2020 NEC Handbook problems

Jason Tilford

Member
Location
Washington
Occupation
Electrician
1) I have recently had to purchase the 2020 Handbook twice due to the poor quality of the book. The first book completely separated at the bind when I first opened it. Come on guys! This is supposed to be durable book! Never had problems with the 2014 or 2017 Handbook. I am afraid to open the new one all the way.
2) I continuously find problems with the text in the book like nobody took the time to proof read it. We pay way too much money for the Handbook to have this many errors! The most recent is in 220.14. Somebody forgot to label sections (E)-(H) correctly! So, if you look you will see that it goes 220.14(A)-(D) then again (A)-(D). Where is (E)-(H)?
I have found a few more as well, and I haven't even began to get into the new code book.
Did I get a fake copy???
Can these messed up books be exchanged for corrected versions????
 
Last edited:

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
I believe others have had the same issue and I think it was with the handbook. I had not heard about the eratas but I would contact the publisher or wherever you bought it.
 

Eddie702

Licensed Electrician
Location
Western Massachusetts
Occupation
Electrician
I used to buy the McGraw Hill code handbook written by Fred Hartwell & the McPartlands. Doesn't seem to be available for the 2020 code. Maybe they have all retired?? Used to like their book better
 

Jason Tilford

Member
Location
Washington
Occupation
Electrician
I used to buy the McGraw Hill code handbook written by Fred Hartwell & the McPartlands. Doesn't seem to be available for the 2020 code. Maybe they have all retired?? Used to like their book better
I have seen this version but have never purchased. It would be tempting this time though!
 

Greentagger

Senior Member
Location
Texas
Occupation
Master Electrician, Electrical Inspector
There was error in mine too. 210.12, all the areas to be AFCI protected are not listed. When I first started reading this section, I was like wow, everything in a dwelling is now to be AFCI protected. Not so. Areas are same as 2017. Kinda disappointing, as you pay so much for this book.
Mine doesn’t have the error you referenced.
 

Jason Tilford

Member
Location
Washington
Occupation
Electrician
There was error in mine too. 210.12, all the areas to be AFCI protected are not listed. When I first started reading this section, I was like wow, everything in a dwelling is now to be AFCI protected. Not so. Areas are same as 2017. Kinda disappointing, as you pay so much for this book.
Mine doesn’t have the error you referenced.
I know! These books are not cheap. There has to be something, or someone we can contact to get this resolved! I am trying to get in touch with NFPA.
 

flashlight

Senior Member
Location
NY, NY
I believe others have had the same issue and I think it was with the handbook. I had not heard about the eratas but I would contact the publisher or wherever you bought it.
Thanks, I learned a new word "erratum" (2 rs though)

If everybody wrote a letter to the publisher would it help? I have heard that letters carry much more heft than other communications.

I don't have the 2020 yet, but this has been a common complaint. My 2017 has held up very well.
 

goldstar

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
1) I have recently had to purchase the 2020 Handbook twice due to the poor quality of the book. The first book completely separated at the bind when I first opened it. Come on guys! This is supposed to be durable book! Never had problems with the 2014 or 2017 Handbook. I am afraid to open the new one all the way.
2) I continuously find problems with the text in the book like nobody took the time to proof read it. We pay way too much money for the Handbook to have this many errors! The most recent is in 220.14. Somebody forgot to label sections (E)-(H) correctly! So, if you look you will see that it goes 220.14(A)-(D) then again (A)-(D). Where is (E)-(H)?
I have found a few more as well, and I haven't even began to get into the new code book.
Did I get a fake copy???
Can these messed up books be exchanged for corrected versions????
I think that's why they pushed them out on Amazon for $69.00. They were 1st editions and a poorly made product. That said, when the spine on mine broke I took some Gorilla glue, shot it down inside and let it sit for a day. No problems since. BTW, I also paid $49.99 for a 2020 NEC soft cover book on Amazon. I'm sure it was a 1st edition but I can't wait to see what might be wrong with that book.
 

Jason Tilford

Member
Location
Washington
Occupation
Electrician
I think that's why they pushed them out on Amazon for $69.00. They were 1st editions and a poorly made product. That said, when the spine on mine broke I took some Gorilla glue, shot it down inside and let it sit for a day. No problems since. BTW, I also paid $49.99 for a 2020 NEC soft cover book on Amazon. I'm sure it was a 1st edition but I can't wait to see what might be wrong with that book.
I went through that with my first 2020. That one cost me $130.00 which is still lower than normal price in the past. I was tempted to use Gorilla glue myself but was too upset to let it go. I got amazon to refund my after return window, then purchased another one when the price dropped as you seen. Mine was $79. Good find on your deal!
Question that remains...is NFPA going to address these issues? This version is garbage! I have a inquiry out to NFPA as of two days ago. See if they answer.
 

Jason Tilford

Member
Location
Washington
Occupation
Electrician
Thanks, I learned a new word "erratum" (2 rs though)

If everybody wrote a letter to the publisher would it help? I have heard that letters carry much more heft than other communications.

I don't have the 2020 yet, but this has been a common complaint. My 2017 has held up very well.
I am wondering the same thing, and I AM on board for a letter. I already have an email out to NFPA and I am going to get in contact with the place I purchased mine from.
The biggest problem here is for anyone who plans to use the 2020 handbook for their electrical exam. You can't have a bunch of writing in the book correcting the mistakes because then PSI testing agency won't all the book for testing. Do we have to write letters to them as well?
 

Jason Tilford

Member
Location
Washington
Occupation
Electrician
Others have complained that the binding fails and the cover comes off. Truely sad as the 2017 i have is good quality and many of us like to keep the old editions.
I have beat my 2017 and still prefer to refer to it today! Not only has it held up, but I like the layout and inside color (much easier on the eyes). Why would they take out the table of contents at the begging of each article. That wasn't a great idea. Let me guess....due to COVID...
 

Jason Tilford

Member
Location
Washington
Occupation
Electrician
1) I have recently had to purchase the 2020 Handbook twice due to the poor quality of the book. The first book completely separated at the bind when I first opened it. Come on guys! This is supposed to be durable book! Never had problems with the 2014 or 2017 Handbook. I am afraid to open the new one all the way.
2) I continuously find problems with the text in the book like nobody took the time to proof read it. We pay way too much money for the Handbook to have this many errors! The most recent is in 220.14. Somebody forgot to label sections (E)-(H) correctly! So, if you look you will see that it goes 220.14(A)-(D) then again (A)-(D). Where is (E)-(H)?
I have found a few more as well, and I haven't even began to get into the new code book.
Did I get a fake copy???
Can these messed up books be exchanged for corrected versions????
I was able to get a hold of someone at NFPA yesterday, who I will mention was not very friendly. She was doing everything she could to not yell at me. But she was more than happy to try to sell me a $175.00 dollar fee to become a member of the NFPA (Entry member) so that I can talk to someone about the mistakes in the NEC. CRAZY!
I was finally able to get some information out of her and found that NFPA is in fact the publisher of the NEC ( which I knew, just wanted them to admit their mess up). I was told that they post corrections to book content on their web page. So, they have Errata's. I found them, I have attached 3 of the four I found. The 4th is a correction is on 210.12(A). Forum won't let me load file.

I still want to express my disappoint over the quality of the 2020 NEC. I believe that we deserve much better quality in our books, especially for the price we pay! COME ON NFPA!
 

Attachments

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
I am wondering the same thing, and I AM on board for a letter. I already have an email out to NFPA and I am going to get in contact with the place I purchased mine from.
The biggest problem here is for anyone who plans to use the 2020 handbook for their electrical exam. You can't have a bunch of writing in the book correcting the mistakes because then PSI testing agency won't all the book for testing. Do we have to write letters to them as well?
Maybe they allow a printout of errata information to accompany the book? Technically it is part of the book.
 

Jason Tilford

Member
Location
Washington
Occupation
Electrician
Pardon my ignorance but can you use just a pdf version of the handbook as well as the code book? Perhaps keep a copy on your phone as well as your computer?
That is a valid question. However, I am not sure it is really fair to anyone to have to purchase two versions of the NEC.
I believe the .pdf version of the Handbook is still around the same price as the hardcover version. I know that for some odd reason, that we can only speculate about, the 2020 Handbook is cheaper than recent versions (that is their way of saying it is poorly put together) but it is still not cheap (to me anyways). Also, I am not sure that when you purchase the .pdf version of the code book you can put it on more than one device. I have never bought that version because I am old school and like a good ol' book to look at and highlight.
I am also going to gamble that the .pdf text contains the same errors.
Another thing is I believe that the PSI testing agency (proctors for WA. state electrical exam) won't allow phones to be taken in to the test. So, having a good version of the 2020 NEC may mean the difference in a passing grade. I would hate to think that a book that we are all supposed to trust would be the reason someone couldn't pass their exam.
I am sure most of us are familiar with the Ugly's Electrical Reference? I love this book, and I keep it with me often and beat the hell out of it on the job site. However, I have found some errors in this text as well. But that shouldn't be a concern, because the NEC is supposed to be the reference that my state has adopted and the inspectors go by.
I hope NFPA makes a effort to correct their monumental mistake. I sure hope this was not caused by a cut back in money. They make plenty off all of us buy their material, and plus charging people $175.00 to join their "club".
 

Jason Tilford

Member
Location
Washington
Occupation
Electrician
Maybe they allow a printout of errata information to accompany the book? Technically it is part of the book.
I know that PSI rules say that you can only have a printed copy of the RCW and WAC, and everything else has to be the original copyright versions.
I pulled the bellow text from WA. Labor and Industries web page:

All electrical exams are open book. You are allowed to bring the following items into the testing center:

  • National Electrical Code book.
    • Index tabs are acceptable, but they cannot be removable. No handwritten notes or sticky notes are allowed.
  • Washington state laws, rules, and regulations – Chapters 19.28 RCW and Chapter 296-46B WAC.
    • Printed copies must be hole-punched and placed in a three-ring binder.
    • You can purchase a printed copy of the laws and rules at your local L&I office.
  • Any original, copyrighted material (e.g., Ugly’s, Ferm’s Fast Finder, Soares Grounding, etc.).
Copyrighted materials can only have highlighting, underlining, and/or permanent index tabs. All books will be checked for handwritten notes, removable tabs and blank paper. Any materials found with unacceptable notations, etc. may be confiscated and will not be allowed into the exam. Handwritten notes and markings in books are considered an attempt to cheat on an examination.


However, I believe that they are going to have to make an exception. I have a coworker who is getting ready to take his exam, so I am going to have him try to bring printed copies of the errata's in.
 
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