by Jack Lyons, Northeast Field Representative, NEMA
As the adoption of the 2020 National Electrical Code® goes
through the regulatory and legislative review process, there has been
clarity added to the rules related to reconditioned equipment. In the
2017 NEC, a requirement was placed into section 110.21(A)(2) for marking
of equipment that has been reconditioned. This led to many questions
and concerns about what constitutes reconditioning and how it differs
from normal servicing and maintenance.
The NEMA Policy on Reconditioned Electrical Equipment was a guiding factor in many of the rules that are in the 2020 NEC. There was a new definition for “reconditioned” placed into Article 100, which, along with other new requirements, helps guide the industry in maintaining the safety of personnel and property when using reconditioned electrical equipment. Rules on marking were expanded to ensure compliance to product safety Standards and may require possible recertification. There were many new sections in the NEC that clearly identify products that may or may not be reconditioned.
Proper reconditioning as outlined in the NEMA position paper includes first seeking approval by the original manufacturer, using their guidance or other industry-developed Standards, using qualified parts, and using only qualified workers to perform reconditioning tasks. The distinction between reconditioning and normal servicing and maintenance, particularly with equipment that remains within a facility or entity, is based on good service records that ensure proper guidance has been followed from the manufacturer. The change in section 110.21(A)(2) reflects this difference in servicing and maintenance and reconditioning in a facility.
In its paper, NEMA developed a list of items that are not to be considered suitable for reconditioning. NEMA Sections determined that the listed products had no process to safely restore to the original safe operating condition for which they were originally manufactured.
The list goes on to state there are some products that have certain industry Standards associated with reconditioning of specific equipment, e.g., switchboards and controllers. In these cases, the original manufacturer should be consulted, as they are aware of all safety aspects of their products and the product Standard it was certified and built to.
The 2020 NEC has taken a considerable step forward in safety by addressing concerns related to reconditioning. The vast expansion of reconditioning requirements and substantiation related thereto will ensure the reconditioning continues to meet the original safety Standards that the original manufacturer built the equipment to. Proper verification of the reconditioned equipment’s safety and reliability is part of the approval process to reinstall equipment back into service. The Authority Having Jurisdiction must approve equipment to meet the basic function of the NEC, which is the protection of personnel and property from hazards arising from the use of electricity. ei
This switchboard could be repaired and/or reconditioned.