New rules for Type SJ in 2020 NEC

STEVETERRY

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Aug 12, 2007
Location
New York
The 2020 NEC is now published. One of the most important changes of interest to the entertainment industry is new 520.68(A)(2) covering allowable cable types for portable equipment in theatres and similar locations:

520.68 Conductors for Portables.

520.68(A)(2) Protected Applications.


Listed, hard usage (junior hard service) cord or cable shall be permitted where all of the following conditions are met:

(1) The cord or cable is protected from physical damage by attachment over its entire length to a pipe, tower, truss, scaffold, or other substantial support structure, or installed in a location that inherently prevents physical damage to the cord.
(2) The cord or cable is connected to a branch circuit protected by an overcurrent protective device rated at not over 20 amperes.
(3)The cord or cable does not exceed 30 m (100 ft) in length.


ST
 

Dionysus

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Feb 9, 2009
Location
London, Ontario, Canada
That's great! It covers every stage use in my venue.

Now to wait for the CEC to review and integrate the changes, then OESC to adopt the revised CEC, then the ESA to train their inspectors in the revisions to the ESA, then...
Aahhh 44-102 and such so often ignored. Surprising how many ESA inspectors don't know certain sections of the CEC worth a crap.
 

TimMc

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Feb 15, 2017
The caveats are not as simple as they seem. If you use SJ on deck it has to be protected from physical damage. How many Yellow Jacket cable protectors decorate your stage set, wings and upstage crossover? A simple mat or cover will not do.

I'm happy the Code committee saw fit to make these changes, though.
 

STEVETERRY

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Aug 12, 2007
Location
New York
Aahhh 44-102 and such so often ignored. Surprising how many ESA inspectors don't know certain sections of the CEC worth a crap.
And, if there was some formal alignment between the development of the NEC and the CEC, we would all be better off.
Reminder: we are connected to a common power grid. Now, explain to me like I'm five years old, why do we need two different electrical codes?

Note: the CEC has allowed SJ in theatres for some time:

44-354 Flexible conductors for portable equipment
Conductors for arc lamps, bunches, or other portable equipment shall be flexible cord of types suitable for extrahard
usage, as selected in accordance with Rule 4-012(1) or 4-040(1), but for separate miscellaneous portable
devices operated under conditions where the conductors are not exposed to severe mechanical damage, flexible
cord types suitable for other than hard usage, as selected in accordance with Rule 4-012(1) or 4-040(1), shall be
permitted to be used.


Other than that unique piece of forward-looking code, CEC section 44 is shockingly antiquated. I challenge our entertainment industry colleagues north of the border to get to work on that with CSA and fix it! We did it with the NEC in 1984, you can too! Your US code colleagues are standing by to help! :cool:


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RonHebbard

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Jun 12, 2004
Location
Waterdown, ON, CA
And, if there was some formal alignment between the development of the NEC and the CEC, we would all be better off.
Reminder: we are connected to a common power grid. Now, explain to me like I'm five years old, why do we need two different electrical codes?
I believe it's something to do with Donnie's walls, that and orange makeup.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 

tjrobb

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May 14, 2009
Location
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
NFPA actually went thru years ago and made metric references to everything, in all their codes, partially to help with adoption in other countries. Must've been quite a project.
 
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TimMc

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Feb 15, 2017
All of this matters only if your local jurisdiction adopts the new Code any time soon. In my locale we're at least 3 cycles behind. No SJ for me today...
 

STEVETERRY

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Aug 12, 2007
Location
New York
All of this matters only if your local jurisdiction adopts the new Code any time soon. In my locale we're at least 3 cycles behind. No SJ for me today...
My experience is that if a later version of the NEC is more permissive in a specific section like 520.68(A)(2), a local AHJ will accept the later version. This is especially true of portable equipment that is not permanently installed in the building.

ST
 

BillConnerFASTC

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Location
Clayton NY 13624
The general rule I've found is to use a newer edition, you have to meet all of it. Codes are written in their entirety, and risky to pick more permissive pieces from different editions.
 
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STEVETERRY

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Aug 12, 2007
Location
New York
The general rule I've found is to use a newer edition, you have to meet all of it. Codes are written in their entirety, and risky to pick more permissive pieces from different editions.
Bill, that's generally true. But portable equipment in Article 520 is a fairly isolated case where a strong argument could be made with the AHJ that there are no correlating issues with earlier editions created by new 520.68(A)(2).

ST
 

BillConnerFASTC

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Jan 30, 2010
Location
Clayton NY 13624
I agree, but some AHJs don't. On the other hand, the use of non-code compliant cables is pretty common already. Could be ask forgiveness if called on it and use the change as basis for mercy.
 
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