National Electrical Installation Standards

Standards as High as Your Own

Friday, June 17, 2022


Hello Code Question of the Day.

Lots of folks don’t know about Charlie Trout. Although there have been very respectable and informative answers each day to the various Code Questions over the years, Charlie is still missed. Perhaps the time is right for a more complete reporting of who & what he was, including his unfortunate and untimely death.

Thanks for your consideration!

Ed Knox



Hi Ed, thanks for the suggestion. While there is basic information about Charlie on the Code Question of the Day publishing page, below are more of the details about him: ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR is saddened by the recent passing of Charles M. Trout. Better known as Charlie, the nationally known National Electrical Code (NEC) expert and author passed away Monday, Oct. 26, 2015, at 11 p.m.
Charlie Trout knew all about what it took to pass a tough electrical inspection; he had been on both sides of the process. As an “inspectee” (i.e., an electrical contractor), he was formerly the president of Main Electric in Chicago and most recently worked as a technical consultant for Maron Electric in Skokie, Ill. As a member of the Western Section of the International Association of Electrical Inspectors, he not only conducted notably thorough inspections but also helped create a cadre of inspectors whom he trained to his high standards as a code-enforcement instructor at Harper College.
In addition, he helped write the NEC, Since 1990; he was a member of NECA’s National Codes & Standards Committee and chairman of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)’s Code-Making Panel 12 (on cranes and lifts). He was also an acknowledged expert on electric motors for industrial applications and was the chief author of NECA 230 2003, Standard for Selecting, Installing, and Maintaining Electric Motors and Motor Controllers (ANSI). In 2001, he was named chairman of NECA’s Technical Subcommittee on Wiring Methods, which is responsible for NEIS publications dealing with the installation of raceways, cables, support systems, and related products and systems.
In 2006 Charlie was awarded the prestigious Coggeshall Award for outstanding contributions to the electrical contracting industry, codes and standards development, and technical training and was inducted into the Academy of Electrical Contracting that same year.
From 2009 through 2013, he wrote for ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR. You can find all of his articles here.
He was the author of an important textbook, "Electrical Installation and Inspection." Moreover, he reached thousands of participants in the electrical industry as the author of NECA’s popular Code Question of the Day (CQD). Each weekday, about 9,000 subscribers received a practical mini-lesson on how to apply the requirements of the latest NEC. 

NECA’s CQD was Charlie Trout’s flagship NEC forum for NECA and the industry. It is through Charlie’s request that NECA maintains and grows the CQD, which continues to generate a lively dialogue and relative Code-based and practical responses to an ever-increasing and interactive audience.                                                                 

One of Charlie's requests to NECA, before he passed, was for the Code Question of the Day forum in Electrical Contractor Magazine continue in his memory. To that end, NECA and Electrical Contractor continue to respond to the many NEC-related questions in the interest of safety and helping the industry. Charlie was a kind man and a friend, and he is dearly missed.                                                          

ABOUT CQD: The Code Question of the Day (CQD) is NECA and ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR Magazine’s flagship National Electrical Code (NEC®) public forum for the industry, sponsored by EATON. The daily distribution of Q&A generates a lively dialogue and shares relative Code-based practical responses.

SUBMIT YOUR CODE QUESTION: Click here to submit a question to for inclusion in an upcoming edition of the Code Question of the Day, or email

CHARLIE TROUT: Charles M. Trout, better known as Charlie, was a nationally known NEC® expert and author. He served on several NEC® technical committees and is past chairman of CMP-12. In 2006 Charlie was awarded the prestigious Coggeshall Award for outstanding contributions to the electrical contracting industry, codes and standards development, and technical training. Even though Charlie passed away in October of 2015, his work continues in spirit. NECA continues to maintain this question forum for its many subscribers in memory and recognition of all his significant contributions to making the NEC what it is today.

NECA STANDARDS: NECA publishes the National Electrical Installation Standards™ (NEIS™), a series of ANSI-approved performance and quality standards for electrical construction. NEIS can be purchased in the NECA Store in three formats: a printed or PDF download of a standard or, as an annual subscription service.

NECA SAFETY PRODUCTS & PUBLICATIONS: NECA produces electrical safety publications and products for the industry including jobsite safety guides, handbooks and resource kits. View a full listing of available resources and products »

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Unless the question requests a response based on a specific edition, all answers are based on the latest edition of NFPA 70® National Electrical Code®.

This correspondence is not a formal interpretation of the NEC® and any responses expressed to the questions are opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of NECA, NFPA, the NEC Correlating Committee any Code-making panel or other electrical technical committee. In addition, this correspondence is neither intended, nor should it be relied upon, to provide professional consultation or services. 

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