March 8, 2005 A PRIMEDIA Property Vol. III No. 5




CONTENTS
240.24 -- Location of Overcurrent Protection Devices

A Blast From the Past

What's Wrong Here?

Code Q&A

Code Quiz

Faces of the Code

Visions of Vegas

2005 necforum


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    Top 2005 Code Changes
    240.24 -- Location of Overcurrent Protection Devices
    By Mike Holt
    New text specifies the maximum height that an overcurrent device can be installed and still be considered "readily accessible." This new text coordinates with similar language contained in 404.8(A) for switches. (Note: Code text has been paraphrased.)

    What the Code says:
    (A) Accessibility. Circuit breakers and fuses must be readily accessible and they must be installed so the center of the grip of the operating handle of the fuse switch or circuit breaker, when in its highest position, isn't more than 6 ft 7 in. above the floor or working platform, unless the installation is for:
    (1) Busways, as provided in 368.17(C)
    (2) Supplementary overcurrent protection devices (240.10)
    (3) For overcurrent devices, as described in 225.49 and 230.92
    (4) Overcurrent protection devices can be mounted above 6 ft 7 in. if they are next to the equipment they supply and are accessible by portable means [404.8(A) Ex. 2]
    (Text new to the Code is underlined.)

    Behind the change: "Readily accessible" means located so it can be reached quickly without having to climb over or remove obstacles.


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    Nightmare Installations
    A Blast From the Past
    While working as a service tech for an electrical repair company, I was called to a residence to determine why the homeowner felt a tingle from the faucet in the bathroom. When I measured the voltage from the faucet to the metal drain ring my meter read 55V. Since it was an older house in a historic neighborhood, all types of possible problems crossed my mind. After working for several house without finding the source, we pulled the meter, but the voltage was still there. We called the local power company to unhook the transformer, but it still didn't go away. Finally, we persuaded the power company to go to the neighboring houses to disconnect their power to try to find the problem. We finally located the culprit three doors down. A faulty electric water heater element was bleeding voltage back through the cold water line, through the main water line, back to the house, and to the closest ground, which was through the trim ring on the sink. After persuading the other homeowner they had a problem, the water heater was grounded, the element was replaced, and the tingle went away.
    Barry Wilkes
    Cave City, Ark.


    Send your 200-word story to us and it may appear in a future issue of CodeWatch. Authors of stories chosen will receive $25.


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    Code Challenge
    What's Wrong Here?
    By Joe Tedesco
    How does this installation violate the NEC?

    Hint: This can be found at a downtown Denver attraction.


    Code Q&A
    By Mike Holt
    Q. Must metal siding and metal framing members be grounded?
    See the answer.

    Code Quiz
    Steven Owen
    A general power and lighting feeder tap that consists of 1/0 AWG THHN conductors has been made to 500 kmcil THHN feeder conductors in a properly sized junction box. The 500 kcmil feeder conductors are protected by a 400A OCPD at the point where they receive their supply. The 1/0 AWG feeder tap conductors are protected at their termination point by a 150A overcurrent device. The feeder equipment grounding that runs with the 500 kcmil feeders is 3 AWG. What's the minimum size equipment grounding conductor required as part of the feeder tap circuit conductors?

    1. 8 AWG
    2. 6 AWG
    3. 3 AWG
    4. 1/0 AWG

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


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    Faces of the Code
    Your Name Here
    Since starting the Faces of the Code column more than a year and a half ago, we've met a lot of interesting members of the Code community. And if we've learned anything, it's that everyone has a story to tell. But we can't find them all! Are you a Code-making panel member? Do you want to see yourself in Faces of the Code? Do you know someone who your fellow CodeWatch readers should meet? Tell us. Send us an e-mail and nominate yourself or a colleague.

    Speak Out
    Visions of Vegas
    It's still several months away, but if you want to get cheap airfare, you better start planning for the necforum now. (See the story below.) You should have a game plan to get the most out of your trip, too. What do you go to conferences for? Visit EC&M's Web site to tell us.

    The music and movie industries use the word "indie" a lot, and the electrical industry may pick it up soon, too. Nearly 90% of CodeWatch readers are unhappy with the lack of independent voices on Code-making panels.


    Shows and Events
    2005 necforum
    It's the year of the Code, but if you fly to Las Vegas for the 2005 NFPA World Safety Conference & Exposition just for a recap of changes in the latest version of the NEC, you'll be missing a lot. The five-day event runs June 6 - 10 at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Convention Center and will offer seminars for keeping your employees out of harm's way and presentations of CSI-like investigations of high-profile electrical fires. Hey, everyone's favorite millionaire quiz host, Regis Philbin, will even be there. Visit NFPA's Web site to register before the early bird discount expires.

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