National Electrical Installation Standards

Standards as High as Your Own

 
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Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Question:

Hello, CQD. Is a feeder considered a circuit? The NEC® doesn't define a "Circuit" outright (although it does define Branch Circuits, and Class 1, 2 and 3 Circuits).

It has been stated on this forum before that in this scenario we are supposed to use Merriam-Webster, which defines a circuit as "The complete path of an electric current including usually the source of electric energy." Thanks in advance, Chris Sys
A

Answer:

Hi Chris thanks for the question and comments. A “Feeder” is an electrical circuit by standard non-NEC® definition, just as a “Branch-Circuit” is also an electrical circuit by standard non-NEC® definition. In fact the word circuit is used in the NEC® definition of both. Definition of terms in the NEC® are only applicable to the NEC® intended to provide clarification when applying the applicable rules. These definitions specifically address location in the electrical system. Article 100 definitions for each are as follows:

Feeder. All circuit conductors between the service equipment, the source of a separately derived system, or other power supply source and the final branch-circuit overcurrent device.

 Branch-Circuit. The circuit conductors between the final overcurrent device protecting the circuit and the outlets.

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