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March-April 2000
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The Propagation of Surge Protective Devices

by Deborah Jennings-Conner

Do you have a computer sitting on your desk? If so, chances are you have a surge protective device under your desk. As the use of products vulnerable to transient voltage surges and spikes continues to increase, the propagation of surge protection devices continues to increase. This article will focus on several types of surge protective devices, what they are, how they are tested, and the importance of markings, instructions and proper usage of the devices. Read more

Interrupt Current Codes and Surge Protective Devices (SPDs)

by Bryan Cole

Transient Voltage Surge Suppressors (TVSS), also more commonly referred to as Surge Protective Devices (SPDs), have been applied as part of an overall power quality strategy for almost a decade. Moving into the future of utility deregulation and the increased reliance on electronic devices to control, process, and communicate information, SPDs will continue to be recognized as an essential component of power quality. Read more

America Needs to Power Up Its Rank of Skilled Electricians

by Square D

A century ago, building and construction trades experienced their first boom period as the U.S. rapidly shifted from an agricultural economy into an industrial colossus. Today, with an economic boom pointing America toward the new millennium, the nation is again facing a major shortage of skilled career employees in its largest industry—construction. Read more

Wire Temperature Ratings and Terminations

by Jim Pauley

Many electrical inspectors can tell you that confusion about wire temperature ratings and equipment termination temperature requirements results in their rejecting installations. Information about this topic can be found in the National Electrical Code (NEC), testing agency directories, product testing standards, and manufacturers’ literature, but many people do not consult these sources until it is too late. Read more

Installing Transient Voltage Surge Suppressors (TVSS)

by Alan Manche

Surge protection was introduced into the first National Electrical Code (NEC) published in 1897. The primary focus at that time was lightning arresters. In 1981, NEC Article 280 was revised and re-titled "Surge Arresters” in order to align with industry terminology. The title change in the NEC also recognized that surge arresters were being installed where the surge source was other than lightning, such as utility switching, or equipment switching within industrial and commercial facilities. Read more

1999 Code Requirements for Low-Voltage Systems

by Brooke Stauffer

The National Electrical Code (NFPA standard 70-1999) contains rules for all electrical products and systems. This includes low-voltage and limited-energy systems of all types ranging from telecommunications/LAN to fire alarm to closed-circuit TV systems used for security purposes. There are important reasons for making sure that low-voltage and limited-energy systems are installed in accordance with all applicable NEC requirements... Read more



IAEI Re-certification of Electrical Inspectors

by Philip Cox

The IAEI has participated in inspector certification programs for several years and is pleased to see a growing interest in certification by code enforcing organizations and electrical inspectors. Electrical inspectors in both Canada and the United states have become certified through programs developed and administered in each respective country. The goal is for all electrical inspectors to be certified. Read more

Canadian Code

Standby Power and Transfer Switching

by Leslie Stoch

In this article, we will cover some of Canadian Electrical Code requirements for standby power and transfer switching. The National Building Code specifies the minimum requirements for emergency standby power supplies for different building sizes and classifications, for high-rise residential, commercial, industrial and commercial buildings depending upon size height and occupancy. It specifies the minimum electrical backup requirements for critical emergency facilities including fire alarm systems, fire pumps, elevators, lighting, exit signs, ventilation systems and emergency voice communications. Read more

UL Question Corner

The new Section 210-12 of the 1999 National Electrical Code (NEC) requires arc-fault circuit-interrupter protection for some branch circuits. Does UL List such devices?

by Underwriters Laboratories

Arc-Fault Circuit-Interrupters (AFCIs) are currently covered under the category Circuit Breakers, Molded Case, Classified for Mitigating the Effects of Arcing Faults (DIWL). The Guide information can be found on page 11 of the 1999 General Information for Electrical Equipment Directory (white book). This category covers Listed molded case circuit breakers, which are also Classified after being evaluated for their ability to mitigate the effects of arcing faults that may pose risk of fire ignition under certain arcing conditions. Read more

Other Code

Working in Dangerous Proximity to Overhead High Voltage Lines – OSHA, NESC, and the Law

by David Young

There are two sets of rules for work in proximity of overhead high voltage lines: The rules for qualified persons and the rules for unqualified persons. There is no gray area. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulation 29CFR1910.269(x) defines a qualified person as "one knowledgeable in the construction and operation of the electric power generation, transmission, and distribution equipment involved, along with the associated hazards.” Read more

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