Volume 6, Issue Number 4 October 1, 2001

NEMA Establishes New Designations for Energy-saving Fluorescent Tubes

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has established new designations for energy-saving fluorescent lamps.

The goal is to prevent misuse of energy-saving tubes in older fixtures designed for conventional 40-watt T12 tubes. When energy-saving 34- and 35-watt lamps are used as replacements in these older fixtures, the ballasts may overheat, automatically shutting off the fixtures for safety reasons. While most commercial users understand this problem and have replaced or upgraded their fluorescent luminaires, many household users still have older fixtures designed for 40-watt tubes in their basements, garages, kitchens, etc. Lamp manufacturers’ instructions and labels warn consumers not to use energy-saving watt lamps in older fixtures. Although these lamps are clearly marked with their actual wattage, for historical reasons they also include the designation “F40,” which may confuse some purchasers. New designations.

Beginning this summer, lamp manufacturers began marking T12 energy-saving fluorescent tubes in a new, and clearer way, as follows:

Energy Saving Tube: 4-foot, T12, linear,
Current Designation: F40,
New Designation: F34

Energy Saving Tube: 3-foot, T12, linear,
Current Designation: F30,
New Designation: F25

Energy Saving Tube: 2-foot, T12, U-Shaped,
Current Designation: F40,
New Designation: F34 or F35
During a transitional period lasting about a year, energy-saving fluorescent tubes will be marked with designations. And tubes with only the “old” F40 marking may continue to be available in the marketplace for some time, until existing stocks are depleted. Regardless of the designation, all energy-saving fluorescent lamps are physically the same tubes, and may be used interchangeably in fixtures designed for them.

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Consulting Engineers’ Magazine Features NEIS

“Engineering Times,” published by the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), is running a feature story about NECA’s National Electrical Installation Standards in its current issue (October 2001).

“One good reason for these NEIS is a lack of code enforcement out in the hinterland,” observes Herb Craig, PE, who works for JWP/Hyre Electric Company in Highland, Indiana. “When we build jobs in Chicago, for example, there’s a very strong enforcement component. But in other areas where we work, especially smaller towns, the enforcement may not be available.” Wayne Brinkmeyer, PE, is president of Biddle Electric Corporation in Houston.

From where he sits, an important benefit of NECA’s installation standards is that they supplement contract documents that may be less complete than was the case previously. Providing installation detail via drawings or descriptive language in the specifications is quickly becoming a practice of the past. “What this means is that many of the installation details today are left in the hands of the electrical contractor and the installation workforce,” Biddle explains. “This is where the NEIS can be a valuable tool to bridge the gap between the engineering documents and the actual field installation.”

The article quotes a number of professional engineers describing why they rely on National Electrical Installation Standards to insure that electrical construction jobs are built with maximum quality. To read the full text of this article in NSPE’s Engineering Times, go to

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NEC Pioneer Richard W. Osborn Dies

Richard W. Osborn passed away on October 7 in St. Louis.

For many years he was a leading figure in the National Electrical Code (NEC) process. And as president of NECA from 1966-1969, he was the architect of the association’s current leadership position in electrical codes and standards. “Every time he bids a job, an electrical contractor is betting his business that he knows the NEC,” Osborn used to say. He was one who knew it very well, serving for years as chairman of CMP-11, and later of the NEC Correlating Committee. For three years he was also a member of NFPA’s Board of Directors.

Modernizing the NEC Dick Osborn chaired the Code through a period of transition and modernization. Under his leadership, the number of technical experts involved in writing the NEC increased, and its consensus development procedures were improved. During his tenure, NEC development became much more “open” and public, and participation by the electrical contracting industry increased dramatically. Osborn persuaded NECA’s Board of Governors that electrical contractors should take a more activist role in developing the National Electrical Code, the ‘bible’ of their industry. As a result of his advocacy, NECA named representatives to every Code-making Panel and other important electrical standards committees. NEIS Dick

Osborn also spearheaded development of the original ‘NECA Standard of Installation,’ which formed the seed or kernel from which the present National Electrical Installation Standards have grown. The slim, 16-page booklet, of industry best practices that he first championed has expanded today into a family of 14 ANSI-approved quality guidelines for electrical construction, with many more under development. Richard W. Osborne, a true pioneer in helping to create the modern National Electrical Code, was a mentor and inspiration to many colleagues still active in the process today. His presence within NECA and the electrical industry will be missed.

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Code Calendar

Upcoming meetings of interest to the codes & standards community:

Oct 29–31: NFPA 70E, Electrical Safety Requirements for Employee Workplaces, Indialantic, FL
Nov 1–2: ANSI Board of Standards Review (BSR), New York, NY
Nov 7–9: NFPA 70B, Electrical Equipment Maintenance, Hilton Head, SC
Dec 2–6: NFPA 79, Electrical Equipment of Industrial Machinery, San Diego, CA
Jan 9–11: NFPA Standards Council, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Jan 31–Feb 1: ANSI Board of Standards Review (BSR), Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Feb 18–20: NFPA 70E, Electrical Safety Requirements for Employee Workplaces, Indialantic, FL
Feb 27: NFPA Technical Committee on Telecommunications, San Francisco, CA

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NEIS Standard on Co-generation Systems

NECA 405-2001, Recommended Practice for Installing and Commissioning Interconnected Generation Systems (ANSI) is now available for purchase.

It deals with electric power production sources operating in parallel with an electric utility source. NECA developed this publication in conjunction with T.A. Engineering Inc. of Baltimore, Maryland, which has extensive experience designing distributed power systems and combined heat/power generation systems for industrial and commercial clients. The company’s projects include both conventional co-generation projects up to 10 Megawatts and a 200 kilowatt fuel cell installation.

NECA 405 is one of a series of National Electrical Installation Standards (NEIS) published by the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA). It is approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), thus giving it the status of the “official” U.S. standard on the subject of co-generation. NECA 405-2001 sells for $25, with NECA-member and quantity purchase discounts available.

Contact the Order Desk at (301) 215-4504 tel, (301) 215-4500 fax, or Provide your name, company, mailing address and NECA member number (where applicable). All non-member orders must be prepaid by check or credit card. National Electrical Installation Standards are the first quality standards for electrical construction. They go beyond the minimum safety requirements of the NEC to define what is meant by installing electrical products and systems is a “neat and workmanlike” manner. For more information, go to

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NECA Members Named Code Panel Chairs

Three members of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) have recently been appointed chairmen of Code-Making Panels (CMPs) responsible for helping to write the National Electrical Code.

They are:

CMP-11 (motors, industrial control):
Wayne Brinkmeyer, President, Biddle Electric Corporation, Houston, TX
CMP-17 (appliances, heating equip ment, pools):
Don Jhonson, President, Interior Electric Company, North Miami Beach, FL
CMP-13 (power sources, emergency systems):
Thomas H. Wood, Presiden, Cecil B. Wood Company, Rockford, IL
NECA is major player in Code process. There are 19 Code-Making panels. The new appointments by NFPA’s Standards Council brings to seven the number of panels chaired by NECA contractors. They are CMP-5, CMP-6, CMP-11, CMP-12, CMP-13, CMP-16 and CMP-17. NECA has been a leading participant in the National Electrical Code (NEC) process for more than 80 years. It is one of the few organizations to have official representatives on every single Code-Making Panel. In addition to the seven CMP chairmen, a NECA member also chairs the Technical Correlating Committee, supervising body for the entire Code process.

The NEC is revised every three years to keep it up-to-date with the latest electrical products, construction methods, and safety techniques. According to Technical Correlating Committee chairman Harold Ware, president of Libra Electric Company in Oklahoma City, there’s no mystery about why so many panel chairs are NECA members. “Contractors make the best chairmen,” he says. “They’re used to assembling resources to solve problems, and bringing conflicting interests together to try and reach a consensus — and under deadline conditions, too. The average electrical contractor performs like a chairmen every day in his business, so it’s no surprise that they do a good job managing Code-Panels.”

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2002 NEC Published

The 2002 edition of the National Electrical Code has just been issued by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

This edition is the largest and most comprehensive Code ever published, with over 700 pages and nearly 140 articles (including new ones covering Transient Voltage Surge Suppressors and Fuel Cell Systems). The 2002 NEC is priced at $54.00 for the softbound book and $81.00 for the CD-ROM, with NFPA-member discounts available.

To order, call NFPA customer service at 1-800-344-3555.

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NECA Publishes Code Changes Book

The NECA Guide to Changes in the 2002 National Electrical Code is now available for purchase.

Clear text and more than 70 full-color illustrations explain nearly 150 of the most significant new and revised requirements in the 2002 NEC. It’s the perfect educational tool for individuals, NECA chapters, Code instructors, vocational-technical schools, and everyone concerned with understanding the 2002 National Electrical Code. NECA Guide to Changes in the 2002 National Electrical Code is priced at $14.95, with a NECA-member discount.

Contact the NECA Order Desk at (301) 215-4504 tel, (301) 215-4500 fax, or and request Index No. EC 6000. Provide your name, company, mailing address and NECA member number (where applicable). All non-member orders must be prepaid by check or credit card.

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ICC drags its feet on electrical code

The Inspection Initiative, a coalition of electrical industry organizations, has again requested that the International Code Council (ICC) discontinue its electrical code.

A copy of the September 12 letter to ICC is enclosed with this issue of Contractors’ Code Letter. ICC, an organization of non-electrical inspectors, issued a press release last June stating that it has “no plans for the development of an electrical code that would duplicate the purpose and compete with the National Electrical Code.” To read the full text of that press release, go to, click on News & Press at the left side of the page, and scroll down to 6-06-01.

However, the so-called electrical code (a 25-page booklet of administrative rules that includes a handful of technical requirements differing from those of the NEC) is still for sale, and ICC is promoting its use in jurisdictions around the country. The group did not respond to an earlier request from The Inspection Initiative to formally withdraw its electrical booklet, in July of this year. “We’ve been very successful at the grass roots level, preventing adoption of the ICC Electrical Code,” observes Brooke Stauffer, NECA’s director of codes and standards. “The entire electrical construction industry is united on the importance of this issue. “But we’re really not sure why we need to fight this battle at the state and county level. If this organization of non-electrical building officials says they ‘have no plans to develop an electrical code,’ then why not simply withdraw the publication? That’s the purpose of our September 12 letter — to try and get an answer to this key question.”

ACTION ITEM: Let the International Code Council know how you feel about the ICC Electrical Code. Send an e-mail to ICC’s executive director Richard Kuchnicki at Let your voice be heard today!

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D. Harold Ware honored at NECA centennial D. Howard Ware, chairman of the N.E. Code Technical Correlating Committee, was recognized for his “long service and conspicuous leadership of the National Electrical Code” at NECA’s recent 100th Annual Meeting, held October 19-22 in Washington, D.C. Harold Ware has received numerous other honors in his long career with the electrical industry. These include the coveted Coggeshall Award presented by NECA, and the prestigious Standards Medal of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Plant Engineers introduced to NEIS

Brooke Stauffer, NECA director of codes and standards, gave a presentation about National Electrical Installation Standards on October 18 at the 2001 Plant Engineering and Maintenance Show in Chantilly, Virginia. “It was our first official contact with a group of engineers who are major specifiers of, and customers for, electrical contracting services,” said Stauffer. “There were a lot of good questions, plus some useful suggestions about subjects for future NEIS.

NFPA’s new Mexican regional director

The National Fire Protection Association has named Antonio Macias Herrera as its new regional director in Mexico. A past president of Americ (the Mexican association of electrical and mechanical contractors), Macias is also vice-president of CIME (an electrical and mechanical engineers’ college), and was previously a member of the National Electrical Code Technical Correlating Committee. Mexico uses a Spanish translation of the NEC as its national wiring rules, and increasing numbers of NFPA publication are being translated into Spanish. Based in Mexico City, Antonio Macias will be responsible for helping promote the use of NFPA codes and standards throughout Latin America.

“Integrated Building Systems” division (IBS-16)

NECA will present its proposal for an improved, expanded Division 16 to the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) on November 2 at a meeting of the MasterFormat Expansion Task Force. CSI’s specification system, which is used by consulting engineers to prepare contract documents for construction projects, is updated every seven years; the next version is scheduled for release in 2002.

Most electrical power, communications, and control systems are currently covered in Division 16. NECA’s proposal relocates some systems currently located in other MasterFormat divisions, and makes other revisions to more closely relate all electrical and electronic technologies into a single Integrated Building Systems division.

The goal of NECA’s IBS-16 proposal is to improve the construction process, and insure better performance for facility owners and managers. For more information on this subject of major importance for electrical contractors and engineers, visit and see the previous issue of Contractors’ Code Letter (August 2001).

NFPA 5000 on schedule for 2002 release

NFPA 5000, Building Code, is the centerpiece of a family of integrated codes being developed for the built environment by NFPA and partner organizations that include the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO), Western Fire Chiefs Association (WFCA), and U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

When published in 2002, NFPA’s “Consensus Codes” family of publications will be the first building codes approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The 2002 National Electrical Code, which has just been published, is one document of the “Consensus Codes” set.

NFPA 5000 is currently in the second stage of its development process. NFPA issued the Report on Proposals (ROP) for public comment in August, with a deadline of October 5, 2001. All sixteen NFPA Building Code technical Committees will now review the comments received and act on them this fall.

A Report on Comments (ROC) will then be published for public review in the spring of 2002. NFPA 5000 will then be voted upon for final approval by NFPA’s membership at the organization’s annual meeting, scheduled for May 19-24 2002 in Minneapolis.

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Articles by and about NECA Codes and Standards have appeared recently in the following publications:

Engineering Times, “NECA Releases New Set of Quality Standards,” October 2001 Electrical Contractor (EC),
“ Adopts NECA 100 Standard Symbols,” September 2001 Consulting-Specifying Engineer,
“CSI’s Division 17: The Great Debate,” September 2001 Electrical Contracting & Engineering News,
“NECA Takes Division 16 Effort to the Internet,” September 2001 EC,
“International Code Council Backpedals on New Code,” August 2001 EC&M,
“Cleaning Up Installation Practices: NECA’s NEIS,” August 2001 EC,
“Electrical Industry Calls for ICC Code Withdrawal,” August 2001

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