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James Stallcup: Electrical Inspection and Loose Connections

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7.8 Inspection and Cleaning NFPA 70B – 17.8

Insulated-case and molded-case circuit breakers should be kept clean of external contamination so that internal heat can be dissipated in a normal manner.

Note: A clean case reduces a possible arcing condition between exposed live conductors and between energized conductors and ground.

The structural strength of the case is important in withstanding the stresses during fault-current conditions. Naturally, the case should be inspected for cracks and replaced where necessary.

Loose Connections NFPA 70B – 17.9

Excessive heat in a circuit breaker can cause a nuisance tripping and possibly lead to a failure. Loose connections are the most common cause of excessive heat. Maintenance inspections for loose connections or evidence of overheating should be checked as deemed as necessary. Tightness of loose connections should be performed and comply with NFPA 70B – 8.11. Insulated-case and molded case circuit breakers having non-interchangeable trip units are appropriately adjusted, tightened, and sealed at the factory. Interchangeable trip units installed and maintain improperly may overheat if not tightened properly during installation. Manufacturer’s recommended maintenance procedures of connections should be followed.

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James Stallcup: Equipment Labeling NFPA 70E – 130.5(C)

electrical-equipment-labeling

Equipment labeling is required to be field marked for electrical equipment, such as switchboards, switchgear, panelboards, industrial control panels, meter socket enclosures, and motor control centers, that are in other than dwelling units, and are likely to require examination, adjustment, servicing, or maintenance while energized. Equipment labeling is required to be field marked with a label containing all of the following information:

Watch the accompanying video for more in-depth explanation pertaining to the requirements of an arc flash hazard warning in accordance with 110.16 in the National Electrical Code.

(1) At least one of the following:

  • Available incident energy and the corresponding working distance
  • Minimum arc rating of clothing
  • Required level of PPE
  • Highest Hazard/Risk Category (HRC) for the equipment

(2) Nominal system voltage

(3) Arc flash boundary

Exception: Labels applied prior to September 30, 2011, are acceptable if they contain the available incident energy or required level of PPE.

The method of calculating and data to support the information for the label is required to be documented. Watch the accompanying video for more in-depth explanation pertaining to the requirements of an equipment labeling in accordance with NFPA 70E – 130.5(C).

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Medical Marijuana — IBEW and NJATC Release Special Bulletin

Photo of dry medical marijuana buds with shallow DOF

The Electrical Training Alliance, formerly known as the NJATC, is the main training and apprenticeship platform for Union Electricians of the IBEW. Through the law firm of Sherman Dunn, which has served as general counsel for the IBEW for nearly 60 years, a bulletin was released clarifying IBEW and National Training Alliance’s stance on medical marijuana and it’s use by electricians in the Union.

In their statement, the National Training Alliance references their longstanding substance abuse policy which does not protect an applicant or apprentice who tests positive for medical marijuana. This means that any electrical apprentice or applicant who tests positive for marijuana, under any circumstance, would be subject to suspension of duty and required to attend a rehabilitation program before re-entering the workplace. They also state that regardless of any state law, marijuana is still considered illegal at the Federal level. In their organization, federal law remains in control.

Marijuana is still considered illegal at the Federal level.

The bulletin also refers to the Colorado court case Coats Vs. Dish Case No. 13-SC-394. In this case, the state law provides that an employee cannot be terminated for engaging in any “lawful activities” while off premises. The case interpreted “lawful activities” to include those activities that are lawful under the state law (which deems marijuana lawful), and under federal law (marijuana is still illegal). According to this bulletin, any and all use of marijuana by IBEW apprentices or applicants going through the National Training Alliance is banned, and could lead to users being expelled from the program. To read the full bulletin released by the IBEW and National Training Alliance Click Here.

If you are planning a career in the electrical trades, you should know going in that medical marijuana will not be tolerated as a union member, regardless of the State’s views.

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Utah Electricians, Don’t Procrastinate! November 30th is Almost Here!

Hand of electrician with multimeter probe at electrical switchgear cabinet

Electrical Codes and Standards Training Institute (ECSTI) is a fully approved provider in the state of Utah. We offer several online electrical courses, as well as three course packages that electricians can choose from.

Features Online Electrical Courses:

  • 2014 NEC Utah Update Online Chapters 1-6: This 16-hour electrical course covers the following codes: Article 90.8 through Article 646 Part IV.
  • 2014 NEW Utah Update Online Chapters 2-4: This 12-hour electrical course covers the following codes: 210.4(D)Ex. through 450.11(B).
  • 2014 NEC Utah Update Online Chapter 2: Wiring and Protection: This 8-hour electrical course covers the following codes: 210.4(D)Ex. through 250.194(B).

Utah electricians are required to complete 16 hours of approved electrical continuing education every two years by November 30. 12 of those hours must be on Core related topics and focus on the National Electrical Code (NEC) updates. The remaining 4 hours may be Professional Education Hours (PEH) covering NFPA 70E, OSHA, and MSHA approved topics.

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James Stallcup: Arc Flash Hazard Warning NEC 110.16

Working kneeling down with an arc flash surrounding him

stallcup jr. head shotAn arc flash hazard warning is required to be field or factory marked to warn qualified persons of potential electric arc flash hazards for electrical equipment, such as switchboards, switchgear, panel boards, industrial control panels, meter socket enclosures, and motor control centers, that are in other than dwelling units, and are likely to require examination, adjustment, servicing, or maintenance while energized. The arc flash hazard warning is required to meet the requirements in 110.21(B) and required to be located so as to be clearly visible to qualified persons before examination, adjustment, servicing, or maintenance of the equipment.

Watch the accompanying video for more in-depth explanation pertaining to the requirements of an arc flash hazard warning in accordance with 110.16 in the National Electrical Code.

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Low-Voltage Circuit Breakers James G Stallcup and James W Stallcup – Part 1 of 2

Electrician near the low-voltage cabinet. Uninterrupted power supply. Electricity.

An insulated-case and molded-case circuit breaker consists of two general parts. First part consists of the current-carrying conductors, contacts, and proper operating mechanism necessary to perform the circuit-switching functions. The second part consists of the protective element, including the tripping mechanism associated with the circuit breaker.

Note: Insulated-case and molded-case circuit breakers including enclosures carrying the UL label are factory-sealed,

Low Voltage Circut Breaker Requirements NEC 240.80 thru 240.85

Low-voltage circuit breakers must be installed so that they are trip free and capable of being closed and opened by manual operation of the hands. As noted, this means that normal operation by other than manual means, such as electrical or pneumatic is permitted if means for manual operation are also provided. Circuit breakers must clearly indicate that they are either in the open “off “or closed “on” position.

Circuit breaker handles that are operated vertically and not rotationally or horizontally, the “up” position of the handle indicates “on” position and down position “off.”

Circuit breakers must be marked from manufacturer with their ampere rating in a manner that will be durable and visible after their installation. However, markings are permitted to be visible by removing a panel trim or cover. Circuit breakers rated at 100 amperes or less rated at 1000 volts or less are required to have the ampere rating molded, stamped, etched, etc. into their handles. Circuit breakers having an interrupting rating other than 5000 amperes must have its interrupting rating on the circuit breaker. This interrupting rating is not required to be marked on circuit breakers used for supplementary protection of equipment.

Circuit breakers can be used as switches in 120-volt and 277-volt fluorescent lighting circuits where they are listed and marked SWD or HID. Circuit breakers must be marked with a voltage rating not less than the nominal system voltage. This rating indicates the circuit breakers capability to interrupt fault currents between phases or phase-to-ground. It is important to remember that circuit breakers with a straight voltage rating, such as 240V or 480V can be installed in a circuit in which the nominal voltage between any two conductors does not exceed the circuit breakers voltage rating. A two-pole circuit breaker must not be used for protecting a three-phase, corner-grounded delta circuit unless such circuit breaker is marked 1Ø –3Ø to indicate it is for such use. A circuit breaker with a slash rating, such as 120/240V or 480Y/277V can be installed in a solidly grounded circuit where the nominal voltage of any conductor to ground does not exceed the lower of the two values of the circuit breakers voltage rating and the nominal voltage between any two conductors does not exceed the higher value of the circuit breakers voltage rating.

17.8 Inspection and Cleaning NFPA 70B – 17.8

Insulated-case and molded-case circuit breakers should be kept clean of external contamination so that internal heat can be dissipated in a normal manner.

Note: A clean case reduces a possible arcing condition between exposed live conductors and between energized conductors and ground.

The structural strength of the case is important in withstanding the stresses during fault-current conditions. Naturally, the case should be inspected for cracks and replaced where necessary.

Loose Connections NFPA 70B- 17.9

Excessive heat in a circuit breaker can cause a nuisance tripping and possibly lead to a failure. Loose connections are the most common cause of excessive heat. Maintenance inspections for loose connections or evidence of overheating should be checked as deemed as necessary. Tightness of loose connections should be performed and comply with NFPA 70B-8.11. Insulated-case and molded case circuit breakers having non-interchangeable trip units are appropriately adjusted, tightened, and sealed at the factory. Interchangeable trip units installed and maintain improperly may overheat if not tightened properly during installation. Manufacturer’s recommended maintenance procedures of connections should be followed.

Mechanical Mechanism Exercise NFPA 70B – 17.10

Circuit breakers with moving parts require periodic inspections for loose connections and overheating problems. Manual operation of the circuit breaker will help keep the contacts clean and aid in the lubrication performance. Although manual operation exercises the breaker mechanism, none of the mechanical linkages in the tripping mechanisms are moved with this exercise. Some circuit breakers have push-to-trip buttons that should be manually operated to exercise the tripping mechanism linkages in a proper manner.

Note: Annex K, covers long-term maintenance procedures and Annex L deals with maintenance intervals. Where testing is necessary, see NETA guidelines and specifications for such procedures.

Conclusion:

Maintenance personnel must remember that insulated-case and molded-case circuit breakers will trip from exposure to continuous currents that are greater than their amperage ratings. Circuit breakers can also trip from unduly high ambient temperatures and improper connections can be a problem as well as other conditions that transfer undue heat to the internal parts of the breaker. Many of these conditions violate the installation specifications. Maintenance personnel must realize that an insulated-case and molded-case circuit breakers installed in a panelboard should not be loaded in excess of 80 percent of its continuous current rating (125 percent times the load). Continuous load is defined for in NEC Article 100 is operating for 3-hours or more.

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Don’t Miss ECSTI’s MASSIVE Giveaway at IEC CON 2016 San Antonio!

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IEC Con 2016 is GONNA BE BIG!

Stallcup’s® and ECSTI (Electrical Codes and Standards Training Institute) is planning to give away a record number of prizes this year at IEC Con in San Antonio, Texas:  over 200 hardcopy books (Stallcup’s Illustrated Code Changes), 100 Electrician/Superhero t-shirts, complete electrical training course and continuing education packages, plus much more.

How do you win? Come visit us at Booth #112 to play Electrical PLINKO and claim your prize.

Does your IEC Chapter offer online electrical training and continuing education?

We will also be showcasing our IEC Chapter Affiliate training program, which allows IEC Chapters the opportunity to offer award-winning online electrical education courses including Stallcups® Journeyman electrician exam prep. This affiliation allows IEC Chapters to provide a MUCH larger training curriculum to their members, improve website ranking on the internet and introduce Chapters to more potential members in their region, all while adding to the bottom line.

Featured Online Electrical Courses:

  • NFPA 70E Safety Training Course (5 hours) – $69.00
  • Journeyman Electrical Theory (2 hours) – $39.00
  • Journeyman Direct Current (DC) Circuits (2 hours) – $39.00
  • Journeyman Alternating Current (AC) Circuits (2 hours) – $39.00
  • NFPA 70B Electrical Equipment Maintenance Course Series (24 hours) – $359.00
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Less Than 60 Days Left to Renew Your Utah Electricians License!

Electrical components - wire, cutters and blueprints. Blueprints property of and created by the photographer."

Utah electricians are required to complete 16 hours of approved electrical continuing education every two years by November 30. 12 of those hours must be on Core related topics and focus on the National Electrical Code (NEC) updates. The remaining 4 hours may be Professional Education Hours (PEH) covering NFPA 70E, OSHA, and MSHA approved topics.

How do I renew my electrician’s license?

  1. Complete the required 16 hours of continuing education.
  2. Approximately two months prior to the license expiration date, renewal information is sent to each licensee’s last address of record, as provided to DOPL. Complete the renewal application. Licensee’s will need to sign the citizenship and qualifications affidavit. If you answered “yes” to any of the qualifying questions, you will need to provide documentation related to your arrest or conviction.
  3. Submit your application and a check or money order for the renewal fee to the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing. The division will renew your license as long as you have met the renewal requirements and have not engaged in professional misconduct during the prior licensing period.

Electrical Codes and Standards Training Institute (ECSTI) is a fully approved provider in the state of Utah. We offer several online electrical courses, as well as three course packages that electricians can choose from.

Features Online Electrical Courses:

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Electrical License 90 Day Renewal Notice!

electrician checking light socket on ceiling of a house

Alabama Electrical contractors and Provisional electrical contractors are required to complete 14 hours of continuing education every two years. 7 of the electrical education hours, must be based on approved NEC / NFPA topics. Licenses must be renewed every year, dates occur quarterly: March 30th, June 30th, Sept. 30th, and Dec. 30th. Specifically, you must renew by the end of the quarter that your license was issued in.

Arkansas Journeymen and Master electricians are required to complete 8 hours of approved continuing education based on NEC topics. These hours must be completed every three years, dependent upon the National Electric Code (NEC) cycle.

Michigan Master and Journeymen Electricians are required to complete 15 hours of continued education. These hours must be NEC approved continuing education courses and renewed annually by December 31. Electrical, Fire Alarm, and Sign Specialty Contractors renew every three years by December 31st.

Maryland electrical licensing continuing education hours are dependent on the county in which the individual is licensed in. Master electrician’s license is valid for two years from the issue date. Licensee’s will be mailed a renewal form 60 days prior to the license expiration date.

Wyoming Master and Journeyman Electricians must complete 16 hours of electrical continuing education before renewing their license. 8 of these electrical education courses will need to cover National Electrical Code (NEC), the remaining 8 hours must be based on industry related approved topics. Master Electricians must renew by July 1st every three years, Journeymen Electricians renew by January 1st every three years.

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Colorado Electrical License Renewal Deadline

Air Conditioning Repair Man on rooftop in yellow hard hat

The Colorado State Electrical Board requires electricians to demonstrate continuing competency in the electrical field before they can renew, reinstate, or reactivate their license. This requirement came into effect on January 1, 2011 and applies to the following license types: Residential Wiremen, Journeyman Electrician and Master Electrician. Electricians have a 3-year renewal cycle that coincides with the NEC updates.

The renewal period will open in mid-August and remain open through November. Licensees who have not renewed during that time will lapse on December 1st.

How do I renew my Colorado electrician’s license?

  1. At the beginning of the license cycle, licensee’s must complete the “Individual Assessment” given by Pearson VUE, click here to view their website. The assessment must be completed within 150 days after the adoption of the most recent National Electric Code.
  2. Complete the required continuing competency PDUs as assigned on your previous Continuing Competency (CC) assessment.
  3. Log your completion of PDUs within the online CC system. To access the CC system, please click here.
  4. Take the CC Assessment based upon 2014 NEC. The 2014 Assessment will open on July 1, 2014. For more information on the CC assessment, please see the information below.
  5. Renew your license by going on to the Colorado DORA’s Online Services, click here to see the page. The renewal portal for electricians will open approximately 6 weeks before the license period ends.

Who notifies the State of my continued education?

Completion of Professional Development Units (PDU) must be documented online in your Learning Plan using the online CC system. This step must be completed before a license can be renewed. Go to www.dora.state.co.us/pls/cproweb/CPRO.Logon to access the CC system.

Are your courses approved by the State?

The Colorado State Electrical Board does not pre-approve courses or providers for the Continuing Competency program and does not maintain any “lists” of continuing education courses or providers. Statements made by vendors advertising courses as “DORA” or “Board Approved” are false. It is incumbent upon the licensee to ensure that a learning activity or course meets the criteria established by the Board.

Electrical Codes and Standards Training Institute’s (ECSTI) courses meet all the criteria outlined by the state for Electrical Continuing Education for their specific category indicated for each course. Each course description includes the category of application.

Certificates of Completion for our courses exceed the mandatory requirements for information necessary which gives you assurance when you submit to the Division of Professions and Occupations State Electrical Board.