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#17397 - 11/25/02 01:07 PM Making the NEC free of charge?  
SvenNYC  Offline
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,691
New York City
I was pricing this book (I want to get a copy someday) and it's like 60$ to 70$.

I realize this is an essential reference tool for electricians and anyone else who makes their living doing electrical work and also this is what pays for the research, printing, writing, etc. that goes into this thing.

But what about all the DIY mangle-jobs we see and complain about?

Do you think it would help if there were a cheap book (or even free access to the NEC on the web?) so that these people can look up the proper way to do things?

I have seen some modestly-priced books (even some sold here on ECN) that explain the proper way to do residential/commercial wiring.

But the problem with some of these books is that they explain different methods of doing the same thing (depends on the author and some, like the Home Depot series can be suspect in some areas) and sometimes you don't know which is the PROPER way to do it (do you twist solid conductors together before putting the wire nut on or not, is an example?).

What do you think? [Linked Image]

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#17398 - 11/25/02 01:21 PM Re: Making the NEC free of charge?  
sparky66wv  Offline
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,236
West Virginia
Dude, I only paid about $35 for the NEC...

Seems to be getting cheaper, even when they moved to the larger format in '99, it was actually $5 cheaper than the '96 I bought!

BTW, I'm not an NFPA member either, so I go no discount.

What are the rest of you paying for a copy?

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#17399 - 11/25/02 01:26 PM Re: Making the NEC free of charge?  
resqcapt19  Offline
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,148
There is no way that the NEC will become free. The income from the sale of the NEC and related products provides the cash to support the NFPA.


#17400 - 11/25/02 01:27 PM Re: Making the NEC free of charge?  
CTwireman  Offline
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 840
Connecticut, USA
Hmmm.......I wouldn't mind free access to the NEC. After all, it is a safety document that should be readily available.

However, I think a lot of untrained people would have trouble understanding and using the NEC.

On the other hand, I would support all the NEC rules that pertain to residential situations available in a "cheap book" that you speak of. Said book would have the NEC rules followed by an explanation of them, much the same as Mike Holt's "Understanding the NEC" series.

I agree, many DIY books are suspect or just downright bad. I love the ones that show you how to strip solid wire with a pocket knife. [Linked Image] The only DIY books that I can recommend are Black and Decker's "Advanced Wiring" and Rex Cauldwell's "Wiring a House."

Someday, I would like to go to Borders or wherever, buy every DIY book on the rack, and highlight all the errors that I can find in them.


#17401 - 11/25/02 01:34 PM Re: Making the NEC free of charge?  
CTwireman  Offline
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 840
Connecticut, USA
BTW, I only paid $40 for my copy of the '99 at a supply house "counter special."

I think the versions available through the NFPA cost more, do they not?


I am not at all familiar with the inner workings of the NFPA. Are they a non-profit org?

[This message has been edited by CTwireman (edited 11-25-2002).]


#17402 - 11/25/02 01:54 PM Re: Making the NEC free of charge?  
Wirenuttt  Offline
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 267
Why not have medical books at home, so you can do open heart surgery on your relatives to save a few more bucks.

#17403 - 11/25/02 02:47 PM Re: Making the NEC free of charge?  
Bjarney  Offline
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,527
West-Southern Inner-Northeast ...
I can't prove it, but I remember in ~1997 a small municipality in Texas published the text of one edition of the NEC on the 'net, based on the idea that it should be public/legal without charge. Seems an injunction/restraining order made it through the system in record time.

[This message has been edited by Bjarney (edited 11-25-2002).]

#17404 - 11/25/02 03:07 PM Re: Making the NEC free of charge?  
resqcapt19  Offline
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,148
Yes, the NFPA is a private nonprofit organization. The money from the sale of the NEC supports all of the other codes that they develop. Very few of the other codes have enough sales to cover the costs of developing them.


#17405 - 11/25/02 03:51 PM Re: Making the NEC free of charge?  
lbartel  Offline
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 13
I keep seeing the analogy of DIY surgery and DIY electrical work. This is not a fair analogy. How many of you take asprin for a headache without consulting your doctor? Apply a bandage? Many people are capable of doing code compliant, minor electrical work. Obviously there is a gray area where the DIY should hire a professional depending on their abilities, just as you make the decision as to whether or not to get that cut stitched up. Not all electrical work is heart surgery.

- les

#17406 - 11/25/02 04:24 PM Re: Making the NEC free of charge?  
C-H  Offline
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 1,497
Stockholm, Sweden
>I love the ones that show you how to strip
>solid wire with a pocket knife.

Could you elaborate a bit on this? Are you saying that there is a problem with it or that it is so basic that no instruction is needed?

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