2020 NEC - Surge Protection at the Panel Now Required

Hm, I was talking up whole house surge protection with a sparky and looked at the code. Turns out:

NEW in 2020 NEC 230.67 Surge Protection.
(A) Surge-Protective Device. All services supplying dwelling units shall be provided with a surge-protective device (SPD).
(B) Location. The SPD shall be an integral part of the service equipment or shall be located immediately adjacent thereto.
Exception: The SPD shall not be required to be located in the service equipment as required in (B) if located at each next level distribution equipment downstream toward the load.

(C) Type. The SPD shall be a Type 1 or Type 2 SPD.
(D) Replacement. Where service equipment is replaced, all of the requirements of this section shall apply.

See also:

So how will you be noting this in your inspection reports? Since they may be required if the jurisdiction has adopted the 2020 NEC will you be recommending them? What about for older installations?


What came first, the chicken or the egg?

For new work, after the 2020 NEC is adopted, I’d try to remember to report on it.

Entirely separately I do often recommend voluntary whole house surge protection for existing. It’s often very inexpensive and easy to install, and seems more likely to work when needed compared to some cheap power strip which might have fake surge protection.

In my area with so many 2 wire homes in otherwise good condition, installing a panel mount gives a level of surge protection not even possible with an interior power strip.

And never mind it’s better to dull a surge event outside rather than inside.

For context I’ve worked on and installed lightning protection for mountaintop radio systems, and seen first hand the results of induced surges due to not-all-that-near lightning strikes.

What if anything do you recommend regarding surge protection?

I think that recommending it may be a good idea but IMO lack of a surge protector is not a defect.


Note I never said it was a defect.
It would only be a defect in a new install of a 2020 NEC job.

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