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July-August 2004
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Grounding Electro-Magnetic Interference Study (GEMI)

by Richard E. Loyd

Newly appointed Executive Director J. Phillip Simmons approached me and asked if I knew where Eustace C. Soares got his information to develop the tables for his book, Grounding Electrical Distribution Systems for Safety. Phil was referring particularly to those related to acceptable lengths of steel conduit and tubing for equipment grounding. I told Phil that I did not know but would try to find out. He told me that IAEI was interested in including this empirical data to back up the information in the 1993 revision of Soares Book on Grounding, 5th edition. Read more

Perspectives on PV

Single Conductor Exposed Cables! Not In My Jurisdiction!

by John Wiles

So sayeth the inspector when faced with inspecting his or her first rooftop residential or commercial PV installation. Yes, PV systems have some unusual wiring methods allowed by the Code. However, since all of the usual wiring methods found in chapter 3 of the Code also apply, the inspector must sort through what is allowed and what has been installed by the typical do-it-yourselfer or other uninformed installer of electrical equipment. Business will be as usual, with only a few small twists to learn. Read more

Improving Service in the Testing and Certification Industry

by Sue Dempsey

The testing and certification industry today faces an urgent challenge from its customers: make the product approval process more convenient and less time consuming, enabling manufacturers to get new and redesigned products to market faster. Read more

Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter Technology

by Walter Smittle

Did you know that residential electrical fires, as reported by the National Fire Protection Association, causes an average of nearly 73,000 fires every year? These fires are responsible for 591 deaths, 1400 injuries and over $1 billion in property losses. Eighty-three percent of these electrical fires are caused by electrical arcing. Can something be done to resolve this electrical residential fire problem? This question is asked by the fire marshals and fire investigators every time bodies have to be removed or a home is destroyed. The answer to this question is yes. Now, you can assist in reducing these unwanted losses by promoting a promising technology. Read more

Grounding Rules for Separately Derived Systems Reorganized and Revised

by Michael Johnston

Section 250.30(A) has been reorganized and restructured to provide a more logical layout and improve clarity for users as a result of the work of a task group to achieve those primary objectives. Table 1 cross-references and outlines the new arrangement of this section and provides a comparison between how this section was organized in the 2002 NEC and how it is structured for the 2005 NEC. Various technical changes were also accepted during this cycle and were incorporated into the rewrite in the comment stage of the 2005 NEC development process [ROP 5-78, ROC 5-52]. Read more

One Out of Four Homeowners Never Check for Electrical Hazards

by Jemarion Jones

Out of more than 75 million American homeowners, one out of four never checks for electrical hazards and thus is vulnerable to electrical home-structure fires and other incidents that can cause significant personal and financial losses, a new survey commissioned by the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA) has found. Read more



Taking the Collar Off IAEI

by James W. Carpenter

Back when I was just a little shaver, sitting at my Grandmother Carpenter’s knee, she recounted to me an aphorism I did not understand at that time. "The youth of this world have been going to the dogs since the days of Rome, but they have not gotten there yet.” Now, some sixty years later, that saying has caused me to realize that truth in many more ways than just being applied to the youth. Read more

Canadian Code

Same Language, Different Words

by Leslie Stoch

We Canadians and our American friends use the same language, English, to communicate among ourselves and with each other. We generally take it for granted that we will understand each other, but unfortunately that doesn’t happen automatically. This is often true, especially when we attempt to discuss precise, technical stuff such as the electrical code. Read more

UL Question Corner

Can I get an email update from UL when new information is added to UL’s Regulators page?

by Underwriters Laboratories

Yes, as of January 2004, the UL Regulators page at has added a function where you can register for email updates and select your interest area, such as electrical, building or fire and you will receive an ULtimate Email update when UL information that is of interest to you is developed. In order to register, just log on to and a popup window will appear. Complete the registration form and you will be registered to receive ULtimate email updates, so that you will always be the first to know. Read more

Other Code

Basic Electricity, Part 1

by David Young

The more accident investigations I perform, the more I am convinced that a thorough understanding of basic electricity is critical in solving tough cases. In the past twenty years, I have taught basic electricity more than any other subject. A majority of my students are lawyers. In order for them to understand how an electrical accident happened, they must know the basics of electricity. Read more

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