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Arc-flash hazard warning

Posted by gmoniz Employee Jun 19, 2015

The arc-flash hazard warning requirements in 110.16 may be expanded in the 2017 NEC. Code Making Panel 1 has developed a first revision based
on the requirements in the 2015 edition of NFPA 70E that would require additional labeling on service equipment. These installation-related requirements will be located in a new first level subsection 110.16(B) and require service equipment to contain the following information:

    Nominal system voltage

    Arc flash boundary

    At least one of the following:

        Available incident energy and the corresponding working distance

        Minimum arc rating of clothing

        Site-specific level of PPE


To view all first draft ballot information (revisions) go to:



Posted by gmoniz Employee Jun 19, 2015

ATTENTION POOL OWNERS: By now your pool is open and all
systems are up are running. You carefully monitor the water chemistry,
maintaining safe levels of various products to keep the water clean and healthy
for you and your family; but, have you checked the ground fault circuit
interrupter (GFCI) supplying your pool electrical equipment? A GFCI is a device
such as a receptacle, circuit breaker or part of the supply cord, that is
designed to protect people from electric shocks.  Testing is simple, all GFCIs have a test
button, just push the test button on the device.  While you are carefully monitoring the water
chemistry, the GFCI constantly monitors current flowing through the
circuit.  Take a minute and test the GFCI
now and while you are at it, test the GFCIs protecting your kitchen, bath,
basement and outdoor receptacles. Be Safe!

Have you been told that your electrical equipment must be listed? Do you know what the NEC requires for approval? Isn't listing the same thing? This short video addresses these issues and more. Learn what the NEC has to say about how listing applies to an electrical installation.


All are welcome at the first draft meeting for NFPA 70E. The committee will be addressing public inputs and revising the standard for the 2018 edition on August 17-21, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency Schaumburg, Chicago, Illinois. Meetings are tentatively scheduled from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm (CST) daily.

     Recently, I fielded a question about what equipment is considered to be "under the exclusive control of an electric utility" with respect to section 90.2(B) of the NEC.  This makes all the difference in the world when it comes to who is considered the Authority Having Jurisdiction and responsible for inspection of the equipment.  At face value this seems to be a relatively straight forward question with a cut and dry answer.  However, the level of resistance that my "cut and dry" answer received, leads me to believe that there are different view points out there.  As I explained my interpretation through an anecdotal and hypothetical real world scenario, I became curious as to what other methods are used to explain this and draw that oh-so-important line in the sand.  What does "exclusive control of an electric utility" mean to you?  What methods do you use to explain this when there are differing opinions of whether something is or is not?  Please share your experiences and opinions with us and others that read this post.


Until next time, stay safe!


This year's Tech Session will be held at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL on June 24-25, 2015 during the NFPA Conference & Expo.


NFPA will be providing wireless internet access during the Tech Session so attendees have the option of downloading the agenda prior to or during the Tech Session. Other documentation such as First Draft Reports and Second Draft Reports can be viewed on the Next edition tab of each specific document information page.  The links for the 11 specific NFPA Standards are listed below for your convenience.

Download the agenda for this year’s Tech Session. (PDF, 2.5 MB)

The Tech Session is an important step in developing a complete record to assist the Standards Council in determining the degree of consensus achieved on proposed changes to
NFPA Standards. During this meeting, NFPA members are given an opportunity to vote on proposed changes and members of the public can voice their opinions on these actions. Only NFPA members of record as of December 24, 2014 who are currently in good standing are eligible to vote at this meeting.

NFPA Standards presented for action on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 starting @ 2:00pm:

  • NFPA 33, Standard for Spray Application Using Flammable or Combustible Materials
  • NFPA 520, Standard on Subterranean Spaces
  • NFPA 11, Standard for Low-, Medium-, and High-Expansion Foam

NFPA Standards presented for action on Thursday, June 25, 2015 starting @ 8:00am:

  • NFPA 1710,
    Standard for the Organization and Deployment of Fire Suppression
    Operations, Emergency Medical Operations, and Special Operations to the
    Public by Career Fire Departments
  • NFPA 1901, Standard for Automotive Fire Apparatus
  • NFPA 1917, Standard for Automotive Ambulances
  • NFPA 652, Standard on Fundamentals of Combustible Dust
  • NFPA 24, Standard for the Installation of Private Fire Service Mains and Their Appurtenances
  • NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems
  • NFPA 13R, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems in Low-Rise Residential Occupancies
  • NFPA 72®, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code

AFCI Protection

Posted by mcloutier Employee Jun 15, 2015


New AFCI Rules  Expand Protection for Branch Circuits


Mark Cloutier


The purpose of the National  Electrical Code (NEC) is the practical safeguarding of persons and property from the hazards arising from the use of
electricity. Arc-Fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) protection has been one of the effective ways to accomplish this goal.
The AFCI device is intended to provide protection from the effects of arc faults by recognizing characteristics unique to arcing and by functioning
to de-energize the circuit when an arc fault is detected.  De-energizing the circuit before an arc fault that can cause a fire is a key preventative measure for the protection of life
and property. 


AFCI protection for branch circuits supplying laundry rooms is required. Even though the number of fires caused by arc-faults in
laundry rooms is only about 4% of the number of reported electrical fires, expanding the use of AFCI protection is a very effective means to further reduce the potential
for fires as a result of an arc-fault. Such protection is afforded either by means of a listed combination type AFCI to provide protection for the entire
branch circuit or by a listed outlet branch circuit type AFCI installed at the first outlet to protect the circuit downstream,

In dwelling units, additional protection of 120 volt, single phase, 15- and 20-ampere branch circuits supplying kitchens could have
protection form arc-faults.


Although incremental steps in expanding AFCI protection have been taken eventually we may see whole house AFCI protection.

Still another requirement requires AFCI protection for branch circuits supplying devices as well as outlets.  There are several instances where a branch
circuit supplies a lighting outlet that is in an area that does not require AFCI protection. However, the switch that controls the lighting outlet is in an
area such as a bedroom that does require AFCI protection.  The inclusion of devices in addition to outlets supplied by branch circuits will clarify that the branch circuit in such
areas also requires AFCI protection. 
AFCI’s must be installed in a readily accessible location.


Additional areas are afforded AFCI protection to provide safeguards that can save lives at a relatively low cost.




The NEC does not prohibit a receptacle outlet from being installed above a
suspended ceiling, typically for maintenance purposes to plug in hand held portable tools.  However, it should be noted that where the space above the suspended ceiling is considered other spaces for environmental air as specified in 300.22(C), the wiring methods and equipment must be installed as required by that section.
Therefore, even in a residential application where NM cable typically would be permitted, because it is a space used for environmental air 300.22(C) prohibits the use of NM cable.

Section 400.8(5) prohibits flexible cords and cables from being installed above suspended or dropped ceilings whether used for return air or not for any type of premises or application.   These rules limit the use of materials that would contribute smoke and products of combustion during a fire in an area that handles environmental air.

Additionally, cords are prohibited from being installed above a suspended ceiling in all cases to comply with 400.8(5) and with 400.8(1) which prohibits the use of flexible cords and cables as a substitute for the fixed wiring of a structure. Restrictions on the use of flexible cords through and above suspended ceilings were first introduced in the 1999 NEC. Part of the reason for this revision is in concert with the language that has been in the NEC for several editions in 410.30(C) then 410.62(C) that permits cord-and-plug connection of electric-discharge luminaires only when the flexible cord is visible for its entire length.  Any cord installed through and or above a suspended ceiling is not visible for its entire length.  Flexible cord located out of site such as behind suspended ceiling panels is subject to damage or fatigue which would notbe readily detected. Some suspended ceilings are made of metal thereby increasing the potential for damage.