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July-August 2013
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July-August 2013 CoverJuly/August 2013


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* Analysis of Changes, 2014 NEC

by Keith Lofland

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there were 3745 proposals submitted to NFPA recommending changes from the 2011 NEC to the 2014 NEC. In addition to these proposals, there were 1625 comments submitted concerning the NEC Code-Making Panels’ responses to these proposals. In this article, we will look at some of the more noteworthy changes that occurred in the 2014 edition of the NEC. This article should serve as foreshadowing to IAEI’s Analysis of Changes, 2014 NEC textbook and PowerPoint training material. This Analysis training material should be available by the time you arrive at your IAEI Section Meetings this fall. Read more

Perspectives on PV

* PV and the 2014 National Electrical Code

by John Wiles

The 2014 National Electrical Code is just around the corner and many states will be automatically adopting it on January 1, 2014. There are numerous changes in Articles 690 and 705 that apply to photovoltaic (PV) power systems. Here is an advanced look at highlights of material that potentially will be in the code based on the 2014 NFPA/NEC Report on Comments (ROC). Read more

* Using the Suspended Ceiling Grid for Low-Voltage Power Distribution Systems

by Mark C. Ode

This article analyzes the new technology of low-voltage lighting and power distribution at 30 volts or less using the suspended ceiling grid as a lighting and power distribution system. Article 410 covering luminaires and Article 411 covering low-voltage lighting systems at 30 volts or less are two primary lighting installation articles in the National Electrical Code (NEC) pertaining to this new technology. A thorough understanding of the relationship of these two NEC articles with respect to ceiling grid low-voltage lighting and power distribution is one of the prime topics of this article. New Article 393, Low-Voltage Suspended Ceiling Power Distribution Systems, has been accepted for the 2014 NEC and expands the prior application of Articles 410 and 411, as applied to low-voltage lighting power distribution, to cover the new wiring method of low-voltage suspended ceiling power distribution. Read more

* Working Space about Electrical Equipment - CE Code

by Steve Douglas

Code users would be interested in the safety objective of the requirement for working space about electrical equipment and the evolution of this requirement. Working space requirements for electrical equipment first appeared as two rules in the first edition of the Canadian Electrical Code Part I (CE Code) dated 1927. Rule 2001 "(a) Adequate clear working space with secure footing shall be provided about all electrical equipment which requires adjustment or examination during operation or while danger of shock is present.” and Rule 7001 (f) "Passageways around such machinery and equipment as generators, transformers and switchboards shall be kept clear of any obstructions and so arranged as to give authorized persons ready access to all parts requiring attention.” Read more

Working Space for Electrical Equipment

by Christel Hunter

Electrical systems are typically given a great deal of consideration during the design and installation phase of new construction or major renovation, but very little thought after completion — until something fails. Even though our electrical systems are usually very reliable, it is likely that some components will need maintenance or testing at some point in the life of the building or structure. Therefore, the NEC contains requirements meant to allow for safe and practical access to electrical equipment after the time of installation. Read more

The Wrong Way to be Right

by Steve Foran

Last summer my wife and I moved into a neighborhood close to where we both grew up. The deck railing on our new home was too low and took away from the appearance of the house. We decided to replace it with an updated railing system. We were looking for something a little different but not too extravagant, and within our budget. We found a creative young woodworker who specializes in unique projects. Read more

Chapter 3, Article 300, Part 1 — Electrical Inspections for the Combination Inspector

by Randy Hunter

Well we’ve made it to chapter three of the National Electrical Code. I like to refer to this area of the code as the "nuts and bolts” of an electrical installation. Chapter 3 is entitled Wiring Methods and Materials, and it covers much of the mechanical portion of the code. This includes what materials we use, how to install them and where. For those preparing for a certification test, this is usually one of the key portions of the test for both open and closed book questions. In Article 300, almost every section is one you need to know to do both good quality installations or to perform thorough inspections of basic electrical systems. Read more

Is Your Portfolio Truly Diversified?

by Jesse Abercrombie

Life is full of ups and downs; and the financial markets are no different. As an investor, you’re no doubt happy to see the "ups” — but the "downs” can seem like a real downer. Isn’t there any way to help smooth out the volatility in your investment portfolio? Read more

ETCP Certification Promotes Safety for Entertainment Participants and Audiences

by Dennis Dorn with introduction by Ken Vannice

Entertainment comes from a magical space. Through the mediums of live and recorded arts, the mind is transported to new levels of excitement, fantasy, and adventure. As the entertainment industry strives to reach even higher levels in this magical space, the boundaries of science are constantly being stretched. The entertainment industry is known to take unconventional paths to attain magic, but the paths must be safe for the performers, the support staff, and the audience. Without these people there is no magic. Read more

AFCIs in Our States — A Standards Perspective

by Thomas A. Domitrovich

The story of the arc-fault circuit interrupter is an interesting one as it is technical in nature, wrapped in controversy, fueled by passion, and delivers a positive electrical safety impact to the electrical industry. I have read many different articles on this topic and for some time have noted issues with technical details. This article will provide a technical review of the AFCI technology from a standards perspective. You will see how the attempt to simplify a technical message has actually lead us to take liberties that are not technically accurate but help to convey a basic understanding. I will attempt to illustrate what the UL standard requires for a few types of AFCIs to cut through the lingo that has been used to describe the functionality of an AFCI. Read more

Bonding, Grounding and Neutral Conductors — Does size really matter?

by Ark Tsisserev, P. Eng.

The subject of bonding and grounding is perhaps the most confusing to the users of the electrical installation codes. In fact, I have written on this subject in this very publication, at least two such articles, in the past few years. Nevertheless, I routinely receive e-mails and phone calls with the questions about differences between bonding, grounding and neutral conductors, about differences in use of these conductors under the Rules of the Canadian Electrical Code and about differences in the Code requirements for sizing such conductors. So, let’s provide a bit of clarification again. Read more

Sealing in Class I Hazardous Locations

by Leslie Stoch, P. Eng.

This article will discuss seals. Not the cute furry ones, but the kind you need to reduce fire and explosion risks in locations containing flammable and explosive gases or vapours. Read more



The Fork in the Road

by David Clements

Historically, we know what IAEI was intended to be and the seven objectives we were expected to fulfill. We know also who we have become and the stories of triumph and trouble, fulfillment and failure, success and stagnation, autonomy and arrogance. We’ve seen it all because we’ve been around a long time — 85 years. However, the dream and the commission remain: to participate in making, promoting and enforcing standards for the safe use of electricity, both nationally and internationally. But we have reached a fork in the road. This is a deciding moment in IAEI’s history when a major choice of options is required. We must decide two things: Who are we now? and Where do we want to go from here? Read more

UL Question Corner

Fire Resistive Cable Update

by Underwriters Laboratories

Has there been any progress made on changes to UL2196 and ULC-S139? Are the standards still active? Are there any new certifications? Yes to all three questions. Initial research has been completed and a joint U.S. and Canada standards working group of the consensus based technical committee has been formed to determine what upgrades in requirements are necessary to deliver a single, harmonized bi-national standard. The group will focus on a strategy to address installation variables, sampling requirements for testing, and the need for any further research. Read more


IAEI Activities | Minutes

Download the Chapter and Division minutes from the IAEI July/August 2013 issue. Read more

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