Understanding the NEC


A certain attitude is required to understand the NEC. There are many different types of electrical installations, but the Code could not begin to consider all of them. If you are in the electrical industry, it is essential for your success that you understand the NEC. I hope this book will excite you to learn more about the Code. I have to say that the more I learn, the more I realize how much there is still to learn.

There are some Code rules that the industry calls gray areas. As this book progresses, you will develop some insight into these rules. Yes, there are gray areas; but, generally the Code is quite clear.


Anytime there is more than one electrical person in the same room, they will argue Code. When people have a difference of opinion, it's often because one is talking about one point and the other is talking about another, or simply they don't know what they're talking about.

Electricians, contractors, some inspectors, and others love arguing Code interpretations and discussing Code requirements. Discussing the Code and its application with others is a great way to increase your knowledge of the NEC and how it can be used.

I have taken great care in researching the Code rules in this book. But I'm not perfect. If you disagree with my comments, please feel free to contact me personally. I enjoy discussing Code just as much as the next guy. I hope you learn that when you argue a Code rule, you use the specific Code section(s) and you don't just throw words into the conversation.

Note. At times in this book I have supported my comments by referring to The National Electrical Code Committee Report on Proposals [ROP], and at times to The National Electrical Code Committee Report on Comments [ROC]. This document is available from the NFPA by contacting them directly.


As you read this book, highlight those areas in your Code Book that are important to you. If there is any area of this book you don't understand, don't worry about it now. Simply highlight this book and later you can review these highlighted areas. It will be easier to understand those difficult areas when you have completed this book.
CAUTION: Before you get into the Code Book, review the following suggestions. Many of the Code articles are broken down into parts; the information following a part heading applies to that part only. ALWAYS remember which part you are in. You wouldn't want to be reading a rule in the over-600 volt-systems for an installation under 600 volts!
WARNING: Understanding and knowing the Code can cause people to go around showing their co-workers how brilliant they are (I know I did). If you are going to explain the Code, please do it in a positive way and be constructive with your comments. If you know more about the Code than your supervisor or inspector (and everyone thinks he or she does), be careful how you explain your position. Attitude is everything.

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