Important NEC Tentative Interim Amendments--Public Comment

STEVETERRY

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There are two proposed NEC Tentative Interim Amendments (TIA's) in public comment that are of significant importance to the entertainment industry.

TIA's 1573 and 1574 seek to exempt permanent and portable Stage Switchboards (dimmer racks and relay racks, for example) from certain requirements for general-purpose switchboards that were added to article 408 of the NEC in 2020. As explained in the substantiations for these TIA's, typical stage switchboard constructions cannot meet such requirements, which are aimed at safety when connecting or disconnecting a branch circuit to an energized switchboard. This is a use case that does not apply to stage switchboards. Nevertheless, the TIA's are needed to prevent the Listing of non-compliant stage switchboards from being withdrawn.

You may wish to consider submitting an affirmative public comment in support of these TIA's. You can find TIA proposals 1573 and 1574 here: NFPA 70, National Electrical Code® The public comment period closes June 2, 2021.

When you VIEW each of the TIA proposals, there is a hyperlink at the bottom of each document to submit a comment.


Thanks,

ST
 

STEVETERRY

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Do I read correctly that this proposal would allow hot-swapping dimmer modules again? Would it remove the requirement for a screw secured locking bar on dimmer racks that hold modules in?
No, it does not cover that issue. This is strictly about the relative position and protection of the connection points for ungrounded, grounded, and equipment grounding conductors that are currently mandated by 2020 NEC 408.18(C) 1, 2, and 3.

It affects Stage Switchboards (fixed and portable) because they are called "switchboards" in Article 520 and because they are subject to some of the requirements of the UL891 Standard for Switchboards.

ST
 
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tjrobb

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Now to work on pilot lights for makeup receptacles. Something I've never seen implemented.
 

TimMc

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Now to work on pilot lights for makeup receptacles. Something I've never seen implemented.
My outlook on most things Regulatory or Code is that they exist to greatly reduce the likelihood of death or serious injury to persons and reduce the instances and severity of property damage. With that in mind, I see a general utility to having a pilot light for makeup/hair station receptacles but is there a back story or history where a lack of this light has created unsafe conditions?
 

STEVETERRY

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New York
My outlook on most things Regulatory or Code is that they exist to greatly reduce the likelihood of death or serious injury to persons and reduce the instances and severity of property damage. With that in mind, I see a general utility to having a pilot light for makeup/hair station receptacles but is there a back story or history where a lack of this light has created unsafe conditions?
I assume that there was one or more fires back at the dawn of time, but I have no specifics. It is reasonable to assume that heating appliances (curling irons, etc) plugged into counter-level dressing room outlets could be inadvertently left on, causing a fire risk. The pilot light requirement has been with us for a long time.

ST
 

STEVETERRY

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New York
My outlook on most things Regulatory or Code is that they exist to greatly reduce the likelihood of death or serious injury to persons and reduce the instances and severity of property damage. With that in mind, I see a general utility to having a pilot light for makeup/hair station receptacles but is there a back story or history where a lack of this light has created unsafe conditions?
I do not personally know of a fire created by appliances left on in dressing rooms. But I'll bet there was one, back at the dawn of time.

If you have a compelling argument as to why the pilot light should be eliminated, you can submit a public input to the 2026 NEC. That comment period will be September 2022-August 2023. :)

ST
 
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TimMc

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I do not personally know of a fire created by appliances left on in dressing rooms. But I'll bet there was one, back at the dawn of time.

If you have a compelling argument as to why the pilot light should be eliminated, you can submit a public input to the 2026 NEC. That comment period will be September 2022-August 2023. :)

ST
Nope, no objections on the face of it, Steve. Regs are generally written in the blood of victims so I was mostly curious as to "who died" or what theater or sound stage burned. You're certainly correct that something likely happened at some point in theater history.... if nobody died we probably lack records of the fire and its cause . If spending $50 per dressing room prevents death, injury or property damage it seems a good thing. As for 2023... that's more than 2 weeks out, we'll do the advance later... ;)
 

MNicolai

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Re: Pilot Lights
I managed a venue that had them. I’ll bet almost nobody noticed them or knew what they were for. I feel like having the receptacles in a dressing room be on a timer like exhaust hoods in a commercial kitchen might be more user-proof, especially when you’re talking about schools or semi-amateur venues. Push to turn on, auto off in 1 or 2 hours kind of thing.
 

tjrobb

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Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Re: Pilot Lights
I managed a venue that had them. I’ll bet almost nobody noticed them or knew what they were for. I feel like having the receptacles in a dressing room be on a timer like exhaust hoods in a commercial kitchen might be more user-proof, especially when you’re talking about schools or semi-amateur venues. Push to turn on, auto off in 1 or 2 hours kind of thing.
I don't have my book at hand, but I believe that's part of it. The switch / relay / contactor just also runs a pilot outside the room.
 

STEVETERRY

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New York
I don't have my book at hand, but I believe that's part of it. The switch / relay / contactor just also runs a pilot outside the room.
Here it is from NEC 2020:


520.73 Switches Required.

All luminaires, lampholders, and any receptacles adjacent to the mirror(s) and above the dressing or makeup counter(s) installed in dressing or makeup rooms shall be controlled by wall switches installed in the dressing or makeup room(s). Other outlets installed in the dressing or makeup rooms shall not be required to be switched.

520.74 Pilot Lights Required.
Each switch required in 520.73 shall be provided with a pilot light located outside of and adjacent to the door of the room being controlled to indicate when the circuit is energized. Each pilot light shall be permanently identified indicating a description of the circuit controlled. Pilot lights shall be neon, LED, or other extended-life lamp. Pilot lights shall be recessed or provided with a mechanical guard.


ST
 

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