One of the most fundamental calculations made on a power distribution system is that which yields available short-circuit current. Maximum available short-circuit current is an important parameter for every power distribution system as it provides a data point necessary to ensure equipment is being applied within its rating and the system is performing to meet expectations. Available short-circuit current is used in many other applications as well. The National Electrical Code demands this data point for enforcement of such Sections as 110.9 “Interrupting Rating,” 110.10 “Circuit Impedance, Short-Circuit Current Ratings, and other Characteristics,” and 10.24 “Available Fault Current.” Today we will discuss the development of an effective short-circuit current rating (SCCR) plan. Having a good plan in place can help increase electrical safety.
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Service entrance equipment can present unique challenges when it comes to proper application of electrical equipment. The service point is the point of demarcation between utility and premise wiring. Our discussion today will springboard off of a previous article that focused on calculating short-circuit currents. Let’s focus on the proper application of the equipment at the service entrance location in the power distribution system. We’ll reference the National Electric Code® (NEC) but with an understanding that this is also the point of demarcation between the National Electrical Safety Code® (NESC) and the NEC. Regardless of the code jurisdiction under which the application falls, when you drop back to the basics of electrical principles, we gain an understanding to help in the proper application of electrical equipment at this and any other location in the power distribution system. Attention to detail is warranted for safety.
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As an electrical professional, we are no different than many others when it comes to stress; we deal with deadlines, commitments, financials, and other tasks associated with managing the business. and other tasks associated with managing the business. Stress is our body’s normal reaction to events that pull us in different directions. The effect of stress in our daily lives is sometimes quite visible but then again often it is not. Stress can be healthy but just like anything, too much can be unhealthy. Your mood, productivity, concentration, and general over-all health concerns are just a few negative results for someone under a lot of stress. For the electrical professional, stress has other possible safety impacts as things may become more complicated, especially for those who may find themselves working in and around energized equipment.
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Making terminations should be high on the list of good examples for the meaning behind the statement "the devil is in the details.” This task may seem simple but mistakes here could cause hours of troubleshooting or other types of problems after continued hours of use and aging of the installation. Let’s explore, from a high level, what you must concern yourself with when terminating conductors. I think you may see that this task, which quite often is left to the most inexperienced on the job, may need closer attention.
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We accept a level of risk in our daily lives in everything we do; the act of driving to work is a good example. The object is to reduce the risks of our actions, or inactions; reduce the potential that your action, your activity, or lack thereof will lead to an undesirable outcome. There are many ways to reduce the risks associated with the work you perform – it takes teamwork to make this happen. Your success can help take a bite out of the growing statistics of injuries and deaths in our electrical industry.
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The electrical trade presents many hazards to the electrical contractor who must at times work on energized equipment, on roofs, or on busy job sites. Being lowered down into vault or walking into some other confined space where work must be performed adds yet another dynamic to the job and other existing hazards that requires special skills. Confined spaces are challenging on many fronts. Let's walk through some things you may want to consider and review available tools that can help in the preparation for work in confined spaces. Identifying and labeling confined spaces, instituting and maintaining onsite emergency response plans, and providing training for workers and supervisors can save lives. Let's explore more on this topic together.
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You are designing a structure with sustainability in mind, and you want the products you are installing to be “green” and possibly help you get points, in the case of a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-type structure. You may find that it is challenging to know if the product you are deciding to buy is indeed a sustainable product and determining if it is your best “green” choice. Unfortunately the sustainable product market can be pretty scary and quite fragmented. Some products make claims of being green with nothing to back those claims up, and others have a pedigree a mile long that is just plain confusing. There is no doubt about it; you have a challenge on your hands when selecting green products. This article will attempt to break the ice and provide guidance to help navigate your way through the green fields of products. Some background and tips may be quite helpful during your next project.
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Should a situation arise that leaves you looking for an exit out of harm’s way, your egress path must be secure and clear, and the egress door must function and lead to safety. When performing electrical work, or any type of work for that matter, an effective means of egress can mean the difference between life and death. This appears to be a seemingly simple topic of emergency egress, but one that should not be assumed. Let’s review this topic and uncover topics for you and your team to consider when planning your next electrical project.
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Batman had Robin, the Lone Ranger had Tonto, Captain America had Bucky, and Starsky had Hutch; the list goes on of dynamic duos who achieved a lot working together. There is a lot to be learned from those who work in teams to achieve their goals. Working with a partner is good for many different reasons, and safety happens to be a very important one. If safety is a part of your goals, working in pairs may be a way to help you achieve it. Let’s focus on the buddy system and how it can help improve safety on the job.
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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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