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January - February 2006

The Industry is not training enough electricians

By Tom Henry

A page one story in the Wall Street Journal reported that the number of electricians needed will increase 23.5% over the next eight years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The government projects that economic growth and new electrical tasks will add nearly 155,000 new electrician jobs by 2012. Normally, that kind of outlook would call for a celebration. Why are we growing? Why is the number of electricians projected to increase so fast? 1. Its business as usual. Electrician employment has increased faster than the economy for many years. 2. Some electrician growth is in related occupations, such as security installers, datacom technicians and building automation integrators. 3. Electrical contracting has a significant service component and service needs are soaring. BLS data for employment growth in the HVAC/R business show a need for 38% more technicians over the next ten years. Baby Boomers leaving. In addition to filling newly created jobs, the industry must also replace skilled, veteran electricians who leave the field every day. Some leave for other trades. Some are promoted to estimator or project manager. Many retire. Add the two trends together, and BLS estimates that those who hire electricians - contractors, industrial plants, and others - will need 28,000 new electricians a year. This is the number of new professional electricians the nation needs to create.

By 2012, contractors may well need more than 190,000 new electrical journeyman. The industry should graduate 19,000 apprentices annually. At the moment the industry is graduating fewer than 10,000 a year, 9,000 short of the total demand. A way out? Here are four suggestions. 1. Increase wages. 2. Industry and training centers cooperate to increase training numbers and skill levels. 3. Increase the productivity of existing journeyman electricians through additional training and advanced tool applications. 4. Discourage retirement, through incentives if necessary. 5. Encourage young people to pursue a career as an electrician. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statics 2005 Starting Salary: Nurse $30,000 - $45,000 Health technician $25,000 - $30,000 Plumber $30,500 - $41,500 Electrician $20,000 - $30,000 Engineer $45,000 - $52,000 Technical support $27,500 - $56,500 Debt mediator $30,700 - $34,000 Accountant $29,500 - $40,500 Ask youself, whats wrong with these statistics? Maybe plumbers are easier to find than electricians today.
The Informer

EDITOR - Tom Henry CONSULTING EDITORS: Paul Ward-Building Department Southlake, Texas Alan Nadon-Inspection Elkhart, Indiana John Kerns/Tom Henry - History Tempe, Arizona Brian McPartland-Engineering Tappan, New York John P. Bush Bellefontaine, Ohio Tim Henry-Safety & Tools Oviedo, Florida Jim Lewis-Law Winter Park, Florida Ron Ellerbee-Supply Counter Orlando, Florida Robert Williamson - Maintenance Mill Spring, North Carolina Tim Chinchor - Contractor Orange City, Florida

Readers Comments
Tom Henry would like to hear from you. Please send your comments and suggestions to: The Informer, 7449 Citrus Ave., Winter Park, FL 32792. or E-mail


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Beginning at age 18, if you saved $3,000 a year for five years and earned an annual return of 10% over 47 years, at age 65 how much money would you have? (a) $55,000 (b) $165,000 (c) $460,000 (d) More than $1 million

The Informer staff and publisher of this newsletter are not responsible for the interpretation or application of any electrical work in buildings by any person, company, agency, or organization. The views expressed in this newsletter are personal views, and shall not be considered as a formal interpretation. The National Electrical Code and NEC are Registered Trademarks of the National Fire Protection Association, Quincy, MA.

Question: Why do the batteries in my hearing aid last less than a week, while the batteries in my watch last two or three years? Answer: Assuming that your hearing aid is working fine and that youre following the care instructions for batteries - the difference is due to the fact that they use maybe 50 to 100 times as much power. Unlike watches, hearing aids must have microphones, amplifiers and speakers. The latest digital signal processing and computer programs add to the burden. So do smaller sizes. Even your lifestyle is a factor. For example, did you know that your hearing-aid batteries dont like sweat any more than you do? See your hearing professional for a complete explanation and advice about what you can do to help your hearing-aid batteries last longer.

Answer on page 8 WATTS IN THIS ISSUE

Not training enough Cover Readers Comment 2 Texas Laws Paul Ward 3 Inspectors Journal Alan Nadon 4 Life back then Tim Chinchor 5 UL Corner 6 Life back then -Inspectors Journal 7 Informed Source, Misc. 8 Swimming Pools Tom Henry 9 Busted Knuckle R. Williamson Grounding Electrical History The Story of Hoover Dam Nikola Tesla the AC man Weekend Seminar Schedule Learn to be an electrician IRS Jim Lewis Cross Training Informer Subscription Form 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

The Informer

By Paul Ward

The IBC and the NEC applies to all new commercial buildings, alteration, remodeling, enlargement, or repairs of those buildings in which construction begins after January 1, 2006. All Texas municipalities are required to adopt the NEC and the IBC which apply to commercial buildings. This bill will take effect on January 1, 2006. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Texas Law Establishes Time for Issuance of Building Permits

The 79th Texas legislative session established two important bills related to building permits and construction within the State of Texas. H.B. 265Processing Times for Certain Building Permits Bill. H.B. 961National Electrical Code and International Building Code as Commercial Construction Codes of Texas Bill. On June 18, 2005, Texas Governor Rick Perry signed into law House Bill 265. This law establishes definitive guidelines under which Texas cities must process certain building permits. Texas municipalities are now required to respond to building permit applications on a timely basis. Prior to this bill, municipalities did not have a timetable to respond to building permit applications. HB 265 is good news for Texas contractors. H. B. 265 applies to a permit required by a municipality to erect or improve a building within that city. The bill requires the building department to review a building permit within six weeks after filing. If the permit isnt approved, the municipality is required to communicate the problems to the applicant and provide written notice stating the reasons why the permit cannot be issued. If the applicant resubmits the application with necessary corrections, the city building department has one month to approve or reject the application. Failure to issue permits within the set time obligates the city to waive all permit fees and refund any fees associated with the application that may have been collected. This bill went into effect on September 1, 2005. On May 23, 2005, H. B. 961 was signed into law. This law requires all Texas municipalities to adopt the National Electrical Code (NEC) as the State electrical code for uniform use throughout the state. The bill also requires Texas cities to adopt the International Building Code (IBC) as the commercial building code in the state.

Here are some tips on installing smoke alarms in a residence

Install smoke alarms on every level, including the basement. Its especially important to have them outside each sleeping area and inside each bedroom. For manufactured homes, install a smoke alarm outside each sleeping area and inside each bedroom. Smoke alarms are not recommended in kitchens, attics, garages, and within 3 feet of a bathroom door. Avoid installing alarms in kitchens and bathrooms because cooking and steam from showers and baths can increase the chance of unwanted alarms. Alarms are not recommended for areas where temperature or humidity is below 40F or above 100F. Mount smoke alarms high on walls or on the ceiling. Test all smoke alarms monthly to ensure that they work. Replace batteries once a year or when the alarm begins to chirp, which means the battery is low. Consider installing alarms with 10-year batteries. Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years. Replace an alarm if you dont know how old it is. Use a permanent marker to indicate the date the alarm was installed. Do not remove batteries from smoke alarms without replacing them with fresh batteries. Consider the special needs of the occupants. Smoke alarms are available for those individuals with hearing disabilities. Make sure that everyone in your home knows the sound of the smoke alarm and knows exactly what to do if the alarm goes off. Working smoke alarms are essential for homefire safety, but installing smoke alarms is only part of the job. Testing and maintenance is crucial, too.

The Informer

Excerpts from an Inspectors Journal

By Alan Nadon CEI-M #138*


Despite the snow, work on the Mega-Shredder is progressing. I am eager to see it start grinding up six cars a minute. That's faster than the big three can make them. The primary power coming in to the facility is 138,000 volts and I was concerned about clearance distances between conductors and to grounded surfaces. The National Electrical Code doesn't address conductors of that value so I had to turn to the National Electrical Safety Code which is an IEEE instead of an NFPA document. Fortunately the local utility company had a copy and all the clearances were well within safe distances. Just when you think you don't need any more books you find one more that you have to get.

Furnace installers should get the electricians to either connect their equipment or look at the connections before it gets inspected. At a new house the electrician brought the furnace circuit to the wall next to the furnace. Then the furnace guys took over. They used armored cable [type AC] with NM cable connectors. They didn't put bushings in the end of the armor to protect the cable and the ultimate was when they cut 1/2 inch knock outs into the nonmetallic box for the metal raceway. NEC 314.3 prohibits using a nonmetallic box with a metal raceway unless there is a provision to effectively bond all raceways. A three foot circuit with three violations. Some electricians are still having trouble remembering that receptacles in older bathroom lights and cabinets must be G.F.I. protected or disconnected. It doesn't make much sense to install a new G.F.I. receptacle in the wall next to the sink if the owner still plugs the curling iron into the unprotected light fixture.

On an inspection of a sewer lift station that uses only three wire three phase power for the pumps I had to remind the electrician to install a grounded conductor even though it is not going to be used. Section 250.24 (B) of the Code requires a grounded conductor be brought to the service to handle fault currents back to the transformer. This is especially important when nonmetallic conduit is used. Even more confused was the electrician that was installing a single phase service with a disconnect that then would supply a sub panel. Because he needed four wires for the sub panel, to keep the grounded conductor separate from the grounding conductor, he installed four wires from the meter socket to the service disconnect. He had so many wires he ran out of terminals to put them in and was putting copper and aluminum conductors in the same opening. I explained that if he removed the unnecessary wires he would have all the terminals he needed.

The plumbers caused a problem by putting in these instant water heaters that have no storage tank. They are nice pieces of equipment and save energy, however they are cord connected appliances and cannot be located above a lay in / drop ceiling [NEC 400.8(5)]. Unfortunately the particular ones were also of a brand that did not allow for conversion to a fixed wiring method of connection so they had to be replaced. (continued page 7)
The Informer

If I knew back then what I know now, boy would life be different.

By Tim Chinchor The phrase that has been stated and overheard countless times by each generation and this is one way we can avoid its repetition. Hereafter I will make this trade specific because the content is best applied to our Current subject at hand. No pun intended. Let me qualify the thought. I caution you that I could infinitely expand on this to many subjects, but keeping within my column space we will attack its pertinent application. First this is degradation because obviously the previous generation making the statement must step up or they lack the patient teaching skill that could cause the avoidance of this repetitive pattern. Why not take the time to explain to the youth in our trade exactly what it is that promoted the negativity that is projected. Let me say that if you know something now and you are not taking the time to pass it down to someone of youth who can use and apply it, the next generation will have no advantage in years to come, ok sure they will pick up a few ladders in their life and possibly may be in the same area of mature thinking and youthful dreams as the elders were before them but none the less they will be improved by the transfer of thoughts of which you have presented. If you count back in your life how many people made a profound life altering difference there is one thing binds them to us all, that person took time out of their busy day to talk to you, groom you, nurture you and enlighten you. Im not writing about teachers whom are compensated for their class room time to pass the information, on who I am reflecting on are the friends who cared for your success. Or maybe it was experienced people who took time for you. It could be an electrical inspector who rather than leaves a written failure notice takes the time and explains the reasoning and published resources. Not to take away from teachers, some can also be friends. This is about the impressions left on you by that small group of people, the ones you can count on one hand that made a difference in your career, values, life and conscience.

Maybe not, after all and quite possibly of course you are the type of person who followed the path of least resistance and motivated by simple convenience. Ask yourself are you the one that is the passenger on lifes ride and not the driver. Possibly learning needed tidbits of wonder too late for use may not bother you. Sail on, everyone has a place. In my life and keeping the subject being trade specific I can always go back in time to the first man who allowed me into this trade, his name was Robert M. Keller, we called him R.M. or just R. His shop was small back then. And I do mean allowed me in, I felt blessed to have the job. Mr. Keller ran the company out of his kitchen and had one old rusty former bread truck as a warehouse. There at the kitchen table with a pot of hot coffee he would reminisce on life, work and qualities he respected and when he said if he only knew what he knows now back then, thats when he would explain it. He was never to impatient to talk to us , his crew , the two or three of us that sat and listened like baby birds in a nest waiting for food. See we had respect. He had traveled through 40 years of trade existence. He knew the code, the changes, and the sensibility that was its history good old fashioned horse sense as he said thats what saves lives. He never left a question blank, there was always an answer. And I know that today I am better by him. Who are the R.M.s in your past?

I find now many years later that I was gifted to have known him back then what he shared and it set forth in my foundation. The readers of this forum are the R.M.s of today to the youth of now. We now have a new generation that has interest in our trade, and it comes in waves, the wave is high now, unemployment is down, there are people who want to be electricians again, the tech boom that grabbed the workforce from the 1990s is fading and new workers are finding conservative steady employment in our realm. I have found that the interest in licenses and training in my company are at an all time high. Today there are good jobs out there to be bid. Steady work. And I have straight A high school graduates wanting jobs and apprenticeships. Earning income and learning with no lingering student loans upon graduation is very satisfying to them. (continued on page 7)
The Informer



Question: How is a user to know how to install

Listed manufactured wiring systems and how are they labeled?

Answer: Manufactured Wiring Systems are Listed under (QQVX) located on page 97 of the 2003 General Information for Electrical Equipment Directory (the White Book.) Manufactured wiring systems are intended to be installed in accordance with NEC Article 604 and the manufacturers installation instructions. Detailed instructions are provided by the manufacturer for the wiring of each assembly intended for field connections. Each part of the system (distribution box, tap box or other appropriate product) is required with the UL Listing Mark, and provided in a location that is visible without disassembly. Each manufactured wiring system component is also marked with the manufacturers name, trade name, or trademark, voltage rating and conductor size. If the unit is not complete and is intended to be assembled or connected in the field, each portion of the system should be identified with respect to its intended use. Each power-feed assembly shall be marked to indicate the type and rating of the intended branch-supply circuit. In addition, the power-feed assembly shall be marked with a diagram specifying methods of connection to the branch circuit or the equivalent of the branch circuit. The markings are required to be visible after installation of the assembly. Each manufactured wiring system is marked to identify the type of cable or conduit employed in the system.

These units can be identified in the field by the UL Listing Mark and the product identity of either Construction Site Portable Power Distribution Unit or Construction Site Port Pwr Dist Unit. This product identity is necessary to identify units that have the special ground-fault protection for personnel features required for construction site applications. A UL Listed unit with another product identity or a unit Listed to another UL Standard such as UL 231, the Standard for Safety for Power Outlets would not have this protection. Reprinted from The Code Authority by permission.

*Note: Do you have copies of the UL WHITE and green book Electrical Construction Directory? Every electrical contractor should have access to these informative books. The directory may be used for several purposes, some of which are: (a) To obtain the names of companies which are able to provide products bearing a Listing Mark or Classification Marking. (b) To obtain information pertaining to the form and nature of the Listing Mark or Classification Marking to be used for a specific class or category of product. (c) To obtain information relating to limitations or special conditions applying to the product or (d) To obtain the titles and designations of Standards that have been used for investigation of products in a specific category. The companies whose names appear in the Directory are qualified to provide products that bear the UL Mark but may not be the actual manufacturer.
Electrical Construction Materials

Question: What UL Standard is used to evaluate

portable power distribution units used at construction sites? How can I identify these products?

Answer: Portable power distribution units used at

construction sites are evaluated for compliance with UL 1640, the Standard for Safety for Portable Power Distribution Units. These products are listed under the product category Portable Power Distribution Units and Devices (QPSH), located on page 93 of the 2003 General Information for Electrical Equipment (White Book).


For UL products go to
The Informer

If I knew back then what I know now, boy would life be different.
By Tim Chinchor (continued from page 5) There is a good perspective to keep in mind when entering our trade you must ask yourself this question: What would you rather have in five years, no job, 50 to 80 k in student loan debt not to mention the additional expense of room board and books and the out come a BS degree or a five year history of W2 income averaging well above minimum wage, good benefits, thousands in a 401K if you contribute the 20% allowable by the IRS and in some cases matching funds are available also a four year apprentice certification along with a journeymans card? And have a good job plus years of proven work experience. And after your required trade levels are met many contractors will pay for your college tuition if your selection of night classes can apply to our businesses needs, yes academia we contractors need people with college degrees to work for us too. Sorry those of you who went the other route, but you know now what you will learn, then. Tim Chinchor JE.EC.FCB.abcdefg. President Chinchor Electric, Inc.

Excerpts from an Inspectors Journal

By Alan Nadon CEI-M #138* (continued from page 4)

The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) dedicated the first combined use of solar power and fuel cell systems on Long Island. The unique combination of alternate energy technology systems is located at the Local 25 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) headquarters in Hauppauge. The 15 kW solar power system and 5 kW fuel cell unit will provide electric power and domestic hot water to the facility.

A while back I told of a problem we were having with stolen meters. It came up again last week when a lady called and said that the meter on her rental house was gone and the utility company needed my inspection before they would connect it because the tenants had been stealing electricity. She missed our first appointment for the inspection but I could see from the outside that the home lacked outside receptacles and entry lights. I called her on the phone and told her to get an electrician to make the corrections and then I could have it reconnected. She hired an electrician and he got the permit. He called me for the inspection. Everything was looking good and the house passed inspection. As I was handing him the inspection sheet with my O.K. on it he asked if we could just put the meter that was on the kitchen counter in the socket outside. After a stunned silence and double take, I said, No. I would take the meter to the utility company. If the meter was good and belonged at that address they could put it in. When I turned in the meter at the utility company they ran a check on the serial number and it was the correct one for that address. However the prior month the meter reader had pulled the meter that was in the socket at the house because it was a stolen meter from a different house. That was when they disconnected the house. It seems that the tenants would use the stolen meter for part of the month and then put their correct meter in when they thought the meter reader would come around. They picked the wrong week to cheat. The utility company is pressing charges for theft of service against the former tenants.

The Informer

Approved? Suitable? Listed? Identified?

By Tom Henry


An estimated 58 people lose their life each week as a result of electric shock.

Article 680.23(B)(2b) states a wet-niche light fixture is to have the termination of the #8 bonding jumper in the forming shell covered with, or encapsulated in, a listed potting compound. Whereas, 680.23(B)(4) states the end of the flexible- cord jacket and flexible-cord conductor terminations within the fixture shall be covered with, or encapsulated in, a suitable potting compound. The use of other than a listed potting compound would be a violation for encapsulating the #8 bonding jumper. One must understand that some compounds called for in the NEC are intended to perform a mechanical rather than an electrical function. In general, when the concern is a mechanical one, the wording of the rule does not specifically call for the use of listed or identified seals or compounds; instead these rules require the use of approved or suitable products. And when the concern is an electrical one, the wording of the rule typically calls for the use of listed or identified products. Although subtle, the difference is important. The terms listed and identified essentially require the product in question to be tested in accordance with accepted standards by a recognized third-party testing lab; whereas the word approved simply requires the product to be acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction, which may or may not require a product to be listed. The bottom line is that where the compound is performing an electrical function, only listed or identified products can be used. But, when the function is mechanical, the determination of suitability is up to the local inspector per Article 90.4.


anemometer. An instrument for measuring the velocity of air in motion.


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8 The Informer

I didnt fail, Ive found 10,000 ways that didnt work.

Answer to page 2 (d) Over $1 million

By Tom Henry Recently, I contracted to have a swimming pool installed per my doctors request as a form of exercise in the extreme summer heat of Florida. I decided to video the installation and write a book as I feel there is a void in this area. I learned quite a bit from this experience and Ill share it with you. First of all, electricity and water dont mix. To avoid a shocking experience, certain rules must be followed. Improper maintenance, the aging process, corrosion and questionable installations have made underwater swimming pool light fixtures a potential source of electrocution. As Ive mentioned in other books I have written, the National Electrical Code is the minimum safety standard, you can always go one step better. Since electricity and water dont mix, I was cautious especially when it came to the underwater light. Do I want a light with a supply voltage of 120 volts in my pool? No way! Its permitted by Code, if you have it ground-fault protected.

Although GFCIs do provide improved safety, research has indicated that a small but significant percentage of GFCIs, particularly older ones, do not interrupt faults when evaluated in the field several years after installation. GFCIs contain electronics, much like computers. They can be subject to damage from power surges (Orlando, Florida is the lightning capital of the U.S.) and other sources that can go unnoticed. As a result, UL has added certification requirements to ensure that UL Listed GFCIs are more resistant to adverse field conditions. Seven revisions to the UL requirements for GFCIs have been adopted as certification requirements, which became effective January 1, 2003. Installed GFCIs should be tested on a regular basis, as identified in the manufacturers operating instructions, to promote proper operation of these devices.

NEMA released the results of a study that found as many as 12% of GFCIs were non-operational in some parts of the country. When was the last time you tested your GFCI? Your response, Was I supposed to test it? Do I want a light with a supply voltage of 120 volts in my pool? No way! Some inspectors are very much against the use of 120 volt lights because of a higher potential, and are prohibiting the use of the fixtures. They say after a period of time, because of tripping of the GFCI, the homeowner will get a handyman to change the GFCI protection to an overcurrent device without this protection. This is the reasoning which the inpectors base their opposition to the use of 120 volt lighting, and rightfully so. Flush deck junction boxes pose another hazard because many were not filled with an approved potting compound, or were too close to the pool; many have broken cover gaskets, and many contain higher voltage wiring within the same junction box. Even though it was over 100 feet, I special ordered a light fixture with a 125 foot cord to reach the above ground listed pool junction box thus eliminating the flush deck box and all the NEC rules that go with the flush deck box. Many people have been accidentally electrocuted while swimming in older swimming pools. Years of exposure to chlorinated water results in a serious hazard caused by obsolete underwater swimming pool lighting systems which may have not been properly installed or maintained. This hazard can be eliminated by proper equipment and installation methods. An additional hazard is the placing of non-GFCI protected, 120 volt receptacles within 20 feet of the inside walls of pools, which may result in someone being electrocuted by an appliance too close to the swimming pool. The National Electrical Code did not systematically address swimming pools until 1962 when Article 680 first appeared in the code. From that point forward until 1975 the NEC allowed as one option, but did not require, GFCI protection on line voltage lighting systems. The 1975 National Electrical Code was the first code to expressly mandate GFCI protection, unless the operating voltage did not exceed 15 volts. (continued page 17)
The Informer

Lessons From The Busted Knuckle Garage

Overheard in a restaurant recently: Did you hear about the Auto Service Center in town? It closed last week. The guys who owned it finally decided to retire. Remember how many years we looked for good mechanics? They were real good, werent they? Never disappointed us. Always found a problem before something fell apart. Prices were fair, service was fast --we never had to wait on parts. They really knew what they were doing, didnt they? Why, they were ASE-certified and factory-trained to work on our cars. They had the latest factory technical bulletins and recall notices, and they notified us whenever it was time for our regular service. They treated us so well all these years; were really going to miss them. Where do we go, now? The concern voiced in this conversation makes sense, doesnt it? When you finally discover a good mechanic or service center to take care of your personal car or truck, you really can tell the diference in how well it runs. It gets better mileage. The tires last longer. Major problems rarely happen. The mechanics seem to take personal pride in their work-and it shows! What if you had to take your vehicle to the Busted Knuckle Garage,where the mechanics arent trained to work on your make and model? Where they dont have the right technical information or maintenance and repair manuals? Where the goal is to fix things fast and cheap, and accuracy and workmanship are not priorities? Where it might require three to four trips to the shop before a problem is actually fixed? Where the wait for parts could be several hours-or several days? And what about those greasy finger prints left on the steering wheel, door and hood? We would tend to avoid this type of servce, wouldnt we? Sadly, in many plants and facilities today, were doingBusted Knuckle Garage service on our most critical equipment, yet were still expecting it to run right ! Why is it that companies can spend millions(sometimes hundreds of millions) of dollars on equipment and facilities and still come up short when it comes to maintenance and training? Why do the decision makers assume thatCharlieand Ruth--with their years of experience in the plant--can justfigure things out in the newest high-tech equipments? But, dont stop there. Lets throw another monkey wrench into this example. What if the operators arent trained on the equipment-specific requirements, settings, specs and set-up procedures?

By Robert M. Williamson, president of Strategic Work Systems

Robert is an author, workplace educator, and consultant with more than 27 years experience in improving the people side of manufacturing and maintenance with many Fortune 500 companies. (Untrained operators are causing more and more equipment problems in plants today.) Then, send in some untrained maintenace folks to fix the problem. You guessed it; they dont have the right tools or parts, either. At this point, the equipment has to run longer and harder to make up for all the unplanned downtime. Monthly preventive maintenance tasks are deferred, for weeks--or even months. Consequently, the equipment breaks down even more. It is a vicious cycle. Airplane pilots know this as a death spiral that you cant pull out of. How, then, can we possibly expect our equipment to run right and our costs to be low? Heres how you can avoid the Busted Knuckle Garage syndrome: * Focus on your plants most critical, most problematic, constraint equipment in the plant. *Gather the equipment documentation and bulletins. *Identify the skills and knowledge required to make it run right--both operations and maintenance. *Train the right people in the right skills. *Identify the proper operations and maintenace procedures.. *Train the right people to properly perform the tasks. *Identify the proper PM tasks and intervals. *Train the right people to perform the right PMs. *Fix things that are broken, jumpered, bypassed, leaking or worn out.. *Stock the right spares and keep them in serviceable condition. *Document all work on the equipment in the work-order system. *Use equipment repair and maintenance history to identify and address weaknesses. *Then, when you really get down to it, look at TOTAL DOWNTIME losses. You may see what Ive seen for years: maintenance cant do it alone. More than 90% of major equipment losses are outside the direct control of maintenance. Finally, be sure to share the Busted Knuckle Garage story with top management. Where would they prefer to take their cars for service?
10 The Informer

How a tiny hole in the wall almost put one company out of business

Behind that hole lies a critical path to ground. In fact, dirty power from poor grounding threatens your companys very existence. Take the example of a Colorado business headquartered in a 70s-era building. With over 4,000 data errors per month, PC boards failing repeatedly and computer monitors going down every six months, dirty power almost spelled disaster. The main culprit was the buildings grounding system. It simply didnt meet the demands of todays sophisticated electronics. To solve the problem, a network of copper-clad ground rods, driven deeply into the earth, was tied with oversized copper cabling to a new main grounding plate. For reliable paths to ground, dedicated wiring was used instead of relying on the metal conduit. And separate, upsized neutrals were installed for each phase. Since installation, data errors and equipment problems have virtually disappeared. Protect your business from the ground up. Visit BRAND NEW !!! Signs, Stories and Smiles: Volume Two Order a book that will keep you smilin all year! This book covers everything from age, animals, death, government, religion, sports, etc. A good sense of humor is essential to deal with the world's reality. The next best thing to solving a problem is finding some humor in it. Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.

Hazardous Locations The Pictorial Workbook of the Code is an excellent study guide for the apprentices, electricians, inspectors, technical schools and even for the electrical engineer that had zero hours of Code study at the University. Once the area has been classified, the Code states what electrical equipment and wiring methods are the minimum required in the area of classification. Hazardous Locations is a workbook requiring the student to use the National Electrical Code book in answering the questions from each Article. A final exam is included on all the Articles. Explosion proof equipment is expensive more so than the nonhazardous electrical equipment. Careful attention should be made to locate much of the equipment in a less hazardous area, thus reducing the amount of special equipment required. The larger the equipment, the less likely explosionproof equipment will be available. Motors and generators suitable for Group C locations are quite limited in availability. After installation, routine maintenance is still needed, mainly because many hazardous locations are also corrosive locations. The weakest link in the total system can undermine the effectiveness of the best individual components. The quality of American life depends upon the safety and effectiveness of electrical application. If youre wiring gas stations, hospitals, nursing homes, paint spraying facilities or other classified locations you need this workbook of pictures!

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11 The Informer

History For The Informer

John C. Kerns / Tom Henry


Electrical History (continued)

Heinrich E. Lenz (1804-1865), a German born scientist, is known for finding the law governing the direction of an induced current. Lenz, the son of a magistrate, had originally studied theology but grew interested in science. Between 1823 and 1826, he accompanied a scientific ocean voyage around the globe as Darwin was able to do a few years later. Lenz was investigating electrical induction at about the same time as Faraday and Henry and was third in the field.

Sir William Siemens (18231883) a German born engineer, brother of Werner Siemens.

William was the originator of the Siemen electric furnace, the open-hearth method of steel refinement.

In his later years he added to his list of invenLenz's finding was the direction of the current tions various improvements in electric lighting and he induced in a conducting circuit by its motion in a contributed to the foundation of electric locomotion. magnetic field is such as to produce an effect opposing the actual motion of the circuit. Any induced current or An Englishman, voltage opposes the motion it causes. If a magnet is Michael Faraday (1791-1867) pushed into a coil, the induced current in the coil made one of the most signifidevelops a magnetic field with poles such that the field cant discoveries in the history repels the field of the magnet. The same effect is felt if of electricity: Electromagnetic a magnet is abruptly removed from a coil. induction. enz's law is; the direction of the induced current in the coil can be found by the left-hand rule for Among the scientists of the 19th century, none elec-tron flow. If the thumb is pointed to the left toward the north pole of a coil, the fingers coil under is held in higher esteem than England's Michael and then over the winding in the direction of the current Faraday. His rise from poverty to world renown was as unlikely as that of his American counterpart Joseph flow. Lenz took the peltier effect one step further by Henry. Born near London in 1791, this son of a blacksmith received only a smattering of a primary educashowing you could freeze small amounts of water tion (school was considered a luxury) and spent most using the peltier effect. of his childhood doing odd jobs and roaming the streets of the city until at 14 he was apprenticed to a James Wimshurst (1832bookbinder. They kindly allowed young Michael to 1903) designed the Wimshurst read his choice of the many books which passed machine to produce static electric- through the shop. This privilege gave him access to ity by turning a crank on the most of the current scientific knowledge (which wasn't machine. The largest machine had very much in 1805). He also began attending and discs that were seven feet in taking detailed notes of the lectures given by the diameter. The charge produced celebrated chemist Sir Humphrey Davy of the Royal was stored in leyden jars. Institute. (Michael Faraday to be continued in the next issue)


The Informer


With Tom Henry

An Engineering Wonder The Compact paved the way for the construction of storage dams and delivery facilities on the Colorado River, and, in 1928, Congress passed the Boulder Canyon Project Act, authorizing construction of Hoover Dam. Hoover Dam was without precedent, the greatest dam of its day; it is still a world-renowned structure. Located in Black Canyon between Nevada and Arizona, the dam is a National Historic Landmark and a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. In 1944, the American Society of Civil Engineers named it one of Americas Seven Modern Civil Engineering Wonders. Construction of Hoover Dam began in 1931, and the last concrete was poured in 1935 - two years ahead of schedule.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt The electrical energy that is generated at the dedicated the dam on September 30, dams power plant is a result of the converting the poten1935 tial energy of the water behind the dam into electrical energy. Water from behind the dam is allowed to stream through pipes near the bottom of the dam. The pipes connect through turbines so that the water turns the turThe powerplant wings were completed in 1936, bines which produces the electricity. The 17 turbines at and the first generator began operation in October of that the Hoover Dam are capable of producing 2000 Mega- year. The 17th and final generator went into commercial watts of power. operation in 1961. Hoover Dams reservior, Lake Mead, is Americas largest man-made reservoir. Named for Reclamamation Commissioner Dr. Elwood Mead, it can River of Service store 28.5 million acre-feet (9.2 trillion gallons) of waFor millions of years, as the Colorado River fol- ter, or nearly 2 years of the rivers average annual flow. lowed its 1,400 mile course from Colorados Rocky (An acre-foot of water would cover a football field to a Mountains to the Gulf of California, people, plants and depth of one foot.) Hoover Dam is named for Herbert Hoover, the animals have depended on its water for sustenance. 31st President of the United States. (It has also been Swollen by the melting snow that provides most of its water, the river frequently flooded low-lying lands called Boulder Dam; the name Hoover Dam was made in the spring and early summer, destroying lives, crops, permanent by Congress in 1947.) President Hoover strongly supported construcand property. In late summer and early fall, it often dried to a trickle, too low to divert. To protect the low-lying tion of a high concrete dam on the Colorado River to lands from flooding, and to assure a stable, year-round control its flows, provide irrigation water to nearby farmlands, and provide a denpendable supply of water for water supply, the river had to be harnessed. Before the river could be harnessed, its waters southern California communities. He advocated that the had to equitable divided among the seven states it serves. Boulder Canyon Project be self-supporting, financed In 1922, a representative from each state and the federal entirely through the sale of hydroelectric power genergovernment met for this purpose. The meetings resulted ated at the dam, which it is today. in the Colorado River Compact. Signed in November 1922, the Compact divided the Colorado River basin into The Story of Hoover Dam will be a continuing series in an upper and lower half, and gave half of the rivers an- the Informer as we travel the highway of electricity. nual estimated flow to each basin. Division of each basins apportionment was left to the states in that basin.
13 The Informer

This electrical genius invented the world's first induction motor.

These examples are cited merely to give an idea of the possibilities of this great scientific advance, which annihilates distance and makes that perfect natural conductor, the Earth, available for all the innumerable purposes which human ingenuity has found for a line-wire. One far-reaching result of this is that any device capable of being operated through one or more wires (at a distance obviously restricted) can likewise be actuated, without artificial conductors and with the same facility and accuracy, at distances to which there are no limits other than those imposed by the physical dimensions of the earth. Thus, not only will entirely new fields for commercial exploitation be opened up by this ideal method of transmission, but the old ones vastly extended. The World System is based on the application of the following import and inventions and discoveries: 1) The Tesla Transformer: This apparatus is in the production of electrical vibrations as revolutionary as gunpowder was in warfare. Currents many times stronger than any ever generated in the usual ways and sparks over one hundred feet long, have been produced by the inventor with an instrument of this kind. 2) The Magnifying Transmitter: This is Teslas best invention, a peculiar transformer specially adapted to excite the earth, which is in the transmission of electrical energy when the telescope is in astronomical observation. By the use of this marvellous device, he has already set up electrical movements of greater intensity than those of lightening and passed a current, sufficient to light more than two hundred incandescent lamps, around the Earth. 3) The Tesla Wireless System: This system comprises a number of improvements and is the only means known for transmitting economically electrical energy to a distance without wires. Careful tests and measurements in connection with an experimental station of great activity, erected by the inventor in Colorado, have demonstrated that power in any desired amount can be conveyed, clear across the Globe if necessary, with a loss not exceeding a few percent. 4) The Art of Individualisation: This invention of Tesla is to primitive Tuning, what refined language is to (The story of Nikola Tesla is continued in each issue unarticulated expression. of the Informer)
14 The Informer

It makes possible the transmission of signals or messages absolutely secret and exclusive both in the active and passive aspect, that is, non-interfering as well as noninterferable. Each signal is like an individual of unmistakable identity and there is virtually no limit to the number of stations or instruments which can be simultaneously operated without the slightest mutual disturbance. 5) The Terrestrial Stationary Waves: This wonderful discovery, popularly explained, means that the Earth is responsive to electrical vibrations of definite pitch, just as a tuning fork to certain waves of sound. These particular electrical vibrations, capable of powerfully exciting the Globe, lend themselves to innumerable uses of great importance commercially and in many other respects. The first World System power plant can be put in operation in nine months. With this power plant, it will be practicable to attain electrical activities up to ten million horse-power and it is designed to serve for as many technical achievements as are possible without due expense. Among these are the following: 1) The inter-connection of existing telegraph exchanges or offices all over the world; 2) The establishment of a secret and non-interferable government telegraph service; 3) The inter-connection of all present telephone exchanges or offices around the Globe; 4) The universal distribution of general news by telegraph or telephone, in conjunction with the Press; 5) The establishment of such a World System of intelligence transmission for exclusive private use; 6) The inter-connection and operation of all stock tickers of the world; 7) The establishment of a World system -- of musical distribution, etc.; 8) The universal registration of time by cheap clocks indicating the hour with astronomical precision and requiring no attention whatever; 9) The world transmission of typed or hand-written characters, letters, checks, etc.; 10) The establishment of a universal marine service enabling the navigators of all ships to steer perfectly without compass, to determine the exact location, hour and speak; to prevent collisions and disasters, etc.; 11) The inauguration of a system of world printing on land and sea; 12) The world reproduction of photographic pictures and all kinds of drawings or records..."


Tom Henry's Code Electrical Classes Inc. is coming to your area for a Saturday and Sunday Seminar on the National Electrical Code to prepare electricians for licensing.

Continuing Education Units are awarded for the electrical seminars.

study smarter not harder

Instructor Tim Henry Vice President Code Electrical Classes Inc.

Instructor Jim Lewis Former Chief Electrical Inspector Walt Disney World

Schedules of Seminars for the Business Law, Journeyman and Master Electricians

January 2006
January 7-8 January 7-8 January 21-22 January 28-29 Indianapolis, IN Jacksonville, FL Des Moines, IA Tampa, FL

April 2006
April 15-16 April 22-23 Jacksonville, FL Columbia, SC

May 2006
May 6-7 May 12 May 13-14 May 13-14 Lakeland, FL Birmingham, AL Business Law Birmingham, AL Kansas City, Missouri

February 2006
February 3 Birmingham, AL Business Law February 4-5 Birmingham, AL February 11-12 Orlando, FL Law Class February 18-19 Lakeland, FL February 24 Atlanta, GA Business Law February 25-26 Atlanta, GA

June 2006
June 3-4 June 17-18 June 24-25 Indianapolis, Indiana Orlando, FL Law Class Tampa, FL

March 2006
March 11-12 Orlando, FL March 18-19 Tampa, FL

**Schedule subject to change. Register online at: YOU CAN REGISTER ON LINE NOW!


15 The Informer


As the president of CEC I look forward to welcoming you as a future electrician and I'm excited to be a part of your exciting future. As of November 21, 2005 we have 1033 students enrolled with 167 graduates from 49 different states and one from Turks, Cacos and Virgin Islands. Im sharing over 45 years of electrical knowledge with you in these 10 modules so you dont have to go through what I did to learn the trade. If I would have had these modules 45 years ago, I cant imagine where I would be today! In 1990 more than 15 million men and women earned their living in the electrical industry, a 20% increase in jobs in just one decade. A shortage of skilled workers predicted for early in the 21st century means that employers will have to compete for them. Now with CEC training you can forget about having to read 200 pages of technical information using all the confusing words that you'd have to look up in the dictionary. CEC starts the student by viewing a 75-120 minute video covering the subject. Next a Module of text with approximately 50 pages with easy to understand pictures is to be read. Following the viewing of the video and the reading of the Module, an exam covering the subject is to be answered and mailed to CEC when completed for personalized grading. Starting with theory and advancing to Ohm's Law, magnetism, safety and tools, wiring methods, services, motors, inspection, maintenance, troubleshooting, etc. Tom Henry will teach the student through his own personally designed modules and animated videos from point zero to an electrician that will not only know how, but why! For more information call today and ask for training director Jim Lewis. Mr. Lewis was the former chief electrical inspector for Walt Disney World.




E-7 THE SERVICE E-8 GROUNDING E-9 MOTORS-BOX and CONDUIT FILL E-10 INSPECTION-MAINTENANCE-METERS Also included in the training program the student will receive the following as the availability allows: Dictionary for the electrician with formulas Big number calculator Build a motor kit Book on the proper use of hand tools Looseleaf National Electrical Code Book (tabbed) personalized with your name in gold letters. Guide book on wiring devices



Learn To Be An Electrician Graduates

Tom Henrys Code Electrical Classes Inc. is proud to announce the following individuals have successfully completed the Learn To Be An Electrician program

CONGRATULATIONS! 166. Lloyd Davis Orange City, Florida 167. Raymond Bressette Anza, California

Now you can order a FREE 20 minute promotional video that previews each of the 10 modules so you can SEE what you'll be learning! Send $5 for shipping and handling charges. An excellent training program for schools to supplement their present program. Discount pricing for contractor training programs and schools.

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CALL 1-800-642-2633 today!

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16 The Informer


By Jim Lewis When you are self employed, you have to do everything for the IRS that an employed person does, and more. As a self employed person, you will have to file your annual 1040 tax return just like you did when you were an employee, plus some other forms. If you earned more than $400 in the taxable year, you will need to report your self-employment taxes on your Form 1040, Schedule SE. Self-employment taxes are not income tax, theyre the same as the FICA withholding that you saw on your pay stub when you were an employee, half of your social security and medicare payment was withheld from your pay, and your employer paid the other half. When you work for yourself, you pay it all. When you worked for someone else, they withheld your taxes and sent them in for you. Now you get to do that for yourself. That withholding is called your quarterly estimated tax payments. The idea here, is that the taxpayer is more likely to be able to pay the taxes if they send the money in installments during the year than if they wait until there's one big tax bill at the end of the year. To accomplish this, you send in your quarterly payment along with a payment voucher called a Form 1040ES. An estimated tax worksheet is included with the instructions that come with the form. If you are an independent contractor, the people who contract with you are supposed to file a Form 1099 whenever they pay you more than $600 in a calendar year. If the 1099's they file does not match your earnings report, you should expect an audit. The IRS believes that people in your position have the most opportunity to under report income, and they are ever on the alert for evidence of that. Which forms you need to file (and there's more) and what kind of payments you have to make on behalf of your business depends on your business structure. Are you a corporation, a sole proprietor, or a partnership? The IRS has some easy to read and free publications to help you. IRS publication 334, Tax Guide for Small Business is excellent. You can pick one up at a local IRS Office, or call them and they will send it to you. It can also be downloaded from the IRS web site. (continued from page 9) Rules that apply to the wiring of swimming pool areas are as important as life and death, and yet Article 680 is probably one of the most inconsistently applied articles in the entire National Electrical Code. There are comparatively simple remedies which, when made by qualified licensed electricians, will dramatically improve the safety of these older installations. The code-enforcing authority will judge each installation and determine its acceptability, and many jurisdictions have local code rules that supersede the National Electrical Code minimum. Doing whats right isnt the problem. Its knowing whats right. In the end, it is education that will make a difference. And educated we will become - either by books, videos, seminars, or by lawsuits.

Dorm smoke alarm alerts occupants

Connecticut - Smoke from a bedroom fire in a college dormitory room activated the smoke detection system in the dorms hallway and common areas, alerting the fire department and the occupants, all of whom evacuated without incident. The four-story building had concrete floors and walls, and a brick exterior. A fire detection system with smoke detectors in the corridors and common areas was monitored by a central station alarm company. There were no sprinklers. The 8:30 pm fire began when an electric appliance cord that was touching a metal bed frame failed and ignited the bedding in one of the bedrooms of a firstfloor suite.


The Informer

Building a Strong Maintenance Cross Training Program

Cross training expands the abilities of an experienced technician to include a broader range of skills; for example, training mechanics to do some amount of electrical work. Multicraft training usually involves expanding the know-how of existing workers but may refer to introducing apprentice-level workers to a range of skills. Why cross train? Productivity is the driving force. In a perfect world, there would always be enough work for electricians and an electrician would be on hand to do a few minutes of work that would otherwise keep the mechanics on hold. In reality, the more rigid an operations job descriptions and work rules, the more likely that millwrights will wait for an electrician to disconnect power before a machine move. This idle time is nonproductive and the workforce is less efficient. Lower costs come from improved productivity and a reduction in support personnel. If machine operators can perform periodic maintenance and minor repairs, the demands these routine tasks place on the maintenance department decrease. This approach takes advantage of the operators ability to know the machine and, sometimes, when it is heading for trouble. Improved worker satisfaction and retention is another reason to cross train. Cross training empowers workers by making them more flexible and demonstrates an employers willingness to invest in workers skills. Maintenance workers who already earn more than their less-skilled counterparts recognize that expanded abilities means higher wages in the long run. Cross training builds on the existing educational foundation, strengthens confidence, and reinforces what may have already been learned informally. If an operation employs a number of maintenance technicians, there is probably enough work to keep all of them busy. If so, avoid a training effort that monopolizes productive work time. When a large part of training time occurs during scheduled work hours, someones work is not being completed. It is a great idea to train mechanics in the basics of electrical circuit troubleshooting. But if, in the process, reduced manpower means PMs are delayed and downtime increases, it will be difficult to continue the training effort. Sooner or later the strain that is added to the maintenance load will wear down everyones commitment to training.

Offer workers incentives to train. Besides financial incentives, formal journeyman recognition along with increased job security and the long-term ability to earn more can encourage participation in a cross training program. Committing funds to a program to compensate workers for completing a training program and demonstrating on-the-job skills improvement can be cost justified. And if training is carried out away from work hours, most incentives would be cost effective from the first day of the training program. Value an employees commitment by following a targeted training approach. Recognize that the goal in cross training is to take a group of individuals with established skills and broaden their capabilities. A cross training program needs to account for trade-to-trade differences in pre-existing skills (electricians will not need the same training to work with instrumentation as mechanics might) and differences in workers backgrounds. A targeted program that allows some customization for individual workers pays dividends. A commitment to helping workers avoid training in areas they have already mastered shows that management values their time and effort. Implementing a Cross Training Program Identify operational needs and keep training focused on those skills. Tailor the training program to match workers abilities. Set realistic but solid challenges. Systematically monitor progress and remember that managements interest is contagious. Watch for workers who need an extra push, or extra help, and administer it quickly. Incentives should be linked to training and on-the-job requirements.


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19 The Informer


...If you want continuing education, subscribe to the INFORMER and keep abreast with the electrical industry as it grows
The Informers staff of Consulting Editors ........

Alan Nadon Elkhart, Indiana

Brian McPartland Tappan, New York

John Bush Bellefontaine, Ohio

Paul Ward Southlake, Texas

Robert Williamson Mill Spring, North Carolina

Ron Ellerbee Orlando, Florida

Tim Henry Oviedo, Florida

Tom Henry Winter Park, Florida

Jim Lewis Orlando, Florida

Tim Chinchor Orange City Florida


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