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Code Alert:  Vermont, 06 July 2011


The Vermont Commissioner of Public Safety and the Electricians Licensing Board announced the adoption of the Vermont Electrical Safety Rules 2011, effective June 1, 2011. The purpose of the rules is to regulate licensed individuals doing electrical work and to adopt and enforce nationally recognized safety codes. The 2011 National Electrical Code (NEC) is one of these safety codes.

The 2011 NEC was adopted with fourteen amendments. Five amendments were retained from previously adopted versions. Three of the new amendments are intended to address where a meter pedestal with a disconnect means is installed remote from the building served. The meter pedestal is being defined by some inspectors as a structure and the disconnect means as the service disconnecting means. This interpretation triggers the grounding requirements for services at the pedestal and defines the conductors to the building as a feeder, which will require the installation of an equipment grounding conductor. The first of these new amendments is a modification to the Article 100 definition of Structure, which adds a new sentence to the definition that reads as follows: A pole, pedestal or similar support used exclusively for a utility meter enclosures or combination meter overcurrent device enclosures shall not be considered to be a structure. The second new amendment is a modification to 250.24(A)(5), where a new last sentence is added, which reads as follows: An overcurrent device that is not within sight of, and not within 30 feet of the building or structure served, shall not be considered to be the service disconnecting means. The amendment however, revises the entire paragraph and as written in the Rules prohibits a grounding conductor to be connected to normally non-current carrying metal parts of equipment, to equipment grounding conductor(s), or be reconnected to ground on the load side of the service disconnecting means. It is obvious that the text should have been, grounded and not grounding. The amendment was not intended to modify the existing text of the section, but only add the additional sentence. The existing amendment to 230.70 (A)(1) regarding the location of the service disconnecting means was retained. This amendment requires the service disconnecting means to be installed at a readily accessible location either outside of a building or structure, or inside a building or structure nearest the point of entrance of the service conductors, not to exceed 10 feet of conductor length from the point of entrance. An Informational Note was added to 230.70 (A)(1) alerting the reader to the new amendment to 250.24(A)(5).

Another of the new amendments is a modification to 110.3(A)(1), where the sentence is modified to require all listed or labeled equipment. The amendment reads as follows: 110.3(A)(1) Suitability for installation and use in conformity with the provisions of this code as evidenced by listing or labeling by a nationally recognized testing laboratory.

Section 110.24, the new 2011 NEC requirement for the field marking of the available fault current for service equipment in other than dwelling units was deleted.

Two amendments add two items to 210.8, which expand the use of Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters. One is a new item (A)(9) Laundry room or area and a new (B)(9) Unfinished basements as defined in 210.8(A)(5).

Section 310.15(B)(3)(c) Informational Note is deleted and replaced as follows: Informational Note: One source for the average ambient temperature in various locations is the ASHRAE Handbook Fundamentals. The ASHRAE Handbook Fundamentals indicates the average ambient temperature for Vermont is 85 degrees F.

The last new amendment is the deletion of 520.5(C). This NEC section addresses wiring methods permitted to be installed in theaters and similar locations that are not required to be of fire-rated construction. This amendment will require the fixed wiring method to be metal raceways, nonmetallic raceways encased in at least 50 mm (2 in.) of concrete, Type MI cable, MC cable, or AC cable containing an insulated equipment grounding conductor sized in accordance with Table 250.122.

Amendments that are being retained are as follows:

334.10(2) and (3) are deleted and the following text is inserted:

- delete and replace as follows article 334.10(2) and (3), renumber 334.10(4) as
334.10(3).

(2) In any multifamily dwellings or other building or structure not exceeding 3 floors above grade except as prohibited in section 334.12. For the purpose of this article, the first floor of a building shall be that floor that has 50 percent or more above finished grade. One additional level that is the first level and not designed for human habitation and used only for vehicle parking, storage, or similar use shall be permitted.

334.12(A)(2) is deleted, which will allow nonmetallic sheathed cable to be installed exposed in dropped or suspended ceilings in other than one- and two-family and multifamily dwellings.

400.8(4) Exception is deleted and replaced with the following:

- delete and replace as follows -article 400.8(4) exception:
Exception: Flexible cord and cable shall be permitted to have one connection to the building surface for a suitable tension take-up device. Length of the cord or cable from the supply termination to the take-up device shall be limited to 8 ft.

518.3 (D)(D) (sic) is added to address the illumination of means of egress and reads as follows:

- add article 518.3 (D)(D) Illumination of Means of Egress. Lighting circuits and illumination of means of egress shall be provided in accordance with Section 7-8 of the Life Safety Code (NFPA 101) as adopted under the Vermont Fire & Building Safety Code. [Note: see Appendix III for a copy of this section as adopted.]

Contact: Gil Moniz at gilmoniz@nema.org