Tracing Ground Leakage with a Clamp-Meter

Jeffrey R. Jowett Columns, Summer 2020 Columns, Tech Tips

The clamp-on current meter that appeared in the late 20th century was a blessing to everyone working in electrical testing. It improved the vital measurement of one of the three components of Ohm’s Law by a quantum leap. No more difficult, costly, time-consuming, and potentially dangerous direct connections to live circuitry. Just clamp a pair of jaws around a conductor …

Safety First, Last, and Always

James R. White Columns, Summer 2020 Columns, Tech Quiz

Everyone says they want to be safe, but when you get right down to it, some are more serious — or possibly they understand the consequences of incorrect decisions more accurately — than others. Whoever performed the repair in this photo did not have a clue what they were doing or the possible consequences of such shoddy work. Thankfully, we …

Limiting Arc Flash Exposure on Low-Voltage Systems

Scott A. Blizard Columns, Safety Corner, Summer 2020 Columns

As the electrical industry addresses arc flash electrical safety concerns, it now acknowledges the high risks associated with what used to be normal maintenance tasks. In many cases, excessively high arc flash incident energy levels require all maintenance to be done with equipment de-energized, despite the fact that it may not always be considered feasible. In addition to the usual …

The Pool Is Empty!

Don A. Genutis Columns, In the Field, Summer 2020 Columns

I was awakened by a phone call at 3:30AM on a recent Saturday morning and somehow cleared my voice well enough for the customer to understand we would mobilize a technician ASAP to troubleshoot flooding at one of his campus buildings. By 4:15AM, our technician was on site with campus electricians discussing a situation involving the physical education building at …

Archiving Protective Relay Settings

Steve Turner Columns, Relay Column, Summer 2020 Columns

Electric utilities have vast numbers of protective relays in their fleets, including generation, transmission, and distribution systems. It is very important to maintain an accurate database that stores the actual in-service settings for each and every relay. Off-the-shelf software already exists for storing and keeping track of all relay settings (Figure 1). It is vital to download the relay settings …

The Key to Understanding NFPA 70E

Ron Widup and James (Jim) R. White Columns, NFPA 70E and NETA, Summer 2020 Columns

The 2021 edition of the NFPA 70E is almost upon us. In June 2020, it should be approved at the technical meeting during the NFPA Conference and Expo, and the Standards Council will issue the standard soon thereafter, likely in August 2020. A pdf version of the standard will likely be released in September, with a printed copy available in …

Fight COVID-19 with PPE

Scott A. Blizard Columns, President's Desk, Summer 2020 Columns

It was great seeing everyone at PowerTest 2020 in Chicago! On behalf of the NETA Board of Directors, we thank our sponsors, Corporate Alliance Partners, and trade show vendors, and applaud the hard work and dedication of the NETA Staff who help make PowerTest successful. In this NETA World, we look at NFPA 70E‐2018 requirements for labeling electrical equipment for …