Own a code book?

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I always carry one and have given my jouneyman one but I honestly don't know how often he carries it. We're still on the '05 until July and I don't yet own an '08. There is a local jurisdiction here that is planning on running a changes class and I will wait until then to buy the latest, greatest. I have been trying to keep up to date via this site and periodicals.

This might be a slight hijack but I was wondering what some opinions were about code knowledge versus electrical theory. I can make the arguement that you can be weak in theory but great at code or a theory whiz and know nothing about code. Is one more important than the other? Obviously the goal would be proficient at both but what do you judge to me more important to a field electrician?
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
ishium 80439 said:
This might be a slight hijack but I was wondering what some opinions were about code knowledge versus electrical theory. I can make the arguement that you can be weak in theory but great at code or a theory whiz and know nothing about code. Is one more important than the other? Obviously the goal would be proficient at both but what do you judge to me more important to a field electrician?

Theory doesn't matter as much if you're not designing the system. Typically the prints that we work off of give basic information and the actual installation is up to the electrician which translates into a greater need for code knowledge. IMO if I had to pick one over the other I would take a code savvy worker over a theory savvy one.
 

cowboyjwc

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Staff member
Location
Simi Valley, CA
ishium 80439 said:
This might be a slight hijack but I was wondering what some opinions were about code knowledge versus electrical theory. I can make the arguement that you can be weak in theory but great at code or a theory whiz and know nothing about code. Is one more important than the other? Obviously the goal would be proficient at both but what do you judge to me more important to a field electrician?
That's a really interesting question. I guess as an inspector I don't really care how "you" came up with the size wire you need for a service. You may have done some big calculation and figured all the loads, etc. I just go to the book and see you have a 200 amp panel and so you need 2/0.

On the other hand you could go to the book and see that for a 200 amp panel you need a 2/0 and have no idea why.

electricmanscott said:
How about a new thread, "How many inspectors have code books" :roll:
I have 1 2005 NEC and 2 2007 California Electrical Codes, very rare I can't put my hands on one. :smile:
 
While trying to help the "guys", I find it necessary to carry:

NFPA -70 -02 & 05
NFPA -72
NYS building code
NYS Residential code
NYS Fire Code
UL White Book
3 Utility handbooks (I deal with 3 Utilities)
All of these books are highlighted and tabbed by me - with notes handwritten in them as well.

I have made my own NYC code book, but I do not carry it with me, it is in my office.
I also have these documents on both my desktop and laptop computers. (plus many more docs...)
When I have difficulty with the state codes, I have good contacts 1 ringy-dingy away.

I also carry my camera. ;)


If I could only carry one of the above items with me to a job, it would be my camera.:grin:
 

LarryFine

Master Electrician Electric Contractor Richmond VA
Location
Henrico County, VA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
ishium 80439 said:
... I was wondering what some opinions were about code knowledge versus electrical theory. I can make the arguement that you can be weak in theory but great at code or a theory whiz and know nothing about code. Is one more important than the other? Obviously the goal would be proficient at both but what do you judge to me more important to a field electrician?
It depends. I want a code-savvy guy designing and even running a job, but I'd want a theory-savvy making important connections. Why? Because someone who understands the nature of electricity is more likely to make solid, low-resistance connections and such. I'd rather see a red tag than a red emergency vehicle at one of my jobs.

What's really important to doing good electrical work is a good basic understanding of the mechanics of the work: How to use materials and tools properly; how to select the best part for a specific job; how to strip and terminate wire well. In other words, the stuff that a good journeyman should teach a helper first.

Added: A well-rounded combination of both code and theory is best, of course, but if you don't understand the hardware, it's hard to do any of it well.
 
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HighWirey

Senior Member
brian john said:
I purchase code books and handbooks for all my men, most carry them I have one guy I ask "where's your NEC", Oh I can't locate it. Makes my furious, But he has been around along time, does good work and I stay on his tushie....
We can lead those horses to the water, however we cannot make them drink, unless drinking is a condition of employment . . .

Best Wishes Everyone
 

HighWirey

Senior Member
mdshunk said:
I saw a guy waiting for his turn at a meeting of the local electrician's examining board to appeal a red tag with his 1978 NEC in tow. They went into private session to take care of him, but I understand he didn't fare well.
What year was this inquisition?

Best Wishes Everyone
 

cowboyjwc

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Simi Valley, CA
HighWirey said:
We can lead those horses to the water, however we cannot make them drink, unless drinking is a condition of employment . . .

Best Wishes Everyone
I believe that the rest of that quote is, "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink, though you can beat him into submission until he does." :grin:
 

Bob Kraemer

Senior Member
Location
Ohio
Rewire said:
The inspector/engineer had a picture of a "typical underground installation" the drawing shows a ditch with a conduit setting on 4 inches of "fill" an arrow pointing to what looks like gravel is labeled "fill". The utility guide says bottom of ditch undisturbed but this "lectrical engineer" had a picture and the ability to fail me.He sent me a copy of their guidlines but I found know mention of 4 inches of "fill" when I called to point this out he refered me to his picture and I surrendered.
Since when does a picture qualify as a code article or an AHJ amendment? :mad:
 

satcom

Senior Member
Bob Kraemer said:
Since when does a picture qualify as a code article or an AHJ amendment? :mad:
He may be talking about a utility engineer/inspector, they come out to inspect our trenches, and at times even question the color of the sand, they can be a real treat.
 

tonyou812

Senior Member
Location
North New Jersey
The last guy I worked for had a policy that every "truck" had to have a code book on board. If you called with a fairly easy question to the office you would get an attitude from the Foreman "whats the matter is your arm broken?". And if you failed an inspection on something it would be brought up at the Monday meeting and discussed. Photo copies were made from the handbook and passed out for all. That was the best job I had by far. I learned alot even when I was an apprentice. And I credit that company with helping me learn code at an accelerated pace.
 
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