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#10726 06/16/02 11:48 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 914
OK I'll admit it, I haven't purchased the 2002 code book yet. Shame on me! I can find anything I need in the 1999, so I've been putting it off. Well, nows the time. I'm going to buy the book and the CD-ROM, I think the CD will really come in handy.

My question is, Has anybody purchased the NEC Handbook version and does it contain the full version of the code? In other words, If I buy the handbook, do I still need the regular book? Is the Handbook worth buying?

Any Comment are welcome. Thanks.

[This message has been edited by Electric Eagle (edited 06-16-2002).]

Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 2,056
I think the NFPAs NEC Habdbook is well worth the $110.00 or so I paid. It includes all the text of the NEC, plus explanations & illustrations(exhibits).
Mcgraw-Hill used to publish a companion handbook (they may still) that didn't include the NEC text. It had much more explanation, but, of course, you need a copy of the NEC to go with it.

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 151
I generally buy a copy of the NFPA NEC Handbook for my office use, along with the softbound NEC's I buy. It's well worth the money. Thought long and hard about the CD version of the NEC, and how much more it would add (or reduce) in search time.
Any opinions on the CD version?


Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 440
Likes: 3
I buy the Handbook, looseleaf version of the NEC, and the CD version of the NEC is well worth it. Search for anything using "key words", cut and paste code sections if needed. I've no opinion of the Handbook on CD because I have never seen it.

With an empty pocketbook,

The Watt Doctor
Altura Cogen
Channelview, TX
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,392
I have the 02' CD handbook, it's just like the hardcopy. I got it to talk to e-customers, GC's and you guys...
(2 fingers only type so fast...)

Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 280
I just got the CD and it s really great you can search for any article under a Keyword type setup, or you can click on the 2002 version and go through each individual article as you wish, one nice feature is it will reference another code section and all you do is click on it and you are there then hit the back button to the origianl section.
The NEC handbood has the full code included with more clarification of the sections, I got both of them each is useful, just more weapons to ensure compliance. I got the Handbook at Borders for $98.00 bucks, and they will order it if not on the shelf.


Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 914
Thanks for the input! I think I'll buy the Handbook on CD for the office and the regular softbound for the truck. I'm really looking forward to the CD, I think it will make searches much quicker and accurate. Thanks.

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 151
Gosh, I didn't even think about the Handbook being on CD, I just meant the regular ol' NEC Code book! Now I'll have to sqeeze some more loose pennies out of the ashtray and cupholder and get that. This keeping up to date and trying to make me more efficient is getting expensive! [Linked Image]


Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,527
Everyone else skip over this—it's a comment to Redsy. McGraw-Hill and NFPA seemed to develop, over several decades, a long-term love/hate relationship that takes a little explanation, but eventually led to “a parting of the ways.” {I have thumbed through a 1953 version of the collaboration.} There was a person by the name of Joe McPartland, who I last talked to in the late 1980s, and he had nine sons were all in various facets of the electrical business. He was THE undisputed-best code lecturer and author on the NEC, and knew that document inside out and backwards. His every-three-year rounds on Code updates were on the top of the list for everyone—physicist to apprentice, and had a truly blue-ribbon panel of equally talented UL and engineering good guys. They would trade positive comments, potshots, insults, occasional compliments and neck-vein-popping arguments—much to the amusement and approval {and standing ovations} in the audience.

He and cronies would loop thorough the west coast. alternating from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle. In SF he was always at the Jack Tar Hotel on Van Ness.

One of the panelists, Bill Broderick was an outstanding electrical PE for a long-standing NYC engineering firm—Meyer, Strong and Jones. I distinctly remember asking him at a conference break in the seventies {…old-bastard-in-training, here} what books he’d recommend—Beeman (1955!) and Smeaton (1977)—that to this day I value highly. Both books are still amazingly valid for electrical plant/institutional power information.

In the mean time, [~1981] NFPA decided they could keep a bigger cut of sales if they “took back” the NEC handbook after a goo umber of editions. Joe McPartland, his son Brian and printings, McGraw-Hill continued after the NPPA takeback, but could no longer include the NEC text in their version. It may still be the case, but the McPartlands refused to add a copyright symbol to the now-trademarked National Electrical Code, “NEC” and {the} “Code,” given the legacy permissions that had existed. For decades Joe was at the top of the masthead of EC&M magazine, until a few years after Intertec bought the magazine, which moved from Avenue of the Americas (5th) in NYC to the Kansas City area. He and a couple of sons formed a competitor to EC&M—called ED&I that quietly [and sadly] folded after a couple of years.

IMO, even without containing the NEC text, the McPartland book is far ahead of the competition.

—McGraw-Hill National Electrical Code HB 24 Ed CD-ROM McPartland/McGraw-Hill—

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