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September 13, 2007 A Penton Media Publication Vol. V No. 17

300.21 Spread of Fire or Products of Combustion

What's Wrong Here?

Code Q&A

Code Quiz

Better Late Than Never: Take 2

EC&M Code Change Conferences

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    Top 50 NEC Rules

    300.21 Spread of Fire or Products of Combustion

    By Mike Holt
    Electrical circuits and equipment must be installed in such a way that the spread of fire or products of combustion will not be substantially increased. Openings in fire-rated walls, floors, and ceilings for electrical equipment must be firestopped using methods approved by the authority having jurisdiction to maintain the fire-resistance rating of the fire-rated assembly. Firestop material is listed for the specific types of wiring methods and construction structures.

    A Fine Print Note for this section of the Code notes that directories of electrical construction materials published by qualified testing laboratories contain listing and installation restrictions necessary to maintain the fire-resistive rating of assemblies. Outlet boxes must have a horizontal separation not less than 24 inches when installed in a fire-rated assembly, unless an outlet box is listed for closer spacing or protected by fire-resistant "putty pads" in accordance with manufacturer's instructions.

    This rule applies to control, signal, and communications cables.

    • CATV [820.3(A)]
    • Communications [800.3(C)]
    • Control and Signaling [725.3(B)]
    • Fire Alarm [760.3(A)]
    • Optical Fiber Cables [770.3(A)]
    • Sound Systems [640.3(A)]

    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: Sand is glass now.

    Code Q&A
    By Mike Holt
    Q. I want to install fluorescent strip lights on a sheetrock ceiling. Can I support the fixtures directly over the recessed outlet box and connect to the branch-circuit wiring through a chase nipple?

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

    Code Quiz
    By Steven Owen
    Q. According to the 2005 NEC (not any specific state or local code), when installing 2-foot by 4-foot fluorescent lay-in luminaires in suspended ceilings, how many corners of any one of the luminaires require an independent support wire to support it?

    1. All four corners.
    2. On any two opposite corners.
    3. On any two corners. The support does have to be on opposite corners.
    4. There is no requirement for independent support wires for this application as written.

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

    Streamline the implementation of your Arc Flash and Electrical Safety Program. What used to take hours, now takes mere seconds! EasyPower delivers Windows® -based tools for designing, analyzing, and monitoring electrical power systems. Register now for the EasyPower training coming to Orlando, Florida November 5 - 9, 2007! One-touch automated design and one-touch automated protective device coordination options, will also be introduced!

    Code News Update
    Better Late Than Never: Take 2
    Although the release date for the 2008 NEC is right around the corner, some states are just now getting around to adopting the 2005 NEC. According to the August 2007 issue of NEMA's electroindustry, the city of Tucson, Ariz., adopted the 2005 NEC and 2006 editions of the International Building Code, International Residential Code, International Energy Conservation Code, and International Fuel Gas Code on June 12, 2007. Although there was a 30-day grace period under which the old codes could still be used, the new codes were to take effect immediately.

    According to the article in electroindustry, the 2005 NEC was adopted with several modifications, including:

    • A requirement for the color-coding of conductors,
    • Revisions to the requirements for disconnecting means at some separate buildings or structures,
    • The number of service entrance conductor sets allowed for multiple-occupancy buildings,
    • Allowable types of equipment grounding conductors,
    • Elimination of the requirements for LCDI or AFCI protection for air conditioner units in Art. 440, and
    • The deletion of selective coordination for emergency and legally required standby systems.
    Click here to view a pdf file of the City of Tucson's amendments to the 2005 NEC.

    Cool Electronic Cabinets
    Prevent hot weather failures that can affect production. UL Listed Cabinet Coolers from EXAIR 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 literature.

    Shows and Events
    EC&M Code Change Conferences
    Where do you turn when you need accurate information on changes to the National Electrical Code? Acknowledged as the leaders in providing information on the NEC, EC&M magazine and EC&M Seminars have been the preferred sources of this information for more than 60 years. Seven Code change conferences have been scheduled in the fall of 2007. Host cities include: Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Orlando, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Seattle.

    As an approved provider with the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES), through its Registered Continuing Education provider Program (RCEPP), professional engineers attending any of our 2008 Code change conferences will receive Professional Development Hours (PDHs), a requirement for re-licensing in many states. The conferences are also approved by every state that has a continuing education requirement for contractors and electricians.

    For additional information on the dates and locations of these events, click here.

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