Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

 

AFCI2

Thanks to the 2015 version of the Canadian Electrical Code, which mandates arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) protection in designated branch circuits in dwelling units, electrical professionals and consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the need for and the benefits of AFCIs. They continuously monitor the electrical current in a circuit and are designed to detect the characteristics uniquely associated with arcing faults. These devices provide both series and parallel arc fault protection to the entire branch circuit wiring including cord sets, and power supply cords connected to the outlets, against the unwanted effects of arcing.

When arcing fault characteristics are detected, AFCIs de-energize the circuit in fractions of a second. The AFCI can be reset manually, but until the suspect condition is eliminated, the AFCI will continue to trip, preventing an arc from being sustained long enough to create a fire.AFCI technology has been tested extensively in laboratories for more than a decade. Use in actual field applications is wide spread and continually increasing.

Arc faults: A potentially silent and invisible fire hazard

In each of three situations outlined below, the result is an arcing fault that can reach several thousand degrees centigrade, enough to ignite many materials. One of the greatest dangers is that the entire process may occur silently and invisibly.

Examples of this dangerous condition have been reproduced repeatedly in laboratory experiments,allowing researchers to document the process that leads to arc faults. In everyday life, the receptacle, power supply cord, wall switch, heater, or hair dryer that work perfectly one day seem to“inexplicably”create a fire the next. But anyone familiar with the process of arc faults understands exactly what occurred and that it was, in fact, inevitable given the right conditions.

It’s important to note that while arc faults occur often in older electrical systems,new electrical systems also can be just as susceptible to certain types of arc faults. Arc fault scenarios initiated by a nail driven into the wall that accidentally nicks an electrical wire, wire damage during installation or due to abuse, defective or misapplied equipment,moisture or contaminants introduced between conductors of different voltages, loose or improper connections, even connecting an aging appliance with a concealed internal arc fault to a new electrical system — any of these situations and many more can cause arc fault induced fires in new construction. As much as we might like to think of new construction as safe, the simple fact is that arcf aults do not discriminate between new and existing construction.

How arc-fault conditions can develop

So how do arcing faults occur? And why does the time for them to develop vary so widely? These questions can be answered by examining the three basic types of arcing: line-to-neutral, line-to-ground,and series arcing. Although many examples may be found for each of these types of arcing, an explanation of a few specific examples is provided here to better describe the various hazardous conditions that can exist.

1. Line-to-neutral arc fault

A damaged power supply cord can be an example of a line-to neutral arc fault. Power supply cords can experience repetitive flexing that, over time, may damage the insulation and/or conductors inside. This flexing may be caused by repetitive use — plugging and unplugging a hair dryer day after day or wrapping a cord around a toaster for storage, or from a door or other obstruction that continually pinches the cord.

Line to Neutral Arc Fault

PHOTO 1: Example of line-to-neutral arc fault (door pinching power cord)

This process may cause the cord to be worn to the point that the insulation between the line and neutral conductors is no longer sufficient to prevent an arc from forming. The insulating material will carbonize quickly, causing an arc fault and further degradation of the insulation.

2. Line-to-ground arc faults

A line-to-ground arc can occur from an event as simple as hanging a picture. Very few people know what is behind the drywall when they drive a nail. The wiring in most homes, typically wire, runs behind this drywall. The nail driven to hang a picture can easily penetrate the insulation of wire. Wire typically includes a bare ground wire positioned between individually insulated hot and neutral conductors.

Line to Ground Arc Fault

PHOTO 2: Example of line-to-ground arc fault (nail puncturing wire)

If the hot wire insulation is damaged by a nail, a line-to ground arc v can easily occur. The danger may not be revealed quickly. Sufficient air may separate the nail from the ground wire to prevent immediate arcing. However, surges along the wire, such as those generated by vacuum cleaners or lightning, can cause a carbon path to form between the energized nail and the ground wire, starting the process of a line-to-ground arc fault.

3. Series arc faults

A series arc fault can occur anywhere in the line or neutral wire of a circuit. By definition, the current flowing in a series arc fault is limited by the load on the circuit. The connection at a receptacle outlet is an example of a place where a series arc fault may occur. Even when thought to be properly installed, the screw terminal that connects a wire to a receptacle may become loose as the receptacle is pushed back into the work box. The photo below illustrates the movement of the neutral wire after force has been applied to insert the receptacle into the box.

Series Arc Fault

PHOTO 3: Example of series arc fault (pushing receptacle into box)

In the example above, pushing the receptacle into the box created a counterclockwise torque on the screw terminal. This torque could loosen the connection if it were not tightened sufficiently. This loose connection may carry current without arcing after installation. However, intermittent current flow is part of the design of every electrical system and appliance. With very few exceptions, electrical circuits do not run continuously. Loads cycle on and off, either manually or automatically. This intermittent current flow creates heating and cooling cycles at the screw v terminal electrical connection. This cycling can cause a thin oxidation layer to form on the connection surfaces. This oxidation layer acts as an insulator. However, the typical 120VACline voltage is enough to exceed the insulating capacity of the oxide layer. When the voltage exceeds the insulating value of the oxidation layer, electrons jump the insulating gap, allowing current flow in the form of an arc fault. The increased heat from arc formation further accelerates the formation of a carbonized path.

Line to Ground Arc Fault

PHOTO 4: Example of potential line-to-ground arc fault (wire stapled too tight)

Adapted from an article first published by Siemens. For more about Siemens Combination Type Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters for residential applications, visit www.siemens.ca/afci.

Canadian Electrical Code: 26-724 Branch circuits for dwelling units

Section 26 of the CE Code, Part I, Installation of electrical equipment, requires that residential dwelling units have enough
• branch circuits to supply the needs of electrical appliances normally used in such units
• receptacles as required by the section

Appearing below are specifics from Rule 26-724.

(f) each branch circuit supplying 125 volt receptacles rated 20 A or less shall be protected by a combination type arc fault circuit interrupter except for branch circuits supplying:

i. receptacles installed in accordance with:

i. 26-710(f); and
ii. 26-712(d)(i), (iii), (iv) and (v); and
ii. a single receptacle for a sump pump where:
i. the receptacle is labelled in a conspicuous, legible, and permanent manner identifying it as a sump pump receptacle; and
ii. the branch circuit does not supply any other receptacles; and
(g) Not withstanding item (f), the entire branch circuit is not required to be provided with arc fault protection where:
i. an outlet branch circuit type arc-fault circuit interrupter [1] is installed at the first outlet on the branch circuit; and
ii. the wiring method for the portion of the branch circuit between the branch-circuit overcurrent device and the first outlet is comprised of metal raceway, armoured cable, or non-metallic conduit or tubing.
a Please refer to the C22.1-12 Canadian Electrical Code, Part I (2015) for complete code rules.

1. An outlet branch circuit type arc-fault circuit interrupter provides both series and parallel arc fault protection to downstream branch circuit wiring, cord sets, and power-supply cords against the unwanted effects of arcing and also provides series arc fault protection to upstream branch circuit wiring.

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Government of CanadaThe federal governemnt has officially launched a call for proposals (CFP) for the Zero-Emission Vehicle Awareness Initiative (ZEVAI). The initiative’s 2022 CFP will help fund new and innovative projects that aim to increase awareness and knowledge of ZEVs and charging and refueling infrastructure thereby increasing public confidence in these vehicles and their economic and environmental benefits.


Natural Resources Canada will provide funding through non-repayable contributions of between 50 and 75 percent of the total eligible project costs, with a maximum funding of up to $300,000 per project. The CFP will close on August 18, 2022.

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Omnicable joins ETIMETIM North America announced that OmniCable has joined the product classification standards organization. Headquartered in West Chester, PA, OmniCable has 24 locations throughout North America, and also owns Houston Wire & Cable (HWC). The company partners with many electrical manufacturers and only sells to distributors.

According to John Dean, Director of Marketing & E-Commerce, OmniCable/HWC, “The wire and cable industry is often called commodities, but there are very distinct features and attributes for the different products our manufacturers produce. 

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Atkore United Poly SystemsAtkore Inc. announced that it has acquired United Poly Systems, a manufacturer of High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) pressure pipe and conduit, primarily serving telecom, water infrastructure, renewables, and energy markets.

“We are pleased to complete the acquisition of United Poly Systems, which strengthens Atkore’s product portfolio, expands our manufacturing capacity and further enables us to meet HDPE customers’ needs,” stated John Pregenzer, President of Atkore’s Electrical business. “HDPE pipe and conduit is a growing market that is expected to benefit from U.S. infrastructure legislation, and United Poly Systems is a great addition to Atkore. We welcome these employees and look forward to working together to continue to serve and support our customers.”

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Canadian Electrical Contractor Discussion Group: Can You Count the Deficiencies?

EIN CECD 400Have you ever been called to fix the work of a 'handyman'?

"Was supposedly done by a"certified ' electrician....told the homeowner that he got a $266 permit....no record at TSBC. Can you count the deficiencies?"

"There is a second panel change in the triplex also.......even more deficiencies. Think the guy was a glorified handyman. Ones not obvious: 240 BB heat hooked up 120....drier on 2p20....range on 2p50....water heater fed with 2c14 Bx on 2p15."

Go HERE to join the discussion

 


 

Grimard is More Competitive and Produces Estimates 3X Faster with Procore

ProcoreWhen the pandemic lockdowns started in March of 2020, Grimard (an electrical contractor) had to decide whether to shut down its operations entirely or implement a new platform with people who were now freely available for work. Once they implemented Procore, they found a way to efficiently communicate with stakeholders and offer full transparency in terms of project costs and planning. It also allowed Grimard to utilize historical data to make project estimates more accurate. Grimard was able to streamline its bidding process, which made it more attractive to potential clients and helped the business grow.

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Iron+EarthThe RenuWell Project partners are excited to announce the groundbreaking of two pilot sites located near Taber, Alberta. These pilot sites are the first of their kind to repurpose inactive oil and gas infrastructure as a foundation for renewable energy development and job creation.

When operating, the solar projects will generate 2,030 MWh annually – enough electricity to power 280 average Alberta households or irrigate 11,700 acres of farmland for an average year. This is roughly equivalent to $200,000 in electricity sales per year with 1,100  tCO2e savings in GHG emissions. Over a 25-year lifespan, the projects will generate 50,750 MWh, with GHG emission savings of 28,420 tCO2e.

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David O'ReillyBy Elle Bremmer

Recently, I had the pleasure of sitting down with David O’Reilly, Vice President Home & Distribution and Secure Power Divisions with Schneider Electric Canada for a discussion regarding the Wiser EnergyTM smart home solution, the Wiser Approved training program, and his thoughts on several different subjects, including sustainability and future technologies currently in the works at Schneider Electric. David has been with the company for five and a half years in his role.

We recently published a study (version en français ICI) from Schneider Electric showing a strong interest from Canadians in smart home technology. 

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SimplySnap: It Just Works.

SynapseSmart technology is only smart if it works, and SimplySnap? It just works.
Scalable, field-proven, DLC NLC 5.0 qualified, and easy-to-install wireless network
lighting controls are in-stock. Explore energy code compliant SimplySnap
technology here.

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Infinitely capable, these ruggedly built products have several industry leading & exclusive features including:

Industrial String Lights:

  • A United States Navy Specification since before WWII, they’re time and application tested...

 

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Intermatic Pool and Spa SolutionIntermatic Incorporated announced its new P40000 Series Load Centers, a set of next-generation panels for pool-only applications, as well as its new PE24GVA 24-Volt Valve Actuator, an easy-to-install valve actuator that allows for tool-free cam adjustments. Both solutions remove obstacles for pool service professionals while delivering lasting performance.

“Intermatic load centers and valve actuators have been the preferred choice of pool professionals for more than 30 years,” says Brian Lamberty, product marketing manager at Intermatic. “The PE24GVA and P40000 Series build on that tradition, helping pool professionals streamline service calls while setting the standard for quality and performance.”

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Klein Tools Zipper BagsKlein Tools introduces new Stand-up Zipper Bags, in a 2-Pack with 7-Inch and 14-Inch sizes, both designed to handle tough jobsite conditions and stand up so tools and small parts can be easily accessed when working.

Stand-up Zipper Bags, 7-Inch and 14-Inch, 2-Pack (Cat. No. 55559)

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To help safeguard employees from electrocution, Emerson has launched its Appleton™ Powertite™ Lock Collar, a device that fastens over plug and connector connections and is secured with a padlock, preventing unauthorized personal from disconnecting the cable connection once in place. 

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