Code question for the electrical exam and their traps. We've been talking about tips for your NEC code book and some questions that are a bit tricky.
This next tip right here is absolutely one of the major tips I've got to tell you about. And that is code question exceptions. If you look on the Candidate Information Bulletin from PSI, you will see a major note under examination reference material.
What does the last sentence here say? It says “when responding to the test questions DO NOT consider code exceptions, unless the test question specifically directs you to consider them”.
Guys that is so important, many fellows fall for this trick in the type of code question.
Perfect Example of This Tricky Code Question
Just about everyone has done overhead service at least once in their lifetime career. What is your normal average height above a rooftop?
If you had a code question that asked you what the minimum distance is, what would you answer?
If your multiple choice answers were
3 feet because that's how we do it all the time. I have done 2 in my lifetime that weren't at 3 feet. All the rest of them have always been 3 feet.
In fact the code criteria from the Austin Energy there in Austin, they even have a little picture, and it said it 36 inches.
So how would you guys feel about the fact that told you that the answer is actually 8?
First of all, where would I find the answer that code question?
I’m asking what is the minimum required height above a rooftop for an overhead service conductor?
Let's look up this code question
Where would I find the answer to a question that has to do with a minimum clearance for overhead service conductors.
Article 230 right? Article 230 is about services so let's look at article 230 real quick. We are looking for the section that deals with clearances over a rooftop. If you go back a little further than 230.24 we’ll get into an article that specifically is listed as clearances overhead service conductors above roofs. That’s under Note A.
What does it say right there in the first paragraph? “Not less than 8 feet” doesn't it? Now, go a little further down into the exceptions under Exception No. 2. This tells you that if your roof slope is 4 and 12 or greater, it's the rise and run the pitch of the roof, right?
Note that almost every roof out there that we ever run across is going to be greater than 4 and 12. So the bottom line is that 90% of the things that we filled are under that exception.
But because of exactly what PSI instructed you to do, you have got to be real careful about using your trade knowledge. Or using your trade experiences or gut reaction to answer these test questions.
There are quite a few exceptions just like that that we consider the rule because it's almost what we run across all the time. However, for the code question, that is not the correct answer, okay.
So my point is that tip number one make sure you're looking up the articles. Make sure you're looking at both the article itself and any exceptions that are below it. Finally, then go back to the code question to see whether it allows you or tells you anything about exceptions. If it doesn't, you must ignore exceptions for these code questions.
Code Question Exam Prep Seminars and Practice Books
If you are taking your electrical exam for your master license or journeyman license, read more about our seminars in Texas. We go over this and many more code question tips and practice.
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