Volume 5, Issue Number 1 January 1, 2000

NEC Fire Pump Installation Requirements Modified

The 1999 National Electrical Code contains text extracted from NFPA 20-1999, Standard for the Installation of Stationary Pumps for Fire Protection. The National Fire Protection Association’s “Policy on Extracts” requires that when a source document is revised, that same text must be automatically revised in any other NFPA code or standard that uses it. Accordingly, Section 695-3(b) has been revised to read as follows. All NEC users should make a copy of this change and keep it with their Code books, to keep the text up-to-date. Future printings of the 1999 National Electrical Code will contain this change:

X (b) Multiple Sources. Where reliable power cannot be obtained from a source described in Section 695-3(a), power shall be supplied from an approved combination of two or more of either of such sources, or from an approved combination of feeders constituting two or more power sources as covered in (2) below, or from an approved combination of one or more of such power sources in combination with an on-site standby generator complying with (1) and (3) below.
NFPA has issued an errata to NFPA 20-1999, Standard for the Installation of Stationary Pumps for Fire Protection. In Section 6-2, replace the word “of” with “or” to read as follows:
6-2 Power Source(s). Power shall be supplied to the motor-driven fire pump by a reliable source or of two or more approved independent sources, all of which shall make compliance with Section 6-4 possible. Exception: Where electric motors are used and the height of the structure is beyond the pumping capacity of the fire department apparatus, a second source in accordance with 6-2.3 shall be provided.

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Academy of Electrical Contracting Inducts NECA C&S Member

Doug Pirkle, a long-time member of the NECA Codes and Standards Committee, has been elected to membership in the prestigious Academy of Electrical Contracting. The purpose of the Academy is to honor outstanding leaders who have rendered exceptional service to the electrical contracting field, and to make the best use of their experience and knowledge for the continued advancement of the industry.

Fellows of the Academy prepare special papers on aspects of electrical construction in which they have developed expert knowledge, and participate in studies to identify trends within the industry and make appropriate recommendations based on their analyses.

A number of NECA C&S members have been honored by election this important industry professional organization based in Bethesda, Maryland. Eight committee members (including two emeritus) are currently Fellows of the Academy of Electrical Contracting:

• Doug Pirkle, Pirkle Electric Company Inc., Atlanta, GA
• Richard G. Biermann, Biermann Electric Company Inc., Des Moines, IA (emeritus)
• Howard D. Hughes, Hughes Electric Company Inc., Fort Smith, AR
• Stanley D. Kahn, Tri-City Electric Company Inc., Aptos, CA
• Herbert P. Spiegel, Corona Industrial Electric Company, Corona, CA (emeritus)
• Ronald J. Toomer, Toomer Construction Company Inc., Baton Rouge, LA
• D. Harold Ware, Libra Electric Company, Oklahoma City, OK
• Thomas H. Wood, Cecil B. Wood Inc., Rockford, IL

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Free Online Feature for NEC users: Code Question of the Day

Code Question of the Day currently has nearly 4000 subscribers, and the number growing weekly! CQD is a daily online feature for NEC users, presented by NECA Codes & Standards in conjunction with Electrical Contractor magazine. Subscribing to CQD is simplicity itself.

Once you do, a fresh Code question will automatically arrive at your e-mail address every weekday, Monday through Friday.

Each morning you’ll receive a new, practical, mini-lesson in how to apply the requirements of the 1999 National Electrical Code on the job. (Each question also includes the answer to the previous day’s question.) Test your knowledge against the National Electrical Code and have fun doing it! There’s no cost. Follow these simple steps to receive your free subscription to NECA’s Code Question of the Day:

1. Go to
2. Click on the purple EC Online graphic at the right side of the screen.
3. When the screen changes, click on Free Newsletters at the left side of the screen.
4. When the page changes, scroll down to “Newsletters” and click on the box labeled Code Question of the Day.
5. Scroll down further to Qualifying Information and fill in the form with your name, postal address, and e-mail address.

When finished, click on Submit.

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NFPA Issues New Style Manuals

The National Fire Protection Association has issued two new style manuals, one for NFPA standards in general, and one specifically for the National Electrical Code. Copies of both manuals can be downloaded in PDF format at, or can be obtained in hard copy from the NFPA at P.O. Box 9101, Quincy, MA 02269.

The NFPA Manual of Style (2000 Edition) provides technical guidance and requirements for writing, editing, and publishing NFPA codes and standards. 1999 National Electrical Code Style Manual. This manual establishes new formatting and editorial practices to help make the 2002 edition of the NEC more user-friendly.

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It’s Official: South Florida Building Code Accepts National Electrical Installation Standards™

The Miami-Dade County [Florida] Building Code and Product Review Committee has become the first governmental entity in the country to accept NECA’s National Electrical Installation Standards for regulatory use.

The Committee adopted the first three published NEIS into the South Florida Building Code as official references for methods of construction effective November 1, 1999. NECA’s South Florida Chapter spearheaded the first NEIS regulatory adoption, acting in cooperation with the IBEW and leading area electrical inspectors, who have been strong supporters of NECA’s quality standards for electrical construction.

“The chapter sponsored creation of a Chief Electrical Inspectors Council several years ago,” explains chapter manager Walter Bost. “That’s where we first started promoting the idea of having Miami-Dade and Broward counties endorse the NECA installation standards. Getting them included in the building code just seemed to make sense, the same way that NEC Article 800 references other industry standards as guides for neat and workmanlike installation.”

Bost credits three individuals in particular with helping turn the concept into a reality. Eddie Woodward, president of NECA’s South Florida Chapter; Art Fernandez, business agent of IBEW Local 349; and John Travers, chief electrical inspector for the City of Hialeah, all played major roles in the NEIS adoption process. Fernandez serves on the Building Code and Product Review Committee, and Woodward testified in favor of adopting the National Electrical Installation Standards.

Travers is former president of the Florida Chapter of International Association of Electrical Inspectors. “I believe this just shows that we can accomplish a lot when our industry pulls togther on an important issue,” Bost observes. “With NECA, IBEW and IAEI all singing from the same page, we had a strong three-fronted campaign supporting the cause of electrical construction quality and safety in South Florida.” The Miami-Dade County Building Code and Product Review Committee action covers the first three NECA standards published 301 on fiber optics, 400 on switchboards, and 500 on commercial interior lighting. NECA’s South Florida Chapter has already proposed that the most recent standards (100 on electrical symbols and 502 on industrial lighting) be adopted as well. “From this point forward, we plan to recommend that Miami-Dade County approve each new standard as it’s published,” says chapter manager Walter Bost.

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2002 Code Revision Cycle Kicks Off

National Electrical Code Panels gathered for two weeks of meetings in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, kicking off the 22-month revision process that will turn the 1999 NEC into the 2002 edition.

Nearly 400 principal and alternate representatives from electrical industry organizations came together to review more than 4200 proposals to revise the 1999 National Electrical Code. While a big number by anyone’s count, this is actually fewer proposed revisions than many observers had expected. Proposal numbers have been rising steadily over the last few revision cycles, and some long-time Code participants had expected this year’s total to exceed 5000. But deciding on even 4200 proposals is still a big job.

The 20 Code-panels met for as long as five days each to review and vote on each individual proposal. This first cycle of meetings is often known as the ROP meetings because the results of the Panel deliberations will be published in a large book called the Report on Proposals. (For a complete description of the NEC revision process, see the September 1999 issue of Contractors’ Code Letter.)

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

“This high level of participation demonstrates our organization’s major commitment to electrical safety,” commented Brooke Stauffer, NECA director of codes and standards. “We’re investing 120 man-days of travel in this cycle of Code meetings, and there’s a second one coming up in December of this year. “But over and above travel costs to NECA are the individual commitments made by our member contractors. These experts took considerable time away from their own businesses – two full weeks in a few cases – to come to Hilton Head and help keep the 2002 National Electrical Code the best and most widely-used safety code in the world.”

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New Chairman for NEIS Wiring Methods Subcommittee

W. Terry Lindsay has been named chairman of the Technical Subcommittee on Wiring Methods.

The TSC has jurisdiction over NEIS publications covering installation of products and systems classified by the National Electrical Code as wiring methods: cables, raceways, boxes, cable trays, etc. Lindsay is president of Duncan Electric Company Inc. in Chattanooga, Tennessee and serves on a number of other industry standards groups. He is a member of the National Electrical Code Technical Correlating Committee, Code-making Panel 8 (raceways), and the NECA Codes and Standards Committee. He also served recently on a special NEC Task Group formed to develop change proposals for improving the organization and usability of the raceway articles in the 2002 National Electrical Code.

At present, there are three NEIS wiring method standards published or under development. They are:

• NECA/FOA 301-1997, Standard for Installing and Testing Fiber Optic Cables (published)
• NECA 101 - 2xxx, Recommended Practice for Installing Tubular Steel Raceways(scheduled for publication in early 2000)
• NECA/AA 104 - 2xxx, Recommended Practice for Installing Aluminum Building Wire and Cable (sent to ANSI canvass ballot in July 1999; currently being revised in response to voters’ comments)

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CSA Introduces New U.S. Certification Markings

CSA International (formerly the Canadian Standards Association) has introduced two new marks for products tested to U.S. standards and intended for use in the U.S.

They include the familiar CSA logo plus the letters “US” or “US” and “C.” These marks replace the current CSA NRTL and CSA NRTL/C marks that have been in use since 1992. CSA is accredited as a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

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NFPA and IAPMO to Cooperate on Standards

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAMPO) have agreed to collaborate on a compatible set of consensus codes and standards for health and safety.

The agreement’s foundation is the commitment to developing the joint documents using an open consensus process that includes public participation, with committees structured to represent a balance of all affected interests.

Traditionally, building codes other than the National Electrical Code have been developed through closed procedures in which only inspectors and building officials are allowed to vote. “This cooperative effort will result in a comprehensive, timely, and technically consistent set of codes and standards,” said NFPA President George D. Miller. “It has always been NFPA’s philosophy to develop codes in an open process to ensure safety, quality, and consistency.

This agreement is an extension of NFPA’s long history and mission, and a fitting progression as we move into the twenty-first century.” Arthur E. Cote, NFPA’s senior vice president and chief engineer, observed that “IAPMO and NFPA are natural partners. Our work complements each other’s, and our common goal in promoting safety and health around the world can be better achieved in unity.”

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

• N.E. Code-making Panel No. 1, Brooke Stauffer, NECA, Bethesda, MD.
• N.E. Code-making Panel No. 3, Ronald E. Maassen, Lemberg Electric Company Inc., Wauwatosa, WI.
• N.E. Code-making Panel No. 5, Martin D. Adams, Adams Electric, Pueblo, CO.
• N.E. Code-making Panel No. 6, Harry J. Sassaman, Forest Electric Corporation, Edison, NJ.
• N.E. Code-making Panel No. 11, Stanley J. Folz, Folz Electric Inc., Roscoe, IL.
• N.E. Code-making Panel No. 14, Mark G. Saban, Saban Electric, Joliet, IL.
• N.E. Code-making Panel No. 16, Doug Pirkle, Pirkle Electric Company Inc., Atlanta, GA.
• N.E. Code-making Panel No. 17, James W. Hillebrand, Byron Electric Company Inc., Louisville, KY.
• N.E. Code-making Panel No. 18, Charles M. Trout, Maron Electric Company, Skokie, IL.
• N.E. Code-making Panel No. 19, Kenneth Weakley, Mountain Electric Inc., Truckee, CA.
• N.E. Code-making Panel No. 20, Scott Cline, McMurtrey Electric Inc., Monterey Park, CA.

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In Brief

NEC errata now available online A free list of printing errors in the 1999 National Electrical Code is available online in PDF format at the National Fire Protection Association’s website. To download these corrections and update your Code book, go to, click on Codes and Standards, then click on National Electrical Code.

The errata can also be downloaded from (More recent printings of the 1999 NEC may incorporate many of these corrections.) Court rules against lamp mercury labeling A U.S. district court has sided with the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) and against the state of Vermont, granting a preliminary injunction that prevents the state from enforcing a new regulation that would have required lamp manufacturers to put special labels on mercury-containing lamps and their packaging.

U.S. District Judge J.G. Mirtha ruled that the labeling requirements would not reduce the amount of mercury in the environment in a way that was consistent with a manufacturer’s right to engage in interstate commerce and free speech. The judge also agreed with NEMA that placing “Hg” on lamps (the scientific symbol for the element mercury) would be ineffective, as would mercury warnings on lamp packaging, since there is often an interval of years between lamp purchase and disposal.

Mass disposal of fluorescent and HID lamps that contain mercury, by electrical contractors and plant maintenance personnel, is already regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 1999 National Fire Alarm Code® issued Following several appeals, the latest edition of the National Fire Alarm Code (NFPA 72-1999) has been issued. One of NFPA’s flagship documents, along with the NEC, the latest edition of NFPA 72 has been substantially revised and rearranged from earlier editions, to improve usability. (As an aid to users of the new document, a cross-reference between the 1996 and 1999 editions has been included much like the Article 250 cross-reference included as Appendix E of the 1999 National Electrical Code.) State requirement: Arc-fault circuit interrupters Vermont has become the first state to adopt legislation requiring installation of arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) in all new homes.

The Vermont Electrical Board amended the state’s electrical code to require that AFCIs be installed in bedroom circuits and all other 120V living area branch circuits in new residential construction by January 2001.Vermont went further than the 1999 National Electrical Code by expanding the number of circuits requiring AFCI protection and advancing the effective date one year from the NEC’s January 2002 deadline.

This is expected to influence other states as they adopt their own versions of AFCI regulations over the next year. NFPA names Richardson as NFPA 72 secretary NFPA Senior Electrical Engineer Lee Richardson has been named secretary to the Technical Correlating Committee on the National Fire Alarm Code (NFPA 72). He will provide technical support for all signaling standards, as well as NFPA 85 Combustion Systems Hazard Code and NFPA 86 Ovens and Furnaces.

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