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IAEI Magazine | Author: Donny Cook
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Donny Cook

Donald R. Cook is currently the chief electrical inspector for the Shelby County Development Services Department in Shelby County, Alabama. He also is an active Instructor for IAEI. Currently he represents IAEI as the principal member and chairman of NFPA 70 CMP-14. Donny is currently a member of the IAEI board of directors, serves as secretary/treasurer of the Southern Section, and assistant secretary/treasurer of the Alabama Chapter.


Dispenser Disconnects – Critical safety net that is overlooked?

Technology of fuel dispensers has kept pace with the fast-paced society of today. Present day fuel dispensers often come configured with a multitude of options. Fuel dispenser designs in the past incorporated only basic circuits related to a suction pump and an on/off switch.

What Is Practical Safeguarding? A Look at the Evolution of GFCI Protection

IAEI members have opportunity and responsibility, through the NEC process, to support what we believe to be practical safeguarding of persons and property arising from the use of electricity. In this article, I would like to review the history of the NEC requirements for the use of GFCI protective devices and to consider the possibilities for future evolution. For the purpose of this article, I would like to focus attention on the general requirements for 15- and 20-ampere, 125- volt receptacles, rather than the "special occupancy and equipment” requirements located in chapters 5 and 6.

Area Classification for Class I Locations

Area classification, for locations where combustible materials (flammable gases or vapors, flammable liquids, or combustible liquids) are processed or handled, is the analysis of a space to determine the likelihood of an ignitible mixture of flammable materials and oxygen. If the analysis determines that ignitible concentrations are or may be present in the air in quantities sufficient to produce explosive or ignitible mixtures, this will limit the electrical equipment that is permitted to be used in that space. If the ignitible mixture exists, the NEC provides special requirements for electrical wiring and equipment to minimize the likelihood that the electrical system will become an ignition source in the space. Other materials, such as combustible dust and ignitible fibers and flyings, are also classified as hazardous by the NEC, but will not be discussed in this article.

Sign Fires

Those installing and inspecting electrical installations according to the provisions of the National Electrical Code might wonder from time to time how important are these rules? When discussions turn to, "You are overreacting to these small discrepancies!” or "What are the fire or shock hazards ssociated with this violation?” it is sometimes difficult to know what effect the violation might have on the overall safety of the facility.

Over 600 Volts

An inspector’s first look at the service shown above seems to show a relatively simple 120/240-volt single-phase service. It seems to include a service entrance riser, a service entrance wireway, and four 200-ampere fused disconnects, fused at 150 amperes. Disconnects are marked "Suitable for Use as Service Equipment.” Each disconnect has a tap to the grounding electrode conductor and includes a green bonding screw for the main bonding jumper.