January 11, 2006 A Prism Business Media Publication Vol. IV No. 1



CONTENTS
Home Holiday Display
Gone Bad

What's Wrong Here?

Code Q&A

Code Quiz

Code Committee Call-Up


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    Nightmare Installations
    Home Holiday Display
    Gone Bad

    My father-in-law had the largest Christmas light display 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 never having injured anyone or burned down the house!
    Ray Jensen
    Davis, 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

    Think you know how this installation violates the NEC? Visit EC&M's Web site to see the answer.

    Hint: Sing along with me. One of these things, doesn't belong here...

    Code Q&A

    By Mike Holt

    Q. I understand the Code allows me to use Type AC 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 7.5 feet in a patient care area?

    Visit EC&M's Web site to see the answer.

    Code Quiz

    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 the 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 equipment / 42 inches
    D) No. 4 solid / no requirement / 48 inches

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


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    Code News Update
    Code Committee Call-Up
    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 following:
    • 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 (special 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.
    Anyone interested in serving can download the application form at NFPA's Web site.



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