Because We Care

Help for the Busy Electrical Inspector

By Wally Vahlstrom, Director, Technical Services, Emerson’s Electrical Reliability Services, Inc.

inspectorThe Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) is responsible for evaluating and approving electrical equipment installations. According to an article in Intelligent Power Today (IPT) magazine, these responsibilities are largely assigned to the AHJ by paragraph 110.2 of the National Electrical Code® (NEC®). It says that equipment is acceptable only if approved, where approved means “acceptable to the AHJ.” Of course, there are many distinctions, exceptions and deviations. But, still, as a general rule in the United States, it’s the AHJ (typically the local electrical inspector) that carries out this responsibility.

At the back of the NEC, there is a list of more than 200 standards that are directly relevant to the safety of electrical equipment. Also, many jurisdictions have been forced to reduce the number of inspector positions due to budget cutbacks, so the workload for the remaining inspectors is even heavier. It seems the number of new installations, and especially remodels, upgrades, and additions to existing facilities are on the upswing. The workload, complexity, and the importance of the inspector’s job are all growing. What is the inspector to do?

Third-party organizations called Field Evaluation Bodies (FEBs) have been created to help AHJs to evaluate electrical equipment safety. In the U.S., the process FEBs follow for evaluating electrical equipment safety is called field evaluation (FE).

Click here to read the article from IPT magazine to learn FEBs, Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories (NRTLs), and how they are helping electrical inspectors.

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