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National Electrical Code Articles and Information

NEC Quiz: Article 362

by Mark Lamendola

Quiz Questions

Code Quiz: Article 362

Based on the 2014 NEC

Questions and answers written by Mark Lamendola, who has worked as a master electrician, electrical inspector, and design engineer. Mark is an IEEE Senior Member, and the Code article author for Codebookcity.com. Since 1996, he has been writing National Electrical Code articles for electrical trade magazines and has an extensive portfolio of hundreds of NEC articles..

The Chapter Three Articles on wiring methods run in multiple series. Article 350 was the last in the sets of series about metallic conduits. Article 352 starts a series on nonmetallic conduits and after this series, a series of tubing starts with Article 360.

Article 362 provides the requirements for Electrical Nonmetallic Tubing (ENT).

A major reason for using tubing is you can assemble it with pressure connectors instead of needing to cut threads onto the "pipe." There are three reasons (maybe more) you'd choose ENT over EMT:

  1. ENT is pliable, so someone who isn't concerned about good workmanship can slap it in without ensuring nice straight runs.
  2. Because it's nonmetallic, you don't have to bond it to the Equipment Grounding Conductor (with EMT, you do).
  3. It typically costs less than EMT.

Now, there's one other reason you'd use ENT and it's not along the lines of trying to do a sloppier, cheaper job than you could do with EMT. For a wide range of applications, it's just much better to use. Consider, for example, an industrial machine. Bending EMT to wire it up is much more work and will actually result in a sloppier-looking installation than if a skilled installer runs ENT along a prescribed pathway with proper supports. This is one of many examples where you're working on an oddball surface shape rather than along a straight cinder block wall. It's also great for crowded cabinets, even though their walls are straight; you can adjust the shape of the ENT without having to go nuts making all kinds of scrap attempting a set of crazy offsets for EMT.

In short, don't use ENT because you don't know how to properly bend EMT. Use it where the application makes it a time-saving option and yet permits good workmanship.

But you may be concerned about the fact ENT, being made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is highly toxic, especially when burned (as in a building fire) and that making PVC is very much an environmentally damaging process and that making PVC means sending even more dollars to oil-producing nations, then you'll opt for EMT every time. Remember, it's tubing rather than conduit. So while PVC conduit can provide real advantages (e.g., corrosion resistance) that metal conduit cannot, ENT isn't really in that advantage league.

Notice the distinction above, regarding tubing vs. conduit. ENT is not conduit. Many people mistakenly call it conduit, but that mistake can prove costly when trying to apply the NEC.

A final note before the quiz (below). The NEC does permit using ENT as an equipment grounding conductor [362.60], because it's an insulator not a conductor. You can't use EMT (metallic) as one either, because the connectors don't ensure a reliable low impedance path.

With tubing systems, always run a separate equipment grounding conductor inside the tubing and bond it to the tubing. The tubing, being of far greater diameter than the wire, will attenuate high frequency energy far better than the wire. But the wire gives you the ultimate in reliability. So use both, and bond them together.

  1. Article 362 is the twenty third in a series of Chapter 3 articles addressing specific wiring methods and the second one (of three) to address tubing. Which wiring method does it address, and what are its defining characteristics?
     

  2. Name three permitted uses for this wiring method.
     

  3. Name the prohibited uses for this wiring method.
     

  4. What type hardware is permitted for supporting this wiring method?
     

  5. What restriction is there on using couplings and connectors with this tubing?

Answers to this quiz are here: Answers to this quiz

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How the NEC is arranged

  1. The first four Chapters of the NEC apply to all installations.
  2. Article 90 precedes Chapter One, and establishes the authority of the NEC.
  3. Article 80 follows the body of the NEC; it exists as Annex H. It provides the requirements for administration.
  4. Chapters 5, 6, and 7 are the "special" chapters, covering special: occupancies, equipment, and conditions (in that order).
  5. Chapter 8 provides the requirements for communications systems.
  6. Chapter 9 provides tables.
  7. The appendices provide mostly reference information.
  8. Appendix D contains examples that every NEC user should study.

Try your NEC moxy:

  • Do you know the difference between bonding and grounding? Hint: Look in the NEC, Article 100.
  • Does the NEC refer to grounding incorrectly in any of its articles? Yes! So be careful to apply the Article 100 definitions. Don't ground where you should bond.
  • When doing motor load calculations, which Article covers hermetic motors? Answer: While Article 440 covers the application of hermetic motors, it does so only by amending Article 430 because hermetic motors are a special case of motors. For motor load calculations, refer to Article 430.
  • Does the NEC provide a voltage drop requirement? Yes! It does so in a special case, which is Article 648 Sensitive Electronic Equipment. But for general applications, it does not provide a requirement; it merely provides a recommendation in a couple of FPNs.
  • Take our Code Quizzes.

Remember other applicable codes, rules, standards, and references:

  • OSHA's electrical worker safety rules.
  • IEEE standards.
  • NETA standards.
  • NFPA standards.
  • International Codes (if applicable to the installation).
  • State Codes (if the state has them).
  • Local ordinances and permit requirements.
  • Local fire codes.
  • Manufacturer requirements or guidelines.
  • Customer security requirements.
  • Industry standards.
  • Your company's own internal standards, practices, and procedures.
  • Engineering drawing notes.

 

 

 

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