1

I have been asked to come into a site (outside of United States; Central America to be specific) - but one of the personnel there asked about NEC compliance; specifically AFCI. How can I educate myself on what is or isn't covered by NEC outside the United States. Additionally, is there a way I can recommend (with some authority) so that the site adopt NEC compliance.

Thank you in advance for any and all assistance on this matter....

  • 1
    Do you know who the Authority Having Jurisdiction is where you're going? Is there a local building regulator there that has adopted the NEC as the governing electrical code, or is this a case where there is no regulatory authority regarding building construction? Does the utility do any sort of inspections/enforcement on their own, and if so, what standard do they use? – ThreePhaseEel May 31 at 22:11
  • 1
    @ ThreePhaseEel; thank you and no - there is no regulatory authority regarding building construction, no inspections/enforcement of their own... There is a document I've found where the customer has asked for: "electrical work should be installed in accordance with NEC 2018 standards".... – Not an electrician May 31 at 22:17
  • 1
    It sounds like they're off a year on their NEC cycles, so it's the 2017 NEC they're after (the NEC is offset by a year relative to all the I-Codes due to the fact they're maintained by two totally different and unrelated groups) – ThreePhaseEel May 31 at 23:56
  • 1
    @ ThreePhaseEel: so do I need to worry about AFCI for example? The country in question doesn't seem to offer AFCI breakers....I was going to make sure the outlets are at least GFCI - will this suffice.....? Also the the space is very small (less than 10 feet from an exit in any space in all three structures present; small office building and two living quarters for less than eight personnel each)...... – Not an electrician Jun 1 at 0:36
  • What electrical convention do they use? are the parts available similar to North American parts (GFCIs, panelboard-type breakers, and such) or IEC/European parts (DIN rail type breakers, RCDs)? Also, is the incoming service 120/240V split phase, or 230V single phase? – ThreePhaseEel Jun 1 at 0:43
2

NEC 2017 requires AFCI in a number of places, unless the state law that adopts NEC 2017 or a local ordinance waives that requirement.

If they don't have a functioning government, then it'll be pretty hard for them to waive an AFCI requirement. So yeah, it would be required most places.

There's a little more armwaving going on here, but it boils down to "the customer is always right". Basically the AHJ is the customer.

| improve this answer | |
  • Thank you all for your comments - greatly appreciate the assistance. We're working through the identified items on-site, yes (agree) "the customer is always right" - again, thank you for everyone's time... – Not an electrician Jun 2 at 13:25
2

Based on comments indicating that there really is no building/electrical authority or inspection...

Assuming (with all inherent dangers) that you can get the parts you need and that they will work with the locally supplied power, "it won't hurt" to meet the latest & newest standards for electrical safety.

I'm going to take a guess, though, and assume that you're going to be budget constrained. The only down side to this methodology is that AFCIs and GFCIs are more expensive than "regular" breakers/outlets. Supplying the *FCI protection at the breaker gives you the advantage of protecting the entire circuit for one higher price instead of having to protect each outlet at the higher price. Do bear in mind that GFCI outlets can protect downstream devices attached to the LOAD terminals.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.