NEC in the Facility, March 7, 2011

Over the past decade, broadband has made huge inroads into production facilities

Over the past decade, broadband has made huge inroads into production facilities. These facilities are increasingly making use of intelligent devices, real-time video monitoring, and various bandwidth-hungry applications that run on a local area network (LAN) or wide area network (WAN). Article 830 applies to these networks. Other Articles may apply to a given network, also.

However, one question often arises: Are wireless networks covered by the NEC? Yes, because all networks are wired (as mentioned in the Low-Voltage Network Repairs section above.

One of the keys to a reliable, maintainable broadband system is the neatness of the installation. In fact, Art. 830 specifically addresses mechanical execution [830.24]. Improper routing and poor support are two of the most common violations.

One of the big problems with network equipment is improper bonding (Part IV of Art. 830). When this occurs, voltage potential exists between people and the network equipment (including cabling shields and connectors, making for a true maintenance safety hazard). A potential can also exist between the network equipment and other equipment, resulting in “mysterious” failures even though “everything is grounded.” We’ll look more closely at this concern in a future issue.

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