Philippine Electrical Code Part 1/Chapter 1. General/Article 1.0 - Introduction

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Article 1.0 - Introduction

DISCLAIMER
This is not an official copy of the Philippine Electrical Code. This is a Design Guide according to the provisions of the Philippine Electrical Code. It also provides interpretation and annotations of the clauses of the Philippine Electrical Code. Any information, interpretation and/or annotation presented herein are based on personal opinion of the authors and does not represent the official interpretation of the Philippine Electrical Code.


While the authors have used good faith and efforts to ensure that the information and instructions contained in this work are accurate, the authors disclaim all responsibility for errors or omissions, including without limitation responsibility for damages resulting from the use of or reliance on this work. Use of the information and instructions contained in this work is at your own risk. If any contents or other technology this work contains or describes is subject to open source licenses or the intellectual property rights of others, it is your responsibility to ensure that your use thereof complies with such licenses and/or rights

Note: This is a work in progress...

1.0.1.1 Purpose.

(a) Practical Safeguarding.

The purpose of this Code is the practical safeguarding of persons and property from hazards arising from the use of electricity.


The primary purpose of the Philippine Electrical Code is to minimize the risk of electricity as a source of electric shock and as a potential ignition source of fires and explosions; and to minimize the propagation of fire and explosions due to electrical installations.


(b) Adequacy.

This Code contains provisions that are considered minimum requirements necessary for safety. Compliance therewith and proper maintenance will result in an installation that is essentially free from hazard but not necessarily efficient, convenient, or adequate for good service or future expansion of electrical use.

FPN No. 1: Hazards often occur because of overloading of wiring systems by methods or usage not in conformity with this Code. This occurs because initial wiring did not provide for increases in the use of electricity. An initial adequate installation and reasonable provisions for system changes will provide for future increases in the use of electricity.

FPN No 2: It is highly recommended that a licensed electrical practitioner be consulted for any electrical requirements, including changes.Failure to do so may result in fire, serious injury, or death.

FPN No. 3: Fire hazard, electrocution, serious injury or even death may also occur with lack or improper maintenance of wiring system. Wiring system is recommended to be inspected and tested by a licensed electrical practitioner at least once a year for wiring system of more than three (3) years in installation.

Future expansion should always be given consideration when designing any electrical system. Future expansion may be unlikely in some new installations, but most of time, it is wise to plan an initial installation that allows for future additional loads, modifications, or designs. Ratings of conductors, switchboards and/or transformers need to be selected properly given these considerations without sacrificing initial cost.
(c) Intention.

This Code is intended for the exclusive use of licensed electrical practitioners (PEE, REE, and RME). This Code is not intended as a design specification nor an instruction manual for a non-licensed electrical practitioner, unless under the supervision of a licensed electrical practitioner.

The Philippine Electrical Code is intended for use by

  1. Qualified engineers in the design, installation and/or maintenance of electrical equipment;
  2. Inspection authorities having legal jurisdiction over electrical installations;
  3. Insurance inspectors;
  4. Electrical practitioners; and
  5. Instructors of electrical students.


(d) Relation to Other International Standards.

The requirements in this Code address the fundamental principles of protection for safety contained in Section 131 of International Electrotechnical Commission Standard 60364-1, Electrical Installations of Buildings.

The Philippine Electrical Code (PEC) is a modified version of the National Electrical Code. The modifications were made to suit the local Philippine environment and conversion into the SI system. This section of the Philippine Electrical Code makes it clear that the Philippine Electrical Code is compatible with international safety standards and address the fact installations meeting the requirements of the Philippine Electrical Code are also in compliance with the fundamental principles outlined in NEC.

FPN:IEC 60364-1, Section 131. Contains fundamental principles of protection for safety that encompass protection against thermal effects,protection against overcurrent, protection against fault currents, and protection against over voltage.

IEC 60364-1[1], Section 131

131 Protection for safety

131.1 General

The requirements stated in 131.2 to 131.7 are intended to provide for the safety of persons, livestock and property against dangers and damage which may arise in the reasonable use of electrical installations. The requirements to provide for the safety of livestock are applicable in locations intended for them.

In electrical installations, the following hazards may arise:

– shock currents;
– excessive temperatures likely to cause burns, fires and other injurious effects;
– ignition of a potentially explosive atmosphere;
– undervoltages, overvoltages and electromagnetic influences likely to cause or result in injury or damage;
– power supply interruptions and/or interruption of safety services;
– arcing, likely to cause blinding effects, excessive pressure, and/or toxic gases;
– mechanical movement of electrically activated equipment.

131.2 Protection against electric shock

Direct Contact. For low-voltage installations, systems and equipment, basic protection generally corresponds to protection against direct contact. Protection shall be provided against dangers that may arise from contact with live parts of the installation by persons or livestock.

This protection can be achieved by one of the following methods:

– preventing a current from passing through the body of any person or any livestock;
– limiting the current which can pass through a body to a non-hazardous value.

Indirect Contact. For low-voltage installations, systems and equipment, fault protection generally corresponds to protection against indirect contact, mainly with regard to failure of basic insulation. Protection shall be provided against dangers that may arise from contact with exposed conductive- parts of the installation by persons or livestock. time period.

131.3 Protection against thermal effects

The electrical installation shall be so arranged to minimize the risk of damage or ignition of flammable materials due to high temperature or electric arc. In addition, during normal operation of the electrical equipment, there shall be no risk of persons or livestock suffering burns.

131.4 Protection against overcurrent

Persons and livestock shall be protected against injury and property shall be protected against damage due to excessive temperatures or electromechanical stresses caused by any overcurrents likely to arise in conductors. Protection can be achieved by limiting the overcurrent to a safe value or duration.

131.5 Protection against fault currents

Conductors, other than live conductors, and any other parts intended to carry a fault current shall be capable of carrying that current without attaining an excessive temperature. Electrical equipment, including conductors shall be provided with mechanical protection against electromechanical stresses of fault currents as necessary to prevent injury or damage to persons, livestock or property. Live conductors shall be protected against overcurrents arising from faults by the methods in 131.4.

NOTE Particular attention should be given to PE conductor and earthing conductor currents.

131.6 Protection against voltage disturbances and measures against electromagnetic influences Persons and livestock shall be protected against injury and property shall be protected against any harmful effects as a consequence of a fault between live parts of circuits supplied at different voltages.Persons and livestock shall be protected against injury and property shall be protected against damage as a consequence of overvoltages such as those originating from atmospheric events or from switching.

131.7 Protection against power supply interruption

Where danger or damage is expected to arise due to an interruption of supply, suitable provisions shall be made in the installation or installed equipment.

1.0.1.2 Scope.

(a) Covered.

This Code covers the installation of electrical conductors, equipment, and raceways; signaling and communications conductors, equipment, and raceways; and optical fiber cables and raceways installed within or on, to or from:

(1) Public and private buildings, including but not limited to residential, commercial, industrial, institutional, cultural, agricultural, agro-industrial, planned unit development and all other buildings/premises that may require practical safeguarding of persons and property from the hazards arising from the use of electricity.
(2) Electric generating plants
(3) Industrial plants
(4) Transformer stations
(5) Permanent and temporary substations, etc.
(6) Airfields
(7) Railways switchyards
(8) Yards, carnival, parks, parking and other lots
(9) Quarries and mines
(10) Watercraft
(11) Dockyards
(12) Trailers
(13) Mobile homes and recreational vehicles
(14) Offshore facilities
(b) Not Covered.

This Code does not cover the following:

(1) Installations in railway rolling stock, aircraft, or automotive vehicles
(2) Installations of railways for generation, transformation, transmission, or distribution of power used exclusively for operation of rolling stock

The PEC covers the requirements for the supply of electricity from utility, generators, battery system, solar photovoltaic system, fuel cells, wind turbines or a combination of those sources.

1.0.1.3 Authority.

(a) This Code has been approved and adopted by the Board of Electrical Engineering, Professional Regulation Commission[2].

The local Building Officials are responsible in enforcing the provisions of the Philippine Electrical Code as indicated in RA 7920, Sec 39 and PD 1096, Sections 205 and 1301.

The role of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) as per provisions of the Republic Act No. 9514[3], Fire Code regarding electrical systems is to enforce the provisions of the Fire Code particularly Section 7.A.1 to ensure that there are no violations as per Section 8.B. It has no legal authority on the design of electrical system.

Extracts of RA 7920, PD 1096 and RA 9154 are provided below for reference.

Republic Act No. 7920[4] AN ACT PROVIDING FOR A MORE RESPONSIVE AND COMPREHENSIVE REGULATION FOR THE PRACTICE, LICENSING, AND REGISTRATION OF ELECTRICAL ENGINEERS AND ELECTRICIANS.

SEC. 39. Enforcement of the Act by Officers of the Law. – It shall be the duty of all constituted officers of the law of the national government, or any provincial, city or municipal government or of any political subdivision thereof to prosecute any person violating the provisions of this Act. The Secretary of Justice or his assistant shall act as legal adviser of the Board and render such legal assistance as may be necessary in carrying out the provisions of this Act.

Presidential Decree No. 1096, s. 1977[5] ADOPTING A NATIONAL BUILDING CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES (NBCP) THEREBY REVISING REPUBLIC ACT NUMBERED SIXTY-FIVE HUNDRED FORTY-ONE (R.A. NO. 6541)

Section 205. Building Officials.

Except as otherwise provided herein, the Building Official shall be responsible for carrying out the provisions of this Code in the field as well as the enforcement of orders and decisions made pursuant thereto.

Due to the exigencies of the service, the Secretary may designate incumbent Public Works District Engineers, City Engineers and Municipal Engineers act as Building Officials in their respective areas of jurisdiction.

The designation made by the Secretary under this Section shall continue until regular positions of Building Official are provided or unless sooner terminated for causes provided by law or decree.

Section 1301. Electrical Regulations.

All electrical systems equipment and installation mentioned in this Code shall conform to the provisions of the Philippine Electrical Code, as adopted by the board of Electrical Engineering pursuant to Republic Act No. 184 otherwise known as the electrical Engineering Law.

Republic Act No. 9514[3] Fire Code of the Philippines of 2008

SECTION 5. Responsibility for the Enforcement of this Code. ‑ This Code shall be administered and enforced by the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), under the direct supervision and control of the Chief of the Bureau of Fire Protection, through the hierarchy of organization as provided for in Chapter VI of Republic Act No. 6975. With the approval of the Secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Chief, BFP, is hereby authorized to:

g. Designate a fire safety inspector through his/her duly authorized representative, who shall conduct an inspection of every building or structure within his area of responsibility at least once a year and every time the owner, administrator or occupant shall renew his/her business permit or permit to operate;

SECTION 7. Inspections, Safety Measures, Fire Safety, Constructions and Protective and/or Warning Systems. ‑ As may be defined and provided in the rules and regulations, owners, administrators or occupants of buildings, structures and their premises or facilities and other responsible persons shall be required to comply with the following, as may be appropriate:

a) Inspection Requirement ‑ A fire safety inspection shall be conducted by the Chief, BFP or his duly authorized representative as prerequisite to the grants of permits and/or licenses by local governments and other government agencies concerned, for the:

(1) Use or occupancy of buildings, structures, facilities or their premises including the installation or fire protection and fire safety equipment, and electrical system in any building structure or facility; and

SECTION 8. Prohibited Acts. ‑ The following are declared as prohibited act and omission: m. Use of jumpers or tampering with electrical wiring or overloading the electrical system beyond its designated capacity or such other practices that would tend to undermine the fire safety features of the electrical system.

(b) By virtue of authority vested in the Board under RA 7920[4], it hereby direct strict adherence to the provisions of this Code.

The Philippine Electrical Code is a statutory law of the Philippines that requires compliance. It is the legal obligation of the Electrical Engineers or Electrical Practitioners in charge of the design and/or installation of the electrical system to ensure that provisions of the Philippine Electrical Code are fully complied in any electrical installation. This includes educating the property owners of these provisions and what will be the consequences if these provisions are violated.

(c) Where deviations from these provisions are necessary, such deviations shall not be made, except with written permission from this government bodies exercising legal jurisdiction applicable only to the particular job for which such permission was granted.

Any deviations or exceptions on the provisions of the Philippine Electrical Code shall be provided by government authorities having legal jurisdiction over the electrical installation. The exception shall only be used only for the electrical installation to which it was intended. Use of such exceptions in other electrical installations shall be unlawful.

1.0.1.4 Enforcement.

(a) This Code is intended for mandatory application by government bodies exercising legal jurisdiction over electrical installations.

(b) These government bodies, only through a licensed electrical practitioner, shall have the responsibility of implementing the provisions of this Code in deciding on the approval of equipment and materials and for granting the special permission contemplated in this Code, where it is assured that equivalent objectives can be achieved by establishing and maintaining effective safety.

(c) The authority having jurisdiction may waive specific requirements in this Code or permit alternate methods where it is assured that equivalent objectives can be achieved by establishing and maintaining effective safety.

(d) This Code may require new products, constructions, or materials that may not yet be available at the time this Code is adopted. In such event, the authority having jurisdiction may permit the use of the products, constructions, or materials that comply with the most recent previous edition of this Code adopted by the jurisdiction.

FPN: Application of electrical products and equipment for additional installation or replacement is suggested to be consulted with a licensed electrical practitioner prior to installation for safety.

1.0.1.5 Mandatory Rules, Permissive Rules, and Explanatory Material.

(a) Mandatory Rules.

Mandatory rules of this Code are those that identify actions that are specifically required or prohibited and are characterized by the use of the terms shall or shall not.

Mandatory means it is required by law. Compliance is compulsory. Mandatory rules are characterized by the terms shall and shall not, are covered in 1.0.1.5(a).
(b) Permissive Rules.

Permissive rules of this Code are those that identify actions that are allowed but not required, are normally used to describe options or alternative methods, and are characterized by the use of the terms shall be permitted or shall not be required.

Permissive means that it is optional. Compliance is not compulsory. Permissive rules are recommended options or methods for achieving equivalent safety. These are not requirements. Permissive rules are often misinterpreted as mandatory. The frequently used permissive term shall be permitted are often mistaken for a requirement.
(c) Explanatory Material.

Explanatory material, such as references to other standards, references to related sections of this Code, or information related to a Code rule, is included in this Code in the form of fine print notes (FPN). Fine print notes are informational only and are not enforceable as requirements of this Code.


The Philippine Electrical Code contains a substantial number of informational notes referred to as fine print notes or FPNs. FPNs are supplementary materials that aids in the application of the requirement that they follow. FPNs are not requirements of the Philippine Electrical Code, they are not enforceable.


Footnotes to tables, although also in fine print, are not explanatory material unless they are identified as informational notes. Table footnotes are part of the tables and are necessary for proper use of the tables and therefore are mandatory and enforceable Philippine Electrical Code text.

1.0.1.6 Interpretation.

In case of controversy, the recommendation of the Code Committee and concurrence of the Board of Electrical Engineering shall be the final interpretation of any portion of the Philippine Electrical Code Part 1.

1.0.1.7 Examination of Equipment for Safety.

For specific items of equipment and materials referred to in this Code, examinations for safety made under standard conditions will provide a basis for approval where the record is made generally available through promulgation by organizations properly equipped and qualified for experimental testing, inspections of the run of goods at factories, and service-value determination through field inspections. This avoids the necessity for repetition of examinations by different examiners, frequently with inadequate facilities for such work, and the confusion that would result from conflicting reports as to the suitability of devices and materials examined for a given purpose.

It is the intent of this Code that factory-installed internal wiring or the construction of equipment need not be inspected at the time of installation of the equipment, except to detect alterations or damage, if the equipment has been listed by a qualified electrical testing laboratory that is recognized as having the facilities described in the preceding paragraph and that requires suitability for installation in accordance with this Code.

FPN No. 1: See requirements in Section 1.10.1.3.

FPN No. 2: Listed is defined in Article 1.0

FPN No. 3: Appendix A contains an informative list of product safety standards for electrical equipment.

FPN No. 4: Application of electrical equipment and devices shall always be consulted with a licensed electrical practitioner.

1.0.1.8 Wiring Planning.

(a) Future Expansion and Convenience.

Plans and specifications that provide ample space in raceways, spare raceways, and additional spaces allow for future increases in electric power and communication circuits. Distribution centers located in readily accessible locations provide convenience and safety of operation.

(b) Number of Circuits in Enclosures.

It is elsewhere provided in this Code that the number of wires and circuits confined in a single enclosure be varyingly restricted. Limiting the number of circuits in a single enclosure will minimizes the effects from a short circuit or ground fault in one circuit.

1.0.1.9 Metric Units of Measurement.

For the purpose of this Code, metric units of measurement are in accordance with the modernized metric system known as the International System of Units (SI)[6].

Other Pages in this Category: Chapter 1. General

References

  1. IEC Webstore
  2. Professional Regulation Commission
  3. 3.0 3.1 RA 9514
  4. 4.0 4.1 RA 7920
  5. PD 1096
  6. SI Units