Volume 6, Issue Number 1 January 1, 2001

N.E. Code-making Panels Meet to Review Public Comments

National Electrical Code-Making Panels gathered for two weeks of meetings in Phoenix, Arizona during December 2000. Their purpose was to review and vote upon approximately 3500 Public Comments on proposals to revise the 1999 NEC. While a large number by anyone’s count, this was actually fewer comments than had been expected (there were over 4700 proposed revisions).

Individual CMPs met for as long as five days to discuss and vote on the public comments within their areas of responsibility. Each Panel has jurisdiction over particular Articles of the National Electrical Code; a list of CMPs and their scopes in shown beginning on page 70-7 of the 1999 NEC.

This was the second cycle of meetings in the process leading up to the 2002 Code. They are known as the ROC meetings because the results of the Panel deliberations will be published in a large book called the Report on Comments. (For a complete description of the NEC revision process, see the September 1999 issue of Contractors’ Code Letter. A schedule of the remaining stages of the process was shown in the November 2000 issue.)

The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) has been a major participant in the Code process for more than 80 years. It is one of the only organizations with representatives on each of the 20 Panels. NECA members also chairs six CMPs and the NEC Technical Correlating Committee, the supervising committee for the overall National Electrical Code.

Altogether, more than 50 organizations have representatives on Code-Making Panels. This broad participation by different interests and technical experts is one of the major factors behind the Code’s nearly universal adoption as a regulatory document governing electrical installations.

“NFPA’s consensus development procedures combine the input of many different groups to create the National Electrical Code — a pillar of public safety in this country,” observes Brooke Stauffer, NECA director of codes and standards. “No other electrical code can match the track record and authority of the NEC.”

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Tenth National Electrical Installation Standard™ Published

NECA has published the tenth volume in its growing series of National Electrical Installation Standards (NEIS).

NECA 101-2001, Standard for Installing Steel Conduits, describes installation procedures for three types of tubular steel raceways:

• Rigid metal conduit
• Intermediate metal conduit
• Electrical metallic tubing
Procedures described include threading and bending steel conduits, plus special considerations for installing PVC-coated steel conduit. The standard also contains an annex (appendix) dealing with the use of steel conduits as grounding electrode conductors for electrical feeders and branch circuits. It was jointly developed with the Steel Tubing Institute of North America (STI).

Ordering information. NECA 101-2001 costs $25 with NECA-member and quantity discounts available. Contact the NECA Order Desk at (301) 215-4504, (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.

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NECA Celebrates Its 100th Birthday

This month, NECA began celebrating its first century of progress. Buffalo, New York in 1901 was the scene of the Pan-American Exposition, the site of the most spectacular use of electricity ever seen up to that time. Among other wonders, the artificial lighting of the exposition’s pavilions and grounds involved the astounding total of 200,000 light bulbs! And so it was fitting that a group of electrical professionals came together then and there to form an organization devoted to promoting and expanding the safe use of this still-new form of energy recently harnessed by Edison and Westinghouse.

“No better place could have been selected,” according to Charles Eidlitz, NECA’s first president. “The Pan-American Exposition with its magnificent electrical exhibits and its marvelous illumination was a fitting background for the formation of an electrical contractor organization.” The power of standards. Technical standards were among NECA’s earliest concerns. In 1906, the organization developed and published the first symbols for electrical wiring plans designating where outlets, switches, and other items were to be installed. Soon after that, NECA joined other electrical, insurance, and fire protection groups in maintaining the National Electrical Code (NEC) to define safe wiring practices.

This tradition of belief in the importance of standards and the benefits they create continues today in the National Electrical Installation Standards, which extend and supplement NEC safety requirements to define, for the first time, quality electrical construction practices. Special events planned.

Today, in its 100th year, NECA is the voice of the North American electrical construction industry, and a growing force internationally. In addition to 4300 U.S. members, there are member companies in 20 other countries around the world with organized NECA chapters in Australia, Canada, Mexico, and New Zealand. Special events are planned throughout this centennial year, including publication of an official history book in mid-2001.

For more information, visit our special anniversary Web site at anniversary/flash.htm (or simply go to the NECA home page at and click on the special “NECA 1901-2001” flag logo).

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New Publication Explains NEC Benefits

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has just published a free educational booklet entitled National Electrical Code: The Power of Consensus.

The 8-page, full-color, publication explains the following:

• Why the NEC is adopted nationwide.
• How uniform codes enhance public safety.
• Growing worldwide acceptance of the NEC.
• Why “open” consensus procedures make the best codes.
National Electrical Code: The Power of Consensus is an educational tool for use in states and local jurisdictions which may be considering adoption of the ICC Electrical Code. This incomplete, 25-page booklet is one volume of the so-called International Building Codes that are being promoted around the country in place of the familiar BOCA, ICBO, and SBCCI building codes.

National Electrical Code: The Power of Consensus is written with non-technical audiences in mind. It can be used by electrical contractors, consulting engineers, and inspectors to help convince state legislative committees, city councils, county boards, and local building officials why it is so important to continue relying on the National Electrical Code — a time-tested regulatory document with a century-long track record of safety. Ordering information. National Electrical Code: The Power of Consensus is available free of charge. Contact Carol Henderson at NFPA’s Electrical Department, (617) 984-7401, or

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ANSI Approves Aluminum Wiring Standard

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has approved NECA/AA 104, Recommended Practice for Installing Aluminum Building Wire and Cable.

It describes installation procedures and design considerations for wiring systems in residential, commercial, institutional and industrial applications not exceeding 600 volts. NECA/AA 104 covers aluminum alloy building wire and cable types AC, MC, RHH, RHW, RHW-2, SE, TC, THW, THW-2, THHN, THWN, THWN-2, XHHW. It was jointly developed by the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and The Aluminum Association. Both organizations are ANSI-accredited standards developers.

NECA/AA 104 is the eighth National Electrical Installation Standard (NEIS) to be approved as an American National Standard. It is expected to be published during February 2001.

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UL Field Services Helps Contractors With Special Installations

From oil wells in Alaska to packaged solar power plants airlifted by helicopter to the tops of isolated mountains, UL’s Field Services Program has verified that thousands of special products already installed in the field meet NEC and other safety requirements. Typically these are products that, for one reason or another, were not UL-Listed in the usual way. Underwriters Laboratories Inc. offers three different services for evaluating equipment in the field: Field Evaluation, Field Inspection, and Field Investigation. They can be useful to electrical contractors who find themselves installing imported, custom, or one-of-a-kind equipment that doesn’t bear a third-party certification mark.
Field Evaluation Service. Experienced UL technical staff conduct on-site safety evaluations – including construction examination, installation review, and testing (if necessary) – of products or systems that have already been installed. If the product meets UL’s safety requirements, a Field Evaluation Mark is applied on the spot. Anyone directly involved with a product (installer, manufacturer, owner, inspector) can request a field evaluation of an unlisted product. Most often they are performed at the request of code authorities.

UL contacts all regulatory authorities likely to have an interest in the outcome of a field evaluation, and they are given the opportunity to witness the evaluation. UL notifies these authorities of the results of the evaluation and the application of the Field Evaluated Product Mark, if the installation meets UL’s requirements. Authorities are also notified if the installation is not in compliance with UL’s safety requirements and not eligible to bear the Mark. UL Field Evaluated Products Marks are good only for that particular installation and are tamper-resistant.

The validity of the Mark can easily be confirmed by contacting UL Field Services. Dennis Hayes, engineering team leader in the field evaluations group at UL’s laboratory in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, explains “For example, we recently conducted a field examination of a company which rebuilds aircraft landing gear that had relocated one of its plants in Miami. As part of the electrical inspection of the new facility, Dade County required that all industrial equipment, both new and old, be third-party certified.” Field Inspection Service. UL’s Field Inspection Service is for products that are eligible to bear the UL Listing or Classification Mark at the time of production, but on which the manufacturer did not apply the UL marking.

This could be due to an oversight on the production line. Only the manufacturer can request a Field Inspection. A local UL representative visits the equipment site to examine the products and determine whether they conform to applicable requirements. The appropriate regulatory authority is notified beforehand, given the opportunity to witness the Field Inspection, and is sent a copy the inspection results. Field Investigation Service. A Field Investigation is conducted on products that cannot be readily field-evaluated for listing, because this would require impractical disassembly or destructive testing. In these cases, UL investigates the installed product and issues a report stating the results of the investigation, the tests performed, the tests that couldn’t be performed, and any aspects of the product or installation that don’t comply with UL requirements. The report is issued to both the client and the appropriate regulatory authority.

While UL does not apply a Mark to a field-investigated product, this service helps regulatory authorities to make informed decisions on the acceptance of the product or system under consideration. For more information on UL’s Field Services, contact the UL Field Services representative nearest you:

Northbrook, IL: Cliff Adams, (847) 272-8800, ext. 42465,

Melville, NY:
James Wong, (631) 271-6200, ext. 22552,

Research Triangle Park, NC:
Bob Eberhardt, (919) 547-1641,

Camas, WA:
Dom Kumandan, (360) 817-5500, ext. 55604,

Santa Clara, CA:
Mike Shulman, (408) 985-2400, ext. 32770,
This article originally appeared in UL’s Code Authority newsletter, and is reprinted here by permission.

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Code Calendar

Upcoming meetings of interest to the codes & standards community:

Jan 17–19: NFPA Standards Council, Key West, FL
Jan 22–27: NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm Code, San Antonio, TX
Feb 1–2: ANSI Board of Standards Review, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Feb 21–23: NFPA 70B, Electrical Equipment Maintenance, Clearwater Beach, FL
Feb 25–Mar 2: NEC Technical Correlating Committee, Clearwater Beach, FL
Mar 12–16: NFPA 79, Electrical Equipment of Industrial Machinery, Indialantic, FL
Apr 5–6: NFPA Standards Council, Washington, DC
May 3–4: ANSI Board of Standards Review, New York, NY
May 13–17: NFPA Annual Meeting, Anaheim, CA

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NEC Formal Interpretation issued Formal Interpretation 99-1 is now in effect for Article 517 of the 1999 National Electrical Code:

Question: Does Part B of Article 517 of the NEC apply to patient sleeping rooms of nursing homes or limited care facilities where patient care activities do not involve the use of electrical or electronic life support systems; or invasive procedures where patients are electrically connected to line connected electromedical devices? Answer: No.
Free cable tray newsletter Cablegram is a quarterly newsletter published by the Cable Tray Institute (CTI). It contains articles explaining the NEC requirements for, construction of, and applications for cable tray. CTI also publishes a number of technical bulletins to assist specifiers and users with subjects such as selecting cable tray, types of conductors permitted in cable trays, and grounding of metallic cable trays. For a free subscription to Cablegram, or other information, contact the Cable Tray Institute at (800) 883-8883, or

NFPA security committee seeking members The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is forming a new Technical Committee on Premises Security to develop standards. Anyone interested in serving on this or any other NFPA committee should request a technical committee application form from Codes and Standards Administration, NFPA, P.O. Box 9101, Quincy, MA 02269-9101. NEC web site (correction) The last issue of Contractors’ Code Letter gave the incorrect address for the new NFPA web site devoted to the National Electrical Code. The correct address is We apologize for any inconvenience, and urge you to visit this important online resource for Code users. NEIS standards available from more sources NECA´s National Electrical Installation Standards are increasingly available from a number of sources in addition to the NECA Order Desk. These include Global Engineering Documents at (800) 854-7179, Building Tech Bookstore at (800) 275-2665, and Construction Book Express at (631) 951-0916.

In addition, a number of NEIS are developed in cooperation with other industry expert groups, and these organizations also sell the standards they are involved with. All three NEIS lighting standards are available from the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (, and the NEIS generator standard is available from the Electrical Generating Systems Association (

Download older editions of the NEC
NFPA members can download the 1993 and 1996 editions of the National Electrical Code free of charge from the National Fire Protection Association´s special NEC web site. Simply log onto and click on "Download free archive edition of the NEC as PDF" at the left side of the page. You will be asked to input your NFPA member number in order to continue.

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

Electrical Contractor (E.C.), “New NFPA Building Code to Anchor Series of Consensus Codes,” December 2000 ANSI Reporter,

“Consensus at a Higher Level: Joint Standards Offer Benefits to Developers and Users,” Autumn-Winter 2000 Technology Virginia,

“Virtual Private Networks,” Nov-Dec 2000 T.E.D. (The Electrical Distributor),

“Structured Residential Wiring Systems ‘Future-Proof’ Homes,” November 2000 E.C.,

“NECA Names 2000 Industry Partner,” November 2000 T.E.D.,

“Landlords of Cyberspace? A New Generation of Smart Buildings Comes of Age,” October 2000

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NECA representatives have recently been appointed to the following standards committees and other positions:

• N.E. Code-Making Panel No. 8, Stephen P. Poholski, Newkirk Electric Associates, Inc., Muskegon, Michigan

• National Electrical Safety Code, Subcommittee 7 on Underground Lines, Monte Szendre, Wilson Construction Company Inc., Canby, Oregon

• National Electrical Safety Code, Subcommittee 8 on Work Rules, Stephen P. Poholski, Newkirk Electric Associates, Inc., Muskegon, Michigan

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