Code Upgrades

Bring your property up to code with Night Owl Electric's code upgrades service.

Electric Code Upgrades

Electric hazards result in tens of thousands of residential and commercial accidents and house fires each year. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that electric wiring problems cause 30,000 home fires, 200 deaths, nearly one thousand injuries, and over $600 million in property damage every year. According to the Electric Safety Foundation International (ESFI), faulty wiring accounts for 20 percent of electrocutions.

Failure to bring a home up to the current electrical code is often to blame.

What Are Electric Code Updates?

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). publishes the National Electric Code (NEC) every three years to keep the electrical industry up to date on code changes and advancing technologies. The NEC sets electrical code standards for safe electrical design, installation, and inspection to protect people and property from electrical hazards.

First published in 1897, the NEC is updated to safeguard people and buildings by minimizing accidents and fire hazards resulting from the use of electricity. As of 2019, the 2017 edition of the NEC is the most current electrical safety guide.

The Top Code Changes From the 2020 NEC Electric Code


    GFCI protection is required for all 125–250V receptacles within 6 feet of sinks. Notable spaces include:

    • Laundry areas
    • Kitchens
    • Unfinished basements
    • Finished basements
    • Outdoor outlets 150V to ground or less and up to 50amps

    This applies to:

    • Ranges within 6 feet of sinks
    • Electric dryers
    • Dishwashers
    • Sump pumps
    • Pool motors
    • Equipment that requires service, including HVAC and refrigeration units

    GFCI protection is also required in non-dwellings. Notable spaces include:

    • Indoor damp and wet locations
    • Permanent fixtures for cooking
    • Permanent provisions for food preparation
    • Accessory buildings

    This applies to:

    • Dishwashers
    • Drinking fountains
    • Sump pumps
    • Pool motors
    • Equipment that requires service, including HVAC and refrigeration units

    Emergency Disconnects

    • Required for all single- and two-family dwellings
    • Must function from outside dwellings
    • Must be readily accessible
    • Applies to generators and energy storage systems (ESS)
    • Generators must be marked with one of the following:




    Surge Protection

    • New article (242) includes service lines to dwelling units
    • Must be part of service equipment or adjacent
    • May be located at each level of downstream distribution

    Now applies to:

    • Line side and load side services
    • Replacements and service upgrades

    Solar (California)

    • Solar panels on new construction*
    • Outdoor disconnect required for all energy storage units

    *The State of California requires solar photovoltaic systems for newly constructed healthcare facilities starting January 1, 2020.

Night Owl Electric’s staff of electricians know when they are required and can expertly install them.

Property Electric Site Survey

Electric installations in commercial, multifamily and industrial sites are typically the result of a long history of expansions linked to changing needs and requirements, with the majority not documented. Electric installations all come with their own little surprises, that you generally discover once project proposals and payment terms are agreed and signed off… too late. Any improvement project must, therefore, start with a proper site survey to specify the scope of works for the project proposal; any other approach could end up very costly.

Even if an installation is not required, both time and wear & tear can have a devastating effect on the safety and efficiency of your electric system. Improper equipment can be cause for code violations, or worse injury and liability.

Let Night Owl Electric conduct a site survey of your property today to guarantee safety and efficiency.

Grounding System Inspection

Poor grounding not only increases the risk of equipment failure; it is dangerous. Properties need to have adequately grounded electric systems so in the event of a lightning strike, or utility over-voltage, current will find a safe path to earth.

Simple grounding systems consist of a single ground electrode driven into the ground. The use of a single ground electrode is the most common form of grounding and can be found outside your home or place of business.

Complex grounding systems consist of multiple ground rods; connected mesh or grid networks; ground plates; and ground loops. These systems are typically installed at power generating substations,central offices, and cell tower sites.

Why Test?

Over time, corrosive soils with high moisture content, high salt content, and high temperatures can degrade ground rods and their connections. So although the ground system when initially installed had low earth ground resistance values, the resistance of the grounding system can increase if the ground rods are eaten away.

It is recommended that all grounds and ground connections be checked annually as a part of your normal predictive maintenance plan. If the technician finds an increase in resistance of more than 20 percent, investigate the source of the problem and make the correction to the grounding system to lower the resistance.