The 2023 NEC® is Here! What You Need to Know

NewsAnnouncementThe 2023 NEC® is Here! What You Need to Know
  • Announcement
  • 01.19.2023

If you work with industrial electrical controls, it’s important to stay up to date on codes and standards when designing and installing these systems. In September of this year, the NFPA voted to issue the 2023 National Electric Code® (NEC®) and the codebook and handbook are now available on their website. While the 2017 NEC is in effect in 18 states and 2020 NEC is in effect in 24 states, this latest version is already in the process of being adopted in Massachusetts and Wyoming with several other states expected to go into effect in 2023.

Noteworthy Changes

One major change in the 2023 code is the creation of new articles for systems that exceed 1000 VAC or 1500 VDC medium and higher voltages. Information for these systems that resided in other articles has been moved to these new articles, along with additional information that was previously lacking. New articles for systems exceeding 1000 VAC or 1500 VDC include the following:

  • Article 235: Branch circuits, feeders, and services
  • Article 246: Overcurrent protection
  • Article 305: General Requirements
  • Article 315: Conductors and cables
  • Article 395: Outdoor overhead wiring
  • Article 495: Equipment

Another change to improve usability of the code is the relocation of Class 1 limited power circuits to a new Article 724. These circuits used to be covered along with Class 2 and Class 3 circuits in Article 725 of Chapter 7 that covers limited-energy conditions. However, Class 1 circuits are physically separated from Class 2 and Class 3 in installation. It is worth noting is that Article 724 only covers Class 1 limited-power circuits up to 30 V and 1500 W—anything higher is covered in Chapters 3 Wiring Methods and Materials.

New Technologies, New Articles

New articles have also been added to the 2023 to address emerging technologies and spaces. This includes Article 726 for new Class 4 Power Systems, known as Fault Managed Power, which can be up to 450V AC or DC but maintain safety by delivering power in tiny, monitored energy packets. These systems can deliver more power further distances than Class 2 limited power and will primarily be used as DC power infrastructure for powering network equipment (i.e., PoE switches), wireless antennas, digital displays, LED lights and other devices.

Other new technologies added to the code include Article 369 for insulated bus pipe and tubular covered conductors used for shipboard power distribution and Article 371 for new flexible bus systems constructed of fine stranded conductors for moving high amounts of power, such as power coming from a medium voltage transformer. Another new article getting some attention is Article 512 – the first code to specifically address electrical systems for cannabis oil preparatory equipment and extraction equipment that uses flammable materials like ethanol and butane. Depending on where your customers are located, you might encounter industrial controls in these facilities.

Housekeeping Improvements

Several of the housekeeping changes in the new 2023 NEC aim to improve usability, streamline content and drive relevance for modern users. This includes removing anomalies and outdated articles, such as the removal of Article 720 for circuits and equipment operating at less than 50 Volts, which was added in 1920 for rural low-voltage systems that haven’t been manufactured or deployed for several decades.

The two main articles in the NEC that deal with machinery—Article 409 on industrial control panels and Article 670 for industrial machinery—also received language clarifications to help eliminate confusion regarding surge protection, marking (i.e., labeling and nameplate), and bonding and grounding requirements.

One good housekeeping tactic might take some getting used to! All definitions were moved to Article 100, rather than being scattered throughout the various chapters. While it might be less convenient, this change will help ensure consistency, accuracy and harmonization of definitions throughout the document, while eliminating redundancy.

Navigation Tools

To help navigate code changes in the 2023 NEC, NFPA 70 offers an updated 2023 NEC handbook, which is considered the ultimate companion for gaining insight into the code and a better understanding of how to apply the requirements. It includes expert commentary positioned in line with NEC text, a summary of changes demonstrating where and why changes occurred from the previous edition, cross-reference features to help locate related information across articles, and hundreds of full-color photos and illustrations.

Ampacity tables throughout the NEC are used to select appropriate cables for their installation, based on conductor ampacity, temperature, and any adjustment factors such as the number of cables installed in raceway or conduit, spacing, and other factors. Many of these tables have been considered difficult to use in previous versions of the code. Current changes to the code help simplify ampacity tables, and Annex B that provides application information for these tables is highly recommended to help understand how to use them.

The NEC also sets forth requirements for cables and equipment, including requiring some of these components to be “listed” by certification bodies such as Underwriters’’ Laboratories, or UL. For example, UL 583 covers electric-battery-powered industrial trucks, such as fork-lift trucks and other vehicles designed for specific industrial uses, while UL 508 covers industrial control and related devices up to 1500 V and UL 1581 covers electrical wires, cables and flexible cords. It’s important to note that the NEC does not specifically require UL listing – it just requires components to be listed and includes an Informative Annex A that provides a list of product safety standards for when listing is required. However, using UL listed components helps assure code compliance.

Dedicated to the design, manufacturing, and distribution of custom-engineered flexible cables, assemblies, and harnesses that maintain connectivity in even the most demanding of environments, Paige has become the go-to provider for application-specific solutions for OEMs in a variety of industrial verticals. With an operating presence in more than 100 countries and seven North American locations, we have the reach to handle the most complex jobs and the expertise to customize any order to our customers’ exact needs.

If you have any questions about the NEC classification or UL listing of cables, we’re here to help. Chat with us online at

Joe Bigio joined Paige in 1995.
Joe Bigio
VP, OEM and Industrial
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