Chapter Corner

Newsroom & Insights: January 2014

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Enclosures - What's in the Box?

Most gifts come in packages, and electricity can be a gift. In a way, it's the same with electricity in an enclosure. In this article, we will discuss the history of electrical enclosures, various types of electrical enclosures, and installation and use considerations. References given will be from NFPA 70.

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Solar Photovoltaic Systems and the 2014 NEC

Although understanding of solar photovoltaic systems in the 2014 National Electrical Code (NEC) requires an understanding of the basic principles first, including a clear knowledge of definitions as used in Article 690. An apprentice or a journeyman electrician cannot begin to comprehend and deal with the intricacies of a photovoltaic (PV) installation without knowledge of the intent, purpose, and design requirements involved with these systems. A brief explanation on some of the major sections or subsections may help with the understanding of these systems.

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One Nation Under Code

The multiple benefits of a single electrical code that could be uniformly applied and enforced throughout the United States was recognized early on by the electrical industry and provided the impetus for creating the first National Electrical Code® (NEC). While different geographic areas may create unique installation considerations (e.g. proximity to salt water, identified seismic areas, corrosive soil conditions, or flooding), the overwhelming majority of requirements in the NEC® are applicable whether the installation is located in Key West, Florida, or Nome, Alaska.

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Keeping Your Estimates Accurate Through Code Changes

Changes to the electrical code are typically viewed as primarily impacting the jobsite, but what every good estimator knows is that anything that affects the jobsite should feed back into the estimate. After all, the estimate’s performance is proven by how accurately it predicts how the job is completed. With this in mind, we will look at some examples from recent changes to the National Electric Code® (NEC)—both this year and previously—that can directly affect the accuracy of your bid and your business.

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Available Fault Current

Available fault current is an important parameter to consider when reviewing a new or even an existing installation of electrical equipment. When standing in front of a line up of switchgear, panelboards, or switchboards, you may be amazed at how many labels you see. These labels are there for a reason. They can be very helpful if you just take the time to understand them. A label that includes the available fault current just may be one of those labels, as it is a requirement of National Electric Code (NEC) Section 110.24, "Available Fault Current." Let's review this section and a few other associated sections to understand this requirement and the various ways it impacts safety.

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IEC National Codes and Standards Committee Protects the Membership

IEC's Codes and Standards Commitee is often thought of as the committee that helps make rules and regulations. While this is true, the real reason the committee exists is to protect the interests and safety of IEC members. The National Electrical Code (NEC) is a document that sets the standards for the safety of everyone when it comes to installing and using electricity. This article is a brief discussion of one of the attempts by the committee to protect IEC members through proposing a change in the NEC.

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IEC Welcomes Legrand as the First Partner in Learning

Recently, Legrand agreed to become IEC’s first Partner in Learning. With this partnership, Legrand has invested in IEC’s training program and is dedicated to providing the workforce with qualified and educated electrical professionals.

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Warning: Reimbursement Can Cost More Than a Company-Owned Fleet

When looking at the entire cost to own a vehicle versus reimbursing drivers at the 2013 IRS rate of 56.5 cents a mile, a company-provided vehicle can cost considerably less. Operating a fleet enables businesses greater control of the ownership-related expenses such as depreciation, interest, tax, registration fees, fuel, insurance, maintenance, and repairs. Right-sizing both the vehicle and the fleet can go a long way toward decreasing the operating expense even in lower mileage applications. But unlike the vehicle's dashboard, there are no blinking lights to warn businesses that reimbursing drivers for using their own vehicles could be dangerous to the bottom line.

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Contractor Excels in Customer Service, Customer Retention, and Customer Reviews

Dixie Electric Company is certainly not new to the electrical business, having been in operation since 1908. Until recent years, commercial and construction were their mainstays, and residential service was viewed merely as a side business.

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A New Path

I could not be happier with the current direction of our great association, the Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC). I am extremely honored to be your 2014 IEC National President and will work relentlessly to help improve our industry and promote the merit shop philosophy. This is a job that I will approach with vigor and enthusiasm.

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