The NEC Now Includes
Two significant code revisions
recommended by the Professional
Electrical Apparatus Recyclers
League (PEARL) were adopted for
inclusion in the latest version of
the National Electrical Code, 2017
Edition (NEC). These revisions represent the first time since its
inception in 1897 that the NEC
makes reference to product condition, specifically allowing for
and refurbished electrical product.
The NEC includes PEARL’s proposed changes to NEC rules 110.3
and 110.21. PEARL’s contribution
to NEC 110.3—Examination, Identification, and Use of Equipment—
ensures that reconditioned equipment is acknowledged and considered for use in installations.
PEARL’s revision to NEC 110.21
—Equipment Markings, Reconditioned Equipment—requires
reconditioned equipment to be
marked with the name, trademark, or other descriptive marking that identifies the organization
responsible for reconditioning the
electrical equipment. The date of
reconditioning is also required to
be marked on the equipment.
“As equipment ages in the
United States, it can be challenging to acquire replacement parts
from manufacturers,” said David
Rosenfield, past president of
PEARL. “Acknowledgment of reconditioned electrical equipment
in the NEC is a ‘seal of approval’…
that reconditioned equipment is a
valuable and reliable component
of the electrical system, and its
usage is indispensable for maintaining and strengthening our
country’s infrastructure.” —tED
84 the ELEC TRICAL DISTRIBUTOR • May 17
FEA TURE STOR Y /
He explained that contractors have a good idea of what parts look like and how they depend on UL stickers to ensure that parts have been tested and approved. “If we see something questionable —a breaker or other part—it throws up a red flag and we’ll report it,” he said. “We purchase a lot of equipment and parts annually, and we have stan- dard equipment that we normally use on a day-to-day basis—fittings and so forth. Once something is established, we use it over and over again. “If it’s a dimmer, power reclama- tion system, switchgear, or anything like that,” he added, “that’s when we really start looking for the UL stickers. [Our electrical distributor] keeps a good eye on the equipment it sells and is aware of the counterfeit issue.” Carmon Colvin, managing vice president and vice president in charge of the Alabama Division for Bright Future Electric in Birmingham, is also very concerned about the parts and materials going into the projects that the company engages in across the country. “In most jurisdictions, codes have been adopted that require every com- ponent down to the last green screw for grounding to be listed and/or labeled by a certification agency like UL,” he said. “Most inspectors are astute enough to check during inspec- tions. We try to use only listed and labeled parts and pieces, even on the most inexpensive fittings—not only because they are required, but also because it gives us an additional level of assurance of quality. We also prefer to use American-made parts or those made by our North American trade partners.” Colvin added that when it comes to current-carrying components, “We are very careful to use only products manufactured by the major main- stream manufacturers. We would never knowingly use a counterfeit current-carrying or overcurrent de- vice. We don’t want anyone put in harm’s way, either property damage— or even worse, human injury—to save a few bucks.” Colvin noted that he has used refurbished circuit breakers—but rarely. “We have used them at times when we didn’t have another option,” he explained. “We only do it when they can be procured from reputable brokers that have product liability insurance and have been vetted. Normally we would buy them through [reputable] distributors. “Online you can find people selling circuit breakers and other compo- nents for a lot less money,” he added, “but you don’t know what you’re get- ting. What little bit you save is not worth it.” The bottom line: Colvin makes every effort to purchase materials from reputable distributors. “Our electricians are aware of the requirements for listing and labeling and pretty good about looking,” he said. “Recently one electrician called me about a box of conduit hangers from [a distributor] where the label on the box didn’t say that the compo- nent was listed. I got the manufactur- er’s catalog number of the part from him, looked at the UL White Book, and determined that it was listed. We have 350 field employees who are very observant and diligent about this.” Colvin, like many contractors, trusts his distributors to keep coun- terfeit parts out of the product stream. “If they thought that there was a danger about counterfeiting, they would let us know,” he said. “I trust them and would be shocked if I got anything that was counterfeit.” ; Rapoport is a Montreal-based freelance writer. He can be reached at rapoport. email@example.com.
PART 3 OF THIS SERIES WILL APPEAR IN THE JUNE ISSUE OF tED; FIND PART 1 IN THE “DIGITAL EDITION” SECTION AT TEDMAG.COM.