The ICC officially announced the NEC® as the Electrical Code for use with their Family of Codes. This should come as no surprise because the NEC® is referenced throughout their standards’ electrical sections. However, in areas where the IRC is used for residential construction we’ve had many debates over this topic.
The International Residential Code has only the most commonly used NEC® articles for dwelling units. Clearly we were never limited to only those methods. That is what we always believed anyway. The IRC was being used as a complete and standalone standard by inspectors here in Pennsylvania. Referencing the NEC® was dismissed as not being the code in PA. It is and always has been, but finally that’s clear.
The IRC is more of a quick reference and without an understanding of the NEC®, sections will be misapplied. The arrangement of the NEC® has much to do with the application of its articles. When translated into the IRC, sections were lumped together making articles for specific applications seem like general rules. Many electricians were frustrated by having to comply with requirements that had nothing to do with their installation.
We tried to explain to inspectors here that the NEC® should be referenced for a better understanding of an IRC section’s intent. Even pointing out that they used the NEC® when getting their own ICC certification didn’t seem to help. Now that the ICC officially cleared this up themselves, it will be a much easier discussion going forward.
Click on the ICC image below to see the official electrical code press release
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