I was wondering if there are any free sources to read the current NEC code online?

If there is not a free resource, is there a "go to" that electricians subscribe to?

I'm not an electrician, but I'm playing one at home with a full remodel to the studs and would like to be able to study, learn and confirm I'm in compliance as well as bump YouTube and Stack info against an NEC reference from time to time.


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    You can sign up for free access subject to limited terms; In many cases you can also find it elsewhere via search, if you know what part you are looking for.
    – Ecnerwal
    Jan 22, 2022 at 17:45
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  • nfpa.org/NEC/About-the-NEC/…
    – Ecnerwal
    Jan 22, 2022 at 18:38
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    Youtube is dangerous. They prevent peer review (they actively hide downvotes - go look! and comments are a dumpster fire). Youtube is people with cameras, not experts. Never get electrical advice there. I'm not a StackExchange salesman, that's just reality. As for use of Code for learning, see NEC 90.1(A). And remember Harper's law: Buy the wire last. (so you've collected all the info you can). The #1 lament is "Darn, I already bought the wire". #2 is "I wish I had gotten many more breaker spaces". Jan 22, 2022 at 19:33
  • When doing work at home it is worthwhile to check for state and local adoption and exceptions. Usually locals will references changes with a numbering system that corelates with the nfpa system. Jan 22, 2022 at 20:01

1 Answer 1


C&P below from the NFPA web site (publishers of the code) remember to use the version that is in use by your jurisdiction (2020 is the most recent publication) for the National Electric Code (NEC) use NFPA70 when searching Nfpa.org

To review codes and standards online:

Link Nfpa free widget free trial

View the list of NFPA's codes and standards. Select the link of the code/standard # (first column). Once on the specific page, click the "Free Access" button located under the title. Use the pull-down feature to select the Free Access edition available. Select "View" Review the agreement terms. Use the "Table of Contents" or the "Next" button (bottom of page) to view the chapters/sections. Please note: You will be asked to "sign-in" or create a profile to access the code/standard in read-only format.

After you sign up if you go on and try the free widget or from the Nfpa.org web page and sign up you can view the code but having a reference Will help you get to the section you want Note, my apprentice picked up a 2017 version for 10$ at a used book store The current version is 2020 but some states are a few versions back, it can save you headaches just knowing the correct version to use. They are updated every 3 years.

  • I really appreciate the information.
    – Richard
    Jan 26, 2022 at 18:35

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