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#36600 - 04/10/04 01:11 PM NEC Training For Electrical Engineers  
Joe Tedesco  Offline
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,749
Boston, Massachusetts USA
If an electrical engineer, with little or no training on the NEC was considered, what NEC areas would be best for a basic training agenda, and in what order:

I am thinking that the following would be acceptable.

1. Conductors for General Wiring, Wire Fill, Cables, Cords, Raceways, Cables, and Definitions

2. Overcurrent Protection, Transformers, Generators, and Emergency Systems

3. Grounding and Bonding

4. Wiring Methods and Materials

5. Hazardous (Classified) Locations

6. Health Care Facilities

7. Electrical Inspection and Recognizing Violations

8. Building Electrical Design and Plan Review

9. Hands on training using tools, etc.

10. Learn how to use and find information in the NEC.

Please think about this and add your comments, thanks ....

Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

#36601 - 04/10/04 03:49 PM Re: NEC Training For Electrical Engineers  
Bjarney  Offline
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,527
West-Southern Inner-Northeast ...
Wow Joe, this subject may be a hornet’s nest at Here are some shots from the hip—and only that. Clearly much depends on course length, audience background and typical project size and scope.

Move item 10 to the front, and discuss code organization, and that rote memorization of the NEC isn’t absolutely essential, but knowing where to find answers as situations dictate. For some, you might be able to, in passing, tie in a text that they may be a bit more familiar with, like the IEEE Red Book, or at least material in the Red Book that specifically cites NFPA 70. That way they can learn the process of seeing electrical systems as more of an organism than a disjointed set of rules with isolated, by-the-book lookups and frantic, brush-fire problem resolution.

IAEI/Soares on Grounding is its own ‘gold mine’ and worth including as part of course materials, with the idea that the course can only scratch the surface on grounding and bonding.

Consider a couple of sessions for calculations.

Might regard items 5 and 6 for a more specific audience, and instead give a once-over of general Ch 5-9 headings. Point out sections like medium- and high-voltage, emergency systems and datacomm as not-really-in-the-scope-of-this-course/after-class/study-on-your-own subjects.

Include a very quick overview of power-quality and surge-protection references.

A good list of related publications would be valuable. Notes and handouts for this work well, for all will not sink in during class, but the memory of material you have included can be later reviewed. Suggestion of membership in groups like IAEI, IEEE, NFPA and ANSI may be a good idea, particularly with increasing internet access available to members of these organizations.

It’s always good to encourage participants that are more familiar with the material to interact with those less familiar, while it can be maddening to decide how much you encourage questions directly to you at breaks and contact after course completion. Part of code-application competence is students thinking on their feet and not rely on last minute phone calls and emails wanting you to explain everything in detail with complete (free online} references so they can be instant experts or meet some crucial project deadline.

Implementation of Item 9 could be hashed out for months or years at

Remember, these opinions are worth every penny you paid for ‘em.

[This message has been edited by Bjarney (edited 04-10-2004).]

#36602 - 04/10/04 03:56 PM Re: NEC Training For Electrical Engineers  
Joe Tedesco  Offline
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,749
Boston, Massachusetts USA
I will send a check for 100 pennies! You done good, and have given me some great ideas and solid suggestions.

Thank you!!

Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant

#36603 - 04/10/04 10:59 PM Re: NEC Training For Electrical Engineers  
LK  Offline
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,429
New Jersey
Over the years, while working with electrical engineers, it seems there experience and exposure to code will vary, depending on how many projects, and type of work involved.
In my opinion, there should be no difference in what NEC areas would be best for a training agenda, all areas will apply.
Engineers need more than basic training, they need to communicate with knowledge all aspects of the code to others.
Something to consider, if contractors are required to show code knowledge on all articles, then why would engineers think a basic agenda, would work for them.
Knowledge of code is part of electrical engineering, and has been for years, some engineers go into special areas of practice, and feel they have no need for code. Sorry after years of working with code chalanged engineers, no basic, all or nothing.

[This message has been edited by LK (edited 04-10-2004).]

#36604 - 04/11/04 09:11 AM Re: NEC Training For Electrical Engineers  
Ryan_J  Offline
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,374
West Jordan, Utah, USA
Hi Joe. When I teach hazardous I sue the 2002 Crouse Hinds digest. Have you used it? I beleive that if you go to their web-site they will send you a free copy, as well as a CD.

I think it is well worth looking into, as it goes into some of the theory of classified locations, such as flash points, flammable limits and vapor densities. Good stuff in that book. They also have some very nice videos about flame propogation.

Ryan Jackson,
Salt Lake City

#36605 - 04/11/04 11:36 AM Re: NEC Training For Electrical Engineers  
Joe Tedesco  Offline
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,749
Boston, Massachusetts USA
LK, you make some very good points, and except for actual installations using hands, on methods, I agree.

Start from from the beginning.

I thought about Article 90, and the first 4 chapters, and then after that the "advanced" Chapters 5-8, Chapter 9 is a must for all new kids on the block.

Ryan: I have been aware of the materials that you describe for many years and have some archived, but the CD?

Thats something I don't have, so I will look into it. Thanks!

I am in the mist of reviewing a box of old 35 mm slides and have some from when I carried a camera in in Wiggy pouch, and some are very old.

PS: One of the first items I always teach is to say "Section" and not "Article" when discussing a rule like 300.5.

Say "Section 300.5" and not "Article 300.5" or say nothing at all, except 300.5.

The only time the word Section is now used in the NEC is when it is the first word.

Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant

#36606 - 04/11/04 01:21 PM Re: NEC Training For Electrical Engineers  
C-H  Offline
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 1,497
Stockholm, Sweden
Items 1-4 seem like basics any electrical engineer should be trained in before learning the details of a specific code. Codes differ from place to place and change from time to time but the basic concepts stay the same. Just my humble opinion.

#36607 - 04/11/04 09:23 PM Re: NEC Training For Electrical Engineers  
wa2ise  Offline
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 783
Oradell NJ USA
I'm an electrical engineer, and want to mention that few EE students will ever in their career be involved with building and other such wiring systems covered by the NEC. Many of us are IC designers, or design things like computer boards, DVD players or TV sets. Many more of us will end up doing software. The people I suspect you have in mind when "EE" is mentioned here are more likely civil engineers, or building archetects. The people that are most often licensed as "Professional Engineer" by their state.

That said, it still would be useful to mention to EEs that codes like the NEC are designed to maintain safe conditions even when faults occur. That's one of the reasons circuit breakers are used, and also GFCIs. An EE only schooled in theory isn't likely to see a problem when replacing a 2 prong outlet with a 3 pronger, just connect the green screw to the neutral white wire. I knew someone (an EE) who bought an older house and did that with all the outlets. I mentioned that, what if the neutral wire goes open circuit near the source? Those grounds you did will become hot if there are any loads still connected to the outlets. He didn't think that that was likely to happen. But such could be described as a "single fault condition" that immediately produces a hazardous condition. With a proper grounding system, you'd need two faults to produce a hazardous condition (open ground wire AND a hot to ground fault inside an air conditioner or such). It's a bit like the safety rules at the shooting range. There they have several redundant rules for handling firearms, all of which make perfect sense when you're handling something that can be lethal.

#36608 - 04/13/04 02:42 AM Re: NEC Training For Electrical Engineers  
Scott35  Offline

Broom Pusher and
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,707
Anaheim, CA. USA
Let me say first say that Bjarney has pretty much covered it very well!

Next, I will get the "Defaults" over with:

[*] The PE learns the NEC while doing the Internship - as an EIT / FE - how's that for an Acronym assult!,

[*] The BSEE and term "Electrical Engineer" does not by default always mean an Engineer involved with Power Systems - very few EEs will be in our field,

[*] One does not have to be a Licensed PE to create proper "E Sheets" for a Planset - the EC may Design/Build Projects,

[*] PEs and ECs should have 1 on 1 discussions often, as the two sides equal into one output - if one side fails to perform correctly, the entire project suffers,

[*] Per the last item, I would like this to be a reality 100%, but most likely this would be a hard goal to achieve,

[*] Lastly, I fully believe the PE / EE should have at least a couple years experience in the field, performing installs.

With those things being said, I would like to edit the list order of Joe's prereq' items above.
I list in matter of importance - first being most important, 10 being last to learn:

1: 8. Building Electrical Design and Plan Review:
Learn just whaddaheck is going to be done, and how to relay important design information to the installer(s).
Also describe that the NEC is not always the default code minimum, but there are Local Codes which override the NEC minimums.
Along with this, make clear that even the Local Codes (Local AHJ) minimums may be "beefed up" in the best interest of the Client, and to verify these with esatblished standards / specs, with the client / client's reps., and/or within the firm where the EE is employed,

2: 7. Electrical Inspection and Recognizing Violations:
This should be reviewed after all 10 items are covered, but introduced briefly at the begining to show how to go about spotting and editing non-compliant items,

3: 9. Hands on training using tools, etc.:
To show how things get put together and be able to reference tools for discussions with the Instaaler(s),

4: 10. Learn how to use and find information in the NEC.:
As mentioned earlier, it is so much easier to find an Article when you know where to find it!!! Also to cover the 9 chapters, tables, the stuff in Article 90, and the Index,

5: 4. Wiring Methods and Materials:
Explain the various methods and their names,

6: 1. Conductors for General Wiring, Wire Fill, Cables, Cords, Raceways, Cables, and Definitions:
This area is a major one for any EE!,

7: 2. Overcurrent Protection, Transformers, Generators, and Emergency Systems:
Here's the 2nd part of the most important items for the EE!,

8: 3. Grounding and Bonding:
Get this one going towards the end - due to so many disbelieves, inaccurate notions, and other pseudo-electrical engineering influences which most likely have been induced on the newbee EE!
This area may take as much time as the preceeding ones, but after the EE has been thoroughly "Re-Programmed" or "Programmed" to understand the CORRECT TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF AC SYSTEMS GROUNDING, then things may move forward smoothly!
[Linked Image]

9: 5. Hazardous (Classified) Locations,


10: 6. Health Care Facilities:
Last areas to cover.

After these items are discussed and understood,

11: Keep your Eyes, Ears and Mind open at all times!!!
Do not become highly arrogant, nor become a tool for the firm he/she works within!

12: Never stop learning, studying, asking questions, or keeping current with the NEC / Local Codes and the Theories and aspects in Electrical Engineering!

I'll stop here, as this subject will get me pumping out another miniseries message!


Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!

#36609 - 04/13/04 08:41 AM Re: NEC Training For Electrical Engineers  
sabrown  Offline
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 302
Ogden, Utah, USA
I believe Scott35 has correctly ordered things. I would add throughout the experience that parts and pieces be on hand to show the engineer what it is they are working with and give them some of the more common names for the parts.

I personally jumped into power after a job designing Ultrasonic sensors and supporting hardware. A big change and I have enjoyed gaining the new knowledge. Still learning after over 15 years in power and the most that I have learned is that I really don't know very much. A class like this could even now be helpful for review.

Shane PE/EE

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