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

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!

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!

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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What is the NFPA 70B?

NFPA 70B, Recommended practice for Electrical Equipment maintenance, was developed because of the high number of electrical accidents that have been attributed to the lack of maintenance on various types of electrical equipment found in commercial and industrial locations. NFPA 70B was created to set the standard for regular maintenance including maintenance scheduling for commercial and industrial electrical machinery that may be manufactured or custom built.

NFPA 70B specifically addresses 4 main topics in great detail:

  • Designing Techniques of Product Standards (where applicable)
  • Installation per NEC and NESC Requirements
  • Maintenance Recommendations per NFPA 70B
  • Use of Instruction Specifications per Manufacturer (where applicable)

The Stallcup’s make a point to let electrical professionals know that the most important Chapters and Sections of NFPA 70B are those that cover requirements that are essential to the safe operation of electrical equipment. Without proper maintenance electrical equipment can be extremely dangerous to the operator, and the use of NFPA 70B should be a high priority for creating and following electrical equipment maintenance standards and schedules.

Who Benefits from NFPA 70B Electrical Equipment Maintenance Training?

ECSTI’s comprehensive NFPA 70B online course series is designed to benefit and educate maintenance professionals that want to increase their practical knowledge of electrical maintenance standards and practices. These courses are particularly useful for industrial and commercial electrical engineering and maintenance professionals, electrical maintenance supervisors, plant electricians, as well as field and plant personnel who may come in contact with electrical equipment.

The Stallcup’s NFPA 70B Book and Course Series Recommended Practice for Electrical Equipment Maintenance was developed because of the high number of electrical accidents that have been attributed to the lack of maintenance on various types of electrical equipment found in commercial and industrial locations. Proper maintenance of electrical equipment, when not performed regularly, will not only cause a possible high monetary loss of equipment and property but can present a danger to personnel in the form of a serious injury or a possible fatality.

As with all codes and standards, implementation and correlation of preventative maintenance technology and techniques can represent a challenge to the personnel charged with maintaining electrical systems and equipment in the commercial and industrial environment. ECSTI’s NFPA 70B educational series is developed to simplify these recommended procedures and general guidelines and present them in an interactive format that allows electrical professionals to explore and understand the application of these standards.

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What Do I Need to Know to Renew My Oregon Electrician’s License?

Electricians in the state of Oregon are required to complete approved electrical continuing education before each license renewal. During each three-year period, all licensees shall complete required hours of approved continuing education of which 2 to 12 hours must be on Code Changes, 2 to 8 must be Code related and remaining on Oregon Rule & Law (number of hours vary by license type).

How do I renew my electrician’s license?

  • Step #1: Complete the mandatory continuing education that your license requires.
  • Step #2: You will receive a renewal notice in the mail six weeks before your license expiration date. Complete this renewal form and include the renewal fee and send this in to the State of Oregon to renew your license.

Does Oregon have reciprocity for electrical licenses from other states?

Oregon has reciprocity for certain licenses from the following states:

General Journeyman Electricians:

  • Arkansas
  • Idaho
  • Maine
  • Montana
  • Utah
  • Wyoming

General Supervising Electrician (S) (Masters):

  • Arkansas
  • Utah

You may reciprocate the above licenses if you have:

  1. An equivalent or higher license from the reciprocal state that is current and active with no violations or conditions attached within the past three years
  2. Qualified for the licensing exam in the reciprocal state through required work experience
  3. Passed the licensing exam in the reciprocal state with a score of 75 percent or better
  4. Worked a minimum of six months (1,000 hours) under the license from the reciprocal state
  5. Not failed the Oregon licensing examination for the license type you are reciprocating within the past two years.
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Florida Electricians, August 31st is Only 8 Days Away!

Certified Electricians, Registered Electricians and Alarm Contractors in Florida are required to renew their license every two years. The renewal deadline is August 31st each even numbered year (2014, 2016, 2018 etc). Along with submitting your renewal application to the Florida Electrical Contractors and Licensing Board with the renewal fee ($300 Certified, $125 Registered, $50 fee for delinquent licenses). You are also required to complete 14 hours of approved continuing education. Education providers must submit proof of completed hours to the State of Florida.

Do I need to turn in my Electrical Continuing Education Certificate to the state?

No you don’t, but your course (or education) provider does. Approved electrical continuing education providers must submit all completed hours to the state so that they can be applied to your specific license. This is one of the many reasons choosing a high-quality training provider like ECSTI is so important.

Are there special requirements for Miami-Dade County?

Yes, Electricians in Miami-Dade County must complete 16-hours of Continuing Education each licensing cycle (two more than the 14 hours required elsewhere in the state). The Miami-Dade County Board states that no more than 50% of the total required continuing education hours can be completed online (8 hours maximum).

ECSTI Special Course Packages

Package #1:

  • 7-Hour Online Electrical Required Competency– Covering workplace safety, business practices (lien law), worker’s compensation, electrical laws and rules, thermal and moisture protection (advanced module), and NFPA 70E electrical safety (Technical).
  • 7-Hour Online Stallcups 2014 NEC Changes Part 1– This course covers the changes made to the NEC in Article 90, Chapter 1, and Chapter 2. By the end of this course you will understand the changes that took place, and the rationale behind the changes.

Package #2:

  • 7-Hour Online Electrical Required Competency– Covering workplace safety, business practice (lien law), workers compensation, electrical laws and rules, thermal and moisture protection (advanced module), and NFPA 70E electrical safety (technical)
  • 7-Hour online Stallcups 2014 NEC changes Part 2– Covering the significant changes made to the 2014 NEC in chapters 3-9, and applying the changes within these sections to other sections of the code when designing electrical systems.
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Fuses Rated Greater Than 1000 volts Part II

Fuses greater than 1000 volts normally consist of many different parts that are either current carrying or non-current carrying. Such parts can be installed in and subjected to normal or non-normal atmospheric conditions. Fuses can be current-limiting or non-current limiting, sand or liquid filled, or vented expulsion type. The frequency of inspection is important so as to ensure that they are capable of functioning based on the conditions at a given fuse location usually determined by the installer.

Power Fuses and Fuseholders NFPA 70B – Chapter 18

Where appropriately designed fuses in fuseholders are used to protect conductors and equipment, a fuse placed in each ungrounded (phase) conductor will protect conductors and other equipment.

Note: Power fuses of the vented type are not to be used indoors, underground, or in metal enclosures unless identified for such use by the manufacturer.

Utilizing Power Fuses and Fuseholders NFPA 70B – Chapter 18

Fuses installed in fuseholders are designed to open a circuit under overloads, short-circuits, or ground-fault conditions.

For example, a circuit designed to carry 100 amps will open and clear the circuit under any of the conditions mentioned. Consider that the amperage of the circuit reached above the 100 amps limit, it could cause widespread interruption and damage of conductors and equipment. A properly designed weak spot (fuse) is intentionally placed in the circuitry to automatically open the circuit and prevent extensive damage to electrical components.

Note: When properly designed and installed, fuses can be placed so as to cut out the circuit that is in endangered by faulty conditions and permit the rest of the circuit to remain energized where necessary.

Characteristics of Fuses and Fuseholders NFPA 70B – Chapter 18

Warning, the interrupting rating of power fuses must not be less than the maximum fault current it is required to interrupt. This includes contributions from other connected sources of energy. Also the maximum voltage rating of power fuses must not be less than the maximum voltage of the circuit.

Note: Fuse mountings and fuse units must be equipped with permanent and legible nameplates showing the manufacturer’s type or designation, continuous current rating, interrupting current rating, and maximum voltage rating, as well as other important information.

NFPA.70B.07-12 imageInstalling and Removing Fuses NFPA 70B – 18.2.2

This section makes it clear that manufacturers’ instructions regarding installing and removing fuses should always be complied with where available. If the fuse does not have a load break rating available, then the electrical system should be de-energized before maintenance personnel removes the fuse. This procedure may prevent an accidental arc flash or shock hazardous from occurring.

Inspection and Cleaning of Fuses NFPA 70B – 18.2.3.1

The fuse should always be disconnected, if possible, and de-energized from electrical power sources before servicing, and an electrically safe work condition per NFPA 70E – Article 120 should then be established. NFPA 70B – Chapter 7 makes such recommendation and references. Insulators should always be inspected for breaks, cracks, and burns. The insulators should be cleaned, particularly where abnormal conditions such as salt deposits, cement related type dust, or acid fumes are present in dangerous amounts, such intervals of maintenance will help prevent flashover conditions. See NFPA 70B – Annexes K and L.

Fuse Surfaces to Inspect and Clean NFPA 70B -18.2.3.2

Contact surfaces should always be inspected for pitting, burning, alignment, and proper pressure. Contacts that are burned or badly pitted should be replaced, and the following criteria should be complied with:

The fuse unit or fuse tube and renewable element should be examined for corrosion of the fuse element where the conductors are connected.

• Excessive erosion of the inside of the fuse tube should be checked for discharge tracking and dirt on the outside of the fuse tube

• Improper assembly that might prevent proper operation should also be checked

To prevent a hazardous condition, fuse tubes or units showing signs of deterioration should be replaced.

Inspecting Terminals of Fuses NFPA 70B -18.2.3.3

Items such as bolts, nuts, washers, pins, and terminal connectors should be in place and in a good substantial condition, and for safety, the following criteria should be complied with:

• The lock or latch should be checked.

• Fuse tubes made of organic, such as Class A material, should be re-finished as necessary and comply with the specifications of the manufacturer.

Expulsion Fuses NFPA 70B -18.2.3.4

Vented expulsion type fuses may be equipped with condensers or mufflers to restrict expulsion of gases during fuse operation. These type fuses may have a dropout feature that automatically disengages during the fuse operation mold. The lower (discharge end) might have a sealing disc over the expulsion chamber that prevents entrance of moisture under certain conditions of use. Vented expulsion fuses might be equipped with condensers or mufflers to restrict expulsion of gases during operation. Such fuses might have a dropout feature that automatically disengages the fuse during operation. Seals should be inspected to ensure that moisture has not entered the interrupting chamber. Seals that show damage or evidence of leakage may be cause for replacing such fuse(s).

Conclusion

Fuses and fuseholders must be designed to permit fuse replacement by qualified maintenance personnel using identified equipment with or without de-energizing the fuseholder as permitted under certain maintenance procedures. Switchboards, panelboards, circuitry, and equipment utilize high-voltage fuses to protect all related components.

Note: NFPA 70B – Annex L recommends that the basic components of fuses have interval inspections at least every 3 years.

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Texas Panhadle IEC Has Chosen ECSTI as Its Online Training Provider

The Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) Texas Panhandle Chapter is partnering with Electrical Codes and Standards Training Institute (ECSTI) to offer online Continued Education, Safety, and Maintenance Training.

This Training Will Include the Following Courses EC&M Award with ECSTi products surrounding it

  • 2014 NEC Changes: This course includes the original 2011 standard, the NFPA Report on Proposal, any correlations with NFPA, 70E, 70B and 79 along with revisions and acceptance principals.
  • 2015 NFPA 70E Electrical Safety Changes: Included in this course are illustrations with clickable references for every topic, name of the submitter, public input that influenced the change, as well as the revisions and responses by the NFPA.
  • 2014NEC Residential Receptacles, Motors and Transformers: This 4 hour interactive course focuses on simplifying some of the more complicated rules pertaining to the design, installation, and selection of wiring methods and equipment.
  • NFPA 70B Electrical Maintenance: In this 4-hour interactive video course, James Stallcup discusses each topic using interactive illustrations that help apply theory to everyday working environments.

 

The Texas Panhandle Chapter will be offering continuing education courses to the following states:

  • Colorado
  • New Mexico
  • Oklahoma
  • Texas

IEC Members and guests can now access special offers on continued education through the Texas Panhandle website. ECSTI has created a special page that IEC Members and guest can go to that is dedicated solely to the Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) Texas Panhandle Chapter.

Does Your Organization offer Online Training?

In partnership with the Stallcup’s, ECSTI offers online tools to easily manage any training regimen for yourself and your company. Start today, setup is fast and easy! The staff at Electrical Codes and Standards Training Institute will listen to your needs and build an online training portal specific to your audience.

  • Builders/Construction
  • Electrical
  • Real Estate
  • Architecture/Design
  • Engineering
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Only 11 More Days to Renew Your Florida Contractor’s License

Certified Electricians, Registered Electricians and Alarm Contractors in Florida are required to renew their license every two years. The renewal deadline is August 31st each even numbered year (2014, 2016, 2018 etc). Along with submitting your renewal application to the Florida Electrical Contractors and licensing Board with the renewal fee ($300 Certified, $125 Registered, $50 fee for delinquent licenses). Licensees are also required to complete 14 hours of approved continuing education. The course providers must submit proof of completed hours to the State of Florida.

Are there special requirements for Miami-Dade County?

Yes, Electricians in Miami-Dade County must complete 16-hours of Continuing Education each licensing cycle (2 more than the 14 hours required elsewhere in the state). The Miami-Dade County Board states that no more than 50% of the total required continuing education hours can be completed online (8 hours maximum).

Electrical Codes and Standards Training Institute (ECSTI) now offers fully approved online video courses, which fulfill all state and county, required electrical continued education. Our interactive online education courses for electricians and electrical contractors, are instructed by the highly acclaimed author and instructor, James Stallcup.

ECSTI’s FL 7-HR Courses Include:

  • Interactive coverage of changes to the National Electrical Code for the 2014 update.
  • Required Competency: Workplace Safety, Business Practices (Lien Law), Workers’ Compensation, Electrical Laws and Rules, Thermal and Moisture Protection (Advanced Module), and NFPA 70E Electrical Safety (Technical).
  • Interactive video course focuses on simplifying some of the more complicated rules pertaining to the design, installation and selection of wiring methods and equipment.

Do I have to turn in my Electrical Continuing Education Certificate to the state?

You don’t, but your provider does. Approved electrical continuing education providers must submit all completed hours to the state so that they can be applied to your specific license. This is one of the many reasons choosing a high-quality training provider such as ECSTI is so important.

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