EConnection
Volume 6, Issue Number 2 May 1, 2001

2002 National Electrical Code Approved With Significant Changes

The membership of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) approved the 2002 National Electric Code (NEC) at the association’ s May 17 meeting in Anaheim, CA.

Like every new edition of the NEC, the 2002 version contains hundreds of changes from the 1999 Code currently in effect. Several major additions and revisions are worth noting here: Article 80. The 2002 NEC contains a new article of administrative provisions at the very front of the book. It describes how to adopt and enforce an electrical code for regulatory use. Most other building codes already include such administrative guidelines. The lack of them has sometimes been used by building officials as a justification for developing a competing electrical code.

New numbering system. A revised numbering system uses dots rather than dashes, capital letters in place of lower-case letters, and shortens very long numbers. The goal is to improve clarity, make it easier for users to find the Code section they are looking for, and make the NEC’s numbering system more similar to that used in other NFPA technical documents. Examples:

New Style: 90.2 (B)(4) Old Style: 90-2 (b)(4)
New Style: 210.52 (A)(2)(1) Old Style: 210-52 (a)(2)(c)
New Style: 430.82 (C)(2) Old Style: 430-82 (c)(2)
Articles moved and reorganized. Some familiar articles have been reorganized or renumbered to improver the Code’s clarity and logical organization. Examples:
Subject: Boxes and Enclosures 1999 NEC/2002 NEC: Article 370/Article 314 Subject: Temporary Wiring 1999 NEC/2002 NEC: Article 305/Article 527 Subject: Liquidtight Conduit 1999 NEC/2002 NEC: Article 351/Split in two Subject: Surface Raceways 1999 NEC/2002 NEC: Article 352/Split in two

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HID Lighting Safety Advisory

The Industrial Fire Protection Section of NFPA has issued an advisory bulletin about potential fire hazards associated with high intensity discharge (HID) lighting fixtures that use metal halide, mercury vapor, or high pressure sodium lamps.

Hazard — Although most lamps eventually burn out in routine fashion, high internal operating pressures and temperatures can cause arc tube ruptures that release molten fluid capable of igniting nearby materials. While all three types have been associated with fires at indoor industrial and warehousing facilities, it appears that metal halide lamps display the highest potential for violent arc tube failure.

Prevention — According to the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), the most effective mitigation technique is to follow these manufacturers’ recommendations:

• Switch lights off for at least a 15-minute period every week. The cooling and heating of the arc tube allows for cracks to occur while the internal arc tube pressure is low, thereby preventing a violent rupture.
• Manufacturers typically recommend group re-lamping at approximately 60 to 75 percent of rated life. This takes lamps out of service while the likelihood of arc tube rupture is still low.
• Don’t add a protective lens or otherwise field-modify a luminaire without consulting the manufacturer. Doing so could raise both lamp and ballast temperatures unacceptably high.
• When installing HID lighting in warehouses and similar facilities, center luminaires over aisles between storage arrays of flammable materials. Avoid storing combustible materials directly beneath fixtures.
More information — For a copy of the complete advisory, send an e-mail to neis@necanet.org. In addition, NEMA’s Lighting Equipment Division has informational white papers on its website, including “Questions and Answers about Lamp Ruptures in Metal Halide Lighting Systems” and “Best Practices for Metal Halide Lighting Systems.” Go to: www.nema.org/products/div2/white_papers.html.

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Electrical Industry Presents United Front Against Upstart ICC Electrical Code

The electrical industry was out in force at the 2000 ICC Electrical Code hearing held March 24 in Portland, Oregon.

Representatives from a number of groups urged the International Code Council not to adopt technical requirements different from those of the National Electrical Code; argued against circumventing the NEC’s consensus development procedures by creating a ‘back door’ mechanism to amend the Code; and furnished accurate technical information about proposed revisions that contradict NEC safety rules.

This concerted action by the electrical industry was successful in defeating some draft revisions to the 2000 edition of the ICC’s code. Proposals to delete the requirement for arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) and permit use of the Canadian Electrical Code for regulatory purposes in this country were rejected by substantial margins. Proposals to allow expanded use of Type NM cable passed. All the same, the outcome represented a partial victory for electrical interests and the NEC. At last year’s hearing in Birmingham, Alabama, all of the proposed electrical requirements passed, some by unanimous votes.

Truth in advertising? Although entitled “2000 ICC Electrical Code: Administrative Provisions,” the rival code actually includes a Chapter 12 – Electrical Provisions with technical requirements that differ from those of the National Electrical Code. The ICC committee responsible for maintaining the document has no electrical engineers, contractors, or inspectors as members. Only ICC members are permitted to vote on the document, and testimony at hearings is limited to two minutes per person.

Despite having the deck stacked against them in this way, the electrical industry people who attended the March 24 hearing came away encouraged. “I thought we were quite effective, under the circumstances,” said Bob Gotham, NECA principal member on CMP-7. “The opposition seemed surprised by the amount of representation and the resulting committee decisions.” Electrical interests attending the ICC hearing in Portland included:

• National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA)
• National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA)
• International Association of Electrical Inspectors (IAEI)
• Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL)
• Steel Tube Institute (STI)
• Electrical product manufacturers

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First NEIS™ Cable Standard Published

NECA has published its eleventh National Electrical Installation Standard (NEIS).

NECA/AA 104-2000, Recommended Practice for Installing Aluminum Building Wire and Cable (ANSI), 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, and is approved as an American National Standard.

Ordering information. NECA/AA 104-2000 costs $25 with NECA-member and quantity discounts available. Contact the NECA Order Desk at (301) 215-4504 tel, (301) 215-4500 fax, or orderdesk@necanet.org. Provide your name, company, mailing address and NECA member number (where applicable). Non-member orders must be prepaid by check or credit card.

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ANSI Approves NECA 402 MCC Standard

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has approved NECA 402, Recommended Practice for Installing and Maintaining Motor Control Centers.

Published early last year, the publication describes installation procedures for motor control centers rated 600 volts or less. It also covers periodic routine maintenance of MCCs and special procedures to be used after adverse circumstances such as a short-circuit, ground-fault or immersion in water. NECA 402 is the ninth National Electrical Installation Standard to be approved by ANSI. The next printing will reflect the ANSI approval date. Ordering information. The new edition of NECA 402-2001 costs $25 with NECA-member and quantity discounts available.

Contact the NECA Order Desk at (301) 215-4504 tel, (301) 215-4500 fax, or orderdesk@necanet.org. Provide your name, company, mailing address and NECA member number (where applicable). Non-member orders must be prepaid by check or credit card.

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Two Manufacturers Announce Recalls of Contractor Tools

Fluke T2 Electrical Tester Fluke has announced a recall of its “T2 Electrical Testers” due to a potentially hazardous malfunction.

Users with T2 testers having a serial number of 7351xxxx or higher should STOP USING THE PRODUCT IMMEDIATELY AND RETURN IT TO FLUKE FOR FREE REPAIR. Units with lower serial numbers are not affected by the problem. DESCRIPTION OF PROBLEM: The T2 “locks up” in certain circumstances while being used to check voltages over 400 Volts, or in applications where high levels of static electricity or transients are present. When the tester “locks up” it stops working for approximately 8 minutes, after which the unit resets itself. If the user does not follow industry standard practice by verifying the tester before and after checking a circuit, he/she may believe there is no voltage present, when in fact there is. THIS COULD EXPOSE THE USER TO A POTENTIAL SHOCK HAZARD. WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE AN AFFECTED “T2 ELECTRICAL TESTER.”

• Stop using the tester immediately.
• Return your unit to a Fluke Repair Center.
• Before returning a T2 tester, you must get a Return Tracking Number and (if desired) a postage-paid return mailer.
• Obtain these by calling Fluke at 1-800-753-8646.

DeWalt, Black & Decker Miter Saws In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), these two allied manufacturers have recalled more than 175,000 12-inch miter saws that make angled cuts. DeWalt is recalling its saws with model numbers DW704 TY1 and DW705 TY1. Black & Decker is recalling model numbers 3660 TY1 and 3680 TY1. In all cases, the model numbers are located on the nameplate at the top of the housing. The recalled DeWalt and Black & Decker miter saws also have date codes from 9201 through 9340 stamped into the end cap or back. They were sold at home centers and hardware stores throughout 1992 and 1993. DESCRIPTION OF PROBLEM: Bolts on these miter saws can loosen, allowing the blade to detach and creating a risk of lacerations to users. Several such incidents have been reported.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE AN AFFECTED MITER SAW:
• Stop using the saw immediately.
• For more information or a free repair kit, call 1-888-771-4540 or visit www.dewalt.com/us/articles/press_release.asp?ID=249.

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Leadership Changes at Industry Organizations

Three major organizations involved with electrical construction and standards have recently changed leaders or are in the process of doing so.

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) George D. Miller, president and CEO, is retiring effective this month. He led NFPA over the last nine years and is widely credited with strengthening the safety organization’s bottom line, broadening its international focus, and refocusing NFPA on its core business of developing technical standards for public safety. NFPA documents adopted for regulatory use include the National Electrical Code, Life Safety Code, National Fire Alarm Code, and National Fuel Gas Code. Under Miller’s leadership, the acceptance of NFPA standards by other countries around the world has increased dramatically. He spearheaded industry-wide efforts to educate state governments about the benefits of the NEC and resist the competing electrical code being marketed by an organization of non-electrical building officials. NFPA’s board of directors has formed a search committee to seek a new CEO.

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Edwin D. Hill was recently elected IBEW president to fill out the remaining term of J. J. Barry who announced his retirement. Hill was previously secretary-treasurer for the labor organization. The IBEW International Executive Council bestowed upon Barry the title of President Emeritus in recognition of his nearly 15 years of leadership. With 775,000 active members in the U.S. and Canada, IBEW is one of the largest trade unions in North America.

The National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) NAED is currently seeking a new president following the resignation of Jim O’Halloran, who left to become president of the Missouri Society of CPAs. O’Halloran had been executive director of the NAED Education Foundation before taking the top slot at NAED, headquartered in St. Louis, MO. A selection committee is seeking a new president for the organization.

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InBRIEF

NECA C&S member honored

Herbert P. Spiegel, a long-time member of NECA’s Codes and Standards Committee, was recently named Citizen of the Year in his home town of Corona, CA. Spiegel was honored for 42 years of service to the community, including work with the local school board, on statewide committees in support of vocational education, the public library, and involvement in the revitalization of downtown Corona. Community service is a tradition in the Spiegel family. Herb Spiegel’s late wife, Flora, was elected mayor in 1976. One son is a captain with the Corona Police Department, and another son received the Citizen of the Year Award in 1988. Spiegel founded Corona Industrial Electric Company in 1958. The company was a member of NECA, and Herb Spiegel served on the Codes and Standards Committee, representing NECA on N.E. Code-making Panel 20. He is also chairman of the National Electrical Installation Standards Technical Subcommittee on Utilization Equipment, a member of the Academy of Electrical Contracting, and serves on the Electri’21 Council of the Electrical Contracting Foundation.
TIA issued for National Fire Alarm Code
Two Tentative Interim Amendments have been issued for the National Fire Alarm Code, NFPA 72-1999. TIA 99-1 deals with fire warning equipment (alarms), hearing impairment, and standby power sources for fire alarm systems. TIA 99-2 deals with smoke detectors. All users of the standard should be aware of these changes to NFPA 72. For the complete text go to www.nfpa.org/codes/index.html, and click on “Tentative Interim Amendments and Errata.” A TIA is tentative because it has not been processed through the entire NFPA standards-making procedure, and interim because it is effective only between editions of the standard. TIAs automatically become proposals for the next edition of the document.
TIA proposed for National Fire Alarm Code
The following Tentative Interim Amendment, TIA Log No. 638, has been proposed for the National Fire Alarm Code (NFAC), Section 5-4.5.1. Add an exception to read as follows:
5.-4.5.1 The remote supervising station shall have sufficient personnel, but not less than two persons, on duty at the remote supervising station at all times to insure disposition of signals in accordance with the requirements of 5-4.6. Exception: One person on duty if monitoring four thousand or less total accounts.
Comment deadline is May 31, 2001. Send comments to Secretary, Standards Council, NFPA, P.O. Box 9101, Quincy, MA 20069-9101. The submitter’s substantiation can be viewed at www.nfpa.org/codes/index.html.
NECA member named to NEC Technical Correlating Committee
Michael D. Toman has been appointed to the NEC Technical Correlating Committee, supervising body for the National Electrical Code. For the last five years he has been a member of N.E. Code-making Panel 2, and will continue in that position. Toman is president of MEGA Power Electrical Services Inc. in Gaithersburg, MD, and a member of the NECA Codes and Standards Committee.
NFPA’s Caloggero honored by Mexican engineers organization
John Caloggero, NFPA principal electrical specialist, has received a distinguished service award from the Federacion de Colegios de Ingenieros Mecanicos y Electricistas de la Republica Mexicana. He is the only American to receive this award, which was presented to honor his years of work conducting educational seminars about the National Electrical Code and other National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) documents. Mexico adopted the NEC as its national wiring rules beginning in 1994.
One-stop source for lamp recycling information
The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has unveiled a new website. www.lamprecycle.org provides critical information for electrical contractors responsible for disposing of large quantities of fluorescent and HID (high intensity discharge) lamps. The site summarizes federal and state regulatory requirements, lists companies that handle and recycle spent lamps, and describes what the industry has done to reduce the mercury content of fluorescent and HID lamps.

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InPRINT

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

Engineering Times, “NECA Quality Standards are Vital Code Enforcement Tools,” April 2001 Electrical Contractor (E.C.),
“Publication Explains NEC Benefits, Helps Fight ICC Code,” March 2001 E.C.,
“NEIS ‘Standard for Installing Steel Conduits’ in Print,” March 2001 The Exchange,
“National Electrical Installation Standards: The First Quality Standards for Electrical Construction,” Feb-Mar 2001 Engineer’s Digest,
“National Electrical Installation Standards: The Construction Industry’s First Quality Electrical Standards,” February 2001 Construction Site News,
“Up to Code . . . But Which One?” February 2001

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Code Calendar

Upcoming meetings of interest to the codes & standards community:


May 13–17 NFPA World Fire Safety Congress and Exposition, Anaheim, CA
Jul 10 National Electrical Code, Technical Correlating Committee, San Francisco, CA
Jul 10–13 NFPA Standards Council, San Francisco, CA
Aug 2–3 ANSI Board of Standards Review (BSR), New York, NY
Sep 9–13 IAEI Northwestern Section, Portland, OR
Sep 16–19 IAEI Western Section, Jackson Hole, WY
Oct 7–10 IAEI Eastern Section, Sturbridge, MA
Oct 14–17 IAEI Southern Section, New Orleans, LA
Oct 21–25 IAEI Southwestern Section, Tempe, AZ
Nov 1–2 ANSI Board of Standards Review (BSR), New York, NY

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