Too Hot in the
Faces of the
EC&M Code Seminars
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The designations "National Electrical Code" and "NEC" refer to the
National Electrical Code®, which is a registered trademark of the
National Fire Protection Association.
Retire and Rewire
When a colleague of mine recently decided to retire I
offered to rewire his cabin, which had originally been wired in the
early '60s when county/city inspections were nonexistent. To my
surprise, we found the following problems: No individual circuit
or fuse had been installed for individual branch-circuit overcurrent
protection; all branch-circuit conductors were terminated on the main
disconnect load side lugs (total 10), so regardless of the size of the
individual conductor, they were all protected by 100A main fuses; and
there was no junction box for the splice point. All the splices were
made by removing insulation from the conductors and wrapping them with
insulation tape. Despite all that, the system had worked fine for the
previous 40 years without a fire. After completely revamping the
system, I told my friend he could sleep with confidence.
Snap Up Some Fun With Fluke
Join FlukePlus, the industry's first on-line program for professional
test tool users
Too Hot in the Hot Tub
One night after a rain storm, I stepped into the spa in
newly built screened enclosure and felt a tingle. Given my electrical
background, I should have cut and run then. Instead I thought I must
have been imagining things and stepped back in, only to feel the tingle
again. So I got my voltmeter and measured between the nearest ground (a
poorly grounded piece of EMT) and the wet concrete around the spa and
got 90V. It's a wonder I wasn't electrocuted. I then had my wife turn
the outside flood lights on and off. When they were off, there was no
voltage. When they were on, I measured 90V. It turns out that the
who installed the screened enclosure had nicked a run of romex that fed
the flood lights. The whole frame was energized.
Send your 200-word story to us and it may
appear in a future issue of CodeWatch. Authors of stories chosen for
publication will receive $25.
Ultraweld New Mold Cover
Harger introduces a significant improvement to the Ultraweld line of
exothermic products. A new mold cover greatly improves the ignition
process. The mold cover makes the ignition process easier to perform
while reducing the reaction emissions by 50%. Use of the new mold cover
eliminates fouling of the flint igniter and substantially extends the
life of the igniter. Ph: (800) 842-7437. Website: www.harger.com.
By Mike Holt
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are more
3,500 recreational and vacation camps in the United States. That's a lot
supply facility sites for recreational vehicles. Although the work may
not be performed on a regular basis, do you know the rules for sizing
services for these facilities? If not, read on and then test your
by tackling our sample question.
Recreational vehicle parks are calculated according to the demand
factor of Table 551.73. The total calculated load is based on:
2,400VA for each 20A supply facilities site
3,600VA for each 20A and 30A supply facilities site
9,600VA for each 50A, 120/240V supply facilities site
Ready for a quiz? A recreational vehicle park has 42 sites: three
rated 50A, 240/120V; 30 are rated 30/20A; and nine are rated 20A.
the minimum feeder demand load for these sites?
Web site for the answer.
UL Listed ETP Raintight Fittings Have Inspection Aid
ETP UL Listed Raintight EMT steel couplings and connectors feature
exclusive InspectoRidge External Inspection Aid for faster
identification by inspectors. Formed on the outside of the coupling or
connector, it allows an inspector to visually determine that the
is raintight. Offered in 1/2-inch to 1-inch trade sizes, the fittings
have an internal sealing ring and gasket, along with a KO sealing ring.
Choose from insulated or non-insulated throat. The rugged steel
construction has a zinc electroplate finish. The fittings install with
standard electrician tools and methods.
For information, call 800-621-1506. E-mail: email@example.com
What's Wrong Here?
By Joe Tedesco
How does this
installation violate NEC requirements?
Hint: Store merchants use these receptacles to light up trees
along the sidewalk.
By Mike Holt
Q. I don't see where 300.4 limits the number of
NM cables through a given opening in wood or metal framing members. I
don't want to turn the framing members into Swiss cheese and reduce
their structural integrity by boring a hole for every NM cable. So how
many NM cables can I install in each bored hole?
See the answer.
By Steven Owen
Imagine a metal junction box that is 32 inches x 32
inches x 6 inches with two 4-inch EMT raceways connected directly
from one another on opposite walls. Each 4-inch raceway contains three
250 kcmil conductors. An additional 2-inch EMT raceway, which contains
three 4/0 AWG XHHW conductors, is connected to the back wall of the
junction box directly opposite the removable cover, and another 2-inch
EMT raceway has been connected to the bottom of the enclosure for a tap
to a piece of industrial equipment. The 4/0 AWG conductors, which pass
through the junction box, are installed in the 2-inch raceways. What's
the minimum dimension required between either of the 4-inch raceways
(installed in a horizontal position) and the 2-inch raceway connected
the bottom of the enclosure (installed in a vertical position)? Note:
No conductors are installed between either of the 4-inch raceways or
either of the 2-inch raceways.
- 32 inches
- 24 inches
- 4 inches
- No requirement for this installation
Visit EC&M's Web
for the answer and explanation.
Cool Electronic Cabinets
Low cost Cabinet Coolers stop electronic control downtime due to heat,
dirt and moisture. UL Listed Cabinet Coolers 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
Faces of the Code
Tony Sardina became a principal on CMP-20 midway
the 2002 Code cycle -- he moved to CMP-17 in 2003 when the panels were
rearranged -- but his relationship with the Code extends back to before
he even began working in the electrical industry. Like his high school
classmates, he carried math and history books in his backpack, but he
had one more that most of them didn't: the NEC. At age 16 he took a
construction class that included a unit on electrical wiring and
open-book tests on the Code. "At first, it was a little hard to
understand," he says. "But once you got into it and started reading a
little bit, it made a lot of sense how those requirements had to be
That early understanding came in handy 23 years ago when he took a
job with HVAC manufacturer Carrier, where he worked for several years
a service engineer, doing everything from helping customers work
installation issues to conducting load testing on electric heaters. "I
kind of hit all aspects of the business," he says.
He further rounded out his knowledge of the Code several years ago
left Carrier for a brief period and took a job installing room air
conditioners and transport refrigeration systems on truck trailers. The
field experience gave him a different perspective on the Code,
that he put to use when he began serving on the Code-making panels. "A
lot of times [while working on the Code] I've come across a safety
concern that I experienced in the past, so I've tried to help write the
requirement to prevent problems in the future," he says. "That
experience helped me develop a clearer understanding of how the Code
should be written so the layperson can really understand it. You don't
want it to be like opening up a Greek dictionary."
After returning to Carrier, he became a customer service manager,
fielding questions from both end-users and internal engineers. The
change in responsibilities means he's not as close to the design and
engineering side as he used to be, but he's not ready to give up his
position on the panel for at least another cycle. "I may no longer be
engineer, but I want to stay affiliated with the Code because I like
it," he says.
Drives, Starters, and Contactors Direct!
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Tony Sardina had the unique opportunity to learn about
the Code long before he made the decision to enter the electrical
Did you have experience with the NEC prior to taking your first job in
the industry? Visit www.ecmweb.com
to tell us.
Regardless of whether serving on multiple standards-making bodies
actually makes it difficult to make useful contributions to each
committee, the majority of CodeWatch readers (56%) thought it was a bad
idea. If you serve on multiple standards-making bodies, we want to hear
about it. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The National Electrical Code Internet Connection, the No. 1
rated Code Web site in the world, offers the following FREE products:
Books, Code Quiz, DVDs, Graphics for PowerPoint, Newsletter, Online
Training, Posters, Simulated Exams, Software, Video clips, and Videos
Visit www.NECcode.com and stay
current with important industry issues.
Shows and Events
Procrastinators rejoice. Because some of you may
have received EC&M's previous e-mail registration deadline alert
later than expected, we're extending the registration deadline to
Sept. 24 for the Atlanta, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Orlando
Code Change Conferences. That's tomorrow! Download
the registration form, fill it out and fax it to (203) 929-5351.
Moderated by Mike Holt and Fred Hartwell (Boston conference only), the
two-day conferences will offer a comprehensive look at the 2005 Code.
All attendees will receive a copy of the 2005 NEC and EC&M's
Code Change Book, written by Mike Holt.
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