OK, WOW, just reviewed the 2020 NEC changes scheduled to take effect this year.

I'm asking if I'm interpreting the changes correctly:

1) Whole house surge protection. Required either between the meter and load (type 1) or on the load side (type 2)(in the panel?)

2) EVERYTHING needs GFCI now? Including all 240 volt circuits (dryer, water heater, range, AC, heat pumps, well pumps, fixed appliances (dishwasher, garbage disposal, microwave, etc.) ??? Given the previous AFCI protection does that mean for circuits requiring AFCI protection now require "dufees" (Dual function GFCI & AFCI) breakers?

3) Exterior disconnect required on all structures. I think pulling the meter on the main service would suffice for the house, but would outbuildings now require an exterior disconnect? I think so based on what I have read online.

4) When does the 2020 NEC take effect?

  • While super interesting, this seems like a very broad question. Not sure if it's really a good fit for our Q&A format.
    – JPhi1618
    Jan 24, 2020 at 20:55
  • Thanks for the comment, I appreciate the feedback. If there is a better place to add questions like this I'll be sure to do it in the future. Jan 25, 2020 at 5:20

2 Answers 2


NEC 2020 is not a law. It is a model law, which states and municipalities are free to adopt or adapt as their law.

Your state decides when (or if) which parts of 2020 NEC become law. I expect places like CA where exterior panels and disconnects are common, will probably acquiesce to exterior disconnects, and places like IN or OH where they are uncommon, will not.

  • I agree I wait until my state adopts the rules and then see if I need to worry.
    – Ed Beal
    Jan 24, 2020 at 21:41
  • 1
    I agree too. I'll wait to see what Fl and IL do and then laugh at the poor guys doing the work since I'm retired..
    – JACK
    Jan 24, 2020 at 22:12
  • Spoke to inspector today. Here in Washington State they adopt the most recent NEC on July 1 of the year of the code (is that like the Chinese new year? the year of the donkey! LOL) Anyway, I also asked which code applied for inspection, the date when the permit was pulled or the date of the inspection. He said the date the permit was pulled. Again, that's just Washington State, your mileage may vary. Check with your local jurisdiction to be sure. Jan 28, 2020 at 11:24

The NEC is adopted in each state at a different time / year if at all, Google NEC adoption map , that’s where I found the NEC in effect. States on the the different versions.

On 2020 ,1

On 2017 , 31

On 2014 , 11

On 2011 , 1

On 2008 , 3

So the date may be different depending 3 states do not adopt the NEC My state normally approves it by October sometimes earlier. My state doesn’t accept the code verbatim last cycle we had some 26 pages of exceptions, and about 1 page that were tougher. I don’t start reading it until my state finishes the local rules “ors” & oars statutes and admin rules for Oregon. I think the update the list weekly, and someplace on that site there used to be an estimated adoption time if any existed.

  • 1
    This looks like the map Ed was using: nfpa.org/NEC/NEC-adoption-and-use/NEC-adoption-maps, MA is the one on 2020.
    – JPhi1618
    Jan 24, 2020 at 21:40
  • Got to get back to work but look around and there used to be a estimated adoption date or scheduled.+
    – Ed Beal
    Jan 24, 2020 at 21:45
  • 1
    @EdBeal Why do I get the feeling you've been doing this since you could walk??
    – JACK
    Jan 24, 2020 at 22:14
  • Not really general construction at first but I have been playing with electrical since the mid 70’s.
    – Ed Beal
    Jan 25, 2020 at 2:45
  • Luckily in Europe they did not yet come up with AFCIs. But if a similar strategy as in Europe is choosen, surge protection and complete GFCI is only the beginning. Nowadays a code based electric main board of a new 100% private small 3 bedroom house nearly looks like a panel of a power plant. For exactly that reason: Space or equipment has to be provided for photovoltaic systems (even PV systems itself may become mandatory in near future) or other power generation equipment, internet connections for smart nets/ controls/ meterings etc. etc.
    – xeeka
    Jan 25, 2020 at 4:39

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