The latest issue of TAEI News reporst some of the changes in the new edition of the NEC. These changes include:
1) Expanding GFCI requirements to every receptacle in laundry areas. This does not seem to limit the requirement to the "laundry circuit." Since laundry equipment is typically mingled with other uses (such as being in a 'mechanical room), expect lively discussion as to what, exactly, is the "laundry area;"
2) Dishwashers to be GFCI protected;
3) Laundrys and kitchens to be AFCI protected as well;
4) A specific provision allowing the use of an extension cord to power new outlets. This accommodates a 'kit' that is sold to power a proper receptacle for the flat-screen TV, using an "inlet" and a cord. While the kits are simply a collection of readily available parts, the code language seems to require the purchase of a 'listed' kit, and forbids your assembling the exact same kit from parts already on your truck;
5) The requirement for a neutral at switches has been complicated;
6) Introducing the idea of "extra duty" covers and boxes. It appears that this change will expand the electrician's problem of telling the difference between a listed 'legal' part and a listed 'not allowed' part. Anyone have an aspirin?; and,
7) Certain uses of EMT outdoors will be required to have a ground wire. This gem is buried in Article 440.
I'm sure there will be plenty of other little surprises as the new code unfolds.
I will be the first to get into this discussion. People who know me also know that I think the NEC doesn't need to be changed every 3 years. Maybe every 5 years would be more appropriate. I also think that too many manufactures sit on the code making panel and sometimes they might push their products into the code before they are properly tested. I think a product should be optional and be out in the general public for maybe 10 years before making it mandatory. The code is trying to make houses "Idiot-Proof" and it just doesn't work that way. You can't fix stupid. As an AHJ, I have to enforce the code but I don't have to like it. You know that lawyers are lurking out there just waiting to sue somebody for something, so most people now a days have to work to cover their butts from lawsuits. I just had a class from the state the other day stating that to be a "Qualified Person", you needed XX amount of hours, class room training, plus you need safety training for falls, heights, ladders, lock out/tag out, OSHA training, and safety training, among other things. It doesn't seem safe to be in business anymore.