March 23, 2005 A PRIMEDIA Property Vol. III No. 6

250.122 -- Sizing Equipment Grounding (Bonding) Conductors

Hands Off, Handyman

What's Wrong Here?

Code Q&A

Code Quiz

Washington State Set to Incorporate 2005 NEC

Follow the Leader

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    Top 2005 Code Changes
    250.122 -- Sizing Equipment Grounding (Bonding) Conductors
    By Mike Holt
    This new rule describes how the equipment grounding (bonding) conductors for feeder taps are to be sized. (Note: Code text has been paraphrased.)

    What the Code says:
    (G) Feeder Taps. Equipment grounding (bonding) conductors for feeder taps must be sized in accordance with Table 250.122 based on the ampere rating of the circuit protection device ahead of the feeder, but in no case is it required to be larger than the circuit conductors.
    (Text new to the Code is underlined.)

    Behind the change: For a ground fault or a short circuit in a tap, the equipment grounding conductor must be capable of carrying the fault current to open the feeder overcurrent device. In cases where a tap was connected to a feeder, the rule for sizing the equipment grounding conductor (if one was necessary) was unclear. Such situations were covered by 250.122(A) to a degree, but the wording could lead to different interpretations.

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    Nightmare Installations
    Hands Off, Handyman
    I was called to hang two ceiling fans in a newly renovated apartment because the apartment complex's handyman had received a shock from the wiring despite having turned the breaker off. The renovation had included changing the devices from ivory to white, and during the swapout the handyman had replaced a three-way switch with a single-pole. Not knowing where to attach the "hot" wire, he chose the only available screw -- the ground screw. The panel had no ground bond and a loose connection to the driven ground at the remote service entrance, so the isolated apartment ended up with an energized ground circuit. The only way to avoid shock would have been to de-energize the 100A main to the apartment. As a result, I had to completely rewire the complex from the service to the individual panels.
    Don Jansen
    Salisbury, Mass.

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

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

    Hint: Maybe the electrician was in a hurry to get temporary power to this building.

    Code Q&A
    By Mike Holt
    Q. What outlets in a dwelling unit are required to be AFCI protected?
    See the answer.

    Code Quiz
    By Steven Owen
    In an industrial installation, 5kV rated, multi-conductor, interlocked, armored, tray-rated cables are installed in cable trays as branch-circuit conductors for motors operating at 4,160VAC. What requirement, if any, is there for shielding these individual conductors within the multi-conductor cables?

    1. The individual conductors shall have an ozone-resistant insulation, shall be insulated for the proper voltage, and shall be shielded
    2. Must have minimum insulation rating of 600V
    3. Must have minimum insulation rating of 173%
    4. No requirement

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

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    Code News Updates
    Washington Set to Incorporate 2005 NEC
    While some states are still using a pre-21st century edition of the Code, Washington is already planning to move beyond the 2002 NEC. More than six months after asking area contractors for suggested revisions to its electrical installation and licensing rules, the Washington Electrical Department has begun the process of adopting the 2005 Code into the Washington Administrative Code. An electrical advisory committee met last November to review change proposals that covered everything from industrial equipment certification to in-ground handholes and enclosures. The new Code is tentatively scheduled to take effect June 30. For more information, visit Washington Electrical Department's Web site.

    Speak Out
    Follow the Leader
    Washington state has already announced it will adopt the 2005 NEC this year, but it could be years before some states follow suit. Without a means of mandating the Code on a national level, it's up to the states or city officials to decide when they adopt the latest edition. Should these groups be more proactive in keeping up with the Code? Visit EC&M's Web site to tell us.

    Not everyone can balance working hard with playing hard, but CodeWatch readers who plan on attending necforum in Las Vegas this spring seem confident they can. While the majority of you say you're going to the conference for the technical sessions, nearly as many of you are looking forward to cards and comped drinks. Just don't stay up too late because those technical sessions start at 8 a.m.

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