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January-February 2009
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January-February 2009 CoverJanuary/February 2009


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Using Technology to Minimize the Arc-Flash Hazard

by Andrew Cochran

Although arc hazards have existed since man began using electricity, increasing deaths, injuries and property loss from arcing faults have led to increased awareness of the issue and investigation into methods of protection.

PV Math

* Unraveling the Mysterious 705.12(D) Load Side PV Connections

by John Wiles

As we look at the PV array in a PV system, we find that many installers and inspectors are confused by the new system voltage calculations that may be required by the Code specific to PV systems. Code fine print notes (FPN) also address voltage drop that may be applied to the dc wiring from the array to the inverter. This article will cover both of those subjects. Read more

Survivability under Fire

by Wayne D. Moore

On December 27, 2006, a three-alarm fire occurred in a 16-story fully sprinklered residential building known as Plumley Village. The fire attacked the building located at 16 Laurel Street in Worcester, Massachusetts, at about 4:30 a.m. Plumley Village consists of a sixteen-building complex built in 1972. Read more

Is Your City Stealing from You?

by Jim Maldonado

Most people don’t think too much about what their city does for them until something goes wrong. What services do the cities provide to their residents and how much do they charge? Most cities are in the business of providing public safety services through their fire and police departments and through the courts. Read more

Safely Lighting in Hazardous Environments

by Steve Henry

Lighting fixtures play a critical role in the safe, efficient and productive operation of any industrial facility or production process. Darkened, enclosed and round-the-clock operations rely on them exclusively for illumination. Daylight operations benefit from the additional and spot lighting they provide. Read more

With Eyes Wide Open – 2009 International President Richard Owen

by Richard Owen

Three hefty challenges face IAEI in its eighty-first year. First, and perhaps the most troubling of the three, is the weakening position of the electrical inspector. Second, and closely tied to the first, is the difficulty in retaining members. Read more

Extreme Weather and Time Pressures Undermine Safety

by Darren Margerison

Over the past months we have had the pleasure of enduring another winter, and in the electrical industry this can always pose many challenges. Often workers are required to work in some of the worst conditions of extreme rain and wind and, unfortunately, they always find many time pressures on them to restore power... Read more

Industrial Control Panels for Roof Top Units

by Michael D. Fontaine

The electrical inspector has to verify the adequacy of SCCR of heating and cooling equipment at the location where it is installed; the electrical engineer designing the electrical distribution system has to assure that the engineer specifying heating and cooling equipment specifies equipment (integral industrial control panel) with an adequate SCCR... Read more

The Challenge of Increasing Electrical Safety, Part 1

by Jim Pauley

Municipalities across the nation have faced unprecedented difficulties adopting the new 2008 National Electrical Code® (NEC®), from the National Fire Protection Association, Inc. (NFPA). In fact, national associations have launched public relations and political offensives to halt or slow adoption primarily due to claims that the new code will significantly increase the cost to build.. Read more

A Checklist for Surviving Financial Combat

by Jesse Abercrombie

Over the past few weeks, the news has been almost incomprehensible. It’s hard for many of us to make sense of the failure of major Wall Street firms and large banks and the $700 billion bailout of the financial sector. And it’s hard for investors to be calm when stocks have fallen almost 30 percent from their all-time high a year ago. What can you do to cope? Consider the following checklist for surviving a financial crisis. Read more

IAEI Membership – A Value That Is Unmatched

by Tim McClintock

The International Membership Committee held its annual meeting at IAEI International headquarters in November 2008. The primary purpose of the committee is to develop and implement plans for moving forward with improving membership and its associated benefits through IAEI. The committee provides members one of many important voices to the International Board of Directors, as voiced through the membership chairs and committees at the section, chapter and division levels. Read more




What can I do for IAEI?

by James W. Carpenter

As I write this month’s editorial it is just after the annual section meetings and just before the International Board of Directors meeting, and the day after Election Day. If your candidate didn’t win, don’t be disheartened. All of us must work together to keep our country strong and growing. The same is true for our membership and support of IAEI, we must work together to accomplish the goals set for IAEI eighty years ago. Those goals are just as important today, if not more so, as they were back then. Read more

Canadian Code

Sections 18 and 20 – A Look at Hazardous Locations

by Leslie Stoch

A hazardous location is defined by the Canadian Electrical Code as a location where the hazard of fire or explosion exists as a result of flammable and explosive products. This article discusses some of the mystery surrounding hazardous locations. As we all know, many industries manufacture, process or use flammable or explosive products. A great deal of effort is taken to reduce fire and explosion hazards, but process failures, incorrect installations, inadequate maintenance or incorrect operation procedures can result in a hazardous situation. Read more

Canadian Perspectives

Application of Section 46 of the CE Code: Now and in the 2009 edition of the Code

by Ark Tsisserev

Code users often ask whether Section 46 of the CE Code governs only the requirements for emergency systems that are mandated by the National Building Code of Canada (NBCC) to provide alternate source of power when the normal power fails. Read more

UL Question Corner

Does the unit switch on a household dishwasher qualify as a disconnect in accordance with NEC 422.34?

by Underwriters Laboratories

No, the unit switch in a household dishwasher is not required to disconnect all ungrounded conductors from the source of supply and does not qualify as a disconnect in accordance with NEC 422.34. Read more

UL Question Corner

A contractor indicated that a UL Listed fiber optic swimming pool light was not provided with installation instructions. Are these instructions required as part of the Listing?

by Underwriters Laboratories

As with most UL Listed products, installation instructions are required to be provided with fiber optic swimming pool luminaires. UL lists fiber optic luminaires for swimming pools and spas under the product category "Luminaires and Forming Shells for Swimming Pools and Spas (WBDT).” Read more

Focus on the Code

Exhaust Fans on Pitched Roofs

by Lanny McMahill

As you have noted, there is nothing in the National Electrical Code to preclude the installation of an exhaust fan on a roof — this is regardless of the roof being flat or pitched. Realistically, installing an exhaust fan on a roof is no different than if it were installed up high in an exterior building wall or down low in an underground vault. Read more

Focus on the Code

Breakers not listed on panelboard data sheet

by Lanny McMahill

First, it is understandable that for older panelboards it is difficult to find new or replacement circuit breakers. Typically, the panelboard may be obsolete, the manufacturer may be out of business or perhaps purchased by another manufacturer. In addition, electrical equipment design and manufacturing technologies change. As a result, the equipment is not produced or there is little demand for such equipment. Read more

Focus on the Code

Protect grounding electrode conductor in crawl?

by Michael Johnston

You are correct in your understanding of this rule. The last sentence of 250.64(B) requires an 8 AWG copper grounding electrode conductor to be protected from physical damage by installing it in rigid metal conduit, rigid nonmetallic conduit, intermediate metal conduit, electrical metallic tubing, or cable armor, and no exceptions to this requirement. Read more

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