Watt's the Word - An Electrical Industry Podcast

What's New in the Code

February 14, 2022 David Myers Episode 11
What's New in the Code
Watt's the Word - An Electrical Industry Podcast
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Watt's the Word - An Electrical Industry Podcast
What's New in the Code
Feb 14, 2022 Episode 11
David Myers

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With the 2021 Canadian Electrical Code (25th Edition) now in effect (in Alberta), we thought this was a great time to re-visit our first episode of the show. We are chatting with David Myers about some of the biggest changes coming to the new edition, plus discuss the logistics and importance of taking a code updating course.

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Connect with us on Instagram or Facebook - @wattsthewordpodcast

Show Notes Transcript

Send us a Text Message.

With the 2021 Canadian Electrical Code (25th Edition) now in effect (in Alberta), we thought this was a great time to re-visit our first episode of the show. We are chatting with David Myers about some of the biggest changes coming to the new edition, plus discuss the logistics and importance of taking a code updating course.

Support the Show.

Connect with us on Instagram or Facebook - @wattsthewordpodcast

Jason Cox:

Hello, and welcome to Watt's the Word, an electrical industry Podcast. I'm Jason Cox, and along with Zack Hartle, we're having relevant conversations with members of our electrical community. On February 1, the Alberta government formally adopted the Canadian electrical code 25th edition, Zack, and I thought it was a good idea on this episode for us to go back and revisit our conversation we had with Dave Meyers. Dave is an electrical instructor. And he teaches the What's New in the code course. And Dave is going to tell us some of the highlights of this new edition of the code. So take a listen. And remember that any permit you take out February 1 and beyond is on that new 25th edition. Take a listen. And we'll talk to you soon.

David Myers:

Hello, folks, thanks for the intro. Yeah, let's get started. All right. So

Jason Cox:

Dave, when I looked at this new code book briefly, I've been in the trade now for I think it's 25 years. And so these code books have progressively gotten bigger and bigger and bigger, the bindings have changed. And they've been pretty similar for the last couple of years. But I looked at this new codebook. And I was initially excited because it was last page numbers, I did realize it was missing missing the index. But then I kind of looked at it a little more carefully. And it looks like either I'm getting older, or some of that text is getting smaller in some of the tables.

David Myers:

Yeah, the way they printed the tables is a little different than the 21 book. I haven't noticed it quite as much just because I've been using the soft copy for almost everything. But yeah, there's there's especially you know, the new table six, if you've seen that one? Sure. I designed a few questions based on that table. And Holy smokes, I got three different answers to the same question all three times. And that's because I was doing it, you know, or I was finding the wrong spot in the table. Because the new table six, if you haven't seen it, is a solid block of numbers. And it's easy to just, you know, point to the wrong spot and end up with the wrong answer. So definitely some changes in how the tables look. I think the font remain the same from the 2018 book, if I remember, right, I think they changed fonts from 15 to 18.

Jason Cox:

Yeah, the real numbers look very similar, like I without really examining it, but I did notice some of the organization of the tables and the font size is clearly different than some of those tables. And the way that they're laid out now was a little different, too. So reluctantly, wearing glasses now and following like you said, with a ruler to make sure that I'm following the same column. Yeah,

David Myers:

well, for how much we use table six, even in the field, right table six, if you're, if you're not familiar is the the table we use to size conduits to fit wires in very commonly used in the fields very commonly used at school. You know, some highlights across the table to make sure you're on the right line and right column would be would be well served there for sure. All right, so

Zack Hartle:

we've got table six has changed. I think what what else matters, you know, what else? What are the big changes that we are looking into? Right? I mean, you are, as you mentioned, teach the What's New in the code course, but what are the big ones that are going to affect? I guess, everyday electricians, you know,

David Myers:

you bet. So, if this will be a very short, you know, very just a hey, heads up, these are the changes, you know, and if you do want all of the changes and how they work and calculation examples, you know, any your listeners, I would recommend taking a cold updating course, there's quite a few on offer. If you're a master electrician in Alberta, you're going to have to take one, but even if you're not even if you're a journeyman or a very interested in apprentice journey person or very interested apprentice, there's lots of these courses on offer. Safe offers one. It's called the What's New in the code, if you search for it on state's website, it's about six hours, there's a little quiz at the end, we cover every meaningful change in the whole codebook. For here, I've just sort of gone through and said, Okay, look, these are the ones that affect the most people. And so I'm not gonna go through the rule numbers or any of that stuff. I'm just gonna say, hey, heads up, this is coming. February 2022 is when it's adopted in Alberta and enforce so any permits pulled after that date. This is the stuff that you guys should be aware of. So first things first, we got flood requirements throughout section two, section six section 26. They've defined a flood hazard zone, very, very similar to the requirements that have have been in Calgary since 2013. So now they're in our electoral code. So just a heads up that that's where you can find those requirements now, and it's still up to the municipality as to whether or not something requires flood mitigation, but it is listed in code. Another thing that came up is table 39, which was a strange table for sizing residential services and feeders they've deleted that they've gotten rid of it. In regards to residential panelboards, there was a big archaic rule in Section eight for a whole pile of stuff, they've deleted it and simplified that, they simply say you need a certain number of empty spaces leftover at the end of the job. Easy, the number of outlets per circuit has changed. So in the past, it was 12. Non stop, and that was that now it's, you can have more depending on the type of overcurrent device you have. So you can get more than 12 outlets on a on a 20 amp circuit, for example. There's a few other allowances in there. There's something that we should all be aware of. And we should all be asking people abouts, if you read in Section 12, it looks like it requires ft six flame test six Lumix in the in cold air returns. So last I checked Lumex was ft four I think so just something that needs to be asked there in the in the memorandum of revision in the code discussions that go into these changes. They did say that there was no change in intent, but in the wording of the rule, it certainly looks to have have changed. So you guys will need to be having some discussions about the type of Lumex that you run through cold air returns in houses. So table 19, they've completely changed that as well. They deleted it, rewrote it, the old table 19 had 39 or 37 notes at the bottom. There are now none. So it's much better and much simpler to use. For residential, there's one really big one, when you're running Lumix down the side of a stud, for example, to a three gang switch or something like that, you now have to keep that Lumex back 32 millimeters from the front edge from the drywall edge of a stud. So if you know a two by four is about 84 millimeters wide, take 32 from each side, you're left with about one inch in the middle of it, you can staple 24 millimeters or so in the middle of that you can staple so a four gang switch a three gang switch anything where you got a lot of wires going down the same stud space, I do believe there are brackets available, but you'll have to buy those brackets now. So for you residential folks out there, that's going to be a big one for us for sure. With that they've put in a relaxation for Lumex and conduits if you're out there doing a lot of hot tubs or something like that, and you want to run the number six and a conduit where it leaves the house in the 21 codebook it's very clearly worded that you can whereas in the 18 codebook it sort of pretty well says that you can't. Conduit sizing has not changed in terms of what size conduit you'll get for the most part but there's no longer a quick lookup for conduit sizing we used to be able to use table six just straight up, plunk your finger down you can get eight wires and a three quarter inch and just off you go there is now a three table requirements and the calculation required every time you size conduit. So that will be a bit of a frustration. Of course when I say three tables, one of them is table eight it's always 40% Pretty much but you know that's not true. If you have two wires in a conduit though it's it's different. Right? So a little bit more involved for for conduit size. barns, livestock buildings, the classification has been very stringently identified in Section 22. So if you're doing a lot of farm work or rural work, just be very aware of what's happened with that. There was apparently some fires and and a lot of lost livestock. And so they've really stringently worded how they've done that now. Secondary suites, there has been some panelboard and branch circuit relaxations for secondary suites. So, again, pretty similar to what we've been doing in the City of Calgary, but now it's in our codebook. For you larger residential and commercial folks, every 15 or 20 amp receptacle outside requires GFCI so all your car stalls, all that stuff that didn't need them in the past. You're going to need GFCI protection on that stuff. So that's a big one for a lot of companies out there. The lighting requirements in Section 30 For dwelling units you need a light in the bedroom mutilate in the living room, all that stuff. It's all gone deleted. That doesn't mean the requirements are gone. They were duplicated requirements from the building code. So just a heads up in regards to that, you still need all those lights in the same places, you just can't find where in the codebook, it tells you to put them. And then sort of an interesting one. I don't know how many people this will affect, but I want to kind of get the word out and have a discussion with as many people as I can about it. They've taken all the battery requirements, storage batteries from section 26 and move them to Section 64. Section 64 Being renewable energy systems are you an uninterruptible power supply or UPS is not a renewable energy system. So there's no requirements go to section 64 For that, yet, those still use a lot of batteries. And so as of right now, there's really nowhere in the codebook for how to install batteries for something that's not a renewable energy system. So just something that I want to get the word out there and get people thinking about and start asking some questions so that we can get some answers on that and, and things like that. So those are, those are the ones that I sort of picked out that that will affect the most people. Obviously, there are hundreds and hundreds of changes from the 18th to the 21 book. And obviously, there's more technical wording that needs to be said about all those things that I mentioned, I just wanted to sort of throw them out.

Zack Hartle:

Absolutely, it's, uh, it's interesting. I mean, I remember working out in the field, and new code books always came out. And you just you only heard about things as they mattered. So I think that your point about you know, let's get the discussion going and earlier talked about, you know, getting more involved and potentially taking some courses right to get to keep yourself educated, right, especially as we're, you know, definitely in a little bit of a different economic time to have that little bit education and knowledge definitely cannot hurt. So,

David Myers:

yep. And it's, it all looks good on a resume. And it all looks, you know, it's something that people in interviews want to hear. I think everybody wants interested, dedicated employees that are, you know, going outside of the norm to keep themselves current in the industry. And with things that are happening, those are the people that you want on site, those are the people that you want around you.

Jason Cox:

So Dave, when you start a what's new in the code course, or code updating course, what's the process that's required to kind of get yourself ready to, to understand and explain that information to your to your students?

David Myers:

Sure, you, you start by taking five years right off the top of your life, and you go from there. Basically, the first step when a new codebook comes out, is to learn and understand the changes. And the reason that the changes exist. There's no sense trying to implement changes in courses or changes in exams until you know, a what the change is be how it works, and see why the change was made. So that's the very first step is just, you know, hit the books, run some calculations, talk to some other people, you know, go on CSAs website and pull the meeting minutes and sort of see the discussion behind all this stuff. And figure out where this change came from. The next step is to identify problem areas. So in general, section 12, for 21 has had a lot of changes. So any question that relates back to Section 12, or that uses section 12, needs to be identified. So when I say questions, I mean exam or quiz bank questions and things like that. And then after that, it's identifying the individual questions. And that is probably the longest part of the whole process, believe it or not, because some question that doesn't look like it has anything to do with a change depends entirely upon it. So you pretty much have to work every new question through the new codebook. You know, then it's actually editing the question and verifying that the edits were successful and what they're supposed to be. And then, you know, you start the same process, again, with any supplemental activities, worksheets, workbooks, any modules that might be being used, that can be edited by by us, the institution. And then of course, it's making all the edits and implementing them and running through them with the students. And invariably, we'll run through them with students that are much more intelligent than we are and I maintain that happens, every single class that I have, and they will find things that that we have missed and we go through another process to catch those and to make sure that there's nothing else that's left outstanding. You know, fortunately in Alberta, we have a year from when the codebook is published until we put it in force. And from a college perspective, at least from a school perspective. We have another eight Months after that before we start with the new code book. So we do have time in between the code books, but with a three year code cycle, it's pretty much a year and a half of making these edits, and then another six months of going through them with the students, and then you get a year of not having to worry about it until the new code book comes out. So it's a fairly constant thing for those of us that are doing code.

Jason Cox:

That three year cycle, it's it's a real kick in the pants there, isn't it? Yeah,

David Myers:

well, and nowadays, you know, the, the amount of changes in code is always very significant. I was involved in code much less in the in the early 2000s, because I was in the field and things, but I don't remember the changes in code, being as in depth as they are from book to book as they are now. You know, and I could certainly be wrong about that. But I feel like they're, they're coming out with code books faster, and they're changing them more. And so it just ends up being a lot of work from our perspective. And it ends up being a lot of work for people in the field, too, because they're the ones that are installing these things in different situations and finding the problems that come up with them. Hey, I did this, this is what the rule says, I don't think they knew about this situation when they wrote it. And the rule doesn't work. The last three years, we've been dealing with a specific problem with farm services, and armored conduits, because there is no way in code to deal with that. And so that's been a lot of conversation, have a lot of inspector conferences and things like that. Obviously, it wasn't their intent to miss it. But they're writing a codebook at a desk with lots of experience very capable, qualified people to do so. But I maintain that there is not one electrician on the planet that has seen it all. It's too big of a trade. And it's you know, so with a three year code cycle, and with all these changes, it just leads to a lot of these things that come up that seemed to last for quite some time after the book is implemented. Nice. So

Zack Hartle:

my question with the What's New in the code course, I know this course is for me, Master electricians need to take out what's new in the code course in order to keep their master certificate in Alberta active? What is there like a certification process that you go through when you actually build that course that the CSA says yep, this is makes this course a valid, relevant, licensed course? I guess? That's correct.

David Myers:

Yep. So the safety codes Council of Alberta requires that any safety codes count any SEC master electricians take an updating course to stay current with code. They know if you you can go to their website to find the courses that they have approved. So once the course is constructed, and built, it's issued to the safety codes Council. They review it for content and quality. And they send back any changes that they would like made, and you send the changes back to them. And then of course, assuming everything goes well, they will certify your course. And so if you are, if you're interested in code, you can take any what's new in the code course. But if you are a master in Alberta who needs to renew, you have to take one of the ones that are approved by the safety codes Council.

Zack Hartle:

Yeah, great in that process. Like I mean, we're, we're coming on July here. I assume you've been working on that that's a couple month process to you know, take the codebook go through the changes, look at them Memorandum of revisions, build a course submit it. Right. So that's quite the process. So pretty impressive.

David Myers:

It is yeah, it took normally there's a few of us that work on it. But this time, you know, with the pandemic, and with everyone working from home, it ended up you know, I did pretty well, everything I had a I had some good health, some good insights, and some people that I could go to with a lot of questions, but the actual building of the course. You know, I built this one this year, and it did, it took just about three months, by the time it was approved and ready to go

Zack Hartle:

plus five years off the top of your life. So

David Myers:

there's that, you know, but I don't have to pay for that till later. So

Jason Cox:

you know, these three years could be tough on you every three years. The good thing about the three years that like you were saying, David, it's starting to almost build a routine with our industry people have to come in and realize they have to continually train and upgrade to keep current with the code. I tend to agree with you in the past, it seemed that you could go a couple of code cycles without there being any dramatic changes. So So maybe you're looking at eight years between training, right? So so maybe this is maybe there's a silver lining out of The US

David Myers:

would agree with that. Definitely.

Zack Hartle:

That wraps up our episode on the 2021 Canadian electrical code changes talking about what is new in the code. Thank you so much for coming to listen today. As always, please reach out to us on Instagram or Facebook. Leave us a review on Apple podcasts or Spotify. You have yourselves a great day. And we'll see you next month where we're talking with Dan Olson from Careers the next generation. Thanks a lot. Remember, keep yourself safe out there and if you can someone else too.