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November-December 2007
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November-December 2007 CoverNovember-December 2007


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Selective Coordination – Responsibilities of the AHJ

by Mark Hilbert

Selective coordination ensures proper isolation and localization for all possible overcurrents (from overloads to maximum short-circuit currents at the point of application) to the nearest upstream overcurrent protective device and prevents unnecessary loss of power to other loads, especially loads essential for life safety.

Perspectives on PV

* Why Inspect PV Systems?

by John Wiles

Photovoltaic power systems are a rapidly growing (30+ percent/year) segment of the residential and commercial electrical systems market. These systems operate up to 600 volts and, in the larger commercial systems, the dc and ac currents can range up to 1000 amps. These levels of voltage and current, if not properly managed, pose both shock and fire hazards. The electrical inspection is a key element to minimizing these potential hazards.Read more

What the Industry Thinks of Inspectors

by Earl E. Whitehorne

Every prominent official of one of the electrical inspectors’ associations has frankly asked this question, What does the electrical industry think of the electrical inspector? I am going to answer in the same frank spirit and set down plainly what I find to be the feeling among electrical men. In a word, the electrical industry does not think about the electrical inspector at all. It looks upon the inspector as something quite apart from the electrical industry. And it regards this great body of men in the light of an unorganized police force, that undoubtedly contributes to safety in the use of electricity, but, instead of keeping order, promotes disorder because it is unorganized. Read more

Medium Voltage Seminar

by Christel Hunter

The Southern Nevada Chapter of IAEI sponsored a Medium Voltage seminar on August 25, 2007. It was held at the Clark County Development Services Center and instruction was provided by Mike Johnston (IAEI) and Chuck Mello (UL). Mike and Chuck developed the course on behalf of the IAEI at the request of Rick Maddox, international third vice-president of the IAEI and building inspections supervisor with Clark County, Nevada. Read more

Coalition to Promote Role of Code Enforcers

by Gretchen P. Hesbacher

A national coalition will undertake the goal to educate the public, industry and elected officials about the critical role code officials play in improving the level of safety in the built environment. The Raise the Profile Coalition, committed to creating awareness about the important role code officials play in making everyday life safer, is made up of building safety professionals, trade associations, manufacturers, consumers and other stakeholders committed to improving public safety by raising awareness of code officials’ roles. Read more

At Risk Below the Minimum

by Michael Johnston

The NEC contains the minimum requirements for electrical installations to ensure they are essentially free from hazards. Compliance with the NEC rules means meeting minimum safety requirements established by qualified technical committees that respond to compelling reasons (substantiation) that result in the minimum requirements. Read more

Electrical Safety: Why Inspections Matter

by Jim Pauley

Businesses are under more pressure than ever to improve bottom-line performance. But it’s a misconception to think that removing the cost of electrical compliance will create "real” savings. The short-term cost benefits will be quickly outweighed when the lack of compliance creates a tragedy. Read more

Unsafe Conditions: Deciding When to Red Tag

by Michael Weitzel

Have you seen an electrical installation that stops you in your tracks? We’re talking about those installations that make you laugh and shake your head in disbelief! Others may make you angry that someone risked his safety and the safety of others. You may want to grab a camera and take a photo in order to share your shock or amazement at such an installation. Read more



What’s Best for Our Members?

by David Clements

Sometime ago I was asked, "What guides you in making decisions at the board level?” "Before I enter any discussions, I ask myself, What’s best for our members?” I answered. It’s easy to forget and lose sight of the fact that we are a member association and while we face many challenges as a not-for-profit association, we must always consider our member needs. Running the association is similar to running a business—we must ensure we have the money in the bank to meet our financial obligations, keep up-to-date with technology, provide training and programs that meet the needs and wants of our members, develop marketing plans, run a topnotch publishing department, and the list goes on. Read more

Canadian Code

Reasons Behind the Rules

by Leslie Stoch

A great deal of wisdom and experience go into writing the rules of the Canadian Electrical Code; however, the reasons may not always be clear to its users and sometimes we’re not completely satisfied to follow the rules without understanding the reasons behind them. This article reviews several rules from Section 10, Grounding and Bonding, and the reasons behind them. Read more

Canadian Perspectives

Understanding Circuit Rating and Circuit Loading

by Ark Tsisserev

It is very reassuring for a feature columnist to know that his articles are actually read and discussed by the readers. I was pleased to get comments from the Canadian readers of the IAEI News on my column published in the July/August issue (page 38). That column described a comprehensive process developed by the CSA for proposals to change the Canadian Electrical Code. Yet, the same readers have pointed out to me that perhaps Bob Edwards is not aware of this process, as his article on "inadequacies” of Rule 8-104 in the CE Code (shown on page 12 of the same issue) painted a bleak picture of this rule. Read more

Other Code

If Electricity Is So Expensive, Why Don’t You Buy a Generator?

by David Young

Alternative electric sources have been around for a long time. I have a sister-in-law who lives on the side of a mountain near Rutland, Vermont. She built her house about the time of the first energy crunch in the mid-seventies. She and her husband decided not to connect to the local electric utility. For over thirty years, they have generated all of their electricity for their house and businesses (production of maple syrup and engineering consulting) from solar panels on the roof of their house and a small windmill located several thousand feet from their house. So why don’t more people do it? When I ask people this question, they usually answer, "It’s not economical.” Read more

UL Question Corner

Are concentric and eccentric knockouts on panelboards Listed for bonding at over 250-volts? How about on outlet boxes?

by Underwriters Laboratories

No. Enclosures for panelboards as well as enclosed switches are evaluated using requirements in the UL Standard for Safety for Enclosures for Electrical Equipment, UL 50. Requirements in UL 50 do not include an evaluation of concentric and/or eccentric (also known as tangential) knockouts for bonding. UL did have requirements in place at one time, which detailed construction, and performance requirements for evaluating concentric and/or eccentric knockouts for this purpose. Subsequent to actions taken by the UL 50 Standards Technical Panel (STP) in 2005, these requirements were withdrawn. Read more

UL Question Corner

Is a CE Mark the same as a NRTL mark?

by Underwriters Laboratories

No, a NRTL Mark is the certification mark of a nationally recognized test lab as accredited by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). You can determine which test labs are nationally recognized testing laboratories (NRTLs) as well as the scope of their accreditation (which standards they can certify to as a NRTL) by accessing www.osha. gov/dts/otpca/nrtl The UL Mark is the most well known and accepted NRTL Mark. Read more

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