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Does code require a whole-house surge protector for houses?
Wednesday, April 13, 2022
The 2020 edition of the National Electrical Code [NEC 230.67(A)] is the first one to require that “all services supplying dwelling units shall be provided with a surge-protective device (SPD).” It applies to new homes and when an existing electrical service is replaced.
The surge-protective device must be Type 1 or Type 2. Type 1 means that it is located before the service panel (line side), often outside. A Type 2 is placed after the main breaker (load side). They are attached to a 240V dedicated circuit breaker inside the panel, but mounted outside it. There is also a Type 2 that connects directly to the bus bars, like in the photo at right.
Because the latest edition of the National Electrical Code is not automatically adopted by all building department juridictions in the U.S. as soon as it is issued, this requirement may not be effective in your area until several years after 2020. At the date of this article, for example, Florida is still using the 2017 edition of the code. To learn more about this delay of implementation, see our article Is the latest edition of the National Electrical Code (NEC) the standard used for the electrical system of new homes?
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