The National Electric Code is revised every three years and outlines the minimum requirements for safe electrical installations. Many older homes may not have an adequate electrical system to meet the electrical demands of today. If you're renovating your home, make sure to have the following electrical devices installed to maintain an electrically safe home.
Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCI)
Available as circuit breakers and receptacles. AFCIs protect against electrical fires from malfunctions. The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 50% of home electrical fires can be prevented by proper AFCI protection.
Surge Protection Devices (SPD)
Protect against surges that can damage or reduce the lifespan of your electrical system and devices.
Ground-Fault and Circuit Interrupters (GFCI)
Available as a circuit breaker and receptacle. GFCIs protect against electric shock and are required in areas where water and electricity may come in contact.
Tamper Resistant Receptacles (TRR)
Function like normal receptacles but they include an internal shutter system to prevent foreign objects, other than plugs, from being inserted into the outlets.
2020 Code Requirements
- Bathrooms: GFCI
- Basements & Crawl Spaces: AFCI and GFCI
- Bedrooms: AFCI
- Common Rooms: AFCI
- Garages: GFCI
- Hallways & Closets: AFCI
- Kitchens: AFCI and GFCI
- Laundry Areas: AFCI and GFCI
- Outdoors: GFCI
2020 National Electrical Code Highlights
- All receptacles in homes, garages, accessory buildings, and common areas of multifamily homes must be protected by TRRs.
- New and replaced service equipment are now required to be protected by listed Type 1 or Type 2 Surge Protective Devices.
- Outdoor emergency disconnects are required for new construction, and homes having their service replaced.
- National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA)
- Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI)
- National Electrical Code (NEC) 2020 (online)
- Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
When anyone digs in Texas, even to plant a tree, there is a high probability of an underground utility line being within the site. Electricity, Oil & Gas, Telecom, Water & Sewer, and MB Link lines are all run underground and may impact your upcoming project. To avoid unnecessary costly repairs, always call 811 before you dig, it's FREE.
Texas law requires homeowners to contact 811 two (2) business days before digging, even if you're working on your own backyard. Homeowners should call 811 when:
- Building or repairing a fence
- Planing a tree
- Installing a sprinkler system
- Installing a swimming pool or pond
- Any chore of maintenance that requires digging
If you are hiring a contractor to do work for you, it is the contractor's responsibility to contact 811 two business days prior to digging. You may want to make sure your contractor has notified 811 before the work begins by requesting the ticket or notification number.
Learn more about homeowner responsibilities by visiting www.texas811.org/homeowner
An excavator is responsible for:
- Requesting the one-call notification; it is not your client’s responsibility.
- Immediately reporting the damage or exposure of any underground utility to the one-call center. If a gas line has been hit or damaged, you must also call 911.
- Knowing and following the tolerance zones for digging around the locators’ markers.
- Providing your client with the appropriate ticket or notification number prior to beginning work.
- Requesting a line locate at least two business days, excluding weekends and holidays, before beginning work.
- Providing accurate driving directions with distances and cardinal headings (North, South, East, West) when working in rural areas.
- Confirming the response of the notified utilities before proceeding with any excavation.
- Notifying the one-call center after determining that one or more utilities have not responded to a locate request.
- Looking for utility signage at your worksite and obeying instructions on those signs.
- Following safe digging practices and maintaining equipment condition to ensure safety standards.
- Look over the Pre-Excavation Checklist
- Read the Texas811 Excavator Guide with Ch 18 and Ch 251.
Learn more about excavator responsibilities at www.texas811.org/excavator