Canadian Electrical Industry News Week


Nov 12, 2017

Bill BurrBy William (Bill) Burr

In this article: Section 60 — Electrical Communications Systems. Rule 60-000 states that this is a supplementary or amendatory section of the code and applies to the installation of communication systems that carry audio, video, or data information and supervision or control signals (note that if the circuit delivers an off/on signal only, it falls under Section 16 Class 1 and Class 2 Circuits). Appendix B and the CE Code Handbook provide additional information.




This section is divided into the following parts:

• General
• Protection
• Inside Conductors
• Wiring methods
• Equipment
• Outside Conductors
• Underground Circuits
• Grounding

General Rules 60-100 to 60-110 contain a Special Terminology definition of Exposed Plant. They also provide requirements for

• use of approved equipment, if connected to exposed plant, a telecommunications network, or if required by other specific rules of this section

• use of a communication building entrance cable assembly for communication cables for radio and television circuits, remote control circuits, and fire alarm circuits or parts, providing they are suitably protected at the point of interface connection

• installation in hazardous locations to follow Sections 18, 20 or 24

• exemption from regulatory inspection of circuits employed by an electric or communication utility in its function as a utility, except for the junction of the transformer or other current-limiting device of the circuit supplying power to the communications circuit

• use of approved transformers that supply current to a communication circuit

Protection Rules 60-200 to 60-204 require that approved communication system primary protectors be

• installed in each exposed communication circuit

o immediately adjacent to the structure or building served
o as close as practicable to the point at which the conductors enter or attach
o not in a hazardous location

except where no portion of the circuit is considered exposed plant

• located in a separate room or area as required by Rule 2-202 Guarding of live parts, and with a minimum separation from electrical light or power installations.

• connected between each line conductor and ground, and have a fuse connected in series in each line conductor, except the protector may be fuseless where

o the conductors in the cable
o the circuits served by insulated conductors extending to a building from a grounded metal-sheathed or shielded cable
o the primary protector grounding conductor, grounded in conformance with Rule 60-704

safely fuse at currents less than the ampacity of the primary protector, the associated insulated conductors, and the primary protector grounding conductor. Also, on circuits in a cable with a grounded metal sheath or shield that are subject to lightning strikes but are otherwise not exposed plant, the protector may be fuseless.

• suitable for the application where installed in high voltage stations. Reference ANSI/IEEE 487 standard.

Inside Conductors Rules 60-300 to 60-334 outline the requirements for the installation of communication conductors installed in buildings. The specifications are:

• raceways are to be installed as per Section 12 Wiring methods and Section 10 Grounding and bonding

• conductors are to be selected as per Rule 4-008(1) Insulated conductors

• the outer metal covering of wire and cable are to be bonded to ground

• there must be a level of minimum separation from other conductors depending on voltage level, installation in metal raceway, metal sheathed or armoured cable, hard-usage cord flexible cable, or non-metal raceway barrier. There are additional requirements where bare light or power conductors are present

• data processing system interconnection cables may contain power and communication circuits, if specifically approved for this purpose

• conductors may not be placed in any outlet box, junction box, raceway, or similar fitting or compartment that contains conductors of electric light, power or of Class 1 circuits (as defined in Rule 16-002), unless separated from the other conductors by a suitable partition; or the power conductors solely supply power to the communication system, or remote-control equipment. Note also that no such communication conductors may have green-coloured insulation outside of a cable sheath or jacket

• conductors in a building not be placed in a shaft with the conductors of an electric light or power system, unless the conductors of all systems are insulated and are separated by at least 50 mm; or are encased in non-combustible tubing

• conductors extending through a fire separation must be installed in accordance with Rule 2-128 Fire Spread

• installing conductors in hoistways requires special permission from the inspection authority and they must be enclosed in continuous metal raceway except for travelling cables. Pullboxes must be located outside the hoistway

• conductors may only be installed in ducts or plenum chambers in accordance with Rules 2-130 Flame spread requirements for electrical wiring and cables and 12-010 Wiring in ducts and plenum chambers

• conductors may be installed under a non-combustible raised floor, without additional mechanical protection, provided that a minimum separation of 50 mm from power supply wiring is maintained. Where the space under the raised floor is an air plenum, the conductors must only serve the equipment located above the raised floor

• conductors not terminated on a device, must be capped or taped

Rules 60-324 to 60-334 apply to communication flat cable type (CFC) systems and specifies

• where CFC system wiring may and may not be installed

• protective coverings and cross-over and under requirements as per rule 12-820 Crossings

• stacking of CFC

• shielding and bonding to ground

Equipment rules 60-400 to 60-408, require that communication equipment

• installed in bathrooms and areas adjacent to pools be

o installed in accordance with rule 68-070
o permanently attached to the wall (no jacks)
o located so no part can be reached from the bath or shower, except by a cord with an insulating link

• not be placed in ducts, plenums, or hollow spaces used to transport environmental air, nor in suspended ceiling areas, except for non-protective type connecting blocks installed in an accessible enclosure

• be located in a separate room or area, as required by Rule 2-202, and with a minimum separation from electrical light or power installations, and if placed in a joint-use room, a minimum separation of 900 mm from electrical equipment requiring adjustment and maintenance

• be provided with a current-limiting device, installed in, or adjacent to, the equipment, that will limit the current under normal operating conditions, and under fault conditions

• be bonded to ground, as per Rule 24-104(7), where installed in basic care areas of hospitals, as defined in Section 24 Patient care areas
Outside Conductors Rules 60-500 to 60-518, provide requirements for

• installation on poles to be in accordance with the Canadian Electrical Code, Part III

• installation on roofs

o at least 2.5 m above any roof that can be readily walked upon
o not be attached to the upper surfaces of roofs or be run within 2 m, measured vertically, of a roof unless a deviation has been allowed in accordance with Rule 2-030
o a deviation in accordance with Rule 2-030 is not necessary if the building is a garage or other auxiliary building of one storey

• Installation of circuits requiring primary conductors in accordance with Rule 60-200 including:

o insulation of wire and cable
o location and separation from light and power conductors and combustible material when installed on buildings
o methods of entering buildings
o using Rule 70-106 for entering mobile homes

• separation from lightning conductors

• installation in accordance with Rules 68-054 and 68-056 over or adjacent to swimming pools

Underground Circuits Rules 60-600 to 60-604, provide requirements for

• suitability of conductors and cables, position, depth, protection with sand and mechanical protection, depending on conditions, for direct buried systems

• position, depth, termination and sealing of underground raceways, and suitability and separation of cables installed in raceways

• exemptions from rules 60-200, 60-506, 60-508, 60-510(3) and 60-512 for underground block distribution

Grounding Rules 60-700 to 60-710 provide requirements for

• minimum ampacity of conductor bonding to ground of cable sheaths

• installation, insulation, minimum size, and protection from mechanical damage of the primary protector bonding to ground conductor

• selection and installation of a suitable grounding electrode for bonding to ground the communications system

• interconnection of the communication and power grounding electrodes, where separate as described in Rule 60-706(4)

In the next instalment, we will be discussing Section 62 — Fixed electric heating systems.

The source for this series of articles is the Canadian Electrical Code, Part I, published by CSA. Note the CEC Handbook is also published by CSA.
William (Bill) Burr is the former Chair of the Canadian Advisory Council on Electrical Safety (CACES), former Director of Electrical and Elevator Safety for the Province of BC, and former Director of Electrical and Gas Standards Development and former Director of Conformity Assessment at CSA Group. Bill can be reached at Burr and Associates Consulting;

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