L. Keith Lofland
L. Keith Lofland is director of education, codes and standards for IAEI International. Previously, he was education, codes and standards coordinator and served a seminar specialist. Prior to his position with IAEI International, Keith spent nineteen years with the city of Garland, Texas, serving as their chief electrical inspector. He served as chair of the Texas Chapter in 1989. He served as secretary/treasurer for the Texas Chapter for ten years. Keith has taught seminars for IAEI since 2000.
General Use Snap Switches
What has a couple of poles and says "NO” when turned upside down?Answer:A single-pole switch! Weren’t we all taught as apprentice electricians and helpers that if you install a single-pole switch upside down, rather than say "ON” it will say "NO” to you! We perhaps take switches for granted. Receptacle outlets are the "face” of electrical devices, and luminaires are often grand and elegant in design and attract lots of attention.
Are We Really Ungrounded?
If you were to open an unopened jar, does that jar still qualify as "unopened”? No one would argue the fact that the moment I lock an unlocked door, that door is no longer "unlocked.” I must confess that this author has yet to come across an uneaten piece of cake and left that cake "uneaten.” So why do we consider an ungrounded system "ungrounded” when we are required to establish and connect a grounding electrode system to that ungrounded system?
Analysis of Changes, NEC-2011 – Part II
In the previous edition of the IAEI News, we took a look at some of the more significant changes that have been proposed for the upcoming NEC-2011 in Chapters 1–3. Let’s continue that process by taking a look at proposed changes to Chapters 4–8. Keep in mind that these proposed changes are just that—proposed. These changes could still be altered or removed by a public comment during the upcoming Comments stage of the code-making process. You have until Friday, October 23, 2009 (5 p.m. EST) to submit a comment on the proposed changes to NEC-2011.
Analysis of Changes, NEC-2011 Part 1
Can you recall a time when you arrived at a restaurant early and had to wait for your friend or spouse to arrive? Doesn’t that wait seem to take forever? How about waiting for that mechanic to finish up with the repairs to your vehicle?
Dwelling Units — No Big Deal…Right?
The battle lines are drawn, you must choose a side! Somewhere along the way, it seems that we in the electrical industry have gotten off track a bit when it comes to Commercial vs. Residential applications.
GFCIs and Swimming Pools – A Natural Fit
Most of us have seen or read something about the figure commonly known as the fire triangle (oxygen, heat, and fuel), which is a working model to illustrate and to help one understand the ingredients necessary for most fires. There is another odd triangle that contributes to most electrocutions associated with the swimming pool environment.
Two Buildings – Common Service, Grounding Requirements
A significant change occurred in the 2008 National Electrical Code (NEC) at Section 250.32(B) pertaining to the acceptable grounding methods at buildings or structures supplied by a feeder or branch circuits from a grounded service located at another building or structure supplied from a common service. In this article, we will take a closer look at these changes and investigate the remaining options for these distinctive grounding methods.
Concrete-Encased Electrodes – Let’s Go Vertical!
The year was 2005. It was a typical spring afternoon in this typical Midwest town of Anywhere, USA. The skies were a cloudy gun-barrel gray as the light rain fell and the thunder rolled in the distant background. Suddenly, without warning, the rain intensifies and the skies turn darker and darker. That distant thunder is suddenly not so distant and is now all around with almost deafening crackling from the skies to the ground (or is it ground to sky)?
Installations and Inspections of Spas and Hot Tubs at Dwellings
One of the most popular inspections in recent years to appear on the local municipal inspector’s daily list is the inspection of spas or hot tubs in the residential setting. Often the dwelling occupant or homeowner has installed the spa or hot tub. This combination of the well-meaning homeowner and the spa or hot tub installation can frequently result in some dangerous situations as far as the electrical requirements are concerned. Maintaining electrical safety and the importance of electrical permits and inspections in these situations cannot be overemphasized. This would apply to the do-it-yourselfers as well as the most seasoned veteran electrician.
Focus on the Code
Focus on the Code: Dry-Type Transformer, Grounding & Bonding Terminations
Grounding and bonding termination points in dry-type transformers are seemingly an issue in that the NEC apparently is silent on where in a dry-type transformer grounding and bonding conductors should be landed (terminated). In addition, many times installers utilize poorly chosen termination means such as installing a lug over a vented portion of the bottom of the transformer. Are there such termination requirements in the NEC and if so, where are they located?
Focus on the Code: Are there any practical guidelines available to installers and the enforement community with regards to continuous loads?
As stated in the question, NEC Article 100 defines a continuous load as "a load where the maximum current is expected to continue for 3 hours or more.” In some cases, the NEC tells us when certain loads are continuous. For example, 422.13 demands that a water heater with "a capacity of 450 L (120 gal) or less be considered continuous loads for purposes of sizing branch circuits.” Most commercial lighting and electric signs [600.5(B)] are considered continuous loads. Unfortunately, the Code does not always spell out clearly when to consider a load as a continuous load for calculation purposes.
Are there any other such receptacle replacement requirements?
Focus on the Code: The GFCI requirement for replacement receptacles is located at 406.4(D)(3) in the 2011 NEC. An example of this would be at a non-GFCI protected kitchen countertop receptacle or a bathroom receptacle being replaced.
Focus on the Code: Connecting IT Equipment
First, we must assume that the information technology equipment in question does qualify as IT equipment by meeting all of the six conditions listed at 645.4. If the IT equipment in question does not meet all of the special conditions of 645.4, then this equipment would be subject to the provisions of Chapters 1 through 4 of the NEC.
Focus on the Code:Bonding Copper Piping for a Hydromassage Tub
All metal piping associated with a hydromassage bathtub and all grounded metal parts in contact with the circulating water is required be bonded together using an 8 AWG solid copper bonding jumper.
Focus on the Code: Where branch-circuit conductors pass through a panelboard and do not originate or terminate in that panelboard, is there any requirement for identifying where the overcurrent devices are located for these pass-through conductors?
In this instance, the panelboard is serving the function of a pull box for these pass-through conductors. A panelboard is permitted for this purpose if proper wire bending space is provided as per 408.55.