Update - NEC National Electrical Code 2011
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Supply 55 BannerPRO, EcoPRO continuous ink supply system, guardian laminators, quickmount


March 29, 2010

Update - NEC National Electrical Code 2011

The votes are in and the 2011 National Electric Code is ready for print.  Pending any final appeals the code will change as proposed.  There were 268 proposals submitted to Panel 18 and 67 were in Article 600 and 5 panel proposals were developed. 4 were accepted, 20 were accepted in principal, 3 were accepted in principal and part and the balance were rejected. 

1. When a proposal is accepted it is approved as submitted
2. When a proposal is accepted in principal, the concept was accepted and the
     panel made some changes.
3. Whan a proposal is accepted in part only a part of the proposal is accepted.
4. When a proposal is accepted in principal and part the panel only took a part of
    the proposal's concept and made changes to that.


During the comment period there were 104 comments submitted to the proposals and 37 were submitted in Article 600 which directly affects electric signs. There were 9 accepted and 7 were accepted in principal.


I will outline the changes that will affect our industry. You may want to get your code book and note the changes.


600.1 Scope.

The scope statement was updated by adding "field wiring" and "regardless of voltage".  An informational note was added to identify a number of illumination sources for clarity.


600.2 Definitions.

A new definition for LED Sign Illumination System was added to clarify a complete system of parts to be classified and used together.


LED Sign Illumination System. A complete lighting system for use in signs and outline lighting consisting of light emitting diode (LED) light sources, power supplies, wire, and connectors to complete the installation.


The neon tubing definition added "luminous" before tubing "that is" for clarity and "to illuminate signs" additionally for clarity.  The informational note was added to clear up the long ongoing confusion that the term "cold cathode" when used in this article refers to neon tubing, as defined by this article.


Neon Tubing. Electric-discharge luminous tubing that is manufactured into shapes that illuminate signs, form letters, parts of letters, skeleton tubing, outline lighting, other

decorative elements, or art forms and filled with various inert gases.


Informational Note: Where used in illumination systems for signs, outline lighting or skeleton tubing, decorative elements or art forms, cold cathode luminous tubes are neon tubing as defined by this article.


The word "is" was added to Skeleton Tubing for grammar.


600.3 Listing.

The words "regardless of voltage" was added to listing to clarify all signs including Class 2 and other illumination methods were covered by Article 600.


600.4  Markings.

Visibility and Durability was added to the marking section and meant to be prescriptive for the electrical inspector's interpretation. The labels are meant to be available during installation and or available during servicing. 


600.5 Branch Circuits.

(B) Rating.

Rating for branch circuits was clarified to be calculated as a continuous load.  In lieu of identifying types of illumination there will now be a list of #1 Neon Signs and # 2 All other signs.  Again, allowing the article to cover all signs.


600.6 Disconnects.

Disconnects were clarified to remove "or" and add "each" feeder circuit, and adding  "or skeleton tubing".  Language was added to clarify the switch must simultaneously open all ungrounded conductors per 210.4(B) and "to control no other load".  This clarification should stop mixed circuits for safety and allow log-out / tag-out for signs only. 

(A) Location.

"Lockable" was added to various locations to identify the specific type of disconnecting means. 


600.7 Grounding and Bonding.

(B) Bonding.


An exception was added to the bonding requirements for the remote metal parts on the secondary side of a Class 2 powered section sign or outline lighting system. This exception will allow the equipment grounding conductor to end at the power supply when the secondary output is Class 2 only.  The words are not low voltage or some other confusing term, it's Class 2.

(7) Bonding Conductors.

The list was changed to numeric from alpha to match the NEC style manual.


600.12 Field Installed Secondary Wiring.

The words "skeleton tubing systems" and "their installation instructions and" were added to better describe the type of wiring and for clarity.

(C) Class 2.

There were a number of clarifications in the low voltage section to reflect Class 2 wiring only.  It was clarified the installation shall comply with 600.33, or Chapter 3 wiring methods and cables can be selected from Part III of Article 725.  There has been a lot of confusion on Class 2, Class 3, low voltage etc.  This clarification is intended to identify the conditions for Class 2 secondary output wiring and no other. 


600.23 Transformers and Electronic Power Supplies.

(F) Marking The language was cleaned up for clarity so that if the unit has secondary-circuit ground fault protection it shall be marked that it contains the protection.


600.24 Class 2 Power Sources.

The wording "the requirements of Class 2 circuits was added to be clear about the requirements it must comply with.

(A) Listing.  The word "systems" was added after lighting and "or shall be a component in a listed electric sign." To end some confusion on what parts may be used in a listed sign.

(C) Wiring Methods on the Supply Side of the Class 2 Power Supply.

The Class 2 power supply section was updated for clarification and to emphasize that the primary side of Class 2 still requires Chapter 3 wiring methods and equipment grounding.

(D) Secondary Wiring.

 600.33 requirements were added to direct you to the installation methods.


II. Field-Installed Skeleton Tubing, "Outline Lighting", and "Secondary" Wiring:        

The words outline lighting and secondary was added to the title for clarity.


600.30 Applicability.

The list was changed to add in #2 "secondary circuits" replacing skeleton tubing wiring" and in #3 "Outline Lighting" was added.


600.33 LED Sign Illumination Systems, Secondary Wiring:   

A complete new section was added for the installation of LED Sign Illumination Systems.


600.33 LED Sign Illumination Systems, Secondary Wiring.

The wiring methods and materials shall be installed in accordance with the sign manufacturer's installation instructions using any applicable wiring methods from Chapter 3 and the requirements for Class 2 circuits contained in Part III of Article 725.


(A) Insulation and Sizing of Class 2 Conductors. Listed Class 2 cable that complies with Table 725.154(G) shall be installed on the load side of the Class 2 power source. The conductors shall be sized for the load and not be smaller than 22 AWG.


(1) Wet Locations. Class 2 cable used in a wet location shall be identified for use in wet locations or have a moisture-impervious metal sheath.


(2) Other Locations. In other locations, any applicable cable permitted in

                Table 725.154(G) may be used.


(B) Installation. Wiring shall be installed in a neat and workmanlike manner. Cables and conductors installed exposed on the surface of ceilings and sidewalls shall be supported by the building structure in such a manner that the cable will not be damaged by normal building use. Such cables shall be supported by straps, staples, hangers, cable ties, or similar fittings designed and installed so as not to damage the cable. The installation shall also comply with 300.4(D).


(1) Connections in cable and conductors shall be made with listed insulating devices and be accessible after installation. Where made in a wall, connections shall be enclosed in a listed box.


(C) Protection Against Physical Damage. Where subject to physical damage the conductors shall be protected, and installed in accordance with 300.4.


(D) Grounding and Bonding. Refer to 600.7 for grounding and bonding.



At this time unless a successful appeal is submitted at the annual meeting this should be the new changes to article 600 of the 2011 NEC code, based on my notes and votes.


Comments and questions randy@ussc.org

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