On the Job
Out to Lunch
Cast Your Vote
Spaces About Electrical Equipment
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On the Job
and Out to Lunch
C'mon people, we all make mistakes. Some are just
funnier than others. You know you like reading these stories, so why
submit one of your own?
Got a story about a jobsite blunder you'd like to share? Send us your story of
on-the-job mistakes for use in EC&M's Short Circuits column. If
we publish it, we'll send you a check for $25. Read the latest stories
submitted by your fellow readers.
Product of the Year Competition
Cast Your Vote Now!
Do you want the opportunity to win $100? Then visit the
EC&M Web site by June 30 to
your vote in EC&M's Product of the Year competition and help us
to identify the best new product introduced for the electrical industry
When you visit the EC&M Product of the Year
page, an automatic poll will pop up. (Note: If you have a pop-up
blocker program, it may prevent you from seeing the poll. Temporarily
disable the program to allow the poll to appear on your computer.) You
then need to type in your contact information, choose your favorite
product, and click submit. It's that simple.
A panel of nine judges narrowed the field from 114 entrants to 24
category finalists, and now we need your help to determine the Platinum
Award winner. The competition has honored innovation and excellence in
product development in the electrical industry for the past six years.
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
Top 50 NEC Rules
Spaces About Electrical Equipment
By Mike Holt
For the purpose of safe operation and maintenance of
equipment, sufficient access and working space must be provided.
Enclosures housing electrical apparatus that are controlled by locks
considered accessible to qualified persons that require access.
Working space for equipment that may need examination, adjustment,
servicing, or maintenance while energized must have sufficient
working space in accordance with (1), (2), and (3). The phrase "while
energized" is the root of many debates. Since electric power to almost
all equipment can be turned off, one could argue that working space is
Additional requirements noted in 110.26 focus on clear working space,
the entrance to a working space, illumination, headroom, and dedicated
- (1) Depth of Working Space. The step-back working space,
measured from the enclosure front, must not be less than the distances
contained in Table 110.26(A)(1). Step-back working space isn't required
for the back or sides of assemblies where all connections are
from the front. Where special permission is granted in accordance with
90.4, working space for equipment that operates at not more than 30VAC
or 60VDC can be smaller than the distance in Table 110.26(A)(1). Rules
also exist for working in existing buildings.
- (2) Width of Working Space. The width of the working space
must be a minimum of 30 inches, but in no case less than the width of
the equipment. The width of the working space can be measured from
left-to-right, from right-to-left, or simply centered on the equipment.
In all cases, the working space must be of sufficient width, depth, and
height to permit all equipment doors to open 90 degrees. It's important
to note that this working space can overlap the working space for other
- (3) Height of Working Space. For service equipment,
switchboards, panelboards, and motor control equipment, the height of
the working space in front of equipment must not be less than 6 1/2
feet, measured from the grade, floor, or platform [110.26(E)].
such as raceways, cables, wireways, cabinets, panels, etc., can be
located above or below electrical equipment, but it must not extend
than 6 inches into the equipment's working space.
Editor's note: This information was extracted from Mike
the National Electrical Code
Cool Electronic Cabinets
Summer will be here soon! Prevent hot weather failures. EXAIR Cabinet
Coolers are the low cost way to purge and cool electronic controls with
20 degree Fahrenheit air. All models are UL Listed and maintain the
4, 4X or 12 rating of the enclosure. Many cooling capacities are
available. Web site offers detailed information, downloadable drawings
and PDF literature. EXAIR Corporation
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: How many did you say?
By Mike Holt
Q. Does the NEC specifically state that a
generator must be grounded to the earth if its wiring is connected to
the premises via a transfer switch that does not open the neutral?
Web site to see the answer.
By Steven Owen
Q. An existing corporate data center is
about possible loss of power due to the fact that it is supplied by
one service. The existing feed consists of a 1600A, 208Y/120V, 3-phase,
four-wire service. Data center management personnel propose to add an
additional service. What are the Code-compliant options available to
data center management team?
A) An additional service cannot be added; this is a violation of
B) An additional service can only be added if the capacity
requirements exceed 2000A.
C) An additional service can only be added if it is of different
characteristics. For example, it is a single-phase, 240/120V, 3-wire
D) An additional service identical to the existing service may
installed for "enhanced reliability."
Web site for the answer and explanation.
Connected & Protected
IDEAL's new WeatherProof Wire Connectors are the
fastest, easiest and safest way to connect wires in damp or wet
locations. Pre-filled with a silicone-based sealant and UL listed to
486D, these connectors protect conductors from moisture, humidity and
other corrosive elements. Visit www.idealindustries.com
to request a free sample.
Code News Update
Montana Adopts 2005
According to the May 2006 issue of
Electroindustry, Montana began enforcement of the 2005
on February 24, 2006. The state adopted this version of the Code
with no amendments, which means no local AHJ has authority to require
more or less for an electrical installation. However, local inspection
agencies do retain the right to make interpretations of the Code where
its application or intent may not be clear.
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