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Old 01-20-2009, 12:28 PM   #1
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Learning the NEC for the NON-Professional


What sources would be good for learning the NEC if I'm not a professional? Should I pick up a copy of the NEC anyway (http://www.amazon.com/dp/0877657939) or would people recommend something different?

I'm looking for info like "You must have 20-amp service in the laundry" or "You can't put switched on a flight of steps." I've got a good handle on how to do the work, but what should (and shouldn't) be done is what I'm looking for.

Thx,
-Walden

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Old 01-20-2009, 12:38 PM   #2
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Learning the NEC for the NON-Professional


McGraw Hill publishing and Ray C. Mullin.

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Old 01-20-2009, 12:40 PM   #3
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Learning the NEC for the NON-Professional


Try these:
http://www.mikeholt.com/productitem....=All&type=Book
http://www.mikeholt.com/productitem....=All&type=Book
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Old 01-20-2009, 12:54 PM   #4
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Can anyone tell me Mike Holt's credentials, his formal training?
It seems to me he has a lot of experts on call but I don't know much about him (except that he waterskis and is religious).
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Old 01-20-2009, 01:10 PM   #5
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Mike Holt is like an omnipotent all-knowing electrical authority/genius. As for credentials, I dunno...I've read enough of his writings to be convinced that the guy knows what he's talking about.

Another good resource is the IAEI's (international ass'n of electrical inspectors) One and Two Family Dwelling Electrical Systems book. Great explanations, it follows the NEC, tons of pictures and illustrations. You can get it on the IAEI website.

An NEC handbook is a very informative document as well, but focuses on the entire NEC. The IAEI book is nice because it focuses on residential.

In my opinion, reading the NEC is fine, but learning from it can be a challenge. It reads like tax law and the layman won't get much benefit from reading it. Get yourself an NEC-based explanatory guide that is written in plain english...Much like the two I mentioned.
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Old 01-20-2009, 01:38 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
Another good resource is the IAEI's ...... One and Two Family Dwelling Electrical Systems book.
Agreed this is the way to go. It is not cheap but it is a good value considering the amount of time that can be spent on deciphering the NEC.
One- and Two-Family Electrical Dwelling Systems, 2005 NEC

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Old 01-20-2009, 01:45 PM   #7
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The Mike Holt books are good, but most of the stuff in Volume Two isn't really going to be of much use to a non-pro, unless you're putting in a swimming pool. I would have to agree that the NEC itself is not the easiest source to learn from, and it's not cheap either. Fortunately, there is a free online version somewhere on the NFPA web site.
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Old 01-20-2009, 02:04 PM   #8
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Fortunately, there is a free online version somewhere on the NFPA web site.
I couldn't find it but there is free NEC S/W e.g. Load Calculations.
Mike Holt has a lot of Free Stuff on his Site including a NEC Code Quiz and a Code Index.
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Old 01-20-2009, 02:11 PM   #9
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Learning the NEC for the NON-Professional


I bought the NEC handbook, reading it is challenging
The handbook has many illustrations which are great
But what I found on another DIY site I have been member of for 4 years: Many people will quote the specific NEC code to look up
I have other electrical books & took classes years ago. But it's invaluable to be able to look-up the exact code. Understanding it can be a whole nother ball game
And even then there were discussions (by experienced electricians & Inspectors) as to exactly what the NEC was "saying" & required
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Old 01-20-2009, 02:29 PM   #10
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Learning the NEC for the NON-Professional


Quote:
Originally Posted by WaldenL View Post
What sources would be good for learning the NEC if I'm not a professional? Should I pick up a copy of the NEC anyway (http://www.amazon.com/dp/0877657939) or would people recommend something different?

I'm looking for info like "You must have 20-amp service in the laundry" or "You can't put switched on a flight of steps." I've got a good handle on how to do the work, but what should (and shouldn't) be done is what I'm looking for.

Thx,
-Walden
I don't think you want the Nec code book. What you want is a book that spells out the requirements that will meet current codes for your area and single family dwellings. You also need to check any amendments to the NEC requirements at the local code authority in your area. An example would be the NON-adoption of AFCI for single family or non-adoption of child proof receptacles etc... Also check the code cycle your on so that you can meet that code as a minimum. It's not unusual for some areas to still be on 2002 standards. In Oklahoma some coop's are still on 1999. All this can also vary as to the state you live in....ie....Illinois and California.


http://store.taunton.com/onlinestore...on-071212.html


http://www.nfpa.org/catalog/product....order_src=A292

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Old 01-20-2009, 02:34 PM   #11
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Agreed this is the way to go. It is not cheap but it is a good value considering the amount of time that can be spent on deciphering the NEC.
One- and Two-Family Electrical Dwelling Systems, 2005 NEC

.
Yup, that's the one. Great book. I use mine easily as often as the code book, just for the photos and illustrations if nothing else.
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Old 01-20-2009, 02:42 PM   #12
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Learning the NEC for the NON-Professional


Thx for all the responses. My issue w/the One- and Two-Family Electrical Dwelling Systems book is that it's 2005 based, not 2008. Not that that's a huge deal, but to buy something at this point that's outdated seems silly. :-) These books also have gotten good reviews: Electrical Wiring Residental and Wiring a House (for Pros by Pros)
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Old 01-20-2009, 03:22 PM   #13
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Learning the NEC for the NON-Professional


Those books are primarily 'how to' books, they do not spend a lot of time with laying out the code requirements in plain english. You said you knew the... how to...and I thought you wanted something that would give you a good understanding of residential codes. If your not on 2005 and are on 2008 then you need 2008. I wouldn't chase the future..... it changes every 3 years.
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Old 01-20-2009, 03:30 PM   #14
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You should be aware that the Third Edition of Wiring a House has been recalled due to errors in some of the diagrams. Wiring Complete has also been recalled. There is a thread on this forum about the recalls.
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Old 01-20-2009, 03:44 PM   #15
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Fortunately, there is a free online version somewhere on the NFPA web site.
I am not positive but do not think it is available anymore. Either you buy it or have to be a member of the NFPA. I previously bookmarked a link I found on this site for the 08 free online NEC and it no longer works.

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