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November-December 2008
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What Price for Life? Code Adoption: Ohio’s Fight for Electrical Safety

by Tim McClintock

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is the leading advocate of fire prevention and is an authoritative source on public safety.1 The National Electrical Code, one of the 300 codes and standards published by NFPA, is a true consensus based code process. Read more

Perspectives on PV

* A Top to Bottom Perspective on a PV System

by John Wiles

Photovoltaic power systems can be examined in a number of different ways as we have done in the last few years in the "Perspectives on PV” series of articles. In this article and the next few articles in the series, let’s start at the modules at the "top” of the system and progress through the system to the grid interconnection at the "bottom.” A utility-interactive PV system is a series-connected system, so where we start is not important and if you are in a hurry for information on some part of the system that we have not gotten to, you can review past articles in the series that are archived on my web site. Read more

Article 708, Critical Operations Power Systems – Some Existing Technologies to Assist in Complying

by Robert Arno

NEC-2008 has a new Article 708, Critical Operations Power Systems (COPS). COPS are defined as "power systems for facilities or parts of facilities that require continuous operation for the reasons of public safety, emergency management, national security, or business continuity.” Read more

Ground Rods Marking and Compliance Requirements

by Jim Lund

In today’s electrical environment, many installed ground rod electrodes do not meet the requirements of the National Electrical Code. Ground rods less than 0.625 in diameter, rods that were cut in half either because of driving difficulty or to reduce expenses, or rods with less than the required coating thickness (e.g., copper, zinc) are all... Read more

Arc Flash Overview

by Joseph Weigel

Five to ten times per day, an electrical arc-flash accident occurs that seriously injures or kills someone in the United States. Standards such as NFPA 70E and electrically safe work practices are now in place to reduce these accident statistics, and OSHA enforces these published safety standards. Read more

Dispenser Disconnects – Critical safety net that is overlooked?

by Donny Cook

Technology of fuel dispensers has kept pace with the fast-paced society of today. Present day fuel dispensers often come configured with a multitude of options. Fuel dispenser designs in the past incorporated only basic circuits related to a suction pump and an on/off switch. Read more

Dispenser Retrofits – Field Modifications

by Alfredo M. Ramirez

Retrofit kits are routinely used to upgrade or change the functionality of products. There is no truer example of this than fuel dispenser retrofits. Fuel dispenser retrofits allow station owners to upgrade existing fuel dispensers to the latest technologies or to comply with local vapor recovery regulations. Read more

Energy Conservation and the Electrical Industry Overview and Residential Requirements

by Kristyn Clayton

The recent article in the IAEI News outlining the background, purpose, and need for energy codes, energy conservation and sustainable construction should serve as a wakeup call to the electrical industry. Energy codes are not new; the first energy conservation code appeared in the seventies as a reaction to that decade’s energy crisis. Read more

What is Behind the Genuine Mark?

by Ravi Ganatra

Customers have expressed concerns about products entering the market that do not always comply with existing standards. We have prepared this document to address these concerns. The listing mark from Underwriters Laboratories (UL), or any other nationally recognized testing laboratory (NRTL), is considered an industry stamp of approval. Read more

Electrical Systems – Are You Protected?

by Michael Weitzel

Protection Required There’s a lot of talk about protection going on currently. Personal protection, internet protection, home protection, neighborhood protection… the list goes on and on. Read more

The Fire Never Started – Thank an Inspector

by Robert McCullough

The general theme for this month’s IAEI News is safety; and when most electrical people talk safety, they think of personnel safety and safety in the work place, OSHA and NFPA 70E. And why not, after all electricity is dangerous and if you’re not careful working with it you can get hurt. Read more


Canadian Perspectives

Bonding and Grounding. Is there a reason to be confused?

by Ark Tsisserev

The CE Code requirements for bonding and grounding are perhaps, the most important safety rules for electrical installations. Each person deemed to be qualified to do electrical work must clearly understand what bonding and grounding is, why it is necessary and how it must be done. And yet the basic principles of these essential code requirements are often misunderstood. Read more

Other Code

Safety Signs, Part 3

by David Young

This sign is yet another example of signs that does not effectively warn the public of the hazard. As discussed in detail in Part 2 of this series, this sign should be a WARNING sign. The reader of the sign is outside the fence and is not in immediate danger. The symbol has failed testing many times. It is not one that the general public understands. The sign does not explain the consequences of not avoiding the hazard and it would be more effective if the sign said "Keep Out!” instead of "No Trespassing.” Read more

UL Question Corner

Are receptacles and switches Listed for use with stranded conductors?

by Underwriters Laboratories

UL Listed receptacles are evaluated for use with solid and stranded conductors; however, they are not Listed for use with spade terminals. Receptacles are Listed under the product category Receptacles for Plugs and Attachment Plugs (RTRT) located on page 295 in the 2008 UL White Book and (RTRT7) on page 434 in the 2008 Canadian White Book. The Guide Information for (RTRT) and (RTRT7) states under the heading of Terminals, "Terminals of the wire-binding screw, setscrew, or screw-actuated back wired clamping types are suitable for use with both solid and stranded building wires. Screwless terminal connectors of the conductor push-in type (also known as "pushin-terminals”) are restricted to 15 A branch circuits and are for connection with 14 AWG solid copper wire only.” They are not intended for use with aluminum or copperclad aluminum wire, 14 AWG stranded copper wire, or 12 AWG solid or stranded copper wire. Read more

UL Question Corner

Are receptacles that are provided with more than one set of terminals Listed for tapping off more than one circuit, utilizing both the side and back wiring terminals?

by Underwriters Laboratories

The short answer is yes for receptacles Listed for the U.S. market and no to receptacles Listed for the Canadian market. This is due to the difference in certification requirements between the two countries. Receptacles evaluated to UL 498, The Standard for Receptacles for Plugs and Attachment Plugs requires receptacles to be tested using the side terminal and rear terminals on the receptacles concurrently, where the Canadian Standard, CSA C22.2 No. 42-M1984, General Use Receptacles, Attachment Plugs and Similar Devices does not address testing for this application. Receptacles for the U.S. market are Listed under the product category Receptacles for Plugs and Attachment Plugs (RTRT) located on page 295 in the 2008 UL White Book. Read more

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