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March-April 2012
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March-April 2012 CoverMarch/April 2012


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Article 215 — Feeders

by Randy Hunter

Since Article 215 is simply titled "Feeders,” let’s start by answering the question "What is a feeder?” If we check Article 100, we find that the definition of a feeder is: "All circuit conductors between the service equipment, the source of a separately derived system, or other power supply source and the final branch-circuit overcurrent device.” With that definition in mind, let’s take a practical look at what that means in a building. In most larger projects we have a main service, which is the point at which the serving utility provides power. Read more

Perspectives on PV

More Questions from Inspectors Numerous PV Systems Pose Issues

by John Wiles

Photovoltaic (PV) systems prices continue to drop and inspectors are getting numerous requests for inspections. The questions that I receive indicate that this is new territory for many inspectors. These questions also indicate a few "holes” in the National Electrical Code, which we hope to plug in the 2014 NEC. Read more

The Deadly Impact of Counterfeit Products

by Daniel Langlois

Caveat emptor: buyer beware! That designer watch or handbag might not hurt you but buy that discounted holiday light string or off-brand electrical equipment and you may live to regret it. Or worse yet, you may not. Read more

A Tidal Wave of Arc-Flash Hazard Calculation Studies

by James Phillips

What started as a slow drip a decade ago has turned into something more like a tidal wave. I’m not talking about a leaky faucet or a failing dam; I am referring to arc-flash hazard calculation studies. Years ago, only a few mostly larger companies performed these complex studies. Then little by little, the "drip” of studies turned into a steady stream and today, the arc-flash hazard calculation study (AFHCS) has become an integral part of many electrical safety programs. Read more

How to Determine Short-Circuit Current Ratings

by Daniel R. Neeser

It’s important to understand short-circuit current ratings (SCCR) for industrial control panels.Industrial control panelis a general term that describes an assembly of two or more components that can be power, control or both, but doesn’t include the controlled equipment. Read more

How Do DC and AC Motors Differ?

by Stephen J. Vidal

Magnetism and its effects are keys to understanding the operation of a motor. Lodestone, a natural mineral, exhibits the characteristics of a bar magnet that has a north pole and a south pole — always. I say always because if you were to cut a bar magnet in half, the magnetic domains of the two new pieces would re-orient themselves to corresponding north and south poles. Read more

Renewable Energy Systems, Section 64

by Ted Simmons

The 22nd edition of the Canadian Electrical Code, which has been extensively updated to improve safety and address changes in new technology, contains over 180 new requirements and revisions. Some of the most notable changes include.... Read more

NFPA Hosts 5th Electrical Inspector’s Forum

by Steve Foran

NFPA hosted twenty-six authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) from twenty states and Canada at the 5th NFPA Electrical Inspectors Forum. The common thread linking the Forum attendees is that they are all responsible for and have field experience in inspecting installations and enforcing electrical safety requirements in their jurisdictions (NEC® for the U.S. and the Canadian Electrical Code® for Canada). Attendees represented state, county, municipal provincial and private inspection authorities. Read more

Certification vs. License, Which Is Better?

by Michael Savage, Sr.

Many years ago I wrote an article for a local newsletter very similar to this about the difference between certifications and experience. In that article I discussed the differences between the two; in this article, I want to discuss the difference between achieving a certification and the requirements behind a license. Read more



From the Desk of the CEO/Executive Director

by David Clements

IAEI launches its 84th year with much anticipation and excitement as we launch several new projects as well as fulfilling the organization’s mission statement recently approved by the Board of Directors. I encourage the sections, chapters and divisions to include the new mission statement in their IAEI correspondence and to display it on their websites. It’s important that as an organization we deliver a message to the electrical industry as to who we are and what we do. Having a strong mission statement increases our brand recognition and explains to the public the important role we play in public safety. Read more

Canadian Code

Hazardous Gases and Vapours, Section 18

by Leslie Stoch

The Canadian Electrical Code, Section 18 covers electrical equipment and wiring in locations where ignition of flammable gases, vapours, dusts and fibres could result in fires or explosions. Such places are identified as hazardous locations. To minimize risks, they are classified as to the levels of risk. Electrical equipment and wiring requirements are more stringent for higher risk locations. This article discusses hazardous locations and equipment identification for flammable or explosive gases and vapours. Read more

Canadian Perspectives

Impact of the Building Code on Electrical Wiring

by Ark Tsisserev

There are many places in the Canadian Electrical Code, where wiring requirements are dependent on provisions of theNationalBuilding Code of Canada (NBCC). For example, wiring methods for a fire alarm system must comply with Rule 32-102, if a fire alarm system is required in a building by the NBCC. A similar condition is applied for wiring methods between an emergency power supply and life safety system by Rule 46-108, if the NBCC requires such emergency power for life safety systems. Read more

Safety in Our States

Arc Flash — A Survivor’s Perspective

by Thomas A. Domitrovich

Many of us have been raised to believe that respect is not given, it is earned — the question you have to ask yourself is whether or not you want Electricity to earn your respect. The individuals speaking through this article illustrate why, in the case of Electricity, the respect rule that you may have been taught and live by needs an exception — that exception is Electricity. A large amount of energy reached out and touched the two individuals who are about to tell you their stories. Read more

UL Question Corner

Are there LED retrofits for emergency lighting? Are two light sources required?

by Underwriters Laboratories

Product category Emergency LED Drivers (FTBV) covers battery packs that can be factory- or field-installed into specific LED luminaires. These battery packs are functionally parallel to fluorescent luminaire products commonly referred to as "inverter-charger packs.” Read more

UL Question Corner

Does UL Certify (List) Circuit Breaker Pad Locking Devices?

by Underwriters Laboratories

Yes, UL certifies both circuit breaker lock-on and lock-off devices under the product category Circuit Breaker Accessories (DIHS), located on page 96 of the 2011 UL White Book. These devices are evaluated for compliance with the Standard for Safety for Molded Case Circuit Breakers, Molded-Case Switches and Circuit-Breaker Enclosures, UL 489. Read more

Focus on the Code

Connecting IT Equipment

by Keith Lofland

Can information technology equipment be cord-and-plug connected if the cord is either hard usage type or portable power cable type? Is such IT equipment required to be marked as being suitable for cord-and-plug connection before such connection be utilized? Is there a maximum length for power-supply cords used to connect IT equipment as well as for cables that interconnect separate IT equipment? Read more

Focus on the Code

Bonding Copper Piping for a Hydromassage Tub

by Keith Lofland

A minimum 8 AWG copper bonding conductor is utilized to bond the hot and cold copper water piping rising from the ground to serve a hydromassage bathtub along with other metal components installed under the hydromassage bathtub. Why does the Code require installers to run a bonding conductor to the location of a double insulated circulating pump motor when this bond wire is not required to be connected to anything? Read more

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