August 23, 2005 A PRIMEDIA Property Vol. III No. 16


CONTENTS
517.30 Essential Electrical Systems for Hospitals

Digging Up Trouble

What's Wrong Here?

Code Q&A

Code Quiz

New Code Continues to Spread

Adoption Anticipation

Grounding vs Bonding Seminar


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    Top 2005 Code Changes
    517.30 Essential Electrical Systems for Hospitals
    By Mike Holt
    This rule was revised to allow the use of listed flexible metal raceways and listed metal-sheath cables for emergency circuits, but only where it's impractical to run the emergency circuit in a nonflexible metal raceway. (Note: Code text has been paraphrased.)

    What the Code says:
    (C) Wiring Requirements.
    (3) Mechanical Protection of Emergency Circuits. Emergency circuit conductors must be installed in one of the following wiring methods:
    (1) Nonflexible metal raceways, Type MI cable, or Schedule 80 rigid nonmetallic conduits, if not used to supply patient care area branch circuits [517.13(A)].
    (2) Schedule 40 rigid nonmetallic conduit or flexible nonmetallic raceways encased in not less than 2 in. of concrete, if not used to supply patient care area branch circuits [517.13(A)].
    (3) Listed flexible metal raceways or listed metal-sheathed cables:
    a. When installed in listed prefabricated medical headwalls,
    b. When installed in listed office furnishings,
    c. Where fished into existing walls or ceilings, and not subject to physical damage, or
    d. Where necessary for flexible connection to equipment.
    (Text new to the Code is underlined.)

    Behind the change: The provision was added to facilitate installations in renovated areas where the existing walls or ceilings remain intact.


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    Nightmare Installations
    Digging Up Trouble
    One day while preparing to plant some shrubs in front of the home we'd just bought from an owner builder, I pushed my shovel into the soil and encountered what felt like a root. I pushed hard and heard the sound one would associate with an electrical arc. I pulled the shovel up and noticed that the tip was melted away and oxidized. I opened the service main breaker and very carefully dug away the soil from the site of the incident. I found a ¾-inch PVC conduit exiting the house footing about 5 inches below grade. The conduit terminated at the edge of the footing and a 3-conductor 10 AWG direct-bury Romex cable exited the conduit, routed underground to our well pump. My shovel had shorted one hot leg of the 240VAC cable to the neutral. A call to the previous owner yielded no response. I followed that with a letter, pointing out the NEC requirement for direct-bury cable, which in this case should have been 24 inches below grade. Finally after a threat to go to court over the issue, he rerouted the new cable and buried it to the proper depth.
    Grant Nelson
    Placerville, Calif.


    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
    Got a guess for how this installation violates the NEC? Visit EC&M's Web site to see the answer.

    Hint: Is that a homemade extension cord poking through the side of this panelboard?

    Code Q&A
    By Mike Holt
    Q. Can a stranded 12 AWG wire be placed under the screws for receptacles and switches?
    Visit EC&M's Web site to see the answer.

    Code Quiz
    By Steven Owen
    Adjustable speed drive systems shall be protected against motor overtemperature conditions by all but which of the following choices? Note that the overtemperature protection is in addition to the conductor protection required in 430.32.

    1. A thermal sensor embedded in the motor that's received and acted upon by an adjustable speed drive
    2. An overtemperature protection relay that uses thermal sensors embedded in the motor and meeting the requirements of 430.32(A)(2) or (B)(2)
    3. An adjustable speed drive controller with load and speed-sensitive overload protection and thermal memory retention upon shutdown or power loss
    4. Motor thermal protector in accordance with 430.32
    5. All of the above

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


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    Code News Updates
    New Code Continues to Spread
    Eight months after its release, the 2005 NEC is now in effect in 14 states. "The quality of the 2005 NEC is what led us to make this decision," said Don Offerdahl, executive director of North Dakota's Electrical Board. "We know that the added provisions in the 2005 NEC have strengthened public safety in our state."

    Joining North Dakota in adopting the latest edition of the Code are Colorado, Idaho, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming.

    Speak Out
    Adoption Anticipation
    Adoption of the 2005 Code continues, but the question is how far will it go? Do you expect your state to adopt it this year? Visit EC&M's Web site to tell us.

    The latest edition of the Code may be catching on, but it seems older versions haven't been getting the attention they deserve. Nearly three-fourths of CodeWatch readers find violations on at least half of their service calls.

    Shows and Events
    Grounding vs Bonding Seminar
    Grounding and bonding of electrical systems, sensitive electronic, and communications equipment is the most important and least understood activity in the electrical, data processing, and communications industry. At four two-day seminars, Code expert Mike Holt will explain the basics as well as the advance concepts necessary to understand the practical grounding and bonding rules in the NEC for systems not over 600V. Download the conference brochure for specific dates and locations.

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