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July-August 2008
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National Energy Codes and Standards

by Pam Cole

Most electrical inspectors never evaluate completed residential and commercial buildings with respect to energy efficiency provisions adopted and enforced by a state or jurisdiction. Why? Electrical-plan review and inspection do not typically involve energy provisions and, more significantly, most electrical inspections occur before energy-saving measures are even installed. Read more

Perspectives on PV

* Grid Interconnections – Then [2005] and Now [2008]

by John Wiles

The final connection between the photovoltaic (PV) power system and the electrical utility grid is always an area of high interest to both inspectors and to the utility, because both agencies are responsible for safety. These connections vary significantly from PV system to system due to the size of the PV system and to the configuration of the existing service-entrance equipment. These variations are made more complex because of differences in Section 690.64 in the National Electrical Code (NEC) between the 2005 and 2008 editions. Read more

EuP – Energy-Using Products Directive

by Wasim Khokhar

The European Union leads the world through enacting sweeping and comprehensive environmental regulations. The latest regulatory enactment is the EuP (Energy-using Products) directive 2005/32/EC. Global electrical and electronic manufacturers should take notice. This directive applies to all energy-using products, except those used for transporting persons or goods. Read more

Multimeter Accident Prevention Plan, An Electrical Inspector’s Survival Guide

by Steve Smith

People are getting hurt using multimeters. That is a fact. Every day, electrical inspectors and investigators potentially expose themselves to some sort of risk while doing inspections and investigations. Eliminating or limiting risk is the key to accident prevention while doing the job. NFPA 921, chapter 12 is devoted to the safety of the investigator... Read more

Watts Being Saved in California?

by Tim Owens

What Is the Big Deal about Saving Watts? Why worry about the amount of electrical energy consumed by businesses and residences daily? There are many answers to this question. Global warming is an issue that is experiencing a higher level of awareness than ever before. Read more

Adoption of 2008 National Electrical Code Gains Momentum


Public officials in several states have embraced new safety standards, voting to adopt the 2008 National Electrical Code® (NEC) with minimal or no amendments, and America’s heartland has taken the lead on acceptance. Read more

How Electrical Contractors Can Develop Better Relationships with Electrical Inspectors

by Michael Weitzel

Maintaining positive and effective working relations is essential in business and the electrical trade. We are often asked by electrical contractors, installers, and the public how to get along with local electrical inspectors. Sometimes it’s not easy (smile). Read more

Follow a Withdrawl Strategy that Won’t Leave You Empty

by Jesse Abercrombie

One of the things that I enjoy about working with contractors and business owners in the electrical industry is that they never really plan to retire. Here goes…. Read more

Energy Efficiencies

by Darren Margerison

Governments all over are actively looking at the issues of saving energy and reducing carbon omissions. Australia is not ignoring these calls and currently government, industry and the general public are seeking to also contribute to the savings in a variety of methods. Read more



Measuring Good Judgment

by James W. Carpenter

To quote Will Rogers, "Well, all I know is just what I read in the papers…” While I was reading a Sunday edition of the Dallas Morning News, an interesting article on the recent grounding of airplanes related to airline safety captured my attention. My wife and I had recently been caught in the early stages of this situation when we traveled to North Carolina for the annual North Carolina Electrical Institute. Luckily we were only delayed for a couple of hours when an American Airlines agent was able to reschedule us on another airline. Read more

Canadian Perspective

Installation of electrically connected carbon monoxide alarms

by Ark Tsisserev

The 2005 edition of the National Building Code of Canada (NBCC) has been already adopted by the majority of provincial and territorial jurisdictions. This means that one change that has been introduced into the latest edition of the NBCC could be very interesting (and very relevant) to the electrical designers, installers and electrical safety regulators. Read more

Other Code

Safety Signs

by David Young

Whether the hazard is electrical, toxic chemical or a slippery sidewalk, placing physical barriers between the public and the hazard is not enough to prevent injury, death or litigation. I mention litigation because many companies only care about preventing litigation. The National Electrical Code (NEC) and the National Electrical Safety Code® (NESC®) both recognize... Read more

Focus on the Code

Would this be classified as a raceway?

by David G. Humphrey

The multiple questions concerning the installation as described by the submitter involve a number of considerations that make this installation very interesting (see photos 1-3). The submitter does not reference which NEC is being used, so we will base our answers upon the 2005 edition. Read more

Focus on the Code

Can you daisy chain connections to fixtures?

by Michael Johnston

This response is based on the information provided in the question. 2 x 4 lay-in style fluorescent luminaires are permitted to be wired with any branch circuit wiring method in chapter 3 of the NEC, depending on the type of building construction it is being installed in. You indicated that the luminaires are being wired using MC cable that is run from one luminaire to the next, using the ballast compartment as a junction box. Read more

Focus on the Code

Static Electricity and UL 971

by Michael Johnston

This message is in response to your request for information about static electricity issues when plastic piping is used for transport. This subject is beyond the scope of NEC requirements. Often UL Standards writing has input from industry professionals that have expertise in a given field to attain the most meaningful input and to work on developing comprehensive product safety standards. Read more

Focus on the Code

Insulated bushing required when large conductor installed in EMT?

by Richard Owen

NEC-2002, Section 300.4(F) says: "…the conductors shall be protected by a substantial fitting providing a smoothly rounded insulating surface…” and does not specifically require a bushing. The bushing is only mentioned in the second paragraph in regard to a different requirement of 300.4(F). Read more

Focus on the Code

Does equipment need a second UL listing once it has been incorporated into final product?

by Lanny McMahill

First, the National Electrical Code defines approved as "acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ).” Therefore, electrical products, equipment and installation approvals are the responsibility of the AHJ. See NEC Article 100 definition of approved and NEC 10.2 for approval requirements. Read more

Focus on the Code

When is an electrical vault required?

by Lanny McMahill

It is difficult to give a concrete response to "When is an electrical vault required,” as the use of a vault could be a design consideration or a mandatory Code requirement. There are conditions and other criteria that must be considered. Read more

Focus on the Code

When was it that UL-approved panel shops became better (or the only) designers and fabricators of industrial control panels?

by Robert Fahey

The best way to answer your question regarding industrial control panels is by taking each part of the question and answering it separately. Answers are based on NEC-2008, although answers would not be different based on NEC-2005. Read more

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