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Thread: Overdutied Equipment Labeling

  1. #1
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    Overdutied Equipment Labeling

    Is there any code requirement to label equipment that is found to be overdutied as a result of an electrical systems study? i have looked but have not found anything on required labeling. How do workers in the field know equipment is overdutied?

    Granted it needs to be replaced but that does not always happen rapidly so there is a period of time where the equipment is known to be overdutied but still in service.

  2. #2
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    From an AHJ's standpoint, the labeling would be a red tag ceasing operation. There is nothing in the NEC addressing your situation, because the situation violates the NEC rules from the outset. 110.3; suitable for the intended use.

    One might go so far as to say this is one main REASON why the NEC exists in the first place!
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  3. #3
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    What exactly do you mean by "overdutied".

    I can show you several applications where if you counted every possible connected load a larger supply would be needed, but if you recorded demand data the maximum load ever seen is still less then the supply rating.

    1200 amp service but utility only installs a transformer with secondary current rating of ~600 amps - they know what the real load is and won't put in a larger transformer unless there is load there to justify it.

    Now if that 1200 amp service actually has more then 1200 amps of load - you are going to have overcurrent protection trips reminding people there is a problem, but the equipment is essentially protecting itself.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwired View Post
    What exactly do you mean by "overdutied".
    I have only seen that term used where the available fault current is greater than the equipment rating.
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  5. #5
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    depends entirely on what you mean by "overdutied".
    Bob

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkidd View Post
    I have only seen that term used where the available fault current is greater than the equipment rating.
    Never gave that aspect any thought but I guess it could be what OP is asking about.

  7. #7
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    Yes, the term is commonly used to indicate equipment that is not rated for the available fault current. Examples:

    Circuit breaker with a 18kA AIC rating but the available fault current is 23kA

    Panel rated 10kA but available fault current is 12kA

    Both of these would be considered overdutied and not only an NEC violation but an OSHA violation also.

    Note this has nothing to do with loading only short circuit.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by wbdvt View Post
    Yes, the term is commonly used to indicate equipment that is not rated for the available fault current. Examples:

    Circuit breaker with a 18kA AIC rating but the available fault current is 23kA

    Panel rated 10kA but available fault current is 12kA

    Both of these would be considered overdutied and not only an NEC violation but an OSHA violation also.

    Note this has nothing to do with loading only short circuit.
    Placing labels or signs warning of this IMO will not get owners off the hook should there be an injury or death as a result. Placing such labels may reduce or eliminate fines during a casual or routine inspection if there is also a plan in place to fix the problem.

    If the hazard was there but you weren't aware of it, that doesn't change things when it comes to welfare of your employees in OSHA's eyes.

    It is simply a situation that requires attention and how much risk is there to put it off vs doing it immediately is hard to estimate.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwired View Post
    Placing labels or signs warning of this IMO will not get owners off the hook should there be an injury or death as a result. Placing such labels may reduce or eliminate fines during a casual or routine inspection if there is also a plan in place to fix the problem.

    If the hazard was there but you weren't aware of it, that doesn't change things when it comes to welfare of your employees in OSHA's eyes.

    It is simply a situation that requires attention and how much risk is there to put it off vs doing it immediately is hard to estimate.
    As the consultant that finds the overdutied equipment, I always put in the report that it is a violation of NEC and OSHA but my concern is that this information may not get to the workers and they would no way of knowing that the device that are operating may be overdutied and should not be operated energized. But perhaps that is all I can do, highlight it with strong language in the report.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by wbdvt View Post
    As the consultant that finds the overdutied equipment, I always put in the report that it is a violation of NEC and OSHA but my concern is that this information may not get to the workers and they would no way of knowing that the device that are operating may be overdutied and should not be operated energized. But perhaps that is all I can do, highlight it with strong language in the report.
    All you can do is mention to owner, it is up to them to protect their workers. Give them some worst case stories if you want to help them decide how urgent this repair may be, but IMO suggesting such a sign possibly increases your liability should an incident occur before they make changes.

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