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May-June 2005
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May-June 2005 CoverMay-June 2005


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NEIS: Quality, Safety, and Code Compliance

by Brooke Stauffer

National Electrical Installation Standards (NEIS) are the first quality and performance standards for electrical construction. Since the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) began publishing them in 1998, NEIS have grown into a series of 28 installation manuals covering every type of electrical product and system (see sidebar 1). They are available in three formats: as paper books, on CD-ROM, and as pdf downloads from the Internet. Read more

Perspectives on PV

* Permitting or Inspecting a PV System?

by John Wiles

Inspectors are more and more frequently faced with permitting or inspecting PV systems as these systems proliferate throughout the country due to increasing regional financial incentive programs. Photovoltaic power is a relatively young technology and industry. While well-qualified people are installing many excellent, code-compliant PV systems, others are designing and installing these systems with little or no prior experience with electrical systems. Unfortunately, as financial incentives continue and even increase, more unqualified people are installing these systems. Read more

Counterfeit Products Present Additional Business Risks for Distributors and Contractors

by Clark R. Silcox

Manufacturers, distributors, and electrical contractors build enduring relationships by supplying quality, dependable electrical products that they are all prepared to stand behind. The introduction of counterfeit electrical products into the marketplace alters that relationship substantially. It places the distributor or contractor in a risky legal position that could leave the distributor or contractor solely responsible for defects or problems with the product. Furthermore, because a counterfeit product damages the reputation of those who trade in these products, it can dissolve the supply relationship with the genuine manufacturer. Read more

Low-Voltage Cabling

by Frank Peri

This article deals with abandoned, low-voltage communications cabling in building structures, and the serious fire hazard concerns that prompted the 2002 National Electrical Code to require the removal of abandoned cable. The article was written with the goal of encouraging electrical inspectors and other AHJs to enforce code compliance. Read more

Global Standards Harmonization

by Sonya Bird

For over a century, Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) has been developing safety standards. UL recognized early that while testing and certification services are important, it is equally important to devote resources to developing sound technical requirements to be used as a basis for product certification. Read more

AFCI Testers – Not Really

by Jim Pauley

The electrical industry has always had a fascination with testers. There are testers for GFCIs, voltage drop, circuit polarity, circuit continuity and now the latest addition—the arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) tester. Read more

Awareness of Lightning Safety


Lightning strikes the United States as many as 20 million times each year. Because lightning traditionally causes more deaths than tornadoes or hurricanes and occurs when outdoor activity reaches a peak, the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) and the Lightning Protection Institute (LPI) are reminding consumers and those who work outdoors of these lightning safety guidelines. Read more

Signaling Systems

by Noel Williams

Article 725 in the NEC covers signaling systems and remote control systems. These types of systems are not always easily distinguished from each other because applications of signaling and remote control circuits tend to overlap. In fact, some systems or circuits often perform both functions. For this reason, the rules in Article 725 and the application of those rules are based on circuit classifications rather than precise functions. Read more

Preventing Electrical Shocks With Proper Grounding Techniques

by Jim Gregorec

An estimated 58 people lose their life each week as a result of electric shock. In an electrical system, the grounding and bonding system is the primary protection against electrical shock hazards. It provides a low resistance path to ground to protect against electrical faults. The effective ground-fault current path ensures facilitation of overcurrent device operation under ground-fault conditions. The earth is not to be considered as an effective ground-fault current path [see 250.4(A)(5)]. Using proper grounding and bonding techniques, testing and maintaining a good electrical ground and installing protection devices are the best ways to protect people and equipment from electrical shock. Read more

Chinese National Sentenced to Prison for Dealing in Counterfeit Merchandise

by Underwriters Laboratories

U.S. Attorney Michael Shelby announced on February 16, 2005, that Zheng Xiao Yi, a citizen of the Peoples Republic of China who owned and operated an import and wholesale business in the Harwin Drive area of Houston, has been sentenced to more than five years in federal prison for trafficking in counterfeit goods. Read more

Municipal Bonds Offer Tax Benefits

by Jesse Abercrombie

In the construction industry, contractors of every type construct new schools, highways, and other municipal projects. Those same people who upgrade our lives can also reap the tax benefits these projects carry. Read more

Avoid Outdoor Electrical Hazards at Work and Home

by Michael G. Clendenin

Warmer weather brings an increase in outdoor work in many parts of the country, both on the job and at home. Increasing electrical safety awareness can help ensure those activities do not result in injuries and deaths, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI). Read more



Safety is Our Main Concern

by James W. Carpenter

During IAEI’s 75th Anniversary, the Diamond Jubilee, two electrical industry leaders, Jack Wells, Pass & Seymour/Legrande, and Jim Pauley, Square D/Schneider Electric, presented a glimpse of what we might expect in the future. One part that stuck with me was that the electrical inspector would be looked upon with great favor by school children, so much so that they would be gathering around the Electrical Inspector’s vehicle instead of a big red fire truck. Sounded pretty far-fetched. It was supposed to be a tongue-in-cheek item, but why not? Read more

Canadian Code

Bonding with Our Neighbors

by Leslie Stoch

Both the Canadian Electrical Code and its American counterpart, the National Electrical Code provide similar definitions for the metallic means of bonding electrical equipment and raceways. In this article, I’d like to review some of the similarities and differences in the acceptable bonding methods in Canada versus the United States. Let’s begin with the definition of bonding as expressed in our separate electrical codes. Read more

Canadian Perspectives

OBIEC and Electrical Regulators

by Ark Tsisserev

OBIEC! What is it about, why did it appear on radar of the Canadian electrical safety practitioners, and how is it intended to be dealt with by the electrical industry? So, let’s explore this mysterious abbreviation step-by-step. Read more

Other Code

Basic Electricity, Part 6 – Large Conductors

by David Young

Most of my training in college was in electronics. When I graduated in 1971, most of the electronics companies were not hiring so I took a job with the local electric utility until I could find a job in electronics. Thirty-three years later, I’m still with the utility. Over the years working for an electric utility, I have become accustomed to referring to bare wire as wire and insulated wire as cable. In general, most of our aerial or overhead construction involves wire and most of our underground construction involves cable. Read more

UL Question Corner

Are commercial cooking appliances such as commercial electric ranges listed for use in a household?

by Underwriters Laboratories

Commercial cooking appliances, such as commercial electric ranges, are not listed for use in a household. UL lists commercial cooking equipment including commercial electric ranges under the category Commercial Cooking Appliances, (KNGT), located on page 231 of the 2004 White Book. The Guide Information states, "This category covers cooking equipment intended for commercial indoor use, such as…ranges, and other appliances for use in commercial kitchens, restaurants, or other business establishments where food is dispensed.” Read more

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