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April 21, 2011
Vol. IX, No. 8


   EC&M's CodeWatch
  Today's Headlines
 Vote for the 2011 Product of the Year and Qualify for a Chance to Win $100!
 Rhode Island Electrical Code
 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

According to a recent Code Alert issued on March 16, 2011, by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), the Rhode Island Building Code Standards Committee met on March 10, 2011, and voted to accept the recommendation of the Rhode Island Electrical Code Subcommittee to amend the Rhode Island Electrical Code (SBC-5) by updating the parent document from the 2008 NEC to the 2011 NEC. A public hearing on this adoption was scheduled to take place on April 14, 2011.

Once approved by the Commission, the proposed code will be sent to the Legislative Oversight Committee on Building Code Regulations. If approved by the Legislative Oversight Committee, the proposed code will be filed with the Secretary of State and become effective July 1, 2011.

The Subcommittee identified three technical provisions in the 2011 NEC to be modified:

  1. An amendment to 210.25 to incorporate an existing blanket variance.
  2. An amendment to permit a meter disconnect switch to be installed at the meter, either on the line or load size of the meter, without invoking the requirements for a grounding electrode or a separate equipment grounding conductor.
  3. Deletion of 230.24(A) Exception No. 5, which permits the vertical clearance of overhead service conductors above the roof surface to be reduced to 3 ft if the area is guarded or isolated.
Visit the NEMA website for additional details on this adoption news.

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: Handyman special

Code Quandaries

Code Q&A

By Mike Holt

Q. What is the minimum vertical clearance for overhead service conductors above a roof?

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

Code Challenge

When is a conductor with green insulation — or green with one or more yellow stripe insulation — permitted to be used as for other than grounding purposes?

  1. Never.
  2. When working with 6 AWG or smaller conductors.
  3. When working with a power-limited Class 2 or Class 3 cable, power-limited fire alarm cables, or communication cables in circuits operating at less than 50V where connected to equipment not required to be grounded in accordance with 250.112(I).
  4. On any circuit less than 120V.

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

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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.

Access the power of your trusted safety resource at the tip of your finger with UL Connect. Get an instant connection to UL’s expert safety resources through e-mail, by phone or on the web with your touch screen smartphone or iPad. Stay informed and up-to-date with UL Code Authority services. Click here to see how easy it is get UL Connected now!


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.

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