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EC&M Tech Talk Video — New Requirements in the 2023 NFPA 70B

April 14, 2023
In Episode 25, Randy Barnett covers electrical maintenance “must do's” based on the updated standard.

In Episode 25 of “EC&M Tech Talks,” Randy Barnett, a journeyman electrician, inspector, author, trainer, and electrical safety expert, discusses the requirements and effects of the newest NFPA standard: NFPA 70B, Standard for Electrical Equipment Maintenance, 2023 edition. Previously titled a “Recommended Practice,” the biggest change to an ANSI-approved standard for this document now mandates requirements for maintenance for electrical, electronic, and communications systems and equipment. The standard applies to systems and equipment in industrial plants, institutional/commercial buildings, and large multi-family residential complexes. Although it is now a requirement for many facilities, keep in mind the standard provides opportunities for contractors and third-party organizations providing maintenance services.

The first several of the 38 chapters are devoted to definitions and administrative requirements. The remaining chapters cover fundamental electrical tests required throughout the standard; the frequency and types of maintenance to be performed; and the maintenance requirements on individual types of equipment. Examples of individual types of electrical equipment addressed include motors and generators, circuit breakers, switchgear, panelboards, motor control centers, cables, and electric vehicle charging stations. 

Randy then explains the fundamental tests required. These include different options to test bus and terminal connections, insulation resistance quality, and abnormal heating found with infrared thermography. Proper torque on terminals and poor insulation quality are two of the most common causes of electrical equipment failure. Viewers will learn the requirements for a documented electrical maintenance program, what maintenance to perform, and how often to perform these maintenance items. 

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