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November-December 2000
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November-December 2000 CoverNovember-December 2000


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Fairs, Festivals, & Similar Events Covered by NEC Article 525 and other Associated Articles

by Allyn Sheldon

The county fair is an event that children and adults look forward to. Often children in rural areas prepare projects, for 4-H all year long, and the county fair is the place where they get to show off their projects. Fair goers seldom realize that the fair may be a dangerous place they could go with their children. Unsafe electrical services, improperly wired electric outlets, and extension cords running across walkways are just a few of the electrical hazards that might be found at some fairs. Many fairs and festivals are in areas where there is no electrical inspection, so the problems are never brought to light. Read more

A Review of the Assured Equipment Grounding Conductor Program

by David Pace

Whether one is involved in designing, installing, or maintaining an electrical system, protection must be of primary concern. This includes not only safeguarding equipment and facilities from damage or improper operation, but it also includes the safety of personnel who may be exposed to the hazards inherent with any electrical installation. Read more

Ground-Fault Protection Requirements for Temporary Wiring on Construction Sites

by Steven J. Owen

Insulation and grounding are two recognized means for preventing injury during electrical equipment operation. Conductor insulation may be provided by placing nonconductive material, such as insulation, around the conductor. Grounding may be achieved through the use of a direct connection to an available, effectively grounded electrode, such as a metal water pipe, structural steel, a concrete-encased electrode, or a properly installed ground ring. Read more

GFCI for Temporary Wiring

by Paul Casparro

Since the original introduction of the Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters in the 1971 National Electrical Code, these devices have proven to their users and the electrical community that they are worth the added cost during construction or remodeling. Published data shows a decreasing trend in the number of electrocutions in the United States since the introduction of GFCI devices. Unfortunately, no statistics are available for the actual number of injuries prevented by GFCI devices. Read more

NFPA 79 – Electrical Standard for Industrial Equipment

by Tom Garvey

Should our electrical standard for industrial machinery keep current with what the rest of the world is doing? If you build machines for the global marketplace, you’d answer "do it or die.” A harmonized NFPA 79 paves the way for you to build a machine that your company can sell from Boston to Bombay. If you buy machines for your factories around the world, you’re answering, "Of course!” One standard for machine wiring makes it easy for you to write one purchasing specification. However, if you’re involved with electrical safety, the answer should be: "It depends on what the rest of the world is doing.” Read more

Sunlight Resistant Requirement and Choices for Enforcement

by Ravi Ganatra

The requirement for sunlight resistance for conductors that are exposed to direct sunlight was added in Section 310-8 of the 1999 National Electrical Code (NEC).1 However, the implementation of this requirement has resulted in some confusion for the users of the Code. For the purpose of listing and or markings on the products, Code requirements like this are spelled out in the applicable product standards. The present requirements and the needed changes in these standards are discussed to address the confusion. Facts, opinions, and recommendations are presented here to facilitate the enforcement of this requirement. Read more

Basic Standards Development Process

by Lori Tennant

The first part of this series of articles provided a general understanding of the IEC and how it operates. Often more confusing though, to a new participant in the IEC, is the overall standards making process. This article will provide information on how to process an idea from its initial conception as a proposal, through its final publication as an international standard. Although there are several procedures in the IEC process for expediting development and approval of standards, based on the needs of industry, this article will address only the principle stages involved in the preparation of an IEC standard or a revision to an existing standard. Read more

NEC and OSHA: Protecting Workers from Electrical Shock

by Michael Callanan

Perhaps the greatest advancement in worker safety over the past 30 years has been the development and implementation of ground-fault circuit-interrupter (GFCI) protection. Both the National Electrical Code (NEC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have initiated requirements designed to afford a superior level of protection for both employees and the general public who may be exposed to the hazards of electricity. The purpose of this article will be to explore this development as it relates to GFCI protection for temporary wiring as required by Article 305 of the NEC and OSHA’s 1926, Subpart K, Electrical Standards. Read more

Path of Least Resistance

by Michael Johnston

Anyone who has been involved in the electrical field for any length of time has heard the phrase, "path of least resistance,” on many occasions. From the first-year apprentice starting out in the electrical trade to the seasoned veteran of the industry with many years of experience and accomplishments, the phrase is used to describe what path electrical current will take. The phrase is stated with pride "Electricity takes the path of least resistance,” or "Current takes the path of least resistance,” and usually not much thought is given to what is really meant by that statement. This article will review some basic principles of this fundamental element and discuss how this current flow relates to electrical safety. Read more

Proposed New Safety Provisions in Article 110

by Philip Cox

The purpose of the National Electrical Code is stated in Section 90-1 as "…the practical safe guarding of persons and property from hazards arising from the use of electricity.” The term "practical safeguarding” is significant in that it emphasizes that Code rules are designed to provide a level of safety to both people and property that is practical in nature. While the term "practical” is not specifically defined in view of safety rules, input from both the industry and the public through the consensus form of code development helps determine what it means in different situations. Read more

Proposed Changes for the 2002 NEC, Part III

by Philip Cox

This is the final segment in the series of articles covering a number of proposed changes for the 2002 National Electrical Code. Read more



Neon Educational Material

by Philip Cox

The neon sign industry has come a long way since that type of lighting technology was introduced into the United States in 1923. Read more

Canadian Code

How Important Are Connections?

by Leslie Stoch

Everyone understands the importance of good connections in business and in life generally. Good electrical connections are important too. The Canadian Electrical Code provides some important information and contains many rules on connecting electrical equipment. In this article we will cover a few of the many connection principles contained in the code. Read more

Other Code

The Pole Just Jumped Out in Front of Me!

by David Young

Every year, thousands of vehicles run into electric and communication utility poles. The consequences are obvious. There may be some things we can do to reduce the number of accidents or the severity of the accidents. Read more


Improperly Installed Heaters Can Pose a Fire Hazard

by CSA Group

Recently, a major manufacturer initiated a voluntary recall of in-wall, or baseboard, electric heaters. The media reported that "under certain conditions these heaters could fail, causing the units to overheat, catch fire, and spew flames and molten particles. The heaters may also become energized, creating a potential electrical shock hazard.” Has CSA International ever examined these products and found them to cause a potential or real hazard? Read more

UL Question Corner

UL Requires American Standard-Sized Mounting Hardware

by Underwriters Laboratories

All UL Listed luminaires must be equipped with American standard-sized mounting hardware. Over the past few years, UL received a limited number of field reports regarding luminaries being provided with metric mounting hardware. UL Listed luminaires exported to the United States are required to be equipped with American standard-sized hardware. Read more

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