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September-October 2001
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September-October 2001 CoverSeptember-October 2001


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Electrical Inspector’s Notes to Fire Alarm System

by Mark Campbell

The National Electrical Code1 (NEC) and the National Fire Alarm Code2 (NFPA 72) have an interwoven relationship that is paramount to the proper operation of fire alarm systems. In the same way, the electrical inspector and the fire alarm inspector have common goals. This article will develop and build on the last issue’s article, "The Electrical Inspector and Fire Alarm Systems.” Read more

Overcurrent Protection for Conductors

by Michael Johnston

Requirements for overcurrent protection for conductors are found in Article 240, Overcurrent Protection, which is found in chapter two, Wiring and Protection, of the NEC. Electrical conductors are required to be protected against overcurrent in accordance with their ampacity ratings that are specified in Section 310-15. Chapter three covers wiring methods, and the conductors installed in conjunction with those wiring methods must follow the applicable requirements of Article 310, Conductors for General Wiring. Read more

Connecting Heat-Producing Electrical Equipment

by Leslie Stoch

The Canadian Electrical Code provides us with rules for connections to heat-producing electrical equipment such as lighting, motors and continuously loaded equipment. Here the code has some special requirements, including minimum wiring insulation temperature ratings, reduced conductor ampacities and minimum spacings to ensure that unwanted heat is dissipated and will cause no harm to associated electrical wiring and equipment. In this article we look at a few examples where the code demands some additional wiring connection requirements. Read more

MC Cable Installations

by Larry Watkins

Type Metal Clad Cable (MC) is being installed in virtually every type of building under construction today including stadiums, schools, multi-family housing, hotels, commercial retail and office, industrial plants and warehouses along with many other facilities. This article addresses the interlocked armor Type MC cable with conductors No. 8 CU and No. 6 AL and larger for 600 volt installations. Section 334-3 of the National Electrical Code (NEC) (ANSI/NFPA 70 Standard) identifies uses permitted to include services, feeders, branch circuits, wet locations, and certain hazardous locations. Read more

Cooking Fires


A report released by National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), indicates that fire deaths in 1998 due to cooking equipment rose 45 percent from the previous year, but that over all, the number of home cooking fires decreased by 8 percent to the lowest level in the nineteen years of the study. Cooking equipment fires remained the leading cause of home fires and fire injuries in 1998, and ranked fifth in all home fire deaths and fire property damage, according to the findings. Read more

Type AC Cable Ground Fault Test

by Underwriters Laboratories

The IAEI/UL Technical Advisory Panel (TAP) was established in 1997 to address several technical issues that require research. One of the first actions of the TAP was to assign a Task Group to review the grounding provided by metal raceway systems described in NEC Section 250-118 [previously Section 250-91(b)], and focus on the use of the armor of Type AC cable as an effective equipment grounding path. Read more

Preparing for the New Code

by Philip Cox

The 2002 National Electrical Code brings changes to the industry. Adopting provisions to keep up with advancing technology and recognizing that many existing safety rules have to be modified to address specific situations require reexamination of existing Code rules on a regular basis. The Code development process needs the participation of experts in the field as well as general users of the document to identify and implement necessary changes. That process has been followed for the 2002 edition of the NEC, and the challenge now present is for users to become familiar with the new and revised safety rules. Read more

Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters

by David Dini

It is not often that a new safety device is introduced to protect individuals from the dangers that may be present in residential occupancies. Smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and ground-fault circuit interrupters are recognized as essential life saving devices. In 2002, the National Electrical Code (NEC) will require a new electrical safety device, the arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI), for added protection in certain dwelling unit branch circuits. Read more



The 2002 National Electrical Code

by Philip Cox

Work on the 2002 National Electrical Code has been completed. Those using the NEC will find a significant difference in the new edition. It is likely to take some adjustments to become fully familiar with the new Code. Considerable effort has been made to make the new 2002 NEC more user friendly. It is the result of work done by a large number of people, and it focuses on several areas to improve the ease of use of the Code. Read more

Canadian Code

Grounding and Bonding Sensitive Electronic Equipment

by Leslie Stoch

No doubt everyone has experienced the frustration of a PC computer crash, lockup or unreliable data. Their cause is often due to voltage noise, formally defined as "unwanted disturbances imposed upon a useful signal to obscure its information content.” Transient power system voltages and high frequency leakage currents can result in such failures and other problems. Since computer signal voltages are usually below 5 volts, it stands to reason that even very low transient noise voltages have the capability of causing questionable data or a disruption in service. Read more

Other Code

What’s Coming in 2002?

by David Young

The National Electrical Safety Code (NESC) is now on a five- year revision cycle. The 2002 edition will be published on August 1, 2001, and "shall become effective no later than 180 days following its publication date” (Rule 016). There are a lot of changes. Over the next few IAEI News issues, I will try to share with you what I see as the significant changes. Read more


Fire Protection Systems. What Inspectors and Regulators Should Know

by CSA Group

It depends on a specific approach taken by a particular jurisdiction. Traditionally, electrical inspectors have been involved only in the electrical safety aspects of electrical installations. In respect to the life safety and fire protection systems, these electrical safety requirements are governed in Canada by rules of Section 32 of the Canadian Electrical Code (CEC). This section covers the installation of fire alarm systems, smoke alarms and fire pumps, and by the rules of Section 46 – for emergency power equipment and for electrically connected exit signs. Read more

UL Question Corner

Are AFCIs required to undergo monthly testing like GFCIs?

by Underwriters Laboratories

Similar to GFCIs, UL 1699, the Standard for Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters does require monthly testing. This requirement is communicated in the installation instructions. The installation instructions are also standardized to reduce the likelihood of miswiring. Read more

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