National Electrical Installation Standards

Standards as High as Your Own

Tuesday, January 29, 2019


Hello, The term "physical damage is widely used along the NEC. so, I would like to ask if there is any formal definition for this term. Could you please tell me why there is not a formal definition for this term? Is it the AHJ the authority (depending on the country) who has the duty to make a formal interpretation? thank you so much.

Diego Medina



Hey Diego thanks for your question. No, unfortunately there is not a definition of "physical damage" or "severe physical damage" in the NEC. The why is because no one has developed a definition that is considered suitable enough - by enough panel members to get accepted as an addition to the NEC. If you have any thoughts for a definition please submit it for the 2023 NEC as it is too late for the 2020. Many would appreciate having a definition but some are concerned it would likely leave something out. For now, as you mention, it is the AHJ's responsibility to determine as stated in 90.4

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