National Electrical Installation Standards

Standards as High as Your Own

Wednesday, November 30, 2022


Hello CQD, I have a question on 2017 NEC, Section 210.12(A) as it pertains to an independent living center. We are working on a major renovation of an independent living center, which has resident units that do not include permanent provisions for cooking in the units. I've argued that AFCI protection is not required in these resident units, since they do not meet the NEC definition of a dwelling unit, in that, they don't have permanent provisions for cooking. However, the local inspector disagrees. He feels that the entire independent living floor is the living unit. And, since it contains a central dining room for all residents to eat in, that meets the definition of a dwelling unit having permanent cooking provisions. I still disagree, since the residents are served food in the dining room, they don't have to cook it. While I know I'll have to abide by the AHJ for this project, I'd be curious to get your interpretation on the requirement for AFCI protection in this type of facility, since we have other similar project in other areas. Thank you, Paul Gruettner


Hello Paul, thank you for your question. The 2017 Edition of the NEC® does not specifically address an Independent Living Center in Section 210.12. However, Section 210.12(C) does require AFCI protection for Guest Rooms and Guest Suites. If the Independent Living Center occupancy accommodations meet the definition of a Guest Room, or Guest Suite, then the AFCI requirements would apply.


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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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