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June 5, 2008 A Penton Media Publication Vol. VI No. 11
Cast Your Vote Now!

Multiwire Branch Circuits

What's Wrong Here?

Code Q&A

Code Quiz

Comments Sought on Proposed TIA

Learn About the Changes in the 2008 National Electrical Code


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    EC&M Product of the Year Competition

    Cast Your Vote Now!

    Do you want the opportunity to win a $100 gift check? If you’re an EC&M subscriber, we invite you to help us select this year’s Product of the Year winner. The deadline for voting is June 22, 2008. To make your voice heard, visit the EC&M Home page anytime before now and then. Click on “vote now and become eligible for a $100 gift check,” located in the center of the page. You can click on a link for each of the 24 category winners to read a brief description of the product features and view a photo. Once you’re finished with your review, you can click on the "vote here for your favorite" link, which allows you to enter in your contact information, choose your favorite product, and click submit. As an added incentive to capture your vote, five lucky voters will be randomly selected to receive one of five $100 gift checks ― so don’t delay. Vote today!

    The competition has honored innovation and excellence in product development in the electrical industry for the past seven years.

    The Fluke 1735 Power Logger is the ideal electrician or technician's power meter for conducting energy studies and basic power quality logging. Set the Power Logger up in seconds with the included flexible current probes and color display. The power quality meter measures most electrical power parameters, harmonics, and captures voltage events.

    Top 50 NEC Rules

    Multiwire Branch Circuits

    By Mike Holt
    The rule on “simultaneous disconnecting means” requirements for multiwire branch circuits was expanded. Section 210.4(B) reads as follows: “Each multiwire branch circuit shall have a means to simultaneously disconnect all ungrounded conductors at the point where the branch circuit originates.”

    Multiwire branch circuits can offer unexpected shock hazards when work is being done on them ― unless all ungrounded conductors from the multiwire branch circuit are disconnected simultaneously. This revised section requires each ungrounded conductor of a multiwire branch circuit to be disconnected simultaneously by common trip 2-pole or 3-pole circuit breakers or single-pole circuit breakers with an identified handle tie. Individual single-pole circuit breakers with handle ties identified for the purpose, or a breaker with a common internal trip, can be used for this application [240.15(B)(1)].

    Caution: This rule is intended to prevent people from working on energized circuits they believe are disconnected.

    Streamline the implementation of your Arc Flash and Electrical Safety Program; what used to take days, now takes mere seconds! Watch EasyPower in action through our online videos Experience the most accurate Windows®-based tools for designing, analyzing, and monitoring electrical power systems: EasyPower training will be in Portland, Oregon July 28 – August 1, 2008. This seminar fills up quickly; download a brochure and register by July 14th!

    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: No, those are not pool pump hoses.

    Code Q&A
    By Mike Holt
    Q. I have a building that has two services from the utility. Do I have to use the same grounding system for both?

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

    Code Quiz
    Steven Owen
    Q. Which of the following wiring methods is the only one permitted to be installed under the roof decking in an industrial building without a minimum 1½-inch spacing from the bottom edge of the roof decking?

    1. Metal clad (MC) cable
    2. Electrical metallic tubing (EMT)
    3. Rigid nonmetallic conduit (RNC)
    4. Rigid metallic conduit (RMC)

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

    Cool Electronic Cabinets
    Beat the summer time heat and prevent hot weather failures. 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.

    Code News Update
    Comments Sought on Proposed TIA
    As published in the May issue of NFPA News, the following Tentative Interim Amendment (TIA) has been proposed to the NFPA.

    NFPA 70-2008, National Electrical Code
    TIA Log No. 925
    Reference: 645.17
    Submitter: William Burke, American Power Conversion
    Revise 645.17 as follows: “645.17 Power Distribution Units. Power distribution units that are used for information technology equipment shall be permitted to have multiple panelboards within a single cabinet, provide that each panelboard has no more than 42 overcurrent devices and the power distribution unit is utilization equipment listed for information technology application.”

    Substantiation: This is a resubmitted version of TIA 904 that was recently processed through the NFPA system. TIA 904 sought to delete the entire text of 645.17. It was suggested during the processing of TIA 904 that a more appropriate action [suggested by Mr. Quave (CMP 12), Mr. Kovacik (TCC), Mr. Daly (TCC), and Mr. Troglia (TCC)] for the TIA would be to only delete the text associated with the 42 circuit limitation on the panelboards. That is what this TIA proposes.

    TIA 904 did pass CMP 12 on both Technical Merit and Emergency Nature. It did not pass the TCC on Technical Merit by a single vote and did not pass on Emergency Nature by three votes. This revision will address a number of the comments made during the processing of TIA 904 and addresses those concerns in a manner that should make the TIA acceptable.

    This TIA has been published for public review and comment. Comments should be filed with the Secretary, Standards Council by May 2, 2008. You should identify the TIA number when submitting your comments. The Standards Council will review the technical committees’ ballot results, the public comments, and any other information that has been submitted when it considers the issuance of the TIA at its July 22-24, 2008 meeting.

    Eliminate Red Tags
    It takes more than the UL Mark on a product to satisfy code requirements. Before your next installation, use UL's Code Compliance Database to identify the correlation between model codes and UL Certified products, as well as find manufacturers of certified products.
    Click here today to find up-to-date UL Listed products at the UL Code Correlation Database.

    Shows and Events

    Learn About the Changes in the 2008 National Electrical Code
    In two informative and interest-filled days with Mike Holt, you'll learn about major NEC changes that will impact your work, whether you're an electrician, contractor, engineer, designer, or plant/facility maintenance person. You'll also earn continuing education hours and professional development hours.

    Two conferences are scheduled for later this year:
    --September 4-5 in Portland, Ore.
    --September 8-9 in San Antonio

    For more information and to register online, go to

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