Decoding NEC 2020: What You Need to Know Before the Next Round of Updates

Being on top of code updates and adapting accordingly is one way that Milbank has stayed on the leading edge of the electrical industry for over 95 years. The development and release of the National Electric Code (NEC) 2020 tested Milbank’s ability to pivot, but their innovation and experience provided the company with the tools to adjust existing products to comply with this latest code.

With new NEC updates right around the corner, there’s no better time than the present to brush up on the last round of changes. Learn more about the impact of NEC 2020 updates below, as well as what Milbank’s product development team has done to ensure our products are code-compliant with NEC 2020.


Emergency Disconnects: Section 230.85

This section of NEC 2020 applies to residences with one or two dwelling units; single-family homes and townhouses/duplexes. The main point of focus for this section is that there must be a clearly labeled disconnect at the first service point of the residence on the home’s exterior.

First responders and service providers must be able to easily see and access the service point to quickly disconnect power in an emergency situation. Compliant installations can be both integrated or non-integrated:

  • Non-integrated installation: typically an off-the-shelf meter socket and separate disconnect, installed together.
  • Integrated installation: meter socket and main breaker all combined in one unit, like Milbank’s U5844.

To stay code-compliant with NEC 2020 standards, Milbank developed new red and white labels to mark meter mains as emergency and service disconnects. This eliminates the time that it would take for service providers to search for the disconnect; instead, it’s easily located within seconds.


Service Equipment: Enclosed or Guarded - 230.62 (A) and (B)

While Section 230.85 aims to simplify finding and disconnecting power at the service point, Section 230.62 (A) and (B) are geared toward ensuring service providers’ safety when they reach the equipment to prevent accidental contact with energized parts.

There are three main features required for compliance with this section of the code:

  • Enclosed
  • Guarded
  • Barriers

Milbank’s response to this section of the code prevents first responders and service providers from touching energized parts at the site of the disconnect in a few different ways. When the lower cover is off, Milbank has designed a barrier that insulates the bussing—i.e., the bussing is enclosed. This means there are no live parts inside the breaker, and there is no risk of inadvertent shock.

“Backfed” breakers have their own set of risks for accidental contact. This is where the “guarded” component of Section 230.62 comes in. Inside the breaker, certain parts remain energized even after service has been disconnected. To address this potential danger, any energized parts that pose a threat need to be guarded.

For example, the tiny Allen screws that are used to secure the conductor to the breaker might remain energized and, if exposed, can be dangerous. Any contact with these parts can cause a serious shock, so covering them is a must. Milbank has crafted barriers to cover these parts, so once the cover is removed, if there are any parts that still carry a charge, they’re covered, ensuring no risk of contact. These parts are now compliant and touch-safe.


Two to Six Service Disconnecting Means - 230.71 (B)

Section 230.71 applies to condo-style meter sockets with multiple meter points, each having its own main breaker.

The root of this update is to ensure that gang-style sockets (with two to six points) have separate compartments with internal barriers to isolate each individual disconnect, providing further protection from incidental contact during service. Milbank meter mains are designed and built to be code-compliant with this section of NEC 2020.

As always, Milbank’s product development team collaborates with industry experts to ensure everything they produce is up-to-date with the latest codes and standards. Our metering equipment is engineered to provide quality products with the utmost consideration for user safety. This includes implementing product modifications for NEC 2020.

To see more of Milbank’s current NEC 2020-compliant metering products, visit our products page or consult with your local Milbank Representative.