Cast Your Vote
Branch Circuits ― Take Two
Learn About the
Changes in the 2008 National Electrical Code
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EC&M Product of the Year Competition
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Do you want the opportunity to win a $100 gift check?
you’re an EC&M subscriber, we invite you to help us select
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The competition has honored innovation and excellence in product
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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. www.fluke.com/codewatch
Top 2008 Code Changes
Branch Circuits ― Take Two
By Mike Holt
A new subsection requires all conductors associated
a particular multiwire branch circuit to be physically grouped at the
point of origin. The requirement reads as follows:
"(D) Grouping. The ungrounded and neutral conductors of a
multiwire branch circuit shall be grouped together in at least one
location by wire ties or similar means at the point of origination.
Exception: Grouping is not required where the circuit conductors
are contained in a single raceway or cable that makes the grouping
Multiwire branch circuits offer the advantage of fewer conductors in
a raceway, smaller raceway sizing, and a reduction of material and
costs. In addition, multiwire branch circuits can reduce circuit
drop by as much as 50%. This new subsection requires that all
conductors of a multiwire branch circuit be physically grouped together
at least once with wire ties or other means within the panel or
origination point of the circuit to make it easier to visually identify
the conductors of the multiwire branch circuit. Grouping is intended to
assist in terminating multiwire branch-circuit conductors to circuit
breakers correctly, particularly where twin (tandem) breakers are used.
This new rule includes an exception that relaxes this requirement where
the entry of the circuit conductors of a cable or raceway makes it
obvious which conductors are associated with each other, without the
need for additional grouping or tie wraps.
Caution: If care is not used when making these
connections, two circuit conductors can be connected to the same phase
conductor. If the ungrounded conductors of a multiwire circuit are not
terminated to different phases, the currents on the neutral conductor
will not cancel, but will add, which can cause an overload on the
neutral conductor. Conductor overheating is known to decrease
material service life, which creates the potential for arcing faults in
hidden locations and can ultimately lead to fires. It isn’t known
how long conductor insulation lasts, but heat does decrease its life
If the continuity of the neutral conductor of a multiwire circuit is
interrupted (open), the resultant over- or under-voltage can cause a
fire and/or destruction of electrical equipment.
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 http://www.easypower.com/videos.php
Experience the most accurate Windows®-based tools for
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
register by July 14th! http://www.easypower.com/support_training.php
What’s Wrong Here?
By Joe Tedesco
Think you know how this installation violates the
Web site to see the answer.
Hint: Not recognizable
By Mike Holt
Q. Can I use 14 AWG conductor pigtails from a 12
AWG, 20A circuit so that I can backstab the wires to the receptacle?
Visit EC&M's Web
site to see the answer.
By Steven Owen
Q. What is the minimum cover requirement for an
underground installation of a 13.8kV feeder installed in a 3-inch
Schedule 80 rigid PVC nonmetallic conduit in the earth? Assume this is
general condition installation.
- 6 inches
- 18 inches
- 24 inches
- 30 inches
Web site for the answer and explanation.
Cool Electronic Cabinets
Beat the 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
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
Looking for the latest electrical code, enforcement,
contractor/electrician licensing requirements for each state in the
United States? Here’s a good starting point. Check out this National
Electrical Installation Standards (NEIS) state-by-state
source listing maintained by the National Electrical Contractors
Association (NECA) chapters. This valuable list also includes agency
contact information, which offers you the opportunity to make contact
with key members of local enforcement authorities.
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
Click here today to
find up-to-date UL Listed products at the UL Code Correlation
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,
you're an electrician, contractor, engineer, designer, or
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 http://CodeChangeConferences.com
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