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Thread: Why not call it EBC instead of EGC?

  1. #1
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    Why not call it EBC instead of EGC?

    I've found that one of the greatest sources of confusion in the trade is between grounding conductors (GEC) and bonding conductors (EGC). So why does the NEC contribute to this confusion by referring to an "Equipment Grounding Conductor" when it would be more accurate to call it an "Equipment Bonding Conductor" (EBC)?

    I realize there's historical inertia to not change the terminology. But if the NEC can change actual practices, surely it can also change terminology. It would really help encourage electricians to understand the important difference between bonding and grounding.

  2. #2
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    Submit a proposal to the 2020. Of course, you'll need to provide documentation as to why the proposed change would be better than what's already in place.

    Remember, the GEC and EGC are different animals and perform totally different functions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon456 View Post
    I've found that one of the greatest sources of confusion in the trade is between grounding conductors (GEC) and bonding conductors (EGC). So why does the NEC contribute to this confusion by referring to an "Equipment Grounding Conductor" when it would be more accurate to call it an "Equipment Bonding Conductor" (EBC)?

    I realize there's historical inertia to not change the terminology. But if the NEC can change actual practices, surely it can also change terminology. It would really help encourage electricians to understand the important difference between bonding and grounding.
    It's more about understanding what the different conductors and what their jobs are, rather than the terminology itself.

    Take the confusing statement above for instance.

    (GEC) stands for "Grounding Electrode Conductor" not "Grounding Conductor".


    JAP>

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    Quote Originally Posted by jap View Post
    It's more about understanding what the different conductors and what their jobs are, rather than the terminology itself.

    Take the confusing statement above for instance.

    (GEC) stands for "Grounding Electrode Conductor" not "Grounding Conductor".
    I know that GEC stands for "Grounding Electrode Conductor": it is the conductor from the service panel to the grounding electrode. The point I was making in my post is that a GEC is a conductor for grounding (electrically connecting to the grounding electrode). Whereas an EGC is for BONDING electrical equipment to the breaker panel: it provides a safety fault path for tripping the OCPD; it is not used for grounding to earth.

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    Don G. has submitted proposals along this line and did not get accepted, one problem is that there is already an EBC, see 250.102(D).

    EBC instead of EGC would be a good idea, but then what do we call the existing EBC.
    "Electricity is really just organized lightning." George Carlin


    Derek

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    Quote Originally Posted by 480sparky View Post
    Remember, the GEC and EGC are different animals and perform totally different functions.
    That's the point I'm making. The current terminology blurs the distinction between the two. In the case of the EGC, it is a misnomer as its purpose is for bonding, not for grounding.

    I had a protracted argument with a licensed electrical contractor over this: he was trying to apply GEC sizing (Table 250.66) to an EGC between our facility's service entrance and our main distribution panel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jumper View Post
    Don G. has submitted proposals along this line and did not get accepted, one problem is that there is already an EBC, see 250.102(D).

    EBC instead of EGC would be a good idea, but then what do we call the existing EBC.
    I couldn't find EBC in a search of my 2008 NEC PDF version. Section 250.102 refers to Equipment Bonding Jumpers. I'd call that an EBJ.

    Edit: I just found two references to "Equipment Bonding Conductors": one in Section 300.3(A) and one in Section 408.3(C). Section 300.3(A) references Section 250.102, so the reference to "Equipment Bonding Conductors" should probably be changed to "Equipment Bonding Jumpers" in 300.3(A). Section 408.3(C) references Table 250.122, so the reference to "Equipment Bonding Conductors" should probably be changed to "Equipment Grounding Conductors" in Section 408.3(C) to be consistent with current terminology. Correcting these two references would allow for the change-over of "Equipment Grounding Conductors" to "Equipment Bonding Conductors."
    Last edited by Jon456; 08-07-17 at 05:37 PM.

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    I wouldn't waste any time with trying to get a code change. There have been numerous proposals over the past several code cycles and the CMP simply doesn't want to change it. This is one of many panel statements on the subject:

    Panel Meeting Action: RejectPanel Statement: The panel does not agree with the substantiation provided by
    the submitter. Section 250.4(A) and (B) addresses the performance aspects for
    grounding of systems, 250.4(A)(1), and also for grounding of the normally
    non-current carrying parts of electrical equipment, 250.4(A)(2) and 250.4(B)
    (1). The performance requirements then go on to additionally establish that the
    various parts of equipment must be bonded together in such a way so as to
    create a purposeful low impedance path of sufficient capacity to effectively
    carry any ground fault current back to the source so overcurrent protective
    devices can operate. The conductor presently identified as the “equipment
    grounding conductor”, be it a wire type or any other type identified in 250.118,
    provides for both these functions. No matter what name is applied this
    conductor or conductive path serves both functions. This dual purpose is made
    clear in the present definition and accompanying Informational Note No. 1.
    Rob

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    All responses based on the 2014 NEC unless otherwise noted

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon456 View Post
    That's the point I'm making. The current terminology blurs the distinction between the two. In the case of the EGC, it is a misnomer as its purpose is for bonding, not for grounding.

    I had a protracted argument with a licensed electrical contractor over this: he was trying to apply GEC sizing (Table 250.66) to an EGC between our facility's service entrance and our main distribution panel.
    Then why not toss Grounded Conductor into the proposed change as well?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 480sparky View Post
    Then why not toss Grounded Conductor into the proposed change as well?
    And make it Bonded Conductor instead? Makes sense, but maybe not as urgent.

    And the counter argument is that you would not bond to any POCO conductor except the grounded one.

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