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March 17, 2011
Vol. IX, No. 6


   EC&M's CodeWatch
  Today's Headlines
 Vote for the 2011 Product of the Year and Qualify for a Chance to Win $100!
 Idaho Electrical Board Seeks Comments on Adoption of 2011 NEC
 What's Wrong Here?
 Code Q&A
 Code Quiz

Important Notice

Your vote will help us identify the 2011 Platinum, Gold, and Silver Product of the Year award winners. EC&M subscribers, simply review the products from the 2011 EC&M Product of the Year category winners list, and then choose your favorite from the drop-down menu. Three lucky voters will be randomly selected to receive $100.

The voting poll will remain open through 5 p.m. on May 20. Please, only one vote per EC&M subscriber. Any votes received from manufacturers, PR firms, or non-EC&M subscribers will not be counted.

Code News Update

As noted on the Idaho Division of Building Safety website, the Idaho Electrical Board is considering adoption of the 2011 edition of the National Electrical Code (NEC). A draft administrative rule outlines a number of amendments to the bonding requirements of permanently installed pools and elimination of the revision to the AFCI requirement in Article 210.12, which effectively expands AFCI protection beyond the bedrooms to most areas of a residence. It also notes an effective date of July 1, 2012.

Feel free to send your comments on the adoption of the 2011 NEC to All comments will be forwarded to the Idaho Electrical Board. The Electrical Board will review the draft rules and comments at its April 21st meeting.

Code Violations

What's Wrong Here?

By Joe Tedesco

Think you know how this installation violates the NEC?

Visit EC&M's website to see the answer.

Hint: Resurrected bodies

Code Quandaries

Code Q&A

By Mike Holt

Q. What is the rule for adjusting the ampacity of conductors based on the number of conductors in the raceway?

Visit EC&M's website to see the answer.

Code Challenge

Code Quiz

By Steven Owen

Per 250.190(C), when installing 5kV-rated, metallic insulation shielded, current-carrying conductors, is it permitted to use the metallic tape insulation shield and drain wire as an equipment grounding conductor for a solidly grounded system?
Note: The metallic insulation shield encircles the conductor.

  1. No. This is not permitted for a solidly grounded system.
  2. Yes, as long as the metallic shield is rated for the clearing time of the ground fault current protective device operation without damaging the metallic shield.
  3. Yes, as long as the minimum size of the phase conductors are 500kmcil or larger.
  4. Yes, as long as the equivalent area of the metallic shield is equal to or greater than 2 AWG copper.

Visit EC&M's website for the answer and explanation.

The new Fluke 381 does everything you would expect from a clamp meter, and then lets you remove the display for even more flexibility. Now one technician can do multiple jobs. Clamp the Fluke 381 around a conductor, remove the display and walk across the room to operate controls or remove protective equipment, all while watching real-time readings.


2011 Electroforecast
Notwithstanding recent lower-than-expected employment numbers and a mid-year stall in the housing market, the general U.S. economy has been showing some signs of recovery since the recession ended in June 2009. However, with its 12- to 24-month lag behind the general economy, non-residential construction is not expected to experience a substantial uptick in 2011. Read the complete 2011 EC&M Electroforecast.

Have a UL White Book but not sure how to use it? Discover why the UL White Book is Part 2 of the NEC and how it will help you avoid "Red Tagged" jobs. Learn at your own pace with our FREE interactive course. Click here to get started now — or to order the latest copy .


Top Code Changes: 2011 NEC
EC&M has partnered with NEC expert Mike Holt to present a one-hour webinar covering the top 2011 NEC Code Changes. This event is available on demand here.

Cool Electronic Cabinets
EXAIR’s Cabinet Cooler® Systems stop electronic control downtime due to heat, dirt and moisture. They produce 20 degree Fahrenheit air from ordinary compressed air. Thermostat control minimizes air usage. Cabinet Coolers are UL Listed, CE compliant and maintain the NEMA 4, 4X and 12 rating of the enclosure. Visit the website for complete information, including application video.


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