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May-June 2006
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Demystifying Grounding Electrodes

by Frank Fitzgerald

When choosing a grounding electrode for an installation, it is important to consider the level of protection required for the application and the design life of the building. Merely complying with the National Electric Code is not always sufficient. Read more

Perspectives on PV

* The 15-minute PV System Inspection. Can You? Should You?

by John Wiles

As I make presentations on photovoltaic power systems and the National Electrical Code around the country, I frequently talk to inspectors who have as little as 15 minutes to make a residential electrical inspection. A common question is, "Can I inspect a residential PV system in 15 minutes?” This article will examine that question and also take up the question, "Should only 15 minutes be allocated for inspecting a residential PV system?” Read more

If You Don’t Cover the Risks, You Lose!

by Richard Owen

Before any risk is ever taken, test pilots, race drivers, mountain climbers, and sky divers make meticulous preparation for their personal safety. Electrical inspectors also face risks every day just doing their jobs. Read more

What Is Practical Safeguarding? A Look at the Evolution of GFCI Protection

by Donny Cook

IAEI members have opportunity and responsibility, through the NEC process, to support what we believe to be practical safeguarding of persons and property arising from the use of electricity. In this article, I would like to review the history of the NEC requirements for the use of GFCI protective devices and to consider the possibilities for future evolution. For the purpose of this article, I would like to focus attention on the general requirements for 15- and 20-ampere, 125- volt receptacles, rather than the "special occupancy and equipment” requirements located in chapters 5 and 6. Read more

Current in the Grounded Conducto

by Michael Johnston

Recently there have been several questions about the locations of grounding connections to the grounded conductor. Before looking at some of the requirements specific to grounding locations and the reasons behind those rules, let’s review some basic rules that apply to the grounded conductor. I guess the first thing that should be pointed out is that the grounded conductor is often a service or system neutral conductor. For the purposes of this article we’ll address this conductor as the grounded conductor. Read more

Time to Choose a Small-Business Retirement Plan

by Jesse Abercrombie

If you’re in the electrical industry, you’re always thinking about today. How can you get more projects today? Is your cash flow sufficient for today? Is my bid competitive? What are your competitors doing today? However, you can’t forget about tomorrow. Specifically, you need to make sure you’re building sufficient financial resources to enjoy a comfortable retirement. To help you do just that, you need the right small-business retirement plan. Read more

ESFI Raises Awareness of New UL and CSA Requirements for GFCIs


To reduce electrically related deaths and injuries through public education, the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) has joined with the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), and the Consumer Product Safety Commission to disseminate information on new requirements for ground-fault circuit interrupters. These new requirements offer a significant safety improvement for consumers. Read more



Play the Ball Where the Monkey Drops It

by James W. Carpenter

The minister of the church Mary Anne and I attend opened his sermon the other week by relating a story from Gregory K. Jones’ book about India back when the country was a colony of England. Many English people lived in India — businessmen, military personnel, etc. — and they longed for some of the conveniences of dear ole England. Read more

Canadian Code

Continuous Circuit Loading, Rule 8-104

by Leslie Stoch

This article defines continuous loads, explains why this definition is important, and demonstrates how wiring methods affect the ratings of continuously operated electrical equipment. We begin with Canadian Electrical Code, Rule 8-302(2) which specifies the following: "A load of cyclic or intermittent nature shall be classified as continuous unless it meets the requirements of Rule 8-104(3). Read more

Canadian Perspectives

Protection of Electrical Conductors: What, When and How

by Ark Tsisserev

Canadian Electrical Code recognizes the fact that conductors used in any location must be protected against adverse effects of moisture, corrosive action, temperature and mechanical impact. Rules 4-006 and 12-100 of the CE Code state that the selected conductors must be suitable for condition of use in accordance with provisions of Table 19. Read more

Other Code

The 2007 NESC – Part 2

by David Young

In the March/April issue of IAEI News, I discussed what I think is the most important change coming in the 2007 edition of the National Electrical Safety Code. That change is the addition of a third loading requirement, extreme ice and concurrent wind, to the strength and loading sections of the NESC. What is considered important to one utility may not be important to another. For example, utilities that do not have structures (poles) taller than 60 feet in height, will find the extreme ice and concurrent wind change to be of very little importance because it applies only to structures taller than 60 feet. In my effort to identify the significant changes, I have tried to look at the changes from an industry prospective. Read more

UL Question Corner

Are EMT offset connectors or any EMT connectors or fittings Listed for use with threaded hubs, such as on a conduit body or Myers hub?

by Underwriters Laboratories

All hubs are intended for use with threaded conduit, not fittings. Hubs are provided with a tapered thread, and so is threaded conduit such as rigid metal conduit or intermediate metal conduit (IMC). EMT fittings have a straight thread and are designed for use with a lock nut, intended to secure to an enclosure through a knock out or punched hole. Read more

UL Question Corner

Are there any Listed MC cable connectors for use with this cable?

by Underwriters Laboratories

There is a new type of MC cable for use in dry locations only, that is of the interlocked metal tape–type. It is constructed with a bare aluminum grounding/bonding conductor that is sandwiched between the Mylar wrap around the conductors and the interlocked metal tape armor. That construction ensures intimate metal contact of the grounding/bonding conductor and the metal armor sheath of the cable. Read more

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