# Do you own a copy of the NEC?

##### Well-Known Member
Fight Leukemia
Once one starts expanding this theatre-specific book to include such things as outdoor concerts, a lot of the NEC starts to apply. For most of us, the placement and depth of grounding rods is academic, but the people that work with generators on a regular basis might care about such things.

#### church

##### Active Member
No. I would need to own the Ontario Electrical Safety Code and the cheapest version is $190 for the PDF. It gets superceded every few years so that adds up to a pretty big investment. For anything big I'm hiring a licensed electrician then teaching them why they need to pull independent neutrals that they otherwise won't pull base on their experience wiring office buildings. Likewise I own the Ontario Electrical Code - it is an expensive document when you buy it as a regular book,$500 with 3 years of updates in softcover

Construction Books, Codes, Standards, Manuals for Building, Electrical, Fire, Plumbing, Sewage, Concrete, Steel - Orderline.com - The best source for the Ontario Building Code, Ontario Electrical Code, Ontario Fire Code

The Ontario Safety Guidelines for the entertainment Industry are free Appendix B: Electrical Safety | Safety Guidelines for the Film and Television Industry in Ontario | Ontario Ministry of Labour

as indeed are the "Television, Film, Live Performance and Event Electrical Guidelines" http://www.esasafe.com/pdf/Specifications/ESA-SPEC-003-R6.pdf

#### church

##### Active Member
And CSA is precisely the problem.

ST

I feel your frustration with the codes but Canada has a unique perspective on many things it doesn't make their view better or worse - just different. I immigrated to Canada 23 years ago as an engineer and I have lived in two provinces and to be frank they may as well be different countries. The reality is that this divergence results from the federal government downloading many accountabilities to the provinces: electrical is just one (Quebec for example also handles it own immigration. My observation is that Canada more rigorously controls who is allowed to perform work. This means that the trades and professions are strictly controlled and licenced separately by each province and the licence is province specific unless you happen to be hold one of the "Red Seal" trade licences. Because of these requirements many of the topics we see discussed that involve references to electrical code are areas where a licenced electrician (not an ETCP electrician) and/or a Professional engineer are intended to be involved. If this happens the code discussions are more straightforward. The legal definitions of Professional Engineering used in each of the provincial professional engineering acts are very broad and are intended to protect people, equipment and property and the scope extends into the entertainment industry.

Is it restrictive? most definitely yes! The intent is to only allow people who have completed the proscribed training, experience and education requirements from doing this type of work. Can the codes be better? I would say so, I was used to the IEE Wiring Regulations and while not perfect they were far ahead of the Canadian Codes.

Fight Leukemia

#### BGW

##### Active Member
I know that this thread is getting a bit old, but I just wanted to say the tabs are a really good thing to pick up as well. Also, next time I buy it, I'll buy the hardcover.

#### museav

##### CBMod
CB Mods
Departed Member
Just a reminder to check with the local jurisdiction to see what version of NEC may be applicable and if there are revisions referenced. For example, according to the related web sites, where I live uses NEC 2008 while the City of Atlanta uses NEC 2005 with Georgia Amendments, however the State now uses NEC 2011 with no amendments so in theory they would all be using NEC 2011. In this case I think it is simply the web sites not being updated, however it is possible for a state or local jurisdiction to use an older version.

#### church

##### Active Member
Just a reminder to check with the local jurisdiction to see what version of NEC may be applicable and if there are revisions referenced. For example, according to the related web sites, where I live uses NEC 2008 while the City of Atlanta uses NEC 2005 with Georgia Amendments, however the State now uses NEC 2011 with no amendments so in theory they would all be using NEC 2011. In this case I think it is simply the web sites not being updated, however it is possible for a state or local jurisdiction to use an older version.

Seems to me that the situation re the NEC and the states in the U.S. is not that different to the situation here in Canada with our Provincial codes.

#### BillConnerFASTC

Just got an ad from NFPA offering the softbound 2014 NEC for 25% off or $67.13 in a pre-publication promotion. Order now, ships in October, credit card not charged until after it ships. Good deal if you are thinking about it (and can wait till October!). #### Esoteric ##### Well-Known Member We have three copies. One in the office, one in the shop, and one in the toolbox. We also have a physical copy of the uglybook in our toolbox and me and all of my electricians have an app on our phone that serves that function. No excuse not to have one. But I agree for 99% of the people who post here if you have to consult the NEC you should be hiring a licensed contractor. Mike #### ship ##### Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member Having one as per the Chicago Building code for working in Chicago is one thing. Main questin overall is in having read and digested the NEC by all them doing the work that have access to the book on site? Otherwise it's like a fire extuingusher in having on hand and etc. Again, like 99' I did my best with the NEC and also the Chicago code, also various updates later. Read and comprehention is not feasable even if the handbook version until sections germain to one's needs for undersanding. Again a NEC book for tech people would be a good thing to expand from for a start. #### malsell ##### Member In my opinion, the NEC is a valuable tool, but most things can be reference by various smartphone apps. Most people don't have a clue, or a care for that matter when it comes to the electrical code, checking amp draw, securing cables, etc. From 1997-2001 I worked for a company that built and installed assembly lines. Trust me, it's not just the production/theater industry that doesn't know or obey the code all of the time. I will say this, about a month ago, I got an extension cord brought to me that was "bad." I took one glance and noticed it was 16/2. I asked what happened and apparently a union stage hand used it because the 12/2 going to the NSI dimmer pack was 2 feet short, so he just used the 16/2 and coiled it up at the tree for the stage wash. #### garyvp ##### Active Member I am TD in a small all-volunteer community theater in NYC. Lots of legacy conduit and receptacle grid. Traditional incandescent lighting and NSI dimmers. Everything is well maintained. I have always been a geek and even worked with several electricians in my youth. My brother was a EE engineer and a master electrician and he was a code freak and was a source for advice. I read this thread last year and it convinced me to get the NEC 2011 Handbook (good for NYC) It was$150 and is a very valuable tool......not just article 520 (theaters) but 300 (wiring), 725 (control circuits) and especially 250 (grounding and bonding). Had a lot of work done regarding that last section.

Upgraded my testing equipment as well - a good digital multimeter was not enough.

As I run the building in which the theater is located I have a much easier time communicating with the licensed electricians I contract - in NYC you are always chasing code.

The handbook presents the code very well. I can't imagine any theater electrician doing this professionally without it.

#### RonHebbard

##### Well-Known Member
Many questions come up here that can be answered from the text of the National Electrical Code. If you're a competent entertainment electrical technician you need to have a copy, and understand what the Code says.

Many of your colleagues in the entertainment industry have worked long and hard for many years to make the Code representative of best practice in our industry.

It's not hard to acquire, nor is it expensive!

ST
Do I own a copy of the NEC?
Yes, definitely! It's right on a corner of my desk and ought to be mandatory for anyone dealing with electrical work in the U.S.
Even though I'm a Canadian living and writing in Canada, prior to my retirement I used to do installs in the U.S. and build scenery for Germany, England, China and the U.S., primarily Broadway. I can't imagine installing and building automated and/or electrified scenery for the U.S. without owning a copy of the NEC.

Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard