National Electrical Code Information and Discussion

We need a specific place for NEC Information that can be used as a resource by those who have some interest in this NFPA document. It is hoped that this thread will become your source for that material. I am in the process of collecting all of my previous posts that included information that was related to the NEC, UL, ESFI, and other areas so they can be added here.

Please add your references and materials too.

EC&M’s CodeWatch - April 11, 2006 Issue

UL Book

**Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs) : Electrical **

AFCI’s involve a technology that detects arcing-faults in electrical circuits that could cause fires. By recognizing characteristics unique to arcing and functioning to de-energize the circuit when an arc-fault is detected, AFCI’s further reduce the risk of fire beyond the scope of conventional fuses and circuit breakers.
Effective January 1, 2002, NFPA 70, The National Electrical Code (NEC), Section 210-12, requires that all branch circuits supplying 125V, single phase, 15- and 20-ampere outlets installed in dwelling unit bedrooms be protected by an arc-fault Circuit interrupter.
This page was developed to assist AHJ’s by providing them with a reference source of UL information on AFCI’s.
The following articles, written by UL Staff, provide background information on the development of UL 1699, the Standard for Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters, and issues related to AFCIs.
CPSC Public Notices and News Releases



**Question from the field:
I know that almost all switches and outlets come with either push in connectors, or screws to connect wires. My electrician always uses the screws, a buddy’s always pushes in from the back. Both say they are right.

**Are they or is one better or accepted and one not?
I have been seeing some push on wire connector’s instead of the screw on wire nuts. The push on ones I assume are just like the back of the outlets which grab the wire when it is pushed in. Again I suppose they are approved for use but they must be fairly new or new to the St Louis area since my inspector was not familiar with them and questioned them. Lucky for me the electrician left me a couple and some wire to show him how they worked and he approved them. Any thoughts on these things? :mrgreen:

Ground Resistance Principles, Testing, Techniques & Applications

Why Ground?
What Does a Good Ground do?
Ground Resistance Values
Ground Electrodes
Types of Ground Systems
Ground Resistance Testing - Soil Resistivity
Measuring Soil Resistivity 4 - Pole Method
Ground Resisting Testing Existing Systems 3 - Pole Fall of Potential
Ground Resistance Testing Existing Systems Selective Clamp - On
Ground Resistance Testing Existing Systems “Stakeless”
Ground Resistance Testing 2 - Pole
Ground Impedance Measurements
Measuring Ground Resistance at Substations
Measuring Ground Resistance at Central Offices
Measuring Ground Resistance at Cellular Sites/Microwave and Radio Towers
Measuring Ground Resistance at Remote Switching Sights
Measuring Ground Resistance for Lightning Protection Commercial/Industrial


408.7 Unused Openings

Unused openings for circuit breakers and switches shall be closed using identified closures, or other approved means that provide protection substantially equivalent to the wall of the enclosure.

This new requirement for closing unused switch and circuit breaker openings is specific to the equipment covered within the scope of Article 408. In addition, the requirement of 110.12(A) for closing unused cable and conduit openings applies to all electrical enclosures including panelboard cabinets and switchboard enclosures. Unused openings often occur during renovation and alteration of existing electrical systems and equipment. These two requirements are necessary to restore the electrical equipment enclosure integrity to a condition that minimizes the possibility of an escaping arc, spark, or molten metal igniting surrounding combustible material and also minimizes the potential for accidental contact with live parts.


Original images by Joe Tedesco published in ATP Electrical Systems CD

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*[size=1]What’s Wrong with this Picture? *
Lot’s of my original images here for the taking~

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Product Safety Tips:

UL Recommends Regular Testing of GFCIs

December 20, 2003: Underwriters Laboratories periodically revises requirements in its Standards for Safety to harmonize with international requirements, address code and safety issues, and accommodate new product developments as applicable. UL has adopted new and revised requirements for Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupters (GFCIs) that become effective January 1, 2003. Among others, these requirements include enhanced requirements for immunity to voltage surges, resistance to moisture and corrosion, reverse line-load mis wiring, and resistance to environmental noise. Though products meeting these revised requirements will soon enter the marketplace, they are not required to have any special markings to distinguish them from models made prior to January 1, 2003. Models of GFCIs Listed by UL that were manufactured and labeled prior to January 1, 2003 still may appear in the marketplace after January 1, 2003, and until such time as old stocks of GFCIs become exhausted.

Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) can help prevent electrocution inside and outside the home. GFCIs are an effective means of protecting against electrical shock, however, they must be tested regularly – UL recommends once a month – to verify they are working properly.

“Ground faults” are often the result of damaged appliance cords or consumers who use electrical products in wet environments, such as bathrooms or swimming pool decks. By installing GFCIs in every home in the United States, the U.S. Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that more than two-thirds of the approximately 300 electrocutions occurring each year could be prevented. The advantage of using GFCIs is that they detect even those amounts of electricity too small for your fuse or circuit breaker to activate and shut off the circuit.

Like all products, GFCIs can be damaged. GFCIs damaged by lightning or electrical surges may fail to provide adequate protection. A simple test once a month and after any violent thunderstorm should be conducted.
To properly test GFCI receptacles in your home:

  • Push the “Reset” button located on the GFCI receptacle, first to assure normal GFCI operation.
  • Plug a night light (with an “ON/OFF” switch) or other product (such as a lamp) into the GFCI receptacle and turn the product “ON.”
  • Push the “Test” button located on the GFCI receptacle. The night light or other product should go “OFF.”
  • Push the “Reset” button, again. The light or other product should go “ON” again.
    If the light or other product remains “ON” when the “Test” button is pushed, the GFCI is not working properly or has been incorrectly installed (mis wired). If your GFCI is not working properly, call a qualified, certified electrician who can assess the situation, rewire the GFCI if necessary or replace the device.
    “GFCIs are proven lifesavers, however, consumers need to take a few minutes each month to do this simple test. By taking action, you can help protect your family from the risk of electric shock,” says John Drengenberg, UL Consumer Affairs Manager.

Several types of GFCIs may be installed in/around your home. Look for the UL Mark on GFCIs when purchasing them or when specifying the product to your electrician.

Wall Receptacle GFCI – This type of GFCI – the most widely used – fits into a standard outlet and protects against ground faults whenever an electrical product is plugged into the outlet. Wall receptacle GFCIs are most often installed in kitchens, bath and laundry rooms, and out-of-doors where water and electricity are most likely to be in close proximity.

Circuit Breaker GFCI – In homes equipped with circuit breakers, this type of GFCI may be installed in a panel box to give protection to selected circuits. Circuit breaker GFCIs should also be checked monthly. Keep in mind that the test will disconnect power to all lights and appliances on the circuit.

Portable GFCI – A portable GFCI requires no special knowledge or equipment to install. One type contains the GFCI circuitry in a self-contained enclosure with plug blades in the back and receptacle slots in the front. It can then be plugged into a receptacle, and the electrical products are plugged into the GFCI. Another type of portable GFCI is an extension cord combined with a GFCI. It adds flexibility in using receptacles that are not protected by GFCIs. Portable GFCIs should only be used on a temporary basis and should be tested prior to every use.

Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) is an independent, not-for-profit product safety certification organization that has been testing products for more than a century. More than 16 billion products bearing the UL Mark enter the marketplace every year.

Hello Joe
UL’s standard for GFCI devices is changing again, and by July it will take affect for the manufacturers. One of the changes for this new standard will require GFCIs to SELF TEST. The information is on the UL website. Make sure to inform the HI that this is a standard change, and not a code change. The electrical contractors will still be able to install the current type GFCIs as long as they have them in stock. HIs can SUGGEST the installation of these, but not require them.


Thanks for reminding me. I already posted that information somewhere here and it may be in the archives.

Please re-post that information again.

Welcome, nice to see your name again. How’s the NYC scene going?

We can use some good help here. NYC is on the verge of exploding for education and there are a few who are already training who themselves could use the help.

I hope to see you again soon!

The GFCI link to UL is

Thanks for the link. When you say NYC needs help with training, are you looking for instructors on behalf of your company, or in general.With most of the NEC Articles deleted what’s left.Is there an update yet.

NYC is referencing the 2002 with approximately 300 amendments. There are some very minor amendments and some very drastic, such as whole Articles deleted. Fire Alarms are a special consideration in NYC, mandated by the Fire Department. Some of the deletions in my opinion, are not so bad and the NFPA should look at some of them.

NYC, even with the amendments is basically following the NEC. There are many thousands of people who need training, and with your name recognition, I am sure you would do well there.

January 1st 2007, NYC will be referencing the 2005 NEC, so they are staying fairly current. Each year they expect less and less amendments. UL, NFPA and other national organizations have a large presence in NYC and I believe NYC is moving in a very positive direction as far as code reference is concerned.


May is Electrical Safety Month

Look for the link here:

This is the cover over the splices in an underground enclosure that is used to supply the many street lights in certain areas of Boston. I hope no one trips here, or is electrocuted when the cover makes contact with the circuit conductors.

Not sure of the date of this story, but it is somewhat related to what could happen with the cover in the photo.

CHICAGO, Illinois - Portia, a 5-year-old black Labrador retriever, was in for quite a “shock” during her walk with owner Kerry Sorvino. As the 70-pound canine stepped onto a metal plate covering an electrical vault on the sidewalk, she began to convulse uncontrollably as a bolt of electricity surged through her body. Sorvino, not knowing what was wrong, bent over to calm the squealing pooch and was bitten on the hand. A passerby summoned a veterinarian from an animal hospital, who attempted mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. However, he kept getting a shock from her lips and was unable to save her. City officials said a frayed wire apparently contacted the cover plate set into the sidewalk on Wrightwood near Lincoln and Sheffield. An investigation is being launched as to whether other city electrical vaults should be checked

Questions and Answers:

NEMA Active on the 2008

Code Revision Front

According to the April 2006 issue of Electroindustry, 40 of the 56 2008 Code change proposals submitted by NEMA have been accepted. Many of the revisions are focused on personnel safety devices and fire protection devices. According to the write-up, accepted revisions include:

A new requirement for 120V receptacle outlets at all dwelling balcony, deck, and porch areas. The outlets would have to be GFCI protected.

An expansion of AFCI protection in dwellings to include all 120V, 15A, and 20A branch circuits.

An extension of GFCI protection to cover all outdoor non-dwelling 120V, 15A, and 20A outlets and all 120V outlets located within 6 feet of a sink.

A new Article 626 for Electrified Parking Space Equipment.

Revision of Article 382 to include a new “concealable nonmetallic extension” wiring method.

The acceptance of rigid nonmetallic raceway wiring methods in hazardous, classified locations.

Relocation of Table 430.91 to Article 110, which would provide a Code-wide selection criteria for enclosure types.