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Early To Bed And Early To Rise Saves Electricity

March 31, 2006

For two decades, Daylight Saving Time has begun on the first Sunday in April and ended on the last Sunday in October. It wasn’t always so. Though subject to a higher power in most realms, time must also obey Congress.

And so, at 2 a.m. Sunday, it will spring forward one hour. Come fall, at 2 a.m. on Oct. 29 to be exact, people who want to be in sync with their neighbors will move their clocks back an hour.

But next year, things will change again. To save energy, Congress decreed that in 2007, clocks will be moved ahead earlier and back later to add three weeks of Daylight Saving Time.

This is hardly the first time Congress has messed with time itself. In the 1970s, the U.S. Department of Transportation calculated that the nation uses 1 percent less energy when Daylight Saving Time is in effect.

In 1974, during the Arab oil embargo and the energy crisis, Daylight Saving Time began on Jan. 6. The next year, it began on Feb. 23. Congress has changed the timing of the switch-over at least twice since then.

To add to the confusion, not every state uses Daylight Saving Time. Hawaii doesn’t believe in it. Nor does Arizona, although some American Indian reservations there observe it.

Read the entire article here

Receptacles And Light Fixtures In Bathtub And Shower Areas

March 30, 2006

Q: Is there a difference between a bathtub space and bathtub zone? The words “bathtub and shower areas” and “bathtub and shower space” are both used in different parts of the NEC and I need a clarification. The electrical inspector is questioning the installation of a GFCI-protected receptacle within three feet of the bathtub. The receptacle is located within two feet of the basin.

A: You are required to install at least one GFCI protected receptacle within three feet of the basin, but this receptacle cannot be installed within the vertical space or directly over a bathtub. This requirement appears in 406.8(C) under the title: “Bathtub and Shower Space.”

In Bathtub and Shower Areas [410.4(D)], there are restrictions on the types of light fixtures, and ceiling suspended paddle fans that may be installed within three feet horizontally and eight feet vertically from the top of the bathtub rim. In this zone, no cord-connected light fixtures, chain cable or cord suspended light fixtures, lighting track, pendants, or ceiling suspended paddle fans are permitted. These restrictions apply to certain types of light fixtures and ceiling mounted paddle fans. Receptacles are not mentioned; therefore, 406.8(C) applies to the locations of receptacles in a bathroom and a receptacle not installed directly above the bathtub or within the outer edge of the tub complies with 406.8(C).

Using The GFCI Receptacle In An Unfinished Basement To Feed A Washing Machine

March 29, 2006

Q: Is it permissible to use the GFCI receptacle in an unfinished basement of a one family home to provide power to a washing machine and gas clothes dryer?

A: If this is the only receptacle in the basement, the answer is no. A receptacle protected by a GFCI is required by 210.8(A)(5), and 210.52(G) requires at least one receptacle outlet in addition to any provided for laundry equipment. The receptacle(s) for the laundry equipment may be supplied by the same branch circuit that supplies the GFCI receptacle. The receptacle(s) for the washer and dryer may be connected to the line side of the GFCI protected receptacle as allowed by Exception 2 of 210.8(A)(5) or may be connected to the load side of the GFCI receptacle or to the GFCI circuit breaker that supplies the basement receptacle.

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Installing Romex In A 2 Inch Metal Conduit Into A Panel

March 28, 2006

Q: May I install romex in a 2 inch metal conduit that is 24 inches long into a panel without securing the cables within 12 inches of where they enter the panel?

A: The general requirement for cable termination is in 312.5(C). This one sentence rule says: “Where cable is used, each cable shall be secured to the cabinet, cutout box, or meter socket enclosure.” However, there is a long exception for nonmetallic sheathed cable (romex), and it is pretty detailed.

Nonmetallic sheathed cables are permitted to enter the top of a service mounted panelboard through a nonflexible raceway that is not less than 18 inches long or longer than 10 feet.

The cable must be secured within 12 inches of the outer end of the raceway; the raceway must extend directly above the panelboard and cannot penetrate the structural ceiling; a fitting is required at each end of the raceway to protect the cables from abrasion and the fittings must remain accessible after installation; the raceway must be sealed at its outer end; the cable sheath must be continuous in the raceway and extend into the panelboard beyond the fitting for at least 1/4-inch; the raceway is secured in accordance with the requirements of the applicable article for the wiring method; and the wire fill table in Chapter 9 must be used to prevent cable overfill.

To determine the number of cables permitted in the 2 inch conduit, Note 9 to Table 1 in Chapter 9 requires that multiconductor cables be treated as a single conductor. For cables with oval or elliptical cross sections, the cross-sectional area is based on the major diameter of the ellipse to obtain an equivalent circle diameter.

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Program Encourages Businesses To Generate Their Own Electricity

March 27, 2006

AP Business Writer

March 27, 2006, 6:22 PM EST

HARTFORD, Conn. — Businesses are being encouraged to generate their own electricity to save money and ease Connecticut’s overburdened power system in a program approved Monday by state regulators.

So-called customer-side distributed generation is owned and operated by electric customers that could invest in equipment to generate electricity independently to provide some or all of their electricity needs.

The state Department of Public Utility Control approved the program to meet requirements of legislation approved last year encouraging the development of new resources.

Read the entire article here

This is a great idea, I hope Montana develops a program like this one. I would install solar panels, wind turbines and a generator at our business.

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