Efficient Plant June 2020 - 17

feature | electrical safety
ranted an exception since technicians can't barrier the
line side of six disconnects in a panelboard. The NEC
removed the exception in the 2020 update by including
transfer switches, feasible disconnect switches, and
others with catch-all language.
Better personal protection. NEC 2017 changed
Section 110.16 to require marking service equipment
with available fault current, clearing times, and date of
installation to help determine personal protective equipment (PPE). With six disconnects used in the same
panel, six distinct clearing times must be labeled on the
equipment. This update to an obvious safety hazard has
inspired electrical professionals to look at installations
more closely. Since exposed energized buses in service
panelboards do not have upstream OCPDs outside of
the fuse on the primary/utility side of the transformer,
the NEC 2020 changes to labeling requirements raise
awareness of hazards associated with six disconnects in
the same enclosure.

SURGE PROTECTION

requirements from around the
NEC to draw attention to
performance issues that align
with circuit applications.
Second, Section 230.67
now mandates services
supplying dwelling units
shall be provided with a
surge-protective device
(SPD) as an integral part
of equipment or located
immediately adjacent,
either Type 1 or Type 2 SPD.
Rationale: The surge
requirement change is all about
usability. The NEC has made the
requirement easier to navigate and
implement, which increases the likelihood of
proper installation.
Protecting people is a key driver for surge protection clarification and expansion. The requirements
provide for life-safety products, such as AFCIs, GFCIs,
and smoke detectors. An argument can be made that
the Code goes beyond life safety to include protection
of property. Loss isn't always devastating; something
as small a losing a TV or appliance to surge isn't
life-threatening, but it is a nuisance that results in higher insurance premiums
For years, the NEC has anticipated stronger protections for those who work on service equipment. With
the updates passed by the NFPA, the Code enhances
protection for workers and the equipment they service.
As with any requirement update, feedback from professionals in the field is extraordinarily important. It's
vital that everyone in the electrical field explore articles
in their purview that could benefit from enhancement. The industry has the capacity to make proactive
changes, because many 2020 updates were inspired by
professionals who knew that more could be done to
enhance safety. EP

The NEC recognizes in Section 90.1(A) that the purpose
of the Code is practical safeguarding of persons and
property from hazards arising from the use of electricity. Updates to surge protection are twofold. First,
Article 242, titled "Overvoltage Protection," does not
add new requirements but rather consolidates surge

Thomas A. Domitrovich is an electrical engineer at Eaton
(eaton.com), electrical business. He has experience in
engineering, sales & marketing, business development,
and product management and is involved with various
electrical industry organizations.

ARC REDUCTION
Arc-reduction requirements have expanded during
every review cycle since their introduction in 2011.
While not for service equipment per se, this requirement
is intended for any circuit breaker or fuse 1,200 amps
and higher and recognizes those applications are prone
to high incident energy due to the longer clearing times
of devices at these ampere levels. By raising awareness of
service-entrance equipment hazards that lack upstream
OCPDs, the changes help reduce the likelihood of exposure to an energized bus.
Aside from manufacturers creating new code-compliant products, technicians may need to review their
designs against new requirements and will likely need to
change the way they plan future projects. Some believe
the changes could have a financial impact on businesses.
Resourceful contractors will find ways to meet the Code
while becoming more cost-efficient.

JUNE 2020

EP2006featon.indd 17

EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM |

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5/27/20 4:50 PM


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Efficient Plant June 2020

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