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#58548 - 11/12/05 02:44 PM Making Standards International
renosteinke Offline
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Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5316
Loc: Blue Collar Country
Both the NFPA and the IAEI are agressively pursuing a program to make the NEC, as well as other standards we use, "international."
These activities seem to presume that "our" way is the only sensible way. I have some problems with that assumption.
Consider this: recently posted on this page was the "Swedish Electrical Code," translated into English. Swedes only seem to need a few pages for their code; compare this to the hundreds in the NEC.

I would like to get a discussion started aout the very idea of "global harmonization." Is it a good idea- or tilting at windmills? Are the various electrical systems too different? Has the NEC become too specific? Perhaps we ought to adopt THEIR codes instead?
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#58549 - 11/12/05 05:44 PM Re: Making Standards International
Tesla Offline
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Registered: 06/16/04
Posts: 1273
Loc: Sacramento, CA
The relentless pressure to lower manufacturing costs via global markets will move this forward.

International, at this stage, may mean nothing further than getting Canada and America on the same page.

With that done, Mexico would be next. The idea being that a free trade zone only works for our industry if manufactured goods can be installed to the same general scheme in all three countries.

The concern driving this is the French/German scheme to exclude out American manufactures via their building standards. They put you in the position of being able to import freely: but unable to install anything.

This is a trend toward mega-commercial competition via trading blocks: North America vs Europe.

Don't look for our NEC to cross the Atlantic. That's not the internationalization that is in the cards.
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#58550 - 11/12/05 06:53 PM Re: Making Standards International
gfretwell Offline


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Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9039
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
Quote:
Swedes only seem to need a few pages for their code; compare this to the hundreds in the NEC.


The Swedes don't have as many lawyers. I also think the whole NFPA standards process is aimed at little more than selling books.

They make this way too complicated and try to codify every possible situation. What ever happened to trade knowlege and common sense?
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#58551 - 11/12/05 09:37 PM Re: Making Standards International
macmikeman Offline
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Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 717
Loc: Honolulu, Hawaii
quote"What ever happened to trade knowlege and common sense?"

It is all stored away in the violations forum.
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#58552 - 11/12/05 09:52 PM Re: Making Standards International
Sixer Offline
Member
Registered: 08/08/05
Posts: 265
Loc: Canada
While global harmonization could be a good thing, I wouldn’t hold my breath in expectation for it to happen anytime soon, even for North America. While the electrical systems in Canada and the US are similar, many of our standards in Canada are much different than those of our American neighbors’. Regulations even differ from province to province. With these differences, I would think that it would be virtually impossible to come to an agreement on who’s standards are best and which ones to adopt into a common Electrical Code.

Just my 2¢ worth.
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#58553 - 11/13/05 06:59 AM Re: Making Standards International
pauluk Offline
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Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7520
Loc: Norfolk, England
As many of you know, Britain has been moving toward a common European standard in recent years, much to the dismay of many of us who are seeing standards which have served us well for years swept aside in the rush to "harmonize" everything (look at the comments in Non-U.S. about the new color code as an example).

Quote:
North America vs Europe.

Don't look for our NEC to cross the Atlantic.


That sums it up very succinctly. CENELEC and the other European standards bodies would never countenance the NEC becoming a standard over here. ("It's American, you know." ).
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#58554 - 11/13/05 02:18 PM Re: Making Standards International
gideonr Offline
Member
Registered: 12/18/04
Posts: 161
Loc: Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Quote:
The concern driving this is the French/German scheme to exclude out American manufactures via their building standards. They put you in the position of being able to import freely: but unable to install anything.


Companies like SquareD sell in both USA and Europe, but only NEC style stuff in USA, and only DIN rail (etc) style stuff in Europe.
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#58555 - 11/13/05 03:36 PM Re: Making Standards International
Trumpy Offline


Member
Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8211
Loc: SI,New Zealand
I don't want to start an argument here but I don't really think that this would be a feasible idea.
Considering that different countries use a different system of supply, different voltages, different methods of protecting thier systems, not to mention the differences in connectors the world over.
If you had to encompass all of that, the final document would be huge.
Any suggestion of a common (universal) standard, is bound to put somebodies nose out of joint.
Just my $0.02 worth.
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#58556 - 11/14/05 01:15 AM Re: Making Standards International
C-H Offline
Member
Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1497
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
It can be done, but it would take a complete rewrite of the two basic codes used into one document. Much space in the NEC is taken up by tables that in other codes are found in separate standards.

Side note: I'm working on a little PDF that merge the different ampacity tables of the European and American codes into tables that cover both mm2 and AWG. Originally, I just wanted a simple comparison. It wasn't that simple and now it has grown into a 13 page document that covers ampacities, derating factors, installation methods and comments...
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#58557 - 11/14/05 03:29 PM Re: Making Standards International
Wolfgang Offline
Member
Registered: 09/25/05
Posts: 153
Loc: the very West of Germany
Maybe the correct question is: Which standard will be preferred by the Chinese?

Forming together with India almost half of this planet's population and being a future market to be densely electrified.

The "money heaps" don't care at all about standards, nor about work for their own people. American money is earning a lot in Europe with IEC products. And the other way round.

With regard to American wire gauges I think the answer is obvious: Europe will never return to elbows, feet and thumbs to measure distances.

Then the NEC reflects a lot of local history and conditions. This will remain different by nature, like the 50 <-> 60 Hz.

Furthermore: Nobody should believe that a German electrician will be able to work f.i. in Belgium or Netherlands without a lot of learning (5km/8km from my home). Code is completely different, the different language is the least issue with regard to that. Just the material and the basic rules are the same.
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