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The designations "National Electrical Code” and “NEC” refer to the
National Electrical Code®, which is a registered
trademark of the
National Fire Protection Association.
My father-in-law had the largest Christmas light
in our area for years -- one that caused huge traffic jams. It was
really cool, but also really dangerous. You see, Dad didn't believe in
GFCIs or proper grounding for that matter. He would cut off the ground
lug of extension cords and file the larger prong down so he could plug
anything into anywhere.
On the last year of the display, I was sitting in Santa's chair
welcoming little ones when I noticed a bright flash to my left. I
watched in amazement as a 16-gauge extension cord flashed and burnt
brightly all the way back to a rotating doll display some 20 feet away
from where I was sitting. It started to ignite some straw we had spread
on the ground to simulate snow, but luckily the damp weather turned it
all into a smoldering stink.
At this point we decided that the display, although a really beautiful
piece of Americana, should be put to rest and fondly remembered as
having injured anyone or burned down the house!
Send your 200-word story to us and it may appear in a future
issue of CodeWatch. Authors of stories chosen will receive $25.
Anticipate, prevent and troubleshoot motors, electrical and equipment
maintenance with fast, accurate non-contact temperature measurements
with Fluke infrared thermometers. www.fluke.com/codewatch_temp
By Joe Tedesco
Think you know how this installation violates the NEC?
Web site to see the answer.
Hint: Sing along with me. One of these things, doesn't belong
By Mike Holt
Q. I understand the Code allows me to use Type
cable with an equipment grounding (bonding) conductor for branch
circuits serving patient care areas. Can I use Type MC cable with an
equipment grounding (bonding) conductor for luminaires located above
feet in a patient care area?
Web site to see the answer.
By Steven Owen
Q. An equipotential plane installed at a catfish
farm pond is required for the service equipment installed outdoors
(adjacent to the pond), where the service equipment controls equipment
is installed in and adjacent to the water. This equipotential plane
shall consist of a minimum size ______ copper conductor, installed
________, and extended out a distance of at least ______ in all
directions from the equipment.
A) No. 8 solid / a minimum of 3 inches beneath or embedded in
walk surface / 36 inches
B) No. 8 stranded / a minimum of 3 inches beneath or embedded in
the walk surface / 36 inches
C) No. 6 solid / 24 inches beneath the service entrance
/ 42 inches
D) No. 4 solid / no requirement / 48 inches
Web site for the answer and explanation.
Cool Electronic Cabinets
Low-cost Cabinet Coolers stop electronic control downtime due to heat,
dirt and moisture. UL Listed Cabinet Coolers produce 20 degree
Fahrenheit air from an ordinary supply of compressed air to cool
electrical controls. Thermostat control minimizes air usage. Maintains
the NEMA 4, 4X (stainless steel) and 12 rating of the enclosure. Web
site offers detailed information, downloadable drawings and PDF
Code News Update
Got some extra time on your hands? Looking to put some
of your vast knowledge of the electrical field to use? NFPA is looking
for new members for several of its committees, including the
Anyone interested in serving can download the application form at NFPA's Web
- Committee on Electrical Systems Maintenance (special experts
excluded). This committee is responsible for NFPA 79, Electrical
Inspection Code for Existing Dwellings.
- Committee on Health Care Facilities -- Electrical Systems
experts and users excluded). This committee is responsible for chapters
in NFPA 99, Standard for Health Care facilities.
- Committee on Electrical Systems for Manufactured Housing
(manufacturer and enforcer excluded). This committee is responsible for
chapters in the following documents: NFPA 501, Standard on
Manufactured Housing; NFPA 501A, Standard for Fire Safety Criteria
for Manufactured Homes Installations, Sites, and Communities; and
NFPA 225, Model Manufactured Home Installation Standard.
- Committee on Static Electricity. This committee is responsible for
NFPA 77, Recommended Practice on Static Electricity.
Free Customizable Arc Flash Specification
ESA, developers of EasyPower power system analysis software, has
designed a complimentary Arc Flash Study Performance Specification to
assist with arc flash hazard initiatives. Provided in a format which
allows for easy modification, this specification will cut weeks off of
development time. It is available for download from ESA's website, in
addition to other Arc Flash Hazard Resources.
Offer code: WA0517
The National Electrical Code Internet Connection, the No. 1
rated Code Web site in the world, offers the following FREE products:
Books, Code Quiz, DVDs, Graphics for PowerPoint, Newsletter, Online
Training, Posters, Simulated Exams, Software, Video clips, and
Visit www.NECcode.com and stay
current with important industry issues.
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