National Electrical Installation Standards

Standards as High as Your Own

Tuesday, November 22, 2022


Hello Code Question of the Day, I have been hearing rumors regarding a change in the 2023 NEC® that will require dwelling units to have an exterior emergency service disconnect. By chance can you shed some light on the validity of the rumor, and if it is true, can you please explain the new requirement? Thank You, Joseph Radmer


Joseph, thank you for your question. The rumors are true, kind of. This requirement first appeared in the 2020 edition of the NEC®, at that time the NEW  Section 230.85 Emergency Disconnects. The 2023 edition included a revised, and enhanced Section 230.85. This newish code Section requires one and two-family dwellings to have an exterior emergency disconnect. This emergency disconnect can be the service disconnect, or it can be an additional, listed device, installed ahead of the service disconnect. Whichever is used, it shall be marked as required in Section(s) 230.85(E) and 110.21(B). Section 230.85(C) requires this emergency disconnect to be installed when service equipment is being replaced as well.  

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CHARLIE TROUT: Charles M. Trout, better known as Charlie, was a nationally known NEC® expert and author. He served on several NEC® technical committees and is past chairman of CMP-12. In 2006 Charlie was awarded the prestigious Coggeshall Award for outstanding contributions to the electrical contracting industry, codes and standards development, and technical training. Even though Charlie passed away in October of 2015, his work continues in spirit. NECA continues to maintain this question forum for its many subscribers in memory and recognition of all his significant contributions to making the NEC what it is today.

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IMPORTANT NOTICE: Unless the question requests a response based on a specific edition, all answers are based on the latest edition of NFPA 70® National Electrical Code®.

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