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April 27, 2007 A Penton Media Publication Vol. V No. 8

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250.118 Types of Equipment Grounding (Bonding) Conductors

What's Wrong Here?

Code Q&A

Code Quiz

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    Top 50 NEC Rules

    250.118 Types of Equipment Grounding (Bonding) Conductors

    By Mike Holt
    The equipment grounding (bonding) conductor, which serves as the effective ground-fault current path to the source, must be one or a combination of the following:

    (1) A bare or insulated conductor. Note: The equipment grounding (bonding) conductor can be copper or aluminum and must be sized in accordance with 250.122. To ensure that it has a low-impedance path, the equipment grounding (bonding) conductors must be installed within the same raceway, cable, or trench with the circuit conductors in accordance with 250.134(B) [300.3(b), 300.5(l), and 300.20(A)].
    (2) Rigid metal conduit.
    (3) Intermediate metal conduit.
    (4) Electrical metallic tubing.
    (5) Listed flexible metal conduit meeting the following [348.60]:

    1. The conduit terminates in fittings listed for grounding.
    2. The circuit conductors are protected by overcurrent devices rated 20A or less.
    3. The combined length of the conduit in the same fault return path doesn't exceed 6 feet.
    4. Where flexibility is necessary after installation, an equipment grounding (bonding) conductor must be installed in accordance with 250.102(E).
    (6) Listed liquidtight flexible metal conduit meeting the following [350.60]:
    1. The conduit terminates in fittings listed for grounding.
    2. For 3/8-inch through 1/2-inch, the circuit conductors are protected by overcurrent devices rated 20A or less.
    3. For ¾-inch through 1-1/4-inch, the circuit conductors are protected by overcurent devices rated 60A or less.
    4. The combined length of the conduit in the same ground return path doesn't exceed 6 feet.
    5. Where flexibility is necessary after installation, an equipment grounding (bonding) conductor must be installed in accordance with 250.102(E) regardless of the circuit rating or the length of the flexible metal conduit.
    (8) Type AC cable as provided in 320.108. Note: Interlocked Type AC cable is manufactured with an internal bonding strip that is in direct contact with the interlocked metal armor. The combination of the bonding strip and the interlocked metal armor makes the cable suitable as an effective ground-fault current path [320.108].
    (9) The copper metal sheath of Type MI cable.
    (10) Type MC cable where listed and identified for grounding as follows:
    1. Interlocked Type MC cable containing an equipment grounding (bonding) conductor within the cable. Note: The metal armor of interlocked Type MC cable isn't suitable as an effective ground-fault current path because it doesn't have an internal bonding strip like Type AC cable.
    2. Smooth or corrugated-tube Type MC cable. Note: The sheath of smooth or corrugated-tube Type MC cable is suitable as the effective ground-fault current path, therefore an internal equipment grounding (bonding) conductor isn't required within the cable.
    (11) Metallic cable trays where continuous maintenance and supervision ensure that qualified persons service the cable tray [392.3(C)] if all the following are met [392.7]:
    • Cable tray and fittings are identified for grounding.
    • Cable tray, fittings, and raceways are bonded in accordance with 250.96 using bolted mechanical connectors or bonding jumpers sized in accordance with 250.102.
    (13) Other electrically continuous metal raceways listed for bonding, such as metal wireways.
    (14) Surface metal raceway listed for grounding.

    Editor's note: This information was extracted from Mike Holt's textbook, Understanding the National Electrical Code


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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: Sloppy opening

    Code Q&A
    By Mike Holt
    Q. I was told that I'm not allowed to install bedroom lights on an AFCI circuit. Is this true?

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

    Code Quiz
    By Steven Owen
    Q. In general, what are the requirements with respect to branch circuits for lighting and power when wiring an elevator hoistway pit area?

    1. A separate branch circuit shall supply the hoistway pit lighting and receptacle(s).
    2. Required lighting shall not be connected to the load side of a ground-fault circuit interrupter.
    3. The lighting switch shall be located so it's readily accessible from the pit access door.
    4. At least one 125V, single-phase, GFCI-type duplex receptacle shall be provided in the hoistway pit.
    5. All of the above.

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

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