NEC meeting continues, with panels debating vocabulary and definitions but finishing in record time

Blog Post created by laurenbackstrom Employee on Dec 4, 2012

Seven new panels started today with the excitement of opening day. People are energized and ready to get underway.

DictionaryIn a big way, today proved my favorite irony of the code making process. We fill rooms (and have long waiting lists) of electrical experts you would think like to debate the advantages and disadvantages of different technologies and that does happen. However if an outsider were to walk in to a panel meeting they might think they might in a meeting of hostile book editors. We fill the panel with technical experts and they fight over English!

To that end the code committees invent words and introduce their own oxymorons. Today’s panels were full of the word overcurrent, which no spell checker likes but every electrical person in the world understands. Additionally, a terrific presentation was done today in panel 10 dealing with circuit breakers introducing arc reduction, but also enhancing the English language with the concept of “adjustable instantaneous” HUH?

Panel 10 did provide us with a great definition of “Good Code,” that it be:

  1. Practical
  2. Enforceable
  3. Adoptable

HOME RUN- a great definition!

Panel 16 talked at length about cables that don’t carry electricity; fiberoptics, another word spell check doesn’t like.

The ECC (Electrical Code Coalition) held an update luncheon today to discuss the progress made on their website which is in the final stages of construction. The Coalition is a group of Electrical Organizations that work together to facilitate the adoption of the NEC, promote the third party assessment, and support the need for code enforcement. A lot of good work has been done and with much more to go. A brief update was given on the current state of adoption for the 2011 edition. The coalition has been very successful in pushing through adoptions, as well as keeping them from going backwards in the area of public safety in a few states. At the end of the meeting the coalition explained its strategy for working with promulgating agencies.

What a day for vocabulary!

The three code making panels (7, 10, and 18) all finished the first day with a new world record. Their efficiency was enhanced by task group work that combined numbers of similar comments so they could be addressed as a group. A great technique used for years by the NEC panels. This concept has been incorporated in the new NFPA codes and standards process, which is one of many enhancements of the new system that will really streamline the NFPA code making process. SO as a new world record was set today it will probably not stand for long as the 2017 NEC will embrace the new NEC process and enhance its efficiency. 

-Bill Burke, NFPA Division Manager, Electrical