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March-April 2001
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March-April 2001 CoverMarch-April 2001


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Sign Fires

by Donny Cook

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 associated with this violation?” it is sometimes difficult to know what effect the violation might have on the overall safety of the facility. Read more

Performance Testing Requirements for Ground Fault Protection Equipment

by Michael Johnston

Two types of ground-fault protection are required by the Code: ground-fault circuit interrupter protection (GFCI) and ground-fault protection of equipment (GFPE). A ground-fault circuit interrupter is intended to protect persons against shock and electrocution. As implied by its name, ground-fault protection of equipment protects equipment from damaging line-to-ground faults. More detailed definitions of these devices are found in Article 100. Read more

"High Voltage” Systems and Safety

by Chuck Mello

Most people in the non-utility side of the electrical industry are very familiar with the design, installation and inspection of electrical systems rated 600 volts or less; primarily because these systems are numerous, and these people work with them daily. The one exception is the sign industry where higher voltages are used primarily for neon signs. As the use of power has evolved, industry personnel now need to learn about power systems that operate over 600 volts as they are becoming more common in many types of occupancies. Read more

Over 600 Volts

by Donny Cook

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. Read more



Yes, It’s Worth It

by Philip Cox

Electrical inspectors sometimes struggle with the question of whether or not it is worth the effort to stay in the profession and do their part to make electrical energy safer for use by the public. The challenges to become qualified and maintain the necessary training to stay competent are significant. It is time consuming and generally expensive. It takes years of electrical training, such as that gained through apprenticeship programs and on-the-job training, to develop a broad and thorough knowledge of electrical systems. Read more

Canadian Code

Emergency Systems

by Leslie Stoch

When required by the National Building Code of Canada, the Canadian Electrical Code, Section 46, Emergency Systems, Unit Equipment and Exit Signs provides installation and maintenance requirements for standby power for essential services when the regular power supply fails. Other sections of the code contain some requirements as well, including Section 32, Fire Alarm Systems and Fire Pumps. Miscellaneous requirements also show up in other sections such as Section 14, Protection and Control, and Section 10, Grounding and Bonding. Read more

UL Question Corner

UL Can Help Determine Equipment Replacement During Natural Disasters

by Underwriters Laboratories

The product you mentioned was probably an older power supply cord. At one time, UL did permit power supply cords for connection to electrical appliances to bear Listing Marks indicating that such cords were in compliance with UL Standards for Safety. Although the product identifier on the label indicated that the product covered by the Listing Mark applied only to the power supply cord, UL discontinued marking power supply cords because consumers were under the mistaken impression that the Mark applied to the entire electrical appliance. Read more

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