not exceed 300 and the roof area is guarded or isolated, a reduction in clearance to 3 feet (914 mm) shall be permitted. [230.24(A) Exception No. 5]
Overhead service conductors shall have the following minimum clearances from final grade:
- For conductors supported on and cabled together with a grounded bare messenger wire, the minimum vertical clearance shall be 10 feet (3048 mm) at the electric service entrance to buildings, at the lowest point of the drip loop of the building electric entrance, and above areas or sidewalks accessed by pedestrians only. Such clearance shall be measured from final grade or other accessible surfaces.
- Twelve feet (3658 mm)—over residential property and driveways.
- Eighteen feet (5486 mm)—over public streets, alleys, roads or parking areas subject to truck traffic. [(230.24(B)(1), (2), and (4)]
Service-entrance conductors entering or on the exterior of buildings or other structures shall be insulated in accordance with Section E3406.5. (230.41)
- 1.1. In a raceway or part of a service cable assembly,
- 1.2. Directly buried in soil of suitable condition, or
- 1.3. Part of a cable assembly listed for direct burial without regard to soil conditions.
- An aluminum or copper-clad aluminum grounded conductor shall not be required to be insulated where part of a cable or where identified for direct burial or utilization in underground raceways. (230.41 Exception)
Insulated conductors and cables used where exposed to direct rays of the sun shall comply with one of the following:
- The conductors and cables shall be listed, or listed and marked, as being sunlight resistant.
- The conductors and cables are covered with insulating material, such as tape or sleeving, that is listed, or listed and marked, as being sunlight resistant. [310.10(D)]
Service heads on raceways or service-entrance cables, and goosenecks in service-entrance cables, shall be located above the point of attachment of the service-drop or overhead service conductors to the building or other structure. [230.54(C)]
Exception: Where it is impracticable to locate the service head or gooseneck above the point of attachment, the service head or gooseneck location shall be not more than 24 inches (610 mm) from the point of attachment. [230.54(C) Exception]
Service equipment shall be marked to identify it as being suitable for use as service equipment. Service equipment shall be listed or field labeled. Individual meter socket enclosures shall not be considered as service equipment but shall be listed and rated for the voltage and ampacity of the service. (230.66)
Exception: Meter sockets supplied by and under the exclusive control of an electric utility shall not be required to be listed. (230.66 Exception)
Buildings or structures supplied by feeder(s) or branch circuit(s) shall have a grounding electrode or grounding electrode system installed in accordance with Section E3608. The grounding electrode conductor(s) shall be connected in a manner specified in Section E3607.3.1 or, for existing premises wiring systems only, Section E3607.3.2. Where there is no existing grounding electrode, the grounding electrode(s) required in Section E3608 shall be installed. [250.32(A)]
Exception: A grounding electrode shall not be required where only one branch circuit, including a multiwire branch circuit, supplies the building or structure and the branch circuit includes an equipment grounding conductor for grounding the noncurrent-carrying parts of all equipment. For the purposes of this section, a multiwire branch circuit shall be considered as a single branch circuit. [250.32(A) Exception]
For installations made in compliance with previous editions of this code that permitted such connection and where an equipment grounding conductor is not run with the supply conductors to the building or structure, there are no continuous metallic paths bonded to the grounding system in both buildings or structures involved, and ground-fault protection of equipment has not been installed on the supply side of the feeder(s), the grounded conductor run with the supply to the buildings or structure shall be connected to the building or structure disconnecting means and to the grounding electrode(s) and shall be used for grounding or bonding of equipment, structures, or frames required to be grounded or bonded. Where used for grounding in accordance with this provision, the grounded conductor shall be not smaller than the larger of:
All electrodes specified in Sections E3608.1.1, E3608.1.2, E3608.1.3, E3608.1.4 E3608.1.5 and E3608.1.6 that are present at each building or structure served shall be bonded together to form the grounding electrode system. Where none of these electrodes are present, one or more of the electrodes specified in Sections E3608.1.3, E3608.1.4, E3608.1.5 and E3608.1.6 shall be installed and used. (250.50)
Exception: Concrete-encased electrodes of existing buildings or structures shall not be required to be part of the grounding electrode system where the steel reinforcing bars or rods are not accessible for use without disturbing the concrete. (250.50 Exception)
Continuity of the grounding path or the bonding connection to interior piping shall not rely on water meters, filtering devices and similar equipment. A metal underground water pipe shall be supplemented by an additional electrode of a type specified in Sections E3608.1.2 through E3608.1.6. The supplemental electrode shall be bonded to the grounding electrode conductor, the grounded service-entrance conductor, a nonflexible grounded service raceway, any grounded service enclosure or to the equipment grounding conductor provided in accordance with Section E3607.3.1. Where the supplemental electrode is a rod, pipe or plate electrode in accordance with Section E3608.1.4 or E3608.1.5, it shall comply with Section E3608.4.
Where the supplemental electrode is a rod, pipe or plate electrode in accordance with Section E3608.1.4 or E3608.1.5, that portion of the bonding jumper that is the sole connection to the supplemental grounding electrode shall not be required to be larger than 6 AWG copper or 4 AWG aluminum wire. [250.53(D) and (E)]
- One or more bare or zinc-galvanized or other electrically conductive coated steel reinforcing bars or rods not less than 1/2 inch (13 mm) in diameter, installed in one continuous 20-foot (6096 mm) length, or if in multiple pieces connected together by the usual steel tie wires, exothermic welding, welding, or other effective means to create a 20-foot (6096 mm) or greater length. Where the steel reinforcing bars or rods are not less than 1/2 inch diameter, it shall be permitted to turn the reinforcing bars or rods up into the building cavity for connection to the grounding electrode conductor. The reinforcing bars or rods shall be isolated and protected from contact with the soil. The connection to the reinforcing bars or rods shall not be required to be accessible if listed clamps suitable for direct burial or exothermic welds are utilized.
- A bare copper conductor not smaller than 4 AWG.
Where multiple concrete-encased electrodes are present at a building or structure, only one shall be required to be bonded into the grounding electrode system. [250.52(A)(3)]
Rod and pipe electrodes not less than 8 feet (2438 mm) in length and consisting of the following materials shall be considered as a grounding electrode:
- Grounding electrodes of pipe or conduit shall not be smaller than trade size 3/4 (metric designator 21) and, where of iron or steel, shall have the outer surface galvanized or otherwise metal-coated for corrosion protection.
- Rod-type grounding electrodes of stainless steel and copper or zinc-coated steel shall be at least 5/8 inch (15.9 mm) in diameter unless listed. [250.52(A)(5)]
A single rod, pipe, or plate electrode shall be supplemented by an additional electrode of a type specified in Sections E3608.1.2 through E3608.1.6. The supplemental electrode shall be bonded to one of the following:
- A rod, pipe, or plate electrode.
- A grounding electrode conductor.
- A grounded service-entrance conductor.
- A nonflexible grounded service raceway.
- A grounded service enclosure.
Where multiple rod, pipe, or plate electrodes are installed to meet the requirements of this section, they shall not be less than 6 feet (1829 mm) apart. [250.53(A)(2) and (A)(3)]
Exception: Where a single rod, pipe, or plate grounding electrode has a resistance to earth of 25 ohms or less, the supplemental electrode shall not be required. [250.53(A)(2) Exception]
The noncurrent-carrying metal parts of the following equipment shall be effectively bonded together:
- Raceways or service cable armor or sheath that enclose, contain, or support service conductors.
- Service enclosures containing service conductors, including meter fittings, and boxes, interposed in the service raceway or armor. [250.92(A)]
An intersystem bonding termination (IBT) for connecting intersystem bonding conductors shall be provided external to enclosures at the service equipment or metering equipment enclosure and at the disconnecting means for any additional buildings or structures. An IBT shall comply with all of the following:
- It shall be accessible for connection and inspection.
- It shall consist of a set of terminals with the capacity for connection of not less than three intersystem bonding conductors.
- It shall not interfere with opening of the enclosure for a service, building or structure disconnecting means, or metering equipment.
- Where located at the service equipment, it shall be securely mounted and electrically connected to an enclosure for the service equipment, to the meter enclosure, or to an exposed nonflexible metallic service raceway, or shall be mounted at one of these enclosures and connected to the enclosure or to the grounding electrode conductor with a 6 AWG or larger copper conductor.
- Where located at the disconnecting means for a building or structure, it shall be securely mounted and electrically connected to the metallic enclosure for the building or structure disconnecting means, or shall be mounted at the disconnecting means and connected to the metallic enclosure or to the grounding electrode conductor with a 6 AWG or larger copper conductor.
- It shall be listed as grounding and bonding equipment. [250.94(A)]
Exception: Means for connecting intersystem bonding conductors are not required where communications systems are not likely to be used.
An aluminum or copper busbar not less than 1/4 inch thick by 2 inches wide (6.4 mm by 51 mm) and of sufficient length to accommodate not fewer than three terminations for communications systems in addition to other connections shall be provided. The busbar shall be securely fastened and shall be installed in an accessible location. Connections shall be made by a listed connector. Where aluminum busbars are used, the installation shall comply with Section E3610.2.
Exception: Means for connecting intersystem bonding conductors are not required where communications systems are not likely to be used. [250.94(B)]
The grounding electrode conductor shall be installed in one continuous length without splices or joints and shall run to any convenient grounding electrode available in the grounding electrode system where the other electrode(s), if any, are connected by bonding jumpers in accordance with Section E3608.2, or to one or more grounding electrode(s) individually. The grounding electrode conductor shall be sized for the largest grounding electrode conductor required among all of the electrodes connected to it. [250.64(C)]
Exception: Splicing of the grounding electrode conductor by irreversible compression-type connectors listed as grounding and bonding equipment or by the exothermic welding process shall not be prohibited. [250.64(C)(1)]
Where exposed, a grounding electrode conductor or its enclosure shall be securely fastened to the surface on which it is carried. Grounding electrode conductors shall be permitted to be installed on or through framing members. A 6 AWG or larger copper or aluminum grounding electrode conductor not exposed to physical damage shall be permitted to be run along the surface of the building construction without metal covering or protection. A 6 AWG or larger copper or aluminum grounding electrode exposed to physical damage shall be in rigid metal conduit, intermediate metal conduit, rigid polyvinyl chloride (PVC), nonmetallic conduit, reinforced thermosetting resin (RTRC-XW) nonmetallic conduit, electrical metallic tubing or cable armor. Grounding electrode conductors smaller than 6 AWG shall be in rigid metal conduit, intermediate metal conduit, rigid polyvinyl chloride (PVC) nonmetallic conduit, reinforced thermoseting resin (RTRC-XW) nonmetallic conduit, electrical metallic tubing or cable armor. Grounding electrode conductors and grounding electrode bonding jumpers in contact with the earth shall not be required to comply with Section E3803, but shall be buried or otherwise protected if subject to physical damage. [250.64(B)]
Bare aluminum or copper-clad aluminum grounding electrode conductors shall not be used where in direct contact with masonry or the earth or where subject to corrosive conditions. Where used outside, aluminum or copper-clad aluminum grounding electrode conductors shall not be installed within 18 inches (457 mm) of the earth. [250.64(A)]
Ferrous metal raceways and enclosures for grounding electrode conductors shall be electrically continuous from the point of attachment to cabinets or equipment to the grounding electrode, and shall be securely fastened to the ground clamp or fitting. Ferrous metal raceways and enclosures shall be bonded at each end of the raceway or enclosure to the grounding electrode or to the grounding electrode conductor to create an electrically parallel path. Nonferrous metal raceways and enclosures shall not be required to be electrically continuous. Bonding methods in compliance with Section E3609.4 for installations at service equipment locations and with Sections E3609.4.2 through E3609.4.4 for other than service equipment locations shall apply at each end and to all intervening ferrous raceways, boxes, and enclosures between the cabinets or equipment and the grounding electrode. The bonding jumper for a grounding electrode conductor raceway shall be the same size or larger than the required enclosed grounding electrode conductor.
Where a raceway is used as protection for a grounding conductor, the installation shall comply with the requirements of Chapter 38. [250.64(E)(1), (2), (3), (4)]
An equipment grounding conductor shall not be used as a grounding electrode conductor. (250.121)
Exception: A wire-type equipment grounding conductor shall be permitted to serve as both an equipment grounding conductor and a grounding electrode conductor where installed in accordance with the applicable requirements for both the equipment grounding conductor and the grounding electrode conductor in Chapters 36 and 39. Where used as a grounding electrode conductor, the wire-type equipment grounding conductor shall be installed and arranged in a manner that will prevent objectionable current. [250.121 Exception, 250.6(A)]
The grounding or bonding conductor shall be connected to the grounding electrode by exothermic welding, listed lugs, listed pressure connectors, listed clamps or other listed means. Connections depending on solder shall not be used. Ground clamps shall be listed for the materials of the grounding electrode and the grounding electrode conductor and, where used on pipe, rod or other buried electrodes, shall also be listed for direct soil burial or concrete encasement. Not more than one conductor shall be connected to the grounding electrode by a single clamp or fitting unless the clamp or fitting is listed for multiple conductors. One of the methods indicated in the following items shall be used:
- A pipe fitting, pipe plug or other approved device screwed into a pipe or pipe fitting.
- A listed bolted clamp of cast bronze or brass, or plain or malleable iron.
- For indoor communications purposes only, a listed sheet metal strap-type ground clamp having a rigid metal base that seats on the electrode and having a strap of such material and dimensions that it is not likely to stretch during or after installation.
- Other equally substantial approved means. (250.70)
Where grounding electrode conductors and bonding jumpers are connected to interior metal water piping as a means to extend the grounding electrode conductor connection to an electrode(s), such piping shall be located not more than 5 feet (1524 mm) from the point of entry into the building.
Where interior metal water piping is used as a conductor to interconnect electrodes that are part of the grounding electrode system, such piping shall be located not more than 5 feet (1524 mm) from the point of entry into the building. [250.68(C)(1)]