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11-30-2009, 07:34 AM #1
I would like to start a discussion of the definition of permanent. Yes, I will start to sound Clintonesque in this but I am doing this for a reason. Article 210.5(D)(2) allows for cord and plug connected or permanently connected utilization equipment other than luminaires to be connected to circuits with voltages between 277 and 600 volts or less. Using an extremist definition of permanent that has been espoused regarding whether taping an ungrounded conductor is permanent, I could deny a hard-wired piece of equipment. After all it could be removed, therefore it is not permanent. The Code does not say hard-wired, it clearly says permanent. Is this definition of permanent different than Article 200.7s definition? Would this be reasonable? According to a dictionary; adj, existing perpetually; everlasting. Certainly machines wear out so they are not everlasting. So are they prohibited unless cord and plug connected?
Is paint a permanent means of marking? The nylon coating over the insulation is a slick and fairly non-porous material. This limits the ability for the paint to properly adhere. It is also easy to remove by flexing the conductor or under light pressure or scraping. So this really is not permanent is it? Wait you say, that would be the intentional removal of the re-identification. OK, so would the unwrapping of tape from a conductor.
Would you say that proper identification of an ungrounded conductor was less important than a grounded conductor? Taping has been allowed for years by 210.5. Surely we would not want a phase to phase fault or are they less dangerous than a hot to ground fault?
Perhaps the difference is that CMP 2 wrote Article 210 and CMP 5 wrote Article 200. Different groups with the same intention but different words. Maybe the esteemed members just realized that standard industry practice was all they were really after, safe identification of a conductor’s purpose.
11-30-2009, 08:54 AM #2
I think it depends on personal (or official) interpretation. If permanent is everlasting, then houses are not permanent. Maybe permanent is related to the fixture that it serves. Something that does not need to be moved, such as a water heater or furnace, instead of a toaster.
Other than that, it would depend on the AHJ. Interpretation of code is not within a home inspector's job description.
Department of Redundancy Department
11-30-2009, 09:18 AM #3
I would tend to agree that the dictionary definition of permanent is not truly suitable in regards to systems that have a lifespan. I feel a more reasonable one would be suitable for the expected lifespan of the equipment, not the extremist wordsmith version of others.
Some here have made this a much bigger issue than it needs to be. I am glad that more reasonable minds prevail around my area regarding the issue of taping, splices in panels, NM-B in crawlspaces and other issues. Having a background in actual field work can lead to intelliegent discussions among professionals. Not just an unbending recitation of things that are taken out of context or run counter to industry practices.
I would certainly be lost trying to hold a conversation about surgery with a doctor after only reading a how to book. However, the same conversation between two surgeons would take on an entirely different feel since there would be a shared experience between the two. The other could appreciate the difficulties faced and would be able to relate.
11-30-2009, 12:57 PM #4
I do not believe that "permanent" is expected to be defined as "everlasting". I do think that the poster may draw too fine a line between the two. There may be a quasi-continuum, but there are two distinct boundaries within the definitions.
I'm in the school that agrees paint, tape and even "permanent" markers are all "permanent" within the context implied by the code. None, of course, would be "everlasting".
11-30-2009, 02:48 PM #5
I would hope reasonable folks could agree on something like:
permanent in the context of the NEC means that something is installed and not meant to be removed save for replacement or maintenance and/or will last for the anticipated life of the installation and/or remains in place without an active effort to be removed.
After all, permanent is not defined in the NEC and is a bit ambiguous as we are usually dealing with structures in its' application - hardly "permanent" things in their own right.