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May 25, 2006 A Prism Business Media Publication Vol. IV No. 10

On the Job
and Out to Lunch

Cast Your Vote Now!

110.26 Spaces About Electrical Equipment

What's Wrong Here?

Code Q&A

Code Quiz

Montana Adopts 2005 NEC

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    Short Circuits
    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 not submit one of your own?

    Got a story about a jobsite blunder you'd like to share? Send us your story of embarrassing 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 cast 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 in 2005.

    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.

    Achieve Your
    Performance Goals

    Anticipate, prevent and troubleshoot motors, electrical and equipment maintenance with fast, accurate non-contact temperature measurements with Fluke infrared thermometers.

    Top 50 NEC Rules

    110.26 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 are 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 never required!

    • (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 accessible 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 electrical equipment.
    • (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)]. Equipment such as raceways, cables, wireways, cabinets, panels, etc., can be located above or below electrical equipment, but it must not extend more than 6 inches into the equipment's working space.
    Additional requirements noted in 110.26 focus on clear working space, the entrance to a working space, illumination, headroom, and dedicated equipment space.

    Editor's note: This information was extracted from Mike Holt's textbook, Understanding 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 NEMA 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

    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: How many did you say?

    Code Q&A
    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?

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

    Code Quiz
    By Steven Owen
    Q. An existing corporate data center is concerned about possible loss of power due to the fact that it is supplied by only 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 the data center management team?

    A) An additional service cannot be added; this is a violation of 225.30.
    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 service.
    D) An additional service identical to the existing service may be installed for "enhanced reliability."

    Visit EC&M's 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 to request a free sample.

    Code News Update
    Montana Adopts 2005 NEC
    According to the May 2006 issue of Electroindustry, Montana began enforcement of the 2005 NEC 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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