Electrical Testing
Tip of the Week: The Basics of Chapter 6 in NFPA 70 (NEC)

Tip of the Week: The Basics of Chapter 6 in NFPA 70 (NEC)

This chapter of the National Electrical Code spells out requirements for special equipment.

The first four chapters of the NEC apply to all installations, except as modified by Chapters 5, 6, 7, and 8. Chapter 5 applies to Special Occupancies, and within any occupancy you may find “special equipment.”

Chapter 6 provides the requirements for Special Equipment. It is possible to have “special equipment” within a “special occupancy,” in which case an article or articles from both Chapters 5 and 6 will apply. For example, you could have an electric hoist [Art. 610] in an aircraft hanger [Art. 513]. And if the equipment is part of a system that’s designated a Special Conditions installation, something from Chapter 7 will apply.

So what are the criteria for equipment to be considered “special equipment?” These are really handled on a case-by-case basis. But generally, if installation errors can render the equipment itself especially dangerous, Chapter 6 probably has an Article about that equipment.

As with Chapter 5, these are grouped thematically. However, the following belong to no group: electric welders, audio equipment, pipe organs, x-ray equipment, induction and dielectric equipment, integrated electrical systems, and fire pumps.

  • Group 1 [Prefab systems]. Electric signs and outline lighting, manufactured wiring systems, and office furnishings.
  • Group 2 [Lifting systems]. Cranes and hoists, elevators (and dumbwaiters, escalators, moving walks, etc.).
  • Group 3 [Vehicle support]. EVs and truck bays (if electrified).
  • Group 4 [Data support]. IT equipment, modular data centers, sensitive electronic equipment.
  • Group 5 [Industrial]. Electrolytic cells, electroplating, industrial machinery.
  • Group 6 [Water]. Irrigation machines, pools (and spas, tubs, fountains, etc.), bodies of water.
  • Group 7 [Alternative energy]. Solar photovoltaic systems, fuel cells, wind systems.
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