Trick, but No Treat
Rhode Island Adopts
Understanding and Applying the 2005
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Trick, but No Treat
While working a Halloween show a number of years ago, I
ran into an interesting situation. In what is typical of entertainment
power in a theater, the house electrician tied in the raw power tails
the temporary 200A-per-leg 3-phase light dimmer panel to the ancient
house disconnect panel. Everything seemed to be working fine until
one hour before the show was to open. It was at this point I smelled
"uh, oh" sort of electrical smell we all dread.
At first, I did not see any smoke, and everything was still working.
However, my nose soon led me straight to the old
disconnect panel. The panel looked like a Smoky Joe BBQ with small
of smoke curling out of it. Power at the dimmer rack was immediately
shut down, and the disconnect knife was thrown killing the feed. After
minutes or so of cooling down, the panel door was opened. What was
was very disturbing.
Sometime in the past, someone upgraded the undersized neutral wire
going into the old panel. In doing so, he pulled an additional parallel
neutral wire into the show disconnect panel. Unfortunately, this new
wire would not fit in with the current bus bar arrangement. So instead
of replacing the entire panel or wiring the job correctly, some
enterprising electrician used a piece of wood rather than the proper
high-temperature material to hold the new makeshift neutral bus bar in
place. The piece of wood was literally turned into charcoal under the
heavy temporary show load.
A temporary fix was performed, and the show went on as planned. But
always wonder what would have happened if the neutral bus bar had
loose from its "charcoal base" and hit one of the hot legs.
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
What's Wrong Here?
By Joe Tedesco
Think you know how this installation violates the NEC?
Web site to see the answer.
Hint: The case of the undressed current transformers.
By Mike Holt
Q. What size wire and breaker is required for an
air-conditioner whose nameplate specifies the circuit conductor must
have a minimum rating of 44A, with overcurrent protection not to exceed
60A? The terminals on the equipment are rated 75°C.
Web site to see the answer.
By Steven Owen
Q. What is the maximum number of overcurrent
devices permitted in a lighting and appliance branch-circuit
What is the maximum number of overcurrent devices permitted in a power
distribution unit (PDU) of an information technology system?
A) 36 / 42
B) 42 / 42
C) 54 / 42
D) 54 / 54
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
Rhode Island Adopts Electrical
The Rhode Island Legislative Regulation Committee
recently approved adoption of the Rhode Island State Electrical Code
(SBC-5-2005). The state code is based on the 2005 National Electrical
Code and features five amendments, which all address administrative and
enforcement provisions -- four in Article 90 and one in Article 110.
Rhode Island State Electrical Code has an effective date of January 1,
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.
Shows and Events
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
CEU credits are available upon successful completion of this course.
more information and to register visit www.electricshow.com.
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