January 25, 2006 A Prism Business Media Publication Vol. IV No. 2

Sparking and Arcing

What's Wrong Here?

Code Q&A

Code Quiz

Code Committee Call-Up

Understanding and Applying the 2005 NEC

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    Nightmare Installations
    Sparking and Arcing
    My neighbor came over and told me the receptacle serving the washing machine in his house was sparking when he touched it, but he didn't get shocked. I went to check this out.

    The Romex coming down the block wall to the washer receptacle was sleeved with EMT. I discovered that when I pushed the EMT away from the metal dryer vent, there was indeed an arc. When I opened the panel, I found out why.

    It seems a previous owner had added some wiring and didn't want to make the effort of landing the wires on the crowded neutral bar. An added ground bar got the neutrals, which worked until the dampness of the basement corroded the screws. Then the current found a better path through the washer conduit, dryer vent, water pipe, and grounding electrode conductor. When I broke this path it caused an arc. I assumed they didn't get shocked because the corroded screws were still a better path to ground then they were.

    I rearranged their panel wiring while thinking, "This is why you should hire a professional in the first place!"

    Ken Keim
    Wilbur Chocolate Co.

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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: A single hole will do the trick.

    Code Q&A
    By Mike Holt
    Q. What is the largest size transformer permitted to be mounted above a suspended ceiling used for environmental air?

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

    Code Quiz
    By Steven Owen
    Q. When installing a grid structure at a dwelling unit swimming pool, the equipotential bonding grid shall cover the contour of the pool and the pool deck. The grid shall extend _____ inches horizontally from the inside walls of the pool. The grid shall be arranged in a network that is _____ inches by _____ inches, and shall be uniformly spaced in a perpendicular grid pattern with a tolerance of _____ inches.
    A) 36 / 12 by 12 / 4
    B) 30 / 12 by 12 / 6
    C) 30 / 24 by 24 / 6
    D) 36 / 16 by 16 / 8

    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.

    Cool Electronic Cabinets
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    Shows and Events
    Understanding and Applying the 2005 NEC The Electric West Exposition & Conference, March 1-3, 2006 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, will be offering over 50 conference courses and professional advancement courses on a wide variety of electrical topics. Session NEC01, Understanding and Applying the 2005 NEC, will be taught by noted NEC expert and EC&M Code consultant Mike Holt of Mike Holt Enterprises, Inc. This course will help you understand the concepts necessary to design, install, inspect, measure, and troubleshoot electrical systems, as well clear up confusing and seemingly conflicting or controversial NEC rules. CEU credits are available upon successful completion of this course. For more information and to register visit www.electricshow.com.

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