National Electrical Code Articles and Information
National Electrical Code Top Ten Tips: Article 366 through Article 392 -- Raceways, Miscellaneous
by Mark Lamendola
Please note, we do quote from copyrighted material. While the NFPA
does allow such quotes, it does so only for the purposes of education
regarding the National Electrical Code. This article is not a substitute
for the NEC.
These are the 10 NEC Article 366 through NEC Article 392 items we deem
most important, based on the pervasiveness of confusion and the
potential costs of same.
- NEC Articles 366 through 392 contain the requirements for various
types of raceway, including auxiliary gutters, busway, and cable tray. Remember that, and your life will be much easier.
- Note that of these raceways is a subcategory of raceway in general.
Do not call any of these "conduit."
- Each Article in this series provides the uses permitted and the
uses not permitted.
- NEC Article 366 provides the requirements for auxiliary gutters.
The main thing to remember about these is they are just what they
say they are--auxiliary. That means you cannot use them for a main
wiring raceway method. For example, you cannot extend them more than
9 m (30 ft) beyond the equipment you are using them in [366.3]. That
equipment is limited to meter centers, distribution centers,
switchboards, and the like [366.2].
- NEC Article 368 provides the requirements for busway. In addition
to following these requirement, you must follow the manufacturer's
instructions. For example, if you overtorque Belleville washers, you
violate their UL listing. Busway must, except for the exceptions
noted in 368.6, be installed such that it's visible and in the open
[368.2]. So, don't install busway in a place where you will conceal
it behind a wall or in a warehouse behind stacks of boxes.
- NEC Articles 370, 372, and 374 provide the requirements for
cablebus, cellular concrete floor raceways, and cellular metal floor
raceways, respectively. These are normally modular or pre-assembled
constructions. Do note the application limitations before
- Article 376 provides the requirements for metal wireways. These
are sheet metal troughs with hinged or removable covers. Note that
their fill ratio is only 20 percent [376.22]. If you are using
nonmetallic wireways, follow the requirements provided in Article
- Article 380 provides the requirements for multioutlet assemblies.
These are becoming increasingly common. Note the application
- Surface metal and surface nonmetallic raceways (Article 386 and
Article 388, respectively) are becoming increasingly common. They
are especially useful in retrofit situations, where they provide
aesthetic and economic solutions to otherwise ugly and expensive
installation problems. Note their use limitations in 386.10 and
388.10, respectively. Follow the manufacturer's instructions.
"Field engineering" these systems violates their UL rating
and opens you to civil--and possibly criminal--liability. Follow the
instructions, and you will have a safe installation. If you need a
modification, simply contact the manufacturer for assistance and get
the mod instructions in writing.
- Cable trays, covered by Article 392, have been a mainstay of
construction for decades. You may notice that of all the Articles in
this series, this one is by far the longest. Read it carefully
before working with cable tray. One requirement many people fail to
follow is that of bonding all cable tray sections [392.7(B).1]. To
avoid power quality problems and personnel hazards, follow this
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Learn more about:
How the NEC is arranged
- The first four Chapters of the NEC apply to all installations.
- Article 90 precedes Chapter One, and establishes the authority of the NEC.
- Article 80 follows the body of the NEC; it exists as Annex H. It provides the requirements for administration.
- Chapters 5, 6, and 7 are the "special" chapters, covering special: occupancies, equipment, and conditions (in that order).
- Chapter 8 provides the requirements for communications systems.
- Chapter 9 provides tables.
- The appendices provide mostly reference information.
- Appendix D contains examples that every NEC user should study.
Try your NEC moxy:
- Do you know the difference between bonding and grounding? Hint: Look in the NEC, Article 100.
- Does the NEC refer to grounding incorrectly in any of its articles? Yes! So be careful to apply the Article 100 definitions. Don't ground where you should bond.
- When doing motor load calculations, which Article covers hermetic motors? Answer: While Article 440 covers the application of hermetic motors, it does so only by amending Article 430 because hermetic motors are a special case of motors. For motor load calculations, refer to Article 430.
- Does the NEC provide a voltage drop requirement? Yes! It does so in a special case, which is Article 648 Sensitive Electronic Equipment. But for general applications, it does not provide a requirement; it merely provides a recommendation in a couple of FPNs.
- Take our Code Quizzes.
Remember other applicable codes, rules, standards, and references:
- OSHA's electrical worker safety rules.
- IEEE standards.
- NETA standards.
- NFPA standards.
- International Codes (if applicable to the installation).
- State Codes (if the state has them).
- Local ordinances and permit requirements.
- Local fire codes.
- Manufacturer requirements or guidelines.
- Customer security requirements.
- Industry standards.
- Your company's own internal standards, practices, and procedures.
- Engineering drawing notes.