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Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,749
General Discussion:

How are engineering schools handling the subject of the NEC?

Do they teach the NEC at all?

[This message has been edited by Joe Tedesco (edited 11-18-2002).]

Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant
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Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 582
Ron Offline
In order to get an EE degree at most universities, the NEC is not discussed. Unfortunately, other than a basic class on transmission lines, a general motor theory class and using low voltage meters there is no other trade information required. Most EE schools are set up for electronics, not power, all other information is "on the job training".
I don't recall any mention of conductor gauges, circuit breakers, switchboards, short circuit/withstand ratings, etc. At 5V, those things didn't matter.
Don't get me wrong thought, to become a Professional Engineer, the second part of the exam (second 8 hour exam) requires NEC knowledge and being able to apply it along with many other aspects of power theory and electronics theory.

I guess I've just "outed" myself! I am not worthy.

[This message has been edited by Ron (edited 06-14-2002).]

Joined: May 2002
Posts: 68
I too wish I would have gone for my EE. I graduated from WSU (Washington State) with a business degree without knowing that I would ever be interested in being an electrician. I had a friend at school who was an EE and he said it was all math. There is a handful of EEs in my local. And when they talk, you listen.

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,527
In NorCal, IAEI and IEEE Industry Applications Society have sponsored short courses that dealt fairly well with the NEC.

Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,722
Broom Pusher and
I guess I am kind of different than the "Common" EE out of College [BSEE in hand, passed the EIT and looking for a power systems firm type EE to be precise].

Having been in the trade and working hands on in the field, with Inspections, discussing the NEC with others, plus exploring the related areas of Electrical / Electronics makes me wonder why EE's go into the power systems design field when leaving School.

I haven't taken the P.E. exam yet, only working on EIT, but there's not one bit of NEC related stuff in that exam! I am sure the P.E. exam follows the same way!
Odd for a State Issued Professionals' License not to include something in the same respect as a Master Electricians' License!

But as already stated, the exams and studies for BSEE and EIT / P.E. are all math and theories. I guess learning what you can and cannot do when designing projects to meet the basics of the NEC is up to the individual to find out AFTER the License is issued!

Been finding an ever increasing level of poor Electrical Engineering work coming out of sub'ed consulting firms, on numerous project designs.
Anywhere from multiple bounces in plancheck, to flat out incomplete and bad system designs!

It's really bad! what happened anyway? Nearly every planset I get has to be "Re-Engineered" by either myself or some of the few field guys with that ability, in order to work correctly for the clients!

I can't see how some stuff gets through plancheck in the first place! Simple designs, turned into a massive joke on paper!

Ahhh, that felt good to vent again!

Scott SET

Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,749
What does the term engineering supervision mean when used in the 2002 NEC and in 70E?

[This message has been edited by Joe Tedesco (edited 11-18-2002).]

Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,527
Note the significant, not-so-subtle difference between the terms engineering and engineer.

If you are hell bent on pursuing the arc stuff, search on Ralph H Lee and Hugh Hoagland. I believe Bussmann may have recently broached the matter, also.

Congrats on the EIT, Scott35. That is sort of a catch-all exam that covers a wide range of everything. {It used to have a question about Fortran, IIIRC.} A working knowledge of the NEC [much less the core trade] along with a gilt-edge power-EE/PE sheepskin is getting rarer; losing out with a lot of “corporate memory” fading. Young punks are occasionally too busy to learn horse sense from a usually good, essentially “free” source—quite possibly the senior, often more-crotchety old b#stards. Your hard-won official recognition should—down the road a bit—pay off.

A problem of sorts is the limited scope of the NEC. NFPA seems to deal in <35kV, except for open-bus clearances, up to 72.5. Utility-type systems are somewhat exempt, with other ANSI standards effectively take precedence over NFPA 70, like C37/switchgear, C57/transformers and C62/surge. But there always is 600V wiring “inside the fence.” I get a kick out of seeing a 230/115/13.8-kV autotransformer with 120V GFCI and 240V 3ø pin-and-sleeve receptacles mounted on the side of that two-story transformer. Perfect irony. In NorCal the large utility has it in their interconnection standards that loads as small as 2,000-kVA can be, if it’s in their best interest, be served at 69- or 115-kV. Most all municipal-type building inspectors glaze over when you toss those drawings and CSI-spec book out for plan check. OTOH, the serving utility can become nitpicky about useless aspects like—whether an additional high sign is needed if the fence turns more than 15°. After all, in their realm they are—by unspoken default—the clear experts. They can be really good for tripey suggestions similar to the seemingly-omnipotent-in-their-own-mind, about-to-be-traded home “inspectors.” The problem is, their leverage/pinch below the belt is based on withholding of hotup if they dislike something stupid.

OTOH, mop-up can be a b*tch, but if you can gear up for it, a profitable b*tch. Takes a lot more patience than I’ve had at times. There’s this guy that proudly sports an “AutoCad Power User” bumper sticker, but that—despite his own opinions—surely doesn’t automatically make the hot dog any sort of competent engineer. There are banjo players that have more NEC common sense than he.

[This message has been edited by Bjarney (edited 06-15-2002).]

[This message has been edited by Bjarney (edited 06-15-2002).]

Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,148
Also look at the difference in the wording in the sections that Joe cited and in 505.7(A),
"(A) Supervision of Work. Classification of areas and selection of equipment and wiring methods shall be under the supervision of a qualified Registered Professional Engineer."
Why did the CMP choose to use the word "qualified" along with "Registered Professional Engineer"? Are they telling us that not all PEs are qualified?

Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,392
I consider myself outranked in the presence of an EE.
Sure, maybe i can bend pipe into my company name, or quote some codes verbatim, but this pales by comparision to hardcore electrical theory.
As electricians we're trained to the NEC, one book is all we need know , ever study,or question.
This same document incorporates a disclaimer right from the getgo in 90.1(C), and offers little to no theory, especially in art 250.

Even in my short trade tenure i can offer up example and/or comparission of grounding that will simply leave the average master like myself here gnawing over some silly sylabic NEC interpetation. Or searching thru old ROP's, and struggling for rationale that just isn't there

I can pick out violations too, but can't always tell you why they are a violation, that's the dif.......

what are the answers ??
"what color should the equipment grounding conductor be", and "what should we do with an ungrounded system with no grounded conductor when an equipment grounding conductor is run with the 3 phase delta circuits."

[This message has been edited by sparky (edited 06-15-2002).]

Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,749
See 250.119

[This message has been edited by Joe Tedesco (edited 11-18-2002).]

Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant
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