Learn and correctly apply the National Electrical Code the smart way. Mike Holt has taught thousands of electricians and engineers how to apply the NEC, and now he can teach you. And we have the National Electrical Code in softbound and spiral formats, plus tabs and other aids.
If you're doing electrical work, you need be able to understand and correctly apply the NEC. Why:
Drawings can easily contain code violations. You need to check the drawings before doing the work. That protects your company and it protects you.
When a question of "Can we do it this way?" arises, you'll be able to find the answer yourself.
If a question arises about something you did, you can look up the Code requirement rather than taking someone else's word for it.
Your NEC needs to be current. Why:
The NEC is revised every three years. This is the Code cycle. Things change.
You may miss a requirement, and thus commit a violation.
You may do something in a more time-consuming or costly way than the NEC actually requires.
The NEC is divided into nine Chapters. The first four apply to all electrical installation. The last five apply to special cases. There, that makes it easier to work with already!
Here are ten tips to help you understand and correctly apply the NEC:
You can see the National Electrical Code is laid it out in Articles and Chapters. Each Chapter contains related Articles. When making your way through the Code, think of the related topics you need to consider, then go to the Chapter that contains those topics. Inside that Chapter, you merely need to find the Article that addresses your topic.
Article 90 is the introduction. It lays the foundation for understanding the National Electrical Code's scope and purpose, and where it fits into your work.
Chapter 1, Article 100 covers definitions. Did you know Code experts often resolve National Electrical Code misunderstandings by simply using excerpts from Article 100? Become familiar with this Chapter, and you'll be ahead of the game. Try it!
Chapter 2 covers wiring and protection, as well as grounding. Article 250 is "the grounding chapter." Article 210 covers branch circuits, Article 215 covers feeders, Article 220 covers calculations, Article 230 covers servicesódo you see the pattern, here?
Chapters 2, 3, and 4 are where the typical electrician needs to focus--especially if studying for a National Electrical Code exam.
Chapters 5, 6, 7 and 8 apply to nontypical applications, or specialized areas of electrical work. You don't need to study these for a National Electrical Code exam.
Chapter 9 has your tables and examples. Spend some time becoming familiar with these and how to apply them!
If you are doing non-specialized work, make a point of studying Chapters 1, 2, 3, and 4. Browse Chapter 9 to become familiar with what is in it, and work through the examples.
For determining voltage drop and wiring sizes, work with Chapter 9, Tables 8 and 9--mostly Table 9 for a National Electrical Code exam.
To make best use of the Tables in Chapter 9, read the "Notes to Tables" before working with the Tables. Itís amazing how many people end up going to these notes after hours of misusing the Tables.
Code Compliance Tips
Obviously, you need to know what the regulations and requirements are. That's why you should buy this standard.
As you apply a requirement, look at the principle behind it. If you satisfy the principle, you won't be subject to "interpretation revisions" being forced on you later.
To understand a particular provision, understand its context. So rather than look up a sentence and try to parse out its meaning, look at the entire code and how it's arranged. Where does the provision fit within this framework, and what is that chapter or section trying to accomplish?
Remember that members of all code-making bodies write the codes in respect to the laws of physics, and to the body of knowledge in the respective trade or skill area addressed by the code. If you also understand these things, then you will be able to more properly apply a given code requirement.
Codes are nearly always written as minimum requirements. You may need to go beyond the code requirements for optimum operational efficiency or to satisfy engineering requirements based on best practices. The codes almost never limit you from going beyond the requirements.
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