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Washington Revises Electrical Rules

State implements significant changes in the 2019 WAC 296-46B

In the August 2019 edition of Electrical Currents, a newsletter published by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries, Chief Electrical Inspector Stephen Thornton noted some recent revisions to the 2019 WAC 296-46B electrical rules, which will take effect August 23, 2019. Installations made using electrical permits purchased on or after that date must comply with the revised requirements. The state is also adopting the 2020 National Electrical Code, but it will not become effective until July 1, 2020.

Following are a few highlights of some of the more important changes. Read the full summary of changes here, and view a complete version of the 2019 WAC 296-46B here.

• WAC 296-46B-215(1) – Feeders (minimum rating and size). This new rule for feeders is similar to one already required for services. If the feeder conductors have a lesser ampacity than the rating of the equipment they terminate in or on, you must install an identification plate that states the ampacity of feeder conductors. It does not apply to one- or two-family dwelling feeders rated up to 400A.

• WAC 296-46B-408 – Switchboards, switchgear, and panelboards. This rule, which was moved from WAC 296-46B-230(10) because it also applies to panels for other than services, prohibits installation of service equipment, subpanels, and similar electrical equipment in clothes closets, toilet rooms, and shower rooms.

• WAC 296-46B-555 – Marinas (ground-fault protection). Beginning September 1, 2019, ground-fault protection for marinas will be as published in the 2020 NEC. This provision was effective July 1, 2018.

• WAC 296-46B-705(2) – Interconnected electric power production sources (supply side disconnect). This rule was amended to clarify the wiring methods, grounding, and bonding requirements for a supply side interconnection disconnect. It requires the same rules as if it were an additional service.

Learn about the upcoming changes to the 2020 NEC by attending one of EC&M 's 2020 Code Change Training Conferences, presented by NEC Expert Mike Holt in four cities. In two informative and interest-filled days, you'll learn about major NEC changes that will impact your work, whether you're an electrician, contractor, engineer, designer, or plant/facility maintenance professional. For more details on the dates and locations, visit our website.

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