2008 NEC AFCI requirements

210.12(B)Dwelling Units. (Thanks to Joe Tedesco for this info)

All 120-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere branch circuits supplying outlets installed in dwelling unit family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sun rooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways , or similar rooms or areas shall be protected by a listed arc-fault circuit interrupter, combination-type installed to provide protection of the branch circuit.

I see that you are from NY. NY will not be following the 2008 version of the NEC for some years to come. In August of 2007, we will most likely be going to the new State Code.

This new State Code as it stands (a slight chance this may change) is complex to follow in Residential wiring.

As it stands for adoption of August 2007:
Residential buildings with a service of 400 amps or less will follow the Residential Code of NYS. Any items not covered in Chapters 32-43 will be referencing the 2002 NEC to “fill in those gaps”.
Remember that the electrician and the inspector will have to be aware of when to apply the RBCNYS and when to reference the NEC version 2002 or 2005.

Residential buildings with a service larger than 400 amps will reference the 2005 NEC in its entirety. Also Multifamily buildings (3 or more family) will reference the 2005 NEC in its entirety.

All other building types (occupancies) will reference the 2005 NEC in its entirety.

I say mass confusion will begin in a few months…leading to most installers using the 2005 NEC as there installation reference.


Florida is talking about skipping the 2008 too.
Personally I think the whole NEC process should be stretched out to 6-10 years between cycles. It is stupid to come out with new codes faster than AHJs can evaluate and adopt them. It certainly sells a lot of books and seminars and makes NFPA rich.

I am on the electrical board of my local village. We casually discussed this last meeting.
Like you said, it’s going to be fun (read: chaos) for quite a while after August! IF it even happens.

I don’t even think I want to waste my time buying a 2008 Handbook & CD.

John, this topic is currently being discussed on several electrical boards. It is a contentious topic to say the least. Many different opinions and standings.

How about the “tamper resistant receptacle” requirement. Why aren’t we hearing about that? I bet that one causes more problems than the AFCI once people really read it. So long 43 cent receptacle. I doubt the quality will actually be any better but they will still cost more than heavy duty commercial.

In CA, we haven’t even adopted the 2005 NEC yet. We’re still working with the '02.

Jeff, is that the whole state of Ca? Here in AZ each municipality adopts separately, one township may be on one code cycle, and a few miles away could be on one or two cycles different.

No confusion at all.

New York Code in 2008 will be Sub Standard to the National Code?

Good to know…

Deference to Electrical Code is cost related only OR is there some other issue?

The “National” code is NOT national unless it is adopted.
From what I have seen a majority of the country has not yet even adopted the 2005 NEC in it’s entirety.
So your statement applies to WAY more places than just NYS.

In Tucson we have normally adopted the previous code just as the newest code comes out, in other words we were always 3 years behind. Now we have a new program and the inspectors have told me we will be more pro active in code adoption, adopting the newer ones shortly after they come out. We also have local amendments which are available online.

I know there are at least a couple of you here in Tucson, thought you might like to know.

If the majority has not adpted the 2005 Code as you allege, what weight should be placed upon the 2008 NEC or even the NEC in general?

Is the NEC merely Representative of the Minimum Code or the Electrical Code that no one follows?


The NEC is a model code, no different than the dozens and dozens of model codes that have existed for many decades, such as the “U” codes, all the “I” codes, tons of ANSI stuff, along with the NEC and the other NFPA code books. It is up to the state or local jurisdiction to adopt it in whole or in part, and with or without amendments, in order for any of them to have the force of law. Lacking that, it’s just a document that many regard as a set of minimum safety standards related to electrical wiring. The existence of a code or standard does not automatically mean that it applies to the jurisdiction in which a certain installation is made. Get in your car, and drive an hour in any direction, and you’re likely to pass through jurisdictions with 50 different sets of codes that have the force of law. I would add that the NEC seems to be pretty universal, with some amendments in some areas, but the exact revision year that is in force is what’s always different from area to area. Some notable areas highly modify the NEC or make their own electrical code. Places like Chicago, New York City, and San Francisco are such notable places.


If the NEC is a Minimum standard, how is it that municipalities may elect to subscribe to a “Less than Minimum Standard” Standard.

Not looking to enter into a Code debate…

… but what weight should be placed upon the “NEC Standard” if no one subscribes to their minimum standard recommendations or believes their minimum to be excessive?


As you suggest, the expectation and acceptable standard of most of the Country is Less than Minimum.

Why is that?

Gutless lawmakers? Public pressure? Lawmakers that desire to preserve individual civil liberties? Log cabin rule traditions?

Is the only baseline document we all have to talk about on a forum that crosses all state lines. You and I are both in PA, and our state just switched to the '05 NEC this past January. PA has adopted the NEC in part. We haven’t adopted article 80, which is the administration portion. In fact, almost nobody adopts article 80. The states prefer their own code administration protocol. Just because the document has not had uniform adoption is no reason to discount it. We can still talk about it as a base text, and it should be up the individual to do their own due diligence to see what parts may or may not apply to them in the jurisdiction in which they operate. I suppose the code matters generally have no real receptive audience on home inspector websites, but they do form the foundation of interesting and informational exchanges. What’s safe or not is somewhat more visceral, and what’s code or not is simply interesting conversation.

Wisconsin accepted the 2005 NEC with an amendmant to strike the requirement for AFCIs in bedrooms circuits.
I wonder what they will do with the 2008 NEC?

Wisconson struck that language out of the revision before also. The general consensus among electricians is that they won’t be able to hold out in '08, but it probably won’t be whole-house, as the '08 will state. They’ll probably just do bedrooms, like many of us do now. There’s a certain wisdom in being a few revisions behind.