National Electrical Installation Standards

Standards as High as Your Own

Thursday, August 4, 2022


Good Morning CQD.

Recently there have been new rules added to Article 517 regarding the minimum number of receptacles required for an operating room in a health care facility. Our question is how many are now required and does this apply to existing operating rooms that were in service before the change and continue to be in service?

Thanks for your thoughts on this.

Sal Burke



Hi Sal,

Great questions. You are correct in that there are now a minimum of 36 receptacles required for an operating room. See Section 517.19(C). As far as the second question, the NEC is generally not retroactive, in that those installations done in compliance with the latest editions are generally treated as existing and allowed to remain without having to upgrade to current NEC requirements. However, it is always a good idea in cases like this to consult with both the authority having jurisdiction and the governing body of the health care facility for specific requirements that may be more restrictive than the NEC.

ABOUT CQD: The Code Question of the Day (CQD) is NECA and ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR Magazine’s flagship National Electrical Code (NEC®) public forum for the industry, sponsored by EATON. The daily distribution of Q&A generates a lively dialogue and shares relative Code-based practical responses.

SUBMIT YOUR CODE QUESTION: Click here to submit a question to for inclusion in an upcoming edition of the Code Question of the Day, or email

CHARLIE TROUT: Charles M. Trout, better known as Charlie, was a nationally known NEC® expert and author. He served on several NEC® technical committees and is past chairman of CMP-12. In 2006 Charlie was awarded the prestigious Coggeshall Award for outstanding contributions to the electrical contracting industry, codes and standards development, and technical training. Even though Charlie passed away in October of 2015, his work continues in spirit. NECA continues to maintain this question forum for its many subscribers in memory and recognition of all his significant contributions to making the NEC what it is today.

NECA STANDARDS: NECA publishes the National Electrical Installation Standards™ (NEIS™), a series of ANSI-approved performance and quality standards for electrical construction. NEIS can be purchased in the NECA Store in three formats: a printed or PDF download of a standard or, as an annual subscription service.

NECA SAFETY PRODUCTS & PUBLICATIONS: NECA produces electrical safety publications and products for the industry including jobsite safety guides, handbooks and resource kits. View a full listing of available resources and products »

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Unless the question requests a response based on a specific edition, all answers are based on the latest edition of NFPA 70® National Electrical Code®.

This correspondence is not a formal interpretation of the NEC® and any responses expressed to the questions are opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of NECA, NFPA, the NEC Correlating Committee any Code-making panel or other electrical technical committee. In addition, this correspondence is neither intended, nor should it be relied upon, to provide professional consultation or services. 

UPDATE YOUR SUBSCRIPTION PREFERENCES: Subscribe or Unsubscribe from this list.