In Episode 31 of “EC&M Tech Talk,” Randy Barnett, a journeyman electrician, inspector, author, trainer, and electrical safety expert, discusses the requirements of the 2023 National Electrical Code for making electrical connections. Specifically, this information is found in Sec. 110.14 Electrical Connections.
Section 110.14 first provides some general information regarding connections. It is divided into four topics areas: terminals, splices, temperature limitations, and terminal torque requirements. First, Randy starts with general information about joining dissimilar conductor materials and moves through each of the four topics of Sec. 110.14. He discusses several examples. References in the Chapter 9 Tables can help electrical professionals understand conductor stranding requirements. Understanding that “any chain is only as good as its weakest link” is related to Table 310.16 for determining conductor ampacities. Randy uses an example of a receptacle with a 14 AWG THHN conductor to demonstrate the concept of the need to use the 60ºC column so as not to exceed device terminal temperature limitations; even though the THHN insulation is rated for 90ºC.
The most important part of complying with Sec. 110.14 is to meet the requirements of the NEC Sec. 90.2 Practical Safeguarding: “… practical safeguarding of persons and property from the hazards arising from the use of electricity.” Understanding the rules for electrical connections and applying good field installation and maintenance techniques undoubtedly helps prevent fires.